Pierre Coubeau - François Gaspard - Boris Wilmot
15min excerpt of a performance. ALEA(s) delivers boiling, improvised performances mixing live drawing, video animation and electronic music.
ALEA(s) is an audiovisual collective based in Brussels joining the forces of illustrator Pierre COubeau (FSTN), musician and synth manufacturer François Gaspard (Shakmat) and motion graphic designer Boris Wilmot.
Born from the will to offer a unique live experience, ALEA(s) delivers boiling, improvised performances mixing live drawing, video animation and electronic music.
Surrounded by their audience, the three members are busy creating their show, without any safety net.
While the complex, loaded electronic music fills the room, the illustrator’s physical implication in his drawings and the hypnotic animations projected onto the big screen unite to finish this well-rounded show.
ALEA(s) performances are often described as immersive, intense and crafted.
The Center of the Universe
SUNHUIMEI XIA, University of Oregon, OR, United States
The Center of the Universe was inspired by my impression of New York City after several trips to this world center. When I stood at the top of the Empire State Building, I felt that it absorbed the energy of the entire universe. People with different backgrounds travel to New York from all over the world, creating a colorful and spectacular city. The primary material in this work is the text “The Center of the Universe.” This text is stated and manipulated in various languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. All the human voices come from the sampled voices of the MacOS system. Two Bluetooth Nintendo Wiimote Controllers provide the capability to stand untethered at center stage and play this composition.
Sunhuimei Xia is a composer, performer, and sound designer who is currently a DMA candidate in data-driven music performance and composition at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. She holds an MM in Computer Music Composition from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and is a faculty member in the Department of Composition at the Wuhan Conservatory. Xia's music has been selected for various international professional conferences, including ICMC, ISMIR, NIME, SEAMUS, NYCEMF, EMM, NUNC, IRCAM, SMC, Musicacoustica-Beijing and WOCMAT. She has also been selected for the Creative Talent Pool of the Ministry of Culture of China. Her work "Oriental China" won the "Golden Bell Award" at the 7th Hubei Music Award, and "Smooth" won the First-Class Award in the 3rd Computer Design Contest of China. Her works and papers have been published in various conferences and journals, including ICMC, Musical Works, Art Evaluation, and GeQu.
Fabrizio di Salvo in collaboration with reConvert
For 2 percussion players with 48 solenoid motors (2020)
Premiere: KlangBasel, Basel (CH) – 17.09.2020
Duration: 69 min
Our idea starts from the necessity to investigate space, explore its features, find the potential in acoustic properties and use them as a starting point for our research. How is it possible to create a three-dimensional and analogue sound system? How are we able to work with instruments that can move sound in space?
Taking advantage of the use of customized industrial items, we will have the possibility to create three-dimensional audio images controlled and designed in real time by the performers. The concept that interests us is the single percussive impulse as music creator. We can change the surface, and speed of the execution but the impulse is at the core of every percussive action.
Solenoids will be our artistic medium and the interesting aspect will be the relationship between us as human performers and the possibilities that arise through our interaction with a complex mechanical instrument. Thus we see in this instrument an extension of our percussive possibilities. Our work will base on the theory by Marshall McLuhan the extension of man. The idea that technology is an extension of the human organism is encountered regularly in the history of thought about technology. The idea, in its most basic form, is that technical objects extend the human organism by replicating or amplifying bodily and mental abilities.
During the mechanical ages, we extended our bodies into space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man - the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media (McLuhan, 1964, p. 19).
In this piece, the frontal playing direction is abandoned. (ex)tension is an immersive sound experience that invites the audience to take a seat in the middle of the instrument itself. Surrounded by sound we invite the spectator to join the action as close as they want, dissolving all boundaries to create an inclusive work of art. The project involves the conception and realization of an interactive space.
The audience can move freely through space and explore the acoustic space be itself. The sound will travel around and through the performance space, turning the space itself into an instrument since the acoustic environment like echoing, etc. will be naturally implemented in the musical piece. We will perform an active human surround system without the need for any speakers. We will work in a totally acoustic situation. The challenge will be to find solutions to simulate effects such as timber variations by using only Solenoids and manipulating the different surfaces of the materials.
The variety of small surfaces will allow different musical colors and pitches. (ex)tension has site-specific properties that gives us the possibility to make this project unique and totally focused on the enhancement of every single place, museum, or factory where it will be presented by using materials and object related to the actual location.
ABOUT FABRIZIO DI SALVO
Fabrizio di Salvo was born in Switzerland and is of Italian origin. His works are at the boundaries between experimental music, contemporary composition, sound installations, and scenic art, focusing on concepts that examine models between politics and social life. He obtained a Bachelor's in Sound and Media Art at the Hochschule der Künste Bern and a Diploma as a sound engineer. He has attended workshops and master classes with Gilbert Nouno, Helmut Lachenmann, Malcolm Braff, Stefan Prins, Simon Steen Andersen, Dr. Johannes S. Sistermanns, Andi Otto, and Urs Peter Schneider.
As a composer, choreographer, and sound artist his works were shown at Milano Musica, Theater Basel, Theater Rote Fabrik Zürich, Theater Paco Rabal Madrid, Theatre Conde Duque Madrid, Theater Roxy Birsfelden, Neues Theater Dornach, Tanztage Berlin Sophiensæle, Schwankhalle Bremen, Münchner Kammerspiele, Museum der Kulturen Basel, Landesmuseum Zürich, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Kunsthaus Baselland, Kunstmuseum La Chaux-de-Fonds, Arcaden Gallery Berlin, Fondation l'Abri Geneva, Interdans Festival Belgium, Les Digitales Festival Bern, Neu Bad Luzern, Dampfzentrale Bern. Currently, he is attending the Master in Contemporary Art Practice with a Minor in Composition at the Hochschule der Künste Bern.
He sees himself as a bricoleur and alienates both material and composition in search of a coherent experience. This can lead to sound installations, new instruments, choreographies, or compositions and the results can be understood as highly interdisciplinary. His work levitates between the visible and the invisible, the choreographed and the quotidian, the silent and the loud. The process of emergence is an integer part of what is to be shown as the final result and is directly connected to its context. The art of the fragile is the experience of the sensitive, the compassionate, the emphatic, and of profound strength. This understanding lies at the core of his work and experience, as the most important means of his artistic practice. Experience that is not subordinate to a goal, but celebrates the moment of joy among one another and can thus be perceived as a creative impulse and starting point of every work.
reConvert was born as a natural extension of the percussion repertoire of the last seventy years, to become a seal of identity that rejects generic definitions and bets on a continuous work between different artists in which the questioning of the dogmas of the academy is in the foreground.
With difficulties in defining the facet of the percussionist of our time, due to the evolution that the “instrument” has undergone in itself, reConvert raises an aesthetic question without complexes, and that does not feed on the natural limits and definitions of terms. Halfway between percussion and electronics, the new projects that reConvert faces could well be named with different adjectives, without any of them being able to define them completely and fully. For this, reConvert bases its bet on a continuous and deep work with diverse creators of the panorama of our time such as Kaj Duncan David, Alexander Schubert, Simon Steen-Andersen, Michael Maierhof, Jorge Sánchez-Chiong, Fernando Manassero or Luciano Azzigotti.
reConvert carries out activities in Europe, America and Asia, constantly evolving and questioning the uses and bets of resources, techniques and means that it carries out continuously. The instruments, objects, elements, interfaces... are in themselves tools to reach the artistic aims that reConvert proposes, and they must be at the service of creation. Its continued work includes, in addition to concerts, workshops in various institutions such as the Royal College of London, Universidad Tres de Febrero of Buenos Aires, Columbia University (New York), among others.
reConvert was founded in 2013 by Roberto Maqueda & Víctor Barceló. In 2018 Lorenzo Colombo joined the group. Currently, the dynamic of the duo remains open to collaborations with different international artists such as Mikołaj Rytowski and Miguel Ángel García.
Takumi Ikeda - Hanako Atake - Iannis Zannos
In this performance, the dancer wore three IMU sensors on each arm and head and a Bluetooth speaker on the front of her body. The interference of radio waves in the street created an interesting glitch effect on the speaker. A laptop receives data from the sensors via Wi-Fi and synthesizes the sound using the performance program. The sound is output through the Bluetooth speaker. At the same time, the sensor data and the synthesized sound are recorded by the recording program on the laptop. The audio track of this video consists of both the sound from the Bluetooth speaker and the sound recorded directly on the laptop.
The dancer repeats the basic choreography while transforming it in different ways. The dancer’s original method is named “Kai,” which means turn, around, regression and counter for occurrences in Japanese. The music is divided into four parts. Each sound synthesis algorithm can be divided into two types: the one that creates the sound and the one that changes the sound according to the dancer’s movements. Since using only a single algorithm would be burdensome for the dancer, the strength of the relationship between movement and sound varies from scene to scene.
The idea for this performance was rooted in the many street performances Ikeda saw in Xalapa-Enríquez and Mexico City. In contrast to Mexico, the culture of street performance in Japan today is rather sparse. This is evident in the fact that the people in the video seem to be ignoring or confused rather than stopping to watch and enjoy.
The title “Unboxing” refers to escaping from the economic, social, political, and artistic constraints of conventional performances. It also alludes to “unboxing” as an internet meme in online videos where one does not know what is contained in the box before it is opened - as the performance data and the resulting sound structures cannot be evaluated beforehand. This project aims to open up computer music creativity to a wider audience through frugal technology and escape Western-centric concepts of music and dances. As alternative, we propose the term “electronic sound performance”.
Takumi Ikeda is a self-taught computer musician and composer. He performs live performances and composes contemporary music with programs that he made. Many performers have performed his works. Recently he has been working on baritone and computer, trombone with IMU sensor, piano and soundtrack, choral pieces, pieces with video scores, and scores for improvisers. In 2016, Ikeda created the soundtrack for Kei Shichiri’s film “Music as Film,” followed by a screening with live music with voice performers. He plays electronics with Masamichi Kinoshita and Tomoki Tai as a member of the electric noise trio “Electric Powered Music.”
Hanako Atake, contemporary dancer/performer based in Tokyo. started ballet in Japan at the age of 3 and studied various styles of dance at the London Studio Centre in England from the age of 19. Since 2005, she has been a member of the Tokyo-based contemporary dance company Crewimburnny. She has also presented her own choreographic works and performed in improvisation and butoh performances in Japan, England, and France.
Iannis Zannos has a background in music composition, ethnomusicology and interactive performance. He has worked as Director of the Music Technology and Documentation section at the State Institute for Music Research (S.I.M.) in Berlin, Germany, and Research Director at the Center for Research for Electronic Art Technology (CREATE) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He teaches audio and interactive media arts at the Department of Audiovisual Arts of the Ionian University, Corfu. Since 2018 he focusses on telematic dance performance with a series of works between Greece, Japan and other countries.
VS : Improvising with Vibrating Virtual Entities
Sebastien Beaumont - Ivann Cruz
In this performance, two guitar players improvise using electro-acoustic guitars equipped with actuators that can hit each of the strings separately. By moving through virtual shapes placed around them with their guitars and bodies, the guitar players can control the actuators. By using minimal modifications of the instrument and subtly extending existing playing techniques, the setup aims at preserving the technical and cultural heritage of the acoustic instrument.
The improvisation is rooted in two different mappings between the position of the guitar's headstock within the virtual shapes and the actuator's behaviour. First mapping (guitarist on the left) associates the forward-backward axis with the frequency, or tempo, of string hits: a cylindrical shape is divided into three equal-sized parts of approximately 10\~cm, thus allowing for a discrete control of the frequency, at 60, 90, and 120 bpm respectively. The vertical position within the shape controls which string is hit, i.e. by discretely changing from low E (6th string) through treble E (1st string) when the headstock goes from the bottom to the top of the shape. Meanwhile, the guitarist on the right plays with a mapping that combines a vertical string selection with a continuous control of the actuation frequency on the backward-forward axis.
Simultaneously using these two mappings/playing modes allows for the realisation of a musical idea that only existed in the guitarists' thought-experiments: unique overlays of an infallibly stable rhythm (left guitar) and a high liberty and accuracy in controlling the tempo (right guitar). Later in the performance the guitarists switch from one mapping to the other by entering one of two shapes with their right hands.
The guitar players combine the elements of traditional playing and the new rhythmic features in a counterpoint that integrates with the virtual shapes. The result is a rhythmic complexity that would be impossible to obtain with traditional playing techniques on two guitars, or even with effects such as loopers that are not as responsive and flexible as the present device. With this new rhythmic vocabulary and control interface, the improvisation then develops as the musicians get inspired and involve the virtual shapes in their playing...
Sébastien Beaumont started learning guitar at the age of 12. After a year at « Le CIM » of Paris, he was rewarded by the jazz department of the conservatory of Lille in 1996. As a member and co-funder of the Circum collective and then of the Muzzix collective from 1998 to 2023, he crossed paths with composers such as Tom Johnson (GB), Anthony Pateras (AUS) and Michael Pisaro (USA). He collaborated with the Montpellier ensemble Dedalus for the record and the tour "Round the World of Sound". He signed 2 opuses with his group QuartetBase and participates as a freelance in a dozen productions. He has performed on many stages in France and abroad such as Tokyo, Amsterdam, Hanoi and Krakow.
Ivann Cruz studied classical guitar and turned to jazz and improvised music. He graduated from the Conservatoire National de Région of Lille in jazz section, and from The University of Lille with a Master's degree in Musical Composition and a DEA in Aesthetics and Arts Practice. During his university education he studied musical improvisation with Fred Van Hove. He was a member of the C.R.I.M.E, an improvised and experimental music collective based at la malterie in Lille and is an active member of the Muzzix collective since its creation in 2010. He invests a lot in interpretation, composition, improvisation and experimentation in solo or through projects as eclectic as numerous: TOC, Le Grand Orchestre de Muzzix, Otto, OGR, TOCC Beat Club, Aphar's Cave, Des Pieds et des mains... He has performed on many stages in France and abroad (tours in Europe, USA, Canada). He regularly composes and performs stage music for the theater or film-concerts. In 2014 he composed and created the documentary performance Trading Litany, and in 2019, the multimedia project Puzzle, based on an augmented guitar device developed with Loïc Reboursière and Olivier Lautem.
Stir bugs is an exploration of live algorithmic control in corpus-based performance. A community of computational agents confined to a two-dimensional square prison cell is live-coded into collective madness.
Agents are controlled by simple code functions that define navigation in a terrain made of a collection of electronic noise samples. Each agent is also associated with a sound playback/synthesis function. The performance embraces the complexity emerging from quickly coding a multiplicity of behaviours in a shared sonic space.
Gerard Roma investigates the inner life of sounds by poking at computers and other electronic circuits. His work often involves digital transformation of recorded sound textures coerced into algorithmic forms via live coding and self-made audio-visual instruments.
Innermost Echoes (Excerpts)
Innermost Echoes is a performance work which utilizes performer physiological data as a novel input mechanism to introduce a new form of hybrid improvisation alongside a robotic koto which sonifies this data in a communicative feedback loop and a Eurorack system which will serve as a bridge between the passive physiological data and the active performance. By introducing this form of input, our improvisational performance challenges the traditional approach to live performance by creating a closed loop between our emotions and the performance itself. In a sense, we are improvising with our own presence and perception. We believe this new kind of performative dialogue can challenge existing hierarchies within live music performances.
Innermost Echoes consists of seven loosely structured improvisations for two kotos (with 3Dprinted sensing bridges), baritone guitar, Eurorack synthesizers, and a robotic koto outfitted with 13 solenoids and 13 linear actuators. The performers wear custom built sensing wristbands togather physiological data consisting of EDA (electrodermal activity) and HRV (heart ratevariability). This data is then sent via OSC to a laptop running Max/MSP which applies this livedata to the robotic koto and the Eurorack system. These data streams and occurrences of synchrony between the performer's data are then sonified and used as an indicator of the current state of the performers, thereby forming a new unspoken dialogue between the two. In designing the robotic koto, we leaned heavily on an antique and recycled aesthetic. The koto itself was purchased for almost no cost at Hard-Off, a second-hand shop in Tokyo. Although there are several "imperfections" such as cracks along the bottom side, we found this to give it an interesting sonic and visual identity. Up-cycling this old instrument was one of the early inspirations for the design aesthetic. We carried this design approach over into the rest of the design, such as utilizing much of the electronics and cabling from previous projects and junk sections of second-hand stores. While this was not our initial plan for this project, it quickly became a large part of our design approach to utilize as much as we could with what we could save from being discarded and forgotten.
Danny Hynds is a sound artist and researcher based in Japan. His work focuses on the connection and implementation of physiological data and liveness into sonic works. He received a BM is Composition from Columbia College Chicago and a MFA in Experimental Practices from CalArts. He is currently a PhD candidate at Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design under the direction of Professor Kouta Minamizawa and a Research Assistant under the JSTMoonshot Cybernetic Being Project.Yūgen Ensemble is a multidisciplinary performance group consisting of Danny Hynds, Aoi Uyama, and Kozue Matsumoto. Formed in 2022, they are currently developing a series of works combining traditional Japanese instruments with synthesizers and be spoke sound objects. Their debut record will be released in late 2023.
4 Disklavier Preludes
Omar Costa Hamido
4 Disklavier Preludes is one of the main works in The Gedanken Room (2021). This is a work that explores the implications of Quantum Computing for Music composition, both conceptually and practically. Its 4 parts explore the use of the Disklavier both as an input and output interface for building Quantum Circuits and retrieving its measurements, in a live interactive multimedia environment with which live performers interact. The cinematographic narrative addresses utopian/dystopian issues in human-machine interaction.
OCH is a performer, composer, and technologist, working primarily in multimedia and improvisation. His current research is on quantum computing and music composition, telematics, and multimedia. He is passionate about emerging technology, cinema, teaching, and performing new works. He earned his PhD in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology at University of California, Irvine with his research project Adventures in Quantumland (quantumland.art). He also earned his MA in Music Theory and Composition at ESMAE-IPP Portugal with his research on the relations between music and painting. In recent years, his work has been recognized with grants and awards from MSCA, Fulbright, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Medici, Beall Center for Art+Technology, and IBM.
Music(re)ality: A Collaborative Improvisation between Virtual and Real World
Music(re)ality is a duo performance with Charles Martin between the virtual and real world. Two musicians will present a musical improvisation, with one performing with an iPad instrument, and the other using a freehand augmented reality (AR) musical instrument. While the musicians are physically located in the same space, the music jamming will occur across virtual and real environments. How will the collaboration happen, and what is a mixed reality musical performance? Will it involve sonic-only feedback or performers' musical gestures?
This musical performance not only demonstrates the author's AR musical practice but also aims to understand the opportunities and challenges of mixed reality musical instruments in musical ensembles.
Yichen Wang is a PhD candidate in computer science at The Australian National University, where she explores the relationship between HCI, art and augmented reality. Her recent works focus on augmented-reality enabled new interfaces for musical expression.
Qiujiang Levi Lu
Galactic Madness is a structured improvisational network piece inspired by a set of pictures of the galaxy taken by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope(released in June 2022). After closely observing the pictures for hours, I wanted to create a mesmerizing system that resembles the infinite and enigmatic nature of the galaxy.
This piece is written for six MacBook Pro(2018 and later) laptops running Max/MSP and Sonobus. The piece utilizes the design of the MacBook Pro and feeds back the signal through its built-in mic and speaker(The microphone is placed right next to the speaker on the keyboard's left). This piece is not specifically written for the MacBook Pro models, but it should be performed on laptops with a similar microphone and speaker placement.
The Max patch adds three audio effects: pitch-shift, bit-crusher, and reverb on the signal chain. Ten parameters from the audio effects are trained through the neural network from the machine learning toolset FluComa, projected onto a two-dimensional plane so that the touchpad can control the ten parameters at the same time. Generally, the performer uses their lefthand palm to create a cup-shaped chamber to resonate the feedback or to tap/rub against the microphone surface to add more sounds. The feedback signal changes according to the shape and volume of the hand, and the distance from the palm to the built-in microphone surface. The righthand moves the mouse on the two-dimensional plane, an XY pad in Max. In this case, the computer becomes a playful instrument with no extra plug-in device.
All six performers use Sonobus, a low-latency audio application through the network, to send and receive audio from each other. The network functionality frees the players to play remotely. The instruction of channeling within Sonobus is provided in the score and must be followed in time to produce the best result. Through Sonobus, players will feedback other/each other's signals in many ways, which resembles the infinite and enigmatic nature of the galaxy.
The performers should spend time playing and improvising on the instrument. They should focus on the collaborative movements of two hands and become familiar with how the instrument works regarding the relationship between the hand movements and musical elements such as timbre, texture, density, and dynamics. The neural net training data is saved and comes with the patch, which means the way the XY pad controls the parameters will remain the same. The score shows a descriptive movement of two hands within a given period of time. It is up to the performer to improvise with the instructions and collaborate as a group/sub-groups.
Qiujiang(秋江) Levi Lu is a Beijing-born, Baltimore-based composer, free-improviser, and experimental vocalist whose work explores the surreal listening environment for improvisers, audio-visual interactivity between performer and audience, and the phenomenology of sound. Lu’s works range from acoustic to experimental electronic and incorporate the creative use of music technology. As a performer, they perform free improvisation with voice and their self-designed feedback-based electronic instrument in various settings. Lu is also half of the newly-formed experimental electronics band Warp Duo. As a composer, Lu writes for acoustic and electronic performers and improvisers. Lu’s composition Tri is the recipient of the ASCAP/SEAMUS Composition Competition 2023. Lu’s works have been performed at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, NowNet Arts Conference, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Splice Institute, IRCAM Forum, Oberlin MMG, Spencer Museum of Art, and Rhizome DC.
Affordance describes the relationship between theenvironment and the individual from the action provider’s perspective.Affordance can be false, can be hidden, or can be perceptible. Within ourcomplex environment, real or virtual, material or intellectual, theaffordances can be functional or delusional, can be ephemeral orpermanent, can be present or delayed – a choice for you to observe,adapt, participate, and evolve.
Chi Wang is a composer and performer of electroacousticmusic. Her research and compositional interests include sound design,data-driven instruments creation, musical composition, and performance.Chi’s compositions have been performed internationally includingpresentations at the International Computer Music Conference, NewInterfaces for Musical Expression, Musicacoustica-Beijing, the Society forElectro-Acoustic Music in the United States Conference, the New YorkCity Electroacoustic Music Festival, Kyma International Sound Symposia,Electronic Music Midwest Festival, Third Practice Electroacoustic MusicFestival, Electroacoustic Barn Dance Portland Biennial of ContemporaryArt, I. Paderewski Conservatory of Music in Poland, InternationalConfederation of Electro-Acoustic Music, and WOCMAT in Taiwan. Chi’scompositions were selected for SEAMUS CD, Best Composition from theAmericas from International Computer Music Conference, and Award ofDistinction from MA/IN festival. Chi has also served as a judge forinternational electronic music competitions including MusicacosticaBeijing, Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States nationalconferences and International Computer Music Conference. Chi is also anactive translator for electronic music related books, including Kyma andthe SumOfSines Disco Club and Electronic Music Interactive. Chi receivedher D.M.A. at the University of Oregon in the Performance of Data-drivenInstruments and is currently an assistant professor of music (composition:electronic and computer music) at the Indiana University Jacobs School ofMusic.
Francesco Ardan Dal Rì & Francesca Zanghellini
Codex Saqqara is a semi-improvised musical piece for live coding and electric violin. The interaction between the two performers takes place through an interactive ecosystem that allows the violinist to record and overdub up to five samples in real-time, which are then processed and organized into musical structures by the live coder. In this way, the two performers interact with each other’s musical space, taking on different musical roles during the performance, such as soloists, orchestrators or accompanists. Given its extemporaneous nature, the piece is composed and performed from-scratch, following a series of macro-structures determined beforehand.
Francesco Ardan Dal Rì (live coding) is a composer and electronic musician. He holds a Master's degree in Electronic Music from the Conservatory of Music F. A. Bonporti in Trento (IT), and he’s currently engaged as a researcher at the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI) of the University of Trento.
Francesca Zanghellini (electric violin) is a classical-trained violinist and violist. She is currently a Master’s student in both instruments at the Conservatory of Music C. Monteverdi of Bolzano (IT), and she is part of several national orchestras and chamber music ensembles.
Both musicians have a strong background in contemporary music and they are used to performing together. With this project, they aimed to further explore both the possibilities of co-creation and shared agency offered by novel technological means, and the interactions between two different musical practices. As such, the interactive ecosystem used in this performance has been developed through various rehearsals, exploring different musical situations, at the end of which they discussed their perspective, performative strategies, and the affordances/constraints related to the ecosystem itself.
Returns & Simulacra
Composer: Solomiya Moroz
Performer: Zubin Kanga
Returns and Simulacra combines sound and projections of video onto a screen with the performer’s body on stage. It uses mini bee accelerometers and touch-sensor attachments as an instrument called Piano Hands. The digital score is the Piano Hands instrument which the pianist controls to communicate wirelessly to a max/MSP patch interface. The piece addresses the performer’s multiple identities on stage, playing the line between the real and virtual performance while incorporating different footage from filmed videos of the pianist and archived cabaret performances of the British queer performers of the past. The digital score relies on the pianist's embodied gestural behaviour and his reaction to audio and video material
Solomiya Moroz is a Canadian-Ukrainian composer-performer based in the UK. She has a PhD in music composition from the University of Huddersfield as well as a Master’s in Live Electronics from the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Her work tends to progress towards the expansion of the music-specific medium and the role of the musicians and artists within them. Her music compositions have been presented as part of Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music, Contrasts International Contemporary Music Festival in Lviv, Ukraine, Electric Spring Festival in Huddersfield, UK, Takt Berlin Artists residency, Omi International Musicians residency in New York, and Banff Centre Creative residency. In addition, she has performed and presented her collaborative and interdisciplinary work at Amsterdam Fringe Festival, Zone Homa Festival in Montreal, Canada with the dance group Les Filles Föllen, Htmlles Feminist Festival of Media Arts and Digital Culture in Montreal, and at The Month of Performance Art Festival in Berlin. As a flautist and electronic music performer, she has performed at numerous festivals with the Thin Edge New Music Collective and in a duo String Air Synthesis (SAS) with Volodymyr Voyt. Recent premiers of her compositions have been performed by Zubin Kanga, Ensemble Apparat, accordionist Teodoro Anzellotti, Quasar saxophone quartet, Bozzini string quartet and accordion duo XAMP. She is a recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et Culture for her research into interdisciplinary and gestural composition at the University of Huddersfield. Currently, she is a postdoctoral research fellow in Embodied Music/AI Cognition in Digital Scores project - a European Research Council Grant at the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, UK.
ABOUT THE PERFORMER
Zubin Kanga is a pianist, composer, and technologist. For over a decade, he has been at the forefront of curating and creating interdisciplinary musical programmes that seek to explore and redefine what it means to be a performer through interactions with new technologies.
In 2020, following his appointment as Lecturer in Musical Performance and Digital Arts at Royal Holloway University, Kanga was awarded a £1.4 million UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship to fund his latest multi-year project Cyborg Soloists, which is unlocking new possibilities in composition and performance through interactions with AI and machine learning; interactive visuals and VR; motion and biosensors, and new hybrid instruments. His work with Cyborg Soloists was recently featured in The New York Times, The Wire, Classical Music Magazine, and Limelight Magazine.
Zubin has collaborated with many of the world’s leading composers and premiered more than 130 works. He has performed at many international festivals including the BBC Proms, hcmf// (UK) Melbourne Festival (Australia), Festival Présences (France), Time of Music (Finland), Klang Festival (Denmark), and November Music (Netherlands). Recent collaborations include major new works by Philip Venables, Nicole Lizée, Neil Luck, Shiva Feshareki, Laura Bowler, and with Alexander Schubert on his internet-based WIKI-PIANO.NET (performed 30 times across 9 countries) as well as a new work, Steady State, that will use EEG brain sensors to control sound and light.
Seth Andrew Davis
“Chomsky Hash” is a piece for improvisation, electric guitar, and live electronics. The piece utilizes traditional guitar effects processing with a variety of unconventional effects for the instrument, along with a surround panner setup for quadraphonic sound. The laptop and electronic elements also act as improvising agents, with a variety of chance operations that allow the computer to make decisions for itself in performance. Processing effects in the guitar rig are controlled to LFO’s at randomized rates to change various parameters on a variety of processing effects in the guitar rig, along with simple machine learning plug-ins that utilize Markov Chain’s to trigger information to a variety of MIDI Instruments. The title is a reference to the famous debate between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault. Famously, Foucault asked to be paid in a large amount of hash for his participation in the debate. Friends would say that on special occasions Foucault would break out “that Chomsky Hash”1. The relevance of this debate to the piece is the elements I’m working with and transforming. The electric guitar itself has a long history in American popular music and has a lot of specific cultural connotations that could seem traditional even though at times it’s been a counter cultural symbol. With the use of DAW’s such as Ableton Live or Max/MSP, the electric guitar can be further altered and expanded upon. Noam Chomsky is considered a radical and countercultural figure in American politics, but within the debate with Michel Foucault comes off as traditional and conservative compared to Foucault’s Dionysian and hedonistic character traits. The debate itself is an interesting synthesis of the two thinkers' ideas. The main driving factors of the piece are improvisation, timbral transformation, live electronics processing, and spatialization. Since 2019, I’ve been working on bringing together my instrumental background as a guitarist and improviser with my interest in electronic music. This piece is a part of a series of pieces for electric guitar & live electronics.
Seth Andrew Davis is a performer, composer, improviser, & electronic musician from the Kansas City area. Davis is involved in the improvised music/free improvisation, experimental, and electronic music scenes in Kansas City. Davis graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City, Mo. in 2019 with a BM in Music Composition. Davis has studied with Jim Mobberley, Paul Rudy, Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Mara Gibson and Michael Miller. In 2023, Davis graduated with an MA in Music with an emphasis in Music Technology from the University of Central Missouri where he studied with Jeff Kaiser.
Davis has performed and has had his music performed in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Davis has had his work performed at various conferences and festivals including the New York City Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, Kansas City Performing Media Festival, Kansas City Contemporary Music Festival, NASA Regional IV Conference, Electronic Music Midwest, Exchange of Midwest Collegiate Composers, the International Navy Saxophone Symposium. & the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC). Davis has had pieces premiered by the Mnemosyne Quartet, Project C4, Dionysus, Second Nature Ensemble, Chi Him Chik, Sputter Box, Apply Triangle, loadbang, & the Symbiotique Nonet and has either performed, recorded and/or collaborated with Alexander Adams, Ben Baker, T.J. Borden, Lucas Brode, Claire De Brunner, Bob Bucko Jr, Lisa Cameron, Brennan Connors, Kevin Cheli, Craig Chin, Brandon Cooper, Alex Cunningham, Tim Daisy, Alvaro Domene, Michael Eaton, Sandy Ewen, Kelley Gant, Enrique Haneine, Lathan Hardy, Zachary Hickerson, Zoots Houston, Kyle Hutchins, Max Johnson, Jeff Kaiser, Reid Karris, Krista Kopper, Tom Law, Thollem McDonas, Adam Minkoff, Federico Musso, Spencer Perkins, Kyle Quass, Alberto Racanati, Aoki Satoru, Adam Shead, Damon Smith, Mike Stover, Evan Verploegh, Dorian Wallace, Weasel Walter, Alex Williams, Drew Williams, David James Witter, & Will Yager. Davis has performed with groups such as newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Mnemosyne Quartet, Project C4, & the UMKC IMP Ensemble. Davis’s music has been featured and released on labels such as EMAS Records, Lurker Bias, Neuma Records, Mother Brain Records, Personal Archives, Ramble Records, and Relay Recordings.
Davis’ composition and performance style has been described as “brutalist maximalism” (Michael Eaton) On stage Davis has been described as “an oversexed Robert Fripp” (Jacob Frisbie). Davis’ playing has been described as “moving from bubbling liquid mercury and emotive string speculation to surgical-edged metallics and everything in between” (Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis) and has been called a “master of pedals/effects'' (Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery). Davis’ music has been described as “confrontational” (Bill Brownlee, There Stands The Glass), “engaging….thoughtfully composed” (Aaron Grant, DiaKCritcal), “fascinating and foreboding, eerie music that challenges and rewards with repeated listens' ' (Bryan Voell, Listen Local) & “futuristic bubbling soundscapes that teem with sonic life” (Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis) . As an artist, Davis works closely with performers and collaborators to create pieces, installations, and works that are unique to that partnership. Davis is an avid collaborator, having worked with choreographers, video artists, animators, playwrights etc. Davis’s artistic influences run the gamut from popular music, free-jazz, hip-hop, electronic music, film, literature, visual art, contemporary culture and from this Davis wishes to blur the lines between genres, composer and performer, and various artistic mediums. Davis has released his electronic music under the pseudonyms The Gods Hate Kansas, Mr Sandman, and Ghost In The Machine. Davis is also a co-founder of Second Nature, a free jazz/new music/math-rock ensemble, Re-Animator/DeCorpsinator, was the guitarist in the new music ensemble Project C4 (2018-2020), and is a founding member of EMAS: Extemporaneous Music & Arts Society. Davis is also an active concert organizer in the Kansas City music scene as the Vice President of KcEMA (Kansas City Electronic Music Alliance) and as the Production Coordinator of newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. In 2020, Davis co-founded Mother Brain Records with saxophonist & composer Michael Eaton. Mother Brain Records is a Midwest based label focused on releasing the works of artists in the experimental & improvised music scenes. From 2019-2022, Davis was an artist resident with Charlotte Street Foundation. In 2021, Davis co-founded EMAS (Extemporaneous Music & Arts Society) along with Evan Verploegh. EMAS is an improvised music & arts collective based in Kansas City that is dedicated to advancing creative work in Kansas City.
Ryan Ross Smith - Shawn Lawson
Neo Tokyo, ca. 2019, 31 years after World War III, Akira awakens. This homage is an audiovisual, live-coded performance, remixing and re-envisioning the 1988 classic film created in the year of its setting, 2019 and reimagined now in 2022/2023 as the audiovisual work DEF FUNCTION(DYSTOPIAKIRA).
The authors use the code editor Jensaarai to collaboratively and simultaneously live-code TidalCycles, Python, and OpenGL, each supported by SuperCollider and Touch Designer on the backend respectively. The authors often collaborate remotely due to their respective locations which is facilitated by Jensaarai. This enables the client-side rendering of both audio and visuals in order to retain high-quality representations of both elements.