Sound by Richard Cornell (Performed by Boston Musica Viva, Richard Pittman Music Director)
Virtual Reality environment (Immersadesk, Access Grid); Video with Boston Musica Viva chamber ensemble performance; choreographed dance work by Judith Chaffee
Developed at Boston University Computer Graphics Lab and Scientific Visualization Facility
Tracer's references are to gesture, human communication, time and transience. It is a luminous revolving world of drifting atmosphere and cryptic messages appearing in thin air. The piece combines active real-time participation with the discovery of ancient images from archeology, historical texts, and proto-verbal markings.
Visitors to the VR version of Tracer, both on location and at remote sites, connect with each other in its environment, by creating their own gestural tracery within its sphere. Electronic sound sculpts the local atmosphere, emanating from air and objects and responding to the movements of navigators. The VR environment consists of a navigable texture-mapped space (two concentric spheres, one slowly rotating) with ambient audio. Using the wand, the viewer can draw lines on a virtual canvas in the center of the space. As lines are drawn, sounds are produced whose timbre, etc. is a function of drawing speed and location. Lines drawn by remote participants (AG and VR) are seen and heard as well.
Tracer was commissioned by Boston Musica Viva to be edited as a 12 minute single channel video to accompany a new chamber music score by Richard Cornell, performed at Tsai Performance Center. It was also performed at Town Hall in New York, Taiwan National Normal University, Taipei and at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston. A dance version, choreographed by Judith Chaffee, was performed at the Huntington Theatre Boston.