Imaginary Berlin

Description: This piece invites the audience to create a collaborative soundscape based on audio streams from the area of Berlin and by using their mobile devices. Influenced by the collaborative music piece Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (1951) by John Cage, 12 audio streams from Berlin-inspired radio stations will be emitted from a central laptop connected to a PA system. The audience will be able to pick one audio stream at any time by moving horizontally their mobile phones, and control the volume of the selected audio stream by moving vertically their mobile phones. The original Cage’s piece was designed for 12 pairs of performers, here the emphasis remains in the group participation and creation of a larger musical network by the potential generation of delays and localized sounds within the same space.

Authors: Anna Xambó

Role: Concept and implementation.

Technologies: The piece combines the localized speakers from the audience’s smartphones with the loudspeakers from the performance venue. The access to a wireless Internet connection will be needed for the audience and to a wired Ethernet connection for the central laptop. The WACastMix web interface will be projected.

Code: Coming soon.

Video: Coming soon.

Imaginary Berlin at the Web Audio Conference 2018 (September 19, 2018)

Program notes

Audience participation performances are a recurrent theme in the Web Audio community and can take as many shapes as imaginable. Berlin, the city hosting the Web Audio conference this year, has been a source of inspiration for innumerable artists, both known and unknown. This performance is an anonymous celebration of participatory music in Berlin in the form of a collective soundscape. Inspired by John Cage’s Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (1951) [1], twelve audio streams from the Berlin area will be sonically distributed, repeated, delayed, amplified, reverberated, distorted and finally vanished.

Acknowledgments

This work relates to the AudioCommons project, which is funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme, research and innovation grant 688382.