CATEXIS. (2010).   25m

Catexis is constructed upon sound transformations of phonemic gestures emitted by the dancer that constitute the germ of dance motion itself. The piece explores the existence of a natural morphology present in certain phonemic objects, this means that the physiological activity of the vocal tract involved in its production is analogical to the described phenomena in the “real world”. The motion of the organs in the vocal tract (uvula, velum, larynx, tongue, teeth, etc) conform a miniature choreography which is amplified through dance motion and sonic transformations diffused in a multichannel loudspeaker array. Catexis is the second part of a of a trilogy focused on the analysis and development of the interaction between sonic gesture and dance gesture inside three dimensional sound spaces


MUSIC COMPOSITION: Pablo Palacio, LIGHT DESIGN: Pablo Palacio / Muriel Romero


SUPPORTS: Cervantes Intitut, Comunidad de Madrid, La Casa Encendida and Cie Gilles Jobin.


VIDEOS (click on the link to watch)

CATEXIS (excerpt1)     CATEXIS (excerpt2)   CATEXIS (tracking detail 2)    

CATEXIS (excerpt3)

PICTURES (click on the image to enlarge)

Scenes and Phonemes.

In Catexis each scene develops one or several of the basic efforts proposed by Laban. This development is actually an expansion of the phonemic gesture that constitutes the sonic and dance seed of the scene. The objective is to suggest an analysis of the natural morphology of certain phonemic objects through sound transformations and dance motion considered as an extension of the physiological activity of the vocal tract involved in phonetic production.

Three of the scenes depart from phoneme ‘s’, this is because the ‘s’ is  noise, that is, its spectra contains sonic information  in all  frequency bands, so it is a great source of energy or initial impulse to the motor activity of dance and sound.

These are some examples of the structural role that some of these phonems play in the piece:

1-'cl-, -ng': Phonemic objects ‘ping’, ‘pang’, ‘cling’, ‘clang’ and ‘clong’ are successively transformed in percussive and elastic objects that shake (flicking) and dissolve (floating) in different sonic and dance entities.

2-'spr-'The chaos of frequencies comprised in ‘s-’ (thrust) passes trough a constriction ‘p-’ (press) and then is fragmented into the iterative morphology of ‘r-’ (wring). This phonemic sequence appears in several words referred to a similar natural morphology such as ‘spread’,‘spray’ or ‘sprout’.

3-'multiplex’: In this interactive section the activity of the dancer thrusts and controls the position in space of masses of vocal sounds that are gradually transformed in a water texture. This texture is finally reduced to a crystal grain of sound controlled by the motion of the eyelids.

3-'sl-': In this case the stored energy in ‘s’ is gently released via sliding the tongue over the alveolar surface inside the mouth. Afterwards, the vowel ‘a’ is sustained and dissolved into a cloud of glissandi that swing and slide more and more violently.. This gesture is transmitted to dance motion in the shape of continuous slide (gliding) of limbs moving between light and darkness, specialy when some sonic fragments that come out from the texture “affect” the equilibrium of the dancer.

4-'st-: Sudden interruption of the motion or energy stored in ‘s’ by a rigid and vertical posture. This posture is suggested by the downward motion of the tongue  against the teeth in ‘t’.  These sensation is enhanced trough spectral freezing of the word ‘stop’, algebraic rhythms that collapse and the blocking of the limbs.