[July 6] Mike Sperone – Max/Msp as an Extension of the Acoustic Instrument

Acoustic instruments discovered an array of new techniques in the 20th century, expanding their sonic possibilities.  As acoustic and electronic interaction has become increasingly sophisticated it is pushing into the realm of “extended techniques,” but only when treated as such.  This course uses MaxMSP to discuss performative systems that are user friendly and unobtrusive to the performer.  We will cover interaction methods and design choices.  The class will end with a student performance.

Opening July 7th, July 8th 2015 5:00-9pm

The 20th Century brought about new musical techniques and sounds, pushing the sonic possibilities of acoustic instruments to their limit.  Non-traditional techniques such as multiphonics, clicking keys, bowing the “wrong” part of the instrument, and more, have been developed and become part of the techniques more commonly employed.  As electronic systems have grown in their sophistication, electronic augmentations have become increasingly popular and are expanding into the realm of “extended techniques,” but only when treated as such.

In this class we cover basic principles to expand your tonal pallete and make your instrument-computer interaction as unobtrusive to the performer as possible.  This course uses the program MaxMSP to achieve these goals.  It focuses on realtime analysis of audio signals to trigger events, as well as basic video tracking, performer friendly MIDI controllers and a brief introduction to connecting hardware sensors.

There will be a performance at the end of the second class.  Students are invited and encouraged to perform with the systems they develop in this course.


Michael Sperone’s musical endeavors are ambitious and wide ranging.  After his album release of Tintinnabulation, he is now composing, performing, building electroacoustic instruments, and coding for art installations.  In addition, he is currently launching the New Jersey based Red Oak Contemporary Ensemble.  Like many composers his age, he identifies with a wide spectrum of music from post-war serialists to mid-90’s indie-rock – and is trying to incorporate all these influences in a meaningful way.

Michael studied classical percussion with Ray DesRoches, Peter Jarvis, and Tom Kolor.  His composition studies have been with John Link, Jeffrey Kresky, Kevin Norton –  and most recently with Huang Ruo, and Du Yun at SUNY Purchase where he earned his masters in composition.  He held a residency at BetterFarm’s betterArt and at Rhymes With Opera’s summer workshop where he composed and premiered new works.  His music has been premiered by NJPE, Purchase New Music, Joe Bergen, and Justin Wolf.  Michael’s music is published by Calabrese Brothers Music, LLC.




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