SoundBoxed Collective are a group of innovative performance-makers, emerging from the 2011/12 BA (Hons) European Theatre Arts programme.
Working to bridge the gap between sound and stage the Collective make performance that fuses live and recorded sound and voice, physical action, comedy and character work. At the heart of their practice is the relationship between the performer and sound/music technology, with live percussion and digital samples shaping the onstage action and the audience experience.
This month sees the group in residence at the Barbican Centre, as part of the Open Lab series 2015. During the week-long intensive lab SoundBoxed Collective will be developing an actor training methodology. This seeks to combine movement, influenced by South African Kwaito Hip Hop dance, and singing, informed by vocal principles of the Natural Voice Network. The company will be working in close collaboration with dancer Jane Sekonya and actor Lisa Lapidge. The week culminates in a sharing of the work that has been developed at the residency.
Daniel Cunningham, one of the SoundBoxed Collective team told us, "The opportunity to work at the Barbican Centre is a hugely important step in our progression as an emerging theatre company. We have always been inspired by the work that is programmed at The Barbican, and it is one of the venues where we aim to show our performances in the future. The residency has given us the chance to collaborate with amazing physical and vocal practitioners, as we aim to plant the seeds for our next full length performance".
European Theatre Arts Programme Director Alexia Kokkali comments “SoundBoxed Collective are an excellent example of the ethos and practice of the ‘ETA’ course. The company’s interest in crossing cultural boundaries and artistic disciplines lies at the heart of the degree programme’s training. It is exciting to see the ways in which SoundBoxed Collective have taken ownership of their training and have succeeded in creating the foundations of a unique approach to performance-making. They are producing genuinely innovative performance which immerses the spectator in a whirlwind of sound and action.”
Soundboxed Collective were recipients of a 2014 Rose Bruford Jubilee Fund grant to help to develop their last performance piece, The Development. Billed as “theatre meets rave” this immersive theatrical project explored live vocal harmonies and chants in conjunction with pre-recorded sounds and percussion. The experience morphed from performance into a night out with music, dancing and audience participation. Indeed the publicity made it clear that the open bar was central to the work!
SoundBoxed Collective were given space and funding to develop this work at Theatre Delicatessen which led to a six week run in November and December 2014 and a further five week run in January 2015. Collective member Hayley Hill explains, “With both the Jubilee Fund and Theatre Delicatessen’s investment we were finally able to start working with a budget and thinking like a 'Theatre Company'. We were able to pay ourselves a small wage, transform the space into what we wanted it to be, rather than working with what we had, and work with outside practitioners. We were even able to invest some funds into the company for our next venture.”
Rose Bruford College is pleased to be able to support groups like SoundBoxed Collective through our Jubilee Fund – we recognise the challenges in starting a career in the arts. Hayley agrees, “As a young theatre company it is very hard to start your career without funding; the support from Rose Bruford was key in kick-starting the group. The Jubilee Fund was the start of our income and has enabled us to begin to sustain ourselves.”
For more information about SoundBoxed Collective, please visit www.soundboxedcollective.com