Dispersion of Elements (2015)

 This piece intersects the open airwaves nature of transmission arts with the distributed potential of telematic music performance.

It further plays with a changing, collaborative performance topology which moves beween moments when individuals (both in the room and potentially around the globe) influence the piece as it unfolds (a many to one relationship), while at others I am able to ping local mobile devices which then act as small speakers/spatializers of sonic content (a one to many relationship). 

The structure of the work is emergent, and is driven by an evolutionary algorithm. The audience helps to guide this emergence (i.e. collective modulation of a networked system), while I provide the piece with an overall shape, spectral content, texture and spatial character.   

Thus a tension exists between open, democratic creative practices such as can be found in “computer network music” or laptop ensemble paradigms, and an electroacoustic improvisation paradigm where sonic content can be refined and directed musically, richly working with the performance space to create an immersive experience.

This piece is the third in a series of digital music compositions by Doug Van Nort that explore distributed creativity and collective content evolution. The first was a piece (On-to-genesis) written for the Composers Inside Electronics and performed at Roulette in 2012, exploring collective evolution of a genetic algorithm, the second (discursive/dispersive) was written for the MICE ensemble, performed at the University of Virginia’s Zerospace festival, which explored remote conducting and control of a digital ensemble at a distance. This piece evolves this conceptual territory to explore an open transmission paradigm and the blurring of audience/performer boundaries.

The piece was premiered at the New Adventures in Sound Art’s TransX Transmission Arts Festival in May 2015.