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L. Gwilliam & R. Sweeten (DataSpaceTime)

Prepared Synthesizers

An indeterminate composition of infinite length written in Javascript for solo browser.

"Prepared Synthesizers" is an infinitely evolving aleatoric music composition for two browser synthesizers utilizing the Web Audio API embedded in modern browsers. "Prepared Synthesizers" is great for any occasion. Having a listening party? Don your favorite ascot and smoking jacket and discuss the vagaries of 20th century modernism. Having a night out with friends? Grab your mobile device, tune in to "Prepared Synthesizers" and watch in amazement as your friends suddenly begin discussing the maximalism of Milton Babbit or ponder the New Complexity of the Darmstadt School. Your ears need never be at a loss for the indeterminacy they so desire with "Prepared Synthesizers", brought to you by DataSpaceTime.

All tones and sounds are generated in real-time in the browser. The score is a growing number of sets of instructions for each synthesizer that determines the tones and ranges of pitches/timbres to be played. Every 60 seconds a random set is selected for each synth, causing the tones and pitches to slowly transition to the new instructions. Every tone/pitch is independently triggered for each synth by internal timers that fire at regular intervals. The frequency of these intervals is randomly selected with every new set, creating an endless cycle of rhythmic relationships. All of the synthesizer's parameters and parameter values are shown randomly on the screen, a deconstructed synth whose interface has been disrupted, a nod to the prepared piano works of John Cage.

"Prepared Synthesizers" grew out of research around DataSpaceTime's animated GIF grid works. "Prepared Synthesizers" was originally part of a larger ensemble of browser works communicating with each other over Web Sockets, and was also used in live performances at Microscope Gallery. Every 10 days, the artists will be adding additional sets of instructions to the work.


Lisa Gwilliam & Ray Sweeten (DataSpaceTime) made their debut as the collaborative duo in 2011 with the solo exhibit "the optimal value for y" at Microscope Gallery. The artists use current technologies that are further developed or redirected, through the use of original coding, as a means to consider the culture of informatics and the thresholds of image recognition and perception across various mediums. Gwilliam & Sweeten have continued to stress the importance of developing their own software in order to overcome the constraints imposed by commercial softwares and to reduce as the distance between themselves and the mediums they utilize. Their work has been featured in institutional shows in the US and abroad including the solo exhibition "Cryptophasia" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and in the group shows "Processed: To Each Their Own Image", Center Pompidou, Paris, France; "Day In Day Out" at GEH8 Kunstraum und Ateliers, Dresden, Germany "Altarations", Schmidt Center Gallery, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, and "Dialogics", Rowan University Art Gallery, New Jersey among others. Their 6-channel video "Breakout" was commissioned by The Parrish Museum for New York City Center.