Tiao Ho

for Whim Ensemble & electronics

// Tiao Ho is a piece/system created for the Gamifications concert (live@CIRMMT season 18-19). It was premiered by Whim Ensemble, with Ofer Pelz (prepared piano) and Preston Beebe (drums & percussions), on Feb. 6th 2019 at Tanna Schulich Hall.

// “The word Ho, indicating those symmetrical unions, is also referring to sang reactions found in the
perfect combination of players ; it also expresses harmony (ho) resulting from the combined action (tiao
or tiao ho) of Yin and Yang.”

A combination of unions : union of Whim duet, union of the player’s limbs and union of musical
intentions between the musician and the computer. Reacting to each other and evolving with each other.

For Tiao Ho, I created a 8-way influential system:
1 – Player 1 to Computer 1;
2 – Computer 1 to Player 1;
3 – Player 2 to Computer 2;
4 – Computer 2 to Player 2;
5 – Player 1 to Computer 2;
6 – Player 2 to Computer 1;
7 – Player 1 to Player 2;
8 – Player 2 to Player 1.

Each player is influenced by his own computer who display generated indications (speed, dynamics, pool of gestures, modes de jeux, etc.) to him. At the same time, some of these indications are influenced by how the player plays (a trigger on the bass drum, a contact mic on the piano pedal, etc.). This represents the first 4 ways of the Tiao Ho system.
USB pedals for each player are also there so each player can influence the other player’s computer (ways 5 and 6). These influences trigger and/or modulate sound treatments on the other player’s sound (delay / reverse / etc.), indirectly influencing the other player’s playing. This leads to the two other ways of influence (7 and 8) of the Tiao Ho system : the human influence between Preston and Ofer, two musicians who plays together for years, and how they find a way to express their harmony (ho) without being eclipsed by all these technologically-created influences.


Pictures by André Parmentier