Produced by
Electronic Music Foundation
in collaboration with
NYU Interactive Arts Performance Series

The Hub

Monday, October 30, 2006
Frederick Loewe Theater
35 West 4th Street

Electronic Music Foundation, in collaboration with New York University Interactive Arts Performance Series, presents The Hub, a ground-breaking pioneering computer-music band that developed a whole new mindset for using personal computers in networked improvisational music in the 1980s. The composer-performers are Mark Trayle, John Bischoff, Scot Greshem-Lancaster, Tim Perkis, and Phil Stone, and together they create one big instrument based on interfacing independently-programmed personal computers.

PROGRAM


Noosphere: Sonification of Global Consciousness ......................................................Scot Gresham-Lancaster

Tesla Sync.............................................................................................................................John Bischoff

Lou Drift ................................................................................................................................... Tim Perkis

pins&splits................................................................................................................................Mark Trayle

Boss...........................................................................................................................................Phil Stone

Cut to Ribbons..........................................................................................................................Chris Brown

Hot Potato..............................................................................................................Scot Gresham-Lancaster

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

John Bischoff is an early pioneer of live computer music. He is known for his solo constructions in real-time synthesis as well as his ground-breaking work in computer network bands. Bischoff's music is built from intrinsic features of the electronic medium: high definition noise components, tonal edges, imperfections, transitions, digital shading, and non-linear motion. Through empirical play and investigation he builds pieces that can be described as sonic sculptures, shaped in real-time and present for the duration of a performance.
Chris Brown's music has evolved within the intersections of many different traditions and styles. Following early training as a classical pianist, he was influenced by studies of Indonesian, Indian, Afro-American, and Cuban musics, and then took off on branches provided by the American Experimentalists in inventing and building a personal electronic instrumentation. At first these were amplified acoustic devices; then he went on to build analog circuits that modified their sounds, and custom-made computer systems that interactively transformed them. More recently, he has extended this fascination with instrument building to the design of computer network systems that interact with acoustic musicians and with other computers and musicians connected over the internet.
Scot Gresham-Lancaster is a composer, performer, instrument builder and educator with over three decades of professional experience. He is dedicated to research and performance using the expanding capabilities of computer networks to create new environments for musical and cross discipline expression. As a member of the HUB, he is one of the early pioneers of "computer network" music which uses the behavior of interconnected music machines to create innovative ways for performers and computers to interact. He has recently performed in a series of "co-located" performances collaborating in real time with live and distant dancers, video artists and musicians in network based performances. For over two decades, he has worked with multimedia prototyping and user interface theory and its relationship to new markets as an independent consultant and at Interval Research, SEGA-USA, and Muse Comunications.
Phil Stone, a student of experimental music at Wesleyan University and Mills College, has been a professional computer programmer for over twenty years. Career stops have included development of some of the earliest commercial music software (for which, he fully realizes, he will be going to Music Hell), as well as work in virtual reality and three-dimensional sound at NASA in the late eighties and nineties. In addition to his collaboration with The Hub, he performs live electronic music with the Laura Pawel Dance Company of New York City. A resident of Davis, California, he works as a programmer for the University of California.

Tim Perkis has been working in the medium of live electronic and computer sound for many years, performing, exhibiting installation works and recording in North America,Europe and Japan. His work has largely been concerned with exploring the emergence of life-like properties in complex systems of interaction.In addition, he is a well known performer in the world of improvised music, having performed on his electronic improvisation instruments with over 100 artists and groups.

Mark Trayle works in a variety of media including live electronic music, installations improvisation and compositions for wired chamber ensembles. Recent projects include solo performances at MeX (Dortmund), Metronom (Barcelona) and ctrl-alt-repeat (Los Angeles), improvisations with Serge Baghdassarians & Boris Baltschun Toshi Nakamura, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, and Wadada Leo Smith, premieres of new pieces for Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin (inventionen_04) and Ensemble Mosaik and a reunion performance at DEAF 04 with The Hub.

ABOUT THE MUSIC

Noosphere
The Global Conciousness Project has been collecting data from a global network of random event generators since August, 1998. The network has grown to about 65 host sites around the world running custom software that reads the output of physical random number generators and records a 200-bit trial sum once every second, continuously over months and years. The data are transmitted over the internet to a server in Princeton, NJ, USA. The network is accessed via the internet and the instantaneous generation of sound or sonification of the current state of the network.

Tesla Sync
In Tesla Sync, one player establishes a rhythmic framework by distributing a continuous stream of trigger messages to all players. Players respond to some triggers and ignore others in their own way, thereby creating complex and unpredictable patterns that always remain synchronized.

Lou Drift
This is a piece in free intonation, in which there is no gamut or scale defined. Each pitch played is calculated based on a simple just rational relationship with another currently sounding voice.

The basic behavior requested: pay attention to a /pitch message which is sent to you (you will not be paying attention to EVERY pitch message you see: more on that later). Interpret the value of the pitch message as a real number frequency in Hz. You should play and hold a reasonably long tone (several seconds long at least) at the frequency requested, and calculate a new /pitch message that you send immediately to /hub. Calculate the new pitch by multiplying the pitch that you played by one of the set {2,3,4,5,7} and then dividing by one of {2,3,4,5,7}.

In addition, I will be sending occasional /density messages. Take the number provided as a minimum time, in seconds, that you pause after you perform a play/calculate/send action before doing it again. After your paause dedtime is over, grab the next (or a very recent) /pitch message and use that as the basis of your new action. You need to be able to catch any sent /density message sent, even if it is sent during your pause time.

pins&splits
Hub players alternate between a single 'background' sound and a set of one or more 'foreground' sounds. Players have no control over their own foreground/background switching, that's done by other players in the group. They do have control over certain parameters of the sounds they make. My intention was to thin out our typically hyperactive sound through a limitation of sonic material and the interruption of the performers' musical flow.

Boss
Any Hub member can take over the role of 'boss' at any moment. The boss has complete control over every Hub member's volume (including his own), and can manipulate it in any way he desires. Aside from this constraint, each player is free to create a personal sonic environment.

Cut to Ribbons
Cut to Ribbons specifies that each player in the network plays event-streams of sonic events (called 'ribbons') whose character is algorithmically composed using parameters shared with the rest of the ensemble. These parameters include: pitch, amplitude, timbre, tempo, rhythm, duration, density, and phrase duration. Each parameter is sent to one other player in the network at the moment the ribbon is triggered, and each player must allow any parameter received to replace his current value for that parameter, although he may also manually adjust any of his parameters at any time. Another parameter called ÒtuningÓ is broadcast to all players at the start of each ribbon, and is used to control stochastic deviation from the other parameters in the composition algorithm; but each player chooses only one other player's tuning data as an influence on his own process. The purpose of this system is to create a complex feedback network of data exchange, so that the ribbons generated are all influenced by each other, but each each player retains the freedom to play their own sounds at times of their own choice.

Hot Potato
Play a note (any note or sound) before you randomly throw the single 'potato'. The potato is simply a number that sets the duration of the sound event in each instance. ie 100 = 100ms, 200 = 200 ms etc. Any potato handler can change the number ... or not.