Soundpainting is the live composing sign language created in 1974 by New York composer Walter Thompson for musicians, dancers, actors, poets, and visual artists. At present the Soundpainting language comprises more than 1200 gestures that are signed by the composer/director, known as the Soundpainter, indicating the type of material desired of the performers. Direction of the composition is gained through the parameters of each set of signed gestures. Soundpainting has grown to become an international live composing sign language used in many countries around the world both in the professional and educational arenas.
Analysis of a Soundpainting Workshop or a Soundpainting Composition
The Soundpainter (the composer, teacher, trainer..) standing in front (usually) of the group communicates a series of signs using hand and body gestures indicating specific and/or aleatoric material to be performed by the group. The Soundpainter develops the responses of the performers, molding and shaping them into the composition then signs another series of gestures, a phrase, and continues in this process of composing the piece.
The Soundpainter composes in real time utilizing the gestures to create the composition in any way they desire. The Soundpainter sometimes knows what he/she will receive from the performers and sometimes does not know what he/she will receive – the elements of specificity and chance.
The gestures of the Soundpainting language are signed using the syntax of Who, What, How and When.
Because of its multidisciplinary structure, every single of participant can try to perform as an actor, a musician a dancer or the soundpainter during the same workshop. It is a challenge but a big discovery at the same time as a performer.
The participants will learn and work during this part;
· 43 First Level Basic Soundpainting signs and their responses in each discipline,
· how to combine and use them as an improvisation and composition tool,
· to use the unexpected moments and performative mistakes as part of their Composition,
· to use information from first part of the Workshop,
· and how to use the tool as a research and a performance tool.
Soundpainting has grown to become an international live composing sign language used in many countries around the world both in the professional and educational arenas.