Glimmer (2004) for chamber orchestra and audience

25 player version:

1-1-1-1 / 1-1-1-1 / 3 perc / 4-4-3-2-1 / 3 perc

15 player version:

3-3-3-3-3 (strings)

live electronics:

audience light sticks, video cameras, computer processing in Max/Jitter, computer-controlled multi-colored lights, video projection

Duration: 10 minutes


Glimmer engages the concert audience as musical collaborators who do not just listen to the performance but actively shape it. Each audience member is given a battery-operated light stick which he or she waves back and forth over the course of the piece. Computer software analyzes live video of the audience and sends instructions to each musician via multi-colored lights mounted on each player’s stand.

Glimmer was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, Steven Sloane, music director, Robert Beaser, artistic director, Dennis Russell Davies, conductor laureate. This work was funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center.

Additional thanks to the Columbia University Computer Music Center (Brad Garton, director) and Akademie Schloss Solitude (Jean-Baptiste Joly, director).

Glimmer exists in two versions: for 25-player chamber orchestra and approximately 600 audience members; or for 16-player string orchestra and approximately 200 audience members.

Related Publications

  • Anthony Tomassini's review in the New York Times.
  • Dawn Chan's article in New York Arts Magazine.
  • Robert Gable's blog entry on aworks.

  • An article I wrote for the American Composers Orchestra's newsletter.
  • My doctoral dissertation.
  • A paper from the 2005 International Computer Music Conference (Barcelona).
  • A paper from the 2006 Digital Art Weeks Festival (Zurich).

Performance History

  • American Composers Orchestra, January 21, 2005, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.
  • MegaBeat Festival, March 25, 2006, Hamabada Art Center, Jerusalem, Israel.