For the last few years, Nonsemble’s composer Chris Perren has been experimenting with a sort of audio-visual phasing music, using repetition and layering or elements of differing speeds and lengths to create hypnotic minimalist visual music. (See other examples here: https://vimeo.com/album/2020517)
BMX Phase is the first attempt to achieve this effect with live musicians. The main melodic figures, played by the two violins and the piano, share a common shape & rhythm, but slightly different cycle lengths. This causes them to move in and out of unison with each other. Each part always corresponds with one of the bicycles on screen, which follow the same strict phasing patterns. The length of the piece is exactly the time it takes for all three parts to realign, resulting in a satisfying final unified melody.
This premiere performance took place at The Box, West End, Brisbane, as part of Nonsemble’s sold-out launch for their debut release, Practical Mechanics. A five-movement chamber work available here: http://nonsemble.bandcamp.com.