Collaborative Improvisation

Welcome to an experiment in collaborative improvisation!

On Tuesday, April 24th from 3:00–5:00 pm EST, we’ll be offering the possibility for you to join us at the MIT Media Lab to help shape an ongoing improvisation, designed by me and performed by pianist Tae Kim.

Listen to the 10 music fragments on the experiment page and use the sliders to express your preferences. An ongoing update will be presented visually to Tae, and he will respond by favoring the types of music which emerge. The overall effect will be of a kind of collective musical memory, with well-known melodies, harmonies and textures intertwining, sometimes recognizable and often combining and colliding in unexpected ways.

This improvisation is based on a play about memory—currently running in Cambridge, MA—for which I composed the music and at which Tae Kim performs live. It’s running through May 13th, so come see it if you have a chance.

In addition, this experiment is part of the process of testing the tools and methods for creating a new symphony in collaboration with the citizens of Toronto, to be premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the New Creations Festival in March 2013. You can learn more about that project at this site, and we hope you will follow it’s progress from now through the premiere.

Thank you for your interest, please express your musical preferences, and enjoy the experiment.

MIT Media Lab