Videocello - an interactive video improvisation for electric cello and computer

by Jeffrey Krieger


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Since 1989 I have been exploring improvisation and realtime interaction on the electric cello using the computer and video. Technology has allowed me to create a performance environment that inspires improvisation. The project is to develop an interactive video improvisation for electric cello and computer that pushes the envelope in performance by utilizing the extensive, realtime audio and video capabilities of Cycling 74's MAX/MSP/Jitter software.

Project support would allow time to explore the interactive possibilities of Jitter software and to design a computer program for improvisation, as well as shoot and edit video. The software has extensive realtime capabilities. For example, a musical gesture by the performer such as a glissando or slide can control the video's light and shadow, zoom, or speed of playback, adding an expressive, visual element to a performance. 

Support would also allow for the expansion of my performance playback system. A powerful second computer with Jitter software is necessary for realtime processing and playback of video. A primary computer is currently used for MIDI and digital audio processing.

The support for this project is important because it not only allows me to move forward with my mission of using the electric cello and technology in new and compelling ways, but would also help prepare new repertoire for several high profile performances next season. One such performance will take place at the 8th Annual International Carnival of e-Creativity (CeC 2013) at the Sattal Estate, in the Himalayan Foothills of the Indian State of Uttarakhand in February 2013. Also, the resulting work will be added to Videocello, a touring program of works for electric cello, video and sound which I have been performing since the mid 1990's.