Carl Testa Sway Sextet: performance // 1.20.2019 (Chicago)

I’ll be performing with my interactive live processing environment Sway at Elastic Arts in Chicago on Sunday January 20th 2019 at 8pm. The vocalist Anne Rhodes and I will be performing with a stellar group of Chicago improvisers. This will be the first time I use the electronic system with a group of musicians who (mostly) haven’t performed with it before. It’d be lovely to see some lines folks at this performance as well as the discussion/performance @dan_derks organized for me and @wrmhmn on the 19th. Please post any questions you might have about the show here. Details below.

Carl Testa’s Sway


Carl Testa’s Sway is an interactive live processing environment designed by Testa using the SuperCollider computer music programming language. The system is inspired by interactive music systems by composers such as George Lewis, Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, and Richard Teitelbaum. It builds off of Testa’s previous electroacoustic works utilizing live processing including Iris (2012), Sⁿ (2014), and Ultraviolet (2015). Whereas in those pieces the electronics were controlled by Testa himself, in Sway, the electronic control is given over to the system. To accomplish this, audio analysis is conducted on each musician’s signal to determine the type of processing and the exact moment-to-moment parameters of each kind of processing. Each musician’s signal is analysed separately and generates a unique processing map over the course of the performance. What results is a dynamic, changing environment surrounding the music which pushes and pulls the musicians in different directions while retaining Testa’s live processing aesthetic he has honed in over a decade of electroacoustic improvisation.

Carl Testa‘s Sway
Alejandro Acierto : contrabass clarinet
Hanna Brock : violin
Aaron Getsug : tenor sax, clarinet
Anne Rhodes : voice
Christopher Riggs : guitar
Carl Testa : bass, electronics

Carl Testa is a multi-instrumentalist and composer at the intersection of improvised, electronic, experimental music, and new media. As a performer/improviser, he is equally comfortable on string bass, electronics, lighting, and combinations thereof. As a composer, he has written acoustic and electronic music for configurations ranging from solo to chamber orchestra, including multimedia pieces that incorporate electronics, lighting, dance, and theater. In addition to his work as a leader/collaborator, he performs regularly with composers Anthony Braxton, Mario Pavone, and Tyshawn Sorey.