I had a productive and inspiring meeting with Danish musician, composer and artist Morten Carlsen today. We did a concert in the spring of this year - the first time we played together - and it has turned out we share a lot of the same interests. His long experience with computer interaction in the context of improvisation is really valuable to me and my work. He keeps correspondance and has personal contact with some of the great icons of this tradition and a deep understanding of some of the great issues when it comes to computer interaction.
We will now attempt to further explore how we can pursue some of the intentions we had for the April concert. I find the setup exciting with two saxophones and two computers. Now, if the computers not only interact with its respective player, but also with one another, that can in itself add another layer of interaction and unpredicatbility that very well may have an interesting audible result, provided, obviously, that this is taken into account when designing the synthesis.
The session today touched upon several highly interesting subjects, some of which I feel a certain resistence against getting too involved in but that I cannot ignore. This includes the recent advances in the use of bio-sensors in interactive systems. It is not that I find it uninteresting, on the contrary this quite abviously adds a whole new set of possible solutions to the problem of getting a computer to react intelligently in a musical situation. The use of motion tracking through video streams and real-time video processing are other areas. However interested I may be in these technologies, my project is not about interactivity in general, but about interactivity through the use of sound analysis. This is where my priorities has to be.
More closely related to my project is the discussion we had today about the aspect of performance and visual cues for the audience in a concert of interactive music. I cannot afford to ignore this very complex issue. After all, it would be naive to think that it is only the sound that matters.