In a quadrophonic arena the battle for audibility is raging. While the referee keeps an ear out, musical gladiators engage in combat with an arsenal of electronic weaponry. Sonic Espionage, in-Filtration, Atonal Behaviour and Hostile Overdubs, it’s an ear for an ear…
Sonic Wargame, created by Dutch sound artist Xavier van Wersch
, is a musical game for four players, or four teams of players and a referee. The players are positioned on platforms in the corners of the space. Each player has a game console and a loudspeaker, while the audience can move freely around within the set-up. Sonic Wargame is a hybrid between a living installation and an interactive performance.
The game is played as follows:
The players have to vote for each other using switches on their console. An electronic brain will only pass on a player’s sound if the respective player has two or three votes from the other players. These votes can change at any given moment. A matrix of light bulbs indicates who is voting for whom and respectively who is audible at the moment. A video-projection provides further information including the players’ scores.
Although the audience at any given time hears only the sounds of the players cleared by sufficient votes, the players themselves are interconnected in such a way that they can receive each other’s sound signals at all the time. This way they are enabled to sample and process each other’s material, resulting in a continuously self-regenerating quadrophonic organism of sound.
Sonic Wargame offers its participants new ways of performing 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. The sonic constitution oscillates between parliamentary anarchy and periodical dictatorship, arbitrary consensus, election lottery and survival or the fairest…
Sonic Wargame will be running for two days:
On January 29 there will be 3 rounds with 4 different teams in each round.
On January 30 there will be 2 rounds with the best teams of the previous day, plus a final round with the best 4 teams of all.