[Feb 24] “Pausa”, Audiovisual performance by Barbara Held and Benton C Bainbridge

Harvestworks, in partnership with Composers Now Festival presents “Pausa”, an Audiovisual performance for flute, synthesized and processed sound and image by Barbara Held and Benton C. Bainbridge.

Pausa” is a collaborative composition pairing acoustic and electronic sound with realtime image processing, with sound and image “conducting” each other. A unique Binary Pattern Generator creates simple rhythms that are interpreted by an A/V synthesis system, generating variations in the timbre of a live flute performance and layering abstract forms into moving pictures. Held and Bainbridge will co-create the A/V system for the premiere at Harvestworks for Composers Now Festival.

Friday, February 24 2017, 8pm

FREE  Seating is Limited

Doors open at 7:30 pm

Harvestworks 596 Broadway #602 New York NY 10012

Phone: 212-431-1130 Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R to Prince, #6

to Bleecker

image credit: Study for “Pausa” #3 [detail], 2016. SD analog processed to HD digital media © 2016 Benton C Bainbridge

image credit:Benton C Bainbridge

“Pausa” is a collaborative composition pairing acoustic and electronic sound with realtime image processing, in which sound and image “conduct” each other. A unique Binary Pattern Generator creates simple rhythms that are interpreted by an A/V synthesis system, generating variations in the timbre of a live flute performance and layering abstract forms into moving pictures.

Part of a series of pieces shaping subtle variations in the intensity of harmonics of the tone of an acoustic instrument, the generative sound composition pauses or holds flute sounds as a static image, using simple studio effects that make slight variations in the stereo image of the sound and an “overdrive” that awakens or enhances high partials, creating a fluid and shimmering sound texture that is further modified by control voltages and other data being received from the video instruments.

The video system is a custom analog and digital set of modules that generates and combines lines and shapes, yielding rich textures and palettes. Held and Bainbridge will co-create the A/V system for this premiere at Harvestworks for the Composers Now Festival. Custom audio software created by Josep Aymi, Binary Pattern Generator by Brendon Byrne.


Barbara Held is a flutist and composer who lives in Barcelona, Spain. She has commissioned and performed a very personal body of new repertoire for flute by both Spanish and American composers, including Alvin Lucier’s “Self-Portrait” for flute and wind anemometer, a series of scores by Yasunao Tone that are not meant to be performed as much as transformed into sound, and early film and performance work with Carles Santos and poet Joan Brossa. “Known for her subtle exploration of the minutae of sonic material, she creates sensitive, focused sound work that exposes the detail of the physical space of listening in equal part to a keen attention to how we listen as bodies moving through the world.” Seth Cluett

She was flutist with New York’s Bowery Ensemble, a group with close ties to Morton Feldman, directed by Nils Vigeland. With a continuing interest in composing with sound and image, she has performed with live video artists including Ursula Scherrer, Benton C Bainbridge and Francesca Llopis as well as creating sound for installation pieces by visual artists such as Paloma Navares, Pere Noguera, Francesc Abad and Eugenia Balcells. She was the creator and producer of “Music at Metrónom”, a series of concerts of experimental music in Barcelona that gave special support to collaboration between musicians and visual artists, a project that she shared with invited co-curaters such as Augusti Fernandez and Francisco Lopez; with Pilar Subira, co-curated “Possibility of Action: the life of the score” for the Documentation Center and Archive of the Barcelona MACBA museum of contemporary art during the 2008-09 season, and “Lines of Sight”, a series of seven programs of experimental music and radio art for radio web macba. Her work has been presented at the LOOP Festival of Videoart, Barcelona; Soundproof Festival, London; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; Solianka Gallery, Moscow; Issue Project Room, New York; The Bridge, Cologne; Experimental Intermedia, New York; Grec Festival, Barcelona; Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; group show “Microcosmics” curated by Joan Fontcuberta at the Sala Metrónom in Barcelona, and “Bioderivas” at the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre in Tenerife with Yapci Ramos and Richard Garet. Her work has been published by FO A RM magazine and Leonardo Music Journal, and on the Lovely Music Ltd. CD, “Upper Air Observation”. A joint installation with Kenneth Kirschner and programming by Wolfgang Gil was presented by Contour Editions in May of 2014 at Eyebeam in New York and she recently created “from 0”, a performance/ generative installation for the Signal X festival in Cagliari, Sardinia. She performs with media artist Benton C Bainbridge using a custom software and hardware A/V synthesis system. Their generative audiovisual installation Observatory / Lisa Joy is currently on view as part of “Escuchar con los ojos. Arte sonoro en España, 1961-2016”, a group exhibition of Spanish Sound Art from the past half century at the Juan March Foundation in Madrid. She teaches as part of the University of Barcelona’s Master in Sound Arts program.


BENTON C BAINBRIDGE (Bronx, USA. born 1966) creates media art, live performances and interactive installations with custom digital, analog and optical A/V systems. As a teen, Benton embraced real-time video and Expanded Cinema. In residencies at Experimental Television Center, Bainbridge made works that applied music’s formal and practical strategies to moving pictures. He is now best known for his visual performance projects, both solo and in collaboration with a wide range of artists. Career highlights include video art and VJ’ing for two Beastie Boys world tours, analog video synthesizer FX for TV On The Radio’s “Staring at the Sun” music video, and Whitney Museum’s best-attended live event with video ensemble The Poool. His visual performance and media design work has been seen around the world; recent projects include Kaki King/ Glowing Pictures “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body”. “Ghost Komungobot”, a multichannel media performance with electric komungo pioneer Jin Hi Kim, was the closing event of Bandung International Digital Art Festival in Indonesia in July, 2016. BIDAF 2016 also featured Bainbridge’s interactive video portraiture installation, Picturing You. Bainbridge’s work has shown on 5 continents, at Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, Museum of the Moving Image, American Museum of Natural History, The Kitchen, Frieze Art Fair (NYC), EMPAC (Troy, NY), SFMoMA (San Francisco),

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), Dallas Video Festival, Boston Cyberarts Festival, Mercat des les Flors (Barcelona), LUX2006 (Sevilla), Auditorium Parco della Musica (Roma), Sonic Light (Amsterdam), Wien Moderne (Vienna), Inventionen (Berlin), Teatro Colón CETC (Buenos Aires), CELCIT (Managua), International Horticultural Expo (Xi’an, China), Korean Festival (Seoul), Good Vibrations (Australia), and MTV Networks (global).

Bainbridge teaches “New Forms in Media” at School of Visual Arts MFA Computer Arts Department. Benton’s generative browser artwork “justasecXYZ #3” showed at the MFACA exhibition “Techtonic Shift” and online at justasec.XYZ. Bainbridge’s commercial studio, Intersection Arts, is currently performing media art for the 10th season of One Step Beyond at American Museum of Natural History.


This presentation is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ 2017 Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds Grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.

About Composers Now Festival
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, 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 Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Cheswatyr Foundation, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Newburgh Institute For The Arts and Ideas, ASCAP, BMI, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
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