An on-going project and collaboration between Memo Akten and Mira Calix. “Poéme Rhythmique (for 100 Children)” is a sound and light composition exploring the nature of complex patterns created from the interaction of multilayered rhythms, and questioning our notion of conventional musical instruments. It is inspired by György Ligetiʼs “Poéme Symphonique for 100 metronomes” and Edgar Varèseʼs “Poéme Electronique”.
A composition is written specifically for the computer mouse as an instrument, and performed by one hundred children via a specially designed computer game. The game is designed such that the ʻlevelsʼ are the composition score, and the act of playing the game is the vehicle through which the composition is performed, the musical instruments being the mice.
The project consists of a workshop (allowing children to learn about contemporary composers such as Ligeti and Varese, and also investigate their sense of rhythm, develop hand eye coordination and explore their ability to work collectively), a sound and light composition, and finally a performance by the children playing the video game.
Ten computers run the game, each with a different level design, i.e. composition score, to create a ten-part composition. Each mouse click is amplified, and connected to an LED tube, sending a pulse of light through it when the relevant mouse is clicked, color of the lighting reflecting the timing of the button press.
Final target is a live performance with 100 children.
Made possible with support from
Aldeburgh Music and Faster Than Sound: LAB
with thanks to
Annie Clark and children from Middeleton and Peasenhall Primary, Suffolk
Jonathan Reekie, Bella Scarr and Philipa Rieve from Aldeburgh Music
our volunteers, Chris, Sam and Ed
Joana Seguro, Dirk Van Dijk, Ersinhan Ersin, Jane Laurie, Ben Blundell, Andreas Muller, Daniel Hirschmann, Jana Chiellino, Bruce Atherton
and the great guys and gals behind
openFrameworks, Arduino, Processing, tinker.it