Back to All Events

Concert 4

  • Bryan Recital Hall (map)

Concert 4 Program

Qi Shen : Invasion
Qi Shen, dance

Aurie Hsu : music box for prepared Wurlitzer student butterfly piano, sound exciters, and electronics
Aurie Hsu, prepared piano and electronics

Alexis Bacon : Ojibwe Song
Andrew Spencer, percussion

Joo Won Park : PS Quartet No. 1
Electronic Music Ensemble of Wayne State, game controllers

Ewa Trębacz : Minotaur (2005, rev. 2011)
Josiah Boothby, horn
Ewa Trębacz, electronics

Ron Coulter : Dark, True Center
Ron Coulter, percussion and live electronics

Howie Kenty : Everybody Loves Me
Howie Kenty, vocals and electronics
Daniel Pate, percussion

Notes

Qi Shen : Invasion
Invasion was designed for remote human-computer interaction. Using Kinect as body tracking sensor to bridge the human activity and music composition and performance as a kind of mirrored resonance of integration among arts and sciences, music and engineering. The duration of work is about 6 minutes. The media is filled all over with natural disaster, accidents and manmade disaster. These disasters force the heavy bondage of humans, from which there is no escape. Regardless who or what caused these disasters, they are the invasions of human’s life. In Invasion, nature sound, warfare sound and human life sound were processed, multitracked, and mixed into new textures. And these new sounds are live controlled by motion track sensor - Kinect in Max/MSP.
back to program


Aurie Hsu : music box for prepared Wurlitzer student butterfly piano, sound exciters, and electronics
I have always been entranced by the mechanical systems of acoustic pianos – the hammers striking and damping the strings, the vibration of strings when actuated, and the pedal mechanism. These actions serve as a backdrop for a guided improvisation that combines amplified inside-piano sounds, sound exciters on piano strings, recordings of mechanical sound sources, and live electronics. A very special thanks to Kyle Hartzell for generously loaning his Wurlitzer student butterfly piano for this piece.
back to program


Alexis Bacon : Ojibwe Song
In composing Ojibwe Song, I first interviewed Alphonse Pitawanakwat, a native speaker of Ojibwe (Chippewa). He recounted his life story, including tales of his rural childhood on Manitoulin Island, testimony of how his mother was forbidden to speak Ojibwe in Catholic boarding school, and his fond memories of singing in his church choir. I used these fragments to frame the piece as a metaphor for the rebirth of the Ojibwe language: the speaker becomes lost in a fog, experiences corporal punishment, and finally passes through to singing church hymns and songs in Ojibwe again. back to program


Joo Won Park : PS Quartet No.1
PS Quartet No.1 is a music for Playstation Dualshock controllers and computers. Each performer in the ensemble controls melodic sequences of a Karplus-Strong string synthesizer and interactive visuals on their own laptop screen. The piece is ideally performed with a conductor, who decides the duration and articulations of each section. Using a graphical score created with familiar PlayStation button combinations, the piece takes advantages of each player's muscle memories on game controller commands in performing as a musical instrument.
back to program


Ewa Trębacz : Minotaur
Minotaur was created starting with a series of recording sessions with Seattle-based horn player Josiah Boothby. Josiah and I visited several indoor and outdoor spaces throughout Washington state, including the eastern slopes of Cascade Mountains and St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Josiah improvised short sequences of horn sounds, and I recorded them in full surround with the use of the Soundfield microphones. While on site, we listened to the responses of these spaces and looked for the most acoustically interesting paths. Later I processed this original material and combined it into the final sequence of Ambisonic soundscapes. This maze of pre-recorded soundscapes, together with live horn performance, tells the story of a mythical creature, trapped in the Labyrinth of Crete. In mythology, the Minotaur haunts the Labyrinth, stalking all who dare enter. The walls within the Labyrinth twist and turn, while the Minotaur remains unseen. The only clues to its location are the sounds of its cry echoing from all around. Minotaur gives the soloist an opportunity to fully demonstrate their virtuoso skills. It requires both imagination and courage to freely approach the pre-composed material, and to create a unique conversation between the pre-recorded soundscapes and the performance space.

The formative principle of this piece is heterophony combined with ""directed"" (guided) improvisation and the creative use of extended horn techniques. The written score is a selection of meeting points between the pre-recorded surround sound material and the live performance. The soloist is encouraged to wander off the musical material written in the score. The player should enrich it by freely utilizing right hand coloration, articulation changes, microtonal melismas and ornaments, while carefully listening to and interpreting the responses from the performance space.

Using the Ambisonic on-site recordings, I created the electronic layer (“tape”) at the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), University of Washington, Seattle. The live processing component has been recently incorporated into the performance, and includes live convolution-based reverb (based on impulse responses from natural spaces visited by the composer) and spatial transformations, utilizing the ATK software package, developed by Joseph Anderson, Juan Pampin and Joshua Parmenter (University of Washington, DXARTS). However, when the performance space has interesting acoustic features, it is advised that the piece should be performed without live electronics component. In this case the horn player should explore the entire physical space, looking for acoustically interesting spots other than the stage. At times the player could become invisible, haunting the perimeter of the audience and even leaving the area enclosed by the speaker array. If the space does not allow this kind of exploration, the piece should be performed on stage, with live electronics, with stage lights down or dimmed.
back to program


Ron Coulter : Dark, True Center
Dark, True Center (2016) is composed for a Manhassett music stand, kalimba, and live electronics; implements used include a bass bow and large super-ball mallet. The work is notated with a combination of text, graphic, and traditional notation. The music stand is amplified via two clip-on contact microphones/pickups and Ableton Live is used for the live looping and processing. The music stand is a rich resource for a gamut of unique timbres and pitches, which are here amplified to uncanny proportions. The kalimba is amplified and filtered by placing it on the music stand while it is played; touching the kalimba to one of the contact microphones produces a distortion as the repetition increases. As in my other works, here the juxtaposition of “noise” and “the sublime” hopefully leads one to confuse which is which, a place where memory and the moment also become indistinguishable from one another and one becomes truly centered in and by the sounds.
back to program


Howie Kenty : Everybody Loves Me
Let us use his own words to reveal a path that begins with deep insecurity, an insatiable need for validation, and an extreme sense of entitlement. Let us follow it through to the fear, intolerance, and violence that the speaker stokes in many of his followers. If we allow this division to continue, where does this narrative ultimately end? The salient question for me is how to reveal the toxicity in this nature to those who don’t immediately recognize it; this power lies in inciting latent tendencies. When we each enter this type of exploration, what deep-rooted fears of Other might we find harbored within ourSelves, and crucially, how do we deal with them in our actual interactions? This piece attempts these challenges by taking quotations as its only compositional seeds, adapting their contours, cadences, and words directly into pitches, rhythms, and text, implementing and re-arranging them to form the entirety of the work. While the audience’s challenge is reflection and considered action, the performer’s is simultaneously more difficult and potentially more alluring; they must possess themself entirely of this visceral, uninhibited id, becoming pure reactive malice, discord, and excitation, unencumbered by contemplation or morality. It’s a remarkably seductive path for everyone, regardless of philosophy. Burdens of persuasion this tremendous are perhaps impossible for this piece; maybe another desperate scream of absurdity and horror is the only thing realized. Nevertheless, I believe it is a profound moral obligation for each of us to consider these questions and to act on our considerations, deliberately. Everybody Loves Me is the first of a planned exploration encompassing three works.
back to program

Bios

Qi Shen, born and raised in China, is currently a doctoral composition student at the University of North Texas, studying composition with Andrew May, Jon Nelson, Panayiotis Kokoras and Joseph Klein. Her former composition instructors are Yao Zhuang, Charles Nichols and Simon Hutchinson. Her musical works reveal the perplexity and confusion in her inner world. She has been seeking the truth of life from Ancient Eastern philosophy and culture. She composes acoustic and electronic music, for large and chamber ensembles, and fixed media, accompanying animation, interactive music. Her works have been presented at conferences and festivals, such as the International Computer Music Conference, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States National Conference, Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, MUSICACOUSTICA-BEIJING festival, Mountain Computer Music Festival, SCI Region VII Conference.
back to program


Aurie Hsu (www.auriehsu.com) is a composer, pianist, and dancer. She performs with the Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing (RAKS) system, a wireless sensor interface for belly dance developed with composer Steven Kemper. Aurie has presented at NIME, ICMC, MOCO, SEAMUS, SIGCHI, Pixelerations, Third Practice Festival, the Logos Foundation (Belgium), the Cité International des Arts (France), and the TivoliVredenburg (The Netherlands). Aurie received a Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia and holds degrees from Mills College and Oberlin Conservatory. She is an Assistant Professor in Computer Music and Digital Arts in the Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) Department at the Oberlin Conservatory.
back to program


Alexis Bacon is a composer recognized nationally and internationally for her acoustic and electroacoustic music, having won awards including the IAWM Search for New Music Pauline Oliveros Prize, the Ossia International Composition Prize, and the ASCAP/SEAMUS student composition commission, and an honorable mention in the inaugural 2018 Hildegard Competition. She has received grants and awards from the Indiana Arts Council, the Percussive Arts Society, the American Music Center, and ASCAP, and commissions from artists including Due East, the Bro-Fowler Duo, violinist Robert Simonds, and multiple consortiums comprising over fifty musicians headed by Duo Corcra, percussionist Brad Meyer, and saxophonist Wilson Poffenberger. She is currently Assistant Professor of Music Composition at Michigan State University.
back to program


Andrew Spencer holds the position of Professor of Percussion at Central Michigan University. An active recitalist and clinician, he has performed as a soloist in the United States, Poland, Japan, Canada, and Costa Rica. Equally experienced in orchestral performance, Spencer is the Principal Timpanist for the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Percussionist for the Midland Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with numerous chamber ensembles throughout the United States, and plays drum set with the Central Michigan University Faculty Jazz Ensemble, with whom he has recorded the albums Caught In The Act and Conspiracy Theory. Spencer received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in percussion performance, and studied with Dr. Terry Applebaum at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in percussion performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he studied with John Beck.
back to program


Joo Won Park (joowonpark.net) wants to make everyday sound beautiful and strange so that everyday becomes beautiful and strange. He performs live with toys, consumer electronics, kitchenware, vegetables, and other non-musical objects by digitally processing their sounds. He also makes pieces with field recordings, sine waves, and any other sources that he can record or synthesize. Joo Won draws inspirations from swamps, skyscrapers, his two sons, and other soundscapes surrounding him. He has studied at Berklee College of Music and the University of Florida, and currently teaches Music Technology at the Wayne State University. Joo Won’s music and writings are available on ICMC DVD, Spectrum Press, MIT Press, PARMA, Visceral Media, MCSD, SEAMUS, and No Remixes labels.
back to program


Electronic Music Ensemble of Wayne State (EMEWS) is an undergraduate electronic ensemble consisting of Wayne State University's music technology students. For more info, visit http://music.wayne.edu/ensembles/electronic.php
back to program


Ewa Trębacz [pronounced Eva Trembatch] is a Polish-American composer living in Seattle. Her current artistic explorations are oriented towards immersive media. She often uses space as a catalyst for improvisation, working through Ambisonic recording sessions in acoustically inspiring spaces. Ewa holds a Master’s degree in Music Composition from one of Poland's best music conservatories, the Academy of Music in Kraków, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). She currently works at DXARTS as a Research Scientist, and teaches courses related to digital sound and immersive media. Her compositions have been performed, recorded and broadcast in over 30 countries on four continents. In 2009, her large scale work things lost things invisible for Ambisonic space and orchestra was recognized by the 56th UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris, soon followed by multiple radio broadcasts around the world. Website: http://ewatrebacz.com
back to program


Josiah Boothby is a versatile hornist devoted to new music, with a particular focus on improvisation and creative collaboration with composers and other artists. Josiah has performed as a soloist at the Warsaw Autumn Music Festival (2009), the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (2017), and has collaborated extensively with composers including Ewa Trębacz, Eyvind Kang, and Ahamefule Oluo. Principal hornist with the Seattle Modern Orchestra and fourth hornist in the Yakima Symphony, Josiah can also be heard playing with the Jim Knapp Jazz Orchestra, Seattle Chamber Brass, as well as on recordings with The Debaucherauntes, Dan Mangan, and Sunn O))). When he’s not playing his horn or teaching, Josiah can be found hiking and climbing around the Pacific Northwest, dancing Blues and Contra, or staying in to bake pie. Website: http://josiahboothby.org
back to program


Ron Coulter is Instructor of Percussion and World Music at Casper College and has presented at more than 90 colleges and universities internationally. He has toured internationally appearing in 49 U.S. states, Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan with artists such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Four Aces, Sean Jones, Linux Laptop Orchestra, Al Martino, Sandy Duncan, Bolokada Condé, Music from China, Youngstown Symphony, Wyoming Symphony, Tatsuya Nakatani, Michael Zerang, and Tone Road Ramblers, among others. Ron has presented at numerous conferences including: ISIM, PASIC, NIME, JEN, LiWoLi, BMC3, CMS, a.pe.ri.od.ic, Futurisms, Soundlines, RadiaLx, Athena Festival, and the JVC and Montreal Jazz Festivals. He is co-founder of the Percussion Art Ensemble, Drm&Gtr, duende entendre, Marble Hammer, and founder of the Southern Illinois Improvisation Series. Additional interests include noise, intermedia, interdisciplinary collaboration, and organizing Fluxconcerts. As a composer, Ron has created more than 300 compositions for various media. www.roncoulter.org
back to program


Howie Kenty is a Brooklyn-based composer and performer, occasionally known by his musical alter-ego, Hwarg. His music, called “remarkable” with “astonishing poetic power” by the International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica, is stylistically diverse, encompassing ideas from contemporary classical, electronic, rock, sound art, theatre, and everything in between, occasionally with visual and theatrical elements. Howie plays guitar in the progressive rock band The Benzene Ring, and is currently a Graduate Council Fellow PhD student at Stony Brook University. Recent recognition includes a 2017 Copland House residency, a 2018 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts residency, first prize commission in the 2017 Null-state Chaosflöte competition, competition winner for the 2018 Open Space Festival of New Music, competition winner for the 2018 RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Workshop, and an ASCAP Plus+ award. Hear more at http://hwarg.com.
back to program


Percussionist Daniel Pate is an international performer, collaborator, curator, researcher and educator dedicated to the dynamic and inspiring performance of today's most daring new music through adventurous programming, diverse commissions and engaging performances that feature exciting electronic and visual elements. As a performer, his work can be seen frequently in New York City. He has presented performances at Darmstadt, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, The Ojai Music Festival, and more. As a passionate advocate of contemporary music, he has commissioned works by Martin Bresnick, Nathan Hudson, and Howie Kenty and presented premiers by Paula Matthusen, Kristen Broberg and Adam Beard. Dr. Pate earned a Doctorate in Percussion Performance from Stony Brook University under the tutelage of Eduardo. He also holds a Master's Degree from The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a Bachelor's Degree in Percussion Performance from San Diego State University.
back to program

Earlier Event: November 9
Concert 3
Later Event: November 10
Talks 2