5.0  Stuck Note

The MIDI-Hub repertory became the basis of the Hub's second CD "Wreckin' Ball", (Artifact 1008) which appeared in 1994. Most of the tracks were recorded live in concert during national and international tours, which took place in the early 1990s. There were two European tours, the first in 1992, which included dates at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague and Apollohuis in Eindhoven, Holland, the Free University (VUB) in Brussels, and at the Logos Foundation in Ghent, Belgium; and the second the following year 1993 which included two evenings in Berlin as part of the USArts Festival produced by the Akademie der Künste, and ended with an appearance in the Workshops of the Moers Festival, in West Germany. The Hub also performed in 1992 at Sound Work in Seattle, and at the International Computer Music Conference in San Jose. A collaboration with the Rova Saxophone Quartet also took place in San Francisco in 1993.

By 1995, after a performance at California Arts Council Conference on Technology in the Arts in Santa Clara, this work had run its course. Mark Trayle had moved to Southern California, and getting the group together regularly became more problematic. As Hub members got involved in other projects and as technology changed, the effort required to maintain the existing repertoire, much less to develop new pieces, became prohibitive. In 1997, the Hub was invited to do a short residency and concert at the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT) at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Phil Stone created an audience interactive work "Luv Connection" that took advantage of the high-tech concert hall there which had ethernet connections at every seat. A special on-stage hub web server funneled audience preferences about the on-going music to the group, while a video projector displayed a score, indicating progress through the piece.

As an antidote to the increasing complexity of Hub projects, Scot Gresham-Lancaster designed a piece that re-focused the band on simple interactions, with specific sonic results. His piece "Stuck Note" was designed to be easy to implement for everyone, and became a favorite of the late Hub repertoire. The basic idea was that every player can only play one "note", meaning one continuous sound, at a time. There are only two allowable controls for changing that sound as it plays: a volume control, and an "x-factor", which is a controller that in some way changes the timbral character or continuity of the instrument. Every player's two controls are always available to be played remotely by any other player in the group. Players would send streams of MIDI controller messages through the hub to other players' computer synthesizers, taking over their sounds with two simple control streams. Like in "Wheelies", this created an ensemble situation in which all players are together shaping the whole sound of the group. An interesting social and sonic situation developed when more than one player would contest over the same controller, resulting in rapid fluctuations between the values of parameters sent by each. The sound of "Stuck Note" was a large complex drone that evolved gradually, even though it was woven from individual strands of sound that might be changing in character very rapidly.

Stuck Note audio

56K modem version

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