The word "mouse" derives from "muse". The mouse is the friend of writers, artists and musicians, the little voice serving as a source of inspiration. The MICE (Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble) turn musing into a collective interaction by composing, programming and performing a new genre of Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble music.

OpenGrounds, 7pm, March 26, 2012, Charlottesville, VA (on the UVA Corner across from the White Spot)
"Lathyrus" by Paula Matthusen
"7 Frames" by Sarah O'Halloran
"I am a..." by Matthew Burtner
"Lemon Drops" by Christopher Hsing
"Pac Mouse" by Nicholas Quillen
"Kit Project" by MICE

The Bridge PAI March 23, 2012, Charlottesville, VA
"Lathyrus" by Paula Matthusen


“[0]” Milwaukee

MICE in Milwaukee on Friday, February 18, 2011 for the “[0]” (zerospace) conference on distance and interaction in music. MICE performed with sister-ensemble, the newly formed RAT (Radical Arts Technology) ensemble of Kansas City. The concert featured music and telematic stages with CCRMA/Stanford, UVA/Virginia, IUPUI/Indianapolis, and UMKC/Kansas City.


more info: http://www4.uwm.edu/c21/pages/events/abstracts/11spring/zerospace.html



"Curious and striking…
inspired and exhilarating ...
MICE plays real, real music for the mind and body."
- Volkmar Mantei, Ragazzi Magazine, Germany

Traveling 30,000 miles by ship around the world on the M/V Explorer in 2009, MICE performed an ambitious series of concerts engaging with diverse environments and cultures of the world. MICE employs interactive acoustics and a networked human/computer ensemble to create deep collaborations between ecologies, human musicians and computer systems. This album features select compositions from the tour.

“MICE have played all around the world, using their laptops and a variety of instruments and sound sources… sand sources even. Sandprints has a nice, poppy touch to it… an electro-dance piece with great childlike rhythms. Great."
- FdW, Vital Weekly in Amsterdam, Netherlands

In 2009 MICE traveled around the world as a small ensemble of performers.
From this trip, the group reports a series of very beautiful "ecoacoustic" compositions.
-Sonhours Magazine, France

MICE World Tour 2009: the CD!

iTunes store download
read the "Wanderlust" article by Deborah Heishman about the MICE World Tour

click for some images from the tour

video from the night-time outdoor premiere performance of the "MICEtro" (2008)
at Digitalis Under the Stars Festival
for 200+ human/computer orchestra, robotic light sculpture, interactive network software and emergent sound synthesis applications

The MICEtro Digitalis Robot is a robotic instrument created by Matthew Burtner and Jason Johnson to conduct the massive MICE Orchestra across a network. The robot collapses virtual and physical space by turning to look around at individual or groups of laptop performers and then taking control of their computer monitor and soundcard via the internet.
Read more on MICEtro here

Listen to an MP3 of Singapore Beacon here.
This is a live performance recording (air mic) of the 200+ human/computer MICE orchestra in Singapore. This recording only includes the MICE group not the collaborators at the National University of Singapore listening to the broadcast live over radio Pulze.

biographical statement

MICE (Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble) began performing at UVA in 2001. Director, Matthew Burtner created the group to explore a genre of multi-performer interactive music systems with a precedent in the work of Stockhausen (Germany, 1960s), The Hub (California, 1980s), and Sensorband (Netherlands, 1990s). MICE extends this genre of human-computer ensemble interaction by developing network technologies and artificial intelligence systems for performance with innovative gestural controllers. Since 2001 MICE has performed at venues such as the University of Washington, Charlottesville Fringe Festival, The IX Building, Digitalis Under the Stars, Symphony Space, The DCCA, University of Delaware, MUSE, Old Cabell Hall, and the Most Significant Bytes Festival. Papers for the NIME and ICMC conferences describe the MICE approach of the early 2000s. In 2008, with support of T+TI Grant and Fellowship, the group expanded into an orchestral scale. Modeled on LAN-party gaming infrastructure, MICEtro makes emergent music out of massive data generation employing up to 500 performers. In 2009 MICE returns to a small ensemble format in order to travel around the world on the MICE World Tour as part of Semester at Sea.

artistic statement

The word "mouse" derives from "muse". The mouse is the friend of writers, artists and musicians, the little voice serving as a source of inspiration. The MICE (Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble) turn musing into a collective interaction by composing, programming and performing mobile multi-performer human-computer music. Originating in a basement at the University of Virginia, MICE began performing in 2001 as part of Matthew Burtner's mad science laboratory, Interactive Media MUSI435. MICE has brought their unique anarchistic, transcendental and ecoacoustic musical approach to venues around the world.

video from the Fringe Festival of"Money MICE" (2003)
audience interaction, interactive acoustics and network human/computer ensemble

200-human/computer orchestra
at Digitalis 2008



Digitalis Under the Stars 2008
April 30, 8-10pm, free
UVA Amphitheater (by the Lawn and Garrett Hall)
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
(rain location in Old Cabell Hall)

On April 30, 2008, Digitalis Under the Stars, the annual computer music festival at the University of Virginia, will feature new computer music from the VCCM along with the premiere of the MICE large-scale mobile interactive computer orchestra, MICE, an ensemble formed of the 200 regular performers and expandable to include any number of audience members equipped with portable computers.

This free concert begins at 8pm and will include new music and technologies by the Emergence Collective, John Hopke, Aurie Hsu, the Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG), Jason Johnson, Juraj Kojs, Conner Lacy, Mary Lane and MICE. Audience members are highly encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop and join in the MICE performance. No special software is required and all operating systems are supported.

The performance will take place in the UVa Amphitheater, just off of Jefferson’s Lawn, in front of Garrett Hall at 8pm on 4/30/08. Presented by the McIntire Department of Music and Virginia Center for Computer Music, the event is being produced by the VCCM, the IMRG, and the musi-235 Technosonics class with support from the Teaching+Technology Initiative, ITC, the DML and Netops.

--- about MICE and MICEtro ---

The MICE Computer Orchestra employs MICEtro, a new hardware/software system created by the Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) with major contributions by Scott Barton, Matthew Burtner, Timothy Dalbey, Jason Johnson, Steven Kemper, Irwin Reyes, Troy Rogers and David Topper. MICEtro uses techniques of emergence, perturbation, robotics and LAN technology to create technosonic music from massive data generation. This momentous first, full-scale performance is optimized for 500 computers.

MICE (the Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble) was formed at UVA in 2001 by Matthew Burtner to explore multi-performer interactive music systems. In 2008, with support of T+TI Grant and Fellowship, the group expanded into an orchestral scale in the context of the Technosonics Digital Sound Art Composition class.


2008 MICE Orchestra:
director, Matthew Burtner;
assistant directors: Troy Rogers, Scott Barton, Steve Kemper;
core orchestra performers: Bailey Albach, Aaron Albin, Brian Albrecht,Chris Anderson, Wyatt Anderson, David Bagby, Andrew Baker, Paul Barrett, Tayloe Berbert, Matt Bingham, Eric Bradbury, Charles Brewer, Sam Bridges, Elizabeth Bruckmann, Jordan Buller, Lisa Burger, Dave Caldwell, Ricardo Casellas, Nick Casscells, Hanna Cha, David Clark, Dave Cleaves, Brandon Cline, Arthur Cole, Brendan Collins, Ben Combs, Charlotte Conturie, Phil Cooper, Stephanie Cooper, John Corbin, Allison Corr, Charles Cottrell, Jared Crumb, Dean De La Pena, Dominic Demarco, Sanders Denardi, Russell Deppe, Somdev Devvarman, Andrew Dewey, Patrick Di Gregory, Paul Diorio, Joseph Donlan, Lauren Downing, Alexander Dreelin, Nicholas Dreyer, Sarah Dylla, Anna Falcey Jeremy Farrell, Lianne Fasig, Shawn Feinstein, Clayton Ferrer, Melinda Fiesler, Matthew Fifer, Evan Fillman, Matt Fiorillo, Michael Fish, Caitlin Folan, David Forscey, Maximilian Frantz, Kurt Fulmer, Christopher Garay, Emma Gisiger, Byron Glaspy, Jordan Glist, Kara Goldberg, Hutton Goodman, Jonathan Goodnight, Mahlon Graham, Cyrus Grandy, Lesley Grier, Stephanie Hall, Vicqual Hall, Michael Hankinson, Anthony Harper, Caroline Harriott, Sarah Hawkins, Benjamin Heriaud, Laura Hobeika, Margaret Hollar, Francisco Hoyos, George Huguely, Todd Huguenor, Peter Jenne, Eric Jensen, Shiel Jhaveri, Jeremy John, Andrew Johnson, Natasha Johnson, Theodore Jordan, Zachary Kaylor, Kevin Keating, Jisoon Kim, Nicholas Klicos, Adam Klopp, Greg Kuhn, Anna Kuzmuk, Josh Labell, Daniel Lee, Fredrick Lee, Michael Lew, Thomas Link, Aaron Liu, Justin Lux, Christopher Lynn, Mansha Malhotra, Caitlin Mangum, Abigail Maraya, Kyle Marion, Collier Marsh, Matthew Massey, Patrick McAnaney, Megan McDonald, Bernard McKeever, Benjamin Medina, Esther Melby, Andrew Menatti, Daniel Merchant, Michael Miller, Richard Miller, Brian Moon, Timothy Moore, Peter Morgan, Benjamin Morrison, Courtney Muse, David Myers, Marissa Nadeau, Yoshiyuki Nagasaki, Quang Nguyen, Benjamin Nowak, Alexandra Noyes, Martin O'Brien, Matthew O'Connell, Charles O'Toole, Katharine Ogle, Kevin Ogletree, Kenneth Ottey, Kristin Panke, Blayne Patton, Skyler Peacock, Ashley Peck, Louise Pierce, Matthew Poole, Logan Pugh, Robert Renz, Irwin Reyes, John Roberts, Courtney Rogers, James Rome, Molly Rubin, Kiwamu Sato, Allison Schieble, Michael Schwimerm Timothy Shaw, Mary Siegel, Daniel Slaughter, Selina Stanfield, Young Suh, Schuyler Sweeney, Michael Szlamowicz, Alexander Tatum, Maria Tchijov, Anthony Tedesco, Kathryn Tershel, Roby Thomas, Jacob Thompson, Lauren Tilton, Christopher Tipton, David Tra, Joseph Trunzo, Franco Valdes, Marc Verica, Megan Viar, James Wagner, Melanie Watson, David Weiss, Harrison Wheaton, David Willett, Allen Woodward, Grant Woolard, James Woolford, Wei Xia, Jordan Yonce, Danielle Young, Chelsea Zimmerman

still image from "MICE Ascending" (2006)

"MICE Ascending" (2006)



* MICE ensemble performs at OpenGrounds, Charlottesville.
* MICE ensemble performs music by Paula Matthusen and Sarah O'Halloran


* MICE ensemble performs at [0] (zerospace) Milwaukee.
* RAT Ensemble started at UMKC

* "Unity Groove" released on the "Agents Against Agency" DVD from EcoSono
* MICE Orchestra performs "EcoBeats"


* MICE Orchestra performances of "Unity Groove" feature 250 laptop performers.
* Unity Groove recorded for release on the "Agents Against Agency" DVD from EcoSono
* MICE Orchestra performs with Matmos at Digitalis 2010
* New works by Sarah O'Halloran and Erik DeLuca created for MICE Orchestra, performed at Digitalis 2010
* new NOMADS technology debut for MICE allows sophisticated network interaction for 200-person socio-synthesis.


* MICE hit the road with Semester at Sea for an around-the-world tour by boat.The group performed 13 concerts in venues around the world.
* MICE World Tour CD released on EcoSono Records.


* MICE debuts as a symphonic scale human/computer orchestra with 180 regular performing members and any number of audience computers participating (optimized for 500).
* Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) formed to create technology to support MICE. Founding members Timothy Dalbey, Irwin Reyes and Matthew Burtner. Active members grow to include Scott Barton, Steve Kemper, Troy Rogers, David Topper and Aaron Albin.
* Troy Rogers, Steve Kemper and Scott Barton, Assistant Directors
* MICE performs "Sxueak" as part of the 2008 Technosonics Tour (Willmington, Newark, New York, Richmond, Charlottesville).

* MICE creates telematic interactive video for "Sxueak" and "Sxratch" for performances at PASIC in Austin Texas and at the Indianapolis Telematics concert at IUPUI.


* MICE received a TTI Fellowship to develop the technology needed to expand the ensemble into a much larger group.
* MICE perform on the UVA Lawn as part of the Digitals Under the Stars festival
* MICE workshops at University of Washington Bothell encourage students to gaze aimlessly out the windows and daydream.
Troy Rogers, Assistant Director


* MICE set off 100 mouse traps on the stage of Old Cabell Hall. University staff amended the hall contract to include the language, "I the undersigned hereby agree that... no trapping, trip-wired or spring-loaded device may be used in performances in Old Cabell Hall."
* MICE switches from MIDI to a fully networked configuration including bidirectional data transfers between all computers in real time.
Peter Traub, Assistant Director


Burtner on sabbatical in IRCAM. no MICE.


MICE play at the Most Significant Bytes Festival requiring audience members to use their celular phones during the concert.
Kyoko Kobayashi, Assistant Director


MICE play at the Fringe Festival. The piece, "Money MICE" only generates sound if the audience throws money. This first commercial venture nets over $7.40 proving there's serious money in computer music.
Kevin Parks, Assistant Director


Wet MICE mix water and electricity, a winning combination.
Peter Swendsen Assistant Director


MICE premiere at the IX Building in Charlottesville, playing five X5 synthesizers networked through MAX/MSP using MIDI.
Damon Osgood Assistant Director


C-Ville, Charlottesville's Newsweekly, by John Ruscher:
"Keyed up: Matthew Burtner's students marry computers and instruments for a sound that's neither digital nor instrumental"

Arts and Sciences: UVA Magazine, by Jeanne Stiller
"Fringe Festival is on the Money"


MP3 excerpts

"Kanja" excerpt
"Sandprints" excerpt
"World Strings" excerpt
"Sinapore Beacon" excerpt
"That which is bodiless is reflected in bodies" excerpt
underwater performers in the middle of the Indian Ocean with interactive computers. Whistling, sand, interactive computers. Performed in the Namib desert string ensemble (Khim, electric guitar, Oud, Dan Bau, cello, Birimbau, Ukulele) and interactive computers 200+ human/computer orchestra live recording saxophone, percussion, computers

Star MICE: Jefferson's UVA Lawn, Digitalis Under the Stars Festival

In "Money_MICE," presented at the Fringe Festival 2003, Charlottesville, VA, the audience throws coins into resonators these sounds become the source for the entire composition. In the following images and video, the band includes Kevin Parks, Kyoko Kobayashi, Loren Ludwig, Sean Pequet, Dustin Thompson, Sun Hee Lee, Tom, David Cosper, and Matthew Burtner.

lighting by Lee Kennedy
photos by Seth Hunter
video by Matthew Burtner


*** download a quicktime movie of the MICE in performance ***

*** download the MICE desktop background (formatted for 15" Apple laptop)***


© MICE 2001-2012

M.I.C.E. and are Trademarked by the Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble.

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