Interview with Ronald Ligtenberg about SenCity and the Future of ‘Possibilizing’

multisensory music gigs

Hi Ronald, please tell me about yourself and your work including this new word ‘possibilizing’?

I’m Ronald, along with being a Strategist for the Open Senses Festival, I am also the CEO and founder of Possibilize – the organisation behind events including SenCity. I am a ‘possibilizer’. This means ‘thinking and acting in possibilities’. In every situation; meaning it’s not always fun with so many options that open up to me! All the projects have ‘limitations as a source of inspiration’ at their core. 

We have a project centred training programme where those on it discover their own talents. Training is given to participants on how to organise an event. We challenge the limits they think they have; question the limits of their thinking.

Great and what do you have in store for Open Senses through the power of ‘possibilizing’?

SenCity is a music event on Saturday evening where all senses are stimulated. At the event, the acts play as usual and we provide added sensory inputs. For example, Aroma Jockeys spread scents, we have a vibrating floor, dancers and video projections helping the visual aspect, and artists directed by sense composers who analyse the music set list with music and lyrics song by song. They analyse the music to portray the emotion behind it: whether it is a sensual etc. Which food for a love song e.g. strawberry mousse? Which scent creates the same sense of unease as the music does? What is the scent for friendship such as walking in the park? 

It is a multisensory experience. We hope to evoke the same emotions. However, as you can overdose on stimuli it is therefore all is focused on only one emotion at a time, this allows the guests to absorb and get a more intense experience. 

How would you describe it in three words? 

Multisensory music gigs 

Why do you think we need multisensory music gigs, why the focus on the senses in particular? 

They lead to you expanding and questioning... They create awareness of how the senses combine and interact with each other. The awareness will improve appreciate of life and each individual: their surrounding and better connections with people around them and their environment. 

It matters to really see the person, think how something feels and it may even save your life in the end! 

Why should visitors come to SenCity? 

Two reasons: firstly, to experience music in a 6-dimensional way. 3D is a bit passé. Mind-set is the 6th dimension. Balance, temperature, proprioception, very intense experience of music – and a lot of fun! 

You will be getting the best of our amassed international experience including our aroma jockey, text jockey (who creates the lyrics in a visual way to represent how they would be sung) and a vibrating floor with illumination! 

Secondly, on a deeper level, I want the 10% of people who will see it, to realise the power of possibilities! You will see how taking a limitation as inspiration can lead to the concept of a club night that is more interesting, innovative and fascinating than any old regular club night.

What else are you looking forward to seeing at the festival? 

I’m most looking forward to the Symposium, the BitterSuite concert and I’m curious about what I = U has coming out. 

Where would you like to see Open Senses going in the future?

I’d love for it to be an annual event in London, one place where an amazing experience can evolve where you can practice what you preach with the sum of experiences. 

An evolving, increasing and expanding experience you won’t forget!

Where would you like to see your future with the potential of ‘possibilizing’?

I would like ‘Possibilize’ to be an English language book (it is currently being developed for a Dutch language book) and to create more immersive experiences that show that a limitation can be a fountain of inspiration. 

We want workshops that continue to challenge beliefs of what people think is possible, such as photography by blind artists, body language taught by deaf trainers... I want to create a society which is accessible for everyone. A place that provides tools to allow society, art, culture, sports, etc to be accessible in such a way that the whole community benefits from it. 

Subtitles and London bus stop audio announcements were invented for deaf people but are as useful and used by hearing people too. 

Three words to describe how you feel about the festival? 

Engaging, provoking, transforming. 

Anything else you’d like to mention not yet covered? 

What I love about Open Senses is that it has proven to be such a gathering of open minded and supportive people. With no budget and not one complaint about that. It has felt like a community of people who feel like this is something that needs and deserves attention. It combines fun with interesting facts and thought provoking art. Diverse groups of people creating things that impact lives in a way that I believe in. Arts and science and entrepreneurial skills combined. Come and experience it for yourself!

Thank you for your time… and opening us up to all the possibilities!

Start your own conversation @OpenSensesUK #OpenSenses2017, this conversation initiated by Natasha Blok.