Sonic Chains
by Tom Duff
Instructions for Performers

Sonic Chains is a composition for an improvising orchestra of indeterminate instrumentation, guided by a conductor who uses a video projector and a computer running the Sonic Chains conducting software to convey instructions to the performers.

The projected display is divided into a four by four array of rectangular regions -- a total of sixteen regions. Before the performance, every orchestra member should be assigned one of the regions to watch for playing instructions. It's probably a good idea to divide things up as evenly as possible. For example, if there are thirty performers, fourteen regions should have two players assigned to them and the other two should have one player each. Charts identifying each player's region should be distributed during rehearsal. (The Sonic Chains Resources page has links to appropriate charts.)

Following the projected display is relatively simple. If your region is blank, don't play. If it's not blank, it will display one of twelve diagrams (see the Sonic Units page) that indicate the sort of sound to make. The Sonic Unit drawings are taken from Anthony Braxton's musical paradigm chart and, I hope, should already be familiar to many performers.