Music Box – 12th September

I’ve been developing a piece as part of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme ‘New Music New Media’ course at Aldeburgh this week, using motion capture technology and electronics. The course is run by Rolf Wallin, Tansy Davies and Alexander Refsum Jensenius, with Juice vocal ensemble and Zoë Martlew providing source material.

My piece, entitled ‘Music Box’, is for performer, cello case and live electronics featuring the recorded voices of Juice, and uses a Wii remote, Kinect sensor and accelerometer to allow the performer to release a 24-voice chord from its home inside a cello case, then ‘explore’ the harmonic areas within it by walking around different corners of the stage. More active, unpitched sounds will be triggered by swiping the remote through the air, as if disturbing some great swarm of insects or bats into life, before all the sounds are once again crammed back into the box they came from.

It’s been fun to work with technology that is so different to my usual way of working – and to do so in such a beautiful setting. The concert, at the Peter Pears Recital Hall at Snape Maltings, will also feature new pieces using motion capture by Stephen Mark Barchan, Camilo Mendez, Laurence Tompkins and Ben Oliver.