WRECKIN' BALL (ART 1008, 1994)

by The Hub

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1.
04:31
2.
04:42
3.
4.
10:17
5.
07:07
6.
7.
8.
07:20

about

www.artifact.com/release.php?id=1008

LIVE COMPUTER NETWORK MUSIC WITH GUEST ARTISTS ALVIN CURRAN & THE ROVA SAXOPHONE QUARTET

The Hub is a computer network band. Six individual composer/performers (Mark Trayle, Phil Stone, Tim Perkis, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Chris Brown, John Bischoff) connect separate computer-controlled music synthesizers into a network. Individual composers design pieces for the network, in most cases just specifying the nature of the data which is to be exchanged between players in the piece, but leaving implementation details to the individual players, and leaving the actual sequence of music to the emergent behavior of the network. Each player writes a computer program which makes musical decisions in keeping with the character of the piece, in response to messages from the other computers in the network and control actions of the player himself.

The result is a kind of enhanced improvisation, wherein players and computers share the responsibility for the music’s evolution, with no one able to determine the exact outcome, but everyone having influence in setting the direction. The Javanese think of their gamelan orchestras as being one musical instrument with many parts; this is probably also a good way to think of The Hub ensemble, with all its many computers and syntheiszers interconnected to form one complex musical instrument. In essence, each piece is a reconfiguration of this network into a new instrument.

credits

released February 3, 1994

Recording engineers:
Chris Brown (track 2)
Doug Haire for Jack Straw Productions, Seattle (1, 3)
George Katzer for Akademie der Künste, Berlin (4, 6, 7)
Scot Gresham-Lancaster (5, 8)

Special thanks to: Herb Levy of Soundwork Northwest (Seattle), Carter Scholz, Richard Povall, The Well, Mills College Center for Contemporary Music, Peter Beyls (VUB Brussels).

Design: Michael Sumner

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Artifact Recordings San Francisco, California

ARTIFACT RECORDINGS is a project of Ubu, Incorporated, an artist-run, non-profit organization supporting experimental and electronic music and performance based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our compact disk series is dedicated to representing an independent experimental music tradition that continues to thrive in the cracks between the commercial, academic and classical music establishments. ... more

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Track Name: HUB RENGA
In 1989 we organized a collaborative piece, “HUB RENGA”, involving The Hub, writer Ramon Sender Barayon, The Well (an electronic conferencing system), KPFA radio in Berkely and New Langton Arts in San Francisco. “Renga” is a traditional Japanese poetic form, in which different poets contributes lines, continuing from the previous poets’ work. In this piece, the Hub composers programmed their systems to respond to certain pre-defined “power words” in a text stream coming from participating writers in the poetry conference of the Well. In a live performance on KPFA, the Well poets could, from their homes, type in their poetic line and hear it immediately read aloud over the air, while it simultaneously and automatically influenced the evolution of the Hub’s music. It’s hard to describe the peculiar quality of communicating feeling that arose in this project: there was something authentically new about people being able to interact socially, while at the same time doing the traditionally more private work of writing and composing music. This selection is an excerpt from the ninety minute live radio event. –TP