I have just had a first meeting with Emma Young and Kristian Hentschel, who are part of the BBC R&D Makerbox team that developed the Audio Orchestrator. Please do experience 'Spectrum Sounds' to get an idea of the unique capabilities of this software. Essentially, it enables you to configure your own listening environment using a number of devices networked to a main machine.
We discussed the Digital Syzygies project. I explained that this would involve four neurodivergent musicians with differences in hearing. The Audio Orchestrator is the tool we will use to create the digital score(s), which may be defined as a communications interface between musicians. We will see how this may transform or enhance musical exchange.
Of course, Emma and Kristian wanted to know exactly what I would be doing in the project and I had to confess that this is unclear at this stage! This is not the kind of composition project where I, the composer, write a piece and then people perform it. It is very much a process of mutual discovery as we try to find a way to create something. It may end in a co-located performance, or it may not - we don't even have a clear idea about that at this stage!
Having listened to me talk in this way for a while, Emma then brilliantly summarised the proposition: four musicians will realise the score(s) in four different ways that meet their hearing needs. This will then demonstrate a comparison between the different hearing of each musician. I added that we may well make duets, trios and quartets too. This could be delivered live, or it could be performed locally by the individual musicians, or across the network.
I suggested that the BBC team could be involved in future meetings and discussions, including potentially interviews as part of the research. They seemed happy enough with that idea. They are keen to see the software being used and want to learn about its characteristics. They are happy to help with any technical issues we encounter along the way.
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