Monday, April 19, 2010

DXARTS Spring Concert April 28 7:30 p.m. Meany Hall for the Performing Arts

The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) at the University of Washington, Seattle presents an evening of new electronic and computer music. Featuring Swedish guitar virtuoso Stefan Östersjö.
Wednesday, April 28th 2010 at 7:30 PM
Meany Hall, University of Washington, Seattle

Concert Program:
Love Mangs: Viken (2005) for guitar, banjo and computer Daniel Peterson - Mindless Collusion (2010) for computer realized sound Richard Karpen - Strand Lines (2007) for amplified guitar and live computer ineteraction Juan Pampin - UOM (2000) for computer realized sound Paul Dolden - Who Has the Biggest Noise? (2009) for electric guitar and computer realized sound

Love Mangs: Viken (2005) for guitar, banjo and computer Commissioned by the Swedish arts council for Stefan Östersjö

The bay (viken in Swedish). This is where it all begins. The birthplace of innumerable fish, sunrises and dreams. The safe haven and starting point for expeditions further and further out among the islands on the raft we built.
To new shores balancing on the boundaries of soil, sea and heavens. Each islet a new microcosm of personality and memories to explore. Always to return to the bay. Fishing for pikes at dawn with a morning breeze whispering through the reed. Carried by the thin surface, watching the silver shoals below. At dusk lying in the tent listening to the stock doves call. There under the radiant sky, behind the drifting haze - the silent black lake that calls for ports unknown.

Viken was initiated as a collaboration between me as a composer and the acclaimed Swedish guitarist Stefan Östersjö, commissioned by the Swedish arts council. The idea was a rich sounding live-piece where the soloist would be fairly free to shape the breath of the piece within the framework of the form. It was also to hold improvised parts and preferably no pre-recorded soundfiles. Some guitar parts though would be recorded during performance to return in the background a few minutes later. It?s a good thing to work together with a soloist whose skill and ingenuity bring new opportunities to the composition. It is for example highly unlikely that I as a music maker and hobby-guitarist would have come up with the excellent idea to use e-bow on a banjo for one specific treatment in the patch. In the end we had to give up on the ascetic approach and due to limitations of computational power, for the good of the piece, add some soundfiles.
Love Mangs

Richard Karpen - Strand Lines (2007) for amplified guitar and live computer ineteraction

Strand Lines, created in 2007, continues my exploration of collaboration processes for music composition. There is no musical score for Strand Lines.
Instead the composition was worked out over an extended time of collaborative exploration and rehearsal with guitarist Stefan Östersjö, for and with whom the work was realized. While this kind of experientially developed music has existed in many cultures, I'm drawn to the kinds of techniques that film director Mike Leigh uses for character development in his films. Leigh works with his actors to create their characters through an organic and rigorous series of directed improvisation and reiteration until the actors fully embody their characters, their utterances, and the relationships between all of the interacting characters and situations within the environment of the work. Through this process the film becomes its own screenplay. In the case of my own explorations in this mode of composing, the piece of music will itself also be the score. The piece is documented using video recordings of a performance along with instructions and demonstrations showing how to play it. This video document takes the place of a musical score so that the integrity of the work can be maintained over time and the work can be performed by other performers as well.

Strand Lines also explores the extension of musical instruments and performance through live computer enhancement and processing. It is a work not so much for guitar as for guitarist. The merging of person and instrument interests me greatly. Each player is one manifestation of the current state of a continuing history of their instrument and of performance generally. The history is physical, existing as a kind of "body knowledge" which I believe is real and substantive. Along with Stefan Östersjö's integral role in the development of guitar material for Strand Lines another key contributor was Joshua Parmenter who developed much of the key underlying control code for sound processing and synthesis in Supercollider.

Richard Karpen (b. 1957) is one of the leading international figures in Computer Music. He is known not only for his pioneering compositions, but also for developing computer applications for composition, live/interactive performance and sound design.

Karpen is Founding Director of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) at the University of Washington and also currently serves as Director of the School of Music where he is Professor of Music Composition and Theory. He has been the recipient of many awards, grants and prizes including those from the National Endowment for the Arts, the ASCAP Foundation, the Bourges Contest in France, and the Luigi Russolo Foundation in Italy. Fellowships and grants for work outside of the U.S. include a Fulbright to Italy, a residency at IRCAM in France, and a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship to the United Kingdom. He received his doctorate in composition from Stanford University, where he also worked at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Karpen is a native of New York, where he studied composition with Charles Dodge, Gheorghe Costinescu, and Morton Subotnick.

Karpen's works are widely performed in the U.S. and internationally. While he is primarily known for his work in electronic media, Karpen has also composed symphonic and chamber works for a wide variety of ensembles.
Furthermore, he has composed works for many leading international solists such as soprano Judith Bettina, violist Garth Knox, trombonist Stuart Dempster, flutists Laura Chislett and Jos Zwaanenberg, and oboist Alex Klein. Along with numerous concert and radio performances, his works have been set to dance by groups such as the Royal Danish Ballet and the Guandong Dance Company of China. Karpen's compositions have been recorded on a variety of labels including Wergo, Centaur, Neuma, Le Chant du Monde, and DIFFUSION i MeDIA.

Juan Pampin - UOM (2000) for computer realized sound

In Memoriam Rodolfo Walsh
In 2000, I was invited to compose a piece for an unusual venue in Buenos Aires called "La Fábrica" (The Factory). This place is in fact a metallurgic factory which becomes an alternative cultural center after business hours. I decided then to create a piece that would politically reflect on that space, both in terms of sound and program. UOM is the acronym of the Argentine metal workers' union (Unión Obrera Metalúrgica), well known for the lack of representation of its corrupted leaders and their gangster-like approach to politics. The piece explores the sound of metal in an allegorical way, using digital samples deployed in space as a representation of the "metallic"
without mass, as the sonic essence of metal. The distance between what is represented and its representation, somewhat similar to the one between the metal workers and their union, constitutes the dialectic core of the work.
The text used for the piece is quoted from "ÀQuién Mató a Rosendo?" (Who Killed Rosendo?), a book by writer Rodolfo Walsh, a central figure of Argentine culture, disappeared during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. In his book Walsh investigated one of the darker chapters in the history of Argentine unions: the murder of UOM leader Rosendo García in 1966, perpetrated by gunmen of his own union.

"UOM" was composed using ambisonics, many layers of sound were generated and processed to create the illusion of a single mass of sound changing organically over time. For this purpose, a combination of granualar and additive sythesis was used to sculpt sound spectrally. Except for a few sounds recorded with a soundfield (ambisonic) microphone, most sounds were generated synthetically form a brief analysis of a metallic sound (the analysis and resynthesis process was done with ATS). Each stream of sound was individually processed to have a particular spatial location and spread, using ambisonic imaging tranformations to achieve different polar distributions; this way some of them could sometimes have an omnidirectional distribution (all around the audience) or a cardioid distribution (with some sort of focal point in a particular direction). Spatial transformations occur gradually throughout the piece and function as important structural elements. The piece was composed in three dimensions, and performed using a cubic array of eight speakers. Recently, a new mix of the piece was done for twenty four speakers, specially tailored to SARC's Sonic Lab 3D sound auditorium.

Juan Pampin has been teaching at the University of Washington since 1999. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Music (Computer Music Composition) in 2002. Pampin received an MA in Composition from Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, France and a DMA in Composition from Stanford University. Juan Pampin?s research has focused on Spectral Modeling of sound.

He has also undertaken research in the areas of Perceptual Audio Coding and Sound Spatialization. His compositions, including works for instrumental, digital, and mixed media, have been performed around the world by soloists and ensembles such as Arditi Quartet, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, and Sinfonia 21. Recent commissions include those from GRAME in France and La FÂábrica in Argentina. He has been Artist in Residence at LIEM-CDMC in Madrid, and IMEB in Bourges, France. His signal processing research has been presented at major international conferences, particularly his Analysis Synthesis Transformation (ATS) software project. He has taught at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and often lectures and gives master classes in a number of South American countries.

Paul Dolden - Who Has the Biggest Noise?

Paul Dolden begins his career at age 16 as a professional electric guitarist, violinist and cellist. Excited by the possibilities offered by recording technologies, Paul Dolden turns to contemporary modes of production and dissemination in the creation of his music. At age 29, he wins the first of a string of European awards that establish him as a composer. Now the winner of over twenty international awards, Paul Dolden's music is performed in Europe and North America to wildly enthusiastic audiences.

In a career spanning over twenty five years, Paul Dolden has perfected his unique approach to audio technology, using it as a platform from which to launch or capture otherwise impossible musical performances. In this way, he makes his computer behave like a new, virtual orchestra and manipulates it with as much sensitivity as he would a traditional one. His compositions are characterised by a maximalist aesthetic in which hundreds of digitally recorded instrumental and vocal performances are combined in multiple layers.

Paul Dolden's music has been described as the missing link between jazz and rock and the high-brow concert tradition. Critics have called it music for the information age, enlisting noise, complexity and beauty in its quest for excess, and characterised it as apocalyptic hyper-modernism.

The early works employ a unified approach to timbral and harmonic variation.
Under the influence of post-modernism, Paul Dolden's concerns have shifted to include the juxtaposition and superimposition of disparate musical styles evident throughout the Resonance Cycle of works (1992-96). Always working to surpass himself, with the Twilight Cycle of recent years Paul Dolden boldly investigates the forbidden fruit of contemporary new music?melody and dance rhythms.

Daniel Peterson - Mindless Collusion (2010)

Mindless Collusion began as an exploration of the sonic possibilities of guitar recordings and expanded into an experiment of wavelet analysis and synthesis. Wavelets were used to track time and frequency data in the guitar recordings, enabling time-accurate synthesis. The frequency data was mapped to energy bands of noise, which were ring modulated with the time data. This data was then manipulated to create new sounds with different yet proportional timing as compared to the original soundfile. The composition was inspired by The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa. This project was completed in part with the support of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) at the University of Washington.

Daniel Peterson was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He currently attends the University of Washington studying music composition under Juan Pampin. His interests include spectral analysis, ambisonics and the exploration of the connections between literature, philosophy and music.

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