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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: Representing Ariel
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0294  Monday, 17 February 2003

[1]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Feb 2003 15:49:29 GMT0BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0282 Re: Representing Ariel

[2]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Feb 2003 21:11:10 +0000
        Subj:   Roasting Spit

[3]     From:   Anna Kamaralli <
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        Date:   Mon, 17 Feb 2003 15:52:42 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0273 Re: Representing Ariel


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Feb 2003 15:49:29 GMT0BST
Subject: 14.0282 Re: Representing Ariel
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0282 Re: Representing Ariel

Frank Hildy writes,

>In the spring of 2000 Dr David Saltz at the University of Georgia
>directed a production of The Tempest in which the actress playing Ariel
>was seen cleft in a stout oak. But the limbs that held her were actually
>the cable connections to a digital motion capture system. When the
>actress moved a live action animation of Ariel was generated in real
>time in a computer system and was projected onto the set. The production
>cannot be said to have been a great success for many reasons, not all of
>them technical, but the concept is one with enormous potential.

In Nancy Meckler's Shared Experience Production in 1996 almost all the
sound in the production, with the exception of sea waves was, as the
composer Peter Salem explained: 'created "live" by Ariel either vocally
or by striking a percussive instrument.  This acoustic sound which Ariel
produces is fed through a radio microphone to a bank of sound processing
equipment controlled by a computer, creating complex transformations of
the acoustic sound in real time.  As a result, Ariel can create the
storm just with breath sounds which are amplified, filtered and panned
around the space; she can sing in constantly changing harmonies with
herself, produce incredibly low or high notes which can sustain forever,
or create complex patterns of superimposed sounds.  The rapidity and
complexity of the changes are made possible by the 'Mutator' programme,
a piece of software I have designed and written for the computer at the
heart of this sound system.  It sends information to the digital sound
processors which is updated every time the sound operator presses a key
on the computer.  He does this at specific cue points in the play
responding to the live action, thereby creating a sound score which is
unique to each performance.' thereby creating a sound score which is
unique to each performance'.  It was certainly striking, and effective
in suggesting an island full of 'noises' - even if it rather minimised
the songs.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Feb 2003 21:11:10 +0000
Subject:        Roasting Spit

David Lindsey writes:

"That may have been true, but the reasons Beale himself gave for
dropping the spit (and it disappeared before the end of the Stratford
run) suggested that he came to feel it was too simplistic, and that he
wanted to explore more ambiguous possibilities."

I'm working from memory because I'm too idle to engage in the required
research but I think complementary to this Mendes discarded the saliva
because he felt that the innovation was overwhelming (he should have
said drowning) the play.

"But if this thread is to continue, then perhaps one might want rather
to discuss the ways in which the physical representation of Ariel - in
gender and age - have knock-on effects on the overall statement a
production makes."

Certainly, although I think that the set and the costumes had a lot of
influence on this production. Possibly more than the spit did. Or
Beale's Ariel did. However, I'm not convinced that productions
necessarily make overall statements - other than in the individual
imagination of all who interact with them.

Having a female Prospero (and a well-kent actress) and a female Ariel at
the Globe's production didn't change the play much. The dreadful
changing (and inability to hold) accents did have an influence I felt.
The unexpected seems to be the issue here. The thrust of the play was
also disturbed by Ariel being in 1.1. (as was the case with the RSC
-along with the buck basket from Merry Wives).

Yours,
Graham Hall

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anna Kamaralli <
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Date:           Mon, 17 Feb 2003 15:52:42 +1100
Subject: 14.0273 Re: Representing Ariel
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0273 Re: Representing Ariel

>>-- I can imagine a wonderful
>>Caliban created in the
>>same way as Andy Serkis' Gollum in "The Two Towers."

A very clever friend of mine (I'm trusting that he won't mind me sharing
his ideas with the world) has written a detailed film treatment for the
Tempest, using the sci-fi genre, with the island being an abandoned
space station.

His Caliban was to have a large, human shape overall, but to be formed
entirely from a multitude of smaller creatures, that would be in
constant motion.

Applications from potential producers will be forwarded...

Anna.

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