F I G

This piece (FIG.109: SCORE FOR AN ACOUSTIC EXERCISE IN A ROOM WITH ONE WALL) was previously published in Lamination Colony when it was still in its infancy. It has been transformed into a manually self-generating text that also self-destructs. It is a thing or a machine or any number of things that machines can contain. It is a score open to interpretation for solo instrument, chorus, solo voice, orchestra, electronics, various power tools, etc.

FIG.109 began with the idea of a self-generating and self-destructing orb encrypted with ever-shifting information. The basic visual component was realized as an orb with five stratified layers, each layer containing four integers corresponding to its specific material.  A line of prose was then attached to each integer. With the integers in any random order, FIG.109 generates a narrative, and with the corresponding narrative a design on the surface of the orb. Narrative was dictated by sounds: each integer was matched with a sound, and each sound, when played, would generate text. To me, FIG109 is a textual score, a musical composition, an interactive text, a Thing that explodes and implodes simultaneously.

The current sonic incarnation of FIG.109  is performed by experimental guitarist and noise warlock Christopher Brubaker. Brubaker employed a distinct interpretive treatment to simulate each of the five materials (tuning pegs, chimes, e-bow, speakers, etc) and created distinct motifs/samples for each material’s integer — twenty in total (for example, AMBER 1.0 -1.3 is comprised of four different tuning peg treatments.) Each integer was recorded and then placed as an individual track into randomizing software, generating each integer unpredictably. The result is similar to the line of integers shown below the diagram, and thus randomly generated music dictates the text ‘narrative.’

These performances by Brubaker are two of several he has completed. Chris works with an obsessively specific and rich sonic palette, and the stuff he is able to do with guitar and hardware alone is baffling.  I thank him for his awesome and brain-boggling contributions to this composition.

here are ten pages of generated/destroyed narratives in the slideshow above presented in larger, readable files:

FIG 109

At Brown University in Fall 2014, FIG achieved a new iteration in a 3-D audio-visual environment known as the CAVE. In the CAVE, participants were able to choose integers and learn the system of FIG before wandering through several increasingly ‘exploded’ interpretations of the score generated with original visuals and sound design.

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