Composed by Ai Kamachi
20-stringed-Koto Yumi Kurosawa
Musical Technical Programming NAGIE
Visual Programming Satoru Higa
21st Red Line
This piece was written for the Japanese 20-stringed Koto and electronic sounds.
In this piece, the data of the string vibrations and dynamics are sent to a computer in real time through sensors that are connected to each of the strings. A red laser beam is set next to the lowest string and becomes a 21st string, so to speak, thus the title “21st Red Line”. This laser string is “struck” to play or transform the Koto sounds electronically.
The Koto is tuned in quarter-tones, and uses the interval of an octave plus a quarter-tone (e.g. C to C-quarter-tone-sharp), which becomes an important structural element in the piece. From the scale that is thus created, overtones arise in a wave of sound that can be appreciated both audibly and visually. Every single note and phrase from the Koto is transmitted to the computer using Max/MSP + Jitter through the sensor and microphone, which are then sampled and played back along with the Koto, thus creating an ensemble performance.
In the cadenza, the computer starts to compose automatically using those samples. Here, electronic and sampled Koto sounds are interweaved with Ms. Yumi Kurosawa’s magnificent, beautiful and powerful improvisation, which becomes a beautifully chaotic soundscape.
The Sampler eShot August 2011 UK
This issue's guest previewer is composer Dai Fujikura