What is it about?

With the project 400 we try to create a new form of composition, a crowd-sourced piece of contemporary music for violoncello and piano which will be performed at various places in 2011 and 2012. The origin of a composition usually is an original idea of a single or sometimes a group of persons. All the elements of those pieces are more or less under control of that person and strive after conceptual unity. With project 400 we give away all forms of control and let the users decide how a certain second will sound. We don’t know at all what people will do, how it will sound or even if it is playable. It is even unclear if the outcome of this project has any aesthetic value. We have to do it to find out and we welcome you to participate in this experiment.

This project belongs to a whole series of compositions in which we try to adopt ideas from popular culture where existing elements are reused to create something new, for example the cut-up method by William S. Burroughs or music sampling projects. With each piece of our series, we try to get away from a (more or less) controllable towards a completely unforeseeable and uncontrollable form of composition. By giving an anonymous crowd the possibility to create one second of our 400 second piece, we have no influence of what will happen. We are looking forward to playing the result. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, please check our website.

How does it work?

The arrangement is separated into three different tracks which play simultaneously, the cello track as well as both hands of the piano. You are free to select the tones from the one octave which is given in the sequencer above. The grids play for one second and are separated into 5 or 6 units so you may choose between those two or mix them together. Select a volume for each track, play around a little, save your piece and enter a nickname or whatever you like to make you recognizable.

Please note

We will display your nickname when we perform the final piece. So if you have a chance to come to one of our performances, you will see which second you composed. Please check for dates and places here.