t h r e e . s t a t e s . o f . w a x

photo by Seth Josel........

Juan Parra Cancino (guitar, computer) & Jonathan Impett (trumpet, computer)

Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium

Three States of Wax

proposes an improvisation setting derived from our ongoing work within the research cluster Music, Thought and Technology at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium.

We aim to address the terms and definitions of complex systems as a metaphor for structuring improvisation. We are looking at the notion of complex systems from two perspectives:

From the perspective of network architecture, where actors and acting agencies are articulated as nodes and threads.
In this approach, particular structures determine the connections and interdependences between nodes and the potential affordances of connecting multiple nodes, and,

As A-Life, where we focus on the inner nature and behavior of the actor-nodes themselves: Phenomena such as recursivity, decay and acceleration are then embodied as primary musical behaviours.
On this view, network architecture becomes an emergent (musical) structure.

The interaction and affect/effect of the resulting friction between these simultaneous perspectives unfolds itself as the network, and the performance.

This is a “work-in-development” that merges Juan Parra’s work on “Timbre Networks”, as well as Jonathan Impett’s on the use of A-Life to design interactive environments for electronic music performance.

Media Examples

Live at 2019 ICMC, New York/ Ghent

Orpheus Institute, Ghent /Stanford, California (With Chris Chafe)

OI Recording Sessions, February 18, 2020

February 29, 2020. New York Electroacoustic Summit. New York, USA

Downtown Music Gallery, New York. Performance with Keir Neuringer (alto sax)

NowNetArts Conference, November 2020

New York Electroacoustic Improvisation Summit, with Chris Chafe. March 2021.



January 24, 2020. Winter Sounds Festival, Canterbury, UK. Photo by Seth Josel


February 29, 2020. New York Electroacoustic Summit. New York, USA. Photo by Jeff Kaiser


March 1, 2020. Downtown Music Gallery. New York, USA. With Keir Neuringer.


November 8, 2020. NowNetArts Conference 2020.


March 19, 2021. New York Electroacoustic Summit, with Chris Chafe.


November 5, 2021. New Pathways in Improvisation Conference.


December 12, 2021. NowNetArts Festival 2021.

Technical requirements

"provided" marks the elements that we will be traveling with.


1 guitar, 1 trumpet PROVIDED


• Stereo sound system

• Mixer onstage of at least 8 channels of input and 4 of output (Mackie 1402 or similar)

• 2 portable powered audio monitors

• 1 good big membrane condenser microphone (AKG C414 or similar)

• A combo guitar amplifier

• 1 miniature condenser microphone (DPA 4061 or similar) PROVIDED

• cables (5 XLR of 10 m, 6 jacks of at least 5 m.)

• 2 Computers for live electronics and sound projection PROVIDED

• 2x Audio interface with at least 2 microphone inputs and 4 outputs (MOTU Ultralite or similar) PROVIDED

VIDEO (Optional):

• Computer for visual projections PROVIDED

1 projector


• 2 Tables to be set on stage (approx. 1,5M X 1M) as neutral as possible.

• Enough Power outlets for both tables setups