Through real-time sound analysis, the viola and the computer become one instrument, enriching eachother, creating something that neither was capable of on their own.

From the performer's perspective, a new world of sounds is opened through the notes played on the viola. Sometimes drawing out whispers, sometimes triggering violent effects, sometimes passing the sound of the viola into the digital world where it lingers for longer than it ever could in the acoustic realm.

I want the digital sound world to be a natural and complex landscape. Like walking through a forest, over a mountain or across a field, and you stop to regard the tinest little thing. Sometimes the thing flies, runs, jumps to safety. Sometimes it sits completely still for years.

System layout

  • The amplitude and pitch of the viola are analysed.
  • Some digital sounds react directly to the amplitude, others are triggered by it reaching certain levels.
  • A database holds different actions for different pitches.
  • When the pitch analysis is determined to be sufficiently stable, the action from database is loaded.
  • The action might trigger a sound, a process, an effect and/or modify the action database.
  • Processes may trigger sounds based on pre-determined rules or reacting to the sound analysis.
  • The sounds from triggered sounds and viola effects go through a chain of effects before being output to the sound card.

The future

To take this system and way of composing to the next level I will expand the independence of the digital world system to allow for a more exploratory experience. The system will modify itself, change between different states, activate and disable processes and features. Every time it is played it will yield a different result.

A more thorough analysis, especially of timbre, will bring the acoustic instrument and the computer closer together. The tighter the bond between them, the greater the immersion will be.

Several instrumentalists playing together with one computer, one sound world, will enable a collaborative and social explorative music.