Shape is an experimental improvisation ensemble comprised of Viv Corringham (vocalist), Stephen Goldstein (laptops and various electronics and controllers) and Craig Harris (real time sampling and processing).
Viv extemporizes with a broad vocal palette, with and without words; Stephen draws upon his vast toolbox of sounds, controllers and live performance techniques; and Craig records and processes them both, feeding the material back into the mix to create a sound fabric that the three “shape” together.
Shape repertoire includes works using existing sources as inspiration and source material, such as the poem “The Hill Has Something to Say,” by Rita Dove, or writings of such cultural icons as John Cage, or mash-ups using existing music from various cultures and eras. Shape also freely extemporizes based on a variety of raw sound and textual sources. In all cases the ensemble plays with the audience’s sense of the known and unknown, the recognizable and the unrecognizable, and a broad palette of sonic and emotional sensibilities.
This is a video sample of Shape performing “On the Hill” in Interference Arts’ multimedia performance of It is She Who I See on November 15, 2012 at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “On the Hill” is a deconstruction of Rita Dove’s Poem, “The Hill has Something to Say.” All sounds for “On the Hill” originate from the live voice and laptop electronic sounds, performed by Vivian Corringham and Steve Goldstein, respectively, while I sampled 2-6 second segments of their live performance, mapping these samples across my digital keyboard sampler. I performed/processed these sounds, feeding my interpretation of their material into the sonic mix, functioning as another instrument in an abstract live improvisational context.
In February 2019 I created a solo keyboard sampler version of “On the Hill,” performed at the first of my Homewood Studios concert series Untether. I extracted new 2-6 second segments from the 2012 SHAPE performance of “On the Hill” to create the solo keyboard performance version of On the Hill that is presented here.
Viv Corringham is a British vocalist and sound artist, currently based in Minneapolis, who has worked internationally since the early 1980s.
She received an MA Sonic Art from Middlesex University, England and she is a 2012 and 2006 McKnight Composer Fellow through the American Composers Forum. Her work includes music performances and audio installations, and her ongoing project Shadow-walks has been presented in gallery shows from New York to Istanbul to Portugal. Articles about her work have appeared in Organised Sound (UK), Musicworks (Canada), and Soundworks (Ireland). Current musical collaborators include (ex-This Heat) Charles Hayward in London, Mike Cooper in Rome and Avatar Orchestra Metaverse featuring Pauline Oliveros in Second Life. Recordings are available on Innova, Deep Listening, Slowfoot, NoMansLand, and ARC Music, among other labels.
Stephen Goldstein began his career as a drum set player and has since expanded his palette as a computer music laptop improviser, sound designer, and electronic percussionist who uses hand drum synths.
As a drummer/percussionist, Goldstein studied at the famed University of Miami as a studio music and jazz major, and spent years on the road working 50 weeks a year in the Caribbean, Canada and throughout the United States playing a variety of musical styles and genres. In the late ’80s, Goldstein studied South Indian percussion instruments, and received help and tutelage from Ganesh Kumar, SelvaGanesh, Vikku Vinyakram as well as John Bergamo, Marcus Wise and Leonice Shinneman. Since the late ’90s, Goldstein has morphed from an acoustic hand drummer into an electronic percussionist and laptop wizard. He’s performed with Carie Thomas, David Means, Craig Harris, Viv Corringham, Donald and Faye Washington, Mankwe Ndosi, Zeitgeist and a variety of groups including Douglas Ewart and Quasar, Tal Maya, Anti-Gravity, and Stew Frog.
Craig Harris is a composer, performer and writer who has been at the forefront of several creative waves, including computer music development, electronic arts evolution, and arts-based community development initiatives.
He is the Artistic Director of Interference Arts, a multimedia performance company which launched in the fall of 2012 with his production “It is She Who I See,” a show that explored the universal woman who lives in all of us through time. His composition “The Hill Has Something to Say,” commissioned by renowned soprano Renée Fleming, premiered in Alice Tully Hull at Lincoln Center in New York; his multimedia oratorio “Five Books–First Series,” was commissioned and produced by the Sabes JCC Center for Jewish Arts and Humanities. He is a former President of the International Computer Music Association, and former Executive Director of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. In Minneapolis he has been Executive Director of Ballet of the Dolls and the Ritz Theater Foundation, where he led the initiative to renovate the Ritz Theater in NE Minneapolis, and has been Managing Director and Interim Director at The Playwrights’ Center. Harris received his PhD in Composition at the Eastman School of Music.