5. Tagtool Session at Café Wendel

Andreas Dzialocha talked me into doing some live drawing with the tagtool at Café Wendel, where they have a regular event (once a month) that brings together tagtool artists and musicians for improvised sessions.

Both me and Karotoons, who did the animation, had only used the tagtool maybe once before, and none of us had ever worked together or even met before, so it was really totally extreme improvisation. And lots of fun!

Getting started with the setup with Andreas Dzialocha and Roman Hagenbrock.

(All photos here were taken by Eija Elmgrén.)

There had been some problems with the tagtool box and tablet recognition, and my tablet didn’t work either, but one of the two backup tablets Andreas brought did. Phew! However, it lost the pressure sensitivity just before the performance begun. I figured I could just adjust my style to that …

Making battle plans with Katrin.

I was probably a really terrible tagtool partner. V`(oo)´V
For example, the box I used had a fader with which you could adjust how fast the images faded out after release, and I abused it several times, without warning, to erase everything when I got tired of it. Or, while Katrin wanted to plan some moves ahead of time, I just improvised on the spot and probably never used any of the ideas we had come up with earlier …

All the while she had to fight to learn to use the joystick to control the animations, which I think is really difficult, and came up with some really fun animations. Respect!

The entire crew — art: me, animation: Katrin Rothe/Karotoons, bass: Miles Perkin, drums: Christian Marien, vocals: Sophie Tassignon, narration: Matti Krause.

The audience.

The first set was a bit crazy and difficult (at least it felt like that to me). In the second set we had clearly gotten more comfortable working together and the audiovisual teamwork had a good flow.
Unfortunately the audience had thinned out a bit by then, but the ones who persevered were richly rewarded …

Burning trees, soothed by water, begin to sprout …

… rain falls, and the third tree sprouts piggies … with little piggy-tails!

The ill-fated pilot, Schweinebacke, catapults from his fighter plane … Das Flederschwein gets entangled in the lines of his parachute, and they crash into the ocean, under the waves, where they encounter …

das Meerschweinchen!

I drew the mersow’s body first and left her face for last, while Matti and the musicians built up anticipation in the story. Much hilarity ensued when her porcine identity was suddenly revealed and Matti came up with the perfect name for her.
This was probably the most epic moment of the evening. V^(oo)^V

In the end, das Flederschwein biked off with one of the fishes, to the alps, to Schweine-Heidi.

* * *

At my only other tagtool session so far, with Ilan Katin, we did one improvised set, too. But we knew each other and each other’s styles and techniques quite well. This time the improvisation was much more extreme. It was somehow magical and almost disturbing how a bunch of random strangers could improvise together like this and produce some pretty decent stories, which the audience seemed to think were interesting enough to follow, and which even made people laugh. V^(oo)^V

A big thank you to all my fellow performers and everyone who made this possible. An especially big thank you to all the people who came to see and listen to us! And a very special thank you to my mum who came all the way from Sweden to see us perform, and made really great photos.

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