Prototype: reciprocal response

The cycling (also recycling) idea has been my inspiration for composition for over a decade. Even before the ideas of my dissertation on Franco Donatoni’s musical development of recycled pitch materials, “Yunhoi,” the Korean word for rebirth by Karma—a notion deeply rooted in traditional narratives—has been the core of my creative project quite often. In this project, involving reciprocal responses, I am exploring how a sound source becomes output, and the output becomes the source again, embodying the concept of Yunhoi.

The minimum materials require two transducers, three laptops, and a stereo amplification system performed by five performers, who ideally be members of LOrk.

reciprocal response stage setup

I initiated this project for the student laptop performers at new_LOrk, the New York University Laptop Orchestra that I direct. In our rehearsal space, new_LOrk encountered feedback issues while using condenser and dynamic microphones with preinstalled loudspeakers on the ceiling, facing the performers. To address this challenge, transducers emerged as a solution to effectively mitigate serious feedback. Intrigued by the potential of manipulating signals between two feedbacked sources through daisy-chained transducers, I was inspired to create a piece that explores this interaction, giving rise to the concept of reciprocal response.

I believe the above diagram would be helpful. Feedback occurs between two object operators through piezoelectric microphones and exciters. When the sounds generated by the objects pass through the piezoelectric microphone, they travel through a laptop, where the signal is processed and a delay is introduced before the processed signal reaches the next set of object operators. This cycle continues, with processed signals going back and forth continuously.

This piece is currently a work-in-progress as I continue to search for the right objects to complete it. new_LOrk will workshop the piece in December 2023 and January 2024 for its completion.

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