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Circosonic, the story thus far!

Cirkus Syd’s Circus Thinkers group has embarked on an exciting new research project: Circosonic! Funded by Kulturbryggan a fund managed by the Swedish Arts Grant Committee and focused on generating innovation, Circosonic is an exploration into sound and circus, as well as an inquiry into sound as circus.

Circosonic is a repercussion from the Circus Thinkers last project. We considered creating an audio book of our highly successful publication, Circus Thinkers Reflections 2020. This idea segued into greater questions about circus and audio, or circus and sound. The original proposal for Circosonic states that, “contemporary circus can be a combination of components such as rhythm, gravity, geometry, virtuosity, etc. These components are found in things other than the circus, and with that premise it is possible to examine everything from a circus perspective.” Through conversation, we determined that there are numerous sounds that are disti

nctly recognizable as, or signify, traditional circus. In this project we are asking, how does contemporary circus sound? The project alternates between monthly public discussions and me

etings of the core participants who are members of Circus Thinkers. In total, seven public discussions will be held and nine group meetings. Public discussions began in October and will continue through April, after which the project will culminate in the core participants creating circus sound experiences based on the gathered research. The project is pure exploration and real-time research. All materials and ideas that will contribute to the culminating experiences comes from the public discussions and resources suggested from the group.

Public discussions are open to anyone across the globe who is curious about circus and sound. These chats are structured in the Circus Thinkers’ method which encourages equitable, constructive feedback and on-the-spot creative thinking. Core Circus Thinkers members moderate and suggest prompts to kick off the conversation, but there is no hierarchy to the group, and it is a collaborative effort with all participants to determine themes and questions that will be addressed at the forthcoming events. Three public discussion have been held so far, and the fourth theme has been decided. #1: What Does Circus Sound Like? - We brainstormed about the sounds and noises that signify circus, and asked, can any sound mean circus if it is label so? #2: The Power of Sound - We tackled the questions, why does sound affect

us so much and how does contemporary circus harness this power? #3: What Does the Culture of Circus Sound Like? - Honing in on rhythms and tempos of circus, the conversation bounced from talking about circus as its own culture to how circus is received via audience response within different cultures. #4: Upcoming! Sound, Architecture, and Perceptions - Considering the spaces that circus happens in, including the human body of the performers and audience, we will talk about how space and individual perception of sound collide. Public discussion attendees have ranged greatly in age, geography, and expertise. Most are circus professionals - scholars and creators - who have in-depth knowledge of how sound is thought about and used in the contemporary circus sector. The conversations have been richly generative, and stay rooted in Circus Thinkers interest in “both creating material that discusses and explores contemporary circuses in new ways, contributes to a developed discourse about what a circus is and can be, and does so with an accessibility perspective in mind.”and we look forward to discovering more through the spring of 2021! Beco

me a member of Cirkus Syd: Become a member of Circus Thinkers! Email Join us for the next Circosonic public conversation: Sound Architecture and Perceptions

Text by Madeline Hoak


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