Beacons is an electronic multimedia improvisational work, 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 in a traditional musical score) but rather pitch vs. pitch. This means that every point on the screen 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": in the lower-left part of the screen, the beacon corresponds to two low notes; in the upper-right, two high notes; the upper-left and lower-right have one high and one low note.) 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.

Here is a video that might be clearer than that purely verbal explanation.

Above, you can see me performing the piece with my colleague Rudresh Mahanthappa, who adds a whole new dimension to the music! We are publicly releasing a video in Semptember 2018.

Download beacons here!