Epi-thet : A Musical Performance Installation and a Choreography of Stillness

Humphrey, Tim and Flynn, Madeleine and Stevens, Jesse

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper articulates an interest in a kind of interactive musical instrument and artwork that defines the mechanisms for instrumental interactivity from the iconic morphologies of ready-mades, casting historical utilitarian objects as the basis for performed musical experiences by spectators. The interactive repertoires are therefore partially pre-determined through enculturated behaviors that are associated with particular objects, but more importantly, inextricably linked to the thematic and meaningful assemblage of the work itself. Our new work epi-thet gathers data from individual interactions with common microscopes placed on platforms within a large space. This data is correlated with public domain genetic datasets obtained from micro-array analysis. A sonification algorithm generates unique compositions associated with the spectator "as measured" through their individual specification in performing an iconic measurement action. The apparatus is a receptacle for unique compositions in sound, and invites a participatory choreography of stillness that is available for reception as a live musical performance.