Day 1: 21/02/2018
17:30 SPIRAL Installation Launch – Poulomi Desai
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Aaron Cassidy / Philip Thomas & Colin Frank
Day 2: 22/02/2018
17:30 SPIRAL Installation – Poulomi Desai
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Kathryn Gray / Sam Gillies / Freida Abtan
Day 3: 23/02/2018
09:30 Buckley Theatre Ambient@40 Symposium
17:30 SPIRAL Installation – Poulomi Desai
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Owen Green / Rodrigo Constanzo + Brian Crabtree + Angela Guyton
21:00 Atrium Late Night Concert – BaconJam
Day 4: 24/02/2018
09:30 Buckley Theatre Ambient@40 Symposium
12:00 CAMG/01 Creative Coding Lab Symposium
17:30 SPIRAL Installation – Poulomi Desai
19:30 Phipps Concert Hall Concert – Ambient@40
21:00 Phipps Concert Hall Late Night Concert – Sebastien Lavoie
Day 5: 25/02/2018
12:00 Atrium Modular Meets
Installation Launch – Poulomi Desai
Poulomi Desai – stories in saris
Two silk sari artworks, “S360” and “SE148163” each 5770mm x 3700mm, and made to be worn. The designs are based on Poulomi’s research into three small collections held at Heritage Quay, and listening to idiosyncratic music works in the British Music Collection that reference Indian musicology. The silk was printed in the University’s textile printing department.
Poulomi Desai – Memento mori
New photographic glass plates which combine contemporary portraits with motifs from old photographic glass plates, lantern slides and book covers from the main collections of art, rugby league and literature. These celebrate people born in Yorkshire who have broken conventions and challenged prejudices.
Poulomi Desai – Unmuted
A film which contrasts the location of Heritage Quay and its collections with the local landscape of the Yorkshire moors.
Poulomi Desai – Made in Huddersfield
A version of the standard archive storage box created in stainless steel and produced by local firm Morley Brothers. These boxes, made of archival quality acid-free cardboard with non-corroding brass fastenings, are used throughout the repositories in Heritage Quay for the preservation and easy handling of the collections. The stainless steel, riveted, version contains and preserves Poulo- mi’s artworks created through the residency, and also is central to one of the performance pieces.
Concert – Aaron Cassidy / Philip Thomas & Colin Frank
Aaron Cassidy – I, for example, …
“I, for example,” says the nameless narrator in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground (1864), “would not be the least bit surprised if suddenly, out of the blue, amid the universal future reasonableness, some gentleman of ignoble or, better, of retrograde and jeering physiognomy, should emerge, set his arms akimbo, and say to us all: ‘Well, gentlemen, why don’t we reduce all this reasonableness to dust with one good kick, for the sole purpose of sending all these logarithms to the devil and living once more according to our own stupid will!’ That would still be nothing, but what is o ensive is that he’d be sure to nd followers: that’s how man is arranged.From Our Delight in Destruction, Costica Bradatan, New York Times, March 27, 2017.
Thomas Meadowcroft – Plain Moving Landfill
A landfill is a place where rubbish is dumped, buried, lined with plastic and then covered with grass or other light vegetation. As a slow yet dynamic process, the various layers of a landfill are often visible at one time when visiting a site: from piles of fresh garbage to complete rolling country plains. In turn, the piece Plain Moving Landfill was inspired by ‘the layers of construction’ present at landfill sites. The piece is dedicated to the percussionist Christian Dierstein, for whom it was written. The composer would also like the acknowledge the generous help and knowledge of percussionists, Matt Jenkins and Eugene Ughetti in realising this work.
Rozalie Hirs – Meditations
for piano and electronic sounds
Meditations is a cycle of reflective explorations on different aspects of music and musicianship in general, and the pianist’s musicianship in particular. For the cycle, these are, so far:
1. On continuity
2. On repetition
3. On tenderness
4. On lines (broken chords)
5. On imitation
Originally, movements 3, 4, and 5 together constituted the composition On Tenderness (2017), and can be still combined as such. For Meditations, the pianist is free to alter the order in which the available movements are played. New movements will be added over the years to come. The work is dedicated to Philip Thomas.
Luc Döbereiner – Metallurgie
Metallurgie (2017) for piano, thunder sheet and live-electronics aims to create a transforming sonorous body that incorporates the piano and the thunder sheet as interconnected parts of a sound synthesis network that is characterised by feedback processes. Sound traverses this network as a digital signal, physical vibrations, electrical voltage and as an audible phenomenon. Exploring the physical properties of the instruments, the actions of the performers a ect the state of this network by means of the timbral characteristics of their sound results. However, the connections between the different parts themselves—both instruments and the components of the live-electronics—undergo changes throughout the piece. This leads to contingent and ephemeral couplings or transductions of sonorous behaviours that emerge and break down. The title alludes to the metallic nature of the instruments as well as to metallurgic process that produce identity through continuous material variations.
Concert – Kathryn Gray / Sam Gillies / Freida Abtan
Kathryn Gray – Impress Maude, part 1
This piece interrogates ways of re-contextualizing music and composition techniques from early music within a surround-sound environment, exploring a hybrid practice of performance and experimental music using electronics. The work operates as a soundtrack to a non-existent film, opera or play about the main character’s life. Rather than a literal re-telling of a biographical story, I aim to describe a mood and feeling of the time and environment in which that character lived.
Sam Gillies – Infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering
In the end though, it was the blue light that got him which, all things considered, wasn’t the worst way to go. A figure on the screen entered to applause. ‘Apologies, I am here now’ they remarked, to raucous laughter located somewhere in the ether. He saw the light extend its reach and though it appeared to be emanating from the television, he knew its origin was more organic than that, bled into the walls of his home and coursing through the fabric of the carpet, and that seeking to trace its source to a particular point was an exercise in futility. While he had not thought that it would happen today, he knew that the light was always waiting.
Freida Abtan – the hands of the dancer
the hands of the dancer is a 21-minute HD audiovisual composition inspired by the logic of dream narrative. A man sleeps and dreams of a dancing girl who multiplies and shimmers like the desert. Her image mutates and becomes the landscape of the dream. She looks into a mirror and appears next counting peacock feathers while another presence takes her place, making contact with the dreamer.
This video explores the multiple ways that movement and form can be abstracted through surface and temporal manipulation, as well as the defining sensory relationship that exists between sound and image in time-based composition. The narrative evokes a dreamscape in which characters exchange identity and develop through physical transformation. The sounds and images depicted are inspired by traditional Baladi form and are meant to evoke a state in which these bodily gestures convey secret meanings that need not resort to language. the hands of the dancer uses footage of Andrea Fryett, Olivia Li, and David Drury.
Freida Abtan – Flight of Birds (remix)
Flight of Birds is a 33-minute HD audiovisual composition that draws on notions of anima and the realm of the spirit. The imagery is inspired by traditional Yoruban mythology in which a woman’s spirit may leave her body to travel outside in the form of a bird. Here, a woman longs for flight, staring into a birdcage for the mysteries within. We see her dressed as a bird, dancing, unfolding, but never quite leaving the ground. Darker, winged creatures haunt the air around her. Eventually, she is transformed. She visits the sky, not as a bird, but as a constellation.
Like the hands of the dancer, Flight of Birds explores strategies to abstract movement and form through surface and temporal manipulation, as well as the defining sensory relationship that exists between sound and image in time-based composition. The piece takes a much looser stance on audiovisual association, attempting to match aural and visual material through pace and suggestion rather than clearly defined gesture. The remix uses real-time performative transformations through custom software created in MaxMSP/Jitter. It playfully experiments with both linked and separate audio and visual process to reconfigure the work’s audiovisual discourse. Flight of Birds was created with footage of Audrey Ellis Fox and Bonnie Johnson.
Concert – Owen Green / Rodrigo Constanzo + Brian Crabtree + Angela Guyton
Owen Green – Neither the Time nor the Energy
for Bowed Cardboard and Truculent Electronics
The whole bowed cardboard thing started off as a bit of a facetious gesture, a silly way of supplying a computer with control data. However, the bow and box live nearer to the threshold of instrument-hood than I’d expected, and have yielded a surprising repertoire of ways of sounding and moving. Sometimes I even play it without electronics.
Neither the Time nor the Energy is the second piece/system I’ve done around the box. As a technical matter, I’m trying to see how much of a performance’s unfolding structure can be driven by my playing within a fairly loosely specified overall shape. In other words, I have only marginally more of an idea than you about what’s going to happen. It might sound as if it has three movements, and it will last for fourtneenish minutes. The electronics are almost wholly autonomous, in practice: expect me to pull faces of occasional surprise or bafflement.
As a more poetic matter, I’m still working my way through what all these sounds could do, musically. Among the vocabulary of the box are sounds ranging from the fragile and breakable—whispers, fields of clicks, animal moans—through the more turbulent—almost-gastric creaks and unabashedly abrasive squawks. Much about the soundworld is so reminiscent of those things we’ve become habituated to through our digital means, yet so blatantly of a different source. Perhaps there’s something in there about the stories we tell about ourselves through our toys.
Rodrigo Constanzo + Brian Crabtree + Angela Guyton – Good at continuing a thing I’ve already started but not at starting a thing I’m scared of
The ingredients are: text, light, and sounds like modular synth sounds and percussion.
So: Text ornaments atmosphere pulling it into something more concrete. Mostly it’ll be a sound bed, but atmosphere is about light too. There’s good light in good memories. Maybe we’ll make something that approximates that here, but we don’t know what we’re going to say. Part of this is that we’re going to point out the pivot points when those decisions are made—so you can see that thinking—while trying to not disturb the atmosphere. Our hope is that something meaningful happens.
Late Night Concert – BaconJam
Creative Coding Lab Symposium
This year Electric Spring hosts the first Creative Coding Lab Symposium. Those who have attended the Max/MSP Power Users’ Symposium at Electric Spring in the past will recognise the format of four guest speakers talking about creative work with audio programming, but in this new incarnation we have broadened the remit to encompass a wider range of programming languages and creative practices. This new name is taken from the recently formed Creative Coding Lab at the University of Huddersfield.
The CCL Symposium is an opportunity for practitioners in creative coding to share and discuss their technical approaches and their artistic thinking, as well as the ways they link the two together. Each of the guest speakers will talk for around 45–60 minutes about their practice, with the opportunity for attendees to ask questions a er each talk.
Light refreshments will be provided.
The CCL Symposium is free and open to the public. All are welcome!
Concert – Ambient@40
Rupert Till – Reverie Dub
featuring Anna Friederike Potengowski
Spatialised electronic popular music explores manipulations of perceptions of temporality, qualitative time that falls outside of everyday existence. This music explores how ambient dub, the chill out strain of ambient music, aims to generate entrainment and ecstatic trance experiences. It manipulates space using clouds of 3D reverberation and echo to create an arti cial sense of place, synchronising body and mind to entrain the self phenomenologically. It integrates different musical rhythms to create a sense of stasis, timbral drift generating an electronic acoustic ecology.
Reverie Dub is a dub mix of my composition Reverie, which was written for German flautist Anna Friederike Potengowski. It is composed for a reconstruction of the Isturitz vulture bone piece, which is played like a shakuhachi or nay. The original instrument is 20,000 years old and was found with fragments of 30 bone pipes in Isturitz cave in France. Bird bone pipes are found in the archaeological record across the globe, from 40,000 years ago in Germany through to ethnographic examples known from 100 years ago, the latter used by shepherds to scare off wolves. I recorded Potengowski performing Reverie on location in the Isturitz cave, the result then remixed into an electronic ambient track.
Rupert Till – Viking Bagpipe Dub
featuring Åke & Jens Egevad
Viking Bagpipe Dub features Åke Egevad on Viking bagpipe and his son Jens on drum. A set of prehistoric bone pipes were discovered by archaeologists in Sweden, with the remains of a goat’s stomach on top. Researchers have suggested that this was an early bagpipe, and Egevad’s reconstruction illustrates what sounds it may have produced. I recorded this instrument on location in Sweden, and the result was remixed into a new track.
Kristina Wolfe – Speaking with Stones
Speaking with Stones is a multimedia performance inspired by the exploration of space. The material has been composed to guide the listener through the presented environment and to exhibit its unique characteristics. Small points of light guide the listener towards places of particular resonance or sound presence. The material was recorded using the ancient instrument replicas created for the European Music Archaeology Project (EMAP).
Simon Cummings – February 12, 2013
Simon Cummings – February 24, 2013
These two pieces are indeterminate compositions, originally based on the methodology and processes of the similarly indeterminate works of US composer Kenneth Kirschner. The pieces comprise multiple layers of sound fragments that are navigated via a mixture of intentional and chance procedures, such that their details and overall duration are undefined. February 24, 2013 was specifically composed as a homage to Kirschner as part of the Imperfect Forms book and album project. All of the sounds used in that piece are extremely quiet, mostly comprising very high or low frequencies, whereas February 12, 2013 is very more demonstrative.
Rob Mackay – Flight of the Monarchs
Flight of the Monarchs was initially created as an immersive audiovisual installation inspired by the incredible 3,000-mile journey that the Monarch butterfly takes each year from Canada to Mexico, finding warmer climes during the winter in order to roost. The installation is set up to resemble a hide into which the viewer/listener can step inside and be transported to southern Mexico, surrounded with Monarch butterflies. The viewer/listener is surrounded by four video screens and four loudspeakers. We took the installation to the Eden Project, Shambala and Musicport in 2017, and are continuing the project in 2018 onwards, working with Monarch scientists and other artists from around the world.
I recorded video and sound footage at the El Rosario reserve in Michoacan in 2015, trying to capture the beauty of these delicate butterflies and their surroundings. Video footage from Manuel Zirate is also featured in the top panel, and video editing was done by Jessica Rodriguez. The sound for the installation is comprised of three elements: field recordings which capture the rushing sound of millions of tiny wings (as well as one or two tourists); a specially commissioned poem from Mexican poet Rolando Rodriguez (La Marcha de las Mariposas); and a recording of an improvisation session between myself ( flute, ocarina), David Blink (hang), and John Sanders (accordion), which we conducted in the open air in Michaocan (this has been processed to create a dreamlike quality, reflecting the words of Rolando’s poetry). In January this year, I returned to Mexico and visited the Cerro Pelón reserve to install a streambox (created by Soundcamp) which broadcasts the sounds of the forest over the Locus Sonus Soundmap, integrating with Leah Barclay’s UNESCO Biosphere Soundscapes project. Tonight’s performance will integrate the live stream from Cerro Pelón with a fixed media version of the piece.
Tim Howle + Nick Cope – Sarva Mangalam!
Previous iterations of this work have been called Flags, (1, 2 and 3) and as more layers of material have been added we have resisted forward propulsion. There is no real goal orientation and the material can be described as ambient. This fourth incarnation of the work builds on a single monitor work originally presented at a festival celebrating the work of Cornelius Cardew featuring a single shot of Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags filmed on a hillside at Ganden Monastery, near Lhasa, Tibet. A second version of the work introduced another shot juxtaposed with the first from prayer flags shot by Namtso Lake, Tibet; additional sounds have been introduced that attempt limited levels of intervention that chime with the images. The exploitation of the inherent musicality of the images emphasises timelessness and continuity through a quasi-improvisational approach, mirroring and counterpointing objects in the image. Limited indeterminate relationship of the layers of musical material allows for shifts with regard to each other, resulting in harmonious, open and gestural relationships regardless of juxtaposition. Sounds are selected from a similarly limited palette; the approach is free within prescribed limits. The research aim is to augment the ‘electroacoustic movie’ with the inclusion of Eno and Cardew in influences, to balance the fixed with the variable.
The title of the work is a Sanskrit phrase, which appears on many versions of prayer flags alongside depictions of various symbolic animals, Buddhist deities and mantras. Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras are blown on the wind, spreading goodwill and compassion to the pervading space and all beings wandering therein.
Bartosz Szafranski + Agata Kubiak – Six Spiders
Agata asked me for a composition showcasing a single performer reading the parts of voice and violin simultaneously, and so Six Spiders came to be. Many of the primary features were developed as solutions to unique problems created by the inclusion of this prominent dual part, though the expression projected by the lyrics was ultimately the key influence on the final shape of the piece. I put much emphasis on ensuring that compositional choices regarding the voice/violin made this part primarily responsible for controlling the main parameters of time, timbre, and harmony. The work is in five movements and the lyrical content is very limited.
Agata is tasked with exploring several textural relationships, varying the way in which attention must be divided between the two staves—it is not possible to maintain a consistent approach to reading the music from the dual part throughout Six Spiders. The movements, and how they connect with each other, are characterised by the type of textural relationship between the violin and the voice; whether the voice or the violin part is subjected to the control of the average duration of events; and by soft or hard quality of note attacks in the violin.
Late Night Concert – Sebastien Lavoie
Ambient soundscapes transform into beats.
The lights dim.
A dance floor appears.
Sebastien Lavoie presents works composed over the last two years in Huddersfield’s SPIRAL studio using an array of 24 speakers, demonstrating an innovative integration of electronic dance music and multichannel spatialisation. The audience will be bathed in sound, the 48-channel HISS system allowing dynamic movement of the music through space, drawing on mixing and remixing techniques in a nightclub atmosphere.