Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium 2017
Abstracts and Biographies
All morning sessions are held in the Michael J. Baker Studio (#314). Sessions and concerts in the afternoon and evening take place next door in the Balmer Studio (#315).
Installations can be visited at the CMC (Wed–Thurs 09:00–17:00 and Fri 13:00–17:00) and in the Distillery District. See the schedule for individual installation information.
Day 2 — Thursday 10 August
09:00–10:30 • Paper Session #1: New Directions in Audiovisual
Venue: Michael J. Baker Studio
Gamified Audiovisual Performance and Performance Practice
Questions, methodologies and results from the first year of an artistic research project called Gamified Audiovisual Performance and Performance Practice (GAPPP). In a nutshell, our goal is to investigate over a three-year period (starting in 2016) what æsthetic effects the use of elements from computer games can yield in the context of experimental audiovisual compositions.
This artistic research project starts out with the assumption that player interactions and game strategies offer yet unexplored models that can be applied in live audiovisual works. The goal is to develop a thorough understanding of the potential of game-based elements in performative experimental audiovisual works. The research is carried out from three perspectives, namely that of the audiovisual composer, the performer and the audience. A large number of questions have been identified that will serve as a methodological framework and points of reflection and evaluation during the process. They are grouped in six distinct pools that relate in different ways to the three perspectives.
For our investigation, we commission audiovisual composers to write new works specifically for this research project. Subsequently the works are rehearsed and investigated during concentrated working periods. At the end of those working periods the works are performed with a “test” audience that gives us feedback on how they experienced the pieces by filling in questionnaires. In addition, interviews are conducted with composers, performers and audience members. This project is funded by the Austrian-Science-Fund as AR 364-G24.
Marko Ciciliani is a composer, performer, researcher and audiovisual artist based in Austria. The focus of his work lies in the composition of performative electronic music, mostly in audiovisual contexts. His music has been performed in more than 35 countries across Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Ciciliani is full Professor for Computer Music Composition at the Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. His primary fields of research are audiovisuality and performance practice of electronic music. Ciciliani received numerous project residencies at STEIM (Amsterdam), ESS (Chicago), ICST (Zürich), Mittersill (Austria) and ZKM (Karlsruhe). In 2009 he was recipient of the prestigious Villa Aurora Stipend, a three-month artist residency in Los Angeles. In 2015 Ciciliani was granted funding for a three-year artistic research project titled “GAPPP — Gamified Audiovisual Performance and Performance Practice.”
Audiostereoscopy: New directions in 3D audiovisual composition
This paper aims to present new directions in audiovisual composition, live audiovisual performance and installation through the hybridization of stereoscopic video (commonly known as 3D cinema) and electroacoustics. Michel Chion described synchresis in 1998 as a “soudure irrésistible et spontanée qui se produit entre un phénomène sonore et un phénomène visuel ponctuel lorsque ceux-ci tombent en même temps.” Stereoscopy finds many other correlates in EA as both mediums have a strong focus on the notions of texture, relief and dynamics. While space has been an important aspect of electroacoustic research in recent years, stereoscopy, and the possible connections between sound and perceived visual space has not really been exploited, as Harold A. Layer wrote in 1971:
Both sound and visual artists have explored the expressive potential of this sound and light spectrum — and even beyond to sub-sonic and ultrasonic sounds, infrared and ultraviolet light — but, unlike the sound artist, the visual artist has ignored the composite cortex image derived from the binocular images of the world that he always sees. He is working today almost completely within the limitations of planar photography and painting, media whose display is no more revealing to humans than it is to a species of cyclopes.
Through a series of examples I present different aspects of my past research and artistic creations in stereoscopic audiovisual composition and performance.
Maxime Corbeil-Perron is an award-winning composer and moving-image artist whose work has been noticed by many international competitions and events. His work has been qualified as “pushing the boundaries of abstraction” (Silence and Sound) and “defies any explanation and labeling” (La Folia, UK). He graduated with highest honours from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, where he studied electroacoustic composition. He started a doctoral degree at the Université de Montréal in fall of 2015. His work has been supported by the CCA and the CALQ.
Quipucamayoc: A Translocal interactive digital video and audio performance
Quipucamayoc is a translocal, interactive digital video and audio performance that merges a range of contemporary art forms — including gaming platforms, electroacoustic music, dance, experimental theatre and wearables design — to construct a new audiovisual communication network that is not based in text or language but is embodied, performative, gestural, sensorial. The network is engaged and activated through body sensor arrays, serving simultaneously as 3D game environment/avatar controllers and musical instruments, worn by eight movement artists to co-create live interactive generative narratives, visuals and music. Funded by a SSHRC Research and Creation Grant, Quipucamayoc has been developed and built over the past 4 years by a team of over 35 artists, designers, historians, theorists and coders in Peru, Argentina and Canada.
The co-located network, joining Cusco (Peru) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) is designed to reflect the centuries of interactions between these two cities. The literary and metaphoric aspects of the performance are inspired by the Huarochiri Manuscript, a 16th-century compilation of pre-Colombian Andean religious rites, oral traditions written down in Quechuan. The manuscript offers a complex, non-linear narrative structure as well as rich visual and sound passages to the framing of Quipucamayoc.
Project director David McIntosh and wearables designer Boris Kourtoukov focus on the development and implementation of the electroacoustic component of Quipucamayoc, including: the design, build and testing of wearable sensors for dancers, including arrays of pressure-sensitive, gyroscope and touch-triggered signals; communication systems between wearable sensor signals and digital sound databases, local and networked; scoring of 12 different scenes, with a total of 9 different tracks per scene, in conjunction with each scene’s thematic; and deconstruction of the score to assign component elements to specific wearables for subsequent reconstitution in generative forms by movement artists’ gestures. We will make a live demonstration of the sensors and the generative sound works.
David McIntosh is a digital media artist and professor at OCADU, where he is Co-Director of SMAClab. He works regularly in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, addressing research and creation matters, including globalization and the political economies of audiovisual spaces, network theories and practices, new media narrativity, mobile locative media, Latin American media, and Latin American music and dance. He has worked on a number of media works in various guises, acting as producer for the feature documentary on photographer Tina Modotti in Tina in Mexico (2002), as screenwriter for the feature drama Stryker (2001), and as director for Qosqo Llika (2010), a distributed mobile locative media experience in Cusco, Peru, as well as for Quipucamayoc (2013–17), a 3D interactive, translocal audiovisual performance.
Boris Kourtoukov is an artist and wearable technology designer based in Toronto. His focus is on creating simple, tangible experiences that develop and redefine themselves through repeated interaction. In addition to his work on Quipucamayoc, Boris also contributed to the Monarch and Cardinal projects as part of the Social Body lab at OCADU. He is one of the first graduates of OCADU’s Digital Futures programme.
10:45–12:15 • Paper Session #2: Geomapping
Venue: Michael J. Baker Studio
Sub Ambient Sound Lab
“Sub ambient sound” refers to sounds discovered through excavation. Through contact with environmental and object surfaces, these excavations reveal sounds from below the surface of the ambient soundscape. In both built and natural environments what may appear to the eye as inanimate is in fact capable of resonance and a sub ambient sonic life; an existence only revealed to the listener who mines for it. The Sub Ambient Sound Lab workshop invited the public to build their own listening devices, explore local places and mine for sub ambient sounds. The handmade listening devices made in the first part of the workshop incorporated piezo discs, which are easily hacked from everyday objects. The second part of the workshop involved participants exploring their local environments with the listening device; this became a method of knowing and mapping a place and its matter.
The Sub Ambient Sound Lab builds on the experiments of John Cage and Nicholas Collins, Fluxus modes of thinking, the philosophies of DIY hacker culture and Malcolm McCullough’s Ambient Commons: Attention in the age of embodied information. Early findings include promising outcomes for creating direct experiences to inform sonic knowing, extractions of captivating sound textures and challenges ahead for the project because of the ease in which the direct experience informed representational interpretations and a multitude of discursive meanings.
Jenn Karson is a sound artist and interactive designer and educator. She creates both indoor and outdoor installations for urban and rural places and exhibits in both galleries and non-traditional places of display. She has performed on stage, in bars, basements, garages and even at the drive-in. Trained as a Classical singer and musician, she transitioned into sound work after releasing four original sound recordings with the alternative pop bands Zola Turn and Bad Ju Ju. She received an MFA in Design and Technology from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in Political and Environmental Sciences from the University of Vermont. In 2011, she co-founded Vermont Makers, a collective that produces collaborative design programmes and Maker Faires in Vermont. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Art of the University of Vermont (UVM) and oversees FabLab, the rapid-prototyping lab in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.
Southern Soundscapes: Ecological sound art responses to two South Australian ecosystems
An emerging ecological discipline, soundscape ecology has already had a significant impact on the methods by which ecosystems might be engaged, analyzed and understood. Considering sounds as proxies for ecological activities, whether of biological agents or abiotic environmental processes, the innovative field of research has introduced new approaches of non-invasive, long-term analysis. Analyzing soundscapes through acoustic parameters including frequency, temporal relationships, amplitude, spatial diffusion and gradients, and sonic interactions, soundscape ecology provides an effective framework in which environmental (acoustic) data may be garnered and subsequently utilized in creative contexts. In the case of music and sound art, these data types can relate to pitch/timbre, temporal/rhythmic patterns and cycles, volume/dynamics, sound spatialization/performance layout, and texture/counterpoint respectively. As such, a creative framework-in-development has been proposed, intended to connect soundscape ecology with musical and sound art practice in order to produce effective compositional responses to specific places, their ecosystems and soundscapes.
Two works responding to specific South Australian ecosystems will be used to explore the implementation of this creative framework. Long Island, responding to the eponymous island bisecting the Murray River at Murray Bridge, utilizes real-world legislative controls on motorboat activity as a compositional device, comparing terrestrial and aquatic soundscapes as impacted by anthropogenic activities. By contrast, Farina responds to the 140-year history of a notable desert ghost town in the far north of South Australia. Moving from the initial European settlement and rapid multicultural population increase to its gradual decline throughout the twentieth century (and recent surges in volunteer revitalization efforts), the work uses town surveying referents to inform the spatialized octophonic setup, and historical and sociological research to inform the reconstructed soundscape response.
Jesse Budel is a South Australian composer-performer, sound artist and curator. Previously graduating from Elder Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours), his current PhD research at the same institution is focussed on adapting the innovative field of soundscape ecology to compositional process, in order to produce creative works responding to engagement with specific places, and related ecosystems and soundscapes. His works are often for diverse media and settings, having previously been performed by the Australian String Quartet and Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra, and with installations featured in regional and metropolitan South Australia. In 2017, Jesse is undertaking extensive professional development travels of the US and Canada in his research area of ecological music and sound art, supported by a Carclew Fellowship (assisted by the South Australian Government), Helpmann Academy Grant, and Rural City of Murray Bridge Small Wins Grant.
Distant Places in Sound: Accidental sonorities of Libya’s Kufra District
Building on recent work investigating practices of sound mapping and sonic geography, this presentation will use an oddity in the sound-sharing platform Freesound as a point of departure for asking after ideas of place and distance as they are negotiated via online sound practices. Through an obscure default setting in the platform interface, Freesound’s global sound map includes 70+ audio files tagged one on top of the other in a remote region of the Kufra District in the Libyan Desert. The sounds range from synthesizer drones to seaside field recordings to coffee pot sound effects to spoken word radio excerpts — none of which bear any obvious connection to the location where they appear on the map. Rather than dismissing this accidental audio collection as merely an inaccurate representation of the location, my goal in this presentation is to show how it raises important issues around how to approach the relationships between sound, cartography and place. For instance, what are the norms and assumptions of communicating place through sound maps? When shared audio files are tagged to maps, how do they participate not just in documenting but also in “performing” the places they ostensibly represent, and what does this mean for remote locations? How might a point in the Kufra District come into a particular digital-sonorous being through an interfacial accident? My contention is that the oddity in question, while problematic, also offers a critical opening for investigating the processes that go into producing sonic representations and understandings of place and distance in a hyper-connected world. A current artistic project, in which the author is developing ways of producing generative soundscapes from the accidental Kufra audio collection, will be presented.
Samuel Thulin is a researcher and artist working at the intersection of mobility research, communication and media studies, and sound studies. He holds a PhD in Communication Studies from Concordia University and recently completed a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University. His practices of research and making investigate how relationships to place, space and location are entangled with multiple (im)mobilities and with developments in mobile communication technology. In his publications and sound-based artworks he has explored mobile listening and mobile production, the confluences of cartography and auditory culture, locative media and contested senses of place, the situatedness of mobile practices, and creative and emergent methodologies.
14:00–15:15 • Keynote Lecture
Venue: Ernest Balmer Studio
To Interpret the World
To stage, to play, to live an experience are the strategies that I use to make sound design a sensory contact art. My work includes a participatory dimension that, according to the different projects, takes the shape of an immersive experience or an active collaboration in the creative process. My most recent projects deal with the question of perception of time. An emphasis will be put on 86400 Seconds — Time Zones (2015), in which more than 130 people recite in 30 different languages the number of seconds in one day (86400) at the rate of one number every second.
Chantal Dumas uses sound to explore new possibilities for narration. Since 1993 she has been conceiving and producing works for radio as a freelance writer. Her “stories” have been heard on public radio and at festivals in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. She is also active in musical improvisation. She has played with writer-performer Geneviève Letarte, Danielle Palardy Roger, the grand orchestre d’Avatar and Vancouver’s The View. Dumas has received a number of grants and received awards for her 1997 collection of sound novellas Le parfum des femmes and her 2001 “radio roadmovie” Le petit homme dans l’oreille. Her most recent work, Dans la pâleur des jours gris, was broadcast by SFB (Berlin).
Day 3 — Friday 11 August
09:00–10:30 • Paper Session #3: Signalling Probabilities
Venue: Michael J. Baker Studio
Combinatorics, Probabilities and Personal Big-Data in the Sound Installation “P(N,R) = N!/(N-R)!”
P(N,R) = N!/(N-R)! is an individual scale, evolving sound installation that Philippe-Aubert Gauthier and Tanya St-Pierre initiated in 2015 using headphones and minicomputers. The title literally means “the number of permutations for N possible choices selected R at a time.” Through this miniature sound installation using six monophonic headphones, we revisited the idea and culture of the individual listening station. In fact, we expose listeners to approximately 10 GB of compositions and improvised sounds, totalling 20 hours of uncensored and unedited material improvised in tandem via various electronic and digital devices grouped in a hardware modular synthesis cluster. Accordingly, the presentation mode of this work reaches Classical references in combinatorics and probabilities within music and arts. However, it also reflects current trends in big data and personal data accumulation through lifetime.
What would a personal collection of all our sound recordings and creations consist of? From draft to finished products? How much time it would take to listen to all the sounds stored on your composer’s 1 TB drive? How long it would take to listen to all possible combinations of these files? This talk will explore these historical and referential connections with combinatorics in music and will contextualize them in the digital age of big data, data accumulation and individual data. Based on various multidisciplinary references from mathematics and statistics, literature with Borges’ The Library of Babel, computer sciences, computer art with Abraham Moles’ Art et ordinateur, the talk will explore the current meaning and future openings of this evolving pieces.
Philippe-Aubert Gauthier is a self-taught sound artist, a PhD in acoustics and a researcher in acoustics, specifically in spatial sound and sound environment reproduction (Université de Sherbrooke). Gauthier has created more than 40 art pieces and published more than 50 scientific communications. His work has been presented in Canada, USA, Mexico, United Kingdom and Europe.
Tanya St-Pierre is a graduate in visual arts from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada. Her works have been supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and have been shown in diverse contexts in Canada, United States, Mexico, Morocco and in the United Kingdom.
Signal and Message
By drawing a parallel between Chomsky’s generative grammar and the technology of mass communication, I postulate that to free ourselves of technology’s structural limitations, we must embrace a new poetry that operates outside its grammar. By taking advantage of unstable atmospheric propagation and a simplified electrical design, a series of radios will be presented which function as “technological poetry” by serendipitously re-narrating multiple broadcast messages to create an audio experience of conflicting political and cultural currents.
Chris Dunnett is an artist based in Corner Brook, NL. He holds a BFA from NSCAD University (2009), MSc from the University of Toronto (1998) and a BSc from the University of New Brunswick (1997). Chris has spent the past decade working in non-profit arts organizations, as a professional printmaker and as an educator. His prints, digital manipulations and electronic art investigate meaning in a technological age.
Live Spatial Texture Composition
The live computer music work Spheroid, composed by the author in 2016–17, employs a form of bespoke algorithmic sequencing for real-time improvisation of spatial texture. The title, on one hand, refers to the technical procedure of working around an irregular, self-aware loop, which processes both itself and the performance input, making itself part of the creative process, as an interaction with, and extension of, the performer. But the work is also intended to evoke a speculative sphere of interaction between human, nature and technology. Spheroid can be understood as an example of textural topology — a preconceived elastic edifice of structure which can result in an infinite variety of singular manifestations of a form unique to each performance. Finally, notions of life and morphogenesis, as well as distinctions between the natural and the artificial are reflected upon in a discussion of causation and ontology in sound incorporating thoughts from post-human discourse.
Erik Nyström is a Swedish composer based in the UK whose output includes live computer music, electroacoustic works and sound installations. The majority of his works are created for multi-channel formats and currently utilize real-time interactive composition and performance systems. Among the recurring interests in his practice are topology and spatial deformations, texture perception, entropic processes, and visual and physical listening experiences. He is currently a Leverhulme Research Fellow at BEAST (Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre) at the University of Birmingham, working on an artistic and technological research project about real-time spatial texture synthesis processes and algorithms. He studied computer music at CCMIX (Paris) and electroacoustic composition at City University (London) with Denis Smalley. His music is performed worldwide and has been released on the disc Morphogenèse by empreintes DIGITALes.
10:45–12:15 • Paper Session #4: Ethics in EA
Venue: Michael J. Baker Studio
TransCoding: From “highbrow” art to participatory culture
TransCoding is an arts-based research project conceived and led by artist and researcher Barbara Lüneburg that deals with participatory culture via social media and tackles the topic of identity in the context of artistic practice. It was carried out by a small, international team from early 2014 to February 2017. The project encouraged participation and shared discourse in the new arts by actively involving an audience in the making of an artwork. We offered participatory culture, linking people coming from popular culture and professional multimedia artists through calls for entries conducted via our social media hub. The purpose of TransCoding was to encourage participation in art and generate new audiences in Classical contemporary music and art by initiating an online community that picked up on the theme of “identity” in an artistic, social and interactive way. Our main target group was an Internet-literate young audience who were interested in creatively expressing themselves, came from popular culture and wouldn’t necessarily otherwise attend Classical contemporary multimedia performances. Our main topic of interest was the question of how to involve this audience into our artwork, and how to create a link between the world of young people coming from popular culture and that of internationally working multimedia artists, thus making “highbrow” art more accessible. Our central social media and content base was the what-if blog. By offering participatory culture via web 2.0 as part of our arts project we invited participants to speak out, share in the discourse and influence two major arts projects. The (commonly hierarchical) relationship of artist and community was defined as one of permeability and mutual influence.
TransCoding was supported by the Austrian Science Fund and was undertaken at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Austria).
Barbara Lüneburg is a performing artist of international reputation in the fields of contemporary music, violin, viola and multimedia. She has had appearances at festivals and concert series across Europe, the USA, Asia and New Zealand. She holds a professorship for Ensemble and Digital Performance at the Musikhochschule Trossingen (Germany) and works as a senior researcher at the Kunstuniversität Graz. Lüneburg’s arts-based research focusses on the creative potential of performance practice in new music with an emphasis on collaboration, creativity, performer-audience relations and charisma. She explores theories from media sciences, music sociology, psychology and creativity research for their uses in arts practise. In her artistic research project “TransCoding — From ‘highbrow art’ to participatory culture” she investigates participatory art and its potential to engage a young audience via social media in the new arts by involving them in the creation of the multimedia show Slices of Life.
Ethics in Contemporary Electroacoustic Music and Its Instruction
Aesthetics manifest ethics wherever people in power teach the latter. Do those of us in academically and governmentally supported positions critique the ethics we project to our students in the name of aesthetic good? If so, what guidelines should we adopt for ourselves as purveyors of one of the world’s most institutionally empowered art forms? I intend to problematize the inherited culture of contemporary electroacoustic music, focussing on problems of social dominance (prestige and the concentration of space and resources), accessibility (both physical — of concert venues — and cultural — of discourse, jargon and audience demographics), representation and appropriation (of human and animal utterances), and compensation. From the use of students as “captive beta testers” for academic software projects to the delegitimization of vernacular forms of musical expression (i.e. most music involving dance rhythms), electroacoustic music and the culture that surrounds it have accomplished obvious feats of exploitation and socioeconomic division. But in the cultivation of environmental perception and awareness of the patterns within our acoustic spaces, electroacoustic music has likewise done widely recognized good work.
By analyzing electronic sound makers’ ethical challenges, I intend to show how ethics-based decision-making within the creative process constitutes a comprehensive guide to the practice of creating electronic sound. I begin with the goal of “firstly doing no harm” and progress to an evaluation of some potential consequences and duties of electroacoustic sound-making within the culture that TIES represents. Ultimately, I intend to thoroughly derogate the myth that art does intrinsic good and defend the position that ethics, not æsthetics, constitute the only value system worth projecting from teacher to student.
Matt Horrigan grew up in Ottawa and lives in Vancouver. He writes music, scripts and poetry (recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly, Infinity’s Kitchen and The Curious Element Magazine), bios of himself and (fake(ish)) sermons, while paying lots of attention to insects. He also designs theatre sound, plays in rock bands (currently as the drummer for singer/songwriter Harley Small), performs with the Constrained Creation art collecTive (Co.Crea.Tive — clever, right?), co-founded the show re:composition on CFRO 100.5 FM Co-op Radio and holds two degrees: a BMus in Composition from McGill and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from SFU. His music has accompanied works by MAYCE dance and Marc Arboleda. Two of his compositions, Kyrie (for voice and electronics) and In the Minimal Senses (for quad loudspeakers) won prizes at the 2016 SOCAN Foundation Young Composer Awards.
11:45–12:15 • In Memoriam David Keane
Venue: Michael J. Baker Studio
Episodes in a Life: Reflections on some aspects of David Keane’s contribution to EA in Canada
David Keane, composer and one of the early pioneers in the promotion of electroacoustics (EA) in Canada in the 1970s, dies on 20 June 2017. While active in EA in the 1970s and 1980s, David continued to compose and was an active advocate for a broad condition for EA, which he accomplished through his international liaison activities and notably through his continued devotion to the centrality of education. In this brief commentary on the subject of community, activity, support, involvement and education, I will reflect upon the times and circumstances of David’s vigorous support for the development of national and international engagement and commitment to the general well-being of EA.
Kevin Austin is a Montréal-based composer, educator and observer of the discipline. Having worked in almost all areas of EA at various times over his almost five decades in the field, while his memory for fact is clearly failing, he tells good stories. With Jean-François Denis, he is a legal founding member of the CEC, which he wrote the Charter and Bylaws for in the early 1980s. Teaching at Concordia University in Montréal for some 47 years, he has taught in almost all areas of music (except performance) and EA, having written a great amount of teaching materials for EA, music theory and ear training. His most recent compositions have been mixed pieces for Chinese instruments and EA resources.
14:00–15:15 • Soundscape Forum with Chantal Dumas
Venue: Michael Baker Studio
The offer in sound art was never so generous and varied as at present. Artists deploy ingenuity and strategies to create works that come in many varied forms, such as listening devices, parcours, walks or fixed compositions, as well as installation works (with or without image) derived from sonification. The “soundscape” occupies an important place at the heart of these works. This forum aims to consider the position and place of the soundscape in the imagination of sound artists, composers and curators. What do they want to express? Is the soundscape the subject of the works or is it a representation of other things?
Day 4 — Saturday 13 August
09:00–10:00 • Lecture-Recital #1
Venue: Michael J. Baker Studio
“Regrowing” and “Resounding Cities”
Much of my previous work and studies have related to the soundscape of urban areas past and present, and how soundscapes of a place can help measure the life and veracity of a place, typically within city limits. My work in 2014 through 2016 on Regrowing Cities was on the effects of urban agriculture on the urban soundscape, through a historical, cultural and personal perspective. I will be presenting a soundscape/experimental result of the work and will talk about its research and installation in Baltimore City, Maryland. I will also talk about Resoundings, a new long-term research and creative project on which I have recently started the research and recording phase. This project investigates the effect of the soundscape and resonance of our public spaces on our political lives and, inversely, the effect of our political lives on the soundscape of our public spaces. I will play excerpts of some of the raw recordings and talk about transitioning between these two projects that examine different elements of the urban soundscape.
Elsa Lankford is an Associate Professor in the Electronic Media and Film department at Towson University near Baltimore, Maryland. She is an interdisciplinary artist whose primary media is sound. Most of her creative work involves cities and inclusiveness. In addition to teaching audio production and sound creation, she is the festival director of WAMMFest (Women and Minorities in Media Festival), an international short film and media festival.
10:15–12:15 • Paper Session #5: Installations
Venue: Michael J. Baker Studio
Musebots: Collaborative composition with creative systems
Musebots are pieces of software that autonomously create music, collaboratively with other musebots. The aim of the Musebot project is to establish a playful and experimental platform for research, education and making that will stimulate interest and advance innovation in musical metacreation (MuMe). Above all, the Musebot project is a collaborative, creative experiment: we invite others in the generative music community to join us in making autonomous software agents that work together to make original music. These software agents run either on a single computer or a network of computers, creating music together in a “musebot ensemble” for a public audience.
There has been a lot of research in MuMe systems, and the results are impressive. But a lot of the creative work is in standalone systems that compose or perform live with human improvisers. This is a daunting task and the results can be opaque. It is hard for people to share their ideas or their code, or work out ways that their systems might be incorporated into creative workflows. Musebots, by contrast, are small modular units that are designed to be shared and studied by others. By making collaboration central, the Musebot project forces us to be transparent in how our systems work.
Musebot ensembles have performed in western Canada, United States, Australia, Italy, Germany and Portugal. This presentation will describe previous international musebot installations and ensembles, as well as the author’s latest creative research into musebots, with the goal of reaching out to the Canadian EA community and engaging new participants.
Arne Eigenfeldt is a composer of live electroacoustic music and a researcher into intelligent generative music systems. His music has been performed around the world and his collaborations range from Persian Tar masters to contemporary dance companies to musical robots. He is a co-director of Metacreation Lab at Simon Fraser University, where he is a Professor of Music and Technology.
Organizing for Emergence: Sonification as a co-creative device
This paper offers a creative research practice that contextualizes the use of computer vision and data sonification as a process of emergence. Drawing on Jane Bennett’s theoretically position of “thing-power”, Erin Manning and Brian Massumi’s philosophical notion of “organized emergence” and Timothy Morton’s Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence, I propose a series of thinking-in-the-making moves that considers the data body as a performative apparatus. To support my discussion, I critique two new non-linear audiovisual installations, Cathedral (2017) and Piano at the End of a Poisoned Stream (2017). These works emerge from field recordings in the Sequoia National Park and the Salton Sea, respectively. Through the use of computer vision and data sonification, these works explore material agency as a co-creative device in a non-linear and dynamic æsthetic.
Teresa Connors is active as an acoustic and electroacoustic composer, opera singer, film scorer and multimedia installation artist. Her creative works have received awards and support from the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council and Bravo Fact, and have been presented at international conferences, film festivals and galleries. She has recently completed a practice-based creative PhD at Waikato University in New Zealand that developed non-linear techniques for audiovisual installations and will continue this research as the 2017–18 postdoctoral research fellow with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
11:15–12:15 • Installation Tour
Venues: Michael J. Baker Studio and the lobby of the Case Goods building
Arne Eigenfeldt and Simon Lysander Overstall — Moments (2016), a continuous generative audio installation for musebots
Teresa Connors — Cathedral (2017)
14:00–15:00 • Lecture-Recital #2
Venue: Ernest Balmer Studio
Interactive Acousmatic Music: A Web application-based solution
Jean-François Primeau practises composition in the fields of electronic and electroacoustic music, music for the screen, sound art, sound design and installation. He studied music composition at Université de Montréal in Canada and at De Montfort University in England. He completed a master’s degree in composition and sonic creation at Université de Montréal in the summer of 2017. His current interests include technological approaches to composition, algorithmic systems and immersive media, as well as modes of interactivity in the arts.