[Sept. 14] New AIR Festival- Mari Kimura

Mari Kimura is at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. She will perform a recent commission by composer Michael Harrison, and one of her own compositions using her prototype motion sensor system MUGIC.

Tickets: $20 / $15 students/seniors

Location:  Tenri Cultural Institute,
43 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

Time: 8 pm

Mari Kimura: Rossby Waving (2017)

The title was taken from “Rossby Wave”, a natural atmospheric phenomenon relating to rotation of the planet. When the Rossby Wave ‘breaks’, it could cause extreme climate conditions as El Niño/La Niña. The piece consists of a ‘flexible ostinato’, a somewhat regular ‘wave’ of violin sound that’s processed and flows. The motion sensor ‘Mugic’ detects and interprets the character of the bowing movements which affect ‘ostinato’ in its timbre and character. Some irregular and disruptive motive starts to affect the regular ostinato, sometimes mangling it. Eventually both the violin and ostinato flows freely, sometimes and sometimes not, affecting each other. Rossby Waving is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Claude Risset.


Mari Kimura is a violinist/composer and a leading figure in the field of interactive computer music. As a violinist, Mari is renowned for her mastery of subharmonics—the production of pitches that sound up to an octave below the violin’s lowest string—as well as for her dynamic performances as an improviser, interpreter of many notable compositions by today’s composers, and as a soloist with such major orchestras including the Tokyo Symphony and the Hamburg Symphony. She received numerous awards including Guggenheim Fellowship, Fromm Award, residency at IRCAM in Paris, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. She is a developer of a prototype motion sensor “MUGIC” for interactive performance, and she is the founding chair of Future Music Lab at the Atlantic Music Festival since 2013. A faculty at The Juilliard School since 1998, Mari was appointed last year as a Professor of Music at the “Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology” (ICIT) program at UC Irvine.   www.marikimura.com


MUGIC is a motion sensor system developed by Mari Kimura and media artist Liubo Borissov in 2015, supported by ITAC.org/NYSCA through Harvestworks.  MUGIC analyzes the movement and gesture to extract human expression, developed to apply not only to the violin or musical instruments, but also can be attached to any object that accepts communicative expressive motions. Since January 2018, Kimura is building a new MUGIC prototype through a Multi Disciplinary Program at Calit2 at UC Irvine.  www.calit2.net

Michael Harrison: Harmonic Constellations, abridged version (2016)

Harmonic Constellations was commissioned and composed for violinist/electronics specialist Mari Kimura and is scored for violin with 13 pre-recorded violin tracks and sine tones. The complete work is comprised of nine constellations of complex just intonation harmonies that gradually shift and evolve over time. The frequency relationships between each tone are perfectly tuned in whole number proportions. In turn these same proportions determine the durations and envelopes (attack, sustain, and decay) of each tone, as well as structural elements of the work. I am calling the concept “Integrated Proportionality.” Harmonic Constellations was composed entirely using math and text based computer programming. The data was then organized into spreadsheets to create a more traditional score with the just intonation ratios and exact frequency specified in Hertz above each note. All of the tones were divided between the violins and sine tones to create a complex and integrated timbre. The work is inspired by the harmonic language of La Monte Young’s The Well-Tuned Piano, and all of the frequencies, durations and envelopes are generated from multiples of the prime numbers two, three and seven. Today’s abridged version is about 11min.

“Dazzling…a plugged-in Paganini for the digital age.”  All Music Guide
“Fascinating… Few musicians have the combination of artistry and scientific inquisitiveness of violinist Mari Kimura”  The STRAD
“The Los Angeles music scene has gained another powerful force”, New Classic LA
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