CEC 25th Anniversary Tour in Calgary
University of Calgary Music Department
The Music Department of the University of Calgary hosted the sixth of ten events on the CEC’s cross-Canada 25th Anniversary Tour.
The day’s events began with Kevin Austin’s seminar “Some Recent Trends and Practices in Electroacoustic Studies across Canada: The CEC at 25,” which was prepared especially for the Anniversary Tour. Professors Laurie Radford and Ken Fields contributed talks about their own recent work and research in the second half of the seminar, and Austin presented a recent T-Stick performance by D. Andrew Stewart. CEC members and the general public alike were invited to come out and meet people from the CEC and JTTP in an informal Meet & Greet before the two evening concerts. The first featured winning works from JTTP 2011, followed by the second of two telematic concerts by CanDLE (the Canadian Distributed Laptop Ensemble) in the course of the tour, this time hosted by the University of Calgary’s Syneme Lab with the collaboration of McMaster University’s Cybernetic Orchestra.
Events for the sixth of ten stops on the CEC’s 25th Anniversary Tour were held in the Syneme Lab and the Sonic Arts Lab, both housed in the University of Calgary’s Music Department (MacEwan Hall, 6th floor).
15:30–16:45 Seminar: Kevin Austin — Recent Practices in EA: The CEC@25
17:00–18:00 Seminar guests: Laurie Radford, Ken Fields
18:00–19:00 CEC Meet & Greet
19:00–20:15 Concert 1: JTTP 2011 — Prize-Winning Works
20:30–22:00 Concert 2: CanDLE Performance with 2-city Telematic Link
Biographies for individual participants, guests, associations and institutions can be found below.
Kevin Austin — Some Recent Trends and Practices in Electroacoustic Studies across Canada: The CEC at 25
Everything old is new again. Kevin Austin’s presentation (at ten venues in nine cities) considered historical precedents and provided a useable map of the background and context of recent trends within the larger discipline of electroacoustics. Among the trending topics in EA these days are “live EA” and “visual music”; as discussed in the first part of the seminar, current and exploding technologies have allowed these areas of EA to develop very rapidly and proliferate widely.
With more than 40 years of history in EA, Austin looked back at the historical path and presented detailed views of some of the newer manifestations of EA. Some of the historical perspective was provided by his own experiences with live EA, which started in 1971 (MetaMusic, later CECG/GEC), and his use of visual elements as of about 1975.
In the second part of the seminar, invited local artists — active in the 1970s through today — contributed their own perspectives on regional activities to help articulate the unique flavour of EA practice in the various distinct areas that together form the diverse electroacoustic community in Canada, from Victoria to St. John’s.
At the Music Department of the University of Calgary stop on the tour, Laurie Radford talked about his recent videomusic work and Ken Fields spoke about his experiences mounting telematic concerts. Kevin Austin closed off with a presentation of a recent performance by D. Andrew Stewart on the T-Stick.
The historic division of the aural and the visual can be traced back to early electroacoustic practice, which over the years “has cultivated a vital but ambivalent sense of connect to visual domain.” There is, however, in recent years, an increasing tendency of composers using sound technologies to explore and use visual elements in their practices. While the tools and means for working in the visual domains may seem familiar to those whose point of departure is the sonic, there are other factors that need to be considered when bringing together image and sound on the screen. In Radford’s videomusic work “Filling”, the discrepancy between the “boundaries” and framing of the audio and visual components is explored.
Ken Fields — Telematic Performance Practice and Research in Calgary and China
Ken Fields’ research over the past decade addresses issues related to telematic performance, or audio-visual performance across communications networks, notably problems and solutions to the “disjunction in chronotopic space” characteristic of such performance. Through his work in the Syneme Lab at the University of Calgary and with the Electroacoustic Music Association of China (EMAC), a number of performances have been mounted involving musicians and ensembles in Canada, China, Singapore and the UK. The networks have also been used for teaching and rehearsals involving collaborators situated on different continents, in multiple time-spaces.
Kevin Austin — On the “Concerto for T-Stick and Two Laptop Orchestras” (2011), performed by CLOrk, the Cybernetic Orchestra and D. Andrew Stewart
In addition to the main part of his seminar, in Calgary and Winnipeg Kevin Austin gave a presentation about this piece, co-composed by Eldad Tsabary (director of the Concordia Laptop Orchestra, CLOrk), D. Andrew Stewart (t-stick) and David Ogborn (founder of McMaster University’s Cybernetic Orchestra). Created primarily as a collaboration of Stewart, the Cybernetic Orchestra and CLOrk, the “score” for the piece was largely structural, a comprovisation which Eldad Tsabary directed in the live performance using Sound Painting gestures. The piece makes use of and showcases the broad range of interests and approaches to sonic creation that characterize this expanded orchestra: live coding, electroacoustic transformations, video control interfaces and instrumental performance and more.
The tour also provided members of the CEC Board, CEC administrators and JTTP 2011 guests with some time to meet and chat with the local communities of composers, performers and friends of electroacoustic practices. It was a great opportunity to not only reconnect with old acquaintances, but also to meet and hang out with new acquaintances! CEC Admin and Board members and JTTP guests had the chance to experience first hand the incredible diversity of electroacoustic practice across the country, from Victoria to St. John’s.
The CEC’s annual Jeu de temps / Times Play (JTTP) project is comprised of: a competition for young and emerging sound artists from (or living in) Canada, with cash and prizes awarded to the top five placing composers, as selected by an international jury; a focus issue of eContact! featuring all submissions to the project; a CD compilation (Cache) of the top works; and international radio and concert play of the top works.
Each stop on the tour featured a concert of the winning works from the 12th edition of Jeu de temps / Times Play. Those curious to know what the next generation of electroacoustic composers in Canada “sounds like” came out and joined us for performances of works by David Arango-Valencia, Guillaume Barrette, Guillaume Campion, Maxime Corbeil-Perron, Jullian Hoff and Marc-André Perron.
For each of the JTTP concerts at least one JTTP 2011 winning composer was present as an invited guest, and these guests diffused their own works as well as the works of their colleagues. Guillaume Barrette joined us on many of the stops on the tour, including Edmonton and Calgary.
Programme (in alphabetical order):
- David Arango-Valencia — Canción de Otraparte / « Chanson d’ailleurs » (2011 / 12:04)
- Guillaume Barrette — Parasite (2011 / 10:00)
- Guillaume Campion — Neige cendre (2011 / 11:22)
- Maxime Corbeil-Perron — Fragments (2011 / 10:00)
- Jullian Hoff — Scratch (2011 / 12:06)
- Marc-André Perron — Effervescence / Somnolence (2010 / 10:24)
Visit the JTTP 2011 page in this issue of eContact! for video montages of performances of each of the works, as well as biographies of the composers.
Two telematically linked concerts featuring CanDLE (Canada Distributed Laptop Ensemble) were held during the CEC’s 25th Anniversary Tour, at the project launch in Montréal (11 November) and at the Calgary stop on the tour (22 November). This collaborative project first took place in January 2010, coordinated by Ken Fields in Calgary, with links to Montréal and Edmonton.
For the Calgary concert, CanDLE members in Calgary performed with members in Hamilton, linked telematically (audio-visual). The Syneme Lab, directed by Ken Fields, hosted the event in collaboration with the Cybernetic Orchestra (Hamilton’s McMaster University, directed by David Ogborn).