System 50:50 Sound on Sound projects

Sound on Sound projects; a description


Sound on sound projects offer a variety of ways that people can play free improvisation with others using recorded music. This is a different experience to playing with people in the same space, or playing together live on the internet, as in a telematic event.

Part of the intent of the projects is for players to familiarise themselves with System 50:50 and to explore how this affects their playing. This system sets for the players the proportion time time they are required to play and the proportion when they are silent. A default setting is that this is half and half (hence 50:50) but the system gives the possibility that people could have more or less playing time within the duration of the piece. This gives some generalised control of the density of the texture and allows space for each player.

Players improvise to a track which has been recorded specifically leaving space for the missing player.
For more information go to the music minus one page

There are four tracks which together make up a quartet, but the quartet has been faked by dubbing together tracks, each added in response to a previous one.
For more information, including an audio track, an example of the fake quartet, visit

Four improvisers make a recording of themselves improvising (solo) in response to the one specific recorded track supplied by an improviser hereby called a `host`. These four tracks are then combined together but the initial track by the host is not included in the final mix. The host becomes a ghost. This is the ghost quartet. All recording made under system 50:50 conditions.

People play while listening to an online live performance for example zoom, youtube or another platform.
If the player is attending a zoom session, they have logged intot he zoom session, the player has their media feed to the session muted or switched off, thus their sound does is not present in the ensemble sound.
The participant may adopt the system 50;50 settings as the live ensemble or not. This cannot be enforced.
To avoid confusion with music minus one, ghosting is playing to a live-ensemble-feed.
Music minus one is playing to a recorded media file, regardless of whether it was recorded for that purpose or not.

Examples of how this might be used:

  • as a `warm up` process in advance of a real-time online ensemble session;
  • listened to, and participated in, as a form of practice or practising;
  • taken as an opportunity to simply `play`, pass the time away and have fun :);
  • to become familiar with system 50:50;
  • to make a private recording so the player can review their playing.
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