Sound artist transforms dancer into human antenna

Sound artist transforms dancer into human antenna
The sound of movement: Liz Phillips’s interactive installation combines dancing with sounds and video footage from nature.
Courtesy of Liz Phillips

If Mother Earth got a record deal, her hit single would sound like this.

A radical sound engineer is exploring how humans connect with the earth by recording nature’s soundtrack — then using dance movements to morph audio frequencies and images, creating a piece of art that merges body, light, sound, and stage.

“When the surface area of her body shifts, so does the sound,” explained audio artist Liz Phillips. “The idea is that your presence has an effect on other things.”

The performance — which includes video footage and audio from a stunning wildlife sanctuary — showcases a dancer that activates a sound with each gesture using an old-school synthesizer. Phillips is teaming up with Mariko Endo Reynolds, a Japanese Butoh dancer, whose graceful and controlled movements “act as a human antennae.”

The multi-media performance includes pre-recorded sounds of bamboo cracking, water hitting rocks, and raindrops pounding. It also features impromptu audio using radio frequencies and video footage on a dome-shaped screen.

“We’re really tuning in to nature’s rhythms,” Phillips said.

Biyuu at Roulette [509 Atlantic Ave. at Third Avenue in Downtown, (917) 267–0363, www.roulette.org] June 2–3 at 8 pm. Tickets $10.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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