Measuring Time and Place


Official Selection, SPARK Festival of Electronic Music and Art.  This recording comes from the premier on the March 22nd ECMC 25th Anniversary Concert at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester NY.

All elements of Measuring Time and Place — pitch, rhythm (time), and spatialization—are connected.  The work is, literally, the measurement of a virtual space in time. These measurements result in a series of numbers that correspond to specific points in the performance venue.  The circumference of the space measures 14 by 19 seconds square.  Within these measurements of the space are areas of importance. They are important because they move from the virtual space to places of consequence in the real performance space. Examples of these places are where the performer begins the piece and where the speakers are positioned. The measurement of these places is made in the time it takes to traverse the distance from one to another.  For example, midway through the stage, where the player begins the piece, is 0, and it takes 7 seconds (steps) to either side to reach the end of the stage.  11 steps from 0, and he is at one of the front speakers. It takes 26 steps to reach either of the rear speakers in the hall, etc. These numbers, 7, 11, 14, and 26, join other numbers of importance, such as the time it takes to circumnavigate the entire space, to inform the large-scale structure and organization of musical events, as well as to inform local-level events such as the placement of accents or the number of repetitions of a note. In addition, the pitch material is related to these numbers. Numbered on the quena from bottom to top, the pitches were chosen according to their relation to each other in reference to the important numbers.

An additional element of Measuring Time and Place is the interaction of the parts, that of the live performer and that which is prerecorded.  The prerecorded material may be thought of as four distinct additional players, each constrained to perform in the virtual environment that mirrors the real-world environment of the live performer. Each of these parts interacts with the special areas of its shared virtual space, with each other, and with the performer. As the performer moves through the real environment, the performance space, he traverses a real space that is simultaneously being traversed by the other parts in the parallel virtual space. The interaction of the performer with the prerecorded material may be thought of as the simultaneous measurement of past and real-time musical events. Conceptually, the prerecorded elements occupy multiple places in time. They were real-time when they were created, but were also created with the future in mind. Although they are technically of a past time, they are experienced in real-time during the performance of the piece, “interacting” and combining with the material of the live performer.