[Feb 18] Nature and Numbers in Music

Partnering with Composers Now Festival, Harvestworks presents a “behind the scenes” look at how algorithmic systems and data inspire and shape new music by these contemporary sound art and experimental music composers. It will feature presentations by Liz Phillips with Butoh Dancer Mariko Endo Reynolds, plus Tom Hamilton, followed by a panel discussion.

[Feb 18] Nature and Numbers in Music

Liz Phillips with Mariko Endo Reynolds, Mary Lucier
Tom Hamilton
Tuesday, Feb 18 2014, 7-9pm
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

Harvestworks partners with the Composers Now Festival to present “Nature and Numbers in New Music”, an evening with composers Tom Hamilton and Liz Phillips to see and hear about their use of data in composing contemporary music.

Composer and interactive artist Liz Phillips with Butoh Dancer Mariko Endo Reynolds will perform a short version that shows how their collaborative work “Biyuu” activates the body’s potential energy fields with dynamic and radical events in nature—bamboo, tall reeds and water. Our behind the scenes look will include a new video document of the performances of “Biyuu” by video artist Mary Lucier and a demonstration of Phillips’ system where Mariko’s body becomes an antenna that interacts with the 3-D sound and video performance landscape.

The short performance will be followed by Tom Hamilton’s “London Fix (music changing with the price of gold)” an 8 channel composition created specifically for loudspeakers and presented in a darkened room to facilitate a superior listening experience. “London Fix” follows the contours of the spot gold market as defined by the twice-daily London Fix. The composer used price charts to animate an electronic pitch-making system of his own design, mapping the charts to control individual pitch possibilities, range, and portamento. He used the historical chart data both in a linear and recursive fashion, resulting in sonic fluctuations that compress and superimpose time in a way that discourages any literal interpretation. The CD recording of London Fix was released by Muse-Eek Publications, and was awarded an Honorary Mention in the 2004 Prix Ars Electronica; one of ten in a field of over 600 entries. London Fix was first presented at CCNOA in Brussels, as part of the 2003 Earwitness series. More information at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thamilton

About the Composers

New York-based artist LIZ PHILLIPS has been making interactive multi-media installations for the past 40 years. She creates responsive environments sensing wind, plants, fish, audience, dance, water, and food. Audio and visual art forms combine with new technologies to create elastic time-space constructs. Sound is the primary descriptive material.  Phillips has exhibited at The Milwaukee Art Museum, Queens Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, The Whitney Museum of liz phillipsAmerican Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Spoleto Festival USA, the Walker Art Center, Lincoln Center Festival, Ars Electronica, Jacob’s Pillow, The Kitchen, Rene Block Gallery and Frederieke Taylor Gallery. Phillips has collaborated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Nam June Paik, Alison Knowles, Yoshi Wada, Earl Howard, Simone Forti and Robert Kovich.  Phillips received fellowships and grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1987), commissions from New York State Council on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts. Phillips teaches workshops and lectures at Purchase College.

Mariko Endo is a professional Japanese Butoh Dancer, a student of Akira Kasai, one of the co-founders of the Butoh movement.  She toured Japan and the United States as a principal dancer in one of Japan’s representative Butoh companies, Dairakudakan.  In addition to her foundation of dance, she has studied anthropology and energy healing, all which influence her approach to dance as a sculpture of consciousness.

liz phillips2Mary Lucier, video documentation editor and camera, is celebrated for her contributions to the form of multi-monitor, multi-channel video installation. She attended Brandeis University, originally working in sculpture, photography, and performance before concentrating on video installation in the 1970s. In her work–from Ohio At Giverny to The Plains of Sweet Regret and Wisconsin Arc– she has explored the theme of landscape as a metaphor for loss and regeneration and, more recently, trauma as experienced and articulated in more narrative modes. She has received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, USA Artists, the Japan-US Friendship Commission, the Skowhegan Award for Video  and the AICA Best Video Show Award. She is represented by Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., NY and Electronic Arts Intermix.

TOM HAMILTON has composed and performed electronic music for over 40 years, and his work with electronic music originated in the late-60s era of analog synthesis. Hamilton was a 2005 Fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, participating in a residency at the foundation’s center in Umbria. Hamilton’s performing and recording colleagues have included Peter Zummo, Bruce Gremo, Karlheinz Essl, Bruce Arnold, Bruce Eisenbeil, Rich O’Donnell, Thomas Buckner, Al Margolis, and id m theft able, and he has worked with Composers Inside Electronics. Hamilton has released 15 CDs of his music; his CD London Fix received an award in the Prix Ars Electronica, and a 2 CD set of his electronic music of the 1970s was named one of The Wire’s Top 50 Reissues of 2010. Hamilton was the co-director of the 2004 Sounds Like Now festival, and he co-produced the Cooler in the Shade/Warmer by the Stove new music series for 14 years. Since 1990, Hamilton has been a member of composer Robert Ashley’s touring opera ensemble, performing sound processing and mixing in both recordings and concerts.


The Composers Now Festival celebrates living composers, the diversity of their voices and the significance of their musical contributions to our society. During the month of February, the Festival brings together dozens of performances presented by venues, ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, dance companies and many other innovative events throughout New York City. Experience the sounds and get to know the creators behind the music. From jazz to indie, from classical to electronic and beyond, join us on a sonic journey through the landscape of the arts of our time. Composers will be in attendance at all events and will be interacting with audiences. Composers Now is a project partner of The Fund for the City of New York. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the ASCAP Foundation, the Cheswatyr Foundation and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

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