Pitches at an Exhibition

As promised, here’s a rundown of the interactive projects by Chronotronic Wonder Transducer that will be featured in Theaterlab‘s Studio C during the MMiX Festival. You can check these out 6PM to 7:45 PM on October 8, 9 and 10 – come out and play, it’s free:

OUTIS (Mike Clemow) Thursday

Outis is a Greek word that means “nobody” and was originally intended to be an “intelligent” composition/performance using a video file or live stream as a score, which would be analyzed by a software program and turned into sound. It has become more of a performance tool since the project began in early January, 2009. Today, Outis is a performance that combines many of the same programs that comprised the first iteration of the project without the focus on artificial intelligence that characterized the first version, leaving the intelligence up to the performers themselves.  For MMiX, Outis will be presented as a interactive installation in which audience becomes performer.

SANCTION OF THE VICTIM (Joe Mariglio) Thursday

“Sanction of the Victim” is a composition for a network of computers.  Each computer has two tendencies, which are in tension with each other: a flock, by which the computers cooperate to build rhythmic phrases, and a virus, by which the computers compete and, as a result, cause the router to malfunction.  The flock sounds like banging on metal, and the virus sounds like swarms of locusts.  The result is an chance-based composition that exploits the physicality of the medium for which it was conceived.

POWER BIKE PARADE (Mike Clemow & Amy Khoshbin) Friday

Power Bike Parade is a bike-powered electronic orchestra that demonstrates the use of an alternative power source by converting the kinetic energy of pedaling a bike into electricity used to create a festival of electro-acoustic music and glittering LED lights. The two-rider parade takes this everyday act of riding a bicycle, and expands it into a visual and sonic spectacle, re-appropriating the act as a performance and a venue for expression.

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SPACE EGGS (Ted Hayes) Friday

EggBeater uses the intuitive power of rhythm to let anyone control the playback of music. Shaking this small, wireless device in regular patterns can automatically adjust the tempo and timing of loops. Just start playing the EggBeater just as you would a traditional shaker, and listen as the song slows down as you slow down, or speed up as you do!

The instrument uses an accelerometer coupled with an XBee radio to send your movements to PureData, where they detect your downbeats and rhythmic tempo. The software can then control playback within PureData or send OSC or MIDI messages to other platforms.

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CRUDLABS’ GINORMOUS THING (Steven Litt) Saturday and Sunday

Steven Litt spent most of the past two years designing CrudBox, a hardware step sequencer which controls essentially whatever electronic devices are plugged into it: doorbells, motors, power tools, flamethrowers, you name it.  He has spent the past 6 months performing highly energized and abrasive electro-acoustic dance music as CrudLabs and CrudLabs Sound System using only his precious CrudBoxes. At MMiX, he will for the first time ever he presents an interactive installation in which attendees may play a CrudBox making rhythmic music out of a 500 square foot room full of clangorous amplified objects being struck, shaken, and generally abused by various mechanisms.

Jocelyn

p.s. A shout-out to Gideon D’Archangelo, Hans-Christoph Steiner and Greg Shakar for hooking us up with Steven Litt. 🙂

The LED at the End of the Tunnel

I’ve been a member of Gamelan Son of Lion, on and off, for 15 years. I explain it to my friends as my “poker night.” It feels that way. The members are all composer/performers who are known for their works in many different styles who unite once a week in their shared love of playing and performing on the gamelan, an orchestra of metallophones, tuned gongs and percussion indigenous to Java and Bali. One of the members that I’ve been playing with for the last couple of years, John Morton, has been getting good notice for what he does at his “day job,” creating sound installations. This time the locale of his work is a pedestrian tunnel in New York City’s Central Park. About as far from a gamelan as one could get, Morton used Cycling ’74’s Max/MSP software in the creation of this work.

The composer John Morton inside a tunnel, just north of the Central Park Zoo, that features a random collage of sounds he recorded all around the park.

The composer John Morton inside a tunnel, just north of the Central Park Zoo, that features a random collage of sounds he recorded all around the park. Photo credit: Michael Appleton for The New York Times

The official blurbage from the New York City Dept. of Parks & Recreation reads thusly:

“This summer, avant–garde composer John Morton’s sonic collage, Central Park Sound Tunnel, will be installed in one of Central Park’s iconic pedestrian tunnels between the Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children’s Zoo at 65th Street. Beginning every half–hour with the ringing of the Delacorte chimes, this 20–minute, 6–speaker sound installation incorporates field recordings made in Central Park over the last year.

Using computer technology, a randomly generated selection of ambient sounds such as horses clopping, baseball games, birds, and chime tunes are woven together to form ever–changing compositions that echo through the cavernous tunnel.

John Morton’s Central Park Sound Tunnel enables visitors to experience the sonic landscape of the world’s most famous park,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “This multi–faceted installation furthers our commitment to presenting innovative public art by leading contemporary artists and provides another exciting reason to visit Central Park this summer…”

MP3 sound examples on this page.

Recently, the New York Times published their own review of the piece and the artist.

John Morton, Central Park Sound Tunnel
June 8 to September 10, 2009
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
North of the Zoo and Delacorte Clock

-Patrick Grant