Beacons

Beacons is an improvisational work-in-progress, somewhere between a video game, a musical instrument, and a composition. It is based on a simple app I've written that allows users to interact with an elementary "configuration space" -- that is, a musical field in which the two dimensions are not pitch vs. time (as they are in a traditional musical score) but rather pitch vs. pitch. Every point on the screen thus refers to a pair of notes, with the x- and y-coordinates determining their positions in pitch space. (You could say that the screen is "a piano keyboard times a piano keyboard.") Into this field, the performer can place blinking objects which alternate between two pitches, creating loops that can be either synchronized or rhythmically independent. The result is a kind of "sloppy minimalism." Beacons can also be copied, deleted, or given velocity, a very simple mechanism that leads to surprising complexity.

I have performed the piece with my colleague Rudresh Mahanthappa, with Beacons providing the backdrop for improvisation. This adds a whole new dimension to the piece!

Coming very soon: an audio recording of me and Rudresh improvising.

Coming somewhat soon: a high quality video of same.

Coming later: an online version that others can use.