Monday, July 16, 2018

SleepWalks: A CatNap for Lucid Dreaming and Awakening Dance at BlessFest! 7/20/18



SleepWalks: A CatNap for Lucid Dreaming
and Awakening Dance at BlessFest!
Friday July 20th, 11pm-2am

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and dreaming, yet scientists still don't know exactly why. In an average lifespan of 77 years that is 25 years of our lives. Many cultures find wisdom in dreams.

Some theorists propose that before the industrial age, in the United States we would fall asleep at night for just a few hours, and then wake up and share dreams together, even leaving the house to share with our neighbors, before having "second sleep", the more restful sleep of the night.

Bring your sleeping bags, pillows and comfy blankets to Stable Gate Farm and Winery for a First sleep–a 'catnap'– with sound artist Andrea Williams.

SleepWalks: A CatNap is a night of relaxation, lucid dreaming, and dancing that aims to awaken your creativity and dreams.

From 11pm to about 11:45 (First Sleep):
You will be offered essential oils and mugwort tea as you set up your bedding and comfy things in the Lodge. Sound artist, Andrea Williams will perform an improvised soundscape for lucid dreaminess and restfulness followed by a gong bath. 

11:45pm-midnight: You will be gently awakened, and you can choose to journal, chat about the experience with others, return to slumberland at home or in your tent, OR...

Midnight to 2am:
Join us for AWAKENING DANCE, a vibrant, body moving DJ set by Matthias before your more restful return to slumberland in "Second Sleep". 

www.sleepwalks.org
www.listeninglistening.org
www.blessfest.org/

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

SleepWalks: A CatNap // Two-part series for Awakening Creativity and Dreams, June 7th and June 21st, 2018


SleepWalks: A CatNap
A Two-Part Series on Tapping into
Lucid Dreaming For Creativity
with Andrea Williams

(event starts promptly at 8pm)
$25 for series or $15 for individual workshop in advance
$30 and $20 respectively at the door

**You are invited to stay later on June 7th to celebrate Andrea's Birthday! Dance party after the CatNap with DJ spinning records until midnight!**

TICKETS: 10-linda-way.ticketleap.com/sleepwalks/


We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and dreaming, yet scientists still don't know exactly why. In an average lifespan of 77 years that is 25 years of our lives. Many cultures find wisdom in dreams.

Some theorists propose that before the industrial age, in the United States we would fall asleep at night for just a few hours, and then wake up and share dreams together before the second sleep of the night.

Bring your sleeping bags, pillows and comfy blankets to Stable Gate Farm and Winery for a first sleep–a 'catnap'– with sound artist Andrea Williams.

SleepWalks: A CatNap is an evening of relaxation and lucid dreaming that aims to awaken your creativity and dreams.

We will share mugwort tea, essential oils, snacks, and a brief gong bath to enter a state of restfulness. Then there will be a SleepWalks 'CatNap', a live 45-minute electronic music soundscape with a different theme for each workshop to facilitate lucid dreaming on a particular topic to share about with the group afterwards.

Williams will create sounds from field recordings, live samples of the room resonance, and various electronically processed acoustic instruments, to create an extended musical composition for the audience who are encouraged to sleep in the performance space.

On June 7th the theme is Travelogue of Memory, a connection to places and the self.
On June 21st, the theme is Water, a sense of connectedness to our local waterways.

CatNaps encourage lucid dreaming in a relaxed state, as well as full dreaming for those who can fall asleep more easily. CatNaps are an abbreviated version of the project SleepWalks, where participants sleep overnight in a space with an improvised 8-hour electronic music performance by Andrea Williams and Lee Pembleton, and often collaborative dreams take place.

The goal of the long-term project, SleepWalks, is to compose engaging and collaborative soundwalks for dreamers; to compose soundwalk experiences in participants' dreams. CatNaps allow the project to be performed more broadly, as currently the duo of Pembleton and Williams live in separate cities. During both SleepWalks and CatNaps, the dreamscapes are created using field recordings collected from around the world.

Sleepwalks has been performed at numerous venues including Issue Project Room, NYC; Diapason Gallery, NYC; and Mills College, Oakland, CA as part of The Deep Listening Institute's Dream Festival. SleepWalks members include: musicians, Andrea Williams and Lee Pembleton, and scientist, Todd Anderson. Most recently, SleepWalks received an Arts Center of the Capital Region/NYSCA grant to perform SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams (with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company): an art exhibit and multimedia dance performance created from the collaborative dreams of SleepWalks participants.

Sound artist, Andrea Williams, utilizes site-specific elements and perceptual cues to reveal the unseen connections between people and their environment. Her compositions make use of field recordings, instruments, computer technologies and the sound of the performance space itself. She has led soundwalks based on concepts of acoustic ecology and Deep Listening in NYC, San Francisco, and also in people's dreams in the collaborative project called SleepWalks. She has shown and performed both solo and with various musicians and artists at galleries and alternative spaces internationally, such as the Whitney Museum, Eyebeam, Roulette, The Kitchen, Children’s Creativity Museum, NPR, and the Mamori sound artist residency in the Amazon rainforest. Andrea has created soundscapes and video art for Hope Mohr Dance at Stanford University, Alyce Finwall Dance Theater at the Joyce Theater in NYC, and Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company at the Chapel + Cultural Center in Troy, NY. She is a board member of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, a yoga teacher, and she is studying our connection to water via soundwalks as a Ph.D. candidate in Electronic Arts at RPI in Troy, NY.

http://www.listeninglistening.com/

/// FAQ ///

What do I need to bring?

Please bring comfy bedding that you can get cozy on for about 45 minutes.

I might arrive late. Is this ok?

The event begins at 8pm sharp with mugwort tea and other preparations offered for relaxation. Due to the fact that some participants may fall asleep during the performance, and we do not want to disturb them for the 45 minutes, we will be closing the doors at 8:30pm.

Where do I park?

In the Parking Lot on the left just before the Lodge, the event will be held in the lodge.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, June 2nd, 2018, 7:30pm




On Saturday June 2, 2018, the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company will perform
SLEEPWALKS: THE BODY OF DREAMS and AFT.er, two unique multi-media dance pieces. Sleepwalks: The Body of Dreams is a collaborative project based on collective dreams that features
sound/video artist Andrea Williams, neuroscientist and creative coder Todd Anderson
and composer/musician Lee Pembleton. AFT.er, the second multi-media piece, features
digital artist david allen, guitarist/composer Maria Zemantauski and musician Brian
Melick.

Location: Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Tivoli, NY
When: Saturday June 2, 2018 at 7:30pm
Tickets: 845-757-5106
https://kaatsbaan.yapsody.com/event/index/191306/ellen-sinopoli-dance-company

SLEEPWALKS: THE BODY OF DREAMS is a 45-minute multimedia dance performance based
on collective dreams. Derived from dream journals and biosensor data from two overnight
SleepWalks soundscape performances that took place in 2016, soundscape improvisations
for sleeping dreamers were performed by musicians Pembleton and Williams. The theme of
WATER encouraged water-themed dreams as well as collective dreams. These overnight
SleepWalks components explored the effect of sound on dreaming, especially on collective
dreaming. Outcomes included individual dreams that incorporated the entire group, single
participants, or one of the musicians.

For the Kaatsbaan performance, Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company dancers have transformed
themselves into the dreamer bodies as they are immersed in Williams’ video projection
environments. Reality blurs with the dreamworld as the dancers move back and forth
between the reality of sleep and the revelation of our dreams.

ABOUT THE COLLABORATING SLEEPWALKS ARTISTS:

TODD ANDERSON
As a neuroscientist and creative coder, Todd Anderson builds systems that enable faster
learning based on recent research into how memories are formed. Sleep is an important
part of memory formation, as sleep is when new short-term memories are consolidated
into long-term memories. In fact, by curating the sonic environment during both
daytime studying and nighttime consolidation, a learner can boost their memory of their
studies. This phenomenon was discovered in academic sleep labs around the world, and
his company, Sheepdog Sciences, worked on a version for home use that was utilized to
track stages of sleep and brainwaves of participants in the SleepWalks overnight
performances.

LEE PEMBLETON
Lee has been composing and performing music and art for over twenty years. The bulk
of that time has been spent investigating sound environments and creating
performative installations. He has been a member of several contemporary music/
performance ensembles & jazz bands along with the occasional rock, psychedelic & folk
groups. He has performed his works at a variety of venues, ranging from the
Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to Chicago's infamous punk
club, the Czar Bar. His installations have been featured in museums, galleries and clubs
in America and Europe. http://vime.org/ http://earthboundmoon.com

ANDREA WILLIAMS
Sound artist, Andrea Williams, utilizes site-specific elements and perceptual cues to
reveal the unseen connections between people and their environment. Her
compositions make use of field recordings, instruments, computer technologies and the
sound of the performance space itself. She has led soundwalks based on concepts of
acoustic ecology and Deep Listening in NYC, San Francisco, and also in people's dreams
in the collaborative project called SleepWalks. She has shown and performed both solo
and with various musicians and artists at galleries and alternative spaces internationally,
such as the Whitney Museum, Eyebeam, Roulette, The Kitchen, Children’s Creativity
Museum, NPR, and the Mamori sound artist residency in the Amazon rainforest. Andrea
has created soundscapes for Hope Mohr Dance at Stanford University and video
environments for Alyce Finwall Dance Theater at the Joyce Theater in NYC. She is a
board member of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, a yoga teacher, and she is
studying our connection to water via soundwalks as a Ph.D. candidate in Electronic
Arts at RPI in Troy, NY. http://www.listeninglistening.com

ABOUT THE ELLEN SINOPOLI DANCE COMPANY (ESDC) is a 27year old not-for-
profit arts organization located in NYS’s Capital Region. Celebrating its 26th season as
resident company of The Egg, ESDC’s commitment to CREATE, COLLABORATE,
EDUCATE and PARTNER remains in the forefront as it shares its work with diverse
audiences through concerts, showcases, residencies, workshops, educational and
community outreach. Artistic Director Ellen Sinopoli and her dancers has created over
80 dances since the company’s inception in 1991. ESDC’s collaborations and artistic
projects serve as a conduit to bring together talented artists (both regional and
national) from varied genres that include visual artists, sculptors, architects, composers
and musicians, poets and storytellers, videographers, photographers and physicists.

ESDC DANCERS
LOUISA BARTA received her early dance training at the Cache Valley Civic Ballet School
and Company of Logan, UT, and the Ballet West Academy in Salt Lake City. A graduate
of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (BFA in Dance, ’13), she has worked with notable
teachers and choreographers Kyle Abraham, David Dorfman, Pamela Pietro, James
Sutton, and Sean Curran. Barta has had the additional opportunities to study across the
country and abroad with the Walnut Hill Conservatory, North Carolina School of the
Arts, LINES Contemporary Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Dance Italia, and most
recently San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Professionally, she has performed with
the VashtiDance African Dance Company and CeDan Dance, based in NYC, and has
participated in local dance festivals as both dancer and choreographer (“Choreography
On the Edge”, 2016, Woodstock, NY, Nacre’s “So You Think You Can Choreograph?”
Festival, 2016, Saratoga Springs, NY, and in conjunction with Troy Night Out). Barta
teaches and choreographs for several schools in the Capital Region and is in her fourth
season with ESDC.

MAGGIE CIAMBRONE is a native of Easton, PA. She received her early dance training at
Stage Door Studio of Wilson, PA and then went on to the Lehigh Valley Charter High
School for the Performing Arts under the direction of Kim Maniscalco. In May 2014,
Ciambrone graduated summa cum laude from the University at Buffalo with a BFA in
Dance. While in Buffalo, she performed with Zodiaque Dance Company for three years
and did various other projects under the direction of Melanie Aceto. She attended the
Alvin Ailey School and the LehrerDance intensive, took workshops at Dance New
Amsterdam, and in 2013 received a full scholarship to attend the American Dance
Festival in Durham, NC. Ciambrone is in her fourth season with ESDC and is an Arts in
Education Coordinator for the company.

MADELINE MORSER is originally from Vashon Island, WA where she received her early
dance training at Vashon Allied Arts, under the direction of Christine Juarez. In addition
to her hometown training, Morser studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance,
Dance Fremont, Idyllwild Arts Academy, and Cornish College of the Arts. She graduated
magna cum laude from Skidmore College with a BS in Dance and a minor in Exercise
Science. While at Skidmore, Morser received the Departmental Award for Excellence in
Performance and Choreography, and co-authored a pilot study, presented at the
International Association of Dance Medicine and Science 2015. Throughout her college
career, she enjoyed studying with and performing works by Robert Battle, Earl Mosely,
Lar Lubovitch, and Doug Varone. Morser is in her second season with ESDC.

ANDRÉ ROBLES is a graduate of the Joffrey Ballet School NYC. While a student at JBS
he had the opportunity to perform with the Joffrey Ballet in works by noted
choreographers Gerald Arpino, Peter Pucci, and Margo Sappington. Prior to his time at
JBS, Robles studied at the Ailey School where he danced in works by Dwight Rhoden,
Nacho Duato, Troy Powell, Pedro Ruiz, and Judith Jamison. Robles studied at Teatro
Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he danced in works by George Balanchine and
Marius Petipa. He has presented his own choreography at The Arts Center of the Capital
Region as part of Troy Night Out. He hails from Brooklyn, NY and joined the company in
2009.

SARA SENECAL graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa from the University at
Buffalo with a BA in Dance and a minor in Education. During her time there she was a
dancer in Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble and a dancer and choreographer for
Emerging Choreographers' Showcase. Senecal has studied with various artists such as
Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Urban Bush Women, Jon Lehrer of LehrerDance and
collaborated with visual artist Saya Woolfalk as a dancer and co-choreographer for her
performance art exhibit, "No Place: A Ritual of the Empathics", shown in Buffalo, NY
and NYC. She has presented her own choreography at The Poets Den in Harlem, Byrdcliffe Theatre in Woodstock, The Art Center of the Capital Region in Troy, and was a finalist in Nacre's "So You Think You Can Choreograph" Showcase in Saratoga
Springs. Senecal is originally from Schenectady, NY where she studied at Merritt Dance
Center under Mara and Marlene Merritt. Sara has been with the company since 2010
and is an Arts in Education Coordinator for the company.

LAURA TEETER hails from Minneapolis, where she began her early training. She
graduated magna cum laude from The Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Dance
Performance, where she performed in works by José Limón and Seán Curran. While in
Boston she co-produced a concert of her choreography and performed as a guest artist
with Zoé Dance. Since joining the company in 2004, Teeter has choreographed for
ESDC, and collaborated with fellow ESDC dancers on Obsequi, a multi-media art event
held in Albany’s historic St. Joseph’s Church, and as part of Trashion at Revolution Hall
in Troy. She has presented work at Choreography on the Edge in Woodstock, NY, at the
Chapel and Cultural Center at RPI, and at the Arts Center in Troy as part of Troy Night
Out. Teeter serves as the Assistant to the Artistic Director of ESDC and is also on the
faculty of Russell Sage College and Siena College.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

SleepWalks: a CatNap at Stable Gate Farm, NY, 10/19/17, 8-10pm


Setting up for SleepWalks: A CatNap --->on the New Moon. This is when the lighted side of the Moon faces away from the Earth. This means that the Sun, Earth, and Moon are almost in a straight line, with the Moon in between the Sun and the Earth. (Participants are arriving and noshing on Snacks that I forgot to take photos of---PB&J on whole grain sandwiches shaped like stars, terra chips, gluten free animal crackers, striped fudge cookies, whole milk, almond milk, water, and...


Mugwort Tea is used medicinally for calming nerves, helping with menstrual cycles, taming anxiety, and helping one have lucid dreams–ones where the dreamer is aware that one is dreaming and has at least some control over their dreamworld.

Talking about SleepWalks and SleepWalks: CatNaps to Participants Who Have Just Gotten Cozy...fire is crackling. The premise of SleepWalks: CatNaps are based on knowledge of our history, that we used to have a first and second sleep as a culture. In-between sleeps for one or two hours, we would share our dreams with a partner (and/or have sex). Some would even leave the house to talk to neighbors, pray together, sew, or chop wood. Then, it was back to sleep for second sleep, a more restful sleep. Some literature shows that insomnia began being references about the time when sleep became more consolidated. This may be due to streetlamps, coffee shops, and other post-industrial changes to our every day culture.

Participants are then offered to choose either Lavendar Oil (for Calming) or Geranium Oil (for Comforting)

Dream Journals and Pens are then Handed Out and lights slowly dim and go out. Some participants may sleep, some may rest, some may lucid dream. I perform a 45-minute soundscape based on the theme of water with a palette of sounds that are somewhat composed, but mostly I improvise. Some effects are used, and some live instruments are used as well but always woven into the soundscape. 

The various soundscapes for this CatNap...that I remember...included sounds of a bell (live in mic), a stream, a waterfall, Santa Fe River downtown, downtown Santa Fe, playing a singing bowl near a roadway in Innsbruck, Austria, foghorns/boats/Pacific Ocean at night in the Headlands, CA, walking through a tunnel of active windchimes, a thunderstorm, walking on gravel, playing gamelan, playing a small singing bowl (live in mic), seeds, Native Americans who attend San Isidro Church and some invited visiting artists singing blessings to the river in Santa Fe, NM where the river was dry, singing bowls that were blessed at the oldest bell foundry in Austria, and crickets. It got a bit chilly as it took me awhile as I was immersed in performing to realize the fire had gone out. I tried to get it going quickly again at the very end of the performance. I didn't have a blanket, but participants did. However, it must have been noticeably cooler. 


Towards the end, I slowly activate the soundscape to help awaken participants. I played the sound of a gong sample along with ringing out a singing bowl in the room. I then slowly turn up the lights asking participants to begin to wiggle their fingers and toes. As they awaken, I ask that their experiences are to be written down in the dream journal. I usually collect them all at the end, however, for this CatNap I offered that if they like they could keep them. About half of the participants kept their journal, and some told me that they found it to be wonderfully introspective and personal. Below are journals from the participants who chose to share their experiences. 









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Participants Then Get Into Groups, Meet Their Neighbors, and Discuss Their Experience Together After Their "First Sleep"



We then discuss "What Are Dreams?" together as a group. Scientists still do not know exactly what dreams are for, yet we spend about 25 years of our lives asleep and dreaming. Are they for collecting and organizing our thoughts from the daytime? Are they for problem solving? Are they VR simulators so we can take risks and not die, learning how to survive longer and better? Are they to connect with our elders, our ancestors for wisdom and spirituality? Are they to embody others to form understanding or send a message from beyond? Our group brought up each of these as reasons for dreaming. (sorry if I left off more, feel free to let me know and I can post more here.)

I then played an energizing large crystal singing bowl to awaken everyone to be able to get safely home for their second sleep. For this CatNap, I added a new thing...perhaps participants could also write down their experience after second sleep. Any dreams? What would they be like? I handed out my cards with earplugs attached to them so they could go to my website to go to where they could type in a dream. But perhaps uploading a photo of an entry in a physical dream journal would have been easier I realize in hindsight. I only received one reply, and no dreams were recalled by this participant. I myself did not remember a dream even though I set an intent. And I remembered that hm, well if second sleep used to be about having a more restful sleep, deep sleep is our most restful state of sleep. After deep sleep, we often do not recall our dreams when we wake up. 

Here is a CatNap participant's entry (Thank You!): 

1. Do you remember having any dreams last night during your 2nd sleep? 
Maybe, but the recall is too vague


2. If you remember a dream or dreams, please describe them here: 
So sorry! I slept pretty well, but wasn't able to capture any dreams last night...

I can describe a recurring dream that I used to have when I was much younger. A fleeing dream involving a rolling fire ball with glowing embers and a vein like structure! Running to get away, always getting closer, though sometimes I'd turn a corner, only to have it reappear a while later. Perhaps it was cyclical; never reached an end. But definitely a nightmare!

Went away maybe 20 years ago? After marriage and having kids? I guess age and stage of life shapes our dreamscapes.

Some images from last evening, is case you couldn't read the handwriting were of a black and white tessilated grainy image of. A human figure, spread eagle like, with a board in front of the as if confining them or barring their passage. ... And then another human, only manga like in its illustration, clambering about, perhaps reclining in a post and beam construction that looked something like the skeleton of a wooden ship, only more comical in its rendering. Thought I would at least share that!

Thanks again for last evening. The sounds were deep and gorgeous.


3. Please describe the overall feeling you had in the dream:
Other

Here is my entry (I had not looked at the CatNap Journals yet nor had I read the other web entry yet):

1. Do you remember having any dreams last night during your 2nd sleep? 
No


2. If you remember a dream or dreams, please describe them here: 
I do not recall my dreams from last night. I did however, get inspired to draw before sleeping. I have been waiting for some art supplies that I ordered to reach me, and they arrived yesterday. I was eager to try out the new ink pens, ink and brush even though I was quite sleepy. I think because I had watched someone draw and ink a bug not long ago, but also the cricket sounds somehow lingered with me this time at the CatNap, I ended up drawing an insect, a large bug like a moth or fly in pen and turquoise ink. It was chewing a hole through a very large leaf. Grotesque? But when I looked at it, it was brightly colored, vibrant, and I did not perceive it as damaging but as creating an "opening" to get through to the other side, the sky. It was a way to look through and travel beyond. 


3. Please describe the overall feeling you had in the dream:
Other

Here is a portion of my ink drawing:

 

A Big Thank You to Val, Stable Gate Farm, and all CatNap Participants! <3




SleepWalks: CatNap at Biocultura in Santa Fe, NM, May 2017!

Dream journals will be posted here shortly!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two Successful Performances of SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams! Art Exhibit continues through Wednesday October 26th!

Wow, what a wonderful performance and a great audience turn-out! 

Thanks to all!:

SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams

Choreographer: Ellen Sinopoli

Dancers/Co-Choreographers:
Louisa Barta
Maggia Ciambrone
Madeline Morser
André Robles
Sara Senecal
Laura Teeter

Art Director: Andrea Williams

Sound/Video: Andrea Williams

Composers: Lee Pembleton & Andrea Williams

EEG Data Correlations: Todd Anderson

Lighting Designer: Nicolas Nealon

Assistant Lighting Designer: Jess Hoffman

Costume Designer: K. Meta Reintsema


Please STAY TUNED for photos and video from the performance!


The art exhibit of SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams continues! It reveals behind-the-scenes of the multimedia dance performance that took place this weekend. You can view what dreams shaped the performance and what sounds. There is a correction--It is up until 9pm this Wednesday October 26th at the Chapel and Cultural Center, not on the 27th. There are printed guides to the art works available on-site.

Nice Story about SleepWalks: The Body of Dreams in the Albany Times Union!

http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-features/article/Sleeping-part-of-dance-project-in-Troy-9983070.php#photo-11492370