11. Para-phonic Poly-disco


Fri 12 Jan 2018 20:30
@ The Small Museum at Paradiso, Amsterdam with Remco van Bladel

'Para-phonic Poly-diso' is a graphic score for a digital, polyphonic choir wherein visitors of Paradiso can participate with their mobile phone.

The work consists of two parts:
1. An interactive graphic score/light box/kinetic work fixed inside the cabinet, and
2. A mobile website that connects you to the hardware inside the cabinet and turns your phone into a local speaker for a polyphonic voice piece.
The piece is voiced by Laetitia Saedier of Stereolab.

In the eleventh century, the Italian Guido of Arezzo, one of the most important founders of musical notation, developed a scale consisting of six notes: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la. Later the seventh tone 'si' was added. The well-known 'Do-Re-Mi' and the solfège, a teaching method in music for learning pitch and the singing of sheet music, was developed from this.

The Small Museum, the former announcement box at the front of Paradiso, is being converted by Remco van Bladel into a local WiFi point that will stream a polyphonic 'Pa-Ra-Di-So'. An algorithmic choir is compiled live by the mobile phones that connect to the WiFi point while audiences are waiting in line to enter Paradiso.


The work was installed for a period at The Small Museuma cabinet on the facade of Paradiso, Amsterdam. 'Para-phonic Poly-diso' is a graphic score where Paradiso visitors can participate in a digital polyphonic choir.

In the eleventh century, the Italian music theorist Guido of Arezzo developed an ascending scale consisting of six-notes: ut, re, mi, fa, sol and la. A seventh note, 'si' or 'ti', was added later. This scale is the basis for 'Do-Re-Mi' and solfège, a music education method used to teach the singing of Western music.

The Small Museum, which was previously used to house the public announcements of the church, will be transformed into a local WiFi hotspot to stream a multi vocal 'Pa-Ra-Di-So Rapsodia' – a live algorithmic choir composition created through the phones that connected to the WiFi, and therefore the score, while waiting to enter the building. For this multi-vocal composition, Remco van Bladel collaborated with Lætitia Sadier (Stereolab, Lætitia Sadier Source Ensemble).

Before music was established in writing, each choir leader led the Gregorian chants of the 'scola cantorum' with movements. This method of conducting, called 'cheironomy', consisted of writing signs in the air that contained clear instructions for the trained choir singers in terms of pitch change, duration and tone strength. These signs, or 'neumens', were written down, modified or not, first without any reference line. Later, the neumensdepending on the relative pitch differenceswere noted above, on or below a line referring to a pitch determined by the choral conductor.

As far as melody is concerned, humming was increasingly defined by the expansion of the number of lines, which first corresponded by colour and later by keys to certain steps in the medieval ranges. In the eleventh century, Guido van Arezo introduced the staff with four lines (this is still in use). In the middle of the thirteenth century, Peter de Cruce came to a notation in which the relative duration of each note is indicated by the form of the note. This so-called 'manual notation' was of great importance to ensure the reproducibility of the various rhythmic possibilities in the developing polyphonic music of Western Europe.


Paradiso invited Remco van Bladel to take part in their Small Museum project. The invitation was perfectly suited for a project in public space that he had in mind for 'Pushing Scores'. The idea was to create a choir with mobile phones for the audience waiting to get inside the Dutch pop temple of Paradiso.

a b o u t t h i s a r c h i v e
l i s t o f i t e m s
G e n e r a t e s c o r e !