The piece is mostly improvisational, with a few general rules about gestures to use in each section. These rules take the form of seven simple diagrams that define how my gloved hand moves within sample space and play space (see below). The repertoire of gestures used in the piece is symmetrical: sections one and seven use the same or similar gestures, sections two and six the same, and so on. The central fourth section generally matches the first and seventh... I've been known to deviate from my 'score' during this part. There's a contextual and timbral symmetry at work in Seven Gates as well. The first and seventh sections use samples of Nortena and Pacific Island music, the second and sixth use 18th century European music, the third and fifth use speech sampled from radio and television, and the fourth section is comprised of a combination of the above.
Sometimes people who've seen a performance of Seven Gates ask me if I've been studying Tai Chi or practicing some kind of alternative dance therapy. The answer is a qualified no, although after years of tweaking knobs and moving computer mice it's refreshing to actually perspire during a performance. The relationship between sound and movement is simple and straightforward, and the sound is in charge. The gestures in the piece are the results of grabbing big chunks of audible cultural references and fluidly shrinking them down to purely electronic timbres... disassembling, reconstructing, and remapping everyday sonic terrain.
Some definitions of the word 'gate' from the American Heritage Dictionary: "Something that gives access","An opening in a wall or fence for entrance or exit", "The structure surrounding such an opening". Each of the pieces in the Gate series is a detailed exploration of a small set of found sounds. My home brewed software teamed with the glove gives the performer access to the insides of those sounds, freeze-dried in electronic memory. Instead of immersing the audience member or installation user in an aurally and visually realistic world, I use sampled sounds and a bit of theatrical set design to bring his or her imagination into play. In the installations UFOs and Haunted representations of fences and walls identify an entrance to this imaginary world. Accepting the invitation to step inside, the performer becomes a performer and acts as medium... reanimating sonic apparitions, accessing unheard worlds.