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Barbican Box 2017

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Here you can download the two soundscapes that Harry de Wit made for the production The Things That Pass.

> [download] soundscape 1

> [download] soundscape 2

Harry de Wit composes experimental music and designs electroacoustic installations. He also composes music for theatre, modern dance and film. He has worked with Ivo and Jan since 1997. In their productions Harry is a storyteller, a performer who is present on stage as composer/musician.

‘I always start with a profound reading of the text. I’ll look for sentences that trigger something in me. I search for tension in the text. The sound design does not only have to melt together with the actors but can add a contrast to the storyline as well.

I search for one basic idea - it can be a sound or a material that represents something fundamental in the text. That’s the starting point. For example in the production The Hidden Force, a book adaptation situated on the islands of Indonesia, I chose to work with bamboo. Bamboo can represent the natural forces of Indonesia perfectly. It is also a local material. For the adaptation Things That Pass, a story about a family that is damaged by horrible secrets, I chose the ticking of time as the central idea as nobody can ever escape from secrets.

It can take me more than one month to find the basic idea. When I find it, I start researching all the possibilities of the material.’

Harry makes installations. This means that he’s less focused on using existing instruments but instead looks for unusual new materials to create sound with. Analogue and digital music is often used at the same time. On this page (above) you've found two soundscapes that have been made by Harry for The Things That Pass production, in the box you'll find two piece of bamboo to create your own natural soundscape.

1.    Let every student lie on the floor with their eyes closed. Ask them to listen to all the sounds around them. Bring their awareness to the sounds they might hear in the classroom, in the school building, in the street, in the city, in the wider world. Bring their awareness back to the classroom, to 5 metres away from them, 1 metre away, their own body and inside their own body too.

2.    Give every student a blank paper and a pencil. Ask them to draw ‘silence.’ Ask them to draw ‘noise.’ Ask them to draw ‘the sound of the city.’ Ask them to draw ‘the sounds inside their bodies.’ Discuss in small groups.

3.    In these groups, ask them to choose one picture to translate into a group soundscape. They can combine vocal and rhythmic sound, the noise of the bamboo sticks, and any other sounds they can find in the natural materials in their surrounding environment to create this soundscape. How easy is it to transfer their drawing into sounds? 

4.    Rehearse and share with the wider class, asking them to close their eyes when listening.



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