A serendipitous moment occurred in May 2012 when Bruno Degazio was asked by animator and fellow Bachelor of Animation Faculty member Dave Quesnelle for a piece of sound design for an animation project he was directing, entitled Sky Girl. This project was a co-production between students of Sheridan’s Bachelor of Animation program and a similar program at the Communications University of China in Beijing. The film is based on a Huron Indian myth, which describes the creation of the world from the sound of the drum. The way the Hurons put the idea is, “The sound of the Drum is the heartbeat of Nature.” Dave’s sound design idea was to have a chaotic mass of natural sounds — frogs, crickets, birds, and so on — which gradually coalesce into a rhythmic pulsation, and then merge with the rhythmic beating of the drum. This is how Bruno’s particle system research project was born.
The project employs Bruno’s experience in music composition, software design and teaching in the Bachelor of Animation program at Sheridan, where students use software particle systems as one of many tools in their animation kits. The concept is a sort of cross-fertilization of these various interests.
The making of Sky Girl was a perfect process for Bruno to test the Musical Particle System, since one of the software settings controls the degree of chaos in the resulting rhythmic patterns. For the opening of the film, he created a set of audio tracks that illustrated the process applied to various natural sounds, merging eventually with a traditional Huron Indian song accompanied by drum and flute. Dave loved it.
The Journal of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC), eContact, loved it too. They are publishing Bruno’s paper — “A Particle System for Musical Composition” – in April’s edition. This groundbreaking research was undertaken as part of Bruno’s Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree at the University of Toronto, and supported by Associate Dean of Animation and Game Design, Angela Stukator.
Theatre Erindale previewed their production of Macbeth last night, which will officially open to the public tonight, March 15th, and run until March 24th.
With a new director in the faculty, and various acting and production challenges to conquer, a lot has gone into telling one of Shakespeare’s most well known stories, beyond simply learning the lines.
Director David Matheson has transported student actors into the Scotland of the Dark Ages, with characters (male and female) donning kilts and Picts tattoos. Many in the cast have gone through weeks of training using broadswords and bucklers with Fight Director Daniel Levinson — “as braining a fellow actor is not the way to win friends and influence people,” jokes Theatre & Drama Studies co-ordinator Patrick Young.
Props and costume students have also had their hands full, with paint – “NOT what goes on the floors and the walls, but what goes on the bodies!” added Patrick. Technical Production students developed their own blood recipe to make Macbeth and Lady Macbeth “steeped in blood,” as the script calls for. “The exact recipe that will look scary and effective without ruining costumes or causing accidents takes loads of trial and error,” said Patrick. So too did the blue tattoos that five characters must sport, since the production is set among Picts, so named by the Romans because of their body art.
“Some of these tattoos must actually be applied live onstage, requiring a different formula from those that can be applied in the dressing room. Getting them to match has proven to be a devilish problem, and only the other night, the crew was sent back to the drawing board to try again,” Patrick said. You will have to go to the show to see for yourself if they got it right!
Macbeth runs March 14 to 24 in the Erindale Studio Theatre at UTM. For tickets and information, call 905-569-4369 or visit www.theatreerindale.com. Parking at UTM is $6.50, and tickets are on sale for only $10 for students and seniors, and $15 regular.