Sean Norris

“I think that got a little out of hand (tidal obsession)” is a performance piece for Max/MSP, the Roland System 100, and a cassette player. My intention in writing it was, via an accompanying text and the machine-guided nature of the performer’s interaction with the synthesiser, to articulate a “relationship via interaction at arm’s length.” This mirrors the irrational anxieties I have around new relationships, wherein shared positive experiences are understood as precipitating eventual mutual betrayal. These main concepts are depicted in a series of “futile cycles,” the name that I’ve given to the iterative processes or recurring symbols in the piece that are either foreboding (the text, the repetitive rewinding of the cassette) or that seem to be obsessive and ultimately pointless (the careful attention to the patching configuration and the subsequent abandonment of the machine at the end of the piece).