Open Band

Platform for Collective Sound Diallogues

Ariane Stolfi and Fábio Goródscy

Duration: 15 minutes

Open Band is a collective performance, that deals with a contradiction of the social media, that is the apartness of the individual on their devices social media, to propose a collective sound intervention, where invited musicians interact with the audience through an anonymous chat interface that converts text into sound messages. In a Wi-fi network, veryone in the audience is invited to enter a web-site address, where there’s an input for text messages. Once one message is sent, it’s sent back to everyone and played in every connected device as a sequence of sounds, like musical phrases, with very low latency. In a process of inter-semiotic translation, each letter is converted into a sound, and the words are played as sound sequences. As people join the conversation, the sound layer becomes more dense and entropic. We are trying to build a participatory enviroment based on Eco’s [1969] idea of open work.

Depending on the profile of the audience, the conversation can go trough different ways, but as an anonymous chat, people generally feel free to write whenever it comes to mind, giving also, in many cases, real time feedback about the project itself, and about the sounds that are been played. This also tends to provide a high degree of fun to the audience, as unusual diallogues goes on the screen.

For this performance, we need a space with video projection and PA, can be any concert hall, but can be suited also for public spaces if is night. Usually takes from 15 to 20 minutes long, if is necessary can be shortened. We also will need a Wifi Internet connection, capable of handling all the audience at the same time. As a participatory music performance, the audience will be the major responsible for the playing in the performance. The conductors act to change characteristics of the sound in real time, and are responsible to finish the performance after 15 minutes.

Previous Performances
Open Band has been performed in different occasions, with different audience profiles and responses such:
– Bigorna Festival, in a public square, where the majority of the audience was formed by young graduate students of Music Production course, who collaborated producing of one of the samples packs, the public was euphoric and started to bully themselves;
– Conference of Music Performers Association, where the audience was formed almost entirely of music researchers and performers, many of them on traditional music, the pu- blic keep asking question about the references for the sam-ples and experienced with meaningless rhythmic phrases;
– Transmission to Rádio Grave web radio, with public from students syndicate on Architecture University playing to an online audience, where the radio staff star- ted to play as the readio had went to a black hole and the universe was reset; banda-aberta-na-radiograve-reset-do-universo – Computer Music Concert, where the audience was mostly formed by computer science students, one of them realized that was possible to insert CSS and HTML code in the chat, and the audience started to put things on movement on and to draw shapes into the chat with livecoding; com/watch?v=xs23z1IfPfY
– Festival Audio Insurgência, with an audience of musicians and fans from São Paulo noise music scene. That was the only time we did without projection on the chat on screen, so people could occupy all the place’s space with their cellphones, bringing the sound also to exterior.
– SHA2017 - Still Hacking Anyway Festival, on Neetherlands, with an audience of hackers and programmers, mostly playing with computer, with gives to the audience better controll of the rythm flow. It was the longest performance with one hour of duration. In the end, they managed how to hack the system with flooding messages.
–Web Audio Conference 2017 - Performance with the web audio type version, that works only with web audio synthesis. The cohesion of the audience made possible very funny diallogues about the organizors.

We acknowledge support from the NuSom Research group at University of São Paulo and the CAPES grant awarded to Ariane Stolfi. Mathieu Barthet acknowledges support from the EU H2020 Audio Commons grant (688382).