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Calle O'Reilly

Five percussionists, a bass player and two vocalists will perform the Afro-Cuban song “Compa Galletano” over a Guaguancó rumba rhythm. Two digital media artists and one programmer will use electronic sensors and motion-tracking techniques to drive a live video performance which will take the audience on a unique journey to the roots of Afro-Cuban music.

The performance will be the opening event of the Project Brand New 3-Day celebration of new and innovative work in the performing arts. It will take place at 8.00pm on Thursday 29 April.

Calle O'Reilly

This intriguing project was sprung on me a mere 4 weeks ago. The concept was the brainchild of my friend and colleague Joe Lakes—with whom I have studied and worked closely on several projects. It was submitted to Project Brand New and was accepted. The performance will take place on Thursday 29 April at the Project Arts Centre, in Dublin.


My brief for the project is to come up with some reactive visuals that will compliment the performance, which evoke the intensely rhythmic spirit of Afro-Cubano music. It is for this reason that I decided the best approach to the problem would be to directly tap into the biorhythmic patterns generated by the percussionists themselves, and then to creatively visualise this kinesthetic data. It was decided that the best way to channel this data created by the musicians was to place piezoelectric sensors on the instruments themselves. Therefore each time the drum is struck some digital data is created which I can then use to generate live graphics in synchrony with the performers' percussive gesticulations. My colleague and friend Colin O'Sullivan was instrumental in coding, developing and refining the visualisations for this project. 

There is a detailed explanation—on my blog—of the process through which I underwent to create these electronic circuits and get the technology working with the visuals. 

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