Thursday, 6 December 2007

Avatar Orchestra and The Heart of Tones

The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse has been working with composer Pauline Oliveros, aka the avatar Free Noyes, the past few weeks in a Second Life realization of her composition The Heart of Tones. This piece was originally written in 1998 for the great trombone player Abbie Conant. Accompanying instruments focus on the beatings that occur in minute deviations from a central pitch played by the trombone. The Avatar Orchestra's brilliant instrument designer, Bingo Onomatopaia, has created a rich HUD (Heads Up Display) for the Second Life version of the piece. The Heart of Tones HUD is used by each member of the orchestra to 'play' with live trombone sounds fed into Second Life through voice chat. The sounds produced by the HUD are sine tones, with variations in frequency, timbre (achieved by adding upper harmonic sines), volume and duration. The frequency variations are in 9-cent increments, which is .9 of an octave. This work is giving the orchestra some new ways to think about listening and sounding together virtually, and with the sounds of live trombones, played by guest artists Sum Noyes, Sarah Weaver aka Dreamwaker Freenote, Toyoji Tomita, and Jen Baker, feeding into the virtual performance space. We will be premiering Heart of Tones in 2008. It is quite a wonderful exploration, and Pauline's rehearsals with the orchestra have been fun and illuminating. Stay tuned ...


Pauline said...

Thanks Dear Humming Pera for your write up about the Heart of Tones. I am enjoying the process of rehearsing with the AOM. HoT was written for the great trombone plahyer Abbie Conant in 1998.
We have 4 RL trombone players participating - Sum Noyes, Sarah Weaver, Toyoji Tomita and Jen Baker.

The AOM is beginning to listen well. The listening is lateral - as tuning to beat frequencies is much different than playing a melody or rhythm. Also the beating has to occur between players sounds and has a lateral and fleeting existence. So the players have to discover ways to sustain beats that are in constant flux.

Some fun for the Noyes family. Many thanks to AOM.


Humming Pera said...

Thank you, Free, for filling in my missing pieces of information about the wonderful Abbie Conant, and adding Sarah, Toyoji and Jen to the list of trombone players.

I love how you describe what our process will be for developing the richness of the piece ... lateral ... beating between players/avatars.

I experienced us relating much more in duos and larger groupings at the last rehearsal, and I am excited about deepening our listening in this process.

Thank YOU, Noyes!


Pauline said...

Hi again Humming Pera,

Here is an interview with Abbie Conant:

Here is Toyoji Tomita

Monique Buzzarté

Jen Baker

This is a fine bunch of trombonists!


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