Podcast interview with Glen from Polyglot about the live soundscape in Paper Planet

17 07 2015

The highlight of the recent winter school holidays public program at Powerhouse Museum was the completely delightful Paper Planet hybrid theatre-piece/installation/playspace/makerspace. Paper Planet is one of the pieces in Polyglot’s repertoire, and it sure hit the Museum’s mission to be a catalyst for creative expression and curious minds.

For me, and clearly for the record numbers of Museum visitors who participated in it, Paper Planet is an immersive intergenerational meeting point for lo-tech and high-creativity. This same mix is represented in the approach to the live and spontaneous sung and spoken word and musical elements, in which the Paper Planet ‘maker-audience’ contribute to the soundscape using the microphone inputs and makey-makey ‘keyboard’.

Former Polyglot performer, and current musician in residence Glen, was kind enough to speak to me about the technical aspects of his ‘music booth’ set in a corner grotto of the evolving primordial paper planet forrest environment. The music booth was an Ableton rig, incorporating synth, keyboard/trigger pad controller, acoustic and electric guitar and effects, and two microphones: one for the participants and one for the resident musician, and an Arduino powered ‘makey-makey’ style keyboard.

Listen to our conversation here.

Paper Planet sound booth sign

The sound booth in Polyglot’s Paper Planet

The sound booth equipment in Polyglot's Paper Planet

The sound booth equipment in Polyglot’s Paper Planet


Build Your Own School?

28 02 2014

REALM charter school – X-space project

I am intrigued by this Kikstarter. Kids design their own learning space, then run a kikstarter to try and raise the $75k. One of my inspirations is Ron L Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence . One of the case studies he describes is the collaborative design of a new school building – a library? – which the school community including the young people, then build. (Ron is a qualified carpenter as well as a teacher).

Not sure how many new school buildings will end up paid for through crowdfunding, but I really love the agency aspects, as well the learning opportunities which are embedded in doing real world projects. Another positive aspect arises from the legacy – for the young people coming after those who achieved it (assuming they do), its a powerful statement of what’s possible; and for the group who achieved it, their ties to the place and attending values will likely be enduring.