Discursive/Dispersive (2013)

This is a piece for networked laptop ensemble, and was commissioned for the festival Zerospace: an interdisciplinary initiative on distance and interaction at the University of Virginia, organized by Matthew Burtner.

It was created for the M.I.C.E. laptop ensemble at UVA. For the performance, I “conducted” the piece telematically from the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY, with performers from the MICE ensemble (and the audience) located at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The piece is built around a granular synthesis software instrument that includes a genetic algorithm to evolve sound forms, a set of specific samples, and a score to guide our performance. My conducting includes remote control of higher level granular qualities for the group, as well as text/colour instructions for full ensemble or sub-group, sent via OSC. Each performer had control over mixing up to six different granular voice, as well as control over the GA evolution of their own sonic “gene pool” of sounds.

Below are snippets from the pdf score, my conducting window, the performer instruments, and a reaction from one of the ensemble members, from our rehearsals leading up to the performance.


Doug Van Nort

M.I.C.E. Ensemble 2013 (dir. Matthew Burtner)

Festival Organization:
Matthew Burtner, Sarah O’Halloran