Cube, Moss Arts Center | Music
December 9, 2019 at 6:00pm
The School of Performing Arts’ Creative Technologies in Music and Digital Interactive Sound and Intermedia Studio (DISIS), in collaboration with the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT), present a concert of experimental computer music, featuring works by guest composer Tae Hong Park, the Virginia Tech Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork), and Virginia Tech faculty members.
Alien is the first live scoring work for the Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork). The visuals focus on a series of vignettes or mostly static scenes inspired by the video game Alien Isolation. The ensuing 5-minute visual experience is accompanied by an aural fabric that builds on a collection of audio snippets that are codified based on their character and function and individually curated by each performer. In the spirit of the Alien motion picture series, the resulting soundtrack is designed to complement and amplify the visual drama and underscore a transition from a state of wonder to that of suspense.
Pendulum, originally written for solo clarinet and computer, was rewritten this year for cellist Alan Weinstein, and is the last of six movements titled Multiplication of Machines. The springboard for Multiplication of Machines was a passage from Luigi Russolo's manifesto, L'arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noises), in which the Italian Futurist writes, "At first the art of music sought purity, limpidity and sweetness of sound. Then different sounds were amalgamated, care being taken, however, to caress the ear with gentle harmonies. Today music, as it becomes continually more complicated, strives to amalgamate the most dissonant, strange and harsh sounds. In this way we come ever closer to noise-sound. This musical evolution is paralleled by the multiplication of machines, which collaborate with man on every front." In the six movements, each for various combinations of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, interactive computer-processing is used to accompany or expand the timbral possibilities of the musical instruments, at times recording and looping passages, or modulating, filtering, and delaying instruments. Each movement is a musical machine, in which the performer emulates the auditory expression of mechanical components, such as pistons, valves, springs, circuits, gears, and a pendulum; the performer brings to life the expressive potential of these machines. In Pendulum the solo instrument is echoed at different speeds in four channels, each speed corresponding to a different strata of the contrapuntal line. Multiplication of Machines was commissioned by the Myrna Loy Center for the Performing and Media Arts and written for the Third Angle Ensemble.
A Weinstein Portrait is based on recorded improvisations performed by cellist Alan Weinstein. The expressiveness and timbral richness of the original recordings lends itself well to various spatialization strategies.
Live Writing: Gloomy Streets is an audiovisual performance, realized on the web browser. Here, every keystroke made on a laptop to write a poem is captured and processed to create audiovisual responses on top of what’s written. The piece is built upon a poem about feelings of being isolated from the general public and living in solitude, the comfort zone. Revealing the process of writing a poem to the audience, the writer’s emotional states emerge through keystrokes and letters that are alive. Inspired by the tradition of live coding, the text written in live writing performance utilizes the expressivity of the language we speak and the target object that the code influences will be the minds of the audience. In this sense, we consider live writing to be a metaphorical form of live coding the audience’s mind.
senalpriA: For the first time in human history, more than 50% of the global population now lives in so-called megacities. By 2050, it is projected that this city-centric population shift will approximately reach 70%. With people gravitating to megacities around the world, we have witnessed changes in urban soundscapes around the world, including in cities like Chicago which hosts one of the busiest airports in the world. In 2009, airplane noise complaints were around 14,858 per year. Eight years later in 2017, complaints have risen to 5,522,273 complaints per year. senalpriA aims to bring awareness to the changing nature of urban soundscapes while topically focusing on community aircraft noise that impacts residents living around airports.
Stuck is a tribute to tracker music and the Terminator franchise. The piece involves taking musical snippets and 'sticking' them, spatialized throughout the venue. With the power of arm movements, these musical snippets, played directly from tracker into a custom made pd patch using the magic of Jackd and Jacktrip, are swished around the room. Many instruments heard are from Terminator tracker modules borrowed from The Mod Archive, reused to compose the musical snippets heard throughout, paying homage to choice mod artists, recapturing a certain magic from 1990s to early 2000s pc-era modules, and paying tribute to a franchise made possible by James Cameron.
Traces is an interactive work for the Locus glove-based interaction system designed for the Cube and for the purpose of studying the limits of human spatial aural perception capacity as part of the Spatial Audio Data Immersive Experience (SADIE) National Science Foundationsponsored research. Its motivation is the exploration of the expressive potential of spatial sound as the primary dimension for driving the musical structure. Traces is in part inspired by SADIE’s study of the sun’s influence on Earth’s atmospheric data and incorporates one example of such data being sonified or rendered in real-time using Cube's immersive sound system.
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Dec. 11 - New Music Ensemble
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