rubin marsanyi brown swimming without a net
In performance, Rubin/Marsanyi is an improvising guitar/piano duo, augmented by a number of computer, hardware, and software instruments. Some of these tools, both hardware and software, were built or written by Robert Marsanyi, with Aric Rubin contributing to their design.
The duo creates sets using playing strategies form a repertoire of precomposed structures or modules. In some of these structures, the performers improvise following the logic of the composed structure, in the same way that jazz musicians improvise using established chord progressions or melodies.
Other modules have the performers improvise the structure to which the networked computers and synthesizers then respond. Others have the machines play through the precomposed structure while giving instructions to the performers, essentially providing a score for them. Finally are structures in which the machine parts evolve over time, providing sonic backdrops for solo or ensemble improvisation.
Each module in the repertoire has different performance options. Some are initiated by the players and/or machines while performing, allowing the players and/or machines to play structures independent of one another. Other modules require simultaneity between players, machines, or both.
For "Swimming Without a Net," the duo was joined by David Brown for a studio version of the live material. Over the course of the session, several distinct pieces were created from the repertoire with David adding a third element to the performance by using a barrage of signal processing devices. These devices were played as instruments by David, using our output as source material, essentially making a trio. The final output was then recorded directly to a digital master.
The acoustic piece "Bitter" was created in a second session, computers acting as scoring/conducting devices. No signal processing was done on this piece.
ARIC RUBIN is a native Coloradan, now living in San Francisco. As a composer, he has written music for film, video, dance and its own sake. As a guitarist, he's played a wide range of idioms, including rock, r'n'b, blues, country and various types of jazz. As a writer, he's written for Guitar Player magazine's Masters Series on improvisation and on rhythm. He acted as music editor for Anthony Braxton's recently published "Composition Notebooks".
ROBERT MARSANYI is a native of New Zealand, where he trained in classical piano, designed, built and performed with homebrew electronics and worked with theater and dance groups in both sound design and composition/performance. He has mounted several performances in the San Francisco Bay Area for widely varying combinations of machinery and personnel. His music has been heard on local and national radio in the US and Australasia.
DAVID BROWN, as well as recording, has developed an ability to improvise with space and timbre in a manner complementary to the constantly changing musical styles employed by the other players. David is an experienced composer, whose extensive use of natural sounds in his own work has developed a skill for accenting the gestures of his source material with his own perceptions.
Rubin/Marsanyi ARF MUSIC ARF51