Tap n’ Buzz is an improvisational performance work for Kazoo, Tap Dance, Snare Platform, Voice, and Cell Phone. By creating rhythmic patterns reminiscent of Black vernacular music (i.e. field hollers, spirituals, string bands, ragtime, hip hop, etc.) I am able to comment upon the connection between music and the body. I believe this connection is both physical and spiritual, and harkens back to a longstanding reverence of the “buzz”. Musicians all over Africa add elements to their instruments to produce a certain buzzing sound. In fact, unlike traditional Western musical forms, the African sonic ideal includes sympathetic vibration. It has also been said that buzzed vibration is an expression of the divine, illustrating the essentially free flowing and unpredictable nature of the universe.
Each element of the performance plays an important role in the underlying conceptual message of the piece. See below for a brief explanation of each “instrument”.
· Kazoo- Invented by an African-American man (Alabama Vest) and manufactured in partnership with German immigrant, Thaddeus Von Clegg, the Kazoo is the only truly American instrument. The vibrating membrane is its signature characteristic, and its portability and simplicity democratizes the instrument instantly- anyone can play!
· Tap Dance- Inspired by a uniquely American mixture of European and African movement traditions, tap transforms the dancer into musician, creating a striking sonic component to the visual presentation.
· Snare Platform- I have seen tap performed on an elevated platform, which I would like to modify into a snare platform. The coiled wire (snare) will create an extra percussive element to the movement of the dancers.
· Voice- Humming, whistling, singing, will serve as the melodic/harmonic complement to the other performance aspects. Using the voice-instrument, I can sample, loop, deconstruct and remix songs from the Black vernacular tradition.
· Cell Phone- These portable communicators are now a ubiquitous form of technology that ‘sings’, ‘beeps’, ‘blinks’ and ‘buzzes’. We are asked to put our cell phones on “vibrate” (or silent) as audience members, to show appropriate respect to the performers efforts. I want to use this vibrate setting and elevate it to the role of performer in the Tap n’Buzz drama.
Beta Foly: Experiments with Tradition and Technology in West Africa By Lukas Ligeti
African Music: Musical Instruments
Paracritical Hinge: essays, talks, notes, interviews By Nathaniel Mackey
“Researchers considering syncing soccer matches with mobile vibrations”
Hummbucker Electric Kazoo
The Original American Kazoo Company + Museum
Savion Glover crafts a show all about the music of the feet
International Tap Dance Association
Savion Glover at the White House
How to Make "Les Paul Jr." Snare Drum
“Laying Out Snare Drum Holes”
Phone Sound Effects
“Congressman intros bill requiring cameraphones to "click" for pics”
“How Do Cell Phones Vibrate?”
“Cell phone motor test”
“Cell phones that do it”
Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do
Cell phone vibrate fight
“Good vibrations? Bad? None at all?”
“Cell phone vibrates with sound of heart beat”
“ED269908 - Facilitating Speech, Language and Auditory Training through Tap Dancing and Creative Movement.”
Tap dancing: The cultural fusion of Irish and African in America
Savion Glover on 60 Minutes (Part 1)
Savion Glover on 60 Minutes (Part 2)