Audio Geishas

Electroacoustic kimonos with samplers, their sounds are triggered via light sensors and dancers’ movements.
1997. Intercommunication Center (ICC-NTT), Tokyo City Opera. Electroacoustic Kimono, sampler (Casio “Voiceman”), radio receiver, light sensors (photoresistors), guitar amplifier.

Definition of Geisha: highly accomplished courtesans who entertained their clients by dancing, singing, and playing music.
As “Audio Geishas” the performers and their traditional kimonos are equipped with electronic circuits from Akihabara City (the “Electric City” district of Tokyo). The keyboards from the Casio “Voicemans” are replaced with light sensors on the kimonos and in the dancers’ hands so that the environmental lighting triggers the sounds: the Audio Geishas create music via their movements. Part of their “gear” is also a small portable guitar amplifer fitted into the traditional belt section of the clothing. Additionally they are equipped with microphones, infra-red sensors, radio receivers and guitars.
The premiere of the Audio Geishas took place at the Intercommunication Center in May 1997 with a followup performance in the streets of Akihabara City. The Geishas produced feedback through their microphones and amps, this was then sampled by the Voicemans and subsequently pitched and triggered via their light sensors.

 

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