Composing processing spaces to prompt improvisation.

Sound Agendas 2018

Scott Hewitt


Does the act of creating performance processing spaces constitute composition? My personal compositional practice continues to sees an ongoing decline in interest in through composed works. Perhaps as a consequence I am increasingly interested in both creating improvisational opportunities and also encouraging wider participation in musical activities. These interests have lead me to increasingly reject the traditional roles of composer and performer and the potentially passive, audience as observer paradigm. Seeking to facilitate wider engagement in musical performance practice I have begun composing a variety of processing performance spaces for mobile, solo instruments. These performance processing spaces are designed to be used by non specialised practitioners, learnt through discovery and exploration and require no user direction beyond instruction to set up the space correctly. These created processing spaces are established through the use of fixed location microphones within a physical environment. To increase reuse and promote adoption of the processing spaces they are restricted to a limited number of hardware configurations and physical layouts. For simplicity software implementations are also limited to a single software environment to aid exchange of developed processing spaces. Such limitations are also designed to facilitate performance activities through the simplification of performance equipment. Within the processing spaces the processing of the input signals is dependent on their input source. Through the use of gamification ideas and causal relationships the processing spaces undergo continuous evolution and variation, offering unpredictable behaviour, challenging in use and ultimately intentionally awkward. These behaviours seek to nullify the advantage of instrumental familiarity and consequently promote participation. I present this set of created performance spaces seeking to find other composers interested in creating processed spaces within the proposed limitations and performers who are interested in exploring the created processing spaces.


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