Desire with Digressions (2012)

for piano and interactive computer music
after a short story by Brian Evenson


Technical Requirements

Desire with Digressions is a work for piano and interactive computer music. The computer music part requires a MaxMSP "patch" (program), available from the composer. (See contact info here.)

The MaxMSP patch will run on a Macintosh or Windows laptop. The preferrable audio output configuration is 8 channels, so a multi-channel audio interface is required (MOTU or RME recommended). The piece can be done in stereo, however — a preset on the MaxMSP patch will reduce the mix to stereo, if required.

The signal path for performance looks like this:

  • two microphones on the piano, connected to a mixing board
  • aux send (pre-fader) from the mixing board connected to input #1 of the audio interface
  • the audio interface is connected to the laptop
  • the outputs of the audio interface are connected to inputs on the mixing board, and then routed to the speakers (8 or stereo)
  • NOTE: The dry signal of the piano is not routed through the computer; in order to balance the dry signal of the piano with the computer part, use the mixer mic channel(s) if needed.

The computer part can be operated by a separate computer operator, or by the pianist. If the latter, then a MIDI/USB footpedal is required to advance states of the MaxMSP patch.