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Page 589 ï~~INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE Joel Chadabe PO Box 8748, Albany NY 12208, USA Phone: (518)434-4110 Email: email@example.com ABSTRACT: Interactive media-currently such as CD-ROM, but soon to include interactive televisionallow members of the public to play different roles as Interactive Performers of musical compositions. Electronic music, like most music, is usually experienced by the public in concert halls and as recordings. "Interactive Performance," however, is different from the usual. The Interactive Performer, as distinct from other performers, does not perform the musical data. Instead, the composition, whether on disc or flowing from an internet connection, supplies the data, and the Interactive Performer interacts with it. Depending upon the nature of their interaction, Interactive Performers may function as (1) performers who perform some aspect of someone else's composition, (2) composers who control an algorithm in real time, or (3) improvisers who control an algorithm in real time while reacting to new information generated by the composition. Type 1: the Interactive Performer as performer. Morton Subotnick, Peter Gabriel, and Todd Rundgren, among others, have created interactive compositions on CD-ROMs which, respectively, allow members of the public to reorder segments, operate a mixer, and "conduct" aspects of the sounds and music, but in no case substantively alter the composition. In his Conductor Program, Max Mathews supplies the notes but lets a performer control the way they are played. This is the most traditional approach for composers: the composer remains responsible for the composition because the performer's (or conductor's) role is so clear. Type 2: the Interactive Performer as composer. In the music of Giuseppe Englert, Laurie Spiegel, and Warren Burt, among others, a performer's input is extended according to previously-designed control and compositional algorithms. In Laurie Spiegel's Music Mouse, originally written as software for Macintosh computers, a performer composes melodies by moving a mouse within a grid defined by two onscreen graphic keyboards- while Spiegel's software adds additional melodic patterns and contrapuntal voicing. The Interactive Performer is, so to speak, flying Spiegel's plane. Where, one might ask, is the responsibility for the musical result? With the composer as designer of the plane or with the Interactive Performer as the pilot? Type 3: the Interactive Performer as improviser. When a composition generates unpredictable information to which a performer reacts while performing, the Interactive Performer is acting as improviser. In 1981,I coined the term Interactive Composing to describe a process wherein a compositional algorithm seemed to make musical decisions independent of my actions as a performer, causing me to react to it at the same time that it reacted to my controls, thereby causing me to compose interactively. Other composers who have worked this way include Salvatore Martirano, David Behrman, and George Lewis. In a conversation in November 1993, Lewis put it neatly: "...as soon as the computer generates something independent, a performer can react to that and go with it." It is saying the obvious to point out that the further one moves from traditional models of music, the more untraditional the performer's-and consequently the composer's-role will be. It could well be that electronic music in the age of interactive media Will have far more profound consequences for composers and performers than we now imagine. ICMC PROCEEDINGS 199558 589