Posts Tagged ‘BioMuse Trio’

“BioMuse Trio” – March 2010

March 16th, 2010

Biomuse Trio” (2008-10) by Eric Lyon, with interaction and interface design by Eric Lyon and R Benjamin Knapp. Featuring the Biomuse Trio: Gascia Ouzounian (violin), Eric Lyon (computer), R Benjamin Knapp (biosensors). Recorded in March 2010 at the Sonic Lab (Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast).

Programme Notes by Eric Lyon:
My first work for biomuse, the Biomuse Trio is scored for violin, laptop and Biomuse. This work was developed in close collaboration with biomuse inventor Ben Knapp and violinist Gascia Ouzounian, with frequent rehearsals during the course of composition. We initially explored performance interaction between the three instruments. However the division of labor that emerged soon favored interactions between violin and biomuse. It became clear that the musical gestures of violin and biomuse were simply much more interesting to watch than those on laptop. So the role of the laptop became primarily to capture and edit violin samples, and to manage the progression of the Max patch through each movement. As in my other computer chamber music, the computer sounds are all derived from acoustic sounds captured during performance. The initial violin chord is sampled by the laptop performer and quickly edited. Shortly thereafter, stacks of this chord are triggered using forearm EMG signals. This chord then serves as the source for most of the computer-generated sounds heard during the rest of the movement. An attraction of this approach is that the compositionally fixed harmonic and rhythmic patterns will vary sonically between performances, as differences in the quality of the performed chord and other live-sampled materials propagate through the various DSP processing schemes. Of course this happens naturally in successful acoustic instrumental performances; it does not happen to nearly the same degree in performance with the playback of prepared sound files. While this is attractive, the use of live sampling can introduce new problems: insufficient production value, enhanced flaws of the sound environment, and a critical danger from incorrectly played or (much worse) missed sampled sounds.

StemCells – ICME09

November 5th, 2009

‘Stem Cells’ at the International Conference on Music and Emotion (ICME) 2009 in Durham, UK.

Stem Cells by Eric Lyon

Interaction Design and Performance by Ben Knapp

Stem Cells was composed in 2004 by Eric Lyon as a solo laptop piece and premiered by the composer at Ars Electronica. It is performed here in an arrangement for the Biomuse, an instrument that uses on-body measurement of movement and physiological signals for human-computer interaction. The arrangement was created in 2009 as part of a series of collaborations between the composer and Ben Knapp, the Biomuse designer. The original version of the piece defines a large scale form, divided into individual sections that are articulated as Max/MSP patches. Within each section, many options are available to the performer who chooses among the possibilities and performs them with a considerable degree of interpretive freedom. The central compositional idea is to start with simple sonic materials and gradually enrich them through iterative processes.

The arrangement of Stem Cells for Biomuse follows up on a previous project. During 2008, a collaboration between Ben Knapp, violinist Gascia Ouzounian, and the composer established the viability of the Biomuse as a highly responsive chamber music instrument, resulting in the composition of The Biomuse Trio. The Trio’s use of the Biomuse was focused on direct gestural control. Following the success of this project, work began on exploring the possibility of controlling the instrument with a higher level of pattern recognition: transmuting not just movement, but also emotional states into musical control. Thus the interaction design and ultimately performance of the piece would involve the precise control of both external movement and internal state. After considering the possibility of composing a new piece for Biomuse, the decision was taken to arrange an existing piece. It was felt that whereas a new piece would exclusively play to the strengths of the Biomuse, an arrangement of an existing piece would more critically test the limits of the Biomuse by forcing a consideration of musical situations that might be difficult, but not impossible to realize on the instrument.

‘BioMuse Trio’ – Concert in NIME09

October 22nd, 2009