raula (2017)

Raula is an experimental audio and movement collaboration between interdisciplinary media artist Kiran Bhumber and trumpeter JP Carter. Together, they explore the relationships between organic and synthesized sounds, performing on pre existing, and newly built instruments and interfaces. This interaction creates a combination of traditional and contemporary, creating a feedback loop which evolves each frame at a time.

Developed by Kiran Bhumber and Dr. Bob Pritchard, the RUBS interface is a tactile instrument worn by a performer. This system allows a user to process audio output in real time, simultaneously triggering and manipulating audio samples by controlling fabric strip potentiometers sewn onto the suit. Discrete and continuous audio changes are generated through two different motions of contact; touch and stroking. The RUBS design is influenced by Lakoff and Johnson’s theory of embodied cognition and the primordial touch sensation. The body’s influence on the mind necessitates an understanding of our senses, our motor system, and neural mechanisms. As such, the RUBS system acts as an interface between dualisms; the organic (touch) and electronically generated (sound), and the unconscious (thoughts of user) and conscious (thoughts of user and audience). Additionally, the RUBS system makes the previously intangible (thoughts, emotions), perceptible by touch triggers and audio output.



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JP Carter, probably best known for his work with Vancouver bands such as Destroyer, Fond of Tigers, Dan Mangan, and Inhabitants, incorporates a variety of techniques into his trumpet playing, utilizing and experimenting with acoustic (traditional, extended) and electronic (effected, amplified) methods to create a wide spectrum of sound. For the Raula project, JP plays his effected trumpet into two small tube amplifiers, to further enhance the sound with stereo panning. In this piece, Bhumber and Carter explore the narrative of coming to life; awakening possible sonic and visual worlds. This is achieved by inhabiting spaces which blur perceptions between the human/machine, unconscious/conscious and intangible/tangible.