The Remote Controlled Choir

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At Voltfestivalen june 16, 2011, Uppsala’s well-known Chamber Choir performed two influential songs from the history of electronic music. Björk’s “All Is Full Of Love” and New Order’s “Blue Monday”. This project is the third of a triptyke where the composer and arranger Mårten Josjö arranges electronica for ensembles from the World of classic music. First Uppsala’s Woodwind Orchestra Omnibus in 2009, then The Volt Guitar Trio. To complete this series of unexpected interpretations, the biggest ensemble so far, the Chamber Choir, was asked to give their voices to Mårten Josjö’s arrangement and the open-minded audience of Voltfestivalen.The choir was conducted by Erik Hellerstedt and the project was initiated by Håkan Lidbo for Voltfestivalen.

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Here is a video by Gunnar Fernlund:

Here is another project with Uppsala Chamber Choir initally intended for the Voltfestivalen. The artists Olle Cornéer and Martin Lübcke changed the choir into a remote control New Flesh network. This is the artists description of the project.

With the 20th century came the fear that machines would overthrow and rule the human race. Workers were forced into mechanical factories to the soundtrack of The Man-Machine and failed political revolutions.

Fast forward until today and the fear has turned into a soothing harmonious feeling of being part of something bigger. Boundaries between man and machine are gone. We live and function together, as part of different overlaying networks, in symbiosis. Be it social networks for pleasure, violent terror networks for a higher religious cause, or Amazons Mechanical Turk -- together with cheap cloud storage -- for making business more effective.

But who is in control? Man or machine? Or none of them?

New Flesh Network is a musical performance, playing the soundtrack of our contemporary lives.

A traditional choir is connected to a network which is controlled by the artists in real-time. Every person -- or group -- in the choir functions as a node, performing the instructions without the knowledge of each other. In that way every person execute a simple task, but the artists can still create a complex result.

Man and machine working together as an effective organism. And just like other contemporary networks -- be it terror networks or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk -- New Flesh Network makes it possible to create results that couldn’t be created without its nodes and connections.

In this case: music.

With New Flesh Network a traditional choir can perform phasing arpeggios, micro tuned clusters and advanced machine-like rhythm patterns. All in real-time and completely improvised by the artists that are in control.

At the end of the 20th century man suppressed their musical machines in order to create even more advanced music, be it with the help of circuit-bending or max/msp-programming. That era is now dead. The boundaries between man and machine are gone.

Long live The New Flesh!

Get ready for music that has never been heard before.

And never will be heard again.

Watch and listen: