Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Cirkus School & Singing


During the telepresence week, we would spend each morning doing a warm up session, focusing on mind body and voice. When we got to Tampere, the tempo change, what had been limited to some extent was togetherness in a tangible form. They had shared a digital immersive space, with a window into each other worlds. however a tangible, connectedness and physical space had not been shared. And Cirkus school is where the process was going to begin.

Ive realised on this whole experience that actors like to get up close and personal. This is something that I have always struggled with, I like my own space and too me if was something that I hadn’t part in. I had always been on the periphery, and circus school was the same. It would take till the end of the week in a body movement class for that to be broken.

The method I approached was more ethnographic. Firstly because I am in no way in any physical form to be carrying a student on my back, secondly I wanted to observe how both sets of students formed their : ‘tribe’ for want of better word.

Through the use of the acrobatic classes, taught by Yolie the circus performer, the students began to develop this trust. And secondly through the use of voice in Soilas’ session.

Relating this to the research in the  Sisters of Sound Part 1 & Sisters of sound Part 2 , specifically the neuroscience and what happens to the brain. Humans within their communities would often come together to sing. It was a form of identity and Soila brought this out in them, by instructing them to find there inner vikings.

The Finnish students and Coventry students where now forming their community in a different set, they were syncing up creatively and collaborating in a way that was so human, the energy in the room was overwhelming and powerful.

The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified- Prof. S Wilson


Even they way in which I have filmed it, has been a challenge. I can at the time, that I was fairly blown away with what I was experiencing. I wanted to capture everything and I didn’t know what to focus on. Jon my colleague who you can see recording the sound in the background, is grinning and smiling the whole way through. He was also experiencing the same energy and it did just want to make you smile. As it really was a coming together moment, that was so pure and human in its energy no one would have helped but smiled and laughed…. even if they felt uncomfortable by what they were experiencing.






Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Embodiment, Mindfulness & Movement Part 2

“Be the centre of your storm”

Dr.Tiina Syrja

The Storm, a word which has so many metaphors. Not only in the Play of King Lear, where Lear looses his mind, but in other forms of literature. T

Twain relinquished that “weather is necessary to a narrative of human experience.” And Shakespeare told us- “minded like the weather’.  Lear is likeminded and chaotic like the storm. And in essence, these two writers are reflecting what all humans can feel internally.

Tiina Integral Yoga from Beck Stewart on Vimeo.

This was the final day of using the screen for a warm up class;: Yoga

Dr Tiina Syrja, is a Senior Lecturer in Acting at University of Tampere. Tiina is a speech therapist, yoga teacher, vocologist and is a teacher of the Alexander technique. I touched upon the Alexander technique in my previous blog “Embodiment, Mindfulness & Movement: Part 1”

The Alexander techniques was designed by F.M Alexander. He was an Australian actor who reflected and observed his human function. B.Rosenburgh 2008 describes Alexanders research Including body expression, posture, voice and body balance. By analysing and observing himself he discovered that through muscular interference he had not been using his body in the best way. He discovered that the tensions he was experiencing, were not always immediately felt but built up to a sensory value.  The methods he developed used systems within movement and body, that coordinated the distribution of the psychophysical process, starting with the head.

Categories Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Sisters of Sound – Sam ‘Frankie’ Fox Part 2

The Second Sister of sound was a lady called Sam ‘Frankie’ Fox, who is a performance artist and is part of the KILN Theatre Company, Birmingham.

Source: Artist: Sam ‘Frankie” Fox

The ensemble  is collaboration between a wide range of artists, that through a ‘collision of art forms they create original material that is lit with imagination , playful and focus is on the audience experience.  I had only ever heard of the KILN theatre, but had never seen one of their performance.

Tom on the other hand, has known Sam for a while amongst the Theatre scene. That morning in the theatre as we both pulled in at 7:30 am, it was a time to prepare for what day had planned. This was my brief of what and who to expect…. and by the end of what he had shown me on Youtube, I could see why Tom had asked Sam to come and teach, especially after working with Soila the previous morning.
What Sam was bringing to the table, complemented, added another layer and by the end of the session I could see the linking of human experience, embodiment & performance.





Sams describes her performances with KILN productions, as hitting the audiences in the  ‘heart, head and gutt.  The performances seem immersive for the audience members and specifically ‘The Furies’ production.Audience members enter more of a gig than a theatre.  It is playing with performance in a different way, to remove the audience member out of their comfort zone and displace them sensory, so that envokes something else within the self.

Categories Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

The Sisters of Sound- Soila Sariola Part 1

…”People speak many different languages from all over the world, but music is their common ground. “… Charles Hazel-Wood ( Conductor- BBC Proms- Human Planet)

Actors when in training have to be centred both in the mind, body and voice. It is an understanding of the human psyche, the concept within the role which is ultimately built upon the range of human experiences through body, sensorium, mind, emotion intuition & spirit (M. Fortier, Theory/Theatre an introduction 2016)

Throughout the week of rehearsals, each morning would consist of a type of body movement or vocal class. It would centre around the use of the body being used as an instrument. When we think of the body, we think of the physical form, but what about the voice, and the existential projection that most humans possess. Language is one form of communication, but we cannot always connect in this way, yet Charles Hazel-Wood states, it is music that is our common ground.

Yet to understand Music, we really have to understand sound… And this first place is within ourselves and the vocal range that  the human can possess, if he channels it beyond the vocal chords.

These experimentations of creating sounds with the body began with the first session with Soila Sarola. A professional Alto singer and is a graduate specialising in Finnish folk music, where the voice is the main instrument. She is one of the members of the Finnish six-voice a cappella ensemble Rajaton, a Finnish word for ‘boundless’ and has released over 16 albums with the group. Soila also composes music scores for choirs and is a graduate of Finnish Folk Music.