Panel: Chasing Ghosts: Reactive Notation and Extreme Sight Reading
The musical works Flood Tide and Hour Angle are sonifications of live environmental data. Flood Tide takes data from the flow of tidal water and Hour Angle uses a computer model of the angular relationship between Earth and Sun. Both works are performed by live musicians as the data is collected so a mechanism to display musical notation as it is generated is essential. I have been performing both works regularly since 2008 with varying sizes of ensemble up to 39 which has been an opportunity to gather practical experience of techniques of developing and implementing live notation together with discussions about why it is an important and emerging area of music. The design of a live notation system is challenging and intriguing as it involves much more than simply displaying conventional notation. My own system written in SuperCollider is fairly basic although still may be used to generate performances that are musically rich and challenging for performers. I’m interested to learn better ways of designing and implementing live notation systems and to help define ways that it can be used to produce powerful and meaningful musical performances.
- John Eacott is a trumpeter and composer who changed almost overnight from making ‘traditional’ acoustic music to music made using algorithmic methods. His works Flood Tide and Hour Angle have been performed 14 times mostly in the UK including Thames Festival 2009 and at London’s Southbank Centre 2010. He lectures in music at University of Westminster, London, UK.