Mutations (megamix) (2010) Zubin Kanga, Robert Ratcliffe5:58
Mutations (megamix) is an interactive work by Robert Ratcliffe, exploring notions of the ‘DJ set’, ‘mashup’ and ‘remix’ through the integration of various streams of piano-based material in live performance. Integrating three core components: live piano (notated and improvised material), Disklavier/MIDI playback, and soundfile playback (with or without live electronics), Mutations (megamix) has the capacity to be re-configured for various performance situations, with the components selected according to a realisation determined by the performer/s.
Incorporating human and machine-generated material, a realisation of the piece involves the management of a pool of audio files, MIDI files, and score fragments, which are drawn upon during performance. In this way, the performers are required to control and shape the various streams of material in the same way that a DJ would select and combine records during the structuring of a live set.
The supply of audio files, MIDI files, and score fragments used in the construction of the piece takes existing works from the piano repertoire as source material, both transformed and quoted intact, resulting in a spectrum of recognisability ranging from the easily identifiable, to the ambiguous, to the non-referential. The integration of this borrowed material within the three strands of the piece highlights various connections between traditional forms of musical borrowing, transformative imitation, improvisation, electroacoustic sound transformation and quotation, EDM sampling practices, remix practices and DJ performance.
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Robert Ratcliffe, Manfred Stahnke2 tracks