Systemic Improvisation: Palle Dahlstedt, Per Anders Nilsson, Tim Perkis, Gino Robair
Systemic improvisation refers to a class of musical improvisation systems, wherein virtual interacting agents transform the musical interactions between players. It is a new kind of musical interaction/situation/work, and a continuation of Dahlstedt’s and Nilssons's long-term research into technology-mediated musical creativity and performance. The concept emerged from a previous research project, Creative Performance, which had a broader scope, investigating different categories of technologies that augmented and enabled musical performers to play in ways not previously possible. What we call systemic improvisation emerged as the most promising and interesting paths to follow in our continuing work, not least thanks to the very positive response from the participating musicians and the interesting musical results. In this project, we define an improvisation system as a system designed by someone, with a specific configuration of human agents (musicians) and virtual agents (interactive processes), and with communication going among all these agents, virtual and human. Systemic Improvisation is the activity of a number of musicians playing in such a system. It is also the term we have chosen for the whole category of musical works – a genre, if you wish. These improvisation systems work with all kinds of instruments, and the normal sound from the instrument is always heard acoustically, as in normal playing – it is not processed or hidden. And contrary to many existing computer systems for improvisation that function more like virtual co-players, our systems do not make any sounds of their own. Instead, they communicate with cues, i.e., non-musical signals, which can be light signals, graphical shapes, sound cues in headphones or sometimes a processed version of what has been played earlier by a human player.

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Friday, October 5, 2018, 8:00pm to 10:00pm
1750 Arch St.
Berkeley, CA
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