Day 1: 23/02/2011
17:00 Atrium HAJIME…the beginning…
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Pierre Alexandre Tremblay
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Acousmatic – Pierre Alexandre Tremblay

Day 2: 24/02/2011
17:00 Atrium HAJIME…the beginning…
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Ricardo Climent
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Multimedia – Ricardo Climent

Day 3: 25/02/2011
17:00 Atrium HAJIME…the beginning…
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Sam Pluta, Anne La Berge and Martin Howse
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Live Electronics – Martin Howes / Sam Pluta + Anne Laberge

Day 4: 26/02/2011
13:00 CAMG/01 Max/MSP Powerusers Symposium 2011
17:00 Atrium HAJIME…the beginning…
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Alexander Schubert
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Mixed Music – Alexander Schubert

Day 5: 27/02/2011
17:00 Atrium HAJIME…the beginning…
17:30 Phipps Concert Hall Pre-Concert Talk – Peyee Chen, Scott McLaughlin and Jed Backhouse
20:00 Phipps Concert Hall Augmented Voice – Peyee Chen

HAJIME…the beginning…

This exhibition showcases preliminary works by Leverhulme Trust Award Artist in Residence, Pip Dickens and her collaboration with composer Monty Adkins.

Their new collaboration takes the Japanese hand-made Katagami stencil (used for printing designs onto kimono fabric) and kimono motifs as a starting point from which they extrapolate new forms which express the synergy possible between the disciplines of sound and vision.

Both artists have regularly exchanged their ‘sketches’ with one another to develop a platform from which a series of major new works will be made. These will premier at their forthcoming exhibition – SHIBUSA – Extracting Beauty – in November 2011, scheduled to coincide with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. A book commemorating the Leverhulme Residency and charting the collaboration will also be launched at the exhibition.

It is rare for artists to reveal work in development to a public audience – such pieces are usually intimate, private workings and experimentations that are neither fully formed nor necessarily indicative of a final series of works. Adkins and Dickens have utilized the Leverhulme Residency to share with staff, students and visitors to the University, the variety and depth of critical thinking and physical interpretation of concepts in their nascency. Through these diverse and variable approaches concepts are explored, motifs developed and new methods of production innovated.

Further research is to be undertaken, in April 2011, in Kyoto where they will meet and interview craftspeople that still use the delicate and painstaking skills of katagami and kyo-yuzen as opposed to computerized machine production.

Acousmatic – Pierre Alexandre Tremblay

Dominic Thibault – De velours et d’acier
It is inside our deepest convictions that we meet our true weakness. Just like a parody of ourselves. De velours et d’acier is an acousmatic piece that has its origins in my taste for rock music. Its title, ‘Of velvet and steel’ in French, is, by its many level of interpretations, a brief representation of the whole piece. The beginning of this project resides in the multitrack recording of a metalcore band by an acousmatic composer. Rapidly, the harsh guitars, screaming voices and tight drums convinced me of the immense acousmatic potential of all this material. Recordings made with Untold at the University of Montréal (Nov 2008). Composed in my personal studio. Research funded by SSHRC.

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – Reflets de notre société crépusculaire

I. avortements (éclats de liberté)
II. rapports bruit signal (éclats d’égalité)
III. seuls dans un désert d’homme (éclats de fraternité)

Premier devoir, au lever: rougir de soi.

E.M. Cioran, Le mauvais démiurge

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

M. Mead

These two quotes might seem contradictory, but together they express well my feeling of powerlessness: everyday, I wonder how to conciliate my happiness and my awareness of living it at the expense of the rest of the planet.

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – Ces énigmes lumineuses
(These radiant enigmas)
for she who helps me to tame happiness

Something is instilled into me when, whilst sitting on a park’s bench watching my kids at play, I contemplate the drift of my thoughts. Or, when the sun surprises me halfway through an errand, I take the time to stop and to let its rays caress me through my eyelids. Or when I am cuddled against my lover, half-listening dreamily to the radio. These moments share a slowing down, a serene opposition to the polyrhythm of contemporary life, a well-being into contemplation… Happiness, ineffable, emerges as a slow, voluptuous meditation… To paraphrase Pennac: they are radiant enigmas.

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – For Ever Now Soon An End
to Helena

la source de la peur est dans l’avenir, et qui est libéré de l’avenir n’a rien à craindre

Milan Kundera, la lenteur

At 45 degrees in the shade, in the middle of an ocean of sand, one’s ego dissolve: the boundary between oneself, the others, the world, disappears, and only then is made possible the mid-summer night dream (nightmare?), static in its perpetual movement.

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – The three little p…
(Les trois petits c…)
to Hilke

L’avenir de l’homme, c’est la femme.

Louis Aragon, Le fou d’Elsa

This piece, which at a glance might look on light side, is an ode to the resilience of women. With its working title being ‘a woman in Berlin’, the project is born of an immense admiration for a young woman of my surrounding that now lives this very city, and that have won two fights against cancer. Around the same time, I was reading this famous book, the diary of another young woman through the occupation of Berlin by the Russian army in 1945, and I could not stop being astonished by the capacity of women to find a place for happiness in these times of immense hardship. By using a simple story as a narrative backbone, I hope to give a hint at the contagious happiness of these exceptional being faced to adversity. They are forever my models.

Multimedia – Ricardo Climent

Monty Adkins – Suspended Edges
Suspended Edges was filmed and animated by Oliver Jones and inspired by the urban explorers movement – a movement that revels in searching out the uninhabited parts of our cities.

Monty Adkins – Remnant
Remnant is about slow changing perceptions over time.

Mark Pilkington – Camera Down

The piece shares a symbiotic connection to the auditory and visual senses prescribe in the composition, a sort of a metaphysical convergence, an interplay between the two perceptual organisms of the eye and the ear. The sound world of the piece represents a dualistic approach between naturalistic and synthetic sound and visual materials. Rollercoaster ride through a landscape of sound and light energy patterns; revealing unfamiliar and familiar places. A dialogue between action and re-action a consequence of events through time. Impossible physical scenarios arise from a maelstrom of evocations placed between desire and experience, the interpenetrations and displacements that occur between various stimuli. Hopefully, the piece has the ability to generate overwhelming emotional impact exclusively from cinematic and electroacoustic methodologies, not thematic content. Sound material comprises of field recordings from rock quarries, farm machinery, birds, metallic impacts and synthesized sounds. Visual material comprises of computer-generated graphics, original oil paintings and found film footage.

Ricardo Climent – S.LOW – VIP lounges are for ALL
a dynamic documentary film

Synopsis: S.LOW – VIP lounges are for ALL is a non-linear non-directed documentary film as a result of the S.LOW Projekt (Berlin). In the summer of 2010, about forty international and national visual artists, music composers working with electronic media, musicologists, performers, engineers, physical scientists and film-makers met in Berlin to discuss the concepts of low and slow in the context of the city. The film explores how art can survive outside the comfort of large institutional support and if as a result, artists can change the rules of engagement with audiences by giving the latter equal importance in the process of sharing and making arts. With an emphasis on people and by documenting ‘the things in between’ during such project, this audiovisual work allows listeners to navigate through a number of values and concepts such as, trust, believes, authorship, excellence, art-killing rules, dream-cities, time-to-share or being-faithful, as seen by the artists.

Live Electronics – Martin Howes / Sam Pluta + Anne Laberge

Anne La Berge + Sam Pluta – Live set
flute and laptop electronics

Anne La Berge and Sam Pluta have performed in trio and quintet formations in Amsterdam at the Karnatic Lab and STEIM with performers Yedo Gibson, Daniel Schorno, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, and Oscar Jan Hoogland. Their improvisation duo combines Anne La Berge’s extended and processed flute with Sam Pluta’s live processing and synthesis setup, ranging from solo acoustic playing to octophonic processing mayhem.

Martin Howse – Live set
Solo for prepared laptop, hard drive, CDROM and floppy disk

Material is both evidence and self-obscuring; a literal drama of sheer light (waves) and absolute darkness (our substrate) exacerbated by the excitation of substance and its subsequent bodily detection. The performer is cast as a volatile detective, with an audible forensics probing a tabletop micro-material-data-theatre.

Max/MSP Powerusers Symposium 2011

An afternoon of tech talk, featuring artists from the festival, and others, lifting the lid on the technical side of their work. An opportunity to find out more about the latest work produced by high-level creative artists working with computers and learn about areas such as inter-application communication, automatic microphone and speaker correction, live coding, improvisation and more… The focus is on MaxMSP, but other music programming languages will also be represented.

Mixed Music – Alexander Schubert

Sten-Olof Hellström – In My Own Words
This work is based on the movement of six ice cubes on a flat and level surface as they melt. The sounds where generated by putting contact microphones in water and recording the sounds of the water freezing. Different sound and space characteristics was created buy playing back the sounds over various multi speaker set-ups in different spaces and re recording them with two high quality microphones. Max/MSP was used as the main software both when modifying and distributing the sounds over multi- speaker setups as well as for structuring the piece. In the performed version of In My Own Words the sounds used will be generated by contact microphones inside melting ice fed through an analog synthesizer and distributed to a multi speaker system using Max/MSP.

Alexander Schubert – Semaphores
Sempahores is, as most of the recent Sinebag pieces, a hybrid between electro-acoustic improvised music and intensive studio editing and is placed somewhere between contemporary and popular music. The piece is based on a processed guitar improvisation recorded live which was then used as the starting point for several layers of instrumentation added on top taken from recordings of musicians (mainly Nora Luise Müller, clarinet) and myself. The title is taken from the computer science vocabulary and describes a mechanism used to avoid deadlocks in computation – as the whole rhythmic foundation of the piece is nothing more than a deadlock always cycling around the same pattern – but never repeating itself – the title seemed fitting.

Alexander Schubert – A few Plateaus
This piece is built almost entirely of small audio fragments I found on my hard drive. It features small recordings I or other musicians did. These are used as a basis material to create rhythmic structures, chords etc. The original files don’t include chords or anything like it, these things are achieved by transposing and parallel looping of buffers less than a second long – and often just a few milliseconds. So the idea is to create a structure from sort of random chunks of acoustic audio snippets forming a coherent multi-layered complex out of them. Above that it’s a play with the quick changes between static repetition and absurdly quick rhythm patterns. The result sounds very much acoustic and this is the main concept of the piece: the play with the aesthetics of a “normal” acoustic ensemble and the laptop ensemble.

Alexander Schubert – Nachtschatten
Nachtschatten is a tape piece based on instrumental and electronic sound material. It falls in a cycle of narrative pieces describing a fictional space or line of events. It uses remains of romantic phrases distorted and replaced by microtonal, noise based and frequency altering effects. The piece uses instrumental material in addition to recorded sounds and electronic processing. 20-channels of sound enable to piece to be spatialized in a very strong way, leading to a sound result in which every element is recognizable as a single spatial event creating a wide range of different room ambiences and allowing the listener to be placed in a dense field of organic sounds.

Alexander Schubert – Laplace Tiger
The use of sensors at the forearm of the player allows the complete control of the live electronics and the structuring of the piece. Furthermore the player’s movement is the exclusive material for the live video. Based on these technical possibilities I tried to realize a piece that works like a huge convolution. The acoustically played material is temporarily shifted, processed and then interweaved through the motions of the performer. Apart from this sound synthesis is playable with the sensors to extend the musical language of the drum set. But the idea is that both the processed sounds and the additional elements are all controllable by and hence linked to the movement of the player – focusing the generation of sound as much on the physical presence of the player as possible. The pyramiding of sound shreds, live- electronics and the percussion itself aims at a highly condensed performance somewhere between contemporary classical music and electronica. The concept of the piece is a very structured progression of about 100 scenes, which are clearly defined – but within these cells there is a great amount of freedom for the performer. This allows the interpreter to react to and play with the fine details and nuances arising from slight gestures and to have the freedom to develop the interlacing between the acoustic drumming and the folded, temporarily shifted processing.

Augmented Voice – Peyee Chen

Alex Harker – Fluence
Clarinet and MaxMSP

In several recent pieces I have explored the idea of the co-existence of two musical worlds. In one time and pitch are articulated clearly and cleanly, as if on a grid, in the other things are blurred, unclear and constantly morphing. Fluence takes this idea and places the two worlds side-by-side, although the temporal grid in this case is treated as if it were elastic, constantly stretched and compressed.

In Fluence I was able to, for the first time, devise a system in which I could create a kind of ‘real-time tape’ music, constructing the electronic part from samples in a way that remains flexible in performance. Each gesture in the electronic part is constructed from a bank of over a thousand clarinet samples. Specific samples are almost never specified, rather the computer selects samples according to certain shapes and parameters, meaning that each time the electronic part is realised is slightly different. I’m extremely grateful to Jonathan for his patience, hard work and dedication to the project.

Fluence was commissioned by Ergodos ( ) with funds from the Irish Arts Council.

Kaija Saariaho – Lohn
The title Lonh, meaning far away or distant, comes from the old Provençal language, in which the text is sung. The text itself, a poem about love from afar, famous among scholars of mediaeval poetry, is attributed to the mediaeval troubadour Jaufré Rudel. Formally, the piece loosely follows the form of the poem, and is thus divided into nine sections. Some of the symmetrical and repeating aspects are found in the solo soprano part, which as such uses rather freely the elements for the original text, so that the resulting text is rather a collage based on Rudel’s song. In the electronic part, one can hear the text in three languages: Occitan (Provençal), French and English. The texts in Occitan were read by the poet Jacques Roubaud – who has intensively studied this poem and also translated it into French – and also by Julie Parsillé, a young French girl. The French version was read by Jean-Baptiste Barrière, and the English text by Dawn Upshaw, whose recorded singing voice is also part of the sonic material heard from the electronic part. The work for the electronic part has been realized in IRCAM with the assistance of Gilbert Nouno, and with the help and supervision of Jean-Baptiste Barrière.

Jed Backhouse – chi*ca*go
eight buildings, taken from one city, dissected in 3d sketching software, discussed in coffee shops, processed in graphics editors, collaged in layout and design programs, printed in the early hours of the morning, rehearsed in practice rooms, recorded in home music rooms, distorted and filtered in audio sequencers, sonically animated in surround sound studios, presented in blogging rush-hour, contemplated in the shower, assembled and practiced in real-time, finished in mid-february, and performed in gemdays 2011.

Scott McLaughlin – Action at a distance
I’ve always found it difficult, if not impossible, to write for the voice, because it is always in the foreground, it resists blending. This piece is partly a response to this problem, that in turn creates its own paradox. What if the voice could not be heard directly, but instead is discerned only through its effect on other sounds: a pattern in the noise. The paradox is the presence of a vocalist, whose agency seems clear to the eye, but whose voice can only be inferred from the environment. If a woman sings in a room full of people, does anybody hear it?

Philippe Manoury – En Echo
En Echo marked the first time in the history of electronic music that the vocal part of a composition was automatically followed by the computer, which was making a real time analysis of sounds of the voice to be used in, creating the synthetic sounds. This achieved a closer intimacy between the interpreter and the electronic music. The technical implementation of the work was undertaken by Miller Puckette. The work was a major technical break through for IRCAM. The work is composed in seven sections to a highly erotic text written by Emmanuel Hocquart.