August 6, 8PM, $15/$10
Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium (TES) Opening Night Concert
Loop Centre for Lively Arts and Learning, 601 Christie St #176(FREE for INTENSIVE and SYMPOSIUM participants)
- Anagoge by Andrew Babcock
- Collection and Recollection by Michael Pounds
- Autophones by Michael Gambacurta and Matthias S. Krüger
- Éden by Robert Normandeau
- Ion by Jason Stanford
Anagoge, Greek for ‘ascent’ or ‘climb’, refers to the hermeneutic pursuit of interpreting a text to look beyond its literal, allegorical, and moral meanings in search of a transcendental reading suggestive of the spiritual or mystical.
The piece Anagoge was created using only two monaural sound sources: a piece of magazine paper being crinkled, and a beard trimmer being turned on and off. The idea was to exhaustively extract every sound from these trivial samples and create a meaningful acoustic environment full of textural instability. Central to this instability is a sense of rupture in the foreground, emanating from a single, yet changing, monaural sound object in the center of the stereo field characterized by sputtering distortion and dense stereo movement. As this sense of rupture is projected into the background, reverberation and resonance smooth out sonic inconsistencies to threaten the material’s “ruptured” identity. The illusion of an unstable amplitude level, created through the pulsation of distortion in the foreground, contrasts with the reverberant, out-of-focus quality of the background, allowing the movements of the central sound object to exploit these expressive tensions and create meaningful links between timbral transformation and stereo placement.
Born in Buffalo, NY, Andrew Babcock has been working in a variety of contexts with music and multimedia for over 10 years. After studying composition with Samuel Pellman at Hamilton College, he worked in New York City as a composer and sound designer for television, radio, and film. Andrew recently completed an MA in composition at the University at Buffalo, where he studied with Cort Lippe, David Felder, and Jeffrey Stadelman. Andrew’s main interests lie in acousmatic music and exploring the transformative potential of mundane sound materials and their ability to yield complex sonic associations and narrative structures. In his recent work, timbral morphology and stereo movement reinforce each other to create new vehicles for exploring spatialization, depth, and resonance, casting a localized web of meaning between textural variance and placement in the stereo field.
Collection was created using sounds that the composer "collected" in Japan using a portable recorder. Walking around with a recorder always ready in one's pocket is a
great way to study a place or culture from an aural perspective. This particular collection of recordings reveals Japan as a fascinating place with many contrasting aspects. For example, the quiet environment of a mountainside forest or a Buddhist temple differs dramatically from the often noisy and energetic urban soundscapes. In creating this composition, the composer wanted to explore these contrasts.
Most of the recordings in Collection received only minimal processing--mainly filtering, amplitude changes and occasional reverb. At points in the piece the recordings are presented in a simple way so the listener can experience the original sonic environments directly. At other points various sounds are layered, shaped and juxtaposed to create more complex textures and gestures. The composer is particularly interested in layering sounds in different frequency ranges to create a more complex whole.
Recollection began its life as a collection of field recordings the composer gathered in Japan. The first project that made use of these recordings was a composition entitled Collection, a piece that combined and shaped excerpts from the recordings with minimal processing. In creating Recollection, the composer wanted to revisit the same source material, but this time with much more processing and abstraction. The title makes obvious reference to the sounds used in the earlier piece, but also to the idea that memory generally involves some transformation, some filtering through our personalities, desires, and views of the world, and through interaction with our other experiences. This work was commissioned by the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios in commemoration of its 50th anniversary celebration.
After a relatively short career as a mechanical engineer, Michael Pounds turned his energies toward composition, studying at Bowling Green State University, Ball State University, the University of Birmingham in England, and the University of Illinois, where he completed his doctorate. His awards include the 1998 ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Award, a Residence Prize at the 25th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition, and a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship for studies in England. His music has been performed throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Austria, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. He was a co-host of the 2005 national conference of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S. (SEAMUS). Michael is currently the Assistant Director of the Music Technology program at Ball State University, where he teaches courses in composition, acoustics, music perception, recording and computer music.
Where others see a bridge, the sound artist Michael Gambacurta discovered an Idiophone with a vibrant tone: The Kaiserlei Bridge, which spans over the Main River between Frankfurt and Offenbach (Germany), is a soundboard tuned by traffic, wind and weather - an endless concert, endless variations of a theme. Together with composer Matthias S. Krueger, Michael Gambacurta created a Concert-Hommage that allows us to hear with the ears of the bridge: Autophones. Autophones is an electroacoustic composition orchestrated though the layering of sounds within a very dynamic highway bridge. The music is in arch form much like on the very bridge it is based on.
The sounds were captured using an AKG 411 Contact Microphone with over 60 microphone placements, which the Autophones Enhanced Podcast reveals via an audio journey on, bellow and over the Kaiserlei Bridge. This Podcast will also be available on Radio X (Frankfurt): www.radiox.de
The 8 Minute Autophones Concert and the 22 Minute Autophones Loop plus the 46 Minute Autophone Enhanced Podcast was released on CD, which also includes a bridge tour map. With just under a year of its first conception, Autophones has already been heard in Frankfurt, New York, London and Lisbon over the Radia network. More Information under www.gambacurta.ca/autophones.
The Canadian percussionist and sound artist Michael Gambacurta performs all over thr musical spectrum of genre and style from orchestra to dance projects through early music, avant-garde, pop to working with contemporary composers and choreographers. He studied at the University of Toronto and the University of Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt (HfMDK), where he currently guest lectures.
Matthias S Krüger is a German composer and conductor and was born in 1980.. He studied composition with Prof. York Hoeller and piano at HfM Cologne as well as at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris (CNSMDP) with Frédéric Durieux. Since 2005, he has been studying conducting at the HfMDK Frankfurt.
After a music composed for the stage play L'Éden cinéma by Marguerite Duras, stage direction by Brigitte Haentjens at the National Arts Centre (Ottawa) and at the Festival de théâtre des Amériques (Montréal) in May 2003.
The stage and the concert music were composed in parallel, as if they participate in the same fiction, but corresponding to different purposes. In the Duras' play, there are more than eighty indications about the place where music should be used. The only way to fulfill these indications, according to me, was to have the music played continuously during the play. So I imagined a music made of very long sound loops over which there will be almost nothing, some sound events disseminated here and there over time and space. In the concert version, the loops represent the different aspects of the sonic universe of the play — Vietnam, where Marguerite Duras was born and where she lived up to her teenage years, the Éden cinéma's piano, some evanescent atmospheres, the gramophone — that evoke, thanks to the omnipresence of the rhythm, the road, the journey, the departure.
Éden was commissioned by the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille where it was premiered on May 12, 2003. The music quoted at the beginning is a Laotian Song that appears on the album «India Song et autres musiques de films» that composer Carlos D'Alessio wrote for Marguerite Duras released by Le chant du monde (LDX-274818). Éden is published on the DVD Puzzles released by Empreintes DIGI-TALes (IMED-0575).
Robert Normandeau: Born March 11, 1955 in Québec City (Canada). MMus (1988) and DMus (1992) in Composition from Université de Montréal. Founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community. Founding member of Réseaux (1991), a concert society. Prize-winner of the Bourges, Fribourg, Luigi-Russolo, Musica Nova, Noroit-Léonce Petitot, Phonurgia-Nova, Stockholm and Ars Electronica (Golden Nica in 1996) international competitions. His work figures on many compact discs, including six solo discs: Lieux inouïs, Tangram, Figures, Clair de terre and the DVD Puzzles, published by empreintes DIGITALes and Sonars published by Rephlex (England). He was awarded two Opus Prizes from the Conseil québécois de la musique in 1999: «Composer of the Year» and «Record of the year in contemporary music» (Figures on empreintes DIGI-TALes label). He was awarded the Masque 2001 for Malina and the Masque 2005 for La cloche de verre, the best music composed for a theater play, given by the Académie québécoise du théâtre. He has been a Professor in Electroacoustic Composition at the Université de Montréal since 1999.
Ion is the third and final electroacoustic work in a triptych of pieces composed specifically for performance on NAISA’s spit~ live performance sound diffusion system. “Nexus” was the first piece in this series, composed for and performed on Toronto Island during the Sound Travels Festival 2008. I was then asked to compose a work for the SOUNDplay Festival in October 2008 presented live at the Theatre Centre in Toronto. Ion was composed for a NAISA Artist’s Soirée of works presented by the Toronto composer’s collective AngelusNovus.net, one of a number of performances that christened NAISA’s new studio space in the Artscape Wychwood Barns building, performed in May 2009. Ion is the most spatially virtuosic work of the three.
All three works are linked by their similar use of the same performance instrument for diffusion and are symbiotically linked by common referential musical material, refashioned and reworked, re-orchestrated and processed to meet the individual creative needs of each work.
Ion is a complex and abstract multi-layered sonic statement, very much ‘orchestral’ electroacoustic music, as opposed to ‘chamber’ or ‘solo’ EA, the work is built up of large multi-layered intricate textures, an extensive sonic palate drawn from a number of sources, with very sweeping thematic gestures.
Jason Stanford (b.1976), Toronto-based composer of instrumental and electroacoustic music has written works for all manner of forces from solo and chamber music to a number of works for symphony orchestra. His recent compositional activities involve composing sound in space and 3D surround multi-channel live performance spatilization. The realization of Jason’s three most recent EA works were a direct result of the support and facilities provided by NAISA. His burgeoning research interests concern physical computing, in particular alternate control surfaces for live performance. At present, he is working on compositional projects that will focus on combining these interests together with the seamless integration of acoustic instruments and electroacoustic sound diffusion, and with live digital video projection.