“Auricle” for microtonal berimbau & live processing

*** UPDATE! ***

I revised the score and the electronics to create: Auricle v1.1. The main issue I was addressing was portability. It’s true that all the software needed to run the patch is free and open source, however, the original problems were: #1) portability – installing specific libraries in specific places on the computer, and #2) musical integrity – limited drawing capabilities to display the score in real-time. I solved both problems in version 1.1 while still using Processing to display the score excerpts while Pd extended handles the audio.

Download the new Instructions to accompany software. Click to view a few score examples:

excerpt2-1 excerpt3-2 excerpt2-0


Auricle for micro-tonal berimbau and live processing is a piece I wrote for an amazing percussionist/friend/colleague, Simone Mancuso. It was premiered at the ASU Faculty Artist Series concert on February 9th, 2:30pm in Katzin Concert Hall.

Auricle was the culmination of a project that has been a long study in graphic score development, stochastic & algorithmic music, and getting Processing to work with Pure Data (truly the most painstaking part of the process). This piece is based on the concept of a maze and the goal is to get to the center. But this is no ordinary maze. Each step along the way presents you with unexpected challenges. Each turn will be a hallway that interacts with the player, strangely altering their sound the closer they get to the center. The musical material is being chosen by the computer and displayed through the screen, so there is no predetermined structure to the score – it only happens in real-time. Sometimes the player will make a wrong turn and you will hear the difference. Fortunately, when you hit a dead end, time will rewind itself and let the player correct their mistake. The piece is over when the player finally reaches the center.

For more info, feel free to download the instructions below and watch the video explanation of how I created Auricle.