Hypercello / Yo-Yo Ma

In 1991, the hyperinstrument team designed a special hypercello for Yo-Yo Ma, and Tod Machover wrote a special piece, Begin Again Again..., for Yo-Yo and this new instrument. The hypercello allows the cellist to control an extensive array of sounds through performance nuance. Special techniques (wrist measurements, bow pressure and position sensors, left hand fingering position indicators, direct sound analysis and processing, etc.) enable the computer to measure, evaluate, and respond to as many aspects of the performance as possible. This response is used in different ways at different moments of the piece: at times the cellist's playing controls electronic transformations of his own sound; at other times the interrelationship is more indirect and mysterious. The entire sound world is conceived as an extension of the soloist--not as a dichotomy, but as a new kind of instrument. Tod Machover and Yo-Yo Ma are currently working on a CD and CD-Rom of Begin Again Again... for the Sony Classical label.

[Jpeg of a Hypercello performance]