Puppet Whispers – ‘Tug of Score’

I will not begin this post with a rant about the lack of a ‘#’ button on my mac keyboard…

Puppet Whispers is in phase 2 after an initial rehearsal/experimenting session.  Had some excellent feedback from the musicians regarding what worked and what was quite definitely impossible!  Discovered a fairly large issue regarding traditional notation, which is time based, and my dynamically shifting score which made performance from it headache inducing.  The idea we were testing looks like this:

An Idea based on John Cage and Tug of War

An Idea based on John Cage and Tug of War

Essentially, in something like John Cage‘s Music for piano where imperfections in the paper inform the placement of notes, I’m designing a system that superimposes Clefs and staves over a page full of notes.  The score itself is shifted left and right based on performers leaning back and forward.  The problem is that playing music from a traditional staff makes no sense when there is no sense of time and so to fix this problem i will try taking snapshots of the music which remain static for short periods, and also with a moving caret/progress bar type indicator.  Below is the Graphic score in action (clef graphic courtesy of Chris McClelland).

Notes are also somewhat limited to short percussive attacks at the moment, so i’ll be updating them so there’s some variety of note durations.  The whole thing is being done, as usual, in Processing and Max/MSP.

The Performance will be free entry at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) on Sept. 8th 2008 in Belfast at the Queen’s University Belfast.  Feel free to come if graphic animated notation and ideas from network performance interest you.


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