Item Details

Digitalis 2017 Concert

McIntire Department of Music
Online; Online Video; Video; Streaming Audio
Program Notes Extant - Ben Luca Robertson This piece is derived from the sonification of data sets associated with the unique geographical distribution of the California Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata) in Oregon and Washington State. As could be inferred by the snake’s common name, the species is primarily endemic to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Coast Ranges of California. However, the species also occurs in isolated pockets along the Columbia River Gorge in south-central Washington State. Each of these extant populations are separated by more than 150 miles from the northernmost extent of the snake’s continuous range, making the species vulnerable to extirpation. An implicit goal of the compositional form is to convey this geographical separation through auditory display. Utilizing proportional scaling, distances between contiguous and extant populations are conveyed through precisely-tuned just intervals embedded within dense, microtonal clusters. Fluidity - Matthew Leon Fluidity features a new electroacoustic instrument, the sonAqua. This instrument contains a microphone inside an acrylic tube of water and allows the performer to sample and perform a liquid composition. The fluid motion of the liquid provides both recorded samples and control over sampled playback. The sonAqua is an attempt to bridge the gap between digital and physical instrumentation by using a physical medium as both the sampling source and controller. Morphology - Isabella Vankesteren A multimedia performance combining prerecorded sounds and imagery that will be expanded upon through live improvisation. Emergence - Brandon Sangston Emergence is a space exploration game that drives the realtime procedural generation of its own soundtrack. In this system, player actions directly correspond to musical events, which affect the characteristics of the music that is being generated. Likewise, these musical events will shape the player’s progression through the game world. Ultimately, Emergence is about exploring organically developing audiovisual environments that provide a framework for emergent musical composition. Points-Lines-Planes - Zhen Wang Each object contains points, lines, and planes. Also, the sounds of each place have special points, lines, and planes that belong to this place. When we pass through some places, we may want to write down something about them that give us special feelings. Perhaps it’s a different way to recall the memory of these places by re-combining together the points, lines, and planes of the sounds that exist there. The sound materials I used for this piece are water and pepper frogs, which I recorded in Shenandoah National Park, Greenbrier Park, Riverview Park, and Blandy Farms. The performing instrument is called “GuQin”, one of the oldest and most important instruments in ancient China. The aesthetic core of the GuQin is “Unity of humanity and nature” and “ The great music has the faintest notes. The great form is without form”. In this piece, all of the notes the GuQin plays are result from spectral analysis of the sounds of the frogs and water drops. Zhen Wang is a composer working mainly in electronic music and songwriting. She has a strong interest in the combination of Chinese culture and electronic music. She has Master’s degrees from both Edinburgh University mad Leeds University, UK. She is an associate professor in JiNan University of China, and during 2016-2017, she is a Visiting Scholar that supported by Chinese Government Art Scholarship in Virginia University, US. Her electronic works have won second and third prizes in the Beijing International Electronic Music Competition, and she received honor awards in the ShangHai eARTS Digital Audio Competition. One of her songs won the China Annual Ten Outstanding Animation Song Award in 2013. Her works have been performed in UK, US, Greece, and China. gravel/pothole - Amber Bouchard gravel/pothole is composed using only sounds from a bicycle through contact and other microphones, and processed through a looper plugin. The video is setup to respond to various aspects of the sound through VDMX. Chef d’Oevre, Kungsgatan 8 - Jon Appleton Here are two of my first electroacoustic works, the rst analog composed at Dartmouth College in 1967 using sounds derived from a singing commercial for Chef Boy-ar-Dee Pizza as sung by the Andrews’ Sisters. e second, the first digital music produced on the unique digital system at Elektronmusicstudion Stockholm in 1970. Jon Howard Appleton (born January 4, 1939) is an American composer and teacher who was a pioneer in electro-acoustic music. His earliest compositions in the medium, e.g. Chef d’Oeuvre and Newark Airport Rock attracted attention because they established a new tradition some have called programmatic electronic music. In 1970 he won Guggenheim,[1] Fulbright and American-Scandinavian Foundation fellowships. When he was twenty-eight years old he joined the faculty of Dartmouth College where he established one of the first electronic music studios in the United States. He remained there intermittently for forty-two years. In the mid-1970s he left Dartmouth to briefly become the head of Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) in Stockholm, Sweden. In the late 1970s, together with Sydney Alonso and Cameron Jones he helped develop the first commercial digital synthesizer called the Synclavier.[2] For a decade he toured around the United States and Europe performing the compositions he composed for this instrument. In the early 1990s he helped found the theremin Center for Electronic Music at the Moscow Conservatory of Music where he continues to teach once a year. He has also taught at Keio University (Mita) in Tokyo, Japan, CCRMA at Stanford University and the University of California Santa Cruz. In his later years he has devoted most of his time to the composition of instrumental and choral music in a quasi-Romantic vein which has largely been performed only in France, Russia and Japan.” The Fabric of Space Erupts in Solidarity - Jackson Patton-Smith The Fabric of Space Erupts in Solidarity is a sound collage based around the idea of death in outer space. It was created by using dozens of samples from obscure YouTube videos, air traffic control chatter, piano loops, and even a mangled karaoke version of an Air Supply mega-hit. The piece is meant to strike a balance between the chaos of destruction and the ethereality of space. More contrasts can be found between harmony and noise, as well as fragmentation and connections. Several years ago, a single alien life-form perished on its way to visit Earth. The alien’s home planet had become decoupled from its solar system, and without an energy source, the planet was doomed. The aliens decided to place all of their efforts into contacting us, the nearest lifeforms. Without our assistance, the planet was sure to perish. Earlier this year, the alien’s craft was recovered from orbit around Saturn. Found within the debris was a device similar to a digital storage system. The device’s contents have only recently been decoded. The device contains a wealth of data, most of which we have yet to decipher; however, the audio transmissions between the vessel and the alien planet have been recovered. is was the final transmission. Definite Failure - Maxwell Tfirn Definite Failure is a composition for any monophonic instrument and utilizes inaccuracies and mistakes from the performer to develop the music. The composition starts with the performer playing a short line of music. The computer simultaneously transcribes what the performer is playing and notates it back for them to play. However, the fundamental frequency is not necessarily the frequency transcribed. Instead the computer is analyzing peak frequencies and transcribing the peak with the highest amplitude. The onset of the notes is also skewed and the computer may skip a note. If the performer plays well the compositions progress will not become too difficult. As the performer messes up rhythms the music becomes harder. is composition is meant to be sight read, cause the performer stress, and force the performer to live in the moment. While the composition generates itself, the starting material stays the same and ties the composition together between performances. Definite Failure is not meant to be played perfectly and is impossible to do so. Instead, it is meant to naturally evolve and be completely dependent on the performers sight-reading ability and musicality. Definite Failure is dedicated to Alex Christie whom is the first victim of the composition. PHOTO GLITCH BEAT - Susan Grochmal welcome to the void. i love my computer Jacob’s Mix - Jacob Hughes This piece was inspired by John Cage’s Williams Mix, which is a composition for eight quarter-inch magnetic tapes being played at once. Cage’s composition used I Ching manipulations (which produce random numbers) to order his sound samples. I used four tracks played at once and I generated my own list of random numbers to order my sound samples, which include: country sounds, city sounds, electronic sounds, my own synthesized sounds, and windy sounds. Dengarkan Aku - Maelona Manik A negotiation dance: trading light and sound to recall our personal guardian spirits. System Blocks Signal Blocks System - Alex Christie There are several devices in this piece. These devices produce signals and contain systems. They are also parts of a larger system. These signals and systems interfere with each other. They interrupt, redirect, and block the other signals and systems. The human performer guides the activity contained/produced within/by these systems/signals. The human performer actually has quite a bit of control over this. Mysticeti (for improviser and biogeoscape) - Glen Whitehead Mysticeti is an improvisation piece for solo instrument or ensemble and fixed media. is accompanying soundscape is filtered through the lens of sonic documents from a day on the ocean in Stewart Bay, Alaska in 2012, rendered from hydrophone recordings of Humpback Whales “bubblenet feeding” amidst the sounds of glacial melt, strong currents and background tapestries of far away human activity. The push and pull of forces beyond our control is paramount to the aesthetic of this piece. Thus, this is a performance for the imagination. The improviser should adopt the mindset as a pod performing a sound dance ritual as if transducing the phenomena of this oceanic experience; humans peering into portals far beyond our comprehension, the hints of unimaginable depths, uniquely alien sounds, unsustainable thresholds, sound-beams of astral inversions, sub-aqua sonic projections confronting a fast melting-geo-plasma, and calling to living bio-mountains who carve earnest tone shaped glissandos encoded with time, memory and action. Glen Whitehead, D.M.A is a critically acclaimed trumpet artist whose background includes principal trumpet in professional orchestras, brass quintets, jazz ensembles, free improvisation & electro acoustic groups, installations, and interdisciplinary projects across the arts and sciences. As a soloist and member of Psychoangelo, the Bottesini Project and the EcoSono Ensemble Glen tours internationally, most recently in Mexico, Korea, Canada, Australia, New Zealand as well as across the United States. His work is critically acclaimed; Psychoangelo’s release panauromni was listed on the top ten cd’s of the year by Chicago Time Out, He won the Innovations in Teaching with Technology award at UCCS and the Big Idea Award from the Pikes Peak Arts Council. He is the Artistic Director of the Peak FreQuency Creative Arts, Director of Performance of the EcoSono institute and is Principal Trumpet in the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs. As an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs he is currently the Co-Director of the Bachelor of InnovationTM. Glen is a Selmer / Conn Artist and received his Bmus in Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music, and M.A. and D.M.A from the University of California, San Diego.
McIntire Department of Music
Ben Luca Robertson
Matthew Leon
Isabella Vankesteren
Brandon Sangston
Zhen Wang
Amber Bouchard
Jon Appleton
Jackson Patton-Smith
Maxwell Tfirn
Susan Grochmal
Jacob Hughes
Maelona Manik
Alex Christie
Glen Whitehead
University of Virginia Concert Recordings
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