dB Lullaby

live performance software for dan bau
Image of dB Lullaby performance with Byron Wise
title: dB Lullaby duration: 5:16


dB Lullaby was originally written as a live performance piece for dan bau and computer. Using MAX/MSP, custom software was written for the computer performer to directly manipulate and process the signal of the dan bau in real-time. The live signal was then convolved with sound-samples that were stored on the computers hard drive. The software component used an on-screen visual interface that allowed the performer to "draw" sound and process the sound signal in real-time.


The dan bau is a single-string, guitar-like instrument unique to Vietnam. Its body is made out of wood, but was originally made from bau (a Vietnamese melon). The modern version of the dan bau has a single metal guitar string that is stretched from its base, over a wooden fret board, and into a flexible piece of wood that allows the string to be tightened or loosed by the performer. Near the base is a small electric pickup, which allows the instrument to be amplified. This recording is a composite of several "live" performances of the piece and has been performed solely as a piece for "tape."


This work was completed in partial fulfillment of a masters degree in Computer Music and New Media Technology at Northern Illinois University. You can find the thesis here.


2000 Spring in Havana 2000, Havana, Cuba


1999 SEAMUS AudioClip Web Concert


collaborators: Byron Wise (dan bau performer)