ETHL (2013), for String Quartet and Laptop Quartet

with ETHEL

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Please contact me for performance materials.


In ETHL, laptop musicians use the LOLC textual performance interface to create, share, borrow, and transform musical motives based on a collection of pre-composed score fragments. As the laptop players create these motives, they are displayed on computer monitors as real-time music notation that instrumental musicians must sight-read during the performance. This unusual setup encourages all of the musicians to share their musical ideas with each other, developing an improvisational conversation over time.

During ETHEL's 2012-2013 residency at Georgia Tech, the quartet composed eighteen musical fragments for this piece. In performance, a laptop quartet comprised of Georgia Tech music technology faculty and students wrote code that displayed and transformed these motives as the members of ETHEL sightread the dynamically-created score from computer monitors.

The LOLC software this work employs was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a larger research project on musical improvisation in performance and education (NSF CreativeIT #0855758).

Performance History

ETHEL with Jason Freeman, Scott McCoid, Thom Jordan, and Ziwen Fan, Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, April 20th, 2013.