Many-Person Instruments for Computer Music Performance

Rotondo, Michael and Kruge, Nick and Wang, Ge

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

In this paper we explore the concept of instruments which are played by more than one person, and present two case studies. We designed, built and performed with Feedbørk, a two-player instrument comprising two iPads which form a video feedback loop, and Barrel, a nine-player instrument made up of eight Gametrak controllers fastened to a steel industrial barrel. By splitting the control of these instruments into distinct but interdependent roles, we allow each individual to easily play a part while retaining a rich complexity of output for the whole system. We found that the relationships between those roles had a significant effect on how the players communicated with each other, and on how the performance was perceived by the audience.