dB Lullaby

live performance software for dan bau
Image of dan bau
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 Its body is made out of wood, but was originally made from bau (a Vietnamese melon).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."


collaborators: Byron Wise (dan bau performer)