Day 1: 17/02/2016
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – The work of Marcelle Deschênes
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Flora Könemann – 0 and/or 1 : How are you tune today?
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Event 1 – UBC Impart / Marcelle Deschênes

Day 2: 18/02/2016
10:00 Phipps Concert Hall Sound Projection Workshop
15:00 CAMG/01Yorkshire Sound Women Network meets Flora Könemann
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Sébastien Roux
18:15 AtriumSound Installation – Flora Könemann
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Event 2 – Jung In Jung / Sébastien Roux

Day 3: 19/02/2016
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Bark!
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Flora Könemann
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Event 3 – Sean Ryan / Bark!
20:45 Atrium Event 4 – Late Night Performance

Day 4: 20/02/2016
12:00 CAMG/01 PowerUser Symposium
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Chris Mercer and Diemo Schwarz
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Flora Könemann
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Event 5 – Diemo Schwarz / Chris Mercer
21:00 The Warehouse Event 6 – Late Night Performance

Day 5: 21/02/2016
12:00 Atrium Modular Meets
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Scott Wilson and Tasawar Bashir
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Flora Könemann
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Event 7 – Monty Adkins+Terri Hron / BEAST’s Qawwali


Flora Könemann – 0 and/or 1 : How are you tune today?

In her installation and performance 0 and/or 1: How are you tuned today? Flora Könemann explores embodiment, listening and electroacoustic composition through exploration of our surrounding world with contact microphones. The installation runs daily from 18:15, and will grow organically through the week, with a special live performance in solo and with the workshop participants on Friday at 20:45.


Event 1 – UBC Impart / Marcelle Deschênes

UBC Impart – Entropy
Interactive work for dancer, French horn, trombone, piano and video
Composers/programmers: Michael Ducharme, Kjel Sidloski.
Video programmers: Alec Korchev, Vic Zappi.
Tech/tracking software: Kevin Hui, Russill Glover

UBC Impart – Fuse
Interactive work for dancer, vocalist, and celloComposers/programmers: Brian Topp, George Dean, Matthew Chernenkov, Tian Ip.
Tech/tracking software: Kelsey Hawley, Isaac Cheng, Michael Sargent

Marcelle Deschênes – Big Bang II

Endlessly oscillating between light and darkness, Big Bang II is simultaneously a requiem, a gloria and a Halleluiah celebrating the fragile paths of Mankind’s destiny…

Georges Dyens

In a postnuclear setting where all trace of human life has vanished, crushed remnants emerge from the layers of sand and stone, and the fragments of memory burst through the shadow mouths forming, singing, shutting up, screaming. An extravagant symbol evoking at the same time spiritual or emotional connections and social commentary, this very short representation becomes an imaginary journey, poetic and sidereal, full of the distress generated by our collective fear of the end of the world.

Big Bang II was designed for a strange technological planet created by holographic sculptor Georges Dyens for a multimedia installation comprised of holographic sculptures, lighting, optical fiber and electroacoustic music, all this set in motion by a programmed synchronization system.

Marcelle Deschênes – Indigo

… a ribbon around a bomb.

André Breton

Neither the inner world nor the outer world is a bed of roses.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Part 1: Peur apprivoisée (Tamed Fear) (Blue Beard, Charles Perrault)
Knowing how to browse to gain access to the darkest secrets. Accessing isolated lairs. Not being afraid of the wound that will not stop bleeding. Following the fearsome intruder who turns crossroads into closed roads. Daring to open the door hiding everything that has been destroyed. Acknowledging and taming this malign force to avoid its destructive energy.

Part 2: Trame de tension (Weft of Tension) (Snow-white and Red-rose, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm)
A world where roses have no thorns does not portray the realities of life. It needs a bear coming with the roughness of winter. So that darkness can make sense, forgetting the horizon-less Eden and letting the anger – so full of vital energy – explode. Tapping back into the instinct of claws and teeth to pick oneself up and defend.

Marcelle Deschênes – Lux

An architecture starts living. The visual space emerges from a shape-shifting stage sculpture that is tied to the sonic imagination and the mobile images. These sculptural entities in constant mutations, protagonists in a mineral dream, are living their lives cut off from mankind.

Renée Bourassa

On the subject of primitive, mythical light as an object of knowledge, the various forms of stage play are reminiscent of the repeated cycle of beginnings and endings. One finds in it the ever-present vibration of a vital energy, the dualities between power and fragility, outer and inner worlds, expansion and relaxation. The kaleidoscope of sensations and emotions, bellies and knots stacked in levels, creation and destruction of a universe looking for its own meaning.

Lux contains quotes from the following music works: OUT (1985) and Quarks’ Muzik (1983) by Alain Thibault, and deUs irae (1984) (self-referential). It also quotes the writings of Georges Bernard Shaw, Ernest Rutherford, Robert Oppenheimer, Emmanuel Kant and Renée Bourassa.

Marcelle Deschênes – Big Bang III

Inside a semi-circular cockpit that gives us the feeling of floating into space, we discover crossfaded galaxies, nebulas, black holes and cosmic dust; or we are in the middle of a space storm with lightning, thunder, incredible winds and tornadoes enhanced by electroacoustic sounds. Among thousands of rocks and meteors, we glimpse electronic debris floating for all eternity… Man and his habitat, Man and the infinite…

Georges Dyens

A celebration filled with light, a homage to Earth, “a devotion for Life in all its guises and worries about its foretold disappearance” (Marie Delagrave, Vie des arts #164, Montréal, Autumn 1996). “In the heart of radical movement, a universe lives and dies, exploding over and over” (Daniel Carrière, Le Devoir, Montréal, June 19, 1992), “as if the spectator were a witness to creation itself, a party to the end of time, suspended between the entrails of the earth and sidereal space, and holding his breath.” (Nell Luter Floyd, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, USA, March 5, 1995).

Big Bang III was composed for Georges Dyens’ multimedia installation by the same title. Dyens’ work consisted of sculptures, lightings and holograms, all automated.


Event 2 – Jung In Jung / Sébastien Roux

Jung In Jung – Locus
It seems like we are freed from so many tasks by computer technology but it makes us move in very limited ways in order to execute our commands successfully. Whichever kinds of controllers or sensors I used, they needed to be calibrated to adapt them to human movement. I felt we were put in a box (or I placed performers in a box) which could not be exceeded. Since there will always be a manual to use a controller, why not focus on its readily ‘limited’ functions rather than seeking a higher and better technology?

Locus is a latin word meaning ‘room’. I have been using the hacked game controllers Gametrakto let dancers interact with my audiovisual work. In a previous experiment, I asked dancers to connect the wires of the controllers to different parts of their bodies. This condition naturally made them repeat the same movement to check how far they could move or not. This idea was discarded, because it made the dancers difficult to move freely. However, this repeated movement, which looks somewhat like physical stuttering as an error, inspired me to create an audiovisual piece which works with failure. Katerina Foti and Natasha Pantermali devised choreography for Locus under these conditions. Over time the dancers are completely entangled to limit them physically, unable to control the piece, struggling to finish their routine.

Sébastien Roux – Inevitable Music
In 2011 I began to develop an approach focused on principles of sonic translation, analyzing the structures of pre-existing artworks (visual, musical, literary) and transposing them into scores for new sound pieces. This process led to the creation of: Quatuor (2011) an electroacoustic work based on Beethoven’s tenth String quartet, Nouvelle (2012) a radio work, based on Flaubert’s short story La légende de Saint Julien L’Hospitalier and Inevitable Music, an on-going collection of sonic translations of the wall drawings of Sol LeWitt.

Lewitt created more than 1200 wall drawings between 1968 and 2007. Each drawing is produced through a series of instructions created by the artist, the execution of which is performed by a team of draftspeople. Alvin Lucier compared Lewitt’s work with that of musical writing: the artist (the composer) formulates an ensemble of parameters (a score) that is then interpreted by a team of draftpeople (musicians) in order to be viewed (heard) by an audience.

In 2010 I visited DIA Beacon and first experienced Lewitt’s wall drawings. I was impressed by the musicality of these serial practices and simple geometric shapes and I have sought a system to make these drawings listenable. Inevitable Music has involved an exhaustive research on the wall drawings of Lewitt, and a development of a methodology for applying the rules and means of these works to sonic ends.


Event 3 – Sean Ryan / Bark!

Sean Ryan – Cinesensorium
I find tiny details and explode them onto a large screen
I chop them together and churn them with rhythm,
Or let them go on in their own time
I envelop them with rich sound, though I am sometimes deceitful
I create flow or a stream of blips
I invite you to engage these sound images with all your body
become the film, if you can make sense of it

Sean Ryan – Cineblips
I find tiny details and explode them onto a large screen
I chop them together and churn them with rhythm,
Or let them go on in their own time
I envelop them with rich sound, though I am sometimes deceitful
I create flow or a stream of blips
I invite you to engage these sound images with all your body
become the film, if you can make sense of it

Sean Ryan – Cineflow
I find tiny details and explode them onto a large screen
I chop them together and churn them with rhythm,
Or let them go on in their own time
I envelop them with rich sound, though I am sometimes deceitful
I create flow or a stream of blips
I invite you to engage these sound images with all your body
become the film, if you can make sense of it

Bark! – Improvised Set
Bark! is the longstanding British improvised music group formed by Rex Casswell and Phillip Marks in Manchester in 1991. After several earlier line-ups, Paul Obermayer joined to form the current trio of electric guitar, percussion and electronics in 1999. The music (James Brown meets the spirit of Modernism!) builds on several key influences – free jazz, punk, Modernism, pop/rock – but especially the pioneering free improvisation of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and AMM. It ranges from detailed slow-moving textures, through Bark!’s trademark interlocking grooves, to the most frenzied kinetic noise. Solos are rare, the collective gestures and textures scraping together to explore the intersections of acoustic and electronic sound.


PowerUser Symposium

An afternoon of presentations of creative and technical work in Max, featuring commented demonstrations from:

Freida Abtan (Goldsmiths)
Jung In Jung (University of Huddersfield)
Diemo Schwarz (Ircam)
Kelly Snook (Mi Mu Gloves – http://mimugloves.com)


Event 5 – Diemo Schwarz / Chris Mercer

Diemo Schwarz – Playing the Sound Space
The piece is an exploration of different collections of sounds, navigating through them with the help of gestural controllers that let the performer reconquer the expressiveness that has been lost in many laptop-based performances. Stroking an XY-pad, scratching contact-mic equipped surfaces, shaking a tablet are all possible gestural interactions that bring back the immediacy of physical action and sonic outcome.

Diemo thus re-combines sound events into new rhythmic and timbral structures, simultaneously proposing novel combinations and evolutions of the source material. The metaphor for composition is here an explorative navigation through the sonic landscape of the sound corpus. Despite the startling nature of some of these sounds, the use of corpus-based concatenative synthesis techniques in the performer’s CataRT system, where sound segments are laid out in a multi-dimensional space of sound characteristics obtained from automatic audio descriptor analysis, makes it possible to compose smooth evolutions and soothing combinations of timbres, thereby reflecting on the inner qualities of these sounds that are richer than they appear when we just let them float by.

Chris Mercer – The Spring Box
The spring box is a simple instrument consisting of four springs suspended by metal hooks within a wooden box. Contact mics are attached to the hooks of springs 1-3, and the performer manipulates the springs, one by one, with an ebow. Each spring is associated with its own set of live processing techniques, tailored to its specific acoustic properties. Spring 4 is activated by a feedback loop: One contact mic acts as a tiny speaker emitting randomly fluctuating sine tones into the spring, and the other contact mic records the sine tone and the spring’s sympathetic vibrations, processes them, and feeds them back into the output, etc. Once feedback is established, the performer manipulates the spring’s vibrating properties, and hence the sound of the feedback loop, by inserting needles into the coils.

The execution of the piece depends upon the performer listening carefully to the behavior of the springs and matching each successive sound to a set of actions and time constraints provided by the composer.

Chris Mercer – Evolving Choruses
Evolving Choruses uses acoustic instruments, found objects, and analog and digital synthesis to model bioacoustic choruses as found in rain forests, swamps, and other densely populated natural environments. The choruses in the piece evolve both as time-compressed representations of evening or morning progressions and as strings of speciation events shaped over much longer (hypothetical) time periods. The listener should imagine that all events in the piece take place in the same general habitat, but a morning chorus, for example, evolves in that habitat over millions of years and can be heard as a parallel to how such a chorus might evolve over a single morning.

The progression of events:
Morning Chorus / Cut to Evening Chorus → Evolve to Morning Chorus (at a later time period) / Cut to Evening Chorus (far future, colder environment)

No animal or nature recordings were used in the piece.

Chris Mercer – The Syntax of Constellations
Rapidly changing, gesturally varied solo violin material is processed in real time to create a wide array of accompanying ensemble and orchestral textures. Signal processing techniques include: Dynamic transposition of spectral bands, mass harmonization with variable turbulence, granulation (up to 150 voices) that combines manual control with information derived from spectral analysis, and various time-domain phase vocoder techniques. Signal processing is controlled live via multiple iPads and the resulting output is spatialized in eight channels.


Event 6 – Late Night Performance

Tadej Droljc & Sebastien Lavoie – Music for the Electronically Jilted Generation


Event 7 – Monty Adkins+Terri Hron / BEAST’s Qawwali

Monty Adkins + Terri Hron – Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera (movement 2) 8’13
Ephemeroptera (movement 5) 10’41

Lepidoptera is a work for recorders and electronics made of five movements, each referring to families of butterflies and moths. The nature and character of the recorder is similar, with its varying tonal colours, and its transformations from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. The consort of recorders used belongs together. They have a broad sound with strong upper partials; there are intimate, almost inexplicable sonic and physical connections between the different instruments. This inspired similar connections and interactions between the recorder(s) and the electronics.

The five movements are families of relationships, with no two performances ever the same as they are reconfigured and retuned anew for each iteration. In Saturniid, the recorder rides the crest of an acousmatic wave, sometimes submerged within the mix and at other points rising momentarily above it. Ephemeroptera delicately counterpoints the solo recorder and its fixed environment. Zygoptera and Anisoptera have an algorithmic mobile that creates a stream of sound files that feed into the larger tributary of sound processing, shaped by multiple envelopes and parameter changes. Lepidoptera combines and morphs these different approaches.

The project was first initiated during Terri Hron’s residency in the summer of 2014 at the studios of the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) of the University of Huddersfield (England, UK). All sounds in the electroacoustic part are derived from recorders between the C-bass and the G-alto in a consort built by Adriana Breukink, based on instruments by Schnitzer from the turn of the 16th century.

Qawwali Research Unit – I will go with Yogi
Qawwali Plimpsestic

I will go with the Yogi is the first part of a multi year project involving BEAST and the Qawwali Research Unit, in collaboration with Sampad and the New Art Exchange, and including new experimental music by composers Emma Margetson, Charlie Lockwood, Helene Hedsund, and Scott Wilson based on the Sufi music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

The piece takes as its starting point and inspiration a recording of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Ni Main Jana Jogi De Naal (I will go with the Yogi) performed live at the Luxor Cinema Birmingham in September 1980. The original provides a kind of framework for this musical palimpsest, with new musical vistas folding in and out of this landmark qawwali performance. The new experimental elements reflect on the Sufi philosophy of Bulleh Shah, whose poem about the tragic lovers Hir and Ranjha serves to open listeners hearts and minds to the struggle to attain the Oneness of the Sufi Way. These new electroacoustic aspects of the piece are based upon the original recording, as well as on other recordings by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (of the same piece and others).

BEAST and the Qawwali Research Unit wish to offer special thanks to Oriental Star Agencies and A.R. Rahman for their invaluable help and generosity in providing original materials for this project. Thanks also to Sampad for technical assistance and moral support.