Choices (2000) For flute and live electronics. Flute solo: Marie Josiane Agossou
In this piece, the live flute is controlling the electronics. It was written in 1999 under the guidance of my electronic music teacher Martin Robinson who helped me refine my score-follower, written with the programming language SuperCollider 2 (1). The computer is used to analyse the flute frequencies in real time. The computer was also programmed with a list of trigger notes from the flute score. The computer compares continuously the flute input with the trigger list. Whenever the flute is playing a note from the list, the computer triggers the corresponding sound event. Sound events can be of several types, from a single sound to stream of sounds filled with events, random or controlled in a serial manner, or even an effect to alter the flute sound during the performance.
Mixed equal temperaments, towards a total pitch field
This piece explores the idea of a unified tuning system that allows different equal temperaments to be played together (2). The flute uses the standard 12 equal-note temperament while the computer sequences are written in the 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 or 19 equal-note temperaments. Each tuning used by the computer, appears exactly at the exact moment when it can be ‘in tune’ or harmonically related with the current musical phrase. The score follower permits control over the synchronisation of these mixed tunings, whatever the pace of the soloist and while the computer part contains a certain degree of randomness at each performance. In the beginning of the piece, tunings are being used in pairs, for instance 12 and 19 or 12, 15. In the final section of the piece, we can hear all these tunings being used simultaneously.
Marie Josiane Agossou plays the flute part on this recording. She has adapted her instrument with pressure sensors linked to another SuperCollider program reading and converting analogue signal in order to process the flute.
(2) Concept developed in my Dissertation for the M.A. Sonic Arts “Alternative Tuning Systems”- Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts, Middlesex University UK, 2000.