In a quadrophonic arena the battle for audibility is raging. While the referee keeps an ear out, musical gladiators engage in contrapuntal combat with an arsenal of electronic weaponry. Sonic Espionage, in-Filtration, Atonal Behaviour and Hostile Overdubs, it’s a Full Spectrum Attack...
Sonic Wargame is a musical game for four players. There is a referee as well. The players are positioned on platforms in the corners of the space. Each player has a gameconsole and a loudspeaker. The audience can move freely in between. The whole thing is something in between a living installation and an interactive performance. You could also consider Sonic Wargame a collective musical instrument, although it is actually more of a “meta-instrument”; a kind of obstinate mixer controlled by all participants.
The game is played as follows: The players have to vote for each other using a switch on their console. An electric brain will only pass a player’s sound if that player has two or three votes from the other players. These votes can change at any given moment. A matrix of lightbulbs indicates who’s voting for whom and who’s audible at the moment. A video-projection provides further information as well as the players’ scores.
Although the audience hears different players all the time, the players themselves are interconnected in such a way that they can receive each other’s sounds all the time. This is because they have to sample and process each other’s material, resulting in a continuously self- regenerating quadrophonic organism of sound.
There are different variations of the game. The players can be musicians, DJs or members of the audience. The concert-version of Sonic Wargame is played with four teams of two players each (eight people in total) to ensure one of the players can concentrate on playing his instrument while the other operates the gameconsole. In the installation-version the consoles themselves function as musical instruments. Hybrid versions are also possible, e.g. a concert-installation with four musicians and members of the audience operating the consoles, or an installation-concert with musicians playing the consoles as instruments.
Sonic Wargame offers its participants a new way of playing together. Although there is a strong competitive element, the best results will be achieved through collaboration. The distinction between being in control and being controlled fades away. There are no winners or losers. The sonic constitution oscillates between parliamentary anarchy to periodical dictatorship. Arbitrary consensus, election lottery and survival or the fairest...
Sonic Wargame is a project of the re.Bug foundation for ecotronic art, supported by Paradiso - Melkweg Productiehuis
and MuziekLab Brabant
. This project is realised with the financial support of NFPK
, VSB-fonds en Prins Bernhard CultuurFonds.
Concept: Xavier van Wersch
Artistic advisor: Roland Spekle Production: Paradiso-Melkweg Productiehuis
Technical realisation: Dave Krooshof, Lex van den Broek, Xavier van Wersch
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