artist: Christopher Ariza
Work III

Work III (2011) for nine or more live electronics performers with laptops and dual-analog gamepads

Textural contrast and density are critical attributes of this piece. Heterophony is used as a context for polyrhythm and polytexture.

The performers are divided into three groups. The large-scale form is organized into a sequence of timed scenes, defined for each group by textual instructions and programmed sound sources and systems. The performers, however, are constantly improvising: they are given both direct performative control and higher-level process control. Improvisation is combined with numerous levels of algorithmic control, from shaping low-level stochastic synthesis to manipulating and combining high-level dynamic patterns. Each performer uses only a dual-analog gamepad, the interface controlling multiple sound sources and changing its functionality for each scene of the work.

This work is designed to be open and portable. The complete cross-platform control and synthesis system, implemented as part of the Martingale Pure Data library, is open source and distributed freely. Numerous varieties of dual-analog gamepads are supported. Audio samples used in this work were obtained from The Freesound Project, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License.

This piece was premiered by students of 21M.380, Live Electronics Performance Practices, a course taught by the composer and offered by the MIT Music and Theater Arts section. This studio recording was created by the composer, performing each part one at time.


Christopher Ariza is a composer and programmer of sonic structures and systems. He is presently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at MIT, and Assistant Editor at the Computer Music Journal. He has studied at Harvard University (AB), New York University (MA, PhD), and, under a Fulbright grant, at the Institute of Sonology. He has served on the faculty of Towson University as Assistant Professor of Recording Arts and Music Technology and Pedagogical Director of the Recording Studio. He has composed computer and acoustic music for digital media, theatre, film, concert-hall, and interactive performance, and performs live electronics solo and in the ensemble KIOKU. He has been the recipient of fellowships, awards, and commissions, and his compositions have been performed at numerous festivals and conferences around the world. His music, software, and research are distributed via www.flexatone.net.


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