Presenting ElectroQuiz – Crowd-voting the compositional process

One of the most exciting of all the SÓNic Interventions centres around the idea of crowd-composing and aleatoric music. Following a short introduction by University of Southampton composer Joe Manghan and SÓN conductor Robin Browning, you – the audience – can begin to play your part in the composition of a new piece of music, via crowd-voting using a mobile phone app. Joe will guide and steer you all the way through this process: we’ll all be contributing to ONE final composition, and the process will be equally as fascinating as the final result.

This exciting event explores how crowdvoting can be combined with algorhythmic music, and – precisely as Gerhard Richter has done in his seminal work 4900 Colours, which Joe’s piece ElectroQuiz directly responds to – the question of the artist’s “place” in the creative process, and the removal of the artist from a final piece of artwork.

Tonight’s event will utilise a MacBook, Ableton Live, and Ableton Push, Microsoft PowerPoint, as well as Joe as moderator and conduit, to work towards a convincing final composition you can celebrate having been part of! After the event, SÓN will upload the final work to our Soundcloud page, and you can share the fruits of your musical labour as a co-composer! Follow our social media feeds for precise updates about this.

Repertoire, artist & event details

Friday 27 July – 6pm
ElectroQuiz – Crowd-voting the compositional process
Led by Joe Manghan, University of Southampton
Join the composer and SÓN conductor Robin Browning for an informal post-event Q&A in the foyer

More about ElectroQuiz

ElectroQuiz is a ‘Music Co-Creation’ work – a field that explores crowdsourcing within the context of music composition. The act of composition takes place within the concert and the role of the composer is collectively taken by the audience.

Inspired by Gerhard Richter’s use of algorhythmic distribution and chance in 4,900 Colours, this work explores how crowdvoting can be used to probabilistically generate an electronic track. The composition is largely based on the use of random generators – controlled by parameters set by crowd choice – to artificially create music.

The audience have a large amount of creative agency in this work. They determine the tempo, instrumentation, as well as the materials themselves. They even decide in which order the work’s four layers are created: kit, bass, keys accompaniment and melody.

A performance takes around 30 minutes. Alongside the audience, ElectroQuiz requires one ‘performer’ (moderator) on stage to administer the piece, as well as the use of Ableton and Microsoft PowerPoint. The moderator is also assisted by an Ableton Push.

Gerhard Richter and the SÓNic Interventions at John Hansard Gallery

SÓNic Interventions is a summer series of musical responses to ARTIST ROOMS: Gerhard Richter, curated by Robin Browning, Artistic Director of SÓN. Responding directly either to specific works, or general artistic techniques, Browning has forged a fascinating quartet of sonic events to offset the visual aspect of the works. Each Intervention includes a world premiere, commissioned by SÓN and written specifically for this exhibition, three of which are composed by University of Southampton composers, celebrating not only the Gallery’s crucial role in the culture of the city, but also its role as part of the university.

SÓNic Interventions are fortnightly on Friday’s at 6pm, starting 29 June and running until 10 August. Entry is free.