Se-Lien Chuang - Andreas Weixler

Interlude for Pi and for Io

audiovisual interactive improvisation for arco-piano and realtime computer system

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Description of the work / program notes

Fragments of memories (produced both by human beings and by computer) generate  a synthesis of sounds and visuals. The sounds of a prepared grand piano, performed with hairs of bows, serve as interface in an audiovisually interactive concert that merges a sophisticated instrumental sound and realtime computing in an amazing  improvisation. While visual images and processes are being generated during the concert, a multi-channel granular synthesis fits together minute tonal particles that make up the  instrumental sounds into a constantly changing acoustic stream made up of different pitches, durations and positions in the electro-acoustic space. The musical and visual components interact and reciprocally influence each other in order to blend into a  unique, synaesthetic, improvisational work of art.

Se-Lien Chuang:
arco-piano is a special contemporary technique of performing the piano with hairs of bows which gives a very sophisticated sound of the piano. Se-Lien Chuang developed arco-piano technique to the artistic point, where she can control polyphonic sound of the bowed piano strings and their upcoming overtones.

The arco piano acts not only as an musical Instrument, but furthermore as an interface for the computing system. It controlls the creation of the visuals in realtime and its sounds will feed the granular synthesis distributed on 8 channels. The control data of the granular sysnthesis are linked with the visual computing, also changes of the parameter of the visual computing effects the link of the data exchange of the visual and the audio computing.

Andreas Weixler: multi channel granular synthesis
by processing the instrumental sound in realtime the computer becomes a hyper instrument played in an improvisation along with the arco-piano, spreading its sound on a 8 channel sound system, controlling flocks of grains, rearranging those in terms of pitch, time, order and position in the acoustic environment.

By its improvisation of music the data of the granular treatment also determines part of the visual computing, so the progression of music and visuals appears in sync.

The computer system and Max/Msp/Jitter
created by Andreas Weixler and Se-Lien Chuang
three Macintosh G4 Powerbooks are interacting with the players, i.e. of the arco piano and of the electroacoustic hyper instrument, analyzing the sounds, exchanging data between analysis, audio and video computing to make an age-old dream of artists come true: to make music visible and images audible.
The visual and musical components interact and exercise mutual influence thus leading to unique synthesis of arts.

The goal of this project in computer music is to create an interface for visual and music computing for an associated audiovisual composition as well as to find technical and artistic solutions for the combination of traditional instruments with high technical computing in the terms of interactivtiy and realtime processing and last but not least to create pure computer music.

Interlude for Pi and for Io was released during an artist in residence at the electronic studio of the Technical University Berlin,with special thanks to Folkmar Hein, supported by the Province of Styria, the Province of Upper Austria, the city of Graz in commission of the Austrian cancelors office/ section for art (composition)

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