Touching Dialogue

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This audio-visual work for acoustic instruments and interactive software uses simple models of physical structures to mediate between acoustic sounds and computer generated sound and visuals. Phil Slater (trumpet) and Jason Noble (clarinet) use their acoustic instruments to playfully interact with a physically modelled virtual sound sculpture which is projected onto the screen. The musicians use sounds produced on their acoustic instruments to reach in to the virtual world and grasp, push and hit the sculpture. In response the structure glows, spins, bounces around and generates its own sounds.?? The pitch and timbre of the live acoustic sounds are captured and transformed by the virtual sculpture which sings back in its own way. Each individual object (or mass) in the physical model is linked to a synthesis engine which uses additive and subtractive synthesis techniques to produce a wide range of sonic textures. The frequency of oscillators of the synthesis engines are set by the acoustic sounds played by the acoustic musicians and the volume of sound produced is controlled by the movement of the masses. The effect is that the sound sculpture produces evocative sounds clearly linked to the sonic gestures of the performers and the movement of the on-screen sculpture. ??During performance the physical structure and characteristics of the sculpture are altered. Links between masses are cut, spring tension of the links altered and damping is ramped up and down. Thus, while transparency of operation is maintained, the complexity of the interaction between the acoustic and electronic performers and the sound sculpture itself leads to rich, conversational musical interactions.
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