~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
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
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
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