The score for parallaxis is in four parts and can be played by any
four melodic instruments, multiple quartets may perform simultaneously
under the direction of one or more directors.
Parallaxis uses a combination of graphical, and more traditional
proportion style notation. There are three lines to the stave
representing the registral areas low, middle and high. The size of the
noteheads and thickness of lines represent dynamics - small note heads
are played most quietly, larger noteheads are louder.
There is very little traditional rhythmic notation, instead the score
adopts a "scrolling score" paradigm. The score appears from the right
of the screen and scrolls in a leftwards direction.
In the left half of the screen are the shaded areas called the playzones,
in the center of these playzones is a vertical line representing
the playhead, as the music passes over the playhead it is executed by
Each of the parts plays back at a slightly different speed from the
others causing the parts to constantly shift in and out of phase with
SCREEN SCORE / PROJECTION ========
No special software is needed to view the screen score for
Parallaxix. It is written as a web app and runs in a web browser; for
best results use Chromium, Google Chrome, Firefox orSafari. Avoid Internet
Explorer if you use windows.
The Score/s may be projected using a digital projector plugged into a
laptop. These projections maybe visible to both musicians and
audience. Optionally each member of the ensemble reads the score from
a laptop placed on a music stand. This maybe preferable where unusual
spatial arrangments of the musicians is prefered. The web based score
is designed in such a way that everyone connected to that page will
see the same thing - and that any controls touched on the directors
laptop will controls the scores in front of all the musicians.
Each of the parts is cyclical, looping constantly with the tail
joining up with the head of the music seamlessly. This means the piece
is of indeterminate duration, but given the amount of material
presented in the score i would suggest between 8 and 14 minutes as an
appropriate performance length.
At the bottom left of the screen is a timer indicating how long has
elapsed since the start of the piece - this is your reference for when
to finish the performance
For example the ensemble may decide collectively before a performance
that after 8 minutes on performer stops holding a sustained note and
each 20 seconds after that another performer also stops holding a
sustained note. When all performers have stopped following the score
and are sustaining a pitch they may graudually diminuendo to nothing
and the piece is over.
THE ROLE OF THE DIRECTOR ========
In the Ensemble version there is
another element - the role of the conductor/director. There need not
be a director of a performance - the score may simply be followed as
it appears with the different speed lines shifting phase with one
another. However, if a director is involved in a performance their
role is to make live interventions to the flow of the perfomance. A
director can alter the speeds of the individual parts using the + -
minus buttons seen on the left and right of the screen as well as
pausing individual parts by clicking on the playzones or depressing
and releasing the number keys 1 through 4, or the ensemble as a whole
using the full stop space bar keys. (click the help link for a full
list if directors keybindings)
MULTIPLE QUARTETS - MUTLIPLE SCORES ========
Also, if a director is involved the size of the ensemble may double
and be divided into two groups. In this case the director can use two
laptops to control two groups, each group playing different instances
of the score. Here the two groups ensemble will slip in and out of
phase with one another the same way as is happening internally within
the individual groups! The number of groups playing for independant
scores need not be limited to two. One director can manipulate as many
groups as deemed appropriate for the performance - there may also be
more than one director.
SPATIAL POISTIONING OF MUSICIANS AND ENSEMBLES
SETTING THE INITIAL SPEEDS AND STARTING LOCATIONS ========
Each version can be made unique by setting new starting points for
each of the instrumental parts, as the score can be seen as a loop
there is no fixed starting point so new ones can be choosen for each
performance. Also the speed relationships between the parts may also
be changed. At the moment this involves changing the values in the
parallaxis.js file. TODO - add this facility to the web interface.