Monday, May 2, 2011

MUTIOC 7pm, Wednesday May 4th

-UK Electric-

Music Under the Influence of Computers continues 
with a program curated by Adam Stansbie:

Ciguri - Felipe Otondo
Still Voices - Pete Stollery
Causal Impacts - Manuella Blackburn
Cuckoo Borough - Dale Perkins


Early Morning - Adam Stansbie
Mint Cascade - Andy Dolphin
3 Pieces: Horn - Adrian Moore

Programme notes and Biographies:

Felipe Otondo – Ciguri
This work was developed using part of the music for the dance theatre piece To have done with the judgment of Artaud commissioned by Base Theatre for the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The composition is inspired in the writings of Antonin Artaud among the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico and is structured as different states of intensity stemming from the ritual of the peyote. The piece explores the inharmonic timbral character of different types of bell sounds blended and contrasted in an expanding and contracting time framework that varies from rhythms to textures of irregular sounds.

Felipe Otondo – Biography
Born in Santiago, Chile, studied acoustics in Chile and perception of sound in Denmark, where he worked several years as a researcher in the field of musical acoustics and computer music. He studied composition in Copenhagen with Anders Brødsgaard, completed a PhD in composition at the University of York with Ambrose Field and Roger Marsh and since 2008 works as lecturer at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts of Lancaster University. His music has been played in festivals in Europe, Asia and the Americas and has received composition prizes in Italy and Brazil.
For more information, see:

Pete Stollery – Still Voices
Still Voices is part of a larger project called Gordon Soundscape, which is an attempt to map the sonic diversity of the former Gordon District in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The project comprises acousmatic/soundscape concert pieces Still Voices and Fields of Silence, an interactive website and a sound documentary/installation (Resound).

I have become fascinated by the potential power that I have as a composer working with technology and fixed media to conserve sounds which will soon no longer exist. Workers at the Glendronach Distillery in North-East Scotland were told in 2004 that the plant was to move from coal-fired processes to a more ecological method of heating. They began to realise that the sounds they had become used to as part of their daily work - raking out the kilns, kiln doors closing, coal pouring from the back of delivery lorries - were soon to disappear for ever.

Originally, I had intended to make a few recordings of these "disappearing sounds" and use them in the sound documentary/installation part of the project. However, it became clear to me, during the visits I made to the distillery, that there were many more interesting sounds which were crying out to be used and so I decided to make an entire piece using sounds recorded from both inside and out, including rolling whisky barrels along the ground, grain milling machines and the Glendronach Burn which runs through the distillery grounds.

Still Voices was commissioned by Gordon Forum for the Arts, with funds provided by Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council. It received its first performance in one of the auction rings at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie in November 2005 as part of sound. It reached the final of the Sounds Electric 07 Electroacoustic Music Competition and won Honourable Mentions at Musica Nova 2007 and Destellos Competition 2009.

Pete Stollery – Biography:
Pete Stollery (born Halifax, UK 1960) studied composition with Jonty Harrison. He now composes almost exclusively in the electroacoustic medium, particularly music where there exists an interplay between the original "meaning" of sounds and sounds existing purely as sound, divorced from their physical origins. In his music, this is achieved by the juxtaposition of real (familiar) and unreal (unfamiliar) sounds to create surreal landscapes. His music is performed and broadcast throughout the world. His music is published by empreintes DIGITALes in Montréal and a solo DVD-A Un Son Peut en Cacher un Autre was released in 2006.

Shortstuff (digital music) was awarded Special Prize in the Musica Nova 1994 competition; Onset/Offset (digital music) was given an Honourable Mention at the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award, 1996 and also the 1st Pierre Schaeffer Competition for Computer Music; Altered Images (digital music) won 2nd prize at CIMESP ‘97 (Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo); Vox Magna was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Musica Nova 2003 competition and was pre-selected for the 32nd Bourges International Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art in 2005.

He has collaborated with a number of artists from all aspects of the arts, most notably sculptor Anne Bevan, with whom, along with choreographer Andy Howitt, he collaborated to produce the multimedia piece Sunnifa to great acclaim at the St Magnus Festival in Orkney.

He has also worked with sound designer Peter Key on a number of projects including Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, UK and Magna in Rotherham, UK.

He is currently Head of the School of Education and Professor in Electroacoustic Music and Composition at the University of Aberdeen where he is able to guide school children, students and teachers in the creative use of technology in music education. He is also Artistic Director of discoveries - an occasional series of concerts in Aberdeen which aims to bring together electroacoustic works by school children and students to be performed alongside works by established composers from around the world.

He has been Chair of Sonic Arts Network, the national organisation supporting electroacoustic music and sonic art in the UK, for which he has been a board member since 1985; he was also editor of the Journal of Electroacoustic Music published annually by SAN. In 1996, along with Alistair MacDonald, Robert Dow and Simon Atkinson, he established the group invisiblEARts whose aim is to perform acousmatic music throughout Scotland and to promote Scottish acousmatic music to a wider audience, both in Scotland and abroad.

Manuella Blackburn – Causal Impacts
This piece was composed around the notion of causality. Source materials, indistinguishably derived from electric guitar sounds, are presented in brief phrases displaying leading trajectories and impact-like terminations. Causal Impacts was a finalist in the 2006 Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Arts Competition and also gained first prize in the 7 th Musica Viva Electroacoustic Competition 2006 in Portugal.

Manuella Blackburn – Biography
Manuella Blackburn was born in London in 1984. She went on to gain a bachelors degree in Music at The University of Manchester followed by a Masters in Electroacoustic Composition, gaining a Distinction and the Peter J Leonard Composition Prize. She has completed a PhD at the University of Manchester with Dr Ricardo Climent's supervision, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Manuella is now as a lecturer in music technology at Liverpool Hope University.

Successes include First Prize for her work Vista Points in the 10th Musica Viva Electroacoustic Music Competition, 2009, Portugal, and Grand Prize in the Digital Arts Awards, Japan for Kitchen Alchemy. She has received Honorary Mentions in the CMMAS competition in Mexico and in the VII CIMESP (Concurso Internacional de Musica Eletroacustica de Sao Paulo 2007. Other awards include First Prize for her acousmatic work, Causal Impacts, in the 7th Musica Viva Electroacoustic Competition 2006, Portugal 2nd Prize in the Diffusion Competition, Limerick, Selection in the 2006 Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Arts Competition, and the Public Prize in the CEMJKO competion in Brazil.

Manuella is also a member of The Splice Girls live laptop improvisation duo, who have been performing together since 2006. Together with Dr Diana Simpson Salazar they utilize tools built in Max MSP to create messed up loops and shimmering soundscapes. They regularly perform at experimental music events. Highlights include a 'sonic ferry' at the Sonic Arts Network in Plymouth and Florida at the Atlantic Centre for the Arts (2008).

Dale Perkins – Cuckoo Borough

Cuckoo-borough is the second (although composed last) of a group of works that comes under the heading Voice Without Words, and explores the auralisation of exhaustion, pathetic inadequacy and anger; the potential symptoms of cultural anxiety (other works in the series are Swan Song and Dark Bird). Cuckoo-borough relies on asynchronous loops as a structuring device that supports a number of vocal statements along with other heavily transformed materials such as textures and glitch artefacts. Although it is hoped that the listener will experience emotional qualities as an emphatic response through the listening process, no lexical indications are given to present an established language more commonly associated with syntactical organisation (for example, the syntax of English). However, from a semantic point-of-view, such vocal externalisations and treatments are likely to be perceived as suggested psychological states. The piece was conceived in both stereo and 5.1 surround formats.
The name is derived from the description below.
The common cuckoo may be described as a brood parasite, because it lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species. After surveying a chosen area within a borough occupied by other species, the hen cuckoo flies down to the victim’s nest, pushes one egg out of the nest, lays a replacement egg and flies away. Once hatched, cuckoo chicks methodically evict all progeny from the host nest whether that be an egg or a chick.
Often a borough is a single town with its own local government. However, in some cities it is a subdivision of the city. Whatever the case, a borough will be populated and will be measured in various ways. For example, crime rate and therefore questions of morality. Many interesting comparisons can be made with the common cuckoo when comparing it to, for example, crime, law and government policy.

Dale Perkins – Biography
Dale Perkins is a Principal Lecturer (Research and Postgraduate Studies) at Leeds College of Music and teaches on the College’s BA and MA Music Production programmes. His research interests lie in electroacoustic music composition and compositional analysis. Dale is the Director of the Electronic Music Ensemble and founder of the Forum for Innovation in Music Production and Composition (FIMPaC). In addition to being a composer, Dale has commitments to electroacoustic music analysis and perception and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to further our understanding of compositional methodology and its reception. His works have been performed both nationally and internationally and he is an active member of the Composers' Desktop Project along with leading electroacoustic composers such as Trevor Wishart. His work Voice Without Words was awarded a selection at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (2009). Works are available on the compilation CDs Pressence III and DISContant! III - A number of works are available to download from and iTunes.

Adam Stansbie – Early Morning
Early Morning is derived from five piano performances recorded in a variety of spaces over a period of several years. These performances incorporated both traditional and extended instrumental techniques, generating a wide variety of gestural and textural materials. Although these materials informed the overall unity of the piece, sound transformations proved to negate the piano as a recognisable source. Instead, the focus is upon the gradual accumulation and dispersal of spectral detail; these broad contours enhance the spatial impression, suggesting the expansive shaping of physical landscapes. The structure of the piece was inspired by the awakening of an early morning scene and its illumination in first light.

Early Morning received 1st Prize in the Metamorphoses international competition 2006, category A

Adam Stansbie – Biography
Adam Stansbie (1981) is a sound artist involved in the creation and performance of electroacoustic music. He has presented works at festivals and concerts throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and Australasia and has won numerous awards, including: Residency Prize at the Bourges International Competition, (France, 2006), First Prize at the International Acousmatic Competition ‘Metamorphosis’, Category A (Belgium, 2006), First Prize at the Destellos Competition (Argentina, 2010). Adam has worked in various prestigious European studios (including the IMEB, France (2007, 2008), Musique et Recherché, Belgium (2009), VICC, Sweden (2010) and USSS, UK (2010)). In addition, he has taught at several UK Higher Education institutions; he is currently Senior Lecturer in Music, Sound and Performance at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Andy Dolphin – Mint Cascade
Mint Cascade explores and extends the spatial motion, and spatial features of recordings of kinetic objects, with all spatial movement in the piece derived from 8 channel recordings of the animated source. The kinetic materials transform, cascade, instigate and collide.

Andy Dolphin – Biography
Andy Dolphin is a composer, digital artist and lecturer in Music, Sound & Performance at Leeds Metropolitan University. His research interests include electroacoustic composition, spatial audio, and developing interactive compositional systems, or sound toys incorporating game engine technologies for sonic purposes. He is currently completing a PhD at SARC (Sonic Arts Research Center), Queen's University, Northern Ireland.

Adrian Moore – 3 Pieces: Horn
3 Pieces were written as part of a collaborative event focusing around a horn trio. Originally conceived as 'electroacoustic interludes', 3 Pieces evolved into something much larger, taking in a research project exploring the nature of free play and improvisation within fixed medium works (3 Pieces exists in 5.1 surround sound format). Each piece worked upon a very small number of sources/themes and developed material through experimentation using traditional electroacoustic techniques.

This piece has a number of highly dense textures which open up in the 5.1 space. The textures here result from both extended techniques and, more 'orchestral' moments. I would like to thank Tom James for some excellent horn samples.

3 Pieces were realized in 2007 in the composer’s studio and premiered in their entirety in April 2007 at the University of Western Australia, Perth.

Adrian Moore – Biography
Adrian Moore is a composer of electroacoustic music. He mainly composes music for fixed formats (CD, DVD), music intended for ‘sound diffusion’ over multiple loudspeaker systems. He also writes for instruments, often with a live processing element using Max-MSP and custom built software. He directs the University of Sheffield Sound Studios (USSS) where researchers and composers collaborate on new musical projects. Adrian Moore’s research interests are focused towards the development of the acousmatic tradition in electroacoustic music, the performance of electroacoustic music, signal processing, and human-computer interaction in music. His music has been commissioned by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), the Institute International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB) and the Arts Council of England. A significant proportion of his music is available on 2 discs, ‘Traces’ and ‘Rêve de l’aube’ on the Empreintes DIGITALes label (

Monday, April 4, 2011

Program for The Sound Theater

Program Notes for: The Sound Theater

Notes About the Program:

Matthew Barber writes about his work: “I wrote Interface Chapel for Scott Worthington in 2008. It exists in two versions: one, which you will hear tonight, is a six-movement suite for solo contrabass and computer. The other situates these six movements among 22 others, played by members of a large ensemble. Each of the six movements is designed after one of six important abstract solid objects, collectively the sphere and the Platonic Solids. The Platonic Solids are the regular polyhedra, that is, for a given solid all of the faces and vertices are identical. Examples include the usual cube, the tetrahedron which is a 4-faced pyramid, and the octahedron which is like a pair of Egyptian pyramids glued base to base. In each movement except for Sphere I imagined assigning each face of a polyhedron to some musical idea, such as a tempo, a spatial placement, a timbre, a register, a specific musical figure and so forth. Next I imagined traveling from vertex to vertex until I reached all of them. A number of faces meet at a vertex, and so for a given section I draw only upon the elements assigned to the faces which meet at the vertex at hand. For the sphere I imagined traveling in various directed motions along the outside and inside surface. Each movement is in a different tuning system – some of these systems approximate mean-tone tunings, and some are more overtly microtonal.

In each movement I also use various contrapuntal techniques or constraints, which often depend upon the computer processing. In Octahedron all of the pitches are from open strings or harmonics. In Icosahedron the contrabass plays repeating patterns in different meters using a snare-drum stick, among prerecorded contrabasses playing similar repeating figures. Sphere has the most obvious processing, which seeks to echo and reflect the music played by the bass, and to add octaves above and below the pitches the bassist plays. Later on in the piece, the octaves change to perfect-12ths, and the corresponding underlying scale changes as well. You may hear Dodecahedron as a kind of quarter-tone “baroque” prelude, in straight 16th notes: some of the notes are prerecorded, though, so there is a secondary dance-like counterpoint between the live and recorded bass sounds. In Tetrahedron I use the computer to transpose the sound of the bass to make something which might sound like a microtonal version of a medieval vocal piece. Finally, Cube records the bass sounds and plays them back at different tempos (and therefore at different pitches) in counterpoint with the live bass, creating a kind of electronic canon.

Paul Koonce writes about his work: "My goal ... is to identify a kind of real-time voice and corporeality for electroacoustic music -- a kind of presence predicated on the linking of sophisticated sound models with non-trivial controls. The search for sound presence -- unbelievable presence -- has driven much of my electro-acoustic work going back to Hothouse and its concern with creating anomalous, ear-catching sound events."

This concert presents two of Koonce's seminal works. In Pins (1996) Koonce begins with the sound of children playing the classic video game “Pong”. These everyday sounds are manipulated and layered to create an evolving drama of sound. Sounds of street musicians, creaking doors, and forest insects blend with those of video games, office work, game shows, isolated musical instruments and traffic (among others) to create an always fluid fantastic daydream composed of varying densities of sonic reference.

As the title suggests Bernard Parmegiani's De Natura Sonorum (2001) is a collection of etudes on the nature of sounds. Already a tower in the style of composition known as musique concrete the fact that Parmegiani would humble himself in the composition of a series of etudes so late in his life is a testament to the ever inspiring resource Parmegiani found in everyday sounds and, as the title suggests, the nature of sound itself. Here we present two selections from a collection of 12 studies. In Incidences Résonances Parmegiani uses the ideas of resonance and interjection to create motives during his development of metallic timbres. In Conjugaison Du Timbre Parmegiani creates an almost pyschedelic exploration of the timbres of a low woodwind instrument through granular synthesis, layering, and filtering.

Koonce's Hothouse (1992) begins with what might be heard as a surreal recording session consisting of a drumset, upright bass, and a saxophone. The sounds of children and men's voices interject and give cause to the instruments' varied and wild responses. A more intense work than Pins, Hothouse's title undoubtedly references the term as it has been applied in the lore of Jazz music, a use of the term that invokes the idea of a space for vigorous growth and development. Here Koonce stretches the Jazz Trio using digital audio techniques to create a surreal, moody, and highly dramatic reflection of this tradition.

Scott Worthington writes about his work: “Before composing At Dusk, I had become jealous of pianists' ability to hold the sustain pedal of their instrument down indefinitely, allowing the strings to freely resonate, and hoped to find a way to let the bass resonate in a similar fashion. To this aim, I wrote a simple computer program in SuperCollider to become my sustain pedal. This program places the bass's sound in a faux resonance chamber tuned to the pitches played throughout the piece (for the technically minded, this is done with tuned all pass filters in series—sort of like an intentionally poorly designed Schroeder reverb).

The piece is comprised of four large sections which overlap to form transitions. In addition to the digital resonances, the bass part takes copious advantage of the bass's resonant possibilities through the use of harmonics, open strings, and low pizzicato notes allowed to vibrate until they reach silence. These long-ringing pizzicati subdivide the piece, not necessarily coinciding with the four sections.”

The Sound Theater

Music Under the Influence of Computers returns with:

The Sound Theater

Scott Worthington, Bass

Monday, april 4th, 2011
Calit2 Theater
Atkinson Hall
UCSD Campus


Interface Chapel (2008) - Mathew Barber
(Live Bass and Computer)

Pins (1996) - Paul Koonce
(surround sound)

Selections from De Natura Sonorum (2001) - Bernard Parmegiani
(surround sound)
1. Incidences résonances
6. Conjugaison Du Timbre

Hothouse (1992) - Paul Koonce
(surround sound)

At Dusk (2009) - Scott Worthington