A few details on Nabaz'mob


Nabaz'mob is indeed a remarkable marketing operation for Nabaztag, the communicating smart rabbit of the violet company, with a stunning show in prestigious art centers.

But, and this is mostly important for us artists, it is a contemporary opera : a contemporary concept with a contemporary musical composition. We've had total artistic freedom on the composition of the opera, and we have used it. It was important for us to use the gathering of 100 cute rabbits to question the behavior of such a crowd, leading to political interrogations about the shape of control and the consistency of the multitude. The musical composition recalls György Ligeti, and builds on the concepts of openness of John Cage and the concepts of emergence found in Steve Reich and Conlon Nancarrow, and the visual and behavioral design elaborates on the very actual notions of synchronization and its loss.

The three movements are based on different material involving a large gathering of performers: the glockenspiel deals with polyrythmic profusion in opposition to silence and movement, the second one builds dark chords and the last one anarchically melts famous codas from the classical repertoire, mainly opera overtures !

All the rabbits play the same score, but with a random imprecision of 0 to 10 seconds, thus creating to a vocabulary of audio and visual fluxes and masses instead of precision and synchronicity. This imprecision was caused by a technical limitation, but we embraced it with pleasure and actually kept it when the rabbit technicians found a way around. Also, at some moments the score contains branches between which each rabbit chooses individually. The show is always different, but always similar.

The result is a fascinating though unnerving experience for the public.

Technical information

The Nabaz'mob opera uses 100 standard commercial Nabaztag robotic wi-fi rabbits made by the violet company (www.nabaztag.com). In the control room, there is a PC server which acts as the conductor and 3 wi-fi routers to communicate with the rabbits.

The opera score, which defines, in digital format, the audio, visual and ear movements of the opera over time, is uploaded to the rabbits before the show, using wi-fi. At the beginning of the show, the computer sends the start command through wi-fi to the rabbits, which then perform the opera by themselves. All the music is played by the rabbits themselves, using their internal synthesizer and speaker.

For the creation, the rabbits were brought by their owner for the show and reconfigured to follow the local PC instead of the standard central server.

As we did not have 100 rabbits during the composition process, the opera was composed using specific composition software programmed for the occasion and simulating a crowd of 100 rabbits-performers (visual and audio) on a single computer, enabling us to feel what a single score played semi-randomly on 100 performers would look and sound like.

For the show, the 100 rabbits are arranged on stage like a choir, with lighting and microphones. We human are in the control room, and only hit the start button and tune the audio levels on the console during the show. It is the rabbits who are the stars.

More Technical informations

Contact :
Antoine Schmitt
- Jean-Jacques Birgé

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