Detailed project description
Concert for Smartphone Network and Concert for Computer Network are two versions of a work for distributed networked smartphone or laptop ensemble. It is at the same time a music composition, a piece of distributed computer software and a collective improvisation practice. The performers develop the music together and use the network system to explore new ways to connect with each other through collective music making. The network system behaves like one instrument for multiple players.
Both the software and the work have been developed by Aarhus-based composer and computer programmer Andreja Andric during 2019 and 2020. The software performs sound synthesis, visual effects and music-related network communication. It combines and synchronizes the individual music lines of different performers into one music flow, mitigating delays over long-distance networks. This makes it possible for the Ensemble to perform together in precise synchronization without having to be in the same place.
Certain aspects of the composition are built into the software itself. Some other aspects are free and the musicians can improvise and explore within the limitations and possibilities that the software provides.
The work is typically twenty minutes to an hour-long performance of fast and intense loops of synthesized sound. The music explores variation, repetition and dependencies between harmony and sound color in natural (non-tempered) scales and low (1-bit) sound resolution. In the version for laptops, the performers use a simple text interface where they change the melodic content and various parameters of sound, which brings the project close to distributed live-coding. In the version for smartphones, the performers control the music flow through a web interface with buttons and a swipe area. The audience can follow what the performers are doing on a screen that shows actions of each performer and the outcome of the actions whole ensemble.
The Ensemble is: Andreja Andric (DK), Maja Bosnic (RS), Małgorzata Żurada (CH/PL), and Marija Šumarac (RS).
Concert for Computer/Smartphone Network has so far been performed: