Ex machina


Composed 2004, duration 11’12”

The materials of this piece have appeared in a variety of contexts. Originally they were one strand in Amalgam’s Simia ex Machina, a cross-disciplinary performance piece. The show was concerned, in somewhat abstract terms, with the relationship between people and machinery. There, the network of tensions between the spontaneous and the fixed, between live performers and pre-recorded materials, was an important aesthetic dimension. There is also a duo version for drums and acousmatic sound, in which both performers improvise freely to a loosely predetermined framework. Some of the energy of this improvisation remains in the fixed version. There is also a dialogue between the organic and the automatic, between intuitive expression and mechanistic musical processes.