Workshop exercise: Gesture imitation

  1. Gesture imitation; In pairs;
    1. B makes a gesture with one arm, while A watches and memorises;
    2. A now imitates B’s gesture.
    3. A and B swaps roles and repeat 1.1 and 1.2
  2. Gesture imitation version B; enhanced by sound; Same drill as above, this time the gesture maker will accompany the gesture with sound, voice, hissing, breathing etc.
  3. Gesture saying yes, and. Same pairs
    1. B makes a gesture 1 with one arm, while A watches and memorises;
    2. A now imitates B’s gesture 1, and add a new gesture 2, inspired by the gesture
    3. B now imitates A’s gesture 2, and add a new gesture 3, inspired by the gesture
    4. 2) – 3) is repeated for 3 – 4 minutes
  4. Gesture loops; plenum
    1. Facilitator explains about time before/ after a phrase, and loops;
  5. Gesture Merging; pairs
    1. A & B both mentally prepare a gesture
    2. At an agreed upon sign, they start looping their gestures, at the same time
    3. While gesturing, they notice the other’s gesture
    4. When ready, at a nod, they start merging each other’s gestures into a common third gesture.
    5. They repeat 5.1 – 5.4 until they drop
  6. Gesture mass merging; break up pairs
    1. A & B repeat step 5.1 – 5.4
    2. This time, they break up, repeating the new third common gesture, venturing out in the world with it
    3. THey each meet a new participant, line up, notice, when ready they start merging
    4. Repeating 6.2 – 6.3 until they drop
  7. Gesture merging, with helper
    1. The group splits up into trios (extras become observers)
    2. A & B do their drill as in step 5.1 – 5.2
    3. This time, C observes, and when having computed a 3rd new common gesture
    4. C taps A&B on shoulders; Theys stop and observe, while C perform the new gesture as a loop
    5. A & B (and a possible observer) now learn C´s gesture;
    6. A new member of the trio is appointed to be helper, and 7.2 – 7.5 is repeated
    7. Until they drop
  8. Gesture mass merging, with helpers
    1. The trios perform 7) again, once. You will from now on have different roles.
    2. A and B will now leave the trio, walking and looping their new gesture, looking for other loopers.
    3. C (helper) will from now on stay in the role as a helper, C will stop do the gesture, and will start looking for new duos, if possible with new members.

Barefoot Sound Kitchen

A festival is about feasting about celebrating about having fun, together. We musicians and composers in Barefoot Records are working together making concerts that will  surprise you, make you wonder and smile.

This summer, we are part of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival for the 6th year in a row, and we are making our on mini-festival – “on the smelly side” of the official program. During the months that precede the festival, we are working hard on making new music for you to enjoy. It is a very challenging process, a process from which you can learn a lot, and this year we would like to invite you to be a part of it!!

Barefoot Sound Kitchen, Casper Hernández Cordes, Barefoot Records, København Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2015
Barefoot Sound Kitchen will conquer the streets of  Copenhagen in June – July 2015

Composer Casper Hernández Cordes is facilitating three workshops, where you will be guided through a creative process working with sound as a means of expression. We are using sound recorded from the musicians in Barefoot Records, and will explore hitherto unheard combinations of sound. During the workshop we will create some unique composition, that you will be able to listen to and share online, for eternity (or as long as the Internet works, and we don’t forget to renew our online files).

Barefoot Sound Kitchen, Casper Hernández Cordes, Barefoot Records, København Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2015
Street Kitchen edition: DIY Street music. Make your own music. Pay yourself or someone else money for it.

“How can we make music? We are not musicians!” you might say. In Barefoot Sound Kitchen you will see that you can take som sounds and mix them together just as well as you can take some ingredients and cook from them.

Barefoot Sound Kitchen, Casper Hernández Cordes, Barefoot Records, København Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2015
Barefoot Sound Kitchen – street kitchen edition. Five microphones with a quintette inside, waiting for … YOU!!!

Barefoot Sound Kitchen Street Kitchen:

Four Saturdays in June at 2 – 5 pm on streets and squares.

6/6  Kgs Nytorv
13/6  Regnbuepladsen (v. Rådhuspladsen)
20/6  Nyhavn, v. ankeret
27/6 at Nytorv

Barefoot Sound Kitchen, indoor, in Dome of Visions:
17/6 at 7 – 8 pm
5/7 at 4 – 5 pm
8/7 at 4 – 5 pm

Barefoot Sound Kitchen has received funding from

Casper Hernández Cordes har modtaget støtte til Barefoot Sound Kitchen fra Statens Kunstfond

All work and no play? Not anymore!

These are images and sounds from a street intervention in Cali, Colombia in June 2014 made by composer Casper Hernández Cordes during his time as an artist in residence in Lugar a Dudas.

The performance concept “The Work and the Play” is build up in two parts:

1) WORK. In this part, a participant is cleaning a 3×3 meter square on  the pavement. A group of participants watch the movements of the working person and imitate them on instruments made from trash. For example: the participant holding a bucket makes a sound each time the “worker” puts a foot to the ground.

Sounds from the “players” are being recorded, as individual loops in Fonokolab.

2) PLAY. When the “worker” has finished his/her job, he/she walks slowly, foot by foot, around the square.

Three to four players now move around in the square, each of them forming a sound by their position in the square.

The 3-4 improvised sound gestures are recorded.

When the “worker” reaches back to where he/she started, the collective improvisation stops.

And it’s time to invite a new person to do the working!

Find the event page on Facebook:

The performance was made possible thanks to

Danish art council logo Lugar a dudas logo

Read more about the project here:

Telling a story through sound – a workshop concept for 0 – 3 grade

It’s a dilemma when working with sound as a means of expression, how to use the visual . It will almost always be a rather risky marriage – the visual being a very dominant partner, that tend to take control of the agenda. AT THE SAME TIME , we can use the visual as a lever to get the aural , – which is very hard to hold on to ! , – into the game.

I was invited by the Vallensbæk Children’s Culture Week, in sept 2013 to give workshops with and about sound. To the occasion, I developed a concept,  “Tell the story through sound” where I use digital and analogue tools and methods to give children who are not familiar with musical instruments the opportunity to express themselves through sound.

I used my own software, Fonokolab. With this tool, you can record a sound and it will be stored as a loop that you can manipulate with your voice. The computer analyses the tone and volume of your voice and translates it into a ‘riff’, that will control the sample rate  – similar to when you change the speed of an old record player – and the volume of the previously recorded loop. You can control the riff’s panning and overall volume using a smartphone connected via wifi. Up to 6 riffs/players can be active at a time (more would be technically possible, but methodologically confusing).

On top of that, I have added live animation, using a software called Animata. The theme for the Culture Week was “The forest and the city”, so the imagery I used was a forest and its animals.

I drew 4 animals. Here you can see the bits and pieces of fox, that I …

Fox in tatters

… put back together in Animata , with vertices, joints , bones , and whatever it’s called :

… and the resulting live animated fox:

Fox animated via smartphone, with mouth movements controlled by sound

Foxy !

These are the stages of the workshop:

  1. “We are going to tell a story through sound!”, I told the kids.
  2. Soundpainting. The kids conducted each other making forest sounds with their bodies/mouths. We recorded the “forest created through sound”
  3. We listened to the recording, and while it was playing, the forest gradually “came to live” on the screen.

    The forest conjured by the kid’s sound scenography
  4. “What about the animals?”, I asked. “If we sit still, they will come”, I promised, and using a smartphone, I remote controlled the appearance of  an animal on the screen.
  5. “The fox wants to play with us, but he doesn’t have a voice!” So we recorded some sound using things available in the room. A dustpan dragged over the floor made a perfect voice for the fox.
  6. “Now the fox has a voice, but he needs something to say!” The fox is a very sly ‘person’, so he will probably say: “So many kids, I can play with! I wonder how they taaaste!” And I performed this phrase in the microphone, and the dustpan sound immediately imitated the melody/volume of my voice (causing a little anxiety in some of the kids!)
  7. After repeating the same procedure for the other 3 animals, we were now ready to make a collective composition. This includes “the magical square”, where your movements back/forth and sideways are translated into movements in sound – panning and volume – as well as image – the animal moves the way you move. This is being controlled via smartphone, either by the participant herself or by a helper on the side.

My prior experience with Fonokolab has been with adults, setting up workshops in the street, improvised, inviting passers by. At the stage where they are supposed to do a collective composition I have usually asked the participants to decide a form, or you might say choreography, themselves. This includes decisions about who moves how and when and for how long.

In preparing the concept for the Children’s Culture Week, I thought that this way would not work with young kids, so I came up with the concept of the “Timeline”.

The Timeline is a line on the floor, where one kid, “Time”, walks as slowly as possible until the other end of the line. Along the line, a number of kids are standing at different distances, waiting for “Time” to pass by.

“Time” moves along the timeline, here meeting the first “event”

Is everyone ready? And do you know your tasks? Then we start the forest sound scenography, and “Time” starts walking slowly.

When “Time” comes to the first kid on the line she walks to the magical square and moves around, being the fox. Now the fox’ sound will be heard, adding to the forest sounds. “Time” comes to the second kid, who enters the square, playing he is the crow. Etc. When “Time” reaches the square, he spreads his arms, gently directing the “animals” to the base line, and “Time” stops, as does the recording.

Now it is time to say goodnight to the animals, disappearing one at a time from the screen, and the forest. And the kids will lay down and listen to the “story told in sound”. The visual kinesthetic and  narrative elements which have sofar served as scaffold for telling the story in sound has been removed, and now it is time to focus only on sound.

See examples from the workshop in this video (whatch in Youtube with English subtitles):


Ceci n’est pas une pub. This is not a commercial.

ImageThis qr code links to a recording of a street improvisation by ordinary passers by, facilitated by Akutsk, using the Anthropomorfer. Sound graffiti you may call it, I use the name fonografiti. When using a qr code, we embark on the colonisation of the still rather virginal web based virtual track of the street.

Although the medium is sonorous, the access to the location specific electro acoustic collective improvisation necessarily passes through the visual. The qr code must catch your attention before it can work as a key to the virtual audio track of the place.

QR codes are in many cases used in commercial contexts, and the first thing we need to do is to decolonise this technology from the logic of the market. I’ve met a good deal of people not aware that you can easily make these codes yourself. Using qr codes is probably the easiest way for anyone to interact (virtually) in the street through sound, – and any other media btw.

In order to make sure that people understand that this specific qr code is not a commercial – ceci n’est pas une pub – we must add something, visually, to the code itself. Streetsoundartist Medlyd uses CD boxes on which he paints the QR code. Using a technique that cannot be subject to mass production, Medlyd succeeds in communicating the non-commerciality of the code. And a CD box connotes music. It’s a CD release!

In this photo you see a stencil of a hooded crow on top of a paste up of a QR code measuring 15×15 cm. The obvious handy craft side to the work makes it obvious that this is not commercial, it is ‘street’.

Now scan the code! We won’t sell you anything. We want to share a unique piece of sound art improvised on this specific location using only sounds from this place.

Ceci n’est pas une pub.

Building streetstruments: paint-bucket-bass, drain-trombone and sewer-chimes

First workshop: constructing streetstruments

The street dressed for the streetstrument workshop


Materials from the construction site are lined up according to their characteristics


The participants are constructing streetstruments


Sewer chimes

Second workshop: Collective improvisations on electrified streetstruments

Improvising using the paint bucket bass

After the workshops: The streetstruments are left in their street, inspiring passers by to make their own street improvisations

Paint bucket bass and drain-trombone entrusted the passers by

Related posts:
Construction site interacts musically with neighbors

Quotation: Lefebvre about the living disorder of the street

The street sound activist’s toolkit

Construction site interacts musically with neighbors

Tubes from the ground, now getting a sonorous aftelife
Tubes from the ground, now getting a sonorous aftelife
Tubes from the underground. Now getting a sonorous afterlife in a streetstrument/ giving-back-the-noise workshop

Concept: During a street art decoration of the wall around the local metro construction site, akutsk is making a ‘streetstrument’ workshop.

The workshop is going to be in two parts:

  1. a streetstrument building workshop. In these weeks, I’m collecting debris from the construction. At the event August 11, these objects will be the material for instruments.
  2. a Anthropomorfer workshop, where the participants form the sounds and improvise collectively via laptop and smartphones

Everything is on location, anyone can join, and afterwards we paste up QR-codes linking to recordings of the impros.
Here is the Facebook event.


During my trip to Stockholm where I  am participating in a workshop about forum theatre methods, I discovered this …. thing in the neighboring museum of modern art: a “Gigantophone”.
Made of tubes, ladders, pieces of wood, this I-don’t-know-how-long instrument stood there, outdoors in a lawn, accessible to anyone. Of course I had to test it!

One of my current projects is to incite those who make decisions about our public urban streetscapes to start thinking about the ‘street-furniture’ in terms of the possibilities for passers by to make sounds on them, to use them as ‘streetstruments’. This is an example of a rather conventional way to give us a means of making sound in public space.

However, as I discovered the following day, it certainly has an appeal on people….

... kids as well as adults

This evening, I experienced a perfectly clear illustration of the ‘audience crisis’ of contemporary artistic expressions. And a possible solution. Approximately 5 meters from the giantophone there is a tent meant for performances, concerts etc. Here, the Fylkingen (Swedish electro acoustic music organisation) hosted an event at which sound artists had a public jam session.


So: You see two groups of people engaged in the same kind of activity. Both groups immersed in the creative exploration of sound, curiously, open and collectively. But not together. Actually the ‘real’ musicians had as few people, or less, watching as the ‘amateur’ guests playing on (/with) the giantophone, 5 meters away.

Would it be conceivable to join the activities of the two groups into one collective, learning, curious, openminded, sharing activity, where the ‘guests’ would get inspiration from the ‘pros’, and the pros would have their competencies with sound as a means to expression put into play with people who are not normally involved in this?

I think the answer is obvious, and the way to do it is extremely simple: mic it up! Put microphones on the ‘streetstrument’ and use ‘ordinary people’s’ sounds in your avantgarde musical processes.

This is an impro I made on the giantophone:

Anthropomorfer – a tool for intercontinental collective sound art improvisation?

We are all virtuosos with our voices. Imagine being able to improvise over the sounds around you using your voice as an infinitely fine-tuned  controller. While  real time jamming with someone on the other side of the planet.

The mission is: I want to find the optimal tool to allow people to improvise sound art in collectives across the planet, in a creative, pleasurable, and reflective way. I have developed the Anthropomorfer as a desktop application, allowing collectives to improvise, while being in the same place. Now, I want to extend the functionality from a local wifi based context to a global web-based one.

The tool is intended for anyone interested in working with sound as a means for expression, but these contexts are of special interest:

  • working with children developing their analogue literacy and their divergent thinking
  • in organisations enhancing communication skills

What will the participant experience:

1) Open your app. Start a group or sign up for one. Select a sound, either by recording it on the spot, or from a database of sounds that other users have chosen. 2) You now hear your audio while viewing it as a waveform on your smartphone. You choose which part of the sound you want. 3) When all the participants in your group has chosen and cut their sound, start your session 3… 2… 1…. and:  4) improvise together. You can turn volume up and down, pan, and you can shape your sound with your voice via the phone’s microphone. 5) afterwards, you listen to the improvisation, give it thumbs up or down, and if a majority votes for it, the improvisation is saved on the server. Here you can comment and discuss it.

What lies behind:

Technically, there must be a server where the program runs, and audio files are stored. From each cell phone the server receives  1) an upload of a short sound file (max. 15 seconds). Or a selected audio file, which is already on the server. 2) A flow of analysis of the voice. Not the voice. Just analysis of pitch and volume. The server streams audio from the collective improvisation to the participants.


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