Third City: Changing roles of performers and tools within electroacoustic improvisation

Aveyard, Jon orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0063-6848 and Wilkinson, Dan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1747-888X (2017) Third City: Changing roles of performers and tools within electroacoustic improvisation. In: Exploring Musical Improvisation, July 10-11 2017, University of Central Lancashire.

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Ensemble improvisation can lead to different roles being taken by the performers as a result of, for example, performer temperament, the sound sources being used, and any pre-determined structures used. As an example of how these roles can be described, Walduck’s taxonomy results in the categories of solo, background, heckle, punctuation, counterpart, contrapart and block (1997, Role-taking in free improvisation and collaborative composition). Whilst in some cases the roles are established and maintained throughout a piece, in other cases they might suddenly switch or fluidly shift.

Third City is an electroacoustic improvisation duo that uses loosely pre-determined structures applied to predetermined sound sources. For the most part, instrumental sound sources are triggered by Jon Aveyard with the resulting sound being sampled, processed and played back by Dan Wilkinson. The resulting pieces can be described as Cubist in the way that phrases are presented both unmediated and transformed, both in real time and in delay.

This presentation offers examples of pieces from the Third City set to demonstrate the changing relationships between the performers; the way in which different sound sources facilitate these relationships; and the way in which musical parameters are managed within these relationships.

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