Music In The Machine

Exploration of Movement and Physical Theatre Activity 2.

You will need:

1 Bike or a mechanical object, like a music box or an analogue clock etc..

  • Start off with your Bike – ask the group to examine the mechanism when used, ask them to look up close to each component, the wheels turning, the pedals and chain turning the spokes etc. Now suggest your group explore making the movements  themselves in a rather mechanical and machine-like fashion if possible.
  • Now ask the group to do a Mexican wave (from a standing position) and to keep this going for a few rounds. Draw their attention to the fact that it is rather like a machine in some ways…ask them to do it again in a more mechanical manner.
  • Ask the group to think about the qualities of other machines (non-human, repetitive, noisy, etc). Now, in the groups of four that they created last session for their word presentations, ask them to put their movements together in a sequence, to make a new kind of machine. Ask them to try and alter the rhythms and speeds of the movements so that they are not all moving in the same way.
  • Show these to the group. What else do we need to add to the movements? Sound.
  • Ask around the group for each person to make a sound that they feel could represent some part of a machine sound.
  • Now encourage the groups to get back together and work out how they could put sound with their movement sequences. They are to try and make contrasts in rhythms, tones, loud, soft, high and low, fast and slow, short and long to make the sound of the machine more interesting.

After the groups each show their machines, ask the class what they think each machine could be making or doing. This should provoke some interesting ideas.

Ask them to think about machines designed for a purpose eg  biscuit-making or bottling, or even a machine that could move along/around such as a fence erecting machine, or one for digging and filling in holes etc. Their imaginations will probably be working by now!

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