SPLICE Institute 2015


The first SPLICE Insitute was held in July 2015 at Western Michigan University.

Twenty-two participants and auditors joined the faculty (listed below) to discuss, create, and perform Electroacoustic music.


  • Elainie Lillios, guest composer

  • Christopher Biggs, composition
  • Per Bloland, composition
  • Richard Johnson, composition
  • Keith Kirchoff, performance
  • Elainie Lillios, composition
  • Adam Vidiksis, compostion & performance
  • Samuel Wells, performance
  • David Wetzel, performance


SPLICE Institute 2015 included 8 concerts, which featured a total of 15 world premieres. Of those fifteen, twelve were composed by participants, three by faculty. Faculty performed ten of the premieres, and participants performed five. Programs are available at the links below.

July 6, 2015
Faculty Concert I - Keith Kirchoff, piano
July 7, 2015
Faculty Concert II - David Wetzel, clarinets
July 8, 2015
Faculty Concert III - Samuel Wells, trumpet
July 9, 2015
Faculty Concert IV - Adam Vidiksis, percussion
July 10, 2015
Chamber Music Concert - Faculty Ensembles
July 11, 2015
Participant Concert I
Participant Concert II
Participant Concert III


Performer Workshops

  • Workshop I: Introduction to Electronics
    This workshop introduces the participant to the basics of performing with electronics. Included is an introduction to common hardware, microphone and speaker placement, and the basics of signal flow. By the workshop's end, the participant will know how to setup for performances and rehearsals.

  • Workshop II: Introduction to DAWs
    This workshop explores performing fixed media pieces, and teaches how to work with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for performance and rehearsal. At the end of the workshop, the participant will be able to navigate four commonly used DAW's (Ardour, Audacity, Logic X, and ProTools), and will know how to apply this knowledge to the use of other DAW's.

  • Workshop III: Introduction to Max
    This workshop introduces the participant to Max: a graphic programming language that is the most common platform for music with live electronics. We will learn basic Max code, learn how to read a Max patch, and learn how to work within that environment. Participants will be able to troubleshoot common problems with Max, build rehearsals patches, and setup interactive works for performance and rehearsal.

  • Workshop IV: Troubleshooting Part I: Home
    This workshop explores how to rehearse and troubleshoot music at home and is the culmination of knowledge gained in the first three workshops. Looking at music for both fixed media and live electronics, the participant will be asked to address problems with faulty patches and find ways to effectively rehearse in a home or studio setting.

  • Workshop V: Troubleshooting Part II: Performance
    This workshop involves troubleshooting during a performance. Various in-hall challenges will be presented, and the participants will be asked to setup for a recital, and then fix problems. By the end of this workshop, participants will have all of the necessary tools to successfully setup, learn, rehearse, and perform Electroacoustic music.

  • Workshop VI: EARepertoire
    This workshop introduces the participants to a brief survey of electroacoustic music that combines instruments and electronics. We will study and listen to major works that integrate a live instrument with electronics and explore the evolutionary history of this medium.

  • Workshop VII: Interactive Event Manager
    While earlier workshops presented the basic concepts required to be self-sufficient in the performance of electroacoustic music, this workshop will demonstrate more advanced ways to apply these principles in performance and rehearsal. Participants will learn about coordinating individual works or entire concerts within a standard system developed by David Wetzel.

FOR COMPOSERS: Electronic Music Aesthetics and Repertoire This workshop will increase participants' familiarity with the vast repertoire of electroacoustic compositions, emphasizing discussion of relevant aesthetic issues. Time will be spent on critical listening sessions in which selected pieces are played in their entirety (time permitting) and discussed in terms of compositional effectiveness, historical place in the canon, and aesthetic decisions, conscious or unconscious, made by the composers.

Effects Processing For students with previous experience in a Digital Audio Workstation, this workshop facilitates a detailed understanding of filters, dynamics processing, delay-based effects, modulation, distortion, reverb, and FFT. Composers completing this workshop will have the ability to intentionally employ effects for creative purposes.

Introduction to Max For students with little to no previous experience working in Max or Pure Data, this workshop teaches composers to complete simple, useful tasks in Max and Jitter, such as writing algorithms for processing MIDI information, basic synthesis, and triggering sound files. Student completing this workshop will have the ability to complete simple tasks in Max/MSP, to understand the basic workings of the applications, and think creatively about the possibilities provided by the software.

Intermediate and Advanced Max For students with previous experience working with Max or Pure Data, this workshop teaches composers the basics of creative interactive works with Max. Composers completing this workshop will be able to create basic interactions between external data sources (sound sources, midi controllers, etc…) and internal data sources (synthesizers, sound files, etc…), and think creatively about generating interactive works.

Live Sound and Event Production A limited number of composers will receive a reduced participation fee and do live sound reinforcement for the end of the week participation concerts. Composers will learn the basics of live sound reinforcement and event production, including microphones, digital and analog mixers, surround sound speaker arrays, and stage management.