Concerts and Performances 2022

Concert 1 – Fixed Media Electroacoustic

Francis Dhomont – Perpetuum Mobile (Fantom Rains)

Francis Dhomont

To Christoph von Blumröder, acousmatic musicologist.
Perpetuum mobile (Phantom rain) belongs to the category of my “abstract” works, those that have no other aim than the music itself, which do not refer to any representation other than musical, to no metaphor. Here, it is the project to associate, in continual agitation, musical parameters of multiple sources but of similar typo-morphologies: accumulations, various granulations, complex rhythmic figures, oscillating weavings, brief melisms, long ranges of outfits, splinters of heights. And yet, these purely material choices evoke, by their often random and accumulative behavior, the hazardous song of the rain (which makes a brief appearance) and its sound models: runoff, unpredictable agitation, repetitive cycles, lulls, but also lapping, waving, cascade flux. downpouring sometimes. Imagined rains or rain images?

Phantom Rain was realized in the composer’s personal studio in Avignon, France. World premiere on December 11, 2019, International Festival “L’espace du son”, Theatre Marni, Brussels, Belgium.

Biography

Francis Dhomont (1926, Paris, France) studied under Charles Koechlin and Nadia Boulanger. Later, leaving behind instrumental writing, he dedicated himself exclusively to electroacoustic composition. An ardent proponent of acousmatics, his work (since 1963) is bearing witness to his continued interest in morphological interplay and ambiguities between sound and the images it may create. He has taught at the Université de Montreal from 1980 to 1996. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC, 1989) and a Founding Member (1986) and Honorary Member (1989) of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC). Honorary Member of the CIME-ICEM.

The “Université de Montréal” gave him a Doctorate Honoris causa. Prize of the SACEM (France) 2007. The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec has awarded him a prestigious career grant. In 1999, he was awarded five first prizes at international competitions (Brazil, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Czech Republic). Invited in 1997 by the DAAD for a residence in Berlin (Germany). Five-time winner at the Bourges Competition (France) the Magisterium Prize in 1988 and Prize at Ars Electronica 1992 (Linz, Austria), etc. He now lives in France, participates in several juries and focuses on composition and theory.

Rodney DuPlessis – De Rerum Natura

Rodney DuPlessis

De Rerum Natura is inspired by the concept of “naturalness” in physics, which presents a conflict between truth and beauty. In physics, the most natural theories ought to have dimensionless ratios of order 1 and ought not to have fine-tuned parameters. The tension between this widely applied concept on the one hand, and the promise of science to shed all bias in pursuit of truth on the other, guided my exploration within the soundscape of this piece. I recorded the sound material in Australia (Alpine National Park), Paris, Siena, and California. Composed at Musiques & Recherches in Belgium and at CREATE in California (2019-2020). The blending and processing of sounds reflects the tension between nature and naturalness; the way things are and the way we want them to be.

Biography

Rodney DuPlessis is a Canadian composer and programmer exploring intersections of science, nature, technology, and music. In his work, he studies processes and patterns from natural and human-made systems to extract latent musicality and visceral sonic narratives. He incorporates algorithmic and intuitive methods, field recording, sonification, and software development to create electroacoustic and chamber music, museum installations, and network music collaborations. His music has been performed internationally and recognized by prizes such as Musica Nova International Competition (Finalist), Corwin Award for Excellence in Composition (1st prize – Percussion, 1st prize – Solo), and 2020 SEAMUS/ASCAP award (finalist). He has collaborated with new music luminaries such as Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Formalist Quartet, Hocket, Henrique Portovedo, and Scott Worthington.

As a programmer, DuPlessis creates innovative sound processing and synthesis software. In 2020, Duplessis, Curtis Roads, and Jack Kilgore released EmissionControl2, an interactive real-time application for granular synthesis. In 2021, he released QHOSYN, a synthesizer that sonifies a quantum wave function. DuPlessis is dedicated to promoting the presentation of new music and art. He has directed and produced many festivals and concerts, and serves as Programs and Development director of the Nomadic Soundsters art collective. DuPlessis’ teachers have included Curtis Roads, Clarence Barlow, Joao Pedro Oliveira, and Martin Kutnowski. He holds a BA in Music and Psychology, Masters of Arts in Composition, Masters of Science in Media Arts & Technology, and PhD in Composition at UC Santa Barbara.

Kerry Hagan – Memento Mori

Kerry Hagan

Remember that you die.

Although there are many objets d’art and musical forms arising from the macabre reminder of death, the Renaissance practice of the memento mori or vanitas still life is, perhaps, the most replete with symbolism. Common images include the obvious, such as skulls or skeletons, but also represent other fleeting, fading themes: decaying fruit, cut flowers, recently snuffed candles (the smoke still present but the flame extinguished), hourglasses in mid-count, soap bubbles floating above a skull, spilled chalices, and so on.

In this work, the entire form derives from a near-infinite reverb of a complex, layered impulse. The impulse lasts mere 10ths of a second, but the remainder of the work is the prolonged reverberation tail, freezing the impulse in time. As the piece dies away, elements of the complex sound swell in and out of the foreground, allowing time to investigate each symbol in the still life.

Biography

Kerry is a composer and researcher working in both acoustic and computer media. She develops real-time methods for spatialization and stochastic algorithms for musical practice. Her work endeavours to achieve aesthetic and philosophical aims while taking inspiration from mathematical and natural processes. In this way, each work combines art with science and technology from various domains. Her works have been performed in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Kerry performs regularly with Miller Puckette as the Higgs whatever, and with John Bowers in the Bowers-Hagan Duo.

As a researcher, Kerry’s interests include real-time algorithmic methods for music composition and sound synthesis, spatialization techniques for 3D sounds and electronic/electroacoustic musicology. Her research has been presented in international conferences around the world. In 2010, Kerry led a group of practitioners to form the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association, where she served as President until 2015. Currently, Kerry is a Lecturer at the University of Limerick in the Digital Media and Arts Research Centre. She is the Principal Investigator for the Spatialization and Auditory Display Environment (SpADE) and President of the International Computer Music Association.

Leah Reid – Reverie

Reverie is an acousmatic composition that leads the listener through an immersive fantasy centered around deconstructed music boxes. The work is comprised of eight sections that alternate between explorations of the music boxes’ gears and chimes. In the work, the music boxes’ sounds are pulled apart, exaggerated, expanded, and combined with other sounds whose timbres and textures are reminiscent of the original. As the piece unfolds, the timbres increase in spectral and textural density, and the associations become more and more fantastical. Gears are transformed into zippers, coins, chainsaws, motorcycles, and fireworks, and the chimes morph into rainstorms, all sizes of bells, pianos, and more. The work is available in stereo and 8 channel versions. Reverie won First Prize in the 8th KLANG! International Electroacoustic Composition Competition, and Second Prizes in both the Xenakis International Electronic Music Competition and the XIII° International Destellos Competition.

Biography

Leah Reid is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. In recent reviews, her works have been described as “immersive,” “haunting,” and “shimmering.” She has received numerous awards and honors, including the American Prize in Composition—Vocal Chamber Music, first prizes in the KLANG! International Electroacoustic Composition Competition and the Tesselat Electronic Music Competition, IAWM’s Pauline Oliveros Prize, second prizes in the Iannis Xenakis International Electronic Music Competition and the 13th International Destellos Competition, the Film Score Award in Frame Dance Productions’ Music Composition Competition, and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the VCCA, and the Hambidge Center.

She has worked with ensembles such as Accordant Commons, Blow Up Percussion, Ensemble Móbile, Guerilla Opera, Jack Quartet, Neave Trio, Sound Gear, Talea, and Yarn/Wire. Her compositions have been presented at festivals, conferences, and in major venues throughout the world, including Aveiro_Síntese, BEAST FEaST, EviMus, Forgotten Spaces: EuroMicrofest, ICMC, IRCAM’s ManiFeste, LA Philharmonic’s Noon to Midnight, the Matera Intermedia Festival, NYCEMF, the SF Tape Music Festival, Série de Música de Câmara, SMC, the Tilde New Music Festival, TIES, and WOCMAT, among many others.

Reid received her D.M.A from Stanford University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. www.leahreidmusic.com

Domenico De Simone – HYPNOS

Hypnos and Thanatos, Sleep and Death. Death mirrors Sleep, because it is the latter that interacts with life; it is life itself, while Death represents its mirror opposite: life is mirrored in Death. Now Hypnos is introduced … Thanatos can wait.
Starting from the sounds recorded on the lakeside of the town where I was born, I imagined what the soundscape will be in the future.

Biography

Professor of Electroacoustic Composition at the “Umberto Giordano” Music Conservatory of Foggia. Graduated in Piano, Jazz, Composition and Electronic Music.
He also graduated in Composition advanced course at the Accademia Nazionale of Santa Cecilia under the guidance of Azio Corghi and in Electronic Music – 2nd academic level, with the highest marks and honors, at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia under the guidance of Giorgio Nottoli. He enhanced his knowledge by attending the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, where he was awarded with the diploma of merit in Music for Film by Ennio Morricone and the diploma of merit in Composition by Franco Donatoni. In 1995, 1996 and 1997 he was awarded by the S.I.A.E. He is the author of the end credits soundtrack used in the film called “Il viaggio” and of the music for the “Therapeutic Gardens” of the “A. Gemelli” University Hospital in Rome, inaugurated in June 2018. His compositions have been performed in more than one hundred concerts in Italy and abroad (China, Latvia, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Romania, Malta, USA, etc.) and broadcasted by RADIOTRE.

Leigh Landy – On the Éire

Leigh Landy
Prof. Leigh Landy Director – Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre Clephan Building

This eight-channel work is the sixth in the Radio Series which commenced with the 2007 GRM commissioned work, Oh là la radio and was followed by To BBC or Not, Radio-aktiv (ZKM commission, also in a 24-channel version), Chinese Radio Sound (made in collaboration with Shenyang Conservatory students), Radio Voice-overs (a Czech Radio commission and recorded on a recent DVD) and, just completed, Aplican Términos y Condiciones (commissioned work for the Visiones Sonoras festival in Morélia, Mexico). Like many of my recent works, it focuses on recycling sounds forming part of today’s sampling culture. In this case, the University of Ulster requested a work based on a pan-Irish set of broadcasts at a time of Brexit and no government in Stormont. Recordings were made just before St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. Other than the final manipulated sound, all sounds are presented in their original state. The role I chose was simply to re-compose this sound material. For those familiar with Irish and Northern Irish radio, many familiar voices and logos can be heard. The piece works both at the level of heightened listening – understanding every word spoken if that is what you want to pay attention to – and reduced listening – catching the occasional phrase but listening to the work as organised sound in space. The piece intends to take the known, tilt it ever so slightly and re-present it as a sound-based artwork. Humour is one of its key elements. As far as copyright is concerned … don’t ask.

I would like to thank Brian Bridges and his students at the University of Ulster in Derry for their NI and Donegal broadcast recordings and Brian Connelly in the Republic for the RTÉ and various regional broadcasts and podcasts.

Biography

Leigh Landy (llandy.dmu.ac.uk) holds a Research Chair at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK) where he directs the Music, Technology and Innovation – Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2). His scholarship is divided between creative and musicological work. His compositions, many of which are sample-based, include several for video, dance and theatre and have been performed around the globe. He has worked extensively with the late playwright, Heiner Müller and the new media artist, Michel Jaffrennou and was composer in residence for the Dutch National Theatre during its first years of existence. His publications focus primarily on the studies of electroacoustic music. He is editor of “Organised Sound” (Cambridge University Press) and author of eight books including “What’s the Matter with Today’s Experimental Music?”. “Understanding the Art of Sound Organization” (MIT Press) and “The Music of Sounds” (Routledge, 2012). He is currently completing two books, “On the Music of Sounds and the Music of Things” with John Richards and “Experiencing Organised Sounds”. He directs the ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS) projects and is a founding director of the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network (EMS).

Concert 2 – Recitals and Lecture Recitals

Hubert Howe – Structuring Inharmonic Spectra in Electroacoustic Music: Irrational Numbers

Hubert Howe

Abstract: This paper explains how spectra can be structured in electroacoustic music using irrational numbers as the basis of the components. Two basic methods are described: pitch compression or expansion and frequency shifting. The presentation includes several audio examples and the playing of an entire composition.

Biography

Hubert Howe was educated at Princeton University, where he studied with J. K. Randall, Godfrey Winham and Milton Babbitt, and from which he received the A.B., M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees. He was one of the first researchers in computer music and became Professor of Music and Director of the Electronic Music studios at Queens College of the City University of New York. He also taught at the Juilliard School from 1974 to 1994. In 1988-89 he held the Endowed Chair in Music at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. From 1989 to 1998, 2001 to 2002, and Fall 2007, he was Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He is a member of the Society of Composers, Inc., the American Composers Alliance, the International Computer Music Association, SEAMUS, the Long Island Composers Alliance, and the New York Composers Circle. In 2009, he founded the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and he continues as Director. Recordings of his computer music have been released by Capstone Records (Overtone Music, CPS-8678, Filtered Music, CPS-8719, and Temperamental Music and Created Sounds, CPS- 8771), Ravello Records (Clusters, RR 7817 and Improvisation on the Undertone Series, RR8043) and Centaur Records (Harmonic and Inharmonic Fantasies, CRC 3579).

Rodney DuPlessis – Psi: From stochastic music to quantum music

Psi (2021) is the culmination of years of compositional work and research into the sonification of classical and quantum systems. Classical objects push and pull in tangible and deterministic gestures. A Newton’s cradle collides on one side, energy courses through the system, and it erupts on the other side. Quantum objects mystify the imagination with erratic and unpredictable behavior. Psi guides the listener from a classical mechanical sound world into a quantum soundscape populated by quantum harmonic oscillators. For these quantum sounds, I created a software, QHOSYN, which sonifies evolving wave functions using the time-dependent Schrodinger equation. I also used several other original software applications.

At the heart of the quantum methods proposed is a stochastic theory based on the time-varying probability distributions of quantum wavefunctions. Thus, this work extends the tradition of stochastic compositional methods pioneered by Iannis Xenakis into the realm of physical simulation. Also in the spirit of Xenakis, quantum techniques seemingly paradoxically challenge modernist ideology by using mathematical rigor to escape from determinism and objectivity. In this presentation, I accompany a listening of Psi with a look into the process, tools, and ideas that went into its creation. I present some of the ways in which quantum systems can be sonified and discuss aesthetic considerations regarding the use of quantum principles in music. I point to new potential for arts and science collaboration catalyzed by this work

Dr Lauren Redhead and Alistair Zaldua – Performing Creative Textual Practices as Critical Re-writings

Lauren Redhead

Caroline Lucas, in her graphic score Untitled, created for Lauren Redhead, employs a quotation from Virginia Woolf’s 1929 essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’ that addresses the women’s literary tradition in the 19th Century as a short and partial, stating it is useless to go to the great men writers for help. (2001, p64). Performing this piece for voice and electronics (‘burn the shelves’, 2016) became the starting point for a method of quasi-improvised textual exploration by our duet. This lecture-recital will take the form of a performance lecture (cf Cage, 1961), combining the performance of work for our duet of spoken word, e-violin and electronics, with a critical evaluation of how such performance, and creative textual practice (Kristeva, 1984; Barrett, 2011) might rethink the traditions in which such texts can be considered. We draw on improvised practices and prepared texts that have been created using Oulipo-inspired techniques to derive new meanings from existing texts through critical rewritings, or translations, of work that address historical, political, aesthetic, and gender-based themes, and their relation to art and listening. For example and in addition to Lucas’s composition about women’s work in radio (‘feminist pirate broadcasts’, 2021) and digital aesthetics (‘machines’, 2021). There is a deliberate plethora of traditions that this work is in discourse with: at the same time as performing the music, we aim to reflexively examine the methodology of practice research, considering creative practice both as its means of investigation and mode of presentation and communication. The violin improvisation plays into the spaces offered by the spoken word, presenting its own spaces, or responding to the spoken text. This strategy is deliberately non-mimetic and serves as a parallel to the spoken word, oftentimes deliberately tenuous and exploring the extremes of difference within the texts.

Biographies

Composers and improvisers Lauren Redhead and Alistair Zaldua frequently work together on collaborative projects and in their duet for organ and live electronics. Alistair performs with the acoustic and 5-string electric violins, along with live electronics, and is also a conductor, and a researcher with the Royal Music Association’s Music and/as Process study group. Lauren is also an organist, a musicologist who writes on the aesthetics of recent music, and a Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. This combination of spoken word and improvised e-violin is the beginning of a new project involving text and improvisation.

Concert 3 – FIXED MEDIA Audio-visual

Michael Lyons – Tenjinsan Textiles

Tenjinsan Textiles (天神さんテガスタイル)

Film: Michael Lyons & Haruka Mitani
Sound: Michael Lyons & Palle Dahlstedt
3:45 | Japan | 2021 | Stereo | No Dialogue

This is a stop motion animation of antique kimono textiles from the Nishijin district in Kyoto. It was filmed on super 8 in Kyoto by Michael Lyons and Haruka Mitani. The soundtrack was created by Michael Lyons and Palle Dahlstedt using the Octopus analogue audio-visual interface. The synthesizer follows visual input from the film, so that the textile motifs may act as a visual score for the sounds. The film is the outcome of our desire to listen to the kimono patterns.

Completed for release 2021 | ‘Making of’ video: https://vimeo.com/650481171 | Octopus demo video: https://vimeo.com/79488015 Previous Exhibition: Punto y Raya Festival 2021, Vienna Austria

Biography

Michael Lyons is a researcher and artist based in Kyoto, Japan. He is Professor of Image Arts and Sciences at Ritsumeikan University. He proposed and co-organized the first International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression.

Haruka Mitani is an independent filmmaker. She was raised in a Kyoto lacquerware crafts family and received a degree in Image Arts and Sciences from Ritsumeikan University. She works in film restoration and preservation.

Palle Dahlstedt is a composer, sound artist, improviser, and researcher based in Gothenburg, Sweden affiliated with Chalmers University of Technology, the Academy of Music and Drama, Gothenburg, and the University of Aalborg, Denmark.

Charles Nichols, Zach Duer, Scotty Hardwig – Time Garden: skull bridge

Time Garden is a multimovement choreographic work completely in virtual reality. The work exists at the intersection of physical and imagined virtual spaces where many hyperreal performance options become possible. The work hybridizes the human body and technology in digital space, where body and movement become replicable and simulateable. The collaborative process between dance, music, and visual art has involved scanning the human body to transform it into digital landscapes, recording vocal sounds for processing into the musical score, retargeting movements onto virtual avatars through inertial motion capture, mapping dancer joint motion and distance to audio synthesis and processing parameters. The music for skull bridge was composed by performing interactive computer music, glitching, spectrally resynthesizing, and granulating samples of a male voice speaking a poem, singing pitches, and performing vocal percussion, in response to the choreography of the avatar dancers and the camera perspective in the virtual reality.

Charles Nichols, music
Scotty Hardwig, movement performance & choreography
Zach Duer, visualization

Biographies

Zach Duer is an Assistant Professor teaching in the Creative Technologies Program in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. His work lies at a series of intersections: sound and visualization; careful composition and improvised performance; intuitive musical spontaneity and structured digital systems.

Zach Duer

Scotty Hardwig is a movement and media artist whose work investigates the spaces between the human and the technological, the real and the digital, the body and the environment, and the anatomical/evolutionary and the social. He is an active creator of contemporary works for stage and screen, and an educator teaching courses in movement, performance and integrated media at Virginia Tech.

Composer, violinist, and computer music researcher Charles Nichols (www.charlesnichols.com) explores the expressive potential of instrumental ensembles, computer music systems, and combinations of the two, for the concert stage, and collaborations with dance, video, and installation art. His research includes spatial audio, data sonification, motion capture for musical performance, and telematic performance. He teaches Composition and Creative Technologies at Virginia Tech and is a Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Creativity Arts and Technology.

Calum Wilton – The Void

Calum Wilton

The Void is a fixed media audiovisual composition that simulates a three-screen expanded cinema performance set in an installation-style digital environment. The piece is heavily inspired by the works of inceptual visual music artists as well as a current post-pandemic movement in the professional art world that has sought to create virtual media galleries and digital nightclubs due to lockdowns/social distancing measures affecting the usage of traditional spaces. The composition demonstrates the use of two key real-time visual software packages, TouchDesigner and Unreal Engine. TouchDesigner was employed to create the multiple screened visuals, utilising audiovisual cohesion with the accompanying hypnotic techno soundtrack to create visual animations for each instrument. In contrast, Unreal Engine was used to create a realistic installation-style environment, automate camera movement, and control granular detail such as lighting, geometry and character animations.

This piece is part of Calum’s broader PhD research regarding “Environmental Audiovisual Composition”, which focuses on creating and comparing works that utilise environmental factors digitally (such as the piece described above and virtual reality compositions) in addition to physically expanded cinema works.

Biography

Calum Wilton is a music producer, DJ, lecturer and audiovisual composer from Staffordshire, UK. He studied Music Technology (BSc), Music Production (MA) and received a PhD scholarship from Staffordshire University in 2019. Currently, his works and research focus on various forms of audiovisual composition. In addition to his studies, Calum’s music has been broadcast and performed internationally, with productions released on several renowned labels.

Ryo Ikeshiro – Composition: White Square, White Circle

Ryo Ikeshiro

Composition: White Square, White Circle is a fixed-media screening/installation work. It is an audiovisualisation – simultaneous data sonification and visualisation – where the same data and process generate both the sound and the moving image. Simple abstract designs are used, based on folding into a square and stretching into a circle, much like kneading dough. These shapes are moved to and from, and gently transformed into complex structures and then back again. It is a homage to the Russian Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich.

Biography

Ryo Ikeshiro is an artist, musician and researcher. His work explores the possibilities of meaning and context presented through sound as well as its materiality in relation to digital audio and audio technologies. His output includes installations and live performances in a variety of formats including immersive environments using multi-channel projections and audio, 360-video and Ambisonics, field recordings, interactive works and generative works. Ryo is part of the inaugural exhibition at M+, Hong Kong, and his TeleText art pages have been broadcast on German, Austrian, Swiss and Finnish national TV. He is a contributor to Sound Art: Sound as a medium of art, a ZKM Karlsruhe/MIT publication, and his articles have been published in the journal Organised Sound.

Originally from Japan, Ryo lived in the UK for many years. He has a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London, MPhil from Cambridge University and BMus from Kings College London. He is an Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, where he is the MFACM Deputy Leader and co-director of SoundLab, a spatial audio art/research unit.

Marcel Zaes – Pulsations

Marcel Zaes

PULSATIONS is an assemblage of linked yet individual rhythmic ticks that oscillate between order and disorder. The deployed sounds are entirely digital sine tones which are passed through a set of trash speakers which act as an instrument as they enliven the digital sounds with analog distortion, noise and dirt. Via contact microphones, these instrument’s output is passed back to the computer as a sustained stream of sound. With a python-based generative algorithm, this stream is rhythmized, that is, cut into tiny fragments and bits, thereby giving rise to a techno-organic assemblage between the digital and the analog, between order and disorder.

In response to the conference’s topic of tradition, PULSATIONS is an attempt to think about a possibility of what music might be once our tools, techniques, and materials have become digital and it proposes a process at the level of the sound’s timbral and temporal shaping which allows for physical interaction at the vibrating matter for those who play with it.

Biography

Marcel Zaes is an artist and researcher in digital sound, technology, and composition. He holds an M.A. in Music & Media Arts from Bern University of the Arts, an M.A. in Music Composition from Zurich University of the Arts and has additionally completed composition studies with Alvin Curran in Rome and with Peter Ablinger in Berlin. In 2021, he received his Ph.D. from Brown University and since 2022 he is Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Technology at the School of Design, Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, China.

Marcel explores rhythm in an interdisciplinary framework that encompasses its socio-cultural backgrounds, its politics and perception, and the use of mechanical rhythm machines in music making – such as metronomes, drum machines and step sequencers. Marcel creates textures and beats that emerge as installation pieces, sound performances, concert music for ensembles or as electronic solo performances. For his work, Marcel Zaes has been awarded a number of grants and prizes, has played numerous concerts and taken part in group exhibitions internationally, has repeatedly been an artist in residence and has had his works performed by ensembles internationally. To date, he has published twelve albums with Tonus Music Records, Dumpf Edition, Prefermusic, and Editions Verde.

Debashis Sinha – and the resplendent

Debashis Sinha

One of a series of works using machine learning to intervene on a body of cultural knowledge, in this case an English translation of the Rig Veda, one of the main Hindu sacred texts. In this speculative mythology, machine learning is used as an analogy of divine wisdom, impossible to truly comprehend using the limited senses of our human bodies. By subjecting the words and sounds of (Hindu) India and the heavenly realm to neural networks “and the resplendent” becomes a possibility of cultural knowledge, an aural illustration of the hidden layers of meaning inherent in the quest for truth, and the limitations of our bodies and minds to comprehend them. It demonstrates a possibility of refusal, a rejection of the standard benchmarks of efficiency, scale, speed and accuracy in favour of embracing the messy and inaccurate outputs of neural networks as demonstrating a hidden knowledge embedded in the data, available as a potential interpretation of cultural expression.

Biography

Driven by a deep commitment to the primacy of sound in creative expression, Debashis Sinha has created numerous audio-centred solo and collaborative projects across Canada and internationally. Sound design and composition credits include works for contemporary dance, video, film, and Dora Award-winning productions with many of Canada’s premiere theatre companies, including numerous works for Peggy Baker Dance Projects, The Stratford Festival, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Canadian Stage, Why Not Theatre, and many others. His speculative mythology-driven sound practice has led to live appearances at MUTEK Japan, the Guelph Jazz Festival, the Banff Centre, Haus der Kulturen der Welt and other exhibitions online and in gallery spaces. Currently, Sinha has been researching sound production using machine learning and AI with an ear to uncovering new modes and methods of story creation, releasing recordings on Berlin’s Establishment Records imprint, Gusstaff and elsewhere. He is an assistant professor in The Creative School at X (Ryerson) University in Toronto, Canada.

Ali Balighi – Still Life

Ali Balighi

Converting music to image and image to music is not a new topic. During art history, many composers created new music based on other artistic pieces such as painting and sculptor. As video art is a new artistic form, it was a new idea for me to convert music and video to each other simultaneously. As a multidisciplinary artist, I tried to show music in video art and vice versa.

Biography

Ali Balighi is an experimental composer. His works are mostly composed based on traditional and folk music of Iran. His main tendency is on micro-tonality and new perspective of instruments. Ali started his Bachelor in Music (Cello playing) at the Art University of Tehran. His teachers and mentors include Hamidreza Dibazar (Dean of Faculty of Music at the Tehran University of Art), Sharif Lotfi (Former Dean of the Tehran University of Art), Mostafa Poortorab, Karim ghorbani (a well-known Iranian cellist), Majid Esmaeeli, Aidin Ahmadinejad, Keyan Emami and Maziar Heydari. He learned initial composing courses with Kiawash Saheb Nasagh and Mohammadreza Azin and has participated in composing master classes of Ahmad Pejman, Dimitri Papageorgiou and Joachim Heintze.

Ali is an accomplished composer, with a wide variety of instrumental works including symphonic, chamber, and solo pieces, as well as music for theatre productions, and theme music for film and television. http://www.alibalighi.com

Bret Battey – Estuaries 4

Bret Battey

Estuaries 4 is the fourth and final part of my Estuaries audio-visual series, which can be viewed as a series of standalone works or ultimately as one large, multi-movement work. Estuaries 4 explores contrasts between intense and frenetic textures and a gentler poetics, with the latter expressed in part through visualisation of the mathematical Rosenbrock function.

The Estuaries series involves visualizing Nelder-Mead optimization, a process used by mathematicians to find solutions to complex, multi-variable problems that cannot be addressed by solving equations. We see the results of many such routines searching for the brightest points in a source image or maxima/minima of a function. The music was created with my Nodewebba software, which interlinks pattern generators to create complex emergent behaviours.

Biography

Bret Battey (b. 1967) is a Professor of Audiovisual Composition at the Music, Technology, and Innovation Institute for Sonic Creativity at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He creates electronic, acoustic, and audiovisual concert works and installations, with a focus on generative techniques. He has been a Fulbright Fellow to India and a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and he has received recognitions and prizes from Austria’s Prix Ars Electronica, France’s Bourges Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique, Spain’s Punto y Raya Festival, MADATAC and MuVi4, Abstracta Cinema of Rome, Amsterdam Film eXperience the Texas Fresh Minds Festival, and the Red Stick International Animation Festival for his sound and image compositions.

David Arango – •õ°

David Arango
Sinopsis español:

“Las nupcias entre יוום y לילה son el lecho de la negación primordial creadora entre la luz y su oscuridad que repeliendose se atraen, y negándose se esclarecen.” – Juan Sebastián Hernández

English Synopsis:

“The marriage between יוום and לילה is the cradle of the primordial negation between light and its darkness that, by repelling, attracts and that, by negating , lighten.” – Juan Sebastián Hernández

Biography

I am a sound artist based in Montreal. I create visual music and acousmatic work and I also enjoy going out to practise field recording and soundscapes. In recent time, I’ve been interested in video game development and I’m looking forward to implement my new skills with my audiovisual practice. I have studied composition at the University of Montreal under the direction of Jean Piché, Robert Normandeau and Martin Bédard.

Concert 4 – Acoustic instruments with electronics + Music Interactive (TV Studio)

Sohrab Uduman and Sarah Watts – …after it’s in the air again

Sohrab Uduman
Sarah Watts

…after it’s in the air again… was composed for Sarah Watts. Its creation was supported by an award from the Performing Rights Society Foundation Composers’ Fund.

The idea for this piece, for bass clarinet and fixed media, came about from a conversation with Sarah Watts about her love of Eric Dophy’s bass clarinet playing, including his solos on Thelonius Monk’s Epistrophy, and the solo instrumental version of God Bless the Child, by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. Dolphy’s treatment of the material in these recordings is fantasy, both in the musical formal sense and in the way the solos’ journeys travel seemingly far from the reality of the originals, but take what the material suggests as starting points. Consequently, in my own work, I based my processes and materials on what is hinted at in these solos, in a collision of rhythms, textures and timbres.

Biography

Uduman studied clarinet at Surrey University and composition with Vic Hoyland and Jonty Harrison, at Birmingham University, where he received a PhD in 1993. Awards include an international prize at the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music, The Bourges International Competition for Electro-acoustic Music, the George Butterworth Award, the Oskar Back Foundation Prize for Young European Composers and the Prix Annelie de Man. His music has featured at many festivals, including the Oxford Festival of Contemporary Music, The Spitalfields Festival, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Cheltenham International Festival of Music, Darmstadt, Britten Festival Brugges and Agora Festival at IRCAM, Paris.

…after it’s in the air again… is supported by PRS Foundation’s Composers’ Fund

Jason Palamara – Past every exit

Jason Palamara
New faculty welcome at IUPUI on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Photo by Chris Meyer/Indiana University)

This performance of Jason Palamara’s “past every exit” will be performed as a trio, consisting of Jason Palamara (on the electric violin), the past every exit software, which algorithmically recomposes the instructions of the piece every time it is played, and AVATAR, an autonomous music system designed by Palamara and Scott Deal at IUPUI. AVATAR is a machine learning-enabled performance technology that listens to live audio and collaborates musically using a machine learning model of a given composer as a “choice engine” for determining pitch and dynamics. In this performance, AVATAR has been used to trigger a sampled piano. The patch used to perform “past every exit” directs the player with instructions on the screen, records what it hears, and manipulates algorithmically. This creates a loop of two machines and one human, listening to each other and collaborating in various ways.

Biography

Jason Palamara is an Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He specializes in the development of machine learning-enabled performance technologies for music. He is the founder and director of IUPUI’s DISEnsemble (Destructive/Inventive Systems Ensemble) and leads the Machine Musician Lab, a research group focusing on making machine learning tools for performing musicians. With his creative partner percussionist-composer Scott Deal, he designs AVATAR, an autonomous music system that uses machine learning to play along with live improvisation.

Rodney DuPlessis – Coacervate

Certain mixtures of polyelectrolytes can spontaneously form dense liquid droplets (called “coacervates”) suspended in water (dilute phase). These liquid droplets are often filled with complex molecules, proteins, polymers, and nucleic acids. Coacervate formation has been suggested as a possible mechanism through which the first simple cells formed on earth (Abiogenesis). In composing Coacervate, I worked closely with violinist and chemical engineer Chelsea Edwards to create a sonic narrative from this chemistry. Distinct musical motives are inserted into dilute textures where they compartmentalize, chain together like charged polymers, and erupt into the beginnings of life.

In Coacervate, I used a variety of techniques to encode the chemistry of coacervation into music. I used several original software applications, including EmissionControl2, Prism-Dilate, and NMR-spectroscope. Coacervation occurs when polyanion and polycation polymers coalesce into a dense phase within a dilute solution (like liquid bubbles suspended in liquid). The sound material consists of field recordings from a chemical lab, recordings of the violin, and synthetic sounds based on chemical structure. One of the methods of synthesis involved using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy data to sonify the spectral characteristics of the polyelectrolytes. NMR data encodes the structure of the complex molecules by recording the resonant frequencies of the constituent carbon atoms. This is the state of the art method scientists use to understand molecular structure today. This new method of molecular sonification seems to be among the most direct translations from science to music as the molecules literally resonate like an instrument (albeit at a high frequency that must be transposed down many octaves).

Manoli Moriaty – Aphonae

Manoli Moriaty

Aphonae is a live sonic performance informed by the aspect of homelessness as an increasing phenomenon of modern urban life in the age of neoliberal austerity. Commenting on the recent explosion in numbers of rough sleepers within the author’s two home cities, Athens (GR) and Manchester (UK), the piece is composed exclusively from voice recordings, including public-domain Greek news broadcasts on the life of rough sleepers in the Greek capital, and segments from Ryan Priestnall’s documentary on the homeless community in Manchester. The sonic environment juxtaposes real-life accounts of living in the streets by rough sleepers, and the sceptical discourse on the reasons behind the phenomenon perpetuated by some factions of politicians and public officials. The work aims to highlight the difficulties faced by homeless individuals in voicing their experiences, with their accounts heard unaltered over an arrangement of asynchronous repetitive loops. Contrastingly, public officials’ speeches are transformed into taciturn drone soundscapes, with few hints of their content revealed intelligibly as to showcase the distance between assumptions made by people in power and the realities of homelessness, as revealed by the affected individuals. The piece is performed in a controllerist manner; a practice more commonly associated with popular music performance, such as hip hop and dub, with sound controlled through manual inputs executed on MIDI controllers, e.g., finger-drumming, fader cutting, pitch-riding, etc. Here the practice is translated into an electroacoustic context, with different manual inputs performed to achieve specific modifications in the recorded material.

Biography

Manoli Moriaty is a music-maker, performer, and scholar, focusing on the synergy between sonic and performance arts. Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of his practice, investigating modes of collective organisation through methodologies and technologies pertinent to ethnomusicology, biology, and human-computer interaction. His work has been presented internationally at music and dance festivals, and has delivered guest lectures in China, Estonia, and Sweden. He holds a PhD on music and performance practice from the University of Salford, and is currently a lecturer in music production at Liverpool Hope University.

James Dooley and Dave Payling – Biphase

James Dooley
Dave Payling

Biphase is an audiovisual collaboration that brings together the audio and visual live performance systems developed by each author. The performance explores the sculpting, modulating and juxtaposition of primitive audio tones and visual geometries to create a hypnotic audiovisual experience. Audio is generated by a bank of 6 custom 2 operator polyphonic FM synthesisers created with the Faust programming language. Combined with a sequencer created with Pure Data and a touchscreen interface created with Open Stage Control, the audio engine allows rich timbres to be sculpted and sequenced, intuitively and quickly in live performance. Notably, no presets are used, meaning that all sounds are crafted live during the structured improvisation. During the performance a combination of modulated tones and impulses emerge to create a sonic experience appearing static on the surface whilst internally dynamic.

The video electronics are generated by a visual instrument which uses repeated and transformed geometric primitives that combine to create larger complex abstract structures. Colours infuse and noise modulates the shapes creating expressive visual textures which harmonise with the music. The visuals are an artistic gestural enhancement of the mixed media performance. The visual instrument is coded in TouchDesigner to incorporate both reactive and performative elements. Parametric mapping produces reactive audio-visual modulation and tight cohesion between sound and image. Performance controls permit the artist to interpret intuitively and freely respond to the unfolding music performance.

Biographies

James Dooley is a musician and installation artist based in the UK, who also performs and releases electronic music under the pseudonym “formuls”. Primarily working in the medium of sound, his performance and installation works combine interaction design, generative processes, and environmental elements to create emerging sonic forms that traverse the boundary between finely tuned sound and noise. His music explores an amalgamation of ambient drones and glitchy sounds all produced by digital sound synthesis. James has exhibited his projects and works internationally at festivals including: Longyou Grottoes International Festival 2019 (CN), Birmingham Weekender 2019 (UK), Electric Nights 2018 (GR), SPECTRA 2016 (MY), SonADA 2016 (UK). He is currently Lecturer in Music Technology at The Open University.

Dave Payling is an audio-visual artist who teaches and studies Electronic Music at Staffordshire University, teaching audio-visuals, sound synthesis, mastering and Touchdesigner. He is a visual music composer and holds a PhD in Visual Music composition. His earlier research centred on sonification and auditory display and his composition Listen (Awakening) was performed at the Sydney Opera House as part of the ICAD conference in 2004. His more recent work focuses on composition and performance of Visual Music with abstract animation and electronic music. Dave is From the Floor section editor for Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. Dave’s compositions have been performed at the Soundings Festival Edinburgh, MANTIS Festival University of Manchester, flEXiff Experimental Film Festival Sydney Australia, Seeing Sound Bath Spa, ICMC, NoiseFloor Festival Staffordshire and the Understanding Visual Music Conference in Brasilia, Brazil

Concert 5 – FIXED MEDIA Acousmatic (TV Studio)

Leigh Landy – E Pluribus Plures

Not long ago I heard a work, Issho-ni (Together, 2014, 31’) in which the composer, Hans Tutschku took a variety of forms of traditional music from across the globe, combined them elegantly seeking to achieve a form of unity. This work, E Pluribus Plures (Out of Many, Many, 2021) departs from the point of view that the world’s diversity of music is rich and running the risk of both dilution and extinction due to the greater homogeneity and prominence of commercial forms of music available today. The work intends therefore to celebrate our universal love of music whilst equally celebrating its wonderful diversity in which the known and the unexpected seek to find cohesion (coexistence) through their variety. E Pluribus Plures is meant to act as a metaphor for our need to respect cultural diversity in all its forms. The word respect is integral to my attitude regarding each and every sample used no matter how they were recomposed. No sample in the piece was altered in any manner beyond removing unexpected glitches. Special thanks to Sato Naomi for re-recording the one online sample that didn’t work (for Japanese shō).

Francisco Mazza – Yano Ma

The piece Yano Ma, initially composed for a site-specific installation, is a combination of concept, instinct and machine collaboration. An ensemble of entities, biotic and abiotic intelligence, music that seems cyclical permutations of computer-generated tones, rhythms and frequencies combined and improvised with other objects that work as instruments. Produced in my home studio during the pandemic using real-time recording mixing, this piece is an artistic response to a Yanomami Indigenous ceremonial dialogue called Wayamou, recorded by David Toop in 1978 in the Venezuelan Amazon, as part of his album Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul (Yanomami Shamanism, Songs, Ritual, 1978) – today included in the vast sonorous world of The British Library Archive.

The composition does not intend to “reproduce” or “highlight” the actual ceremony and the colonial legacies of recording the “other”, which is often undressed of its social function. Instead, it’s a critical and internal negotiation within myself to destabilise time perception and generate other possible sensory passages inspired by traditions of world cultures. What can we re-learn from them? (Toop, 2015).

Biography

Francisco Mazza is a London-based sound artist active in various projects. His focus lies at the intersection of modern composition, installation, sound for films and radio art to explore aspects of our listening and the environment around us. With a background in music and engineering and a keen interest in technology and art, he creates interdisciplinary sound works. Francisco Mazza completed a Master in Sound Arts at the London College of Communication in 2016. Since that time often collaborates with communities and other artists to investigate how processes of composition influence both our individual and collective experiences. He is currently a PhD candidate at Staffordshire University, investigating the Sonic Landscape of Documentary Form.

Mikel Kuehn – Unlocking the Keys

Mikel Kuehn

Unlocking the Keys (2021) is a fixed media Ambisonic work that explores three dimensional sonic space. The title serves as a metaphor for searching out (i.e., unlocking) the potential of sounds created from recorded piano sources, which start out abstract in nature and fully reveal themselves in the middle of the piece.

Biography

The music of American composer Mikel Kuehn (b. 1967) has been described as having sensuous phrases… producing an effect of high abstraction turning into decadence, by New York Times critic Paul Griffiths. A 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, he has received awards, grants, and residencies from ASCAP, BMI, the Banff Centre, the Barlow Endowment, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Composers, Inc. (Lee Ettelson Award), the Copland House (Copland Award), Eastman, the Flute New Music Consortium, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, the League of Composers/ISCM, the MacDowell Colony, the Ohio Arts Council, and Yaddo. His works have been commissioned by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ensemble 21, Ensemble Dal Niente, Flexible Music, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), violist John Graham, clarinetist Marianne Gythfeldt, cellist Craig Hultgren, guitarist Dan Lippel, Perspectives of New Music, pianist Marilyn Nonken, Selmer Paris, and the Spektral Quartet, among others. Kuehn is Professor of Creative Arts Excellence at Bowling Green State University and received degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of North Texas. In 2016, New Focus Recordings released Objet/Shadow, a portrait album of Kuehn’s music; a second portrait album will be available from New Focus in 2022. www.mikelkuehn.com

Zach Thomas – husk (#2)

husk (#2) is a study of sound dissection and mutation, building on the trajectory of the original work in the series. The piece begins with the sound of a bell which is continually transformed throughout the duration of the work. Samples from various percussion instruments, animals, and environmental field recordings are morphed into another using a variety of processing techniques.

Biography

Zach Thomas is a composer and media artist whose work is characterized by impulse, restlessness, and precision. He received his PhD from the University of North Texas where he worked as a teaching fellow at the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia, while studying composition under Panayiotis Kokoras. As a researcher at the xREZ Art+Science Lab under the direction of Ruth West, he worked on projects combining big data, sonification, and VR. Since 2014, he has served as artistic director of the new music non-profit, ScoreFollower, producing content for the promotion of contemporary music; including a bi-annual call-for-works, a Featured Composer series, and a range of other projects aimed at increasing exposure of contemporary and experimental music to an online audience.

As a composer, he works often in mixed-media contexts, and is author of numerous concert works, installations, and software tools. His work and research have been presented at various international festivals and conferences including Warsaw Autumn Festival, Darmstadt Summer Courses, ICMC, SEAMUS, NYCEMF, NIME, Musicacoustica Festival in Beijing, SIGGRAPH, Forum Wallis, Audio Art Festival in Krakow, and others. Zach currently teaches courses in Composition and New Media at the University of Louisville where he also directs the annual UofL New Music Festival.

Jim Reeve-Baker – Pluck Red Violet: Time Stretched Clusters and Layers of Pre-Echo Artefacts; Droning Stereo Movement; and Cumulative Delays Within Rapid Gestures of Red and Violet Noise

The composition is part of a research project that is exploring the aesthetic and artefacts of data compression, regarding it not just as a transmitter or archival technology but also as a means of generating and affecting sound. By cascading signals through MP3 encoders, artefacts have been stressed and amplified and act as the primary material for arranging and processing in the pursuit of composing music. In doing this, the work hopes to contribute to a tradition of using breakages and failure as the aesthetic focus of a piece of music, and therefore moving away from the traditional use of the technology itself.

The compression artefacts used here include pre-echo, stereo movement, and delay created by cascading transient signals, red noise, and violet noise through MP3 encoders set to low bitrates, low sample rates, and using stereo encoding techniques. Pre-echo artefacts were time stretched, allowing their properties, such as a slow attack, and pitched and noisy qualities to be heard more clearly. As the stereo movement effect is subtle, panning was not used, allowing just the stereo movement from the encoding process to be what gives the first half its spatial characteristic. Artefacts were layered and clustered creating shifting densities as pre-echoes fade in and out, and at times, a sense of spinning or vertigo from the stereo movement. The second half of the composition introduces cascaded red and violet noise, which exhibit cumulative delays at the beginnings of encodings. As encoded noise is layered, hard panned, and staggered the cumulative delay causes iterations to go out of sync with one another, creating a kaleidoscopic textural effect.

Biography

Jim Reeve-Baker is a fourth year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. His research is concerned with the production and aesthetic of data compressed audio, using compression artefacts and effects as the material for creating musical compositions. Jim’s work seeks to contribute to an artistic practice that considers media as not only a transmitter or archiver but also a producer of sound, and to introduce these compression artefacts to the post-digital vocabulary of 21st century composition.

Bennett Hogg – What Did You Find?

Bennett Hogg

The title, What Did You Find? addresses the listener, asserting that although the composer had a conceptual basis for choosing the sounds in the composition, the meaning – the aesthetic value – is something only a listener can find; the listener brings their imagination and consciousness to the music regardless of the conceptual frame the composer inhabited in order to create the piece. There are three sound sources used, extreme bow pressure on a violin that is then improvised with using a live electronic music instrument; the resonances of the underground railway in Stockholm where much of the piece was composed (at EMS); and high frequency feedback specific to the studio in which the violin recordings were made. The almost oppressive intensity of the feedback seems to force the other sounds out of the space, but when it fades new spaces open up – an intimate, glitchy foreground, and a more resonant, spacious background.

Biography

Bennett Hogg studied composition with Nigel Osborne (undergraduate) and Denis Smalley (postgraduate) and has taught in several UK higher education establishments, including City University, Norwich School of Arts, and Edinburgh College of Art. He is currently a senior lecturer in music at Newcastle University. From 1999 through to 2015 he composed very little, choosing to focus on live electronic performance and free improvisation, collaborating with numerous other improvisers during this period. Since 2015 he has become more active as a composer, and currently is working on commissions for Newcastle Poetry Festival for Sage Gateshead in Summer 2020. As well as composing in acoustic and electroacoustic media he is also plays folk music on violin and is also involved in free improvisation using violin and electronics. From 2012-2014 he was director of “Landscape Quartet”, an AHRC-funded research project investigating environmental sound and free improvisation, and continues to work with Sabine Vogel from that project in the UK and Germany. His PhD research concerned the cultural imagination of the recorded human voice in the first half of the twentieth century, supervised by Professor Richard Middleton. He has published extensively on theories of improvisation, artistic research, environmental sound, and related fields.

David Berezan – Tongue Drum

David Berezan

Tongue Drum explores the sounds of a steel tongue drum, a pitched percussion instrument

Biography

David Berezan (Professor in Electroacoustic Music Composition) has acted, since 2003, as Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios and MANTIS (Manchester Theatre in Sound) at The University of Manchester (UK). After completing a BA in History (1988) at the University of Calgary, a Diploma in Composition (1996) at Grant MacEwan College (Edmonton) and an MMus in Composition (2000) at the University of Calgary, he moved to the UK and completed a PhD in Electroacoustic Composition (2003) at the University of Birmingham (UK).