MIT Associate Professor of Theater Arts and Dance creates high-tech exploration of House Music.
Thomas DeFrantz, founder of the research/performance group SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology in residency at MIT, will perform in House Music Project at MIT=s Kresge Little Theater, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, March 17 and 18 at 8pm, and March 19 at 2pm. Tickets are $6/students and $10/general available at the door.
The House Music Project explores technological shifts that pushed black music into the electronic age. Chronologically, house music is the idiom that follows disco. Disco, the black music of economic uplift, racial assimilation, and "good times," gave way to two main strands of electronic music - house and hip hop. Hip hop voiced the trials of living young and oppressed through breakdancing, graffiti, emceeing and djing. House music focused on the aesthetics of sonic pleasure through the craft of the dj. Hip hop and house are the first electronic forms of black music.
The work employs a custom-constructed sensor-driven wireless body-pack technology that allows the performer to manipulate audio and video feeds to drawn from an archive of materials related to house music. Crafted with an innovative layering of movement, recorded speech, digital projections, and custom-created software patches, the House Music Project offers an evocative and elusive experience of social dance history through an improvisational, interactive performance lens.