Experimental Setup for the Angel of Death

Bennett Smith, Ircam

This is the description of the technical realisation of the concert/psychoacoustics experiment involving the performance of Roger Reynolds' musical work "The Angel of Death", a collaboration between Emmanuel Bigand, Stephen McAdams, and Roger Reynolds.

The general idea is to record on a computer the responses of a number of people listening to a concert, synchronized with a recording of the concert. For this, we convert the listeners' responses into MIDI messages, and simultaneously record the MIDI data and an audio mixdown of the musical performance using a commercially available sound and MIDI recording program.

The experiment was successfully performed in June 2001 in Paris, and will be attempted at the University of California in San Diego in April 2002. UCSD will sometimes be referred to as "the host" in this document, in case some lunacy pushes us to try this stunt yet again somewhere else.