Workshops & Collaborations

Each year, SPLICE Institute explores a specific theme related to technology-mediated composition and performance. This year’s theme will be improvision.

Composition Workshops

Composition workshops in the morning will explore beginning concepts in Digital Audio Workstations, such as improvisation with sound files in Ableton Live, microphone techniques, digital audio concepts, and effects processing. There will also be beginner, intermediate, and advanced Max workshops. The intermediate and advanced workshops will focus on improvisation and will include building a synthesizer that responds to MIDI keyboards enabled with multidimensional polyphonic expression. Guest composer Sam Pluta will teach advanced SuperCollider and Adam Vidiksis will teach introductory SuperCollider.


Performance Workshops

Performance workshops for beginners will cover working with electronics in rehearsal and performance without the aid of a composer or sound engineer. Workshops focus on setting up equipment, learning about mixers and microphones, studying the musicality of electronics, and introductions to Max, Logic, PD, and Supercollider. There are also advanced workshops that specifically include content for performers with significant previous experience, including previously attending SPLICE Institute.


Improvisation Ensembles

In the afternoon there will be the opportunity to participate in improvisation ensembles led by Dana Jesson, Sam Pluta, Per Bloland, and Adam Vidiksis. These ensembles will rehearse each afternoon and perform at the end of the week.


Masterclasses

Composer Participants doing a Concert Collaboration will present their work in a masterclass that is open to all participants.


Concert Collaborations

Participant composers and performers selected for a concert collaboration are paired to collaborate on a new work that will be premiered at SPLICE Institute. Community building and collaboration form the core of SPLICE’s mission and activities. Attendees become part of a community that continues to grow and develop beyond the Institute.

While SPLICE Institute allows participants to find a collaborative process that works for them, Participant composers and performers agree to adhere to the collaboration deadlines indicated here. Communicating and figuring out how to work together is largely the responsibility of the participants; however, each collaborative team will be assigned a faculty member who will contact the collaborative team during the collaborative process. Also, all individuals collaborating on a new work will meet together with a faculty member during the afternoon on the first Sunday of the Institute. We are dedicated to facilitating these collaborative processes and hope that attendees at SPLICE will form relationships that result in future collaborations and projects. We do suggest the following regarding the collaborative projects that will premiere at SPLICE: 

  • As soon as you are paired with someone, begin communications regarding creating a plan that works for both collaborators, including more specific deadlines, aesthetic considerations, and technical concerns.
  • Make sure that you are being clear regarding your preferences, while also being responsive and open-minded to the ideas and concerns of your collaborator.
  • If something is not clear to you, continue to ask questions until it is clear.
  • We recommend that, given the time restrictions inherent in this type of process, that these collaborations and premieres be viewed as works-in-process; however, a number of collaborations from previous years did result in final products that went on to presented at conferences, such as SEAMUS, NYCEMF, ICMC, and the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium.

The requirements regarding these works are as follows:

  • The technology required can not exceed the equipment that we have available*
  • The program note must include a statement that the work was written to premier at SPLICE
  • The work may not exceed 8 minutes in duration, unless special permission is provided and both members of the collaborating team agree to the duration.
  • Composers must write pieces that the performers can perform in the composer's absence. This requires clear performance materials that facilitate the presentation of the work."

*SPLICE has access to the music technology equipment at Western Michigan University during the week. This technology is quite robust and includes numerous microphone options, speaker configuration possibilities, software, and all other equipment common in these performance situations. For anything that is exceptional, please inquire about your tech needs early on in the process. We are happy to provide various speaker configuration options, but cannot move speakers between pieces during concerts; therefore, we will need this information early in the process in order to make sure that individual desires regarding performances are not mutually exclusive.