Auksalaq (Six Quintets and Iceprints)

April 8th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

Auksalaq, the Inupiat word for “melting snow/ice”, is a telematic, multimedia work that explores global climate change from a northern geographic and cultural perspective. Using telematic technology, live music, voice, dance, movement, visual arts and commentary, the work creates a counterpoint of media linking great distances. Auksalaq integrates artistic expression, scientific information and social/political commentary to present an interactive, multi-dimensional experience that embodies relevant complex cultural and environmental processes. The piece employs scientific analysis as well as cultural and political issues surrounding global climate change.

This performance for Intermedia Festival 2010 features the premiere of two of the five systems from the opera: Six Quintets and Iceprints.

The Six Quintets for percussion quintet express elemental human relationships with the environment through music. These pieces express the environmental, physical, mental and spiritual complexities of human-nature dialectics. As humans affect and control the natural environment, the changes we create reflect back onto our species’ behavior, psyche and imagination. The Six Quintets set up elemental systems of tension that point to this abstraction: Water (ice), Wood (pitch), Stone (sand), Metal (noise), Air (breath), and Skin (bones). These movements progress from the outward material affects of our behavior (melting ice) to our body and breath as material.

In counterpoint with the Six Quintets, an ecoacoustic drama plays out simultaneously in another, remote space. Iceprints for piano and sub-ice ecoacoustics maps empirical, temporal complexities of transformation underneath the Polar ice cap into a musical system. Iceprints is music written from inside the ice; it does not address the dramatic temporal frame of human behavior but rather reveals empirical patterns of melting occurring over 39 years. Using the ability of music to represent multiply directed time, in Iceprints we can listen simultaneously to the real time movement of the ice, its daily, monthly and annual cycles, and to its macro-temporal form across several decades. The piece does this through a unique ecoacoustic process involving decades of scientific data collated with a special multi-channel sub-ice recording system. Three hydrophones suspended beneath the ice and separated by several kilometers,  triangulate events under the ice. Through the three-channel surround sound playback, the audience is also triangulated within this Polar sub-ice environment.

The accompanying media supports these two systems of change. The human drama of Six Quintets is accompanied by interviews and media documentation about change in the Arctic. Iceprints is accompanied by abstract images of ice and color processing.

Vignette and Shiver

April 7th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

Vignette and Shiver

Vignette is part of a monodrama, Ophelia’s Gaze, structured as a reverie on Ophelia, the young girl portrayed in Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Natasha Trethewey?s collection, Bellocq?s Ophelia. The set of poems contains the imagined thoughts and perceptions of one of the young prostitutes photographed by E. J. Bellocq in 1912 who worked in a ?colored? brothel in the Storyville section of New Orleans. The aural-visual relationships in the composition unfold as a series of tableau using the consciousness of dreams, memories, and reveries described in French philosopher Gaston Bachelard?s last work, La PoÈtique de la RÈverie (1960). The text is sung and spoken by a soprano/narrator who encounters multiple reflections of her own image and the environment in which she exists or imagines. She interacts musically with a cellist and visually with her own images reflected in video ?mirrors.? Technology used in the performance include MaxMSP music processing language  and an interactive video motion capture system developed for this production. This video system consists of infrared light, motion-capture hardware combined with the Eyecon Motion Sensing software and Isadora Graphic Programming Environment.

Shiver is a dreamlike meditation on Ophelia, the main character in Natasha Trethewey?s poetry collection, Bellocq?s Ophelia. The poems contain the imagined thoughts and perceptions of one of the young prostitutes photographed by E. J. Bellocq in 1912 who worked in a brothel in the Storyville section of New Orleans. The aural relationships in my composition unfold as a tableau using the consciousness of dreams, memories, and reveries described in French philosopher Gaston Bachelard?s last work, La PoÈtique de la RÈverie (1960). The text is sung by a female soprano/narrator who encounters multiple reflections of her own image and the environment in which she exists or imagines.  Using IRCAM?s AudioSculpt sound analysis tools, the structure of all synthetic sounds in the work were based on a spectral analysis and resynthesis of the a female voice. Video was made by Isabelle Dehay from Nante, France. This work was commissioned by the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios in commemoration of its 50th anniversary celebration.

Soundmesh Improvision

April 7th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

The Soundmesh Improvisation will be an Internet2 performance using a new version of Mara Helmuth’s RTcmix-based software Soundmesh. The improvisation will showcase the talents of CCM students participating in a remote improvisation between the Intermedia festival in Indianapolis and from the (ccm)2 CCM Center for Computer Music in Cincinnati. Guitarist-composer Joshua Goldman, and composers TR Beery, Danny Clay, Jennifer Jolley, Sangbong Nam, Paul Schuette and Jerod Sommerfeldt are participating. The high band-width Internet2 connection supports uncompressed multichannel sound processing between remote locations, and the application allows extensive synthesis, processing and algorithmic capabilities of the RTcmix music programming language on OSX and Linux.

Galaga RemiX2

April 7th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

GalagaRemiX2 colonizes the corporate product and contaminates an arcade game classic by using two hacked games and custom button controllers to create a glitchy, audio-visual feast of sound and projection. Introduced in 1981, the Galaga arcade game became a classic alien invasion game for the company Namco.  Twenty-nine years into the future, GalagaRemiX2 appropriates a recent game pack circuit to create an audio-visual instrument that allows the performer to play with a hacked version of the classic Galaga video game.  By manipulating a simple interface and with further computational processing, audio-visual artifacts are created over a continuous drone, exploring tonalities and visualities of glitch noise art. GalagaRemiX2 is a performance extravaganza of video game antics, experimental sound performance, VJ culture, and live A/V practices.

Those That I Fight I Do Not Hate

April 7th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

Those That I Fight I Do Not hate employs one of the most adventurous ways to conceive a piece, by using an instrument that has well-known ties to a certain cultures. Those That I Fight I Do Not Hate explores the bodhrán, an instrument deeply rooted in Irish secular culture, in a way reminiscent of Lucier’s Silver Street Car of the Orchestra and Burtner’s Broken Drum. The conversation between acoustic sound and pre-recorded sound makes for a sonically engulfing experience for the listener without being excessively aggressive. Jordan Munson is currently the Lecturer in Music and Arts Technology at IUPUI as well as a private musician, composer, and multimedia artist.

Laden, and Strung

April 7th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

Laden, and Strung

Laden works with the visceral oppression of  ‘too-muchness.’ The music for Laden contains obsessively repeated gestures and fragments, filtered through obsessively employed processing techniques. Resonance is used to evoke various parts of the performer’s psyche as she negotiates her environment. The vocal materials were created from expressions from a made-up language, utilizing the accoutrements of contemporary vocal practice.

Strung represents an investigation of an alternative style of dance phraseology, derived from manifesting shifts of meaning into a shifts of performance states.  There is no traditional underlying musical phraseology that the dance is chained to.  The audience watches the performer shift through these meaning states like watching an animal.

Straitjacket

April 7th, 2010 | Filed under Abstracts

Straitjacket
When asked for a new work to be commissioned by the Banff Centre for the Roots and Rhizomes Percussion Residency, Mark Applebaum thought about putting ontological pressure on the boundary conditions of the medium itself. He considered the idea of paradoxically expanding the seemingly comprehensive domain of musical experience through focused constraints, and he gravitated, perhaps habitually, toward a kind of super-disciplined absurdity—as if invoking a parallel world whose eccentric culture is governed by elaborate rules perceived but not understood.  In short, he managed to compose Straitjacket, a provisional answer of sorts. Straitjacket, privately subtitled “four restraint systems for solo percussion and percussion quartet,” intersects conceptually with formal techniques employed by the French literary group Oulipo: the palindrome, the isopangram, the lipogram, and the taquinoid.

Straitjacket

When asked for a new work to be commissioned by the Banff Centre for the Roots and Rhizomes Percussion Residency, Mark Applebaum thought about putting ontological pressure on the boundary conditions of the medium itself. He considered the idea of paradoxically expanding the seemingly comprehensive domain of musical experience through focused constraints, and he gravitated, perhaps habitually, toward a kind of super-disciplined absurdity—as if invoking a parallel world whose eccentric culture is governed by elaborate rules perceived but not understood.  In short, he managed to compose Straitjacket, a provisional answer of sorts. Straitjacket, privately subtitled “four restraint systems for solo percussion and percussion quartet,” intersects conceptually with formal techniques employed by the French literary group Oulipo: the palindrome, the isopangram, the lipogram, and the taquinoid.

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