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 Post subject: Powered by Tesla: Harmonic Laboratory
PostPosted: Jan Fri 05, 2018 3:38 pm 
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" Next time you charge your smartphone or turn on the radio, you can thank Nikola Tesla. The 19th-century/20th-century futurist, prolific inventor and electrical engineer brought us alternating current and wireless communication. The head-spinning list of his inventions and patents goes on and on.
As one of the world’s premiere technical whizzes, Tesla is the ultimate match for a production by Harmonic Laboratory, a Eugene-based collective of creatives — choreographers, educators, composers, animators, tinkerers and thinkers — that aims to merge art, science and humanities in its performances."
“Tesla has resonated with several of us throughout the years, both for his inventions and his contributions to the sonic arts — radio and wireless communications,” says Jon Bellona, a member of Harmonic Laboratory who works with intermedia, music and programming. “How can we explore a man who himself embodied art and technology in one body?”

"Eugene audiences can see for themselves in the new year when Harmonic Laboratory — in partnership with the University of Oregon Physics Department and Oregon Community Foundation — present “Tesla: Light, Sound and Color” on Wednesday and Jan. 11 at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. The 90-minute production will include three demonstrations by UO Senior Physics Instructor Stanley Micklavzina and feature guest performances by the Delgani String Quartet and the Eugene Ballet Company.

In addition to ­Bellona, the Harmonic Laboratory team consists of dancer and UO Associate Professor of Dance Brad Garner, animator and UO School of Art & Design career instructor John Park, and composer and conductor Jeremy Schropp.

For the scale of his impact on the world, the members of Harmonic Lab say the public generally knows little about Tesla, a Serbian immigrant who came to the United States in 1884.

“He’s also suppressed in academic circles. We learned from Stan (­Micklavzina) that he’s not really taught,” Garner says. “So even though he’s had this incredible influence, and these crazy patents that have revolutionized the planet, he hasn’t really been a figure that most people really know about outside of the car, which he didn’t invent anyway. It’s bringing a lot of awareness about someone we should all know about.”

“Tesla: Light, Sound and Color” has been in development since 2016, when the collective applied for Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights Award through Garner’s Integrated Arts nonprofit organization. OCF awarded Harmonic Laboratory a $75,000 grant.

“It’s definitely a larger-scale project,” Garner says. “It’s taken two years including ­storyboarding and actually beginning to compose in the studio.”

That’s not to say past projects have not been ambitious. Harmonic Lab’s (sub)Urban Projections digital arts festival has lit up every nook and cranny of the enormous Hult Lobby in years past, making it crackle with innovation and collaboration, but its themes have been less distilled than the Tesla production.

“In past work we really found that coming together on a common theme or topic has been really unifying as a way to address one field or one topic from multiple angles, multiple disciplines — dance, animation and music,” Bellona says.

The show will loosely follow the narrative of the inventor’s life, beginning with Tesla’s early years in the Austrian Empire (present-day ­Croatia) and concluding with the winter of his life in the United States, where he died unceremoniously, alone and somewhat defeated, in a hotel room in New York City. In between, the production will explore his greatness, from the creation of the AC generator and the Tesla coil to physics demonstrations in his American laboratory, a hot ticket among celebrities such as Mark Twain.

Garner is the acting choreographer, lighting designer and stage manager. He has brought in four Eugene Ballet Company dancers — Yami Maldonado, Cory Betts, Erin Johnson and Colton West — as well as UO Associate Professor of Dance Shannon Mockli and UO dance students Alicia Castellanos, ­Lindsey Dreyer and Olivia Oxholm.

“I’m sort of playing around quite a bit between abstract ideas and driving the narrative,” Garner explains. “For example, we’ve got a duet between Tesla and (rival inventor Thomas) Edison — showing a conflict, a power struggle. We have a dance around a Tesla coil, which is playing off his physics demonstrations and this showmanship idea. I have some sessions that are specifically playing with bird imagery and pigeons moving around this Tesla figure.”

Tesla had a well-known fondness for feeding pigeons, and he often brought injured ones back to the hotel room where he lived to nurse back to health.

Park, head animator and digital artist, will be projecting onto scrims that interact with the dancers. Park also will be working with local video artist and animator Julia Oldham, who created a piece featuring pigeons.

“In the show, because of safety issues, we’ll have a mini Tesla coil,” Bellona says. “It will be playing musical notes alongside and in sync with the musicians.”

“On the musical side, we have eight live string players,” Schropp says. This includes Delgani String Quartet — Jannie Wei and Wyatt True on violins, Kimberlee Uwate on viola and Eric Alterman on cello — as well as Zachary Boyt on cello, Arnaud Ghilebaert on viola, and Stephen Chong and Colin Pip Dixon on violins.

Schropp will be mixing electronically produced music with the more classical strings.
“It’s a blending of classical forces with electronic forces that I think reflects exactly his impacts upon the world right now.”

True, artistic and executive director of Delgani String Quartet, says they recorded the Tesla composition at the end of the summer so the dancers could practice. True, who studied physics as an undergrad, was happy to be working on another project made possible by the Community Heights grant; Delgani received the award the year before Harmonic Lab for its commissioning and recording of a new composition for a string quartet inspired by the Oregon Cascade Range.

The grant initiative, which expired in 2017, “really was to support risky projects,” True says. “Risky in the sense that you don’t know if it’s going to work or how many people are going to show up — ambitious things that are larger than what you normally do. It was perfect for our project, and it’s the perfect fit for what they’re doing, too.”
After its run at the Hult, Harmonic Laboratory will take the show on tour to Bend and Portland.
“We’re really excited to not just talk the talk about art and science collaborations, but now really get a chance to do that,” Bellona says. “Combining the science and the art as a way to unpack and reveal the complex character of Tesla — I feel makes this show much different than any other show on Tesla.”

Read More:
http://registerguard.com/rg/entertainme ... r.html.csp

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Last edited by RadioNut39 on Jan Fri 05, 2018 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Powered by Tesla: Harmonic Laboratory
PostPosted: Jan Fri 05, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Story blocked by pop-up for non-subscribers. Perhaps you can fill us in.

Norman

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 Post subject: Re: Powered by Tesla: Harmonic Laboratory
PostPosted: Jan Fri 05, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Braithwaite wrote:
Story blocked by pop-up for non-subscribers.
Perhaps you can fill us in. Norman

OH! Sorry! ...Yes...OK...I will. Thanks.

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Understanding...Nothing More."


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