Saxophony for soprano saxophone and iPhone controller, Joel V. Hunt


Saxophony is a computer-aided improvisation for soprano saxophone and laptop with iPhone controller. Over the duration of the composition, the performer samples a selection of saxophone sounds (breaths, key clicks, timbre trills, slap tongues, multiphonics, etc.). Each sound is added to a four-channel probabilistic playback system. The system not only records the sound itself, but also the location of the instrument in space at the time of the recording (via accelerometer and compass data sent wirelessly to the computer from an iPhone attached to the instrument). The playback system continuously references spatial information to control probability: the probability of playback of a particular sample is greatest when the instrument returns to the space at which the computer recorded the sample. As a result, the performer can build and move about a two-dimensional sound space of accompanying material while playing similar or contrasting material, and/or recording new sounds at additional locations. Furthermore, the performer can control the speed and direction of the sound file playback by twisting the instrument clockwise for increasingly fast forward playback, or counterclockwise for increasingly fast reverse playback. The sonic effect is a cacophonic surround sound montage of saxophone sounds: Saxophony.