like you and like you (2015)

In like you and like you, each player imitates the sounds made by the other two players as best they can, with each leading and responding to create chains of association. The players have an identical set of live sounds produced using objects and samples triggered by a keyboard. The categories are blurred, so each acoustic sound has a scaled up or impractical sound sample equivalent – cap gun and cannon, metronome and car indicators, and so on.  Players may imitate the respective sound with either the object or sample. The piece uses different types of imitation as its basis: true imitation, which involves copying the result of a goal-directed action and the means by which that action is performed;
emulation, where only the goal or outcome of an action is copied, but not necessarily using the same means; mimicry, in which only the means or low-level features of an action are copied without attending to a goal; and overimitation, where features of an action are copied even if those are not helpful to the action goal.

The piece was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for Cut and Splice, and performed by Plus Minus Ensemble at Cafe Oto on 26 September 2015. I am grateful to Antonia Hamilton for discussions about imitative behaviours.