Maryanne Amacher tribute, Amsterdam

Currently working on a spatial re-interpretation of some really fantastic music by Maryanne Amacher for presentation at the Planetarium in Amsterdam on Feb 25 by Naut Humon and Edwin van der Heide.

Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam

I’m taking Maryanne’s 12 channel originals from her work at Recombinant Media Labs, and carefully re-distributing the audio channels to fit the 8-channel surround format of the Planetarium.

November light: multichannel video installation

image_403-smallNovember Light was a live multi-channel video and music installation produced for Science City York,  shown at the historic Merchant Adventurers Hall on Nov 19th 2008. The piece used gestural control via a webcam, analysing gestural hand movements in performance and translating these into contours, lines, and textures. The video is projected over several rough wall surfaces in very high resolution, and the music is simple, slowly evolving quiet textures.

new album: ECM release Being Dufay

John Potter, tenor voice
Ambrose Field, composer and live electronics

Ambrose Field created Being Dufay in 2007, using extracts from Guillaume Dufay’s songs and motets sung by John Potter. From the outset, it was conceived both as a studio album and an hour-long concert event. In this live realisation of a studio sound world, Dufay’s music is presented intact, not something weird and alien, but rather an ‘investigation’ into the potential already in the original material. John sings the Dufay lines, while Ambrose digitally modifies newly composed material. The result is a rich, contemporary sound world which retains the essence of 15th-century Franco-Flemish polyphony.

ECM are releasing the CD of Being Dufay early in 2009, and the first launch event takes place in the Resonanzen Festival at the Vienna Konzerthaus on January 21st.

Being Dufay in rehearsal

Being Dufay in rehearsal

Worldscape Laptop Orchesta

Our research paper describing the music and technology behind the Worldscape Laptop Orchestra has had the good fortune of being selected for the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Belfast this August.

(c)Phil McPhee

photo: (c)Phil McPhee

In creating the Worldscape Laptop Orchestra I wanted to push the available technology as far as possible in enabling group musical expression on a mass scale. Seeing no point in duplicating the work of other well known laptop orchestras (such as Princeton’s notable ‘Plork’), we instead chose to focus our work on concerns specifically relating to musical and technological scalability. New music was written for the ensemble by composers Alex Harker, Jethro Bagust, Angie Atmadjaja and myself, examining the aesthetic dynamic which results from having 50 digital performers in the same room at the same time.

The Worldscape Laptop Orchestra does not constrain people aesthetically, and the works created represent a whole spectrum of digital music from chip-tune to Jazz inspired sonic exploration. We’ll get some video up shortly. The relationship between participants, their music and the technology changes with each piece we perform.

The worldscape laptop orchestra rehearses with Google Earth Video Interface

photo: (c) Phil McPhee

The ensemble has little in common with traditional ‘orchestras’: we are not attempting to emulate the sounds or performance practice of the nineteenth century. Instead, we hope to contribute in a small way to the massive expansion in digital arts exploration being conducted today, searching for new aesthetics and technologies which rely on the intersection of art and science. We developed our own in-house software in C, pure data, and max/msp for machine and performer communication, specifically using new wi-fi ‘N’ technology standards to cope with the high data rates. All performances were entirely wire free!

The Worldscape Laptop Orchestra was supported by Apple Computer Inc, and was part of a three hour immersive media production ‘Worldscape’ presented at the University of York, UK. in Sept 2007. I’d like to thank everyone who took part in this remarkable event for making it possible.