Day 1: 15/02/2012
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Derek Holzer
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Circuit Bending – Derek Holzer

Day 2: 16/02/2012
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Annette Vande Gorne
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Acousmatic Opera – Annette Vande Gorne

Day 3: 17/02/2012
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Evan Parker and Adam Linson
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Mixed Music – Evan Parker + Adam Linson

Day 4: 18/02/2012
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – @c
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Laptop Performance – @c

Day 5: 19/02/2012
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Michael Rüsenberg
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Ambiant Videomusic – Peter Höslcher + Michael Rüsenberg

Electric Spring @HCMF 2012: 17/11/2012
17:00 Phipps Concert Hall Heather Roche – Clarinet+

Circuit Bending – Derek Holzer

Derek Holzer and research students – Group Live Performance
Research students at the University of Huddersfield and Derek Holzer present the results of an intensive workshop investigating group improvisation with fluid, tactile electronic systems.

Derek Holzer – Live Performance
Holzer write about his work: ‘I make live improvisations on self-made, analog sound equipment. I do this because I never learned how to play the guitar, and because no one can tell you that you are playing an instrument “wrong” or “badly” when you have invented it yourself. My live sets are often quite loud, as I believe that the primary physicality of sound is far more important than the meager, extra-sonic avenues provided by (over )intellectualization.’

‘That said, I also believe in presenting the kind of sonic complexity which can only be obtained by creating, intervening in and observing chaotic systems at work–whether these chaotic systems be produced electronically (in the case of my analog synthesizers, or of a microphone placed in the path of a speaker), organically (Iannis Xenakis’ “collision of hail or rain with hard surfaces, or the song of cicadas in a summer field”) or even socially (the schizophrenic power dynamics of crowds observed by Elias Canetti).’

‘Other reference points might include the pioneering work of electronic art innovators and inventors such as David Tudor, Steina and Woody Vasulka or Dan Sandin, the dense electroacoustic compositions of Maryanne Amacher, Bernard Parmegiani and Eliane Radigue and contemporary movements in the fields of noise, experimental, improv and extreme heavy metal music.’

‘In 2008, I largely abandoned the digital sound world to spend time building a modular analog synthesizer which reinterprets and hybridizes the forms and functions of the famous Serge and Buchla systems of the 1970s. Many of the sounds produced by the synthesizer result from a process of non-linear feedback between the various functions within it. Playing the instrument is often about making interventions into this feedback loop, to destabilize it and allow new chaotic patterns to arise and develop — a constant struggle between finding and losing control. Without the risk of failure, no art can be called “experimental”.’

Acousmatic Opera – Annette Vande Gorne

Annette Vande Gorne – Yawar Fiesta
Electroacoustic opera with a libretto by Werner Lambersy

Bass: Nicolas Ischerwood
Baritone: Paul-Alexandre Dubois
Alto: Fadila Figuidi, Annette Vande Gorne
Soprano: Françoise Vanhecke
Reciting: Werner Lambersy, Charles Kleinberg

Aperture and Act I: Condor (2009-2012)
Women’s chorus of Indians: Lamento (2006)
Women’s chorus of middle class people: Combattimento (2007)
Acte III: Monologue final (2006)

‘Can space, written and performed live, lead to expression and dramatization… Music? Opera? Even if the project does not involve any singers on stage, the later being human and silent, the majority of the sound material derives from the voice. The studio is the means for recording of the singers and transforming the voices. Yawar Fiesta is not an electroacoustic work (with its research in abstract sound matter production and writing) but the dramatization of a text by, among other things, the placement and spatial figures. The technology-based music here re-link with the singing tradition of opera. The libretto is based on an incantatory ritual from Aeschylus and concerns the dualities that goes on in all of us, opposites of societies and life for instance – a battle symbolised by the combat of a condorandabull, still celebrated during the ‘feast of blood’ in some villages founded by the Spanish in the Peruvian Andes. Other examples are: the tension between poverty and power of money; between desire and brute force. The author concludes: ‘that only art reunite; that here at least words are used for what they are, and the party must go on; that here at least where the words are sung, all come together in games of shadow and light.’

The leader of the Indians is personified by a reassuring low declamatory tone – expressing spiritual wisdom whose strength always wins and is eternal in the face of material contingencies and political and economic issues. (The Dalai Lama is a contemporary example). The choir of Indians is organized by alternating opposites throughout all the text, the choice of words in the overall shape of the three acts. The lament of the chorus of Indian women stays near sung intonations. The vibrato and vocal color is used to express the universal complaint of mothers, powerless in the face of injustice. The work was produced at Studio Métamorphoses d’Orphée, Musiques & Recherches, Ohain (Belgique).

Mixed Music – Evan Parker + Adam Linson

Jaydev Mistry – Homespun
In 2011 having worked as a freelance composer and musician for almost twenty years I decided to go back to University. This was prompted by a desire to develop a hyper-guitar with which I could combine my percussion and guitar skills. The composition is entitled Homespun as the final section of the piece is inspired by a campaign that Gandhi initiated in 1920 during the Indian independence struggle. Homespun was a protest against British colonial rule and specifically to bring light to the fact that cotton grown in India was being exported to the UK and being spun into yarn/woven into cloth and then sold back to the Indians at inflated rates. Traditionally in India, cotton was always spun in the villages and supported local economies. This industrialisation of cotton left many Indians unemployed and driven into poverty. Homespun was a drive to encourage Indians to become economically independent of the British Raj and was a direct attack on the Lancashire cotton industry.

The effect of the campaign on the mill workers in Lancashire was to create unemployment and hardship as the mill owners compensated their losses by penalising their employees. In 1931 Gandhi was invited to visit a mill in Darwen, Lancashire by various mill owners, to see for himself the effect his campaign was having. Local mill workers greeted Ghandi with great affection. They made it known to him that they understood it was not India that was creating hardship for them, but rather that the actions of unscrupulous mill owners were responsible for creating unemployment and poverty. The composition Homespun is dedicated to my father as, ironically, when he first came to the UK from India in 1956, he landed in a small mill town in the north of England called Stalybridge. Stalybridge has had along history of cotton production and he found employment in one of its cotton mills.

I have drawn influence for my composition from an Indian classical tradition. I have however, used it only as a starting point to explore new possibilities with the hyper-guitar I have created. The rules that govern Indian classical music performance and composition have been taken as a point of departure for my own work. Homespun is not only an exploration of the notes of the Raag Lalit but also an exploration of production techniques, sound design and new playing techniques.

Evan Parker + Adam Linson – Looms
Tonight’s performance, uses live sampling and layering of acoustic input. The performers will use foot pedals to regulate the feed of their acoustic instruments into an autonomous computer system that ‘weaves’ together their improvised lines in real time.

Laptop Performance – @c

Nicolas Bernier – Antithèse électronique
A short piece that has nothing to do with what I have done previously: electronic sounds, synthesis, pure waves, white noise, beats and punk-style one-minute tracks. Perhaps it evokes where I want to go from now on, or perhaps a refusal to be labeled. The track’s rhythm is actually borrowed from my favorite math-grind-core band. Antithèse électronique was realized between January and May 2011 in the composer’s studio. Thanks to Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, University of Huddersfield, Perte de signal, and Fonds de recherche sur la Société et la culture (FQRSC).

Nicolas Bernier – Dans le ventre de la machine
This piece is the final part of a musique concrète cycle that began in 2005. This cycle works around the relation between the human body and machine. Here, the machine is very much alive – one that traps us in its inescapable cogs due to a momentary lapse of concentration or, worse, a moment of bad luck. It is at that moment that this piece was composed – when I felt like a prisoner of the machine, unable to stop it, unable to escape from her belly. The resulting work shows the undeniable presence of the body; gestures are torn between will, lethargy, and spastic frenzy before the last breath dies. Wood, metal, electricity, frequencies, water, flesh, fuel, violence. Dans le ventre de la machine was realized from June 2010 to April 2011 in the composer’s personal studio. Thanks to Olivier Girouard, Gilles Gobeil, and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay for their valued ears. Thanks also to University of Huddersfield, and Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC). The piece was awarded the Motus Prize at the Destellos Competition (Mar del Plata, Argentina, 2011).

@c – Live set from OVO
@c’s performances are developed from work-in-progress compositions in a fusion of acousmatic diffusion, computer composition, live performance and improvisation. At Electric Spring 2012, Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais will perform from the pieces 84 and 88, and from the soundtrack commissioned by the Puppet Theatre of Porto for the recently premiered play “OVO”.

Ambiant Videomusic – Peter Höslcher + Michael Rüsenberg

Maria Castro – Respiri/Breaths [aline]
Maria Castro (Music)/Francesco Arena (Video)
The project is based on the interaction between video, sound and dance: bi-chromatic images of human beings breathing behind a glass are confronted with the sounds created by a line-up of international musicians, composers and sound artists, as well as the performance of live dancers. The idea was to use sound and body expression in order to bring to life the emotions portrayed by the video images. The videos consist of total of 23 faces (12 males and 11 females) which were filmed separately for 15 minutes each and without any breaks, in one long take. Their mouths breathe silently in front of the camera, like fishes trapped inside a fishbowl – which can be understood as a metaphor about communication and deep emotional states. RESPIRI [aline] uses a text in both Italian and French languages. The Italian text was adapted from the original libretto of Monteverdi’s opera written by Giacomo Badoaro. The French text is a free adaptation of the translation of the libretto by Jacques Fournier, and also includes some original text written by myself.

Peter Höslcher + Michael Rüsenberg – …the cragged version 3.5
In…the cragged version 3.5, the third in a series of soundart-videos by Peter Hölscher and Michael Rüsenberg. The video and audio parts are the strongly related to each other in this work – more so than in any other part. In Reuschenberg (2009) the audio and video have hardly any relationship and it is the recipients task to create references between them. Yet „…“ also follows their principle‚ see what you don´t hear, hear what you don´t see’. Again, both artists refer to the same subject, i.e. the works of renowned British sculptor Tony Cragg, as exhibited in his sculpture park Waldfrieden in Wuppertal/Germany (where he has lived since 1977). Whereas Hölscher’s visuals focus solely on footage from the park, Rüsenberg’s audio contains samples from the park and the sculptor’s workshop as well as a foundry, reflecting the process of sculpture as something of almost industrial sound volumes. Hölscher´s trademark again is what he calls liquid photographs – that is motion blurs while shooting on location. No postproduction is involved on his part, but slow layers of up to 6 photographs at a time, creating the illusion of a melting painting. Rüsenberg´s soundwork might be assigned to drone aesthetics. „…“ has a duration of 29 minutes and somehow refuses a title, because of the works quite abstract character, but contains reference to the original subjects via a participle you won´t find in any English dictionary.

Peter Höslcher + Michael Rüsenberg – Notre Dame de Paris
The above is the working title for their newest work that will be premiered at Electric Spring. In this they almost exhaust the possibilities of diverging audio and visuals, since both are just symbolically related. Hölscher’s photographs show the famous cathedral only from the outside, Rüsenberg for the first time makes no use of (his own) field recordings. His entire soundtrack is derived from transformed recordings after the works of Leonin and Perotin, around 1200 founders of early European polyphonic music.

Heather Roche – Clarinet+

Alex Harker – Fluence
Clarinet and MaxMSP

In several recent pieces I have explored the idea of the co-existence of two musical worlds. In one time and pitch are articulated clearly and cleanly, as if on a grid, in the other things are blurred, unclear and constantly morphing. Fluence takes this idea and places the two worlds side-by-side, although the temporal grid in this case is treated as if it were elastic, constantly stretched and compressed.

In Fluence I was able to, for the first time, devise a system in which I could create a kind of ‘real-time tape’ music, constructing the electronic part from samples in a way that remains flexible in performance. Each gesture in the electronic part is constructed from a bank of over a thousand clarinet samples. Specific samples are almost never specified, rather the computer selects samples according to certain shapes and parameters, meaning that each time the electronic part is realised is slightly different. I’m extremely grateful to Jonathan for his patience, hard work and dedication to the project.

Fluence was commissioned by Ergodos ( ) with funds from the Irish Arts Council.

Aaron Einbond – Resistance
for prepared bass clarinet and live electronics

The result…is a ‘vibration’ whose power is transmitted to the human community – that is, to a community of human beings whose activity is itself defined in terms of seizing and rending: suffering, resistance, cries.

Jacques Rancière, tr. Gregory Elliott. The Emancipated Spectator.

Resistance emerges from the sonic landscape that surrounded me as a New Yorker in 2011-12. When re-synthesized with solo bass clarinet, impeded by preparation with foreign materials, can these found sounds retain the resonance of the social conditions that created them? Emanating from a speaker in the bell of the bass clarinet, as if occupying the instrument itself, beyond the control of the performer, they eventually expand to envelop the audience. Without addressing a single political agenda, the voice of the clarinetist is joined by thousands of human voices that are rarely heard in a concert hall. Commissioned for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2012, Resistance is dedicated to Heather Roche.

Chikako Morishita – Lizard
tokage【戸陰】shade of gate
戸 door; gate
陰 shade; yin; negative; sex organs; shadow

Lizard is the title for the works about silence. One of the possible Japanese descriptions of the animal of lizard (tokage) consists of the kanji characters for gate and for shade which metaphorically represents something being kept secret but somehow concrete. This solo clarinet work consists of ten fragment pieces.

Lizard (shadow) was premiered by Heather Roche on 17th November 2011, Cable factory, Helsinki, and is dedicated to her.

Sylvain Pohu – L’identité
clarinet, tape and live digital audio processing

Identity is the recognition of what one is, by oneself or by others. For Kundera… This piece was composed in part at the University of Huddersfield in August 2007. Many thanks to Pierre-Alexandre.

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – La rupture inéluctable
For Heather

Four meditations on our metastable states.

I. Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas (Vanity of vanities; all is vanity)


II. Memento Mori (Remember you will die)

Latin phrase

III. Timor mortis conturbat me (the fear of death disturbs me)
third Nocturn of Matins of the Office of the Dead IV. Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero (Seize the Day, trusting as little as possible in the future)

Horace, Odes

Happiness is so fragile, a kind of precarious and improbable balance: a multicolour soap bubble. How can one fully enjoy it despite the vertigo its transience induces? It seems that reflection on impermanence was, and forever will be, at the heart of self-conscience, both for the individual and society. This permanence should soothe me.