Sketching (2013), for Improvising Musicians with Audience Participation Via Mobile Phones

with Yan-Ling Chen, Weibin Shen, Nathan Weitzner, and Shaoduo Xie

Duration: 5-8 minutes

Please contact me for performance materials.


In Sketching, a chamber group of musicians improvises as guided by a graphic score. Audience members using mobile devices draw the score collaboratively, in real time, during the performance. This creates a feedback loop in which the musicians constantly respond to the audience’s input (and each other) and the audience responds to the music the musicians play (and each other), resulting in a unique musical experience that changes dramatically in each performance.

Sketching uses massMobile, a smartphone participation system developed at the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. Its development was supported in part 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). It was written for the Georgia Tech Jazz Ensemble.

Performance History

members of the Georgia Tech Jazz Band, February 24, 2013, Ferst Center for the Arts.

members of the Georgia Tech Jazz Band, April 17, 2013, Under the Couch.