benjamin.day.smith

Synchronic Shades

Many intelligent shadows move at first behind, some lead, some follow, together they are more than the caster.

This work is an exploration in interactive electronic music performance, concealing the machine and creating a language of performance gestures for the computer musician. In concert the audience sees a solo tenor saxophonist and a solo iPod-player meeting on stage. The laptop, concealed off-stage, samples the entire performance by the saxophonist, loading it into a virtual 8 track multi-head playback machine. The iPod performer remixes the saxophone throughout, creating a sound scape to complement, supplement, supplant, and augment the acoustic performer. Together it is a duet, of men and machines, breaking down the restrictions of interface accepted in desktop computer design today.

Video of the May 4th, 2010 performance in Urbana, IL at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with Shawn Allison, tenor saxophone and Ben Smith, iPod.

Recording of the March 5th, 2010 performance in Athens, GA with Shawn Allison, tenor saxophone and Ben Smith, iPod. (Disclaimer: the speakers were small and metallic, not representative of the desired equal voice dialogue of saxophone and electronics.)

Shawn is a brilliant composer and saxophonist. Check out his website!

Synchronic Shades is looking for additional performances and the technology is open for other compositions and improvisations. The iPod operation is, on the face of it, simple, allowing any novice to begin making sounds. However, mastery requires effort, providing a depth like any good instrument should. Any individual with an inquisitive mindset can play it.

The technology for performance includes a computer (Mac or PC), wireless network connection, digital audio interface, speakers (stereo) and an Apple iPod Touch (or iPhone, presumably). It is highly portable, as a rig and between computers. The software synthesis is based in Cycling74's MaxMSP programming suite.

I would be happy to provide the software, free of charge or guarantee, to any serious inquirers.