Monday, March 25, 2013

USITT: Guerrilla Sound Challenge '13

A handful of UCI folk just got back from the annual USITT conference.  The conference is an annual gathering of theatre designers, stage managers, and technicians from around the country. For four days, we attend workshops, panel discussions, seminars, look at new products, and socialize with our colleagues around the country.  Mike and I go annually, and this year, Josh and Matt Eckstein were also there.

Every other year, the Sound Commission at USITT runs a program called the Guerrilla Sound Challenge, and this year, I took it over.  The GSC works like this: At a certain time, I give each participant a stimulus. That participant then has three hours to create an aural response to the stimulus. The trick is that they are not allowed to use any pre-recorded audio or music. Everything that goes into their aural response has to be wholly original.

This year, the stimulus was a 60-second video piece by video designer Daniel Vatsky. At 2.30pm last Friday, I passed the video clips out to nine different respondents, and they had three hours to create their response. The respondents this year represented a wide cross-section of the Sound Community at USITT.  We had undergraduate students, sound technology professionals, professors, and even a high school student!  The aural responses were wide, and I present them to you here:

I was really pleased with how different each of these pieces are, and yet they still each are deeply connected with Vatsky's imagery.

If you're interested in participating in the Guerrilla Sound Challenge at USITT, you'll have to wait until the 2015 conference in Cincinnati!  But we'll see you then, for certain!

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