short version: Your knob twiddling is converted into sheet music in real time and sight-read by classical musicians in real time.
long version: Computer software and its visible component, the interface, not only determines how we control our machines, it also mediates our interactions with other people. The idea of taking tangible action in the world by clicking a mouse and typing on a keyboard is so entrenched that the layers upon layers of mediation and translation fade from our conciousness. The network gives the illusion of control, while hiding from view the people who carry out our screen-bound choices and commands. A few mouse clicks set off a chain reaction as packets hop from node to node, resulting in stock trades, purchases, customized parts, service requests. What human energy is expended at the other end of the interface? Is this experience empowering or alienating? What is gained by systematizing our interactions into a computer screen palette of limited choice? And what is lost?
Livescore is a demonstration of these issues at work in a musical setting. It was created specifically for this music series whose title You too can play difficult music is taken literally and implemented in software. A group of musicians is networked together and coordinated by a computer algorithm that affords you, the end user with an array of choices and controls affecting the music notation that is published in real time to their laptop screens. In this initial version, the musicians serve only as translators of notation into sound. They are the back office of this music making endeavor. Together, the software and the network form a conduit between you and them. A knob box serves as your instrument.
This performance is in fact a focus group. We will be gauging not only the qualities of the resulting music, but also your level of satisfaction.
Official Website: http://www.machineproject.com/difficult/wulfson.php
Added by markallen on April 25, 2006