In our performances we use these models, these mirrors of life, as a way of experimenting with the control of this emergence and decay of chaotic forms. The equations, with their built-in "control knobs", or parameters, are ideal for expressive real-time interaction with algorithmic compositions. The equations generate a series of numbers, and these numbers are then used as source material both for the scores played by the instrumentalist, as well as for the musical material generated by the computer. The instrumentalist, an electric cello, also interacts with the computers by modifying, in real time, the rules of connection and interaction between the machines. Beyond simply the exploration of computer music or visual math/music, we are fascinated by the resonance between the two.
The instrumentation consists of an electric cello, which speaks to a Macintosh computer running MAX programs via a pitch-to-MIDI converter; two LIGHTNING wands, light-emitting MIDI controllers built by Buchla and Associates, which communicates gestural information to both the Macintosh and the Silicon Graphics computer; and the SGI computer, whose operator determines initial conditions of our simulated worlds, and who performs the heaviest of the real-time number crunching duties, generating gorgeous graphics in real time.
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