“Voyager” for piano and mobile devices

The 2017 installment of the Phoenix Experimental Arts Festival (Xfest) focused on the JPL Visions of the Future posters as the foundation for the festival. I chose the Grand Tour poster to create a work based on the Voyager missions. Voyager for piano and web audio uses data from each planet – and their moons – the voyager satellites flew by during their missions. Web audio allows for audience participation by using their own devices, whether a phone, tablet, or even a laptop computer. They simply visit a web site rather than having to download a specialized application. The beauty of web audio is that it is created on a ubiquitous platform, the web browser, which makes it very easy to share your audio application. Many tech giants have centralized the control of software distribution where one application written for one particular device may not work for others. The idea of this piece is partly to decentralize the control of distribution so that this technology will have the best chance of working for almost all devices. This idea of decentralization was one of the original intents of the internet and I was additionally inspired by this freakonomics podcast on the subject.

For an additional layer to the work, I created a visualization that is projected behind the piano player and each audience member’s device screen will slowly change color to emit a colorful glow. Voyager immerses the listener in an audio-visual experience and connects each person to the musical texture.

Check out the promo video below from Maricopa Colleges TV: https://youtu.be/eUnbUrMJdxE?t=6m44s