Real-time Plunderphonics: Appropriating Keyboard Performances as they Occur

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Following a long tradition of appropriation in art ('readymades' (Duchamp), détournement (Debord) and postproduction (Bourriaud)) and music (quotation, sampling, plunderphonics (Oswald) and DJing), this paper examines the notion of appropriating music within the immediacy of its performance. I will focus on the artistic and technological considerations behind the creation of E-tudes, a work that takes live keyboard performances as building blocks for a new composition and interactive environment. In E-tudes, six pianists playing keyboards simultaneously perform various compositions from the repertoire. I plunder, process and combine the MIDI and audio signals from the keyboards in real-time through an idiosyncratic algorithmic system. E-tudes is presented as an interactive installation/performance where the performers use headphones to monitor themselves in order not to reveal the original compositions that provide material for the computer processing. The audience instead chooses between listening to different headphones distributed through the performance space playing various possible outputs generated by the computer. E-tudes therefore attempts to challenge traditional notions of performance practice, audience participation and sound representation and causality by plundering keyboard performances as they occur.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInteractive Keyboard Symposium 2012 - Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Nov 201211 Nov 2012


ConferenceInteractive Keyboard Symposium 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Real-time
  • Plunderphonics
  • Keyboard
  • Performance
  • Appropriation

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