3Q: A world-premiere concert where the audience helps play

”How do you get computers to produce music in an intuitive way, particularly if you’re not a musician? We explore sound production, music theory, visualization of music, and human-computer interaction design.”

Ever attended a chamber concert where the audience helped play the music? Thanks in part to MIT’s Eran Egozy, you can. Egozy is a clarinetist in Radius Ensemble, a Cambridge-based chamber music group that on March 5 will perform the world premiere of “12,” a new piece by composer Eun Young Lee. Unusually, the composition incorporates percussion sounds that certain audience members will deploy using their phones. Egozy — a co-founder and former chief technology officer at Harmonix, creators of the game “Guitar Hero” — created the digital program the audience members will use. He is also teaching courses in interactive, high-tech music at MIT, as a professor of the practice. MIT News spoke to Egozy about the new concert and his work.

Q. What is “12”?

A. “12” is a new work that Radius Ensemble commissioned for the concert season this year, by Eun Young Lee, who is a composer in the Boston area and teaches at Boston Conservatory. Her piece is inspired by the 12 signs of the zodiac. It’s a nice piece because it’s written specifically for us, Radius Ensemble, which is an ensemble of nine musicians. Normally we don’t all play together in the same [pieces].

“12” is broken up into 12 short movements, each inspired by a particular zodiac sign. And each movement will feature one to four players, except for the last one, where we all play at the same time. We chose four of the 12 movements to have audience participation.

Read the rest of the interview at MIT News

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