Friday, January 15, 2016

Music for Lamps and Surface Transducers

When brainstorming ideas for instruments, I thought back to a performance during the MATA festival in NYC that I saw last year, entitled Music for Lamps.  Max Stein, Julian Stein, and Adam Basanta were the composers/engineers/performers of the piece, and you can read more about them and the project at their documentation hub here.

I remember that two things really struck me about the performance: 1)  I loved the use of the "vintage" lamps.  Like the Music for Lamps team, I am also interested in re-contextualizing everyday objects and imagining my own sound worlds in which to place them.  Their fine control over dimming the lights, or abruptly turning them on and off created some exquisite moments of multimedia drama.  2) I was most impressed that sound was actually admitted from the lamps, in combination with a pair of overhead monitors.  I spoke with the team briefly, afterwards and they explained that they attached surface transducers to the bottoms of the lamp so that they would resonate with whatever audio they sent through MaxMSP.

I love the idea of using surface transducers, and I think that will play a role in my projects for this semester.  I think a lot of audiences find electronic music performances limiting when sound only comes from a pair of overhead stereo monitors. WhileMusic for Lamps probably won't work as a direct model for the digital musical instrument project (for a few reasons, e.g. there is no physical/immediate relationship the performer has to the system of lamps, rather it's mediated through MaxMSP), it served as a nice starting point for my thinking.  Below you'll find a link to a full performance of Music for Lamps, the composition is pretty improvisatory so each performance will differ.  I hope you enjoy!

1 comment :

  1. Bonus points for posting something from Saskatoon! It's better if you embed video in your blog posts rather than links. (I edited your post to do so.) On Vimeo or YouTube, if you click "Share," there is an option for "Embed." Copy the code --- it'll be an "iframe" tag --- and paste into Blogger. Just make sure you are looking at the HTML view in Blogger.


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