Jascha's project proposal
My idea is kind of like a sequential version of Dan's network cycler idea - i'm imagining a bunch of laptops on a network, and a master sequencer which plays the contents of each laptop one at a time. There's something about the idea of only one laptop playing at a time which appeals to me, and the automatic spatialization I get from having the single-line idea pass from machine to machine is also appealing.
The user experience would be something like this:
Say I'm laptop #7 out of 10. The piece starts with laptop #1, which plays its little finite sequence of a few seconds (or beats, even). Then #2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 each do their thing, and while all that's going on I see the progress of the piece as highlighted numbers in boxes along the top of my screen, each one representing one of the PLOrkers in the ensemble. I also have all that time to prepare the bit of music my laptop is going to play - arranging notes or samples or perhaps opening effects gates on a central mic or something. When the counter gets to #7, my part of the sequence plays through to its end, and then goes on to #8, 9, 10, 1, 2, etc...
(i think this is a wicked great idea, dt)
Things I like about this idea:
- one laptop at a time = sparser texture than normal
- one laptop at a time = odd and novel
- one laptop at a time = free spatialization
- easily scalable to any number of laptops (more than 1, obviously, and more than 2 to avoid being a little silly)
- if set to a bars+beats paradigm, easily sync-able to Matmos' master clock, so this piece could happen with them, or without them
- also with a bars+beats paradigm, it'd be easy for guests to fit themselves in to it
Features I imagine being part of the interface:
- a counter across the top showing one's position relative to the current bit of sequence being played
- some kind of GUI capable of arranging events in time in a cool and sensible and flexible manner
Things I don't know yet:
- what musical and sonic options there will be: working with synthesized sound, or samples, or both? If samples, it might be cool to let people bring their own samples, and provide a variety of ways to manipulate them
- what the GUI interface might look like
- which language I'm going to write this in
- here's a thought (from dt): what about having two (or maybe three) clocks going simultaneously, one much slower than the other, so that one could play on working with longer, sustained sounds on a longer cycle, in between, the faster cycles. this could, i suppose, also be accomplished by breaking the larger group into smaller groups, each with its own clock, but this would also impact scalability. anyhow, something to think about. counterpoint (think cantus-firmus style masses)!
- in fact, it's probably a good idea to work up a generic step sequencer GUI, since it could be broadly usable, and then be able to call up and layer a number of them as needed. processing would probably be nice for this, though max would do as well. i'll shut up now. jet-lagged in norway...
- (reply from Jascha) - ah! yes, i like this idea - i was imagining there being some kind of background drone(s) common to all the speakers to fill things out a bit, but the idea of having split-level sequencing on the computers makes life more interesting for the PLOrkers.
- (still from Jascha) - I have a ton of questions about Processing. who knows about Processing?
- (Tom) Looks like it's on the schedule for next week.
- (Mike) i would also like to know more about processing!
- (Mike) i think this is cool. one at a time spatialization reminds me of nathan michel's piece from 2006, which worked well. is there a record of this piece anywhere? i like the counterpoint idea / multiple clocks, and think the resulting layering would be cool. having only two groups wouldn't impact scalability too much, i guess?
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