Swamps, Showers, and Creatures – for oboe and computer

Swamps, Showers, and Creatures (2016) was commissioned and premiered by Theodosia Roussos. It was inspired by the flora and fauna of the swamp regions of Louisiana and Florida.


 

Hardware Setup

  1. Needs: audio interface, a microphone (condenser recommended), two speakers, and a computer
  2. Connect the microphone to input 1 of the audio interface
  3. Connect the stereo output of the audio interface to the speakers

Software Setup

  1. Make sure that the computer’s default audio input and output is set to the audio interface
  2. Download and install SuperCollider from www.audiosynth.com
  3. If you have not done so already, download files from www.joowonpark.net/sss
  4. Open SSS.scd in SuperCollider
  5. VERY IMPORTANT: Edit the file path in line #30 of SSS.scd  so that the program can properly find SwampsShowers.aif file. If you do not know the file path, you can drag-and-drop the SwampsShowers.aif file to line #30. It will automatically load the file path
  6. Go to SuperCollider->Menu->Language->Evaluate File. You should hear a thunderstorm sound in few seconds

Performance Instructions

  1. The oboe part is improvised. Imitate nature sounds you hear in the recorded part. There are rains, birds, streams, bugs, and other swamp creatures.
  2. Starting at about 1:30 of the piece, the oboe sound  will trigger long tones in the computer part. The oboist should improvise good accompanying notes to the computer- generated tones.
  3. The piece is in d minor.
  4. Generally, play fewer, but meaningful notes and phrases. Silences are essential.

 

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JNNJ – for percussion duo and computer


 

JNNJ was commissioned and premiered by Hunter Brown and Louis Pino in 2016.  The piece is inspired by the life and dynamics of my family. The title is a combination of the first letters of mom, dad, and two sons.

Technical Needs

  • One computer with a DAW or Max: Download files from www.joowonpark.net/jnnj . A Logic Pro X session is provided on the composer’s website, but any DAW will work.  The tape part can also be played with the provided Max patch.
  • Two speakers (stereo)
  • Two headphones for click tracks
  • An audio Interface with four separate outputs
  • TapeL.aif should be routed to output 1, connected to the left speaker
  • TapeR.aif should be routed to output 2, connected to the right speaker
  • ClickTrackL.aif should be routed to output 3, connected to Perc1’s click track
  • ClickTrackL.aif should be routed to output 4, connected to Perc2’s click track

Score Legends

Legend

Performance Needs

  • Two percussionists with a snare drum and a large cymbal for each performer.
  • Both performers use brushes for the entire piece.
  • Perc1  stands close to the left speaker, and Perc2 stands close to the right speaker

Performance Notes

  • Each performer gets his/her own click track. The click tracks will run in different tempi, and will gradually change the rate over the entire piece. Each performer should follow the tempo of his/her own click track.
  • Interpret the score like a jazz chart. Improvise in the notated style (funk and swing).
  • Pay attention to the pitch of the click track to hear the section changes.
  • Section-specific notes:
  1. S1: The tape part will fade in at around 20 seconds mark.
  2. S2Perc1  transforms the rhythmic pattern to a swing  (indicated as “target rhythm”) while slowing down.
  3. S3: Perc2 transforms the rhythmic  pattern to more energetic and busy funk rhythm while slowing down. Listen for the white noise cue for the next section.
  4. S4: Both Perc1 and Perc2 trade off solo while speeding up. The trade off will gradually overlap each other. Listen for the white noise cues to play uneven brush sweep on cymbals.
  5. S5: Both parts will speed up significantly. When the tempo becomes too fast, freely improvise with great energy. Increase the use of cymbals throughout the section.
  6. S6: Both Perc1 and Perc2 plays energetic cymbal improvisation while slowing down. Accompany the tape part after the click track stops. At the end of the tape part (7:00), create a quiet windy sound by swinging the brush in the air.

Control Click

Here’s my new piece called Control Click. The first video is an excerpt that demonstrates the aesthetics and how-tos of the piece.  The second video is a documentation of the 12-minute version installed in an outdoor. 

 



Control Click is a piece for a site with multiple computers, such as computer lab or a game room. With a simple installation of a freeware, a typical computer lab will turn into a multichannel audio-visual instrument playing algorithmically generated parts. The piece has two subsections: the first section is an ambient soundscape to be played while the audience gathers in the site. Once enough audience is gathered in the lab, the main section will start. The main section is about 12 minutes long, and it sounds like a dream sequence at an arcade.

 

Technical Needs:
1. A site with iMac computers. 
      • A computer lab is the easiest place to realize this piece, but any spaces that can host multiple computers would work
      • The current version works best with 8 to17 computers
      • 8 to16 computers are Performers. See instructions in Performer.scd file for hardware/software setup instructions.
      • 1 computer is Conductor. See instructions in Conductor-8Macs.scd or Conductor-16Macs.scd for hardware/software setup instructions.

2. SuperCollider

3. Control Click files for SuperCollider

4. Computer Setup and Maintenance

      • All iMacs should not go to sleep mode or turn on screen saver
      • All iMacs should use their internal speakers
      • All iMacs often play the sound at its maximum volume
      • The technician or the installation manager should have an admin access to adjust the network setup
      • The piece runs in automation mode once the technician setups and runs the Conductor and Performer files at the beginning of the installation

Questions?

    • If you need a version for a different number of computers, please feel free to contact me.
    • If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Hallelujah – for vibraphone and computer

 

Program Notes

This piece is a praise on things and events that are beyond my comprehension and control. Effect of subtle sonic changes on my mind, body, and soul is an example of such things.

Hardware Setup and Instruments

  1. One vibraphone with a working motor
  2. Soft mallets  and a bow
  3. A computer with SuperCollider : Setup the computer near the vibraphone so that you may see the screen. A Macintosh is preferred but not necessary. The SuperCollider application can be downloaded for free at www.audiosynth.com
  4. Hallelujah.scd file: The file can be downloaded from here
  5. One audio interface and one microphone : Connect a condenser microphone into the input 1 of the interface. Connect the interface to the computer.  Alternatively, you can use a USB microphone and no interface.
  6. A sound reinforcement system: connect the stereo output of the interface to the speaker(s). The speakers should be located in close distance to the vibraphone. Putting the speaker right behind the performer should work in small-medium sized venue.

Performance Notes

  1. Volume : The overall volume of the piece should not be loud. The computer part should be just loud enough to hear the pulsing between the vibraphone and the sine tone parts.
  2. Pedal : Pedal is always on. Muffle notes with the mallet on mm 51 (notated with ‘x’ ).
  3. Motor : Set to slow.  Motor is on from mm 53 to 79.
  4. Bowing : There are three notes in the vibraphone part that needs to be bowed (mm 65, 74, and 76).
  5. Pedal : Setup the vibraphone so that the pedal is always on.
  6. Count-In : Measure 1 starts after four beats of count in. Refer to the Visual Click Track window on the computer screen. The performer may interpret the timing of the notes.
  7. Notation of Computer Part : The computer part has three odd-shaped note heads. The rectangle represents a sine tone that changes its frequency when a vibraphone notes are played. The triangle represents a wobbly tone with rhythmic variation. And the diamond represents a note with rich overtones. All computer parts are long and gradual. You may start to notice the computer part about a measure or two after they are triggered at the notated measures. For example. the rectangular note in measure 5 will start to have a audible volume at around measure 6.

How to Run the Computer Part

  1. Make sure that your audio interface is set as the default input and output device for the computer.
  2. Open Haellelujah.scd file in SuperCollider
  3. Go to Menu and select Language->Evaluate File.
  4. Measure 1 starts after four beats count in.
  5. Press command+period (.) or select Language->Stop to stop the computer part
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for rehearsal and practice.