Re: News release, upcoming Palindrome premiere

Nick Rothwell (
3 Feb 1998 15:54:24 -0000

Hmm. Interesting, since I now seem to be involved in a similar
venture, revolving around the notion of a musical score which will be

> The Minotaur involves four dancers playing a composed musical score (by
> bay-area composer Erling Wold, who is flying out extra for the event)
> entirely by their movements in 3-D space.

This doesn't make clear whether the score is completely predetermined
(which would require determinism on the part of the dancers, to
deliver reproducible sequences of gestures) or not.

> Five different kinds of note lines are used in "Happenings": 1)
> single notes, 2) permanent notes =96 which play until an
> "off-switch", or "off-switching" note is played, 3) repetitive notes
> =96 which pulse or trill as long as they are activated, 4) chords,
> or combinations of notes, and, 5) sequences, pre-programmed sets of
> notes.

So how do these musical components relate to the notion of a "composed
musical score"? Are the components preset?

Where is it decided which notes get triggered by particular dancers
and/or gestures: is that semantically part of the score?

How long are the sequences? Are they rhythmic or pulse-based? If so,
what synchronisation is provided between simultaneous sequences?

Lots of questions, I know, but I'm trying to come up with a set of
abstractions for modulating timbral components via dance so I'm
curious what your starting points are, and what abstractions you've
actually identified and worked with.

> Most of the sounds used in the piece are generated on a Proteus 2
> synthesizer, though some are also sampled.

I'm not sure I understand this sentence. The Proteus 2 is (ROM) sample
based, and is not a particularly powerful synthesiser when it comes to
timbral design; and yet the suggestion here is that the synthesised
sounds from the P2 are distinct from the sampled sounds.

          Nick Rothwell, CASSIEL       contemporary dance projects
       music synthesis and control

NOTICE - vessel has triple screws - keep clear of blades