Ritual is a work for solo performer and motion-tracking system. The piece is composed for performance in a large hall using a 12-chanel sound diffusion system. The performer controls the sound live by means of computer vision software. The built-in webcam of a computer is used as a motion-tracking sensor. The webcam image is divided into a matrix of 12 rectangles. Each rectangle is linked to a sound. The performer controls the sounds by moving his hands within the 12 rectangles. Two accelerometers (Hot Hands®) are also worn by the performer. These are used to control panning and placement of the sounds in the hall using the 12-channel sound diffusion system. Live control of sound diffusion is an important element in the work. Ritual consists of 18 sections or scenes. Each scene has its own sounds. Changes of scenes can be either abrupt or gradual with overlapping transitions between scenes. The mood of the piece is contemplative, evoking associations to an unknown ritual.
Ritual was the result of the Conducting Sound in Space, an artistic research project supported by the Artistic Research Fund of Danish Ministry of Culture and the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. Ritual was premiered on April 30, 2016 at the Black Diamond overlooking Copenhagen harbor as part of Wayne Siegel’s affiliation with the Royal Library in Copenhagen as composer in residence 2015-2017. Financial support for this residency was provided by the Danish Arts Foundation.