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by Nicolas Scherzinger

Duration: 15+ minutes

3 improvisations for saxophone and interactive computer

click here to go the the SCHISM TECH SUPPORT section


Below is a link to a live performance on Schism (by Randall Hall, saxophone). The video is in two parts. Please note that there are many possible versions of this piece as it is improvisatory in nature.


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MUSIC (SCORE and PARTS) - download a PDF copy

Click here (Schism Saxophone Part) to download a copy of the published saxophone part (slight reduced)

BELOW is the USER MANUAL which gives detailed instructions for performing SHADOWED.


All PDF copies are made available for free, through the support of volunteer donations. The composer is very grateful for the goodwill and generosity that is expressed by any donation.

Click on the PayPal link below to make a donation with a major Credit Card.

Suggested donation $5-10


MUSIC (SCORE and PARTS) - order a hardcopy

To order a hard copy of the music, please contact Nicolas Scherzinger directly (email below). A paypal option to order hard copies of music will be available soon (2012).

Send an email to Nicolas Scherzinger directly, with the title of the piece you would like to order.
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NOTE: whether you download a copy of the score, or order a hardcopy, if you decide to perform the piece in public, please let me know about it via email, or even send me a program.
Thank you, Nicolas

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Schism (2003) is a set of three improvisations for saxophone and interactive computer. The major difference between "Schism" and many traditional works that combine live instruments with electronics is the fact that in these works the computer and the performer interact with one another in real time. Each piece consists of a collection of pitch materials and special effects that the saxophonist improvises freely with. The computer reacts to the saxophonist producing a series of sounds based on what the saxophonist plays. The computer is also capable of creating random elements throughout a work, thus allowing the saxophonist to react to the computer. The interactive computer environment is designed to maximize flexibility in performance to generate, layer, and route musical material with the same improvisational freedom that one might develop with a purely acoustic instrument. Thus, each performance of the piece will vary slightly.

The technical setup for "Schism" is relatively simple. One needs a saxophone, a microphone, a computer capable of running MAX/MSP, an audio interface with input and stereo output, and a pair of speakers.

Many of the sounds generated by the computer come directly from digital signal processing algorithms that manipulate the live sound from the saxophone. The saxophone sound (signal) is sent directly into the computer, where pitch, amplitude, and overtones are detected by the computer interface. Specified orders of pitches and/or extended techniques then determine the types of sounds that the computer will produce.

At the core of these pieces is the interface that I developed using the MAX/MSP environment. This interface coordinates MIDI continuous control messages from the signal data from the saxophone (pitch, amplitude, and overtone detection) - mapping them into real-time performance processes. The interface encompasses numerous palettes of live-sampled sounds, interactive compositional and mixing algorithms, and live digital signal processing algorithms for harmonization, modulation, comb filtering, various delays, and granular synthesis. Some of these digital signal processes draw on the PeRColate externals, a collection of MSP externals developed by Dan Trueman and Luke DuBois, with additional credit to Miller Puckette for his pitch and attack detection externals.

Nicolas Scherzinger, Syracuse, NY, 2003

Schism Tech Support (Software Download - for Max6 - NEWEST VERSION)

This section is under construction and will be updated soon...