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Soul Challenge at The Template

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Birdrock, CA Sound Mark Walk

This walk was created in fall of 2020 by Lexi Pulido, a multi-media artist based in San Diego CA as part of her 8-week Sound Art Group Workshop series at Kalabash School of Music and the Arts. Pulido was inspired by the Elastic City walks of New York. Through the lens of its sound, participants are invited to combine imagination and self reflection with the living, sounding world around Birdrock, CA. 

Pocketing Water Workshop

Following discussions on groove, pocket, micro timing, and phrasing, participants experimented with these musical concepts while discovering the ranges of sounds possible by their instrument for this workshop, a bucket of water on a table and various objects. Using rhythm-counting basics from the konnikol oral tradition, participants practiced “slap, plunge, plow” hand-water playing techniques used by water musicians from the northern islands of Vanuatu. With the tools of looping a groove and speech-based rhythms, participants practiced repetition, speed, accents, phrasing, and improvisation over a groove. The workshop was sealed off by a cleansing “sound bath” meditational improv.

Curating Sound Space with Dissonance, Consonance, and Parameters

In exploration of intentionality and analysis of context, quality, musical tools, and parameters, participants discussed and put to practice various methods of curating and intaking sound space using miscellaneous household items as their tools of instrumentation to perform solo and group improvised pieces. Throughout this process, participants discuss and draw connections between sound performance curation (with its qualities of dissonance and consonance) and its relationship to familiarity, context, the pleasant, and the unacceptable.

Graphic Scores and Multi-Media Play

In this workshop, participants engage with graphic scores as they serve to exemplify structural tools for composition, performance, and improv as well as transitive associations between the 5 senses. Participants discuss and create graphic scores with styles of composer communication from “x-y axis”- based to ambiguous guides with or without parameters. Following these discussions and compositional play, participants then work together to create a transformative, multi-media performance piece engaging with 4 out of the 5 senses on a journey beginning with smells to trigger memories and continuing on through haiku to audio, audio to movement, movement to audio, audio to audio, and audio to visual.

The Haikus

Sounds of a Voice

Experimenting with breath, phonation, articulation, and resonance, participants engage with the vocal mechanism and are guided through a series of warm up and range of motion activities such as quiet/loud breathing with postural adjustment, feeling the front of the larynx through slides, rhythmic motion of the tongue, lips, and jaw, and manipulation of resonance space in the mouth and throat. Prompts are then distributed randomly to each participant that offer a single storyline such as “life cycle of a butterfly” or “a feather falls from 100 stories high.” Participants structure an improvised, solo a’capella performance around their prompts, representing 3 or more key moments through vocal texture, pacing, and pitch arcs. 


The question “How does our own voice make us feel about ourselves?” begins discussions on self awareness, characterization, attitude, and inflection. Inflection and rise/fall intonation provide a framework through which participants are challenged to a whacky script reading using nonsense dialogue, speaking without using actual words. Participants discuss the elements of nonsense dialogue and engage with crafting their tone, body language, and intonation-based statements to perform a dramatic reading of their script excerpts.

life of a butterfly storyline
feather falls storyline
darth vader nonsense dialogue
bend and snap nonsense dialogue

Pocketing Counterpoint

Participants arrive to a room of 4 quadrants marked on the floor with 6 dotted, paper points. Through a series of dot-stepping dances to a pulse, participants use their bodies to represent musical ideas of counterpoint such as free counterpoint, imitation, 2-4 parts, and canon. All throughout this experience, participants are challenged to lock-in their stepping motion rhythmically.

 

Groove and pocket as they pertain to counterpoint are tied in to serve as a metaphor for alignment and flow in music and relationships and thematically carry the workshop into an overview of the 7 chakras. The group is then challenged to create a melodic canon of cleansing intentions moving from the root chakra through the crown. Lyrics below

 

Safety blocked by fear.

Pleasure blocked by guilt.

Willpower blocked by shame.

Love blocked by grief. 

Truth blocked by lies.

 Insight blocked by illusion.

Pure cosmic energy blocked by attachments.