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Showing posts from November, 2017

New Musical Instruments Concert

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Coming up on Friday: New Musical Instruments Concert with special guest Andrew Bentley, Professor of Music Technology at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki University. This will be Concert #10 in the Center for New Music Season. Event takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Voxman Recital Hall, University of Iowa.Synths-in-BottlesOne of the projects the students worked on consisted in building a synth using a glass jar. Here is a preview of the instruments in their October version:Electroclarinet 4Among the new pieces, we are going to perform my composition Electroclarinet 4, for Eb clarinet & analog synthesizer. The synthesizer is akin to a non-input mixer, made with guitar pedals. Andrew Bentley will be performing on this instrument. The circuit includes several levels of feedback: ProgramMetal Choir (collective installation)Electroclarinet 4 (Jean-François Charles)Focus (Andrew Novitskiy)Synths-in-Bottles (collective creation)Songs of Tomorrow (Mauricio Da Silva)Impressions (Alexander Toth)

Decomposition

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Deanne Wortman is the Program Manager of the Virginia A. Myers NEXUS of Engineering and the Arts at the University of Iowa's School of Engineering. She is an a print-making artist, and passionate about collaborative art. She has been taking care of an old piano in her office, until it became... something else. This "new" instrument inspired Alexander Toth (from the New Musical Instruments course) to compose a new piece using live feedback. We are thrilled to invite you to the première performance of the piece:November 29, 2:30pm
NEXUS office, 2313 Seamans Center
University of Iowa, College of EngineeringDecomposition: artist statementDecomposition is a musical work that strives to strip down the teleological implications of a traditional musical instrument and the roles of musician and composer through augmentation of a disassembled piano by means of a contact microphone and a transducer. The artist explores the sonic capabilities of the piano’s base elements through exper…

80/20 Percussion Stand - Blueprint

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I've been working on a new composition featuring metal percussion instruments. To properly experiment and perform, I need a percussion stand. With Ensemble New Flore, I already used DIY percussion stands: see them on this picture of the Nowa muzyka program, with Édith LeRôle and Jean-Daniel Hégé: I explored several options for my new projects, including steel bars. Finally, after talking with specialists at the Machine Shop at the School of Engineering, I studied the 8020 line of products. I've been seduced by the flexibility of this approach, and I've always loved Legos. Here is my sketch for part of the stand, I'll let you know when I'll have built it:

Digital Arts Creative Projects 2017

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In the spring, I'll be teaching for the second time Digital Arts: an Introduction at the University of Iowa. I loved teaching this class during spring 2017: the students learn about the history of interactive art, analog & digital, they program with Max and Arduino, and most importantly they create their own final projects.
Here are highlights from the Digital Arts Fair 2017, when the students presented their interactive works:Lien vers la vidéo sur youtube.

Crystals for Reed Trio & Electronics

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The wonderful Voxman Reed Trio premièred Crystals during the 2017 International Double Reed Conference at Lawrence University. Many thanks to Courtney Miller (oboe), Jorge Montilla (clarinet), and Benjamin Coelho (bassoon)!Live ElectronicsIn this piece, the oboe plays an acoustic part, and is accompanied by electronically-augmented clarinet & bassoon. Jorge used a PiezoBarrel pickup, Benjamin a Little Jake bassoon bocal pickup. Their sound was processed by an analog frequency shifting pedal and an especially programmed Eclipse sound processor. I love how Ben interpreted the cadenza part: indeed, this cadenza may be improvised. Listen to his version from 5:56 in the video.

Meeting Point

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Treffpunkt by Jean-Francois CharlesBack online, the version of Treffpunkt (Meeting Point) bassist Franck Cottet-Dumoulin and I recorded in 2001. Treffpunkt belongs to the Aus den sieben Tagen series of text compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen (see also this page for more information about the cycle). The file I shared in 2007 had disappeared, and I was recently asked to make it available again.
Cover from the 1973 Deutsche Grammophon vynile That request came just after we heard Nomi Epstein at the University of Iowa: she is a composer who works a lot with text and alternative musical notation in her own scores. With the a.pe.ri.od.ic ensemble, they gave a great performance of TIME WITH PEOPLE, an experimental opera by Tim Parkinson.Here is another take on intuitive music, where Franck Cottet-Dumoulin plays with pianist Jean-Marie Reboul: