Day 0: 19/02/2013
–:– Online Quiet Place: an installation curated by David Blamey

Day 1: 20/02/2013
19:00 Atrium Sound Installation – Scott McLaughlin
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Electronic Improvisations – John Wall / Franck Vigroux

Day 2: 21/02/2013
19:00 Atrium Sound Installation – Scott McLaughlin
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Acousmatic Concert – Francis Dhomont

Day 3: 22/02/2013
19:00 Atrium Sound Installation – Scott McLaughlin
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Noisy Mixed Music – RUST

Day 4: 2319/02/2013
13:00 CAMG/01 Max/MSP Powerusers Symposium 2013
19:00 Atrium Sound Installation – Scott McLaughlin
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall New Interface Performance – Nicolas Bernier / FUSIL

Day 5: 24/02/2013
19:00 Atrium Sound Installation – Scott McLaughlin
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Videomusic – Eryck Abecassis

Off Season : 16/03/2013
17:00 Phipps Concert Hall Portrait Concert – Andrew Lewis

Quiet Place: an installation curated by David Blamey

Quiet Place: installation curated by David Blamey (UK) originally presented as a live performance by artist David Blamey and Fabric resident DJ Craig Richards at The Royal Academy of Arts in 2009 with the intention of sending their audience to sleep, Quiet Place is re-imagined for Electric Spring as an online/offsite space for home listening. Joining the dots between visual art, sound art, cinema, dance music and both analogue and digital technologies, with characteristic unpredictability Blamey has selected a short programme of sonic works by his contemporaries that cuts across categories. Experimental, inventive and contemplative, the pieces featured include both new and previously released material that promotes the notion of directness in an increasingly illusory world. Contributors: Ashim Ahluwalia, David Blamey, Blood Stereo, Kelvin Brown, Felicity Ford, Aki Onda, Pole, Tom White, Mick Wilson.

Electronic Improvisations – John Wall / Franck Vigroux

John Wall – Solo
This is an untitled improvisation which uses as its sound source a number of relatively short (from 4 up to 60 seconds) sound files. Each sound file contains highly detailed, varied and dynamic sets of self-created sounds. These are put together/composed specifically to work well when intense digital manipulations are applied to them. The performance outcome, as always, is unpredictable.

Franck Vigroux – Solo
This untitled improvisation utilises analogue and electronic devices.

Acousmatic Concert – Francis Dhomont

Girilal Baars – Lykanthropos
Lykanthropos is an 8-channel electroacoustic piece. The title refers to the Swedish medieval ballad Varulven, literally “The Werewolf”. The ballad tells the story of the young maiden who ventures into the woods and is assailed by a werewolf. She tries to appease the werewolf with her finery—a silk scarf, her silver belt buckle, etc. But the werewolf is determined to have her. In desperation, she climbs a tall tree and screams for help. A young man comes to her help, but in the end both of them are slain by the raging werewolf. Lykanthropos could be described as an oratorio sans words. The 15-minute long piece tells the story of the ballad using only voice and the transformation of voice material (with the exception of a couple of passages using theremin). Techniques used have been based around largely modular analog equipment, albeit sometimes in their modern digital reincarnation. Compositionally, along with an abstract re-telling of the story, the idea was to create the emotional environment of the individual protagonists—the sounds outside their heads, as well as the sounds inside their heads. Maintaining a relationship to oral story-telling, the piece employs a fairly clear “lead voice” structure and at times refers to the repetitious quality of traditional ballads.

Francis Dhomont – Points de fuite
To Jean-Louis Ostrowski

Term of perspective. The point of convergence of parallel lines.
Audition/reading on many levels:

  1. technical (kinetic study: glides in tessitura, mutations of masses, of densities; modifications of timbre; energetic eruption/dispersion; spatial mobility);
  2. impressionistic (encounters, crossings, fusion of heterogeneous events which carry similar connotations; trajectories, velocities, displacements; the near and the distant; the passage);
  3. symbolic (flight: running away; departure, wandering, lapse, obliteration. The horizon, Kafka: Disappearing — America);
  4. ad libitum…

Points de fuite (Vanishing Points) was realized at the composer’s studio in Montréal in 1981-82 and premiered on June 13th, 1982, at the 12th Bourges International Experimental Music Festival (France). Points de fuite was awarded 2nd Prize at the 12th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1984), 1st Prize at the Brock University Tape Music Competition (St Catharines, Ontario, 1985), and was selected by the international jury of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) for the 1984 World Music Days in Montréal.

Francis Dhomont – Phonurgie
To Inés Wickmann Jaramillo and her found objects

Phonurgie — making, working, and creating sound — presents, fifty years after the first gropings, and at the verge of the century under examination, one of the current states of this new art, which has become an independent art of sounds. Unlike the other pieces in the Cycle, Phonurgie quotes no more than a passing subject of Schaefferian study, bringing the sound of this legacy to a close; on the other hand, the first part, Objets retrouvés, draws all of its material and its structure from it. Paraphrased elements from Novars can, of course, be found — elements that themselves paraphrase Étude aux objets, making them commentaries on commentaries — while the opening and conclusion make reference to AvatArsSon. Nevertheless, in this fourth homage, the allusions to the origins melt away before the original propositions; filiation is not renounced, but here the child, finally grown, reveals its identity. While technology may have changed considerably and the “sound color” may no longer be the same, morphological thought and writing still remain, in all of their many forms, true to the ‘spirit’ of the first “concerts de bruit” (Noise concerts).

Francis Dhomont – Le travail du rêve
Le travail du rêve is the fourth autonomous preliminary work for Le cri du Choucas, a long work in progress about Franz Kafka’s world, works, and character. In psychoanalytical terms, Le travail du rêve describes the development process of the images populating our sleep and their tricks: associations, distortions, displacements, condensations…, a dreamworld syntax that shares commonalities with Kafka’s style:

My talent for portraying my dreamlike inner life has thrust all other matters into the background […]

Diaries 1910-1923: August 6, 1914, Kafka

Here, my music writing draws inspiration from the unexpected figures, associations, and metamorphoses of these rhetorics, hiding under illusory incoherence the disguised discourse of the being’s depths.

Francis Dhomont – Vol d’arondes
To Annette Vande Gorne

Provence. A summer evening, the window opens wide on the slowly darkening sky. Through this deep, blemish-less blue, the flight of swallows: a strident, constantly changing feeding dance. The delicious night continues to fall. There are the sounds of the village preparing for the night festival; the echoes reach me. A jet begins its descent into Marignanne. How simple it all is! It is a moment of pure, contemplative happiness, barely disturbed by a few familiar cares, which are quickly chased away. I think of Verlaine’s “The sky above the roof, so blue, so calm…” This is music of memory: connotative, certainly, but not representational. It evokes and continues a previous work, Drôles d’oiseaux (1985-86), which provided some of the material for it. The space, too, belongs to memory.

Noisy Mixed Music – RUST

Tout Croche – The Howl Won’t Be Silent
Improvised. Utilizing only the simplest of apparatus: guitar, voice and the rack. For the love of red lights, we wish you a pleasant night.

RUST – erosion
for invented instrument and computer

RUST – rust
for Tu-Yo and computer

RUST – head transplant experiment
for computer

Max/MSP Powerusers Symposium 2013

Benjamin Thigpen – Rust Under the Hood
As a follow-up to the previous evening’s concert of the duo Rust (Jean-François Laporte and myself), I will discuss the technical / Max aspects behind the music. That is, I will explain and demonstrate how everything works: the processing, the communication between the two performers, the methods of control. I will not present Jean-François’ acoustic instruments (he would need to do that); nor will I enter into discussions of the aesthetic dimensions of things (we can talk about it over a beer). Instead I will show and demonstrate each patch, explaining the various methods I use and how they have evolved over time. It’s the kind of thing that might be interesting to hard-core Max users and technology geeks…

Rui Penha – Spatium, a Set of Free, Open Source and Modular Software Tools for Sound Spatialization
Sound is always in space, in the sense that “there is no non-spatial hearing” [Jens Blauert], and the experimental placement of sounds in space as a musical parameter is something that dates back to at least the 16th century. Nevertheless, the intentional control of sound spatialization is undoubtedly amongst the most important conquests of electroacoustic music. It is thus without surprise that a survey of recent research — or even just a quick search online — reveals the existence of many tools for sound spatialization, either commercial or freely available, and several composers developing their own custom solutions for specific pieces. In this symposium, I will be presenting Spatium: a set of free, open source and modular software tools for sound spatialization that aims to bring (yet) another contribution to this field. I’ll also discuss some of the options considered during its development, including a perspective over the history of sound spatialization. Spatium is comprised of two spatialization renderers, ten spatialization interfaces , two Audio Unit plugins and three Max objects and it is available for MacOs X. Both the software and its source are available for download at, were one can also find video tutorials and musical examples.

Thomas Resch – note~ for Max – A tool for Media Arts & Music
note~ for Max consists of four objects for the Software Max/MSP which allow sequencing in floating point resolution and provide a Graphical User Interface and a Scripting Interface for generating events within a timeline. This talk will be an introduction to note~, covering some basic and some more advanced features, and some projects already realized with note~ will be shown and explained.

Olivier Pasquet – Rhythmical Structures using Rhythmic Tree Representation
It has long been known that space and time are tightly bound together. This is also a concern for time-based arts. For instance, sound spatialization can be composed over time, as well as any other musical dimension decided by producers and listeners. Most compositional elements are structurally and culturally chosen, created and positioned using relative scales. This important notion of scale links together any time with any space. This way, there can be no structural difference between music composition, architectural design and synthetic biology. For instance, musical rhythmic patterns could be written in material design while concentrating on scales using audio and visual high definition devices and limits of perception. This is the case with contemporary dance music. This presentation will show simple compositional tools using the JTOL library and a speech recognition system in Max. It will also present real scale applications in recent musical and visual productions.

New Interface Performance – Nicolas Bernier / FUSIL

Nicolas Bernier – frequencies (a)
frequencies (a) is a sound performance combining the sound of mechanically triggered tuning forks with pure digital soundwaves. The performer is triggering sequences from the computer, activating solenoids that hit the tuning forks with high precision. Streams of light burst in synchronicity with the forks, creating a not-quite-minimal sound and light composition.

FUSIL – Si Ay Perdut mon saber
Julio d’Escriván & Iñigo Ibaibarriaga

FUSIL – Cutup
Julio d’Escriván & Iñigo Ibaibarriaga

FUSIL – Industrial revolutions
Julio d’Escriván & Iñigo Ibaibarriaga

Videomusic – Eryck Abecassis

Alex Harker – Fractures
Thoughts crystallise, become atmosphere. Ambiences contract, seize up, splinter. Everything within; the eye sees in all directions. Fractures seeks to bring together previously disparate strands of my musical life, the roles of performer, programmer, engineer and improviser. All the material was ‘performed’ in the studio, either instrumentally or electronically via the use of hardware controllers and audio analysis-driven control. Sample manipulation was carried out in custom-written software allowing explicit gestural control in combination with strongly parameterised pseudo-random processes. This flexible hybrid approach enabled the creation of sophisticated and distinct sonic behaviours in a highly immediate and organic manner. Underlying the transparent interaction with the computer in the studio is a sophisticated audio engine capable of radical warping of samples, dynamic filtering and real-time audio descriptor matching of sample material. The musical forms concern the intertwining of multiple layers musical material; some sonic, some harmonic, others strongly gestural and yet more largely textural in nature. Out of these layers constellations emerge suddenly, only to recede moments later as an unexpected gesture spins out into a new musical space, leaving the material surface fractured…

Eryck Abecassis – (No humXn) cry for help
(No humXn) cry for help is a short electronic pieces from my next CD, I will play it for the first time in concert in Electric Spring. That is a piece with intense dronicity all made with digital and analogic synthesis

Eryck Abecassis – Noisindia
The Noisindia project was born in India during winter 2011, I was there for an artistic residency commissioned by the Institut Français (villa médicis hors les murs). A three months journey to prepare an opera based on the ship recycling yards of Alang, and more generally about the creation/usages/ destructivity cycle. Sounds, noises, videos I shot in India are parts of the project, like a noise print of India. This piece became from an experimental feed for the final opera work (actually in preparation), a fully individual piece, but in constant motion. The composition, the video editing, even the show type are evolving at each concerts.

Portrait Concert – Andrew Lewis

Rodrigo Constanzo – explores the use of a condenser microphone as percussive beater, friction actuator, feedback tuner, as well as a dynamically moveable microphone. The sonic world is explored in the context of bounded improvisation with only structural decisions being made at a compositional level.

Stephen Harvey – Dock Machines
Dock Machines is Stephen’s first video, a piece of work which could loosely be considered to be anchored within the repertoire of video-music , whatever that might be…

Dock Machines is a mixed piece which combines straight video footage with time-lapse photography and still images. The dock machines in the Southampton dockland area are staggeringly beautiful, I hope I have done them the justice they deserve. The soundtrack is mixed in 5:1

Tom Holman-Sheard – Harold
Britain was the world’s first industrialised country. Its economy remains one of the largest, but for many years it has been based on service industries rather than on manufacturing. Since Harold Wilson’s famous 1963 ‘white heat of technology’ speech, Britain’s once industrial northern towns have undergone radical renovation leaving the ‘dark satanic mills’ and old Victorian rail networks still defining the landscape and echoing of an era gone by. Wilson nonetheless remains a legend of twentieth-century British politics – a man of the people (a quality perhaps missing in the politics of today…). His statue stands timeless outside the railway station of his birthplace Huddersfield, depicted here in the present. This film comments on the many ironies that time inevitably unveils.

Samantha Bayram – A Shadow Race
For my final year computer composition module, I decided to produce a five-minute audiovisual using 5.1 surround sound. The audiovisual piece uses a framework that examines the relationship between composition and cinematography, integrating as one object. The narrative concept of my piece is drawn from the C.P Cavafy poem; The City. The poem particularly interested me as I found the descriptive language and emotion visually inspiring. I also liked the concept of a journey; as this was what inspired me to film in two different settings and merge together with two separate soundscapes. The montage of cut up images and heavy layers of sound are used to express the passing of time and to formulate the motions of a journey. I mixed the 5.1 channels additionally with the mise-en-scène, where I’ve placed my images; I’ve placed my sounds, so both perform together in an audiovisual entity.

Andrew Lewis – Dark Glass

…what we will be has not yet been made known…

1 Jn 3;2

When a piece of glass breaks its physical structure is broken, degraded, and ultimately destroyed; but a the same time its liberated fragments are able to resonate with a new music, a unique harmony which was always present in the original pane, but which could only be freed through the act of destruction. A kaleidoscopic variety of colour and beauty emerges from that which appeared uniform and commonplace, a unique and personal song which only death itself can bring to light.

Dark Glass was composed between 2009 and 2011 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University, Wales. I am indebted to the staff at Hughes Glass, Llandygai, and to my colleagues Guto Puw and Stephanie & Steve Marriott for the provision of materials for me to liberate.

Andrew Lewis – LEXICON
Lexicon is based on a poem written by a 12-year old boy, Tom, in which he tries to articulate his personal experience of dyslexia. The work explores not only the challenges, but also the life-affirming creative potential that dyslexia, and a fuller understanding of it, can bring.

The composer worked with experts from the Miles Dyslexia Centre, Bangor University, enabling the piece to draw inspiration from recent research in the field, particularly the growing evidence that a deficit in phonological processing (accessing and analysing speech sounds) is often more significant than that in visual or attentional processing on their own. This contradicts the popular notion that dyslexia is primarily about difficulties in seeing letters and words on the page. Accordingly, Lexicon is a work conceived primarily with sound as its raw material, with the visual aspect conveying a metaphorical rather than scientific view of the experience of dyslexia.

Lexicon is supported by the Wellcome Trust’s ‘Engaging Science’ programme. It was composed in the Electroacoustic Music Studios at Bangor University, with additional material developed at CMMAS, Mexico and the composer’s studio

Sound and video: Andrew Lewis
Science Team: Dr Markéta Caravolas (Director, Miles Dyslexia Centre, Bangor University), Meg Browning, Ann Cooke
Text: Tom Barbor-Might
Readers: Tom Barbor-Might, Martha Lewis, James Bowers, Jenny Mainwaring, Michael O’Boyle, Damien Vadgama, Esme Lewis