CYNETart_03transit, 12.10.2003, Festspielhaus Hellerau
PING MELODY is a connection of live music and internet.
Programming and live software manipulations Pawel Janicki, Cello: Matthias Lorenz
Ping Melody was created in cooperation with the WRO Center for Media Art Foundation Wroclaw
Most of the net artists are using specific features of the internet: they are working with WWW, streaming, etc. In PING MELODY I treat the internet not so much as a tool which functions in a given way but rather as a space that can be observed. I am especially interested in some sub-features of the internet that result from the simultaneous activity of a large number of its users. The mental space, although objectified, maps data transfer as the dynamic sum of actions taken by net users. The quality of the internet connection (speed, stability) is of minor interest to me. However, I am interested in a different problem: how can I open up a space of such subtle existence for intellectual and emotional experience? In various philosophical and theological schools or traditions we find the idea that describes the universe as a composition of ideal components (i.e. not subject to inspection) and material components (from the observation of which we can draw conclusions about the former). This kind of probe has a long tradition in the history of philosophy.
With PING MELODY by sending sampled sounds to the internet and receiving the signals coming back from some server I can draw conclusions about processing on the internet from the audible differences between source and received signal.
I use a single instrumentalist in the performance, the sound of only one acoustic instrument in opposition to the collective character of the scanned data space. Masterly play of an acoustic instrument is on the one hand connected with technical perfection, and on the other with the ability to give the produced sound an individual touch. In improvisational music the musician has the additional ability to react to occurring changes and to arrange them in a sound form of its own.
This ability is particularly important for PING MELODY: here, the improvised music is created in relation to the unique, temporary entirety of the worlds information exchange. Thats why only the alert musician catching its characteristics (or rather the characteristics of processes at a given moment) makes the creation of a sound form possible which consists of more than a mere mechanic reproduction caused by net distortions. The result is sound reflecting upon its source material.