Inclusive Improv


Proportional Representation

This piece explores the audience/performance divide by allowing the audience to directly influence the performers’ choice of micro and macro-structural material, via their own internet-capable devices. Performers make choices in realtime based on two criteria: (a) the modular score, which presents them with material (pitch, duration etc.); and (b) the audience voting, which mediates the score information by limiting or expanding it.


There is no set duration for the piece but it should be a minimum of 5mins long. We suggest 10-15mins as a good concert duration.


2 x Instrumentalists (playing anything except instruments of fixed pitch/temperament)

2 x Loudspeaker (not stereo, twin mono)

WIFI network (local)

Prior notification to audience that they will require an internet capable device if they wish to interact with the piece (laptop, iphone, android, etc.)

Compositional Considerations

The piece works by using several layers of indeterminate elements that interact with each other. The collective voting powers of the audience drives several micro/macro-structural aspects of the piece but the overall musical language is pre-composed

Audience control

The opening minute of the piece does not use audience control, this is precomposed: to allow the audience to become familiar with the piece’s basic language.

The web interface uses simple questions with binary answers (yes/no, up/down, sooner/later, etc.) that will influence one of players. In any given time window, several simultaneous different questions will be sent to the audience: some questions asked to many people, some to only one person; where a question has multiple respondents, the average is used. This means that sometimes an audience member will have very direct control (unknowingly) and sometimes they will be part of a conglomerate.


The performer’s scores are a set of modules that can be played in any order: movement between these modules is audience controlled on a timed trajectory (example question: “will a new module happen (a) sooner, or (b) later”).

Each module contains certain parameters that are fixed for that module, and some that are open to audience control. This allows the modules to retain a sense of musical identity, but still be malleable: this also allows the composer some control over the musical outcome. The modules will be written with sufficient latitude to allow the crossovers to be either seamless (by having the option of a neutral material at the start and end) or for more disruptive breaks.

The pieces uses two performers to allow for possible interplay between them (achieved through specific questions to audience), and to split the audience: forcing audients to deal with one player adds low level turbulence to the system, increasing the interest of the musical result.

Live Electronic Sound (optional)

An additional layer of obfuscation is provided by live electronics which inverts the audience vote to create a “negative”. Each player has their own loudspeaker that outputs music based on the the choices rejected by the audience: this means that averaged votes may create similar music for live and ‘negative’ players, while strongly partisan votes will lead to strongly opposed music between the two.