[Video] Risk Management: Bruce Gremo & Hans Tammen

Under the name RISK MANAGEMENT, the music of Bruce Gremo and Hans Tammen is structured around playing techniques and instrument schemes which are by nature and by design precarious. Bruce Gremo is performing on the Cilia, his patented flute-controller instrument, originally developed in part through a grant from Harvestworks a decade ago. Hans Tammen plays an analog modular synthesizer built around chaotic behaviors.

[Apr 22] Risk Management: Bruce Gremo & Hans Tammen

Bruce Gremo – Cilia
Hans Tammen – analog modular synthesizer

Monday, April 22 2013, 7pm
Admission: FREE

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

Under the name RISK MANAGEMENT, the music of Bruce Gremo and Hans Tammen is structured around playing techniques and instrument schemes which are by nature and by design precarious. They are musical tight rope walkers, endeavoring to maintain a balance between control, while at the same time, unleashing forces that threaten to overwhelm them. The music abounds in paradox; some of the greatest intensities are achieved playing softly and sparsely, some of the mellowest moments with loud and sustained sonority. This musical emotion ranges from the serene and contemplative to the agitated and agonized, and it tends to move slowly through these differences.

Bruce Gremo

Since the late 1990, Beijing based composer and multiple flutist Bruce Gremo Since has focused on computer application composition. This includes pitch-tracking intensive applications, and the Cilia, his patented flute-controller instrument, originally developed in part through a grant from Harvestworks a decade ago.

gremoflutesBruce Gremo also regularly performs on bass flute, alto shakulute, Japanese shakuhachi, glissando head joint flute, Indian bansuri, and Chinese xun. He is also principle flutist in the Peking Sinfonietta, and a classical recitalist. Gremo is interested in developing concert formats where different performance practices meet; classical repertoire and improvisation, hi-tech electronic and acoustic, western and eastern, old and new, functional and ecstatic. These interests are born out of the mix of his graduate academic composition education and his practical education as a participant in the free improvisation and experimental music scene in New York from the late 1980s, until he relocated to Beijing in 2006.

He has been a soloist at; Lincoln Center Festival, Wien Modern, the BBC Proms Festival at the Royal Albert Hall, the Knitting Factory Jazz Festival under Ornette Coleman’s direction. He toured over fourteen months as synthesizer programmer and soloist with the Peter Sellars production of the KunQu opera, The Peony Pavilion. Recipient of numerous awards, his music has been performed around the world.



The Cilia is a flute controller, conceived and currently developing with two objectives; first, to enable live solo electronic performance with ‘orchestral’ resources, and second, to explore the possibilities of virtuosic controller performance. It has been the promise of electronic music since its beginnings that it can do sonically what acoustic instruments cannot. The Cilia endeavors to meet this promise with respect to live human performance. To surpass the nuance and complexity of a fine acoustic instrument; this is a condition for virtuosic controller performance practice. The Cilia design process aspires to facilitate extraordinary athletic and empathic musical feats.

​The hardware controller consists of a flute mouthpiece that splits an air column, as does any flute. Instead of keys or finger holes, five 3-dimensional track pads are used. The performance gestures are modeled on that of the Japanese Shakuhachi. The controller data routing design is the most complex part of the instrument. Preliminary data manipulation happens on a PIC microcontroller. The data is received and managed in a Max application. Sound generating implementations include FM, additive synthesis, waveform synthesis, granular synthesis, dynamic delay and reverb, sound file manipulation, midi libraries and spectral cross synthesis.

​The Cilia originally developed with the assistance of Harvestworks AIR program a decade ago. This performance will provide an update on its progress.

See a YouTube demonstration of the Cilia here!

​Hans Tammen

​​Hans Tammen creates sounds that have been described as an alien world of bizarre textures and a journey through the land of unending sonic operations. He produces rapid-fire juxtapositions of radically contrastive and fascinating noises, with micropolyphonic timbres and textures, aggressive sonic eruptions, but also quiet pulses and barely audible sounds. Signal To Noise called his guitar works “…a killer tour de force of post-everything guitar damage”, All Music Guide recommended him: “…clearly one of the best experimental guitarists to come forward during the 1990s.”

​​tammenHe currently plays an analog modular synthesizer built around chaotic behaviors, where small changes in the settings may yield widely diverging sonic and rhythmic changes, forcing the player to constantly rethink and rearrange music.

Hans Tammen’s numerous projects include site-specific performances and collaborative efforts with dance, light, video, and theatre, utilizing technology from planetarium projectors to guitar robots and disklavier pianos. He received a Fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) in the category Digital/Electronic Arts in 2009 for the ”Endangered Guitar” – a hybrid guitar/software instrument used to control interactive live sound processing.

His THIRD EYE ORCHESTRA open form compositions for large ensembles and live sound processing, or laptop/electronic ensembles, are inspired by Earle Brown’s Available Forms, and based on numerous scored “building blocks” that are constantly rearranged when performed.

His works have been presented on festivals in the US, Canada, Mexico, Russia, India, South Africa and all over Europe. He recorded on labels such as Innova, ESP-DISK, Nur/Nicht/Nur, Creative Sources, Leo Records, Potlatch, Cadence, and Hybrid.

Hans Tammen received grants and composer commissions from MAPFund, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, American Music Center, Chamber Music America, New York State Council On The Arts (NYSCA), New York Foundation For The Arts (NYFA), American Composers Forum w/ Jerome Foundation, New York State Music Fund, Goethe Institute w/ Foreign Affairs Office, among others.



Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.