elements | response

MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA

a periodic table of voices

debut - April 2009


elements | response is an audio/visual performance collaboration between myself, Peter Bailey and Francois de Costerd which explores the elements through the responses of several hundred individuals to six questions:

  • What do you think a tree is made up of?
  • Describe outer space in as much detail as possible.
  • Why is water important?
  • Where do you think light comes from?
  • Describe how big the earth is.
  • In your mind, what are the elements? Which one is your favorite? Why?

The music and visuals were composed into a cohesive whole based on themes, ideas and specific thoughts culled from the collection of responses. The music combines the voice recordings - rhythmically, melodically and contextually - with traditional and electronic instruments. The piece is written to be performed in quadraphonic surround sound and single channel real-time video by both live musicians and several custom-programmed computers.


Performance Excerpts

elements | response premiered at the MIT Museum as part of the 2009 Boston Cyberarts and Cambridge Science Festivals.

Video footage by Rob Cheyne; editing by Francois de Costerd.


  • Peter Bailey - guitar and electronics
  • Halsey Burgund - live electronics, samplers and mallet percussion
  • Francois de Costerd - live video composition
  • Marissa Licata - violin
  • Kelly Roberge - tenor sax and clarinet

Audio Samples