[Jan 14] An Evening of Fixed Media Electroacoustic Compositions

Curated by John Bock, this event focuses on fixed media electroacoustic compositions by composers born around 1980. The works are specifically composed to be presented through loudspeakers, without a performer, at Harvestworks these works will be presented in a darkened room, allowing for better experiencing the sonic subtleties. Works are by composers Claude Chantal Hess, Lefteris Papadimitriou, Joo Won Park, Saman Samadi, Petru Teodorescu, Chris Mercer and John Bock.

Image to the left: Joo Won Park

[Jan 14] An Evening of Fixed Media Electroacoustic Compositions

Curated by John Bock
Tuesday, Jan 14, 7pm
Admission: FREE

Location: Harvestworks
596 Broadway, #602 | New York, NY 10012 | Phone: 212-431-1130
Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R Prince, 6 Bleeker

Curated by John Bock, this event focuses on fixed media electroacoustic compositions by composers born around 1980. The works are specifically composed to be presented through loudspeakers, without a performer, at Harvestworks these works will be presented in a darkened room, allowing for better experiencing of the sonic subtleties. Works are by composers Claude Chantal Hess, Lefteris Papadimitriou, Joo Won Park, Saman Samadi, Petru Teodorescu, Chris Mercer and John Bock.

List of Works

  1. Rlabas 26.05.09 (8:34) – Claude Chantal Hess
  2. L’Union libre (14:54) – Lefteris Papadimitriou
  3. Decrescendo (7:45) – Joo Won Park
  4. Amiri (8:30) – Saman Samadi
  5. Illumination (I) (5:20) – Petru Teodorescu
  6. Rally (11:15) – Chris Mercer
  7. One Nation Under God: Part 1 (9:12) – John Bock
  8. Points (II) (5:58) – Petru Teodorescu

Rlabas 26.05.09 (8:34) – Claude Chantal Hess

Rlabas, 2009, proposes a journey in Asia. A trip, in the course of which its own representation explores foreign and charming civilizations, between traditional and contemporary musics. Claude-Chantal Hess was born in Switzerland in 1978.  She learned the violin since childhood. After Sociology studies in Montpellier (2000-2002), she lived in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille where she studied the science of music and composition in electronics music (2003-2011). She moved back to Switzerland in 2011. Her artistic orientations are around experimental music, improvisation, and composition.

L’Union libre (14:54) – Lefteris Papadimitriou

L’Union libre is a piece based on Andre Breton’s poem with the same title. I wanted L’Union libre to be a chaotic field of aural information that would overwhelm the listener by continuously challenging perceptional modes. The extremely fragmented texture may be experienced differently by each listener who may dive into the information field and find different things buried inside, such as ”hair of burning splinters” or ”the back of the bird in vertical flight”. The piece is freely inspired by Breton’s technique of arranging a large variety of disparate words into a continuous series of simple but highly imaginative metaphors.

Lefteris Papadimitriou is a Greek composer and performer. He is currently studying for a PhD in composition at the University of Huddersfield with the support of a scholarship from the Huddersfield contemporary music festival  and the Centre of Research in New Music. He has written many compositions for acoustic  instruments and electronic media that have been performed in various countries and also performs live electronic and improvised music.

Decrescendo (7:45) – Joo Won Park

A sine wave with exponential amplitude decay is probably one of the most artificial sounds that can be created. Using this sound as the main source limits many possibilities that can be explored within the electroacoustic music genre, but it also provides a unique transparency in the perception of pitch, contour, and space. The mission of this composition was to develop a pitch language within this environment, and then translate the idea into a timbral realm.

Joo Won Park (b.1980) wants to make everyday sound beautiful and strange so that everyday becomes beautiful and strange. He performs live with toys, kitchenware, vegetables, umbrellas, and other non-musical objects by digitally processing their sounds. Joo Won’s music and writings are available on ICMC DVD, Spectrum Press, MIT Press, and PARMA recording.

Amiri (8:30) – Saman Samadi

The piece is based on a Maqam of Mazandarani folk music called “Amiri”. Saman Samadi (1984) is a Persian avant-garde composer residing in New York City. Samadi has written an extensive amount of repertoire including large scale orchestral works, chamber music for various combinations, solo instruments, electro-acoustic, and concrete music. Samadi’s music has been influenced by the “New Complexity”. He developed his own unique style which entails a new system of pitch organization that uses microtones from traditional Persian music, improvisation, complex poly-rhythms, and heterophonic texture. Samadi is currently pursuing his PhD in composition at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Illumination (I) (5:20) and Points (II) (5:58) – Petru Teodorescu

Petru Teodorescu (b. 1983, Bucharest) September 1993 – grant for studies in Eastbourne (U.K.). September 2003 he obtained the scholarship “Young Talents” accorded by Princess Margaret I of Romania.  During the 2003-2004 he realized a series of concerts all over Romania in music schools with an ensemble of young students that is dedicated to experimental and contemporary music.  He attended seminars of composition with Horatiu Radulescu (2004) and studied composition and electronic music with Iancu Dumitrescu.  In 2005 he realized his first CD with his own music.

Rally (11:15) – Chris Mercer

I collected and developed vocal and “organic” sounds for over a decade for eventual inclusion in a vocalization etude or creature feature.  Rally, in which those materials finally found a home, is an exploration of the relationship between human, animal, and synthetic vocalizations—ranging in scope from large crowd or herd scenes to “inside-the-throat” close-ups—and an attempt at a kind of sonic creature design.  Pitch, cadence and vowel formant information, derived from a number of speakers, animals, and even “vocal-sounding” organic or inanimate objects, are used to drive various synthesis and re-synthesis processes.  For example, a human being’s vowel formants filter the already vaguely speech-like sound of crushed seaweed; the air in the voice is extracted and cross-synthesized with a pig; pitch-detection extracts one voice’s “melodic” component which is then used to control the granulation parameters of another voice.  Among the human beings whose voices were analyzed for this piece are: Noam Chomsky, Harry Partch, Henry Cowell, Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, and a feisty southern televangelist.

Chris Mercer’s most recent electroacoustic music and research have focused on animal communication, especially nonhuman primate vocalization, including research residencies at the Duke University Lemur Center, the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, and the Brookfield Zoo.  His instrumental music involves modified conventional instruments, found objects, and instruments of the composer’s own design, in combination with amplification, live electronics, and spatialization. He currently teaches music technology in the composition program at Northwestern University.

One Nation Under God: Part 1 (9:12) – John Bock

I’ve decided to write this piece because religion is an undeniably very large part of contemporary American society, particularly in the culture and the in politics. Often at times I would find myself watching videos of pastors or politicians in churches and I would see how they think and act. Churches or religious institutions in many ways affect people in profound ways and many times more than the most loved rock bands can ever affect people. The god of their religion to them is the center of the entire universe. They almost always give people very strong emotions whether it be excessive comfort, 100% certainty that they and their love ones will be in heaven some day, or give them strong fears that they will go to hell if they don’t worship God the right way.  In my piece One Nation Under God I’ve decided to limit my sounds mostly to the Christian religion in the United States, since the Christian religion is obviously the largest, most powerful, most influential, and most familiar in American society. This is the first part of a three part work.

John Bock was born in New York state in 1984.  Growing up with computers for his entire life has played a profound influence on him as an electro-acoustic music composer. In 2007, he moved to The Netherlands to study Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He later moved to Chicago in 2010, where he studied composition with Chris Mercer. He moved to Santa Cruz, California to study algorithmic computer music with Peter Elsea and David Cope.  He is currently living in New York.  Like many of his generation he is currently unemployed and looking for work.

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