Trevor New

2022-23 CoLABoratory Fellow

Trevor New is an electro acoustic violist & composer who creates innovative originals, intuitive & scored soundscapes that evoke a cinematic journey. In October 2021, ACO and New premiered Cohere 1, an orchestral work written for decentralized simultaneous telematic performance. Cohere 1 featured 7 soloists, a 30-member orchestra, and 3 quartets in 10 separate locations (each with an audience), playing together in real time on network. Cohere Touch builds on learning and experiences from this pilot, using The Hub to add participant-generated visual/sonic gestures to the interactive performance experience. 

The Work

Cohere Touch is a new work for orchestra and augmented reality system “The Hub.” The Hub is a custom-built, server-based system that can support in-person and virtual interactivity, which New describes as an ‘audio-visual playground.’ In-person and virtual audiences influence both projected visuals and aural sounds, creating and improvising original music & visuals in real time. New shares his mission for the work, “I want the audience to feel agency – a sense that each affects the piece; to discover connections to the world around us; to deepen that feeling of connection with people near and far.”

Artist Statement

I want people, wherever they are, to identify with the myriad of changes NYC musicians went through when performances were completely suspended. I want the audience to feel agency – a sense that each affects the piece. With music supported by the A/V Playground, the audience, as individuals and as a whole, will physically and aurally influence sound shared through speakers and visuals projected on a screen – pushing and pulling, pointing and directing, leading, and speaking into the ether we create. Everyone participating will collectively impact, see, hear, and feel a new, unexpectedly interactive space. 

I will write a score for the piece that begins with a welcoming ritual, with participants joining the audio from their own device, or sharing a sound in person. One at a time, they introduce themselves; a simple greeting including a hello, their name, and their location. This will be recorded for use later in the piece. 

Instructions are given to inhale, then sing a note on exhale. After practicing this together we would then start the process freely with a harmonic from the viola and signal the end the same way, all lasting about a minute. I recommend audiences close their eyes in this section to enhance their listening experience. 

The recording of the audience’s greetings will be played back using granular synthesis; one greeting turning into many and being played simultaneously at different speeds. As the sound crescendos the orchestra enters, picking out the subtle melodies being played with the granular synthesizer that fades out as the viola takes its place, merging acoustic sound and live processing. 

The purpose of this project is twofold, to have participants experience contributing sounds to a responsive audio environment that adapts to their input on a macro and micro level, and to experience sounds and visuals responding to their physical actions through these various networks whose preexisting connections are revealed by this performance. Participants will be able to push and pull A/V components simultaneously from different physical locations, and they will be working together to do it, taking many people and pieces of art and fusing them together. 

Recent Work

Cohere 1, by Trevor New, is a piece written for decentralized simultaneous telematic performance. It features a soloist and orchestra, 3 quartets in separate locations, each with an audience and 6 international soloists from around the world. Musicians are playing together in real time, seeing, listening, and reacting to one another.

Lead support for EarShot CoLABoratory is generously provided by TD Charitable Foundation.