Day 1: 24/01/2008
19:00 Quayside Pre-Concert Talk – Ultre
20:00 Quayside Laptop – Ultre

Day 2: 25/01/2008
19:00 St Paul’s Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Damien Harron
20:00 St Paul’s Hall Percussion and Electronics – Damien Harron

Day 3: 26/01/2008
13:30 Recital Hall Max/MSP Powerusers Symposium 2008
19:00 Drama Studio 1 Pre-Concert Talk – Gilles Gobeil
20:00 Drama Studio 1 Acousmatic – Gilles Gobeil

Day 4: 27/01/2008
18:30 Drama Studio 1 Boston Visual Music Marathon
19:30 Drama Studio 1 Pre-Concert Talk – Bret Battey
20:00 Drama Studio 1 VideoMusic – Bret Battey

Off Season @hcmf// : 25/11/2008
12:00 Recital Hall Silent Noisy Music – Wilhem Latchoumia / Crank

Laptop – Ultre

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – Sandbox#2.1
A bass guitar and a laptop. No sequence, no set list, no programme, no gizmo, no intention, no fireworks, no meaning, no feature, no beat, no argument, no nothing. Just this very moment with my meta-instrument: a second sandbox in which I play in public for the first time, here, whatever happens.

Nicolas d’Alessandro/Sylvain Pohu – Improvised duet
Nicolas d’Alessandro (with Sylvain Pohu – guitar)

Ultre – Live set
Ultre is the music project of Finn McNicholas, who experiments with home-made instruments and creates sounds too difficult to describe with any justice. Finn will perform an improvised set of music using elements of his previous audio and video work. He will be using an instrument that ‘works a bit like a one string electric cello. The instrument is an arc, with one string. I sample it and loop it, hit it and bow it.’

Percussion and Electronics – Damien Harron

Sylvain Pohu – L’identité
for 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.

Javier Alvarez -Temazcal
The title of this work stems from the Nahuatl (ancient aztec) word literally meaning “water that burns”. The maracas material throughout Temazcal is drawn from traditional rhythmic patterns found in many Latin-American musics.

Judith Ring – PerForm
for vibraphone and electronic sound

Geoff Cox – Vibraphone
for vibraphone and optional electronic sound

Vinko Globokar – Ombre
A somewhat schizophrenic drummer suffers a descent as he veers between a rock persona and a more creative world that exists in the shadows.

Michael Clarke – Enmeshed IIb
This work is a realisation of Enmeshed II (for piano and computer) for pitched percussion and computer. As with the other works in the series the instrumental performance is transformed by the computer into a multi-layered texture of sound enmeshing the soloist. The work is shaped by the changing distances between the soloist and the transformed sounds in terms of pitch, time, timbre, texture and space, the various strands of the piece converging and diverging at different points.

Damien Harron – Taking Sides
A theme of duality: both sides of the brain (and body) try to reconcile their tasks in this work, the left side controlling the right hand/ foot’s rhythmic organisation and the left allowing the right hand to be simultaneously creative.

Acousmatic – Gilles Gobeil

Alexis Makrides – Lavyrinthos
The main aim in this composition was to create structural relationships on different levels between the sound material with an ulterior motive to have a coherent and balanced sonic result.

Monty Adkins – Five Panels no.1 – (for finn)
This work (and the rest in the series) is based on the late abstract paintings of Mark Rothko. The work is structured similarly to Rothko’s paintings in which horizontal blocks of colour float on top of one another. In this work layers of sonic material work often independently of one another pursuing their own path. The emphasis shifts from the traditional teleological sense of time to what Jonathan Kramer terms vertical time. The work was commissioned by SpACE-Net and premiered at the Music Research Centre York in 5.1 on 23rd January 2008.

Gilles Gobeil – Ombres, espaces, silences…
With Ombres, espaces, silences… (Shadows, Spaces, Rests…), I wished to revisit early polyphonic music (Ars Antiqua, Ars Nova). I wanted to bring together this universe of intervals and chords, and the much wider universe of noises, the latter providing the setting in which to present — or evoke — modified fragments from the beginnings of Western music.

The universe of noises rests upon one of the History of Christianity’s fascinating phenomenon: the hermits, or “Desert Fathers” from the first centuries of the Christian era. These men had knowingly chosen to seek isolation, to cut their ties with society, for they believed the answer to the issue of human destiny could be found only outside society.

I have attempted to describe, through a number of tableaux, the surprising life of these men, their religious fervour (the same fervour that gave birth to the first polyphonic music), by evoking the physical locations, the aridity and threat of the desert, but mostly by evoking their fabulous spiritual imagination.

Ombres, espaces, silences… was realized in January and February of 2005 at the studios of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe (Germany). It was premiered on February 12, 2005, during the trans_canada festival at the ZKM’s ZKM_Kubus. It was commissioned by the ZKM. Thanks to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the ZKM for their support. Ombres, espaces, silences… was awarded an Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 2005) and was among the selection for the 32nd Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art Competition (France) in 2005.

Gilles Gobeil – Entre les deux rives du printemps
Freely adapted from Paradise (Part 3 of The Divine Comedy) by Dante (1265-1321). A poem filled with speed, energy, and pure light, but also bearing a few reminiscences of earthly mistakes.

And I with vision new rekindled me,
Such that no light whatever is so pure
But that mine eyes were fortified against it.
And light I saw in fashion of a river
Fulvid with its effulgence, ’twixt two banks
Depicted with an admirable Spring.

Paradise, XXX-58

Entre les deux rives du printemps (Between the Two Banks of Spring) was realized in 2006 at the studios of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe (Germany). It was premiered on December 8, 2006 during the trans_canada_release festival at the ZKM’s ZKM_Kubus. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts (CAC) and the ZKM for their support.

Gilles Gobeil – Le miroir triste
Freely adapted from a few scenes from an unshot scenario by Russian filmmaker Andrey Tarkovksy (1932-1986) entitled Hoffmanniana (1975) and picturing the tormented life of Romantic-era German writer/composer ETA Hoffmann (1776-1822). A dialogue between Donna Anna (a character from Don Juan by Mozart) and Hoffmann), taken from Hoffmanniana:

— Have you ever had, if only in a dream, the certitude that everything was possible, that no matter what you could want, it would have to happen? — And that everything would happen if, suddenly, you were to decide to believe that your impression was real?
— Yes, but only in a dream.
— But is not the dream as real as reality? she says, smiling. Then, noticing he is not looking at her but at her reflection in the mirror, she turns around and adds: “You should not be looking into mirrors at night.”

Le miroir triste (The Sad Mirror) was realized in the summer of 2007 at the studios of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe (Germany). It was premiered on November 29, 2007 during Akousma (4), presented by Réseaux at Monument-national’s Studio Hydro-Québec in Montréal. Thanks to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), the Canada Council for the Arts (CAC), and the ZKM for their support.

[English translations of Gobeil’s programme notes by François Couture, 2007]

VideoMusic – Bret Battey

Bret Battey – cMatrix10
Perhaps there is something deeper to be changed in one’s life than merely shifting the dramas with which one self-identifies.

cMatrix10 presents a mass of flowing particles and traceries of sound, sometimes forming diffuse clouds, other times coalescing into flowing lines of arcing motion. But no state is stable; transformation is constant. Dramas are purely localized, transient. One observes these dramas as they arise. And as they fall away. We see them as they are: temporary manifestations of an underlying, unfolding process.

cMatrix10 is an algorithm that I developed with Processing—a Java-based programming environment. I applied post-processing in Adobe AfterEffects. The foundation of the audio is a spectrum-saturating synthesis process controlled by LISP algorithms driven by point-location data exported from Processing.

Bret Battey – On the Presence of Water
On the Presence of Water is a sound and image meditation on water as a spiritual and psychological archetype. Computer manipulations of found sound and imagery knit tightly together to express a narrative of the subconscious. The jury of the 1998 Prix Arts Electronica recognized On the Presence of Water with an Honourable Mention.

Primary tools were Csound, Common Music, and RT on SGI computers, with Csound extensions by Richard Karpen. The video was created with video and still-image sources manipulated in Adobe Premiere.

Bret Battey – Writing on the Surface

 When all things are stirring together,
I only contemplate the return.
For flourishing as they do,
Each of them will return to its root.

Lao Tsu

But something in us, while the millennia
monotonously pass and pass,
hungers to offer up
our specks of life as fragile tesserae
towards the vast mosaic–temple, eidolon

Denise Levertov, Variations on a Theme by Rilke

The full scope of time renders all of our proud, anxious, and violent dramas mere writing on the surface of water. Yet during something as brief as the soft flow of one moment’s breath, one may hope to discover undercurrents deeper than one’s work or its impermanence – and to find the source and goal of one’s acts gently transformed.

The sounds for Writing on the Surface were realized with Csound, Common Music, and Supercollider, leveraging my research into feedback systems as a sound synthesis source and algorithmic principle. The video was realized with Adobe AfterEffects and 3D Studio Max animation software, the later driven by scripts generated from the author’s extension to the LISP-based Common Music toolset.

Bret Battey – Autarkeia Aggregatum

Autarkeia Aggregatum is an integrated sound and image composition emphasizing continuous flow and transformation. There are no cuts or splices in the visual aspect of the work; it unfolds instead as a constantly evolving, massed animation of a set of over 11,000 individual points.

When seeking a title for the piece, I turned to the Monadology — the philosopher Leibniz’s theory of fundamental particles of reality (monads). I appropriated the two words from that work: autarkeia (Greek) for self-sufficiency, and aggregatum (Latin) meaning joined, aggregated. The terms together appropriately suggest an aggregation of the activities of autonomous entities. More subtly, a resonance with Classicism draws me to the words. The resonance is one of an inner fullness of being expressed outwardly in elegant, self-sufficient restraint.

I produced the sound for Autarkeia Aggregetum with the help of the musical composition and synthesis programming languages Common Lisp Music (by Bill Shotstaedt) and Common Music (by Rick Taube). A primary tool was my Pitch Curve Analysis and Composition toolkit (PICACS) for providing naturalistic and expressive glissandi and continuous-pitch melodies. The animation technique involves various rotational algorithms, constrained Brownian motion, and time blurring, implemented as a custom plug-in for Apple’s Motion 2 video effects software.

Bret Battey – Luna Series: I – Mercurius

Bret Battey – Luna Series: II – Lacus Temporis

Mercurius is a lunar impact crater. To the west of Mercurius lies the lunar mare (sea) Lacus Temporis (Lake of Time). The former is a complex, spiked vestige of a high velocity impact; the latter is a smooth plain of subtle gradations formed by ancient magma.

In the sound and image compositions Mercurius (2007) and Lacus Temporis (official release 2008), both the audio and visual components of the work have no cuts or edits. What we hear is continual transformation of one synthesis process, just as what we see is continuous animation of nearly 12,000 individual points.

Mercurius rapidly shifts between multitudes of seemingly conflicting states. It ambiguously combines multiple sensibilities of the spiral form, which can symbolize both unity and destruction. The title Mercurius also refers to the “swift messenger” Mercury, a symbol of the volatile and unstable.

In contrast, Lacus Temporis (a 2007 commission from Threshold Studios, Leicester) focuses on a single colour palette and delicate states lying between visibility and invisibility, order and uncertainty. A critical mass of stability and pattern establishes an illusion of solidity. The seemingly stable, however, readily melts away.

Mercurius received First Prize in the Punto y Raya Festival 2007 of Madrid, First Prize in the Abstracta Cinema 2007 Festival of Rome, the “Breaking Out of the Frame” Special Jury Prize of Amsterdam Film eXperience 2007, and is available on the Aurora International Animation Festival 2007 selection DVD.

The visuals were created in high definition with a custom-programmed plugin for Apple’s Motion 2 video effects software. The music was created with custom SuperCollider code implementing specially modified digital feedback loops, controlled by algorithms written in MAX/MSP.

Silent Noisy Music – Wilhem Latchoumia / Crank

Pierre Malbos – Shanghai 304L
For Piano Baschet-Malbos (PBM) and tape
The PBM, is using musical properties of metal, specially stainless steel referenced by industry as 304 L. The tape is using sounds recorded in China during a tour in 2005. Historically and aesthetically, it takes all its sense to associate the concretes sounds of the PBM with electro-acoustics sounds. It’s a free and consonant dialog between two differents ways but moved by the same aspirations and issued from the same roots: Pierre Schaeffer.

At the cross-point of sculpture and musical instrument making, the Piano Baschet-Malbos is a unique work born from the acoustical and aesthetic explorations of French instrument makers and artists Bernard and Francois Baschet in the 1950s. In 2000, they have paired up with piano maker Pierre Malbos to resuscitate and improve the instrument.

Christopher Fox – Hand-cranked Haiku
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude I

John Lely – Box Music
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude I

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – New Work
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude I

James Saunders – #251108-1
The piece #251108 is a version of my ongoing modular composition #[unassigned]. The piece is flexible in its construction, with each version being formed by a combination of newly composed and pre-existing modules. Each version is different, composed for a specific performance, and normally only performed once.

Nick Williams – little digger
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude II

Paul Whitty – New Work
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude II

Pierre Malbos – P en dehors
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude II

Tim Parkinson – three music boxes
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude II

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – Le tombeau des fondeurs
(The Tomb of the Casters)
To Messiaen, Stravinsky, Varèse, and other casters

The bell caster knows what he is doing: he has a clear idea of a sound, and despite the elements that are against him, he will know how to mix the alloy, to cast the form, and to refine the rough to give it the sonic aura dreamed of, where timbre and pitch are one. He will also give to humanity an eternal inheritance. Because once tuned, the bell will keep forever the imprint of its caster, of dazzling beauty, of radiating power, but not without a hint of melancholy, especially when heard at distance, through the fog… How to resist to this mermaid’s call? Should we not trust this goddesses’ chant to avoid a shipwreck? Let us pay them a tribute, and try to outlast them!

Scott McLaughlin – Study for Penrose
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude III

Paul Newland – pattern
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude III

James Saunders – #251108-2
Part of: Crank – Musicbox Interlude III
The piece #251108 is a version of my ongoing modular composition #[unassigned]. The piece is flexible in its construction, with each version being formed by a combination of newly composed and pre-existing modules. Each version is different, composed for a specific performance, and normally only performed once.

Nick Williams – Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La
Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La was written in 2008 for Wilhem Latchoumia, at the invitation of Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. The piano-baschet struck me as belonging to the family of keyboard istruments that aren’t pianos; although the rods are hammered, the limited pitch range and dynamic spectrum seemed to me to relate it more to instruments like spinets and virginals. So my piece refers to the keyboard fantasias of Sweelink and John Bull which use an ascending and descending hexachord as a cantus firmus, which fits in with my recent use of ‘unstable’ scales as primary material.