An interactive performance that allows the audience to influence how a musical composition is constructed and presented

The Concept

Integrating modern technology with classical music and traditional performance practices presents an opportunity to create works that engage audiences in a new way. Unlike a traditional approach where a musical work is self-contained and performed by the musicians from beginning to end, the structure of the composition is manipulated live with Blind Ear’s performance software program—a real-time communication tool between the composer and the performers through Wi-Fi connected laptops. Prior to a performance, several notated loops—short musical phrases that are intended to be repeated and combined to make a larger musical structure—are composed and assembled to be used for the creation of a new work in real-time. The audience influences the composer’s musical decisions during the performance via a web-hosted text message voting system. Audience members use their mobile devices to text-to-vote on various compositional parameters such as tempo, complexity, mood, and dynamics. In this audience response system, the results of the polls are instantly made available via a bar graph displayed on a screen behind the musicians. In addition, performances are often streamed live, which allows viewers not in attendance to have the ability to vote online and influence the performance in real-time. The composer monitors these polls and constructs a composition reflective of the audiences’ responses.

iConcert was made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Premiere Performance

Click the image above for the press release