BMX (2013)

Duration: 5:00

Instrumentation: Drum Kit, Piano, String Quartet
(note: Piano Quintet + Tape Version also available)

Premiered by:
Nonsemble at Practical Mechanics Launch, The Box, March 2013

Additional Performances:
Nonsemble at TEDxBrisbane, 2013; “Screen Stories” Concert,The Globe Theatre, 7 November 2014; “Trichotomy & Nonsemble”, Cupo, Brisbane, 2 September 2016; Southern Cross Soloists Next Gen Artists, Dots+Loops Synthesis, Cupo, 16 March 2018

BMX from Chris Perren on Vimeo.

Nonsemble performing at TEDxBrisbane 2013

Program Notes

Since around 2011, I have been experimenting with a sort of audio-visual phasing music, using repetition and layering or elements of differing speeds and lengths to create hypnotic minimalist visual music. BMX Phase was the first attempt to achieve this effect with live musicians, and was premiered by Nonsemble at The Box in West End, 2013. It was also the focus of a TEDxBrisbane Talk and performance.

The main melodic figures, played by the two violins and the piano, share a common shape & rhythm, but slightly different cycle lengths. This causes them to move in and out of unison with each other. Each part always corresponds with one of the bicycles on screen, which follow the same strict phasing patterns. The length of the piece is exactly the time it takes for all three parts to realign, resulting in a satisfying final unified melody.