Adapting the Trombone: a Suite of Electro-acoustic Interventions for the Piece

Farwell, Neal

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Three electro-acoustic systems were devised for a newtrombone work, Rouse. This paper presents the technicalsystems and outlines their musical context and motivation. TheuSlide measures trombone slide-extension by a minimalhardware ultrasonic technique. An easy calibration proceduremaps linear extension to the slide "positions" of the player. TheeMouth is a driver that replaces the mouthpiece, with softwareemulation of trombone tone and algorithmic musical lines,allowing the trombone to appear to play itself. The eMute isbuilt around a loudspeaker unit, driven so that it affects stronglythe player’s embouchure, allowing fine control of complex beatpatterns. eMouth and eMute, under control of the uSlide, set upimprovisatory worlds that are part of the composed architectureof Rouse.