Convergence

Douglas McCausland (US)

Convergence is a work composed for live augmented double-bass and electronics performer in third-order ambisonics, which explores performative agency between acoustic / electronic elements, the interaction of gesture and sound, and sound design in three-dimensional space. Convergence is the second piece in a small collection of works developed for five-string double-bass and ambisonic electronics, in collaboration with bassist Aleksander Gabryś.  

In order to perform Convergence, the bass is outfitted with eight microphones placed at various points across the body of the instrument. This causes the physical actions of the bassist to correspond not only to specific sounds and timbres, but also to discrete points in space. However, this perceptual mapping is then manipulated by and paired against new electronically generated materials in real-time by an electronics performer using a pair of custom glove-based electronic performance interfaces. Both of these interfaces are outfitted with numerous sensors, and feed into machine-learning processes, which allow for the classification of a number of gestures and shaping the chaotic control data.  

All of these ideas collide in a densely chaotic and gestural work that encourages both performers to push their respective limits musically and technically while interacting with a performance system that affords intricate and nimble musical interactions. The performers developed a set of signals and rules which governed the performance, and which allowed for occasionally subtle, and sometimes pronounced, shifts in their musical roles. Convergence further employs an audio score paired with visual cues, which is visible to the performers on a small screen nearby. Ultimately, the chaotic nature of the work gives both performers agency to explore the sonic and performative extremes of this complex system, as well as the liminal spaces which exist in-between. 

Convergence is a work composed for live augmented double-bass and electronics performer in third-order ambisonics, which explores performative agency between acoustic / electronic elements, the interaction of gesture and sound, and sound design in three-dimensional space. Convergence is the second piece in a small collection of works developed for five-string double-bass and ambisonic electronics, in collaboration with bassist Aleksander Gabryś.  

In order to perform Convergence, the bass is outfitted with eight microphones placed at various points across the body of the instrument. This causes the physical actions of the bassist to correspond not only to specific sounds and timbres, but also to discrete points in space. However, this perceptual mapping is then manipulated by and paired against new electronically generated materials in real-time by an electronics performer using a pair of custom glove-based electronic performance interfaces. Both of these interfaces are outfitted with numerous sensors, and feed into machine-learning processes, which allow for the classification of a number of gestures and shaping the chaotic control data.  

All of these ideas collide in a densely chaotic and gestural work that encourages both performers to push their respective limits musically and technically while interacting with a performance system that affords intricate and nimble musical interactions. The performers developed a set of signals and rules which governed the performance, and which allowed for occasionally subtle, and sometimes pronounced, shifts in their musical roles. Convergence further employs an audio score paired with visual cues, which is visible to the performers on a small screen nearby. Ultimately, the chaotic nature of the work gives both performers agency to explore the sonic and performative extremes of this complex system, as well as the liminal spaces which exist in-between. 

www.douglas-mccausland.net/convergence

Composition, design, electronics, performance: Douglas McCausland 

Double bass: Aleksander Gabryś 

Camera: Dave Kerr, Chris Lortie 

Support received from Stanford University Department of Music; The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA); Music <541> 

Douglas McCausland (US) is a composer/performer interested in new aesthetic and technological domains, who explores the extremes of sound and the digital medium. Through his work, he investigates the intersections of real-time electronic music performance, bespoke interfaces, spatial audio, interactive systems, machine-learning, and experimental sound design. With a background as both a conservatory musician and music technologist, Douglas is currently a doctoral fellow at Stanford University, working towards his DMA in Composition under the supervision of Chris Chafe and Patricia Alessandrini. 

Douglas McCausland (US) is a composer/performer interested in new aesthetic and technological domains, who explores the extremes of sound and the digital medium. Through his work, he investigates the intersections of real-time electronic music performance, bespoke interfaces, spatial audio, interactive systems, machine-learning, and experimental sound design. With a background as both a conservatory musician and music technologist, Douglas is currently a doctoral fellow at Stanford University, working towards his DMA in Composition under the supervision of Chris Chafe and Patricia Alessandrini.