album cover of Down the Rabbit Hole. Title is visually represented as punchcard.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole is a compilation album made by the TOPLAP Barcelona live-coding community, released in March 2021. Champlin’s contribution to the album, the track “Neowise3,” is a minimalist study of resonance and timbre.

The album, published by Call It Anything Records, is available via Bandcamp as a digital download or CD with a limited edition laser cut booklet containing personal bios and insights about the pieces from each artist contributing to the project. A digital copy of the source code for each track is included with both formats.

From the booklet:

“Neowise3” is a constructed/deconstructed sound- scape, one of a series of minimalist improvisations. Using very few samples, it layers the ringing of the spheres, and beams out harmonics like a prism splitting light into distinct colors. The three short samples used were sounded and recorded live on bow chime by Matt Samolis of Barre, Mass. The bow chime is a very physical instrument which plays you in return. Recordings of this acoustic behemoth cannot track the experience of it live, but by manipulating these samples, we find new means to reckon with the tangible shapes of orbits and conjunctions. Many thanks to Matt for his collaboration and mentorship.

algorithmically generated interference waves

La Obra Invisible (Incorpórea)

‘The Invisible Work’

La Obra Invisible is a collaboration under the collective name Incorpórea. Quoted from the collective’s website:

algorithmically generated interference waves overlaid with the text "Incorpórea"

Incorporéa is a collective of two artists, Yalili Mora and Alicia Champlin, who have both worked extensively in the task of manifesting the invisible of our inner human worlds.

Yalili uses painting / portrait as a metaphor, with concerns about a deeper exploration of technological interfaces. Alicia has a history of using technological interventions as a mediator between creativity and data.

In collaboration between these two multimedia practices, “The Invisible Work” aims to reconcile the emotional and empirical realms, reaffirming our physical agency within our environments while simultaneously exploring the implications of our most ephemeral traces. In this mapping process, what we hope to emphasize is the balance between individual sovereignty over this psychological landscape, and its vulnerability to environmental and interpersonal forces, as well as the limits of our agency as these traces spread throughout the world in general.

The piece is an interactive installation featuring a Chladni plate as a visualization of the sonified brainwaves of both artists, signal-mixed together by visitors in real-time using a custom application built by Champlin, and presented along with the artists’ painted portraits (part of Mora’s series “Retratos sin rostros aparentes”, or “Portraits without apparent faces”).

This work was installed as part of Recorreguts Sonors: Accions i Mutacions Sonores at the Convent de Sant Agustí in Barcelona, 19-23 November of 2019.

portrait by Yali Mora of Alicia Champlin
screen capture of Tidal Cycles code

New live-coding track uploaded…

Last week, I took my turn at the table during the monthly TOPLAP-bcn session, and we had the opportunity to capture a 3D/ambisonic recording.

I am new to Tidal Cycles, the language I was performing in, but I still feel like these live sessions are valuable as an exploration of algorithmic composition, even if my own composition strategies as an improviser are still evolving. So far I’m finding ample opportunity to experiment with algorithmic transformations of pattern sequences and samples. This piece has up to 7 lines of code running at one time, no more. The transitions you hear are triggered by recompiling individual lines in real time with updated parameters and conditionals.

The recording was made with Zylia ZM-1, a 3rd order ambisonic microphone, and rendered by Sfëar Studio for binaural listening. Disclosure: I am married to the lead developer at Sfëar. 😉

Enjoy! Please feel free to add comments. If you want to hear more, I am on the line-up for the end-of-season Algorave scheduled for July 19 – more info soon!

An image of the promotional poster for the 2018 performance, "I Am Sitting... IV" in Bergen, Norway, depicting Champlin with a 3D printed EEG device on her head.

I Am Sitting… IV

Past performances: 

  • May 17, 2018; Without Borders Festival at Lord Hall Gallery; Orono, ME, USA (view on youtube)
  • June 10-12, 2018; Thresholds of the Algorithmic at Lydgalleriet; Bergen, Norway

Link to video of “I Am Sitting… IV” at Without Borders Festival in May, 2018.

I Am Sitting. . . is an immersive performance and sound installation in which a live performer is seated, in meditation and wearing an EEG instrument, in the center of an array of 8 inward-facing speakers. Eight channels of live-streamed EEG data are transformed into a sonic landscape that is both intimate and expansive. The sounds are spatialized in accordance with the geography of the eight electrode sensors of the instrument in order to create the sense of listening to the brain from the point of view of its owner, the performer.

The performance space is defined by the perimeter of speakers, and invites the audience to enter into the space, move about within it, and become part of an immersive bio-feedback experience. The resultant sound responds to the environment, especially the presence of the audience, by articulating external influences on the brain activity of the performer.

This work speaks to the thresholds at work within our perceptions – of self, of environment, and the distinctions between the two.

It also illustrates a dialectic between author and subject. Do our perceptions and actions generate our world, or are we experiencing a determined universe, an algorithm that is simply playing itself out? This quandary extends from the performer in meditation through the audience experiencing the piece, both questioning their role at the threshold of influence.

Finally, I Am Sitting. . . hovers in the space between the intimate and the interpersonal. How much of me is you? Can we fine-tune our perceptions to be more, or less, sensitive to our social conditioning? Which signals qualify as communication? The piece puts the audience (and performer) in an active state of testing these thresholds, teasing our intuitive and intellectual senses to dialogue with one another and form dynamic hypotheses about the nature of perception and interaction.

This piece is dedicated to the inimitable Alvin Lucier.

Sound installation, speakers on a wall in a gallery

Lasting and Leaving

“Lasting and Leaving” is a generative sound art installation built with MaxMSP for a multichannel array. Random periodic sequences are triggered by foot traffic in a public space.

This installation was inspired by a 1913 score ‘Musical Sculpture’ by Marcel Duchamp, later interpreted as ‘Sculptures Musicales’ by John Cage: “Sounds lasting and leaving from different places and forming a sounding sculpture that lasts.”

The piece is also a personal recalling for me, at the end of my MFA studies. I began my research into systems thinking and communication thanks to a pilgrimage undertaken in Japan, which cemented for me the idea that an environment becomes the embodied experience of those who travel through it, leaving traces and taking pieces with them.

Listen here:

The first full installation of “Lasting and Leaving” took place in the Without Borders Festival in May-June of 2018.

Text excerpt from John Cage score "Sculpture Musicale"
Sound installation, speakers on a wall in a gallery
Sound installation, speakers on a wall in a gallery

Image credits from Without Borders Festival: James Winters @2018

Duet for Bow Chime & Live EEG 1

Duet for Bow Chime & Live EEG

Duet for Bow Chime & Live EEG was a live improvisational performance recorded in the IMRC’s AP/PE on March 27, 2018.

This work uses a modified technique, which includes live EEG (brainwave) data in combination with bowing. EEG data processed through custom MaxMSP programming is converted to a sound signal and output through a pair of transducers attached to the resonator of the bow chime. 

The effect is such that the bow chime’s range of frequencies becomes focused where it is resonant with the EEG signal, and the two work together to produce complex layers of sound. Further, the normal haptic feedback loop between the bow chime and player, which allows the player to choose sympathetic bowing actions, is layered with the added element of biofeedback from the EEG sounds generated by the player in action.

An upcoming performance using this technique is scheduled for July 9, 2018, at the Apohadion Theatre in Portland Maine.


Champlin uses a modified bow chime developed by Matt Samolis. She has been studying ‘cymbal bath’ techniques with Samolis since 2017. The instrument is modeled on the original bow chime invented by Robert Rutman in 1967.