3D Sound work - Threeways School, Bath

Today we worked with a PMLD class in the Threeways Sensory Studio using 3D sound. The studio is an egg shaped room with 12 speakers (3 high and 3 low on each side) and we have created some software that allows us to assign different sounds to each speaker and control the volumes via an iPad interface. There were some really interesting reactions and it is proving to be a useful tool.

OpenUp Youth Orchestra Project - Threeways School, Bath

Today at Threeways we met with Doug Bott from MUSE regarding the second phase of the OpenUp Youth Orchestra: http://www.museproject.co.uk/portfolio/openup-youth-orchestras/

Last year Threeways worked with Barry Farrimond and Katrin Reimers to form a 12 piece orchestra using a variety of acoustic, electronic and bespoke accessible instruments. In the summer our students performed along with others from Claremont School in Bristol and National Star College in Cheltenham at the Colston Hall in Bristol. The project was a great success and greatly enjoyed by all.

This year Threeways hope to work a bit more independently with a couple of 4 piece orchestras and may again perform in the summer, watch this space...

Pop Up Play- Embrace Arts 3 Day Workshop

DotLib took the Pop-Up-Play system to the Embrace Arts Centre in Leicester for a three-day workshop event run by Marianne Pape. The workshop aimed to use PUP to help a small group of home-educated children, aged 7-10, interact with the art exhibition in the gallery by Mark Hamilton.

Day one was spent unleashing the system on the children. They were introduced to the separate elements but descended into creative chaos when the Kinect part of PUP was activated. They immediately began interacting with the screen. This carried on for the rest of the morning with different children exploring the different functionality of the system, at times switching roles and directing each other regarding how they were using the system. They were using the webcam alongside physical props to mix digital and physical elements. There were some great interactions of children creating a maze in the afternoon. This involved a maze being drawn and then captured by the webcam operator, a player who moved the physical piece around the maze (Mario kart or army man), and a technologist to control the PUP system on the iPad. This gave the children the chance to really explore how they were going to use the different elements available and they were very forthcoming with ideas.

Day two moved to a different room. The idea of the mazes developed further as some of the children had made new mazes overnight, and they had also bought in objects from home. We also developed some new media to be added to the PUP system, both in terms of getting crafty, and taking photos of the exhibition to put in the system, alongside photos of the children’s items from home. The children started to think about how they could get their parents involved in the process and demonstrate, not only the system to them, but also all the content that they had created. They discussed bringing all the different content and created components together to form a game whilst getting to grips with the system. One of the things that was very impressive was their ability to master moving through different scales and with different setups, to highlight different media and extend the maps that had been created.

Day three saw a move back to the main hall and a final hunkering down of roles. The children had pre-selected which area they wanted to work in and assigned jobs to each other and themselves. Who would control the webcam, who would announce things, who would do sound effects and so on.  There were some rehearsals with the system and new jobs. We also loaded up all the new media for them to show their parents and incorporate into the games. The actual presentation went fantastic and the kids really owned the system and the content with very little input from us. The parents seem to really see the value in being able to contribute to the system. Whatever the preferred mode of interaction was for the child, the system provided an outlet for their creative ventures. It was a brilliant three days of straddling between the digital and physical world and exploring art and interactive lands.