Semi-Conducted - 2010

Program Notes

Semi-Conducted is a live performance piece for quartet (flute, clarinet, violin, cello), and interactive computer graphics. One of the goals of the piece is to merge together the different worlds of sound and image. The music played by the performers is visualized for the audience in three-dimensional animated graphics that are responsive to the individual pitches played. But the connection between sound and image is not simply one-directional. For the majority of the piece, the players are following a custom-made graphical notation system represented on computer screens. Shapes inform the players when to make sound, and in turn, the sounds played are represented again visually for the audience. In the video above, the score the players follow appears on the right and the visualization the audience sense is shown on the left.

Technical Details

The piece is the culmination of a year's worth of work learning and working with a new piece of open source software called Field. This software is a hybrid of several digital art-making paradigms: primarily code (like Java, C++), visual programming (like Max/MSP), and drawing (like Photoshop, Flash). For an introduction to the software and for a look at the compositional process behind Semi-Conducted, please visit the Making of Semi-Conducted page that accompanies this project.