Recent technology suggests the possibility to find a different mode of interaction with the technology. The piano+ is exploring a close relationship between the activity on the acoustic instrument and electronic modifications. The technology is ‘operated’ by the sonic events and textures created on the piano, utilising conventional and extended piano techniques. This close relationship allows heuristic investigation, it presents itself in a very fragile and context related form, so that ever new relationships can be found,developed and lost. Most importantly to me, it retains a fundamental pianism, in sound and in the playing activity.
“Sebastian Lexer’s piano+ set up is an incredibly inspirational collaboration between acoustic piano and electronics. The electronically sustained harmonics/drones/crunching/crackling/booming creates a whole new soundworld from an instrument whose traditional soundworld is often difficult to break out of.”
Blog by Doug on 20 July 2009 (http://stainonsilence.blogspot.com)
How did this project use Max?
Microphones are used to capture the acoustic sound from the piano, the Max patches are used to analyse the acoustic sound. The resulting data streams are reporting pitch information, loudness, density and so forth, and, combined with some more direct controls, evoke a mixture of digital audio processes and allow adjustments of i.e. the overall volume and degree of processes. All processes are happening within Max/MSP in real-time, so the entire computer process is dependent on a continuous acoustic impetus, although in the course of a performance, accumulative processes are possible which might throw back material which occurred much earlier in the performance.