Workers Union

Workers Union laptop instrument (2003).
Synthesis: Karplus-Strong variant. Controller: tilt-pad and laptop keyboard.

Our first performance of Workers Union by Andriessen was in early 2003 in a small bar off the Plein, Den Haag. I stood on the top of a bar counter, playing the viola and feeling somewhat quiet in the ensemble of “loud-sounding instruments” that the score calls for…

Soon after, I set about programming something in MaxMSP for my trusty tilt-pad controller, using a synthesised sound-source based on a typical ‘plucked string’ algorithm that bears some similarity to the viola I had just set down. The angle of the tilt controller (held in one hand) sets each note’s pitch and loudness, while the laptop keyboard (like a piano under my fingertips) triggers note beginnings and other specific musical effects needed to realise the piece’s written score.

Our second performance took place in the autumn in Het Paard, a newly renovated and just re-opened nightclub, during the city’s night of culture in 2003.

  • Ensemble Klang, “Workers Union (Andriessen),” in Haagse Cultuurnacht, Het Paard van Troje, Den Haag, The Netherlands. Digital interface and plucked string algorithm. 20 Sep, 2003.
    [BibTeX] [link]
    @inproceedings{EnsembleKlang:2003nl,
    author = {{Ensemble Klang}},
    title = {{Workers Union (Andriessen)}},
    booktitle = {{Haagse Cultuurnacht}},
    address = {Het Paard van Troje, Den Haag, The Netherlands. Digital interface and plucked string algorithm. 20 Sep},
    year = {2003},
    link = {http://avbees.com/workers-union/},
    month = sep
    }