Saturday, September 14, 2013

Recording: Spectrum's "Interface"

Artist: Spectrum's "Interface"

Songs: Touch (composed by Dave Wall / Featured Improviser Matthew Roberts) + Looking Back (composed by Heather Segger / Featured Improviser Jim Lewis)

Recorded at Measure ("2013/2014 Season Launch Party"), September 13, 2013.

Spectrum's "Interface" - Touch [edited excerpt]

Spectrum's "Interface" - Looking Back [edited excerpt]

Full review to follow. Taking their musical ideas out of the concert hall and into the bar on a Friday night, local "chamber jazz" composers' collective Spectrum also pushed into some new technological/musical territory with Matt Roberts' "Interface". This audience-participatory system involves an improvising musician in the centre of a ring of eight speakers, each with a contact switch. The circuit is switched on and a pre-recorded loop will play whenever anyone touches the switch and the musician at the same time. As more people take part, impromptu collaborations are possible as longer chains of human contact can be used to set off multiple samples at once. This creates an ever-shifting tableau for the player to react to.

These field recordings give just a taste of The Interface in the wild, with some crowd murmurings audible in the background. The best spot to hear this is right inside that circle of speakers, and as an audience member, you're welcome to do just that. A successful experiment with hugely flexible potential, this definitely calls for a re-mount. In the meantime, you can check out a few more photos at the MFS facebook page.

This night also served as the launch of Spectrum's third season of programming, with three concerts of new, local compositions on the horizon. If you want to support fresh musical thinking from a decidedly non-fusty ensemble, this is for you. And they're keeping things affordable, with tickets running a reasonable $15 each — another reason to show your support.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks very much for the great review, and great shots! We're excited to develop this concept further. Plans are in the works to bring Interface into schools. How great would that be!? Keep up your great work on this site!