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House of Mirrors

1996-1997, for midi controlled instruments, soundfile playback and PadMaster (controlled by a Radio Drum).

Program Notes:

"...come, travel with me through the House of Mirrors, the one outside me and the one within. Run, fly, never stop... never think about being lost in the maze of illusions, or you will be. Glide with me through rooms, doors and corridors, surfing on tides of time, looking for that universe left behind an eternity ago. Listen to the distorted steps, the shimmering vibrations that reflect in the darkness, watch out for the rooms with clocks where time withers and stops..." fll.

House of Mirrors is an improvisational tour through a musical form and a four channel sound environment created by the composer/performer Fernando Lopez-Lezcano. The sound of doors opening and closing define the transitions between rooms, corridors and open spaces, where soundfile playback and midi controlled synthesis mix to create different atmospheres sharing a common thread of pitches, intensities and timbres. The journey through the House of Mirrors is controlled in real time through an interactive improvisation software package - PadMaster - developed by the composer over the past three years.

The Mathews/Boie Radio Drum is the three dimensional controller that conveys the performer's gestures to PadMaster. The surface of the Radio Drum is split by PadMaster into virtual pads, each one individually programmable to react to baton hits and gestures, each one a small part of the musical puzzle that unravels through the performance. Hits can play soundfiles, notes, phrases or can create or destroy musical performers. Each active pad is always "listening" to the position of the batons in 3D space and translating the movements (if programmed to do so) into MIDI continuous control messages that are merged with the stream of notes being played. The virtual pads are arranged in sets or scenes that represent sections of the piece. As it unfolds, the behavior of the surface is constantly redefined by the performer as he moves through the predefined scenes. The performance of "House of Mirrors" oscillates between the rigid world of determinism as represented by the scores or soundfiles contained in each pad, and the freedom of improvisation the performer / composer has in arranging those tiles of music in time and space.

Performances