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Notes on the Musical Composition - by René Mogensen

With Sound Brain One - the musical score for Four Seasons - I have created a formally dynamic electroacoustic composition which has identity as a musical work, and yet is shaped by a dancer, through a sensor mechanism that is substantially transparent for the performer. It is a performance environment built on mutual interdependence and interaction.

The sound environment has a specific formal identity which is linked to the 80 minute time-line (or "biological" clock) of the performance part of the work. The formal identity is designed as having four "seasons, " each of which lasts around 20 minutes. Also structural to the work’s identity are a number of processes that continue throughout the 80 minutes. These processes, which actually generate the sound, are affected by input from the sensors, and are modified by design along the time-line, according to the compositional ideas of each season, and the shaping of the work as a whole. The processes generating the music are predictable, but the sensor input is not predictable over time. The information from the sensor input is given varying tasks in the music-generative processes, according to the compositional plan, so that details and even formal structure may vary with each performance, but the identity of the piece as music is always retained. The use of sensors is ideally transparent to the performer in this work, in order that the performer can interact directly with the sound of the music, without consciously trying to control the sensor-input.

At this point in the developement, Sound Brain One is playing in a way consistent with what I want compositionally, and yet is completely tied to the sensor input, so that it unfolds dynamically in a way responsive to the performer’s movement. In this way we can achieve a real-time feed-back loop during the performance between the performer and the composed electroacoustic musicwork: an interaction of two identities.