New York, USA (May 19, 2009) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
In 2006 the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) conceived eyeSpace, a performance piece with music by Mikel Rouse. eyeSpace is unique in that “Mikel Rouse’s score incorporates the use of iPod Shuffle personal music listening devices and an environmental soundscape that is performed live by 1-2 musicians and projected throughout the theater. The score is crafted so that audience members can have a meaningful, unique listening experience, whether they are tuned into the iPod portion (with headphones on, shuffling through tracks at their own pace) or the ambient sound component (sans headphones).” eyeSpace (2006) merce.org
Audience members who own an iPod, iPhone or other MP3 player are encouraged to load Mikel Rouse’s music tracks onto their device and bring it to the theater. During the performance, the audience is instructed on when to press [play] and listen.
Scherr Technology is proud to have contributed to this performance by providing a uniquely branded and trackable download page for all eighteen eyeSpace performances. Each audience member follows the website address (URL) included with their ticket. This page provides event information plus an online form to download the music (MP3 and AAC formats). Email address, seat number, performance date and time are all required fields. Download links and instructions are then dynamically loaded for the user. All music download is recorded for tracking purposes.
On July 22-25 at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) will once again perform eyeSpace. “Join in the festivities celebrating the legendary iconoclast’s milestone birthday and his longstanding relationship with the Pillow. Merce Cunningham’s groundbreaking re-envisioning of art, space, time and technology is honored with a retrospective of masterworks: Sounddance (1975), described by Cunningham as “space observed under a microscope,” CRWDSPCR (1993), a work of constant motion and eyeSpace (2006), which invites audiences to create their own original scores using provided iPod Shuffles.” Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival jacobspillow.org
What Others are Saying About the Collaboration
1000 Audience Ipods Call the Tune For Dancers | By Hugh Hart, Wired | May 21, 2007
The random – play Ipod concept updates a long-standing fascination with chance for Cunningham, who famously relied on the roll of a dice or the toss of an I Ching coin when choreographing pieces with frequent collaborator John Cage in the sixties.
Shuffle and flow | By Susan Josephs | Los Angeles Times | May 19, 2007
Far from re-creating yesterday’s masterpieces, Cunningham’s dancers will perform a new work, with a score composed for iPods programmed to “shuffle,” and another piece devised especially for the center’s Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
Random acts of dance | By Appollinaire Scherr | Special to Newsday | October 8, 2006
The iPod pushes this deliberate anarchy a step further. Up until “eyeSpace,” audience members at least were listening to the same music, whatever they each made of it. Now, they may be watching the same dance, “but they’re having a private experience with the sound,” Rouse explains. “What happens when you ask people to have both a shared and a private experience at the same time? I don’t think that’s exactly happened before. The question is, what is a theatrical experience?”
Merce Cunningham | By Charles T. Downey | The Washington Post | March 29, 2008
The score of “eyeSpace” is programmed on iPods distributed to audience members before the performance. An additional “environmental score” of city sounds is performed live. You can layer the sound if you want by listening to both, or turn off your iPod altogether. Either way, the soundscape is dense and surrounds the dancers like wet, heavy air.
About Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Merce Cunningham is widely recognized as the greatest living choreographer. Earlier in his career he was also one of the greatest American dancers. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company was formed in the summer of 1953. The company continues to perform all over the world and hold classes at their NYC studio. Visit the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at http://www.merce.org
About Mikel Rouse
For the last fifteen years, composer and performer Mikel Rouse has been developing a technically and thematically adventurous trilogy of multimedia operas that have played in theatres and festivals around the world. He’s putting the finishing touches on the final installment of this series, The End Of Cinematics, in anticipation of its September 17th premiere at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Visit the Mikel Rouse at http://www.mikelrouse.com
About Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
Jacob’s Pillow, America’s longest running dance festival, is an incomparable experience. Every year visitors, dancers, choreographers, composers, teachers, experts and novices mingle, discuss and explore the art of dance with 50 dance companies performing on three Festival stages and through more than 150 talks, photography exhibits, dance classes and more. Visit the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival at http://www.jacobspillow.org
About Scherr Technology
Founded in 1994 by Brian C. Scherr and located in New York, Scherr Technology is a full service media company specializing in website design, video enabled websites, search engine marketing, site redesigns and ecommerce services. Scherr Technology provides unique solutions to a wide range of prestigious clientele. With an emphasis on usability and design, the application of next generation technologies brings you best of breed services. Get prequalified responses from your Internet footprint that become real-world relationships. Visit Scherr Technology at http://www.scherrtech.com