David's Garden

in Blog

7 April 2006

A hardware/software environment for improvisation with electronics to be completed by June 2006.

During a meeting with trombonist David Purser and Lamberto Coccioli:

“We discussed what features an improvisation environment should have. One of the most important points was that it should be portable, easy to use and understand and accessible for different performers and performance situations.

“Lamberto and Jonathan proposed a framework which consists of two layers which could be called ‘foreground’ and ‘background’.

“The ‘foreground’ would be the sound of the trombone processed in real time. Any samples should be recorded live. The foreground may consist of four or five different ‘modes’ which can be selected in sequence at any time. Therefore, there are no score following or synchronisation issues between the live instrument and electroncs.

“The ‘background’ layer would consist of four or five different algorhythmically generated sound ‘atmospheres’. The material for these ‘atmospheres’ would be partially synthesised and partially sampled beforehand in a studio. We think it might be interesting to use ‘abstract’ sounds of the trombone: tapping the bell, slapping the mouthpiece, air noise etc.

“We also discussed how this environment will be controlled. A single lapel microphone provides the audio feed, whilst four (or more) footswitches allow the performer to move between processing ‘modes’. It was suggested that a multi-pedal unit used by guitarists might be appropriate. A small MIDI fader box with switches will be the control surface for the ‘background’ layer. Faders will control the ‘activity’ level of the ‘atmospheres’, thus allowing the performer to play unaccompanied, if desired.”

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