MV MODIFIER

Come Out and Play Festival, New York, NY 6.2008

The MV modifier is a method of playing a field sport that attempts to sonically capture the momentum of the game. In the MV mod, goalies have musical instruments. Ideally the goal would consist of an entire band or small orchestra. Field players also have some sort of non swallowable noise makers. When a team is on offense, its goalie and defensive players can cheer on their attacking players by playing music and making noise. Meanwhile, the defending team must bear down and concentrate on stopping the attacking team, and are as such not making noise. Once play is reversed, the teams switch their noise making, the now attacking team is playing loudly and the now defending team is silent.As the game progresses, the momentum becomes audible and is a bit of a sound art piece.

In the first test of the MV Mod, at the 2008 Come Out And Play Festival, things did not go totally as planned. The game was wiffle hurling, which was too much for the onlooking soccer players on the Lower East Side who had been booted off the pitch by myself and Greg Trefey, the COAP organizer. Holding a flimsy NY Parks permit, we forcibly removed fifteen angry players on a beautiful Friday afternoon who had not had the wherewithall to book their field. Its a great sight to watch grown men cry baby their way to the sidelines, as they should know more than anyone that you have to know the rules in order to play the game. They proved, as do most regular athletes, that competitive sport often harbors a culture of infantile and small minded people. In terms of the game, their whining was not conducive to hearing the sounds of the game. The goalies did not play their instruments much; however they quickly adapted them into batting and blocking devices. As well, players used their noisemakers more to distract and annoy opposing team members than to cheer on their squad. On that hot day in Manhattan, the instruments served more as a further annoyance to the “serious” athletes, which was great, but the original sonic overlay of the game was not realized. However, there is great promise to use whining men as backdrops in future aesthletic events.