Alexander Schubert - Weapon of Choice
Alexander Schubert
Weapon of Choice (2009)
for violin, sensor, live-electronics and live-video
developed with Barbara Lüneburg
premiered 3.5.2009 by B.Lüneburg during Blurred Edges Festival Hamburg

Program Notes:
The piece extends the possibilities of expression of a violin player in several ways by using sensor capturing of the player's motions and a processed video representation of his movements. The goal is to create a new way of musical performance making the whole body of the player part of a complex musical instrument shifting a piece based entirely on live processing in a scenic and intuitively perceivable field.

The work is realized with a controller attached to the violin bow in order to control live-electronics and video processing with it – it perceives the orientation and acceleration of the bow.
A camera is placed in front of the player enabling him to control the video by his gestures too. The complete video is entirely based on the movement of the instrumentalist - sometimes widening the presence of the player, sometimes interacting with it.

For one using a sensor attached to the bow enables the player to control the audio processing of the played material in real time. As opposed to having the composer or a fixed timeline controlling the audio processing this offers a great dimension of freedom and flexibility in the hands of the player.
Furthermore the structure of the piece tries to widen the way of expression connected to movements of the bow hand and the upper body of the performer. To incorporate gestures in a scenic way forms a vital part of the piece in which live electronics and perceived body motion go hand in hand. The possibilities of held sounds and retriggering played material by a stretched out bow arm and its movements shifts the traditional way of creating sound with a violin to a new form. The above aspects are underlined by the use of live video solely created by the movement of the player creating an abstract representation of the performers motions.
Hence interplay between music, video and movement can be created allowing different forms of synchrony and counterpoints.

As the title suggest the nature of the piece has a martial aspect to it - in a way that it uses strong movements and strong processing of the played material. It can be seen as the wish to combine harsh electronic material normally rather associated to other musical genres than contemporary classic. The score of the piece is structured in four parts - each of which is a sequence of little scenes. The overall scene progression sets a clear dramaturgy - the scenes themselves hold a great deal of freedom for improvising on a set material though.