Dell Dimension XPS/Linux,
Dell Latitude CPi laptop/Linux
Naotoshi Osaka called me out of the blue and asked if I would be willing
to compose a piece for the 10th anniversary celebration of the
NTT Research Laboratories in Tokyo, Japan. Perry Cook and I had visited
the NTT labs a few times before, and Naotoshi (more properly
Osaka-san, I know...) was wonderful host.
During one of our visits, Naotoshi invited Perry, Akira Takaoka and
myself to his family's house for dinner. It was an exceptional
evening, and afterwards Naotoshi's son played an amazing Chopin
etude for us at the piano.
I wrote this piece thinking that Naotoshi's son could perform it,
but it was not appropriate for his son to participate in the celebration
concert, for Naotoshi was the main event organizer. A student at one of
the better piano conservatories performed it instead, very very well!
Because the piano part is intended for a student, it's not all
that difficult to play (I think).
Because NTT is obviously involved in communications, during part of the
performance I opened a network connection from my laptop in Kobe Hall to
our main CMC server. The digitized audio was sent to be processed
and then returned for later playback in the piece. This operation is
not too stunning today, but using a specially set up ISDN line for
real-time high quality audio was pushing the technology a little back
then. It worked! Yay! I wasn't totally embarrassed!
The music was initially much shorter (only about 8 minutes long), but
Naotoshi said "oh make it a longer piece!", so I did. The sound sources
were recorded around New York and my home in Roosevelt (many make
appearances in other pieces). I also liked the idea of 'connecting'
Tokyo and New York sonically. Oooooooo.
Hey, I found this that I had written in a document discussing
some of my work. The "similar issues" are "issues of [the]
social function [of music]":
My piece "Connection Piano" for live piano + networked computer
processing addresses similar issues, although in
a more traditional performance setting. The piece was commissioned
by NTT to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the NTT Media and Communication
Research Laboratories (the Japanese equivalent of our Bell Labs).
In performance, the digitized sound of the piano was sent from
Kobe Hall in Tokyo to our studios at the CMC. The digital sound-stream
was then modified using our signal-processing software and reflected
back to Kobe Hall in "real-time". Although the notion of
social dislocation wrought through technology was simplistically
transparent in this piece, the impression of global expansion of
the concert was very real... plus it was great fun to do.