Eamon O'Connor

The Jazz Crisis

The Jazz Crisis is a chance composition that distributes musical agency evenly between three players in an effort to encourage attentive and cooperative improvisation.


Introduction to Computational Media,Introduction to Physical Computing

The Jazz Crisis is a MIDI instrument of intentionally limited potential. Constructed out of six triangular panels, the device resembles a wooden spaceship and measures about 3' wide by 2' tall. Inside the structure is an Arduino Mega feeding inputs to Ableton Live via Processing. Every other panel is outfitted with six arcade buttons that control some small selection of a musical scale for three separate instruments (i.e. each panel controls three treble notes, two bass notes, and one element of a three piece drum kit.) Intervening panels contain very basic interfaces that alter the output in some way - right now they are assigned to control a loop, to blend instrument timbre, and to initiate a "beat repeat" effect.

I hope that this configuration will prove to be as accessible to non-musicians as it is frustrating to musicians, thus leveling the playing field for all three players. The goal of this separation of powers is to encourage a certain kind of listening - directed outwards and receptive to the beauty of phrases and patterns that arise by chance.