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received from chris brown on aug 16 1995 copyright 405w

Wheelies by Chris Brown

The premise of this piece is that each player in the computer network can change up to three parameters that control rhythmic performance of other players at specific moments (pauses) in the music. The three parameters are:

1) Ictus - basically, the speed of the beat - a very fast clock is subdivided by each computer to create 10 possible levels of speed;

2) Meter - rhythms in cycles of beats from one through 10 are played by each player - complex polyrhythmic textures not normally performable by humans are developed when up to six meters with different icti cycle at the same time;

3) Density - this parameter determines what percentage of the beats in the cycle are actually played vs. left empty (silent).

My idea for Rova in joining this piece is this: when the rhythmic cycles are going, each sax identifies an individual rhythmic cycle and improvises inside it - the speed, meter, and density coming from a single computer/instrument WILL NOT change until the whole ensemble/texture stops, so it should be possible to use one line as a "bass-line" to jam with - DON'T change which cycle you are following - take your time entering after each texture stops so that each sax can choose a different rhythm to play with, entering one at a time, letting the whole texture build up gradually.

When the whole computer ensemble stops together, the saxes are suddenly free to take off from the cycles they are playing in - it would be interesting to play with contrasts in what happens at this point: trying to hold the rhythms some of the time, moving away from them gradually at other times, or using the break to suddenly release the music from the pulse

The computers are exchanging parameter information at the start of each new texture. When the computers start again after each pause, Rova should stop to allow each player to identify a new rhythm and enter again. It would be interesting for Rova to develop some system of parameter-exchange/ensemble-controls by means of hand signals to parallel the type of interaction happening in the Hub. These signals could be exchanged after the computers enter and before any saxes start to enter. The pauses in the music will probably often be longer than in the Hub-only versions to allow Rova to develop its extensions on each texture.


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