Audio Orchestrator for Installation and Performance

Hi all,

I’ve done a few pieces with the Audio Orchestrator that can be experienced in small spaces (https://radiopanspermia.space), but Manifolds https://radiopanspermia.space/manifolds is created for larger audiences for an installation context. And performance: on the premiere at Whitebox Gallery in Brooklyn I had bassist Hilliard Greene perform with the installation. We had around 20 people running around with their cellphones, and just recently at New York University Manifolds ran nicely with 50 people. On November 22nd we plan to do it in St. Petersburg, Russia, with 150 cellphones.

The piece is built around a bass/drone channel that’s distributed through a sound system, while all other voices are coming from cellphones. There are 4 different cellphone voices distributed to as many people as are in the room: the 5th cellphone person would get again channel #1, the 6th gets channel #2 and so on. If you only log in as a single listener, you can actually hear a stereo version of the piece.

I think most of the work went by finding the right sounds for cellphone speakers. I ended up with sounds made from physical modeling, as the clarity helped projecting the sounds well.

Getting a large number of people to log into the system was easier than I thought. We projected the QR code on a large screen, and I think people were logged in within the first minute. They need to know, though, that they have to crank up their phones to the max, and also to hold the phones away from their ears so they can hear the other people’s sounds. Also one needs to encourage them to walk around in the space.

I did not notice any lag between the voices. After the intro (2:00), there is a lot of interaction going on in the cellphone voices, such as that a gesture starts on one voice and continues on the next, or in that rhythms are distributed between the channels. Once in a while they all come together, and again, no lag at all!

Check out Manifolds, and thanks for this awesome Audio Orchestrator!

Hans

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Hi Hans,

Thanks for the update, really good to hear how you’re using the tool.

I’ve listened to the piece on 3 devices at home and it’s great — I’d really like to hear it with 50+ devices in a bigger space. @Thom @Bronnie maybe we should run it in the R&D office at some point!

Best,
Jon

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