CALM: Mapping yoga practice for gestural control to externalise traumatic experiences

Sophie Rose

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

  • Year: 2023
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Track: Work in Progress
  • Pages: 608–611
  • Article Number: 89
  • PDF link

Abstract:

CALM is a performance piece from a collection of works that explore trauma through trauma-informed therapeutic models, such as bi-lateral coordination drawing, yoga, and tapping, and existing movement practices, such as yoga, Pilates, dance, and conducting, to control and manipulate sound in performance. This work draws from yoga practice to control the volumes and audio effects on pre-composed audio layers through use of datagloves (MiMu with their proprietary software Glover (MI.MU Gloves Ltd, 2010), though this is not specific to the constraints of the MiMu/Glover system) and Max/MSP (Cycling ’74, 2018). Yoga is a movement practice often recommended to manage symptoms of trauma and anxiety due to the focus on one’s body and generally meditative nature or the practice. However, in cases of sexual trauma, yoga may yield the opposite of the desired results when not used in a trauma-sensitive context (Khoudari, 2021; Levine et al., 2010). This is because the individual tries to focus on the body in which they do not feel safe and encounter unresolved trauma. Thus, instead of a grounding effect, the individual hears the mental and physical pain that they have endured repeating itself in the present. To reflect this, “stillness” audio material is routed to scream-like and abrasive sounds, while “movement” audio quiets the listener’s internal landscape. Movements used in the live piece were chosen based on providing extramusical benefit to the composer-performer (and areas that are typically carrying tension as a result of the trauma) without contributing to any negative effects, for example, the pose “Happy Baby/Ananda Balasana” was excluded and Malasana (a deep squat pose) was used in its place as it puts the performer in a less vulnerable position by being on one’s feet.

Citation:

Sophie Rose. 2023. CALM: Mapping yoga practice for gestural control to externalise traumatic experiences. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. DOI:

BibTeX Entry:

  @article{nime2023_89,
 abstract = {CALM is a performance piece from a collection of works that explore trauma through trauma-informed therapeutic models, such as bi-lateral coordination drawing, yoga, and tapping, and existing movement practices, such as yoga, Pilates, dance, and conducting, to control and manipulate sound in performance. This work draws from yoga practice to control the volumes and audio effects on pre-composed audio layers through use of datagloves (MiMu with their proprietary software Glover (MI.MU Gloves Ltd, 2010), though this is not specific to the constraints of the MiMu/Glover system) and Max/MSP (Cycling ’74, 2018). 

Yoga is a movement practice often recommended to manage symptoms of trauma and anxiety due to the focus on one’s body and generally meditative nature or the practice.  However, in cases of sexual trauma, yoga may yield the opposite of the desired results when not used in a trauma-sensitive context (Khoudari, 2021; Levine et al., 2010). This is because the individual tries to focus on the body in which they do not feel safe and encounter unresolved trauma. Thus, instead of a grounding effect, the individual hears the mental and physical pain that they have endured repeating itself in the present. To reflect this, “stillness” audio material is routed to scream-like and abrasive sounds, while “movement” audio quiets the listener’s internal landscape. Movements used in the live piece were chosen based on providing extramusical benefit to the composer-performer (and areas that are typically carrying tension as a result of the trauma) without contributing to any negative effects, for example, the pose “Happy Baby/Ananda Balasana” was excluded and Malasana (a deep squat pose) was used in its place as it puts the performer in a less vulnerable position by being on one’s feet. },
 address = {Mexico City, Mexico},
 articleno = {89},
 author = {Sophie Rose},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression},
 editor = {Miguel Ortiz and Adnan Marquez-Borbon},
 issn = {2220-4806},
 month = {May},
 numpages = {4},
 pages = {608--611},
 title = {CALM: Mapping yoga practice for gestural control to externalise traumatic experiences},
 track = {Work in Progress},
 url = {http://nime.org/proceedings/2023/nime2023_89.pdf},
 year = {2023}
}