Accelerator - Shiori Usui

Development day sharing with Shiori Usui - photo by Pamela Walker
Development day sharing with Shiori Usui - photo by Pamela Walker
After working in the sensory theatre show Sound Symphony by Ellie Griffiths for autistic young people, I had begun to dream about creating my own sensory theatre for and with disabled young people. Immersing in Tactile Sound (working title) is my first attempt at this, which I am already excited about and also cannot wait to find out where the next step takes us.

—Shiori Usui

As part of her Accelerator programme, composer Shiori Usui worked on developing a new performance idea for disabled children that will take place in a school hydrotherapy pool.

During a week-long development, Shiori explored sound, music and movement in a hydro pool with children with sensory impairment and complex learning needs from Hazelwood School in Glasgow.

Shiori worked with a creative team including:

  • Max Alexander – Adviser
  • Marc Brew – Outside Eye/Choreographer
  • Bal Cooke – Sound Designer
  • Sam Vaherlehto – Devising Artist & performer
  • Claire Willoughby – Devising Artist & performer
  • Joanna Young – Devising Artist & performer
  • Nic Green – Outside Eye/Dramaturg
  • Mel Merryweather – Support Worker

On learning she was selected as part of the Accelerator programme, Shiori said:

"Through the Holding Space scheme, I have been very fortunate to have had the incredible support from Imaginate last March and June, when I started to work on my ideas of creating the sensory sound worlds, using the hydro-pool at Kingspark school in Dundee with a musician and sound designer. We were very excited about discovering various ways of using the water of the pool as a musical instrument to play with, first of all just by itself (by splashing and tapping the water) and then in combination with other instruments such as hydrophone, underwater speaker, pBone (plastic trombone which can be played in the water), conch and so on. The young people we worked with gave us really interesting insights into the ways that each element of sound can be introduced and communicated with, and what types of sound they enjoy. It has been a fascinating journey to find a creative meeting point between the young people and us, the core artist team for the work.

In the Accelerator programme, I would like to further develop the watery sound world with the disabled young people, and explore various ways of communication by expanding our current team to wider artistic disciplines including movement/dance/synchronised swimming or projection through water."