Revelland works with an incredible team of artists, performance designers, sense specialists and organisers. This series of articles gets you familiar with everyone involved. Please meet, Stephanie Singer.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit more about your profession and specialty.
“I am a composer and director of music experiences and founder of BitterSuite. It’s my mission to create and discover new ways of staging and imagining live music, for my own as well as creatively directing live experiences for other artists.”
“I founded BitterSuite in 2014 to reimagine the way we listen to music. In BitterSuite we focus on how to synchronise audiences sensory experiences with music, in ways that are grounded and deeply motivated by enhancing listening not distractions. This process involves a wide range of diversely disciplined individuals each who bring different skills and perspectives they include chefs, somatic practitioners, perfumers, dancers, psychologists and musicians. Our collective aim is to find radical new forms of sensory design that match, change or enhance the way of listening. This could be tastes, designed environments, perfumers or any other number of sensory or tactile illusions.”
“Our concerts have featured across international stages immersing audiences in our experiences. Our format is highly immersive and tactile and often involves collective audiences where each person is paired with a guide who surrounds audiences in smells, tastes, tactile experiences choreographed to unfold with live music.”
“As a composer I create music that often sits within a narrative or experiential structure including games, theatre, films. My role in experience design is to hold the community of makers together, and to form unique processes that support creative lateral and embodied thinking to design unique work.”
How did you get to this point in your career? What were the key turning points that shaped your (unconventional) path? What skills and attributes were indispensable within this journey?
“The key points in my journey were learning events production as a skill set – and learning to understand the ability to build and direct a diverse team of artists, technicians towards a common goal. This production background feeds into every creative project and allows me to successfully deliver large scale artistically driven artistic experiences.”
Can you share some of your highest highs when it comes to adding your specialty to a music performance?
“A milestone is happening right now – producing and developing a new rave avatar with Block9, royal opera house, Finnish national opera. But a micro milestone was the first time I felt confident to express my role as an experience designer and composer in public. Some reason that’s really hard to feel comfortable in expressing ourselves fully.”
Do you dare to share an utter fiasco with us as well?
“A fiasco I had…which I won’t share any details…was when I continued to work within a creative team longer than my role was inspiring myself or furthering the process for the wider team. The show was absolutely beautiful! But my connection to the project had gone – I am attempting to catch this earlier.”
If we would join you on a random working day, what would it look like?
“I have no normal day. Except for the beginning and the end… I wake up early – around 5am/6am and workout and then write music. At 10am I will usually begin my main activity for the day/week which could be writing, scoring, concept development or teaching. Around 8pm I eat and reflect and then around 10pm I sleep.”
Why is accessibility important?
“Embedded inclusivity seems like a futuristic concept, a challenge for speculative design. There are only specific sensory realities that are typically accounted for – what we consider ‘normal’. What would it look like to embrace a future in which diverse bodies, needs and sensory sensitivities were considered, and acknowledged within design?”
How does your specialty benefit creative accessibility (inclusive solutions for exclusion issues that add value for multiple target groups and promote equal experiences for all)? Can you give a concrete example regarding immersive live performances?
“Thinking experientially means we consider how we as individuals experience the world. To ask ourselves ‘how do I experience the world?’ is to consider what our senses perceive and how this makes us feel. To consider this makes us more able to share and communicate about our own experience which in turn opens up our capacity to ask interesting, insightful questions of others about theirs. It also allows us to meet others as individuals with a collection of specific sensory needs that go far beyond a grouping of a person and more specific to an individual.”
Do you have any advice for emerging artists who want to take their live performance to a next level and simultaneously become more accessible?
“Invite others to experience your music. Ask them what it makes them feel, imagine, remember – use this as stuff to feed your own imagination.”