CEC 25th Anniversary Tour in Victoria
University of Victoria School of Music
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
University of Victoria’s School of Music was the host institution for the third event of the CEC’s 25th Anniversary Tour and the start of the tour’s west-to-east-coast travel portion.
Presentations of recent work and research by University of Victoria Graduate students Gabrielle Odowichuk (3D Motion Sensors) and Darren Miller (Audio Morphing) framed and complemented the afternoon seminar by Kevin Austin, “Some Recent Trends and Practices in Electroacoustic Studies across Canada: The CEC at 25,” which was prepared especially for the Anniversary Tour. In the second half of Austin’s seminar, Carey Dodge presented recent work created at Vancouver’s Boca del Lupo. Madrona Labs’ Randy Jones gave a demonstration of the Soundplane Controller to complete the afternoon’s activities.
People from the CEC Board and Administration and JTTP guests were on hand for an informal Meet & Greet between the talks and three back-to-back concerts in the evening. Custom-built robotic musical instruments and human performers with modified instruments were featured in a concert by MISTIC (Music Intelligence and Sound Technology Interdisciplinary Collective), JTTP 2011 winning works were played in the second concert, and a laid-back, late-night concert in the nearby Grad House Pub capped off the day’s activities.
The events at the Victoria leg of the tour were held in the University of Victoria’s School of Music (3800 Finnerty Road / Ring Road) and The Grad House Restaurant (UVic Grad Centre).
11:30–12:30 Presentation: Gabrielle Odowichuk — 3D Motion Sensors
14:30–15:15 Seminar: Kevin Austin — Recent Practices in EA: The CEC@25
15:20–15:40 Seminar guest: Carey Dodge
16:00–16:30 Presentation: Darren Miller — Spectral Approaches to Audio Morphing
16:30–17:30 Presentation: Randy Jones — Soundplane Controller
17:30–19:00 CEC Meet & Greet
19:00–20:00 Concert 1: MISTIC
20:00–21:15 Concert 2: JTTP 2011 — Prize-Winning Works
21:30–00:00 Concert 3: After-Hours Concert
All talks and the Meet & Greet were held in the MacLaurin Building (B016), while the concerts were held in the School of Music’s Recital Hall B037 (MISTIC), the PT Young Recital Hall (JTTP) and the Grad House (After-Hours).
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 Victoria stop on the tour, Carey Dodge spoke about the idea of transposing ideas and concepts across artistic disciplines using experiences gained in electroacoustic studies.
Already during his electroacoustic studies at Concordia University Carey Dodge was working with video and dancers, as well as doing sound design for theatre. The experiences and skillset acquired during his studies was expanded through a Master’s at SARC (Belfast) and provided an excellent foundation for later work as Technical Director at Boca del Lupo, a Vancouver-based company that produces new and experimental theatre as well as large-scale outdoor productions. Broadly, EA studies provided him with the means and capacity to effectively communicate — or transpose — ideas, concepts and working methods to artists from other milieux, including actors, musicians, dancers, lighting people and more.
In the first of two presentations by University of Victoria Graduate students, Gabrielle Odowichuk spoke about her research in music and computer science, which is concentrated on sensory integration and reverberation. Following comparisons and explanations of the Radiodrum and the Kinetic as 3D-motion sensor environments, she demonstrated how complex 3D gestures made above the playing surfaces can be used to process or control various parameters of sound, such as localization and spatialization. Dynamic and realistic representation of virtual sources is achieved through the implementation of Doppler effects and higher orders of reflections.
The second of two presentations by University of Victoria Graduate students was given by Darren Miller, a doctoral student in composition working in both acoustic and electronic media. As we can produce virtually any sound imaginable with existing software and technologies, the importance today is how these sounds are arranged in relation to one another, or how sounds can affect and be made to affect other sounds. Miller’s recent research has explored using spectral analysis and “snapshots” of the spectrums of original and target sound states to generate transitions between the two, one of several possible strategies of audio morphing.
At the Victoria and Vancouver stops on the tour, Randy Jones (Madrona Labs) presented the Soundplane controller, an instrument designed, sourced and assembled in Seattle that has the sensitivity and feel of an acoustic instrument. The control surface can be user-configured as a 150-note keyboard with position and pressure sensing on each key, or as one continuous surface. This pressure-sensitive, multi-touch capable controller was designed for computer music performance and can be used with the user’s own sounds or the built-in Aalto Synthesizer. The background of its conception and other projects and instruments that informed the development of the Soundplane were also presented.
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.
In the early evening concert, the University of Victoria’s Music Intelligence and Sound Technology Interdisciplinary Collective (MISTIC) performed a number of compositions and improvisations for humans and robots and/or robotic musical instruments. This concert brought together and showcased a range of custom-built robotic musical instruments and human performers with modified instruments, and unique musical interfaces.
- George Tzanetakis, Shawn Trail
- Dan Godlovich
- Thor Kell
- Andrew Schloss and David Jaffe — NotomotoN Variations (2011): Nr. 6, performed by Schloss
- Mike Dean — II
- Duncan MacConnell — Bell Study No. 1, performed by Stefan Maier (guitar)
- Stephen Ness
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. Joining us in Victoria and Vancouver were Maxime Corbeil-Perron and Guillaume Barrette.
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.
Concluding a solid day of presentations and events was an after-hours concert in the Grad Centre, accompanied by food and drinks. On the musical menu were ambient and electronica performances by Shawn Trail, Thor Kell (Gameboy, drum machine, and FX), Mike Dean (DJ), Dan Godlovitch “Ookpikk” (electric guitar, nord modular synth, drum machine and sampler), with visuals provided by Paul Reimer.