Yesterday I went to see Laptop Orchestra- Unknown Devices.
Unknown Devices explores two issues simultaneously: 1. The dynamics, technical and interpersonal demands of group improvisations, particularly in large, mixed-ability ensembles. 2. The specific challenges associated with digital audio tools used in improvisation (predominantly limited to small ensembles or solos in performance) mixed with circuit bent instruments, turntables, sound poetry, live processing of acoustic instruments and conventional electric instruments.
I was reading Cinema Fabriqué : A Gestural Environment for Realtime Video Performance from Justin Manor .The history of the theremin was briefly approached and once I arrived to the concert at Kings College Chapel, there it was.
Laptops, percussion, guitar and other unkown instruments in a impressive chapel.
I had the chance to speak with some of the musicians who explained that everything is improvisation and that there aren't really any rules.They can listen to their sounds clearly and they are divided by groups.Each group is assigned with a speaker, or a zone of speakers.And they interact amongst their group.
The theremin was quite interesting butdidn't make a big impact.I was very curious to see what each of them was doing but audio art seems to have embebed the idea of secrecy. The artist is behind the device and the expectator doesn't get much information. I tried to raise this question in a subtle way, wondering if maybe this performance would be as an experience to the performer to wich they said it wasn't.They didn't get much pleasure.