Courtney Brown

Current Projects

Solo Projects

Rwar! A Study in Sonic Skulls

Recreation of a lambeosaurine hadrosaur, Corythosaurus skull and nasal passages 3D printed and machined from CT scans of fossils. Performers and gallery vistors create sound by blowing into the mechanical larynx and it gets resonated by the dinosaur's nasal passages. This project is supported by 2012-13 GPSA Graduate Research Support Program Award, and was shown at the Emerge Festival Showcase, March 1-2. Another related project, a composition for this instrument, tuba, tape, and live electronics, "How to Speak Dinosaur: Courtship" was be premiered on April 15, 2013 at Katzin Recital Hall, Arizona State University.

The model for the CT scans that I've used for the creation of this work were provided by Lawrence Witmer of Witmer Labs, Ohio University. Additional technical assistance was provided by Carl Sammarco, Dr. Sharif Razzaque, Dr. Sallye Coyle, and Gordon Benfers, from ShopBot, Inc.

Interactive Tango Milonga

A series of compositions for interactive tango environment for Argentine Tango, currently in progress. Argentine Tango is a music and dance tradition born in Buenos Aires, and it is unique among social dances in the freedom that dancers have to improvise. My project, Interactive Tango Milonga, takes advantage of these freedoms, as well as other tango conventions, to create an interactive environment responding in sound and video to dancerís movements. Interactive Tango Milonga is intended to take place during a milonga, which is a tango social dance, and it has its own social conventions. This project is supported by a 2013-2014 Fulbright Award, which funds my research in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Most interactive dance work engages either non-skilled participants or professionals in performance. Interactive Tango Milonga is aimed at a community of mostly amateur dancers with a common movement vocabulary. Observers, novices, and experts alike may take part. As in art installations, the roles of performer and audience in social dance are fluid, but participants will have a context for its activity, which is a contrast not only to art installations, but also to the traditional concert hall / stage / art gallery separation of roles, making it ripe for experimentation. The aim of work is to add to this shifting space by enabling dancers to assume the role of video artist and musician.

A preliminary prototype of this system was created in collaboration with Christopher Dean (visuals, software development) in November 2012. This prototype altered projected visuals according to the direction and speed of dancers' movement both as a couple and as a member of the group of all dancers out on the floor. I wrote software using C++/Cinder/OpenCV for detecting individual dance couples from frame to frame. The photo below shows a visualization of my motion capture process. The dots are surrounding detected dancers.



Collaboration and Ensemble

Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State

Director (2011-2013). An experimental sonic art performance collective exploring the use of the laptop as an ensemble instrument for musical expression. More information at our site, lorkas.org.

D&spair Club

Ensemble for creative sound and movement experimental research. Collaborating with dancers Julie Cruse (movement director), Brent Brimhall and Julie Akerly. More information here.

Performance Series

Seven Ate Nine

A performance series that showcases new and experimental music and forms of new media. After the experimental performance, there is an Argentine Tango Milonga with Alternative tango music. Third Saturday of every month at the Modified Arts Gallery in Phoenix, AZ. For booking and more information please go to the Seven Ate Nine site.

Past Projects

Performance Series

Sidewalk Tzara

A performance series that showcases new and experimental music and forms of new- and multi-media. The first week of most months at the Outpost 186 in Boston, MA. For booking and more information please go to the Sidewalk Tzara site.

Collaboration and Ensemble

Juddertone Collaboration with Eva Perrotta

Working with choreographer Eva Perrotta (Nu Dance Theater) for the Juddertone project which shows in Boston in November. You can follow the collaborative process here, as well as see some of the other projects.

Woo!! Brown Duo

with Justin Woo (dj, electronics, laptop, etc.)
Various and sundry improvisations with breath, pop music, water, jars, vinegar + baking soda, live electronic paraphernalia. Currently working on a hybrid music theater/spoken word piece on the breakdown of communication

Sound. Picture. Coif.

Collaboration with Kristina Wolfe (video) and Alissandra Hipona (hairstylist). Live haircut, styling, video, and electronic sound. Performance as process. First performance Feb. 5, 2009 at the Outpost 186 in Boston! Video of the performance is here.

Electrocab

An ensemble formed with Carmen Caruso and John Arroyo that was active from 2007-2008. Two sopranos, an accordion, keyboards, live electronics, and turntables. Too many genres. That strange beast.
Go to ElectrocabMusic.com

Solo Projects

Every Night I Lose Control

Electronic post-modern cabaret act that explores the ideas of disintegration and failure. Every piece is designed so that the performer will fail. This show follows the trajectory of her attempts to regain balance and composure in the wreckage. Heavily influenced by tango, Weimar cabaret, and early goth rock, this work explores the danger of performance and ultimately exposes the vulnerabilities of its performer.

Read the thesis.

Seductivism

I vomit all over authenticity.
Read the manifesto.