sensing city
generative concert
Interdisciplinary performance featuring improvised and composed live music interlocking with a visual narrative of live and pre-composed video material.

The Idea

A city has its own rhythm that affects the life of its people and is at the same time created by them. Bus schedules, traffic lights and the turn signals of cars are familiar patterns to the citizen. This interplay between creation and inspiration is also at the heart of all music.

In ┬╗sensing city┬ź these urban rhythms have occasionally a direct influence on the musical performance of an eleven-piece-ensemble.

As the movements on the streets outside the concert venue are triggering the rhythms that are being played, the urban dwellers not knowingly became part of the composition, the city becomes audible through the musicians.

The Piece

The project emerged in close collaboration with the composers Martyn Heyne and Martin Hiltawski. Together the concept of a musical live performance that is sporadically responding to the nearby ongoings of the city was formed.

Music and images are strongly connected, in the composed parts as well as in the live-generated patterns where the score interpreted by the musicians is affected by events happening at the same time outside the venue, in the city of Amsterdam. Sensing City explores the rhythms of the city, it makes them sound with the voice of acoustical instruments.

In April 2008 the original performance took place in club_11, on the eleventh floor of a multi-storey building in the heart of Amsterdam.