ELECTRIC RAGS II
for Rova Saxophone Quartet and electronics
The music itself, like an experimental voyage, sets out to see what, if anything, lies beyond "improvisation". To this end both determinate and indeterminate notations are employed together with a special interactive system, which can reproduce electronically anything the players play - as they play it, or any time after, and in some cases even before.
The heart of the piece is a computerized electronic system enabling each player to pilot one or more Midi synthesizers directly from his own instrument. A flexible computer program "conducts" or spontaneously structures the concert, which in spite of formally notated sections or the highly conditioned improvisational tendencies of the players, produces an ever new version of the work with each performance.
The computer further effects a number of rich musical transformations in real and deferred time of whatever is played. Hundreds of colors and quasi-instrumental sounds are constantly "orchestrated" by the system. The individual players are obliged not only to react to one another and to the products of decisions made beyond their will, but are made to listen to their own playing in quite a new way, since every note they play may end up going anywhere...
-Alvin Curran _________________________________________________________________
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