Brain Dead Ensemble: an acoustically networked feedback assemblage of four

Eldridge, Alice, Kiefer, Chris, Magnusson, Thor and Polymeneas Liontiris, Thanos (2018) Brain Dead Ensemble: an acoustically networked feedback assemblage of four. [Performance]

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Abstract

The Brain Dead Ensemble are an acoustically net¬worked feedback quartet/assemblage in which the structural, acoustic feedback pathways within and between “open” instruments create a fundamentally distributed musical agency. The current ensemble consists of two feedback cellos, a feedback bass and a Threnoscope, acoustically coupled to form a multi-instrument, multi-chan¬nel system - an expanded music interface.

The feedback cellos and bass are electro-acous¬tic-digital resonator instruments. Each instrument has pickups under each of its strings and one or more transducers built into the acoustic instru¬ment body, inducing electromagnetically-con¬trolled feedback which can be subject to digi¬tal processing. The classical model of a bowed instrument is inverted: the player no longer con¬trols and excites the strings to produce sound, but negotiates with an ongoing, lively, self-resonat¬ing instrument. The threnoscope is a software system created by ixi audio for drones, live coding and microtonal, spatialised composition. All the instruments are networked acoustically: the seven channels of the threnoscope are diffused to a quadraphonic PA plus the integral speakers of the string instruments.

The acoustic result of these feedback pro¬cesses is characterised by a variety of sonic col¬ours including airy microtonal micro-melodies, serene yet colourful drones, complex spectral gestures, and vast explosions surfacing grad¬ually or unpredictably into screams. Perfor¬mances are improvised; an emergent, negoti¬ated form of performance which involves the steering and shaping of evolving, distributed, sonic energies rather than the instigation and exchange of discrete musical ideas. No one is in control, although everyone is playing.

Item Type: Performance
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Humanities Lab
Depositing User: Joshua Jenkin
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 16:18
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2019 16:18
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/81208
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