Three-Body Problem Online Performance at New York City Electroacoustic Improvisation Summit

Paul Stapleton (Performer), John Bowers (Performer), Adam Pultz Melbye (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


3BP—or the Three-Body Problem—is a new trio of electroacoustic improvisers based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Newcastle, England and Berlin, Germany.

It is not only in name that the trio pays homage to Isaac Newton's discovery of the complexity of gravitational pulls between three bodies; also in spirit the trio celebrates—not only interactional complexity—but also the lesser known mysticism and alchemy of the great physicist: complex adaptive DSP and machine listening algorithms team up with emergent feedback networks, (sometimes unstable) DIY instrument assemblages and modular synthesizers to form a sonic ecology drawing in equal measure on rigorous academic practices and a fascination with the magik of improvisation.

3BP is a child of the pandemic. Having only rehearsed once in person, the trio is native to online rehearsal and performance and as such, embrace as creative possibilities what may otherwise be seen as imperfections of online data transfer, such as network latency, packetisation and compression artefacts. Through the routing of audio between instruments and interfaces across the network, 3BP create local as well as extended online audio feedback loops, the resonant frequencies of which derive from a plethora of physical and virtual spaces, instruments, latency and network jitter. Because of the time difference between New York and Europe, members of 3BP have created custom-setups for this concert in order to facilitate performing at night without disturbing sleeping neighbours, further creatively exploring the affordances of online performance ecologies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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