K-Bow with the Kronos Quartet

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Last week saw another round of rehearsals with the K-Bow over at the Kronos Quartet’s studio. In development is a groundbreaking piece — if not the first string quartet with true computer interaction, it is definitely the quartet with the richest possibilities to date.

Kronos has been outfitted with K-Bow systems on all four instruments, complete with our software suite enabling a huge range of effects to be controlled in realtime from all of the instruments. Composer and sound ecologist Doug Quin is writing the piece, taking advantage of both the DSP capabilities of the K-Bow software and its sample playback and manipulation. Drawing on his archive of recordings he captured in Antartica, Doug is building a soundscape that uses the virtuosic abilities of one of the world’s great string quartets as its vehicle.

I’m looking forward to the première of this work later this year in Syracuse, and hopefully it will open the door for more string musicians to realize the potential of interactive technologies to re-contextualize one of the most venerable art forms so it remains vital for the centuries to come.


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