This project is a continuation and variation of John Cage’s 1968 performance Reunion. Integral to the performance is a chessboard that functions as a mixer for audio signals, designed and constructed by Lowell Cross. Part of the performance, in addition to Cage and Cross, were Marcel Duchamp, Teeny Duchamp, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma. Detailed information can be found here.
My remake of this project is based on the idea of the original and follows its technical functioning. Nevertheless, there are also a lot of novelties on the artistic and technical levels.
Based on the position of the chess pieces on the board, live and improvised electronic sounds are sent back and forth between four musicians. The signals can be changed by various effect loops, which are also controlled by the musicians, and finally can be emitted through four loudspeakers distributed in the room. The remaining two participants engage in blitz chess and thus control the distribution of the sounds. In this way, chess and music, as well as chess players and musicians, are interwoven and the different goals and aesthetics of chess and music intertwine.
The project is a subproject of the ensemble NOW MY LIFE IS SWEET LIKE CINNAMON and features:
Moritz Wesp – electronics and chess
Eric Haupt – electronics and chess
Leonhard Huhn – electronics and chess
Victor Gelling – electronics and chess
Christian Lorenzen – electronics and chess
Florian Zwissler – electronics and chess
The board uses photoresistors as sensors, which are read out by an Arduino and their values are processed on the computer to control the routing of the signals. Furthermore, there are some additional functions, which can be used to control and vary the basic game mode.