Initially, my* doctoral research was motivated by my interest in real-time electronics as a method of extending my practice as a saxophonist. What kinds of musical works could be produced if the electronics were treated as a ‘part of’ the saxophone? I began working with composer Adrián Artacho in early 2014, which brought up a new set of questions about the composer-performer relationship. From these arose a series of additional questions, which we investigated over the next four years, culminating in my dissertation, A Performer-centric Approach to Extending the Saxophone with Live Electronics, and the accompanying piece of music, aubiome (2018). In 2001 we have settled into working as a duo, work as a duo, exploring a deeply collaborative working method in which the roles of composer and performer are blurred.

Many instrumentalists who experiment with live electronics eventually gravitate toward working alone, preferring to compose or improvise their own music. My research, on the other hand, has been focused on exploring ways of collaborating, asking the question: what types of music might be produced if both the instrumentalist and the composer consider the electronics system to be a part of the instrument itself? Adrián and I have been collaborating to investigate potential answers to this question, and we have produced several pieces over time using various types of hardware and software systems.

The working process for each piece took on a certain trajectory, leading up to a final concert or presentation. Each of these experiences contributed to the development and refinement of our collaborative working method. The electronics system became more reliable over time, the musical material became more convincing, and our performance skills became more ‘virtuosic’. My doctoral research was completed in 2018, culminating in the presentation of aubiomea work for soprano saxophone and electronics that was developed and performed entirely collaboratively. This exposition offers a look at our six-stage process, which could serve as a framework for co-creative work.



* The texts in this exposition are written by Joel Diegert and concern research developed in collaboration with Adrián Artacho.

      Adrián Artacho MA