for piano, live electronics, computer display and sensors
On Violence is a composition that combines generative music, improvisation, algorithmic composition, non-standard forms of notation and real-time scoring, machine listening, real-time data and sound analysis/processing, gesture tracking and computer networking. The pianist reads from a score displayed on a laptop screen, which combines conventional notation with real-time scoring. The performer also wears headphones to receive audio triggers and cues that constitute the aural element of the score. For this composition I developed new software libraries including a computer programme for real-time scoring written in the SuperCollider programming language. The pianist interacts with the score through two Midi pedals that are used to ‘turn pages’, display graphic notation, give written directions to the performer and activate score animations. During the performance, the score gradually changes from conventional notation to more experimental notations. The real-time scoring elements use a combination of chance, generative and spectral methods to generate visual and aural material that changes and adapts for each performance. The pianist therefore is asked to follow a real-time score that has both fixed and unfixed indications, some of them involving spontaneous reaction and improvisation.
This performance strategy therefore tests the pianist’s ability to react to visual and aural cues spontaneously and to change swiftly from different modes of performance (standard notation, graphic animations, free improvisation, etc.). The live-electronics serve as a 'virtual orchestra' and interact with the pianist through machine listening technologies, sensors, and by sending messages across a computer network.
Rei Nakamura - piano
Federico Reuben - composition, live electronics, computer programming
Recorded by Holger Steinke Zentrum
Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) Karlsruhe Immatronics Festival / Piano+, 22/11/2012
Electronic and score quotations/references: Einstürzende Neubauten (Autobahn), Hitting Metal Samples, Screaming Samples, Hitler Speech, Distorted Electric Guitar Samples, Wagner (Parsifal, Tristan & Isolde), Buxtehude (Praeludium in G Minor, BuxWV 163), Mozart (K.467 Piano Concerto No. 21 in C 1st mov), Top 12 Singles Chart on the day of performance.