Tag Archives: improvisation

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.