Day 1: 22/02/2017
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Alex McLean
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Stewart Worthy – Speaker Grid
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Tadej Droljc / Alex McLean

Day 2: 23/02/2017
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Mark Lyken and Emma Dove
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Stewart Worthy – Speaker Grid
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Demelza Kooij + Lars Koens / Geoff Cox + Keith Marley / Mark Lyken

Day 3: 24/02/2017
09:30 Phipps Concert Hall SDMF Screening / Practice Sessions
16:00 Phipps Concert Hall Keynote Talk – Andrew Kötting
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Beatriz Ferreyra
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Stewart Worthy – Speaker Grid
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Frédéric Dufeu / Beatriz Ferreyra
21:00 Atrium Late Night Concert

Day 4: 25/02/2017
12:00 CAMG/01 MSP PowerUser Symposium
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Dave Smith
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Stewart Worthy – Speaker Grid
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Solomiya Moroz / Dave Smith
21:00 Atrium Late Night Concert

Day 5: 26/02/2017
12:00 Atrium Modular Meets
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Richard Scott
18:15 Atrium Sound Installation – Stewart Worthy – Speaker Grid
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Elías Merino / Richard Scott


Stewart Worthy – Speaker Grid

Speaker Grid is an interactive, autonomous installation which uses grains of rice as the main sound source. It is constructed from 24, 4-inch loudspeakers set into acrylic, mounted with polycarbonate bolts.


Concert – Tadej Droljc / Alex McLean

Tadej Droljc – Capillaries Capillaries
Audiovisual language in the work emanates from a non-hierarchical relationship between sound and image in real-time. Therefore the piece does not represent a visualisation of music or sonification of an image but rather a tangle of audiovisual interactions. In a bottom-up compositional approach, every compositional decision came as a consequence of cross-fertilisation between both modalities. In combination with preferred aesthetics this results in strong bonds between sound and image that essentially function as a compositional constraint – the limits of visual paradigm prevent or constraint certain musical expressions and vice versa. These limitations on the other hand open up many additional possibilities. One that is of particular interest of me and was explored extensively in the piece is the ability of both modalities to modulate the meaning of each other on the level of perception, hence in very abstract and subjective way.

The abstract narration of the piece follows the development of one and the same audiovisual entity that goes through various transformations and consequently various life stages. Each stage is represented by vaguely defined section that has its own stylistic variation of the audiovisual language, with its own level of complexity, order and articulation.

The malleable entity that we experience in the piece is being constantly pulled towards two opposite sides throughout the whole piece. On one side there is a shapeless chaotic movement with corresponding wandering rhythms that comes from procedural noise and physics based algorithms while on the other side there is a magnetic pull from a static 3D object and its accompanying metric musical time. Therefore what we hear and see is a constant interaction of two opposite forces – chaos and destruction on one side and strict relentless order on the other. That coincides with the id, ego and super-ego model which represent the central part of conceptual background. Like the ego is established between the two conflicting forces that constitute, distort, knead and spray out our subjectivity so is the audiovisual material of the Capillaries Capillaries. On the other hand the inspiration for the form comes from the branched trajectories of our everyday life that are shaped by such psychological tensions.

The real-time interaction of audiovisual material plays an important role in this piece. As an example I should point out the rhythm which in the first half of the piece comes from sonification of geometry movement – when two vertices of a 3D object get close enough together they form a visual connection that triggers sound. Playing with geometry in real-time thus enabled me to generate rhythms and phrases. In the second half of the piece the rhythm was precomposed but then distorted and recorded in real-time by using a custom made sequencer that treats time or static temporal grid as an elastic string.

Alex McLean – Improvisation
A multichannel live coding performance with TidalCycles, drawing on 17 years experience of writing code to make music to dance to.


Concert – Demelza Kooij + Lars Koens / Geoff Cox + Keith Marley / Mark Lyken + Emma Dove

Demelza Kooij + Lars Koens – Graminoids
A lilting paean to the manifold strains of native grass that cultivate upon Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh. Frenetic movement and textures dominate the frame, and the synergy between sound, locomotion, and image creates a hypnotic sensory panorama.

Geoff Cox + Keith Marley – Mill Study
Shot at Spa Mill, Slaithwaite, a textile mill in West Yorkshire, this short film uses sound and image to evoke the working environment of the mill shop floor. It does not attempt to tell the story of how the yarn produced is made, rather it tries to give a sense of both the everyday and surreal aspects of the place and people who work there. At times the camera is used to reveal hidden aspects of the machinery and the film is loosely organised into sections that depict varying aspects of mechanical and human movement. The rich soundworld of the mill takes a prominent role in this evocation of sense of place and movement via naturalistic representation as well as drone­like transformations of machine sounds. Combined with fragments of poetry by Andrew McMillan, this allows a more reflective and musical experience.

Mark Lyken + Emma Dove – Mirror Lands
Still but full of movement; quiet but full of sound; nothing is quite as it seems… Mirror Lands is an absorbing and dreamlike portrait of The Black Isle, an ever-changing peninsula in the Highlands of Scotland supporting a delicate balance between nature, industry and rural life. Contrasting local voices intermingle, rising and falling across lingering shots of land, sea and air, sharing personal memories, feelings and experiences of this curious place. Sounds of the natural and man-made world are woven together with Lyken and Dove‘s original score creating a unique audio visual experience that explores the complex relationships between people and place. Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, The University of Aberdeen, Cryptic and Time Released Sound.

The tonalities and timbres of these striking visual images have ample time to seep deep within our soul.

The Wire

…a deeply moving, absorbing and haunting film and sound study.

The Quietus

A seductive blend of film and sound.

Chris Watson, Sound Artist

SDMF Screening / Practice Sessions

Ana Berkenhoff – cormorant
with Ethan Folk

Mike Vernusky Salas – Dallas
Script by Greg Romero

Radoslaw Rudnicki – Sonicules

Matt Green – Bat Hunting with Sean Meehan

Matt Green – Trout Fishing with Des and Christy

Matt Green – Kingfisher Spotting with Brian Carruthers

James Bulley – Progress Music I

Simon Connor – Action Space


Concert – Frédéric Dufeu / Beatriz Ferreyra

Frédéric Dufeu – Happy new year and where are you?

‘In the 1932 version, the supernatural notes are scarce’

Borges

Happy new year and where are you? grew out of verbal and sonic situations collected seven years ago, along with loose and peripheral references to The Blackout, perhaps the first in a series of works where Ferrara’s energy cannot stand up to abstraction anymore. The road leading to the presented landscapes would deserve a short story in its own right; a thirty-mile leg south/east of Hannover was particularly disturbing. None of the imagined scenes ever happened.

Beatriz Ferreyra – Rio de los pájaros azules
(The blue birds’ river)
Dedicated to my missing friends

This piece is the third movement of a triptych called Ríos del Sueño (The dream’s rivers). It is a pale and vague transposition of signs and tracks of a very intense musical sensation, that I barely had, one night long ago in a tropical Latin-American dream. Commissioned by The Bregman Studio 1998, Dartmouth College, USA.

Beatriz Ferreyra – Echos
In memoriam Mercedes Cornu
composed at the author’s studio with 3 revox and voice

This work has been composed with four Latin-American’s popular songs : 2 Argentinians and 2 Brazilians , which were sung “a capella” by Mercedes Cornu. These songs have been broken down into short and long sounds, syllables, breathings, coughs, etc. The composer only used techniques of tape cutting, mixing and manual shakes on these.

Beatriz Ferreyra – Senderos de luz y sombras
(Paths of shadows and light)
16 channel + stereo
In memoriam Bernard Baschet, Bernard Parmegiani and Carlos Pellegrino

This piece is inspired by astrophysics and its stellar wonders along with the mystery of what was before the Big Bang and its first moments of existence. This 16 channel work may, perhaps, give a more fitting spatial dimension to the theme. The addition of a stereo track allows sound projection of some independent elements. The icing on my cake…


Late Night Concert

The hyperactive curatorial duet, bacon jam, prepares for us an evening of experimental sets with Embla Quickbeam, Lee Patterson, Phil Maguire and Marlo Eggplant.


MSP PowerUser Symposium

An afternoon of presentations of creative and technical work in Max, featuring commented demonstrations from: Joanne Armitage, Tadej Droljc, Alex Harker and Maria Gkotzampougiouki.


Concert – Solomiya Moroz / Dave Smith

Solomiya Moroz – Simulacra Studies
In Simulacra Studies, I’m exploring the drama of a missing piano interface while embodying physically the act of playing without the instrument itself. The piece is concerned with gesturality as a result of the instrumental behaviour where the personal qualities are juxtaposed with the embodied capabilities of the performer. The projected video in this piece magnifies the gestural behaviour with mediatised video experiences of the pianist as a person playing with images of himself on himself as one does with gender, sexuality, power, fragility, superficiality, banality, etc.

Dave Smith – Improvisation
London-based drummer Dave Smith invites us to an electro-acoustic sonic exploration where arrhythmic meets deep groove, metallic tones meet supercharged echoes. Expect high energy and low drones.


Late Night Concert

Libat – Abiogenesis Begins with a Single Step on the Road to Nowhere
During the week of Electric Spring, nomadic media arts laboratory LIBAT and students from the University of Huddersfield will combine their efforts in the creation of ongoing experimental installation work(s) to be presented informally throughout the week and slightly more formally on a special evening event Saturday the 25 February (with refreshments and an open bar), following that evenings festival concert.

From a leaderless, voluntary collaboration, and a combination of independent materials and artistic visions Abiogenesis Begins with a Single Step on the Road to Nowhere. Different types of contemporary media, techniques, and languages will be explored through video and soundscape creation, performance, and interactive 3D environments. Combining algorithmic and generative strategies with immersion in Cyberspace using VR Oculus rift, augmentation of the physical body with different types of sensors, video tracking, and motion capture techniques, we will develop inter-media prototypes and new realized works based on dynamic artistic approaches.


Concert – Elías Merino / Richard Scott

Elías Merino – Synthesis of located-unlocated models
(work in progress)
#specific entity #abstractness #computer-generated #rawness #anonymous materials #aesthetic causality #brutalism #object relations #plasticity #variations #object hallucinations #structural dimensions

Richard Scott – Sines, Squares, Circles
The concert will feature performances drawn from the latest analogue music from composer Richard Scott, including excerpts from his double LP Several Circles (CUSP Editions) and the premier of a new piece for three EMS synthesisers, entitled We are Ruled by Idiots and Criminals composed in residency at Huddersfield University Studios in 2017 for the Electric Spring Festival.

As a composer I am interested in exploring musical methods which allow time, complexity, dialogue to coexist and, as a performer, for that process to be not any kind of representation or abstraction of musical experience, but an experience that is actually taking place and creating musical form within the time and space I share with the audience. Although my roots as a performer are very much in free improvisation my solo performances are a little different, as they are improvisationally constructed using pre-organised and pre-prepared layers derived from my studio composition practice, along with freely improvised layers and commentaries – a method probably derived as much from traditions such as dub and remixing as they are from acousmatic or tape composition. There is no “set” as such, so the decisions to go with particular ideas on a particular night, in what order and for how long, are made on stage and they frequently change quite radically during the course of the set itself, which can be surprising even to me.

I think I enjoy working in this post-acousmatic/post-improvisational way (to coin two annoying/controversial concepts in one sentence!) for three main reasons: 1. This approach allows the unique moment of time of performance to permeate and to become part of the structure of the music itself. 2. It is a means of organising sometimes very complex layers of material, and 3. It enables me to create some of the sense of dialogue that is surely part of the essence not only of improvisation but of music in general. This spontaneous, dialogic essence is so natural to the process of group music that we hardly need to discuss it, but it is something that can be very difficult to connect with and sustain both in the context of solitary studio-based composition, and in the context solo performance.

Richard Scott