Synaesthesia Playground 2016


Pianist Jocelyn Ho performs “Lux Venit” composed by Daniel Weymouth, commissioned for her “Synaesthesia Playground” project, directed by Jocelyn Ho.

Music, sound and light “score” by Daniel Weymouth
Luminescent optical fiber performance attire “Bio Lux” by Nobuho Nagasawa

White spacer mesh performance attire “Musculi” by HUL ARNOLD
Color distribution programming by Pierre Depaz and Al Peterson

“Synaesthesia Playground” project is a collaboration with composers, software developers, computer scientists, and artists which combine music and sartorial art that redefines the boundaries of the classical music.  Sensors on the pianist’s body detect the heartbeat, movement, and breath and act as triggers between the music and the illuminated woven optical attire “Bio-Lux.”  The performing body becomes an augmented artwork which transforms the performance and creates a soulful journey between mind, body, and music.  This multi-disciplinary collaboration will result in six multimedia works to be featured in an international recital tour spanning the Americas, Australia, Japan, China, and Europe.

Program note by Daniel Weymouth

Lux Venit is about “becoming.” From an inchoate sonic cloud, the pianist calls the world into being, at first with individual notes that generate individual colors. The ontological nature of a performer’s gesture—how it moves from private intention to external action—is mirrored in the way these colors move from her inner life to her luminescent “skin”, the sculptural attire. The light then continues outward as it flows through the audience. The computer sound becomes a larger “skin” for the piano, projecting the instrument’s sound into a wider sphere.

The piece is in two connected movements: the first is more ritualistic, while the second more frenetic. Within this contrast, the second movement is also a “variation” of the first, with ideas and gestures returning, but in altered form. The first movement moves towards the low end of the piano (and the “low” end of the color spectrum, the reds), while the second moves higher (towards violet), until creation becomes a cycle of breaths (white).

Much appreciation to Jocelyn for inspiration—and audacious playing! And to Al and Pierre for programming the “bridge” for the colors’ movement to Nobuho’s Bio Lux and the audience devices.

Please note: You, the audience, are part of a massive distributed color-projector. Be sure you join the network, and enjoy your participation in creation!

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