[ISEA2011] Panel: John Eacott – Using Live Notation for Musical Sonification Performances

Panel Statement

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.