88 Fingers @ JEP-TALN-RECITAL 2016

88 Fingers is a concert performance in which up to 88 participants in the audience perform on an automatized piano (i.e. a YAMAHA Disklavier) via their mobile devices. The piano is presented in the performance space as if it would be the instrument of a solo performer (e.g. on stage or in the center of a gallery space). Apart from the web-based system that allows the players to select a single key of the piano and to play it during the concert the concept of the performance does not impose any further constraints.
The performance establishes a metaphor of a free and responsible society.

At the beginning of the performance, the participants are asked to connect their mobile devices to a local Wi-Fi net- work and visit a web page using a web browser. When entering the web page, the participants are prompted to select a single key they will control during performance among the remaining available keys (see below on the left). When 88 players have selected a key, further connections will be refused. The players who successfully claimed a key, enter the performance interface shown below on the right.

The interface allows for triggering the selected key — shown in the bottom left — by touching the screen. The key is triggered without perceivable latency when the player places a finger on the screen and is released when the finger is removed. The initial vertical touch position determines the velocity.

A first 10-minute performance of 88 Fingers has been given at an cultural event of the JEP-TALN-RECITAL conference on speech processing in the concert hall of the Centre Pompidou in July 2016. The 88 participants where among an audience of about 250 people.