i intend my nime performance to question some of the fundamental tenets of the nime conference. it might be pithily asserted that the project is neither new, an interface, nor for expressing music. the instrument is a found object (in this case a window) which is amplified with piezo discs. masses, such as a stone ball, marbles, and grains of rice are placed on the surface of the window, which is tilted manually by the performer to induce shapes like circles and figure-eights. prior to each concert, a score is generated with a computer program which notates the intended shapes, their order and durations. the reasoning behind generating a new score with each performance is to forbid mastery through memorization, and the reason for the computerized divination versus, say, bird entrails, is to parameterize the probability that the performer will make a mistake. in this case, a mistake may consist of many events. private ones, such as an error in interpreting the score, will not be noticeable. the public mistakes, such as a collision between a mass and the window frame, or one mass with another, will be amplified by the very nature of the system.
i was tempted at first to use complex machine listening algorithms to determine the event of a private mistake, or at least to better encode the public mistakes into synthesized note events. several prototypes of this patch exist, but i have decided to eschew convention and stick to the acoustic properties that charmed me in the first place. currently my plan is to produce an algorithm that composes well and with the intention of throwing me off, and to practice this task so i can give it a run for its money.
that being said, a subtle amount of processing will probably be added to the signal, to emphasize those beautiful resonant characteristics of the system. also, toward the end of the performance i may add a touch of commentary from the computer. but this will be tastefully done, if at all.