Written for the Dublin Laptop Orchestra and performed numerous times since its premiere on The Curious Broadcast, Beater is made up of five patches that use physical modelling synthesis and the accelerometer built-in to the laptop to allow the players to generate shifting drones, warped brass and breathy flutelike timbres. The movements of the laptops generate new tones with narrow variations of frequencies that lead to the acoustic phenomenon of beating where a third perceptual frequency is generated.
In July 2012 I performed a solo set at Listen at Lilliput and also collaborated with Alexis Nealon for an improvised set. Taking advantage of the bookshop setting, for one piece I provided two rhythms to the audience, which they then were asked to tap on to the backs of any book of their choice. The sounds of the different books and the contrasting rhythms provided the theme for further electronic improvisation.
photo credit by Aoife Giles
This piece also written for the Dublin Laptop Orchestra was first performed as part of a Contemporary Music Centre showcase performance at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. The group were using hemispherical speakers with six-channels, the piece involved four players, each one with staggered entry recorded themselves into their laptops repeating 1..1...1..1..1.. , then 2...2..2..2.., 3..3..3, 4..4..4. The patch allowed for the four samples to be recorded and then played back through different channels on the speaker. The output was then repeatedly recorded back into the computer creating a controlled feedback loop. The colour of the different voices and microphones became more and more pronounced as the spoken words evaporated into a washy melodic drone.
photo credit Daryl Feehely
Written for This Is How We Fly and Dublin Laptop Orchestra for our concert at the Smock Alley Theatre in December 2011. It was inspired by the exuberant hardshoe dancing of This Is How We Fly member Nic Gareiss. The thinking behind this piece was to pit man against machine, asking Nic to keep up with the ever accelerating rhythms generated by the computer. The percussionist Petter Berndalen joined in with the fiddle and clarinet holding long notes and improvising. We used the patch and structure of this piece in numerous laptop orchestra improvisations since, including a particularly memorable one as part of Livestock at the Market Studios in Dublin.