/ INTEGRATING MOBILE MUSIC WITH PERCUSSION PERFORMANCE PRACTICE
~To perform 3p3p, two members of the ensemble used mallet percussion instruments with their iPhone while one used a drumset and percussion setup. The three iPhones were connected to a pair of powered PA speakers located near the ensemble via very long mini-jack to RCA cables and a small mixer. The three RjDj scenes each had two generative compositional elements that could be switched on and off independently, for example, a series of percussive-sounding notes cut from a field recording of cracking ice. While each scene had different generative elements, all three had two switchable effects, reverb and a pitch-shifting delay, that would process sound from the iPhone's microphone. A simple interface of four buttons controlled these elements on each phone while the iPhones' accelerometers were used to influence parts of the generative processes, for example, the length of generated notes. During rehearsals, we had determined a number of ways to use the iPhones in the performance. The phones could be held in one hand while the other held sticks or mallets and in this way the phone's microphone could be brought close to different sound sources in our setups, allowing the effects to be used selectively. Since the phones were light and small, they could also be placed on the frames of our instruments allowing us to use mallets in both hands but also to access the phones and switch the generative elements on and off. The work was performed as part of a foyer performance at Ensemble Evolution's own Pited Percussion Repertoire Festival in March 2011. Notably, despite the fact that the work had not been rehearsed for a week prior to the performance the simple setup enabled a smooth performance with only a minimal sound check. 3. NORDLIG VINTER a computer part, while in other parts both players improvise over background compositions generated by an RjDj scene. The computer setup for Nordlig Vinter was limited to a single iPhone running an RjDj scene which would sit on the frame of the vibraphone. A home-built pickup system for the vibraphone was also part of this project. The system included four electret microphones that could be Blu-Tacked underneath the bars of the vibraphone and a battery powered preamp. This system could be connected through the iPhone's headphone jack allowing the RjDj scene to process the vibraphone sound. The design motivation for the setup and RjDj scene for Nordlig Vinter was focussed on bringing the computer music elements into performances with the most unobtrusive setup both from the perspective of the audience and of the performers. Using an iPhone and the battery powered pickups allowed the whole system to be attached to the vibraphone with a stereo audio cable being the only wired connection. This arrangement was out of sight of the audience and out of the way of the performers. A more detailed interface for the RjDj scene was developed for Nordlig Vinter with four buttons to start and stop three generative compositions and a single reverb effect as well as meters displaying the progress through the three compositions and the input and output volume levels. Nordlig Vinter was performed with Christina Hopgood at the Electrofringe festival in Newcastle, Australia in September 2011. In this setting, visual feedback from the iPhone screen was barely used and we were able to concentrate on our performance with minimal distraction from the mobile computer system. Further performances of Nordlig Vinter have taken place with different interpretations. The work was performed as a duo for vibraphone and drumset with Noah Demland at drums + gadgets a concert taking place in Columbus, Ohio in November 2011. The work was transformed for this performance into a free-flowing improvisation using elements from the composed works and the computer generated compositions. Further performances of Nordlig Vinter have taken the form of solo performances for vibraphone and iPhone and free improvisations played over the computer elements. Although the computer elements of Nordlig Vinter were simple, a result of this simplicity was a system which could be integrated into a variety of performance contexts. Since the computer elements of the work were designed to be unobtrusive, performers were able to "set and forget" and focus on improvisation. The experimentation that was enabled by the simple, compact system had a corresponding result in creativity. 4. SNOW MUSIC Snow Music was the result of a collaborative process with Ensemble Evolution designed to study the "shareability" of mobile computer instruments in a percussion ensemble context. The goal of the project was to jointly discover the performance practice for a new computer instrument. Figure 2. The vibraphone and iPhone setup for Nordlig Vinter Nordlig Vinter is a suite of duo works for marimba, vibraphone and iPhone inspired by the cold, dark and snowy winters of northern Sweden. The suite was developed in Pitea and Canberra in 2011. Some of the works in the suite are composed duos for marimba and vibraphone without 438 2013 ICMC
Top of page Top of page