Navid Navab held a residency in 2014 to develop “Practices of Everyday Life | Cooking”, an ac concert for chef and enchanted kitchenette. Navid spent the residency with Jerome Delapierre (real-time responsive video), Michael Montanaro (stage/movement direction), and Tony Chong (chef/performer).

About “Practices of Everyday Life | Cooking”

Cooking, the most ancient art of transmutation, has become a domestic practice over centuries. In this everyday practice, things perish, transform, and nourish other things. By augmenting the meats, wood, and metal, with sound and painterly light, we stage a performance made from the movements and gestures of cooking.

”Practices of Everyday Life | Cooking” is a Comprovisational (1) concert that focuses foremost on poetic gesture-sound correlations and sonic Gesture Bending (2). It is a compositional exploration of the interplay between the senses, poetics of enchantment and materiality, and the ethico-aesthetics of everyday practices. The performance features a virtuosic chef/dancer who wields foods, knives, pans and spices transmuted gesturally into real time sound instruments. Gestural sound compositions and responsive imagery unfold in realtime as the chef playfully prepares a meal with computationally enriched ingredients.

“Cooking” is the first part in a series of performances investigating the enchantment and musicalization of everyday practices, objects, and gestures. Future projects include an augmented surgical theatre, a concerto for a barber and enchanted hair, a percussion piece for a masseuse and cyborg flesh, as well as various real life interventions in public places.

Making the imperceptible palpable, these performances utilize Navab’s cutting edge gestural sound research, software, and acoustic sensing techniques to symbolically charge everyday actions and objects in ways that combine the composer’s design with the performer’s contingent nuance. By interactively varying the augmentation of an object’s natural acoustical response, we eliminate the a priori distinction between the synthetic/natural, instrument/score, intention/noise, or performer/performed. Performing or improvising music could then turn into an open engagement with matter, borrowing elements from “play”, day to day living, performance art, and the movement arts.


1Comprovisation = Compositional techniques for exploring blends between fixed composition and free improvisation with interactive performance systems.

2Gesture Bending, a generic term coined by Navab, refers to the poetic transformation, prolongation and enrichment of gestures through technical mediation of movement – in this case through the incorporation of real-time sound instruments and computational matter. The goal of Gesture Bending is to continuously enact persuasive conditions for the transformation of the discursive networks of meaning production in the embodiment of movement. It can for example lead to the signification of an empty gesture or the abstraction of an inherent signifier (ie. within a beat gesture).


NAVID NAVAB artistic direction, concept, composition, real-time sound, interactive scenography
JEROME DELAPIERRE real-time responsive video
MICHAEL MONTANARO stage/movement direction
TONY CHONG performance

Co-production Navid Navab and Montreal/New Musics Festival (MNM) – 2015
Topological Media Lab research collaboration – 2012-2013
Matralab residency – 2014

finalist in the FETA PRIZE IN SOUND ART 2015, the Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts (Miami, FL)