Higher Order Gestalt Fromage

What is it that engenders the sense of “authentic” concert experience? Philippe Auslander asserts that the authentic object for listeners in pop music concerts has changed from performers’ actual musicianship to a simulation of recorded performances that have never existed in the real, but were created with the extensive use of studio production techniques (e.g., lip-syncing on recorded tracks). Drawing on this historical transition of authenticity in concerts from an actual to fictional performance, our composition proposes the ambiguity between corporeal performance and electroacoustic imagery as a new authentic experience in a concert.

To this end, the piece focuses on a gradual disintegration of the causal link from a gesture to a sound. The piece starts with a state where a single gesture such as jabbing, tilting and swinging causes a single sonic event such as initiation, transition and termination. As the piece unfolds, the causal link is untied through asynchronization between the gesture and the sound in time, and displacement between the performing bodies and sound positions. Finally, the performing bodies vanish from the stage while the T-Sticks autonomously resonate, remaining only the vestige of human performers.

For two T-Sticks and a 3D loudspeaker array. This piece renders a course of reciprocal communications between performers’ embodied intentionality and a computer-driven spatial-sonic ecosystem. While the two T-Stick performers unfold a musical discourse on the continuum between grouped and ungrouped sounds, the duo and the ecosystem show various types of cause-effect relationships in between. The performers-ecosystem interactions draw a hierarchical 3D mental construct of a piece of cheese, thanks to our gestalt grouping capabilities. 

Higher Order Gestalt Fromage has been premiered on February 13th, 2020 at Live@CIRMMT Composers, MMR, Montreal (Canada).