SHP of THSEUS is a collaborative audiovisual composition that draws inspiration from the Greek myth of Theseus. Over time, Theseus’ ship was gradually renewed as every piece of original wood rotted and required replacement. We navigate this philosophical quandary of identity through collective control of performance setups in combination with an open score that affords individual interpretation.
The score is generated randomly from a series of 10 im- ages. These images are categorized as either ‘Sound’ or ‘Control’ instructions and presented sequentially to each performer. A ‘Sound’ image is interpreted through sonic gesture, while ‘Control’ images prompt each performer to send control data to other performers, intervening in the local control of the remote performance setups. As instruments are altered over time, each performer relinquishes some aspects of control over their own performance as they continue to steer forward with their individual interpretation of the score.
SHP of THSEUS is realized using a Node.js-based collaborative tool called Collab-Hub, a client-server platform that allows any number of performers to transmit control data to each other over the internet. Performers can connect via chosen software or hardware platform (e.g. circuit- bent devices using Bendit_I/O). Collab-Hub was developed at the beginning of the ongoing pandemic and has facilitated semi-weekly improvised live-stream performances, collaborative instrument design, and new performances and re-search realized by other composers and ensembles, including “Rhumb-Line” and the Networked Performance project at the Advanced Computing Center for The Arts and Design at Ohio State University. Additionally, the version of SHP of THSEUS being presented allows for audience interaction through a web-based Collab-Hub interface and locally-generated sound using web audio libraries.