Reunion 2012
What happens when chess players get to perform music? What does check mate sound like?

Place: Main Library, University of Oslo

Date: September 7 – 14, 2012

Musicians: Maja Ratkje, Lasse Marhaug, Guttorm Andreasen, Peter Edwards, Asbjørn Blokkum Flø, Ulf Holbrook, Jonas Bartsen Johnsen, Erik Strutz, Eskil Muan Sæther og Anders Tveit

Chess players: Simen Agdestein (former grand master & 7 times Norwegian champion), Hans Olav Lahlum (author, chess player and politician), Aryan Tari (junior Norwegian champion), Jøran Aulin-Jansson (President in Norwegian Chess Federation), Kristian Trygstad (Vice President in Norwegian Chess Federation)

Teaser: Reunion2012 from Magnus Bugge on Vimeo.

As part of Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival 2012, SkRR and Notam in collaboration with Ultima and Norwegian Chess Federation presents Reunion2012 – a work for electronically modified chess board, chess players electronic instruments and visual effects.

The work bases itself on John Cage’s Reunion from 1968. The idea behind Reunion was to reflect the chess game’s flow and dynamics through sound. The idea was put to life by building a chess board equipped with sensors which would register movements on the board, and which in turn would result in various sonic results.

John Cage,s Reunion

Teeny Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage

During the Ultima festival in September 2012, Reunion will recur as a technologically updated version of Cage’s work, with a revitalized artistic expression and modern technology that ensures a higher degree of interaction between the chess movements and the sound.

Reunion2012 will be presented in a concert format on two occasions at the University Library at Blindern. At the concerts, the chess players will be playing with several musicians, all of whom are connected to the chess computer analyzing the game. Movements on the chess board determine determine which sounds are let through to the audience, so the chess players could be said to have the roles as the work’s conductors. During the rest of the festival, Reunion2012 will be exhibited as an installation, where the audience may perform music by playing chess.