This article outlines a mode of contemporary performance based on “interdependent listening.” Interdependent listening involves creating performative feedback loops in which players respond directly to the sounds they hear others make. Most ensembles deploy such listening to some extent; however, the distinction between general ensemble playing and interdependent listening is structural, describing situations in which the interdependence generates the content. This socially driven approach can be observed historically in works by Christian Wolff, Cornelius Cardew and Pauline Oliveros and underpins recent works by the author of this article, particularly within the project Super Critical Mass. In Super Critical Mass events, temporary communities use homogeneous sound sources to create works whose structures evolve from the performers’ interconnections.

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