A conversation between a partially educated parrot and a machine

A performance for augmented gramophone and computer,

In the late 19th century, Eldridge Johnson, head of Victor Records, said about the phonograph that it « sounded much like a partially educated parrot with a sore throat and a cold in the head” (Johnson, quoted in par Kenney, Recorded Music, 47). This is the same phonograph that Ludwig Koch used in 1889 to make the first recording of a bird in a zoo in Frankfurt.

In A conversation between a partially educated parrot and a machine, I unfold this comparison between an ill-behaved bird and a sound reproduction technology to tell a story where music is made together by historical and recent audio technologies, birds, and the humans that listen to them. In this performance, I interact with a gramophone equipped with sensors. On the one hand, this emblematic historical audio technology reads the original shellac records made by Ludwig Koch in te 1930’s, on the other hand it becomes a physical interface sending datas to live algorithmic processes in the programmation environment SuperCollider.

Credits :
Research, Conception, Composition, Programming and Performance : Estelle Schorpp
Production : La Biennale di Venezia - CIMM, Centro Informatico Musicale Multimedia
Director : Lucia Ronchetti
Main mentor : Miller Puckette
Mentors : Kyoka, Brigitta Munterdorf, Thiery Coduys, Oscar Pizzo, Gerfired Stocker, Ali Nikrang, Yoko Shimizu
Sound engeneering and diffusion : Thierry Coduys and Adrien Zanni
Light Design: Tommaso Zappon
Sound archives : BBC
All pictures Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia


© Andrea Avezzù