They Shoot Lasers, Don’t They?: Electronic Music Theatre with Instruments of In(ter)ferometry

tslasers4On February 9th, 2015, Joe Mariglio and I trekked up from San Diego to Palo Alto to premiere our new performance piece, “They Shoot Lasers, Don’t They?,” at the beautiful CCRMA stage on the Stanford campus.  The proper two-camera documentation of the whole thing is forthcoming, but I wanted to just share some early photos, and the text I delivered at the beginning, which set the tone for the sounds, visuals and somatics that followed:

“By way of an introferduction, I just wanted to firstly thank CCRMA and thank all of you for coming to hear our paper. I thought you might value a little extra interformation about our techniques, which actually blend interferometry (measurement via interference) and inferometry (measurement via inference). This interface (as tslasers5well as this interferface) is our main area of research, inquiry, grant-seeking and grant-getting at CREOSOTA, which as you may know, stands for the Center for Research in the Evolution of Organisms, Sound Objects, and their Teaching Assistants.

As Dr. Odum and Dr. Mrs. Odum very graciously showed, systems at all levels of scale may be modelled using cybernetic networks. These graphs show the flows of resources along edges, between nodes, in systems as varied and general as a natural ecosystem, an economy, or even a political system. Recognizing the value of this model to interfernational affairs, Dr. von Odum and his previous collaborator, his brother Dr. von Odum, suggested that a most useful application of cybernetic modeling would be to “competition with negative interaction,” i.e. WAR. Parenthetically, I should add: my collaborator, Dr. von Mariglio, has, utilizing his microcomputer, implemented this model of competition with negative interaction, or interferaction, or war, as a set of audio filters. And indeed, our entire experiment seeks to validate the usefulness of the cybernetic theory writ large to our core area of interferest, which is bodies in vibration.

However in working on these problems at the interfersection of of the evolution of organisms and sound objects, we move beyond the crucial contributions of Drs. von Odum and Dr. Mrtslasers3s. von Odum (not to mention critical early interferventions by Drs. von Wiener and von Forrester), synthesizing, integrating and interfergrating the pivotal research of Dr. von Tudor, who famously worked on rainforest ecosystems.”

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