Friday – March 6, 2020 – Papers – 10am-12:00pm – Studio A, Wood Hall

Papers – 10am-12:00pm – Studio A, Wood Hall – 20+10 for questions

  • Jason Palamara – Destructive and Inventive Instrument Development with IUPUI’s DISEnsemble
  • Daniel McKemie – Tape Delay Feedback in the Web Browser
  • Fabio Fabbri – Techniques and terminology for the analysis of electroacoustic music and more
  • Jared Bradley Tubbs – Unifying Sonification: Comparing and Codifying Standards of Sonification between Scientific and Artistic Communities


Destructive and Inventive Instrument Development with IUPUI’s DISEnsemble

Jason Palamara, primary author.
Elaine Cooney, secondary author.

Jason Palamara, paper presenter.

This paper describes the recently developed Destructive and Inventive Systems Ensemble at IUPUI, an undergraduate performance group that challenges students to learn live ensemble performance, while simultaneously experimenting with instrument design via electrical engineering and hardware hacking. For the past four semesters this fledgling student group has presented a number of concerts and workshops, and developed a number of novel instruments including “hacks” of existing instruments and devices, such as: The Apocalypse Piano, a new method of preparing the piano with bare speakers and electric shock probes; The Scan-Melodion, a Theremin-like instrument which takes advantage of the unintentional RF interference created by document scanners and; a percussion orchestra (Trashchestra) consisting of glass, plastic containers, parts from a non-functioning printer, and a large number of broken headphones. DISEnsemble’s other focus, Invention, involves exposing the students to the Arduino programming language, as a method for interfacing with simple sensing devices such as flex and light sensors. The aim here is to build instruments that generate noises that can be controlled with four fundamental parameters of music, pitch, volume, duration, and timbre. Once instruments have been created, the DISEnsemble turns to musical performance, commissioning scores from living composers or students which can be performed by novel instruments. The DISEnsemble performs at least once per semester, giving the students the experience performing in groups and making music with novel instruments. 

Jason Palamara is a technologist, composer, performer, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He specializes in the development of AI music software and the creation of new music for dance. He is the founder and director of IUPUI’s DISEnsemble (Destructive/Inventive Systems Ensemble – an ensemble devoted to the performance and study of hardware hacking, circuit bending, and other destructive forms of music-making). His latest album, [bornwith 2brains] is available on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, CDBaby and anywhere else one might look for new music. He regularly performs and composes music for modern dance as a solo artist and maintains long term creative partnerships with electroacoustic musician Justin Comer (under the name JCϟjp) and percussionist-composer Scott Deal.


Tape Delay Feedback in the Web Browser

Daniel McKemie

Pauline Oliveros’ Tape Delay Feedback System proved to be an important development in live/performative electronic music when it was first introduced in the early 1960s.  Having written about the structures and realizations of the system extensively in her article, Tape Delay Techniques for Electronic Music Composers, the system saw many variations throughout the remaining decade.  With the setup functioning as an interactive live electronic music performance system, early recordings with it explored heterodyning phenomena using two superaudio oscillators combined with both each other and with the bias frequencies of the tape machines.  The controlling of feedback levels through line amplifiers allowed for complex sonic environments to emerge and unfold in real-time. Later recordings would see other input devices being introduced such as modular synthesizers, record players, and voice.

Daniel McKemie (né Steffey) is an electronic musician, percussionist, and composer based in New York City. Currently, he is focusing on technology that seeks to utilize the internet and browser technology to realize a more accessible platform for multimedia art. He is also researching and developing new ways to interface modular synthesizers to software and vice versa. This recent work has allowed for complex, interactive performance environments to emerge, in which the software generates compositional processes and actions in the form of control voltage generation sent to the synthesizer, and conversely can analyze control voltage signals from the synthesizer to determine future activity.


Techniques and terminology for the analysis of electroacoustic music and more.

Fabio Fabbri, Author.

The author will illustrate how to analyze an electro-acoustic piece, in total conviction that techniques and terminology involved in the analysis of electroacoustic music can be applied to any type of music. First of all we will focus on the meaning of the word “Analysis”, to then consider together the various stages in which it is articulated, starting from the historical and aesthetic framework, aimed at the production of a synthetic and introductory outline of the artistic work under analysis and to the collection of the first information really useful for the understanding of the same. Then we will consider the aims and methods of construction of a score of the sound text (be it symphony, opera, sonata, fugue, acousmatic or ensemble and live electronics) and the operative procedures to be implemented in the process of score realization: description of the sound objects (working at this stage on a structural level with inevitable references to the peculiar and profitable elements of Pierre Schaeffer’s typomorphology), their behavior (gesture-texture relationship with appropriate references to Dennis Smalley’s spectromorphology), the links between the sound sources (source bonding and relative surrogation orders), spatialization of the piece (characteristic paths of sound objects that are particularly important during the work, with particular reference to movements in real space). The fundamental steps of the actual analysis will be concretely considered, aimed at gathering the results of the previous processes (historical and aesthetic framing and realization of a score of the sound text): significant considerations on the descriptive elements of the work (identification of the real and proper “Protagonists”) and on the behavior of the related sound objects as well as on the range of the soundscape; technical-compositional framework, without precluding the possibility of reconstructing some sound elements through their theoretical and software knowledge. Before arriving at the conclusions (indispensable for profound reflections on the objective and subjective meaning of the work, on the teachings which the analyst might have benefited from, and on the elements found in the analysis which could constitute the latter source of inspiration for the design of a compositional and non-compositional work) further types of listening (analytical-historicized and visual) will be taken into consideration, correlated to a summary macro-score and to the observation of sonograms aimed at detecting confirmations and/or possible discrepancies between graphical analysis and auditory perception. Finally, the work will be placed in Emmerson’s Grid, according to the principles of “Discours” (or “Analytical attention”) and “Syntax” (or “Organization of the material”). The presentation will be accompanied by a hypertextual glossary of the technical terms used therein.

Fabio Fabbri gained second level academic qualification cum laude with highest marks and mention of honor at Conservatorio “G.Puccini” in La Spezia, Italy with Paola Lenzi and Luca Primo Marzana and achieving, firstly in private tuition with Giuseppe Riotti and secondly with Piero Andreoli and Elia Savino at Conservatorio “N. Paganini “ in Genoa, Ercole Ceretta at the Scuola Internazionale di Alto Perfezionamento in Saluzzo as well as with Fred Mills at the Hodgson School in Athens (Atlanta) his personal formation.
He has won several international contests for music interpretation: First Prize and Special Prize “Best performer in Twentieth-Century Music” at the Second International Contest for Young Talents “ Città di Rivarolo Canavese”, First Prize at the Second International contest “Johannes Brahms”, First Prize at the Sixth International Contest “Città di Casarza Ligure”, Second Prize (First Prize not assigned) at the Second International Contest “ Alice Bel Colle”, Special Prize “Giovani Musici del Tigullio 2005”, Special Prize “Sanremo in Campus 2006”, finalist at the Premio Nazionale Delle Arti 2006; qualified at the APM in Saluzzo in collaboration with the OSN of the RAI of Torino; qualification for the Uto Ughi Orchestra for Rome.
He has collaborated with outstanding artists and soloists as Paolo Villaggio, Daniele Luttazzi, José Saramago, Carlo Chiarappa, Rocco Parisi, Candida Felici, Natalia Lomeiko, Franco Maggio Ormezowsky, Mariusz Patyra, Ruggiero Ricci, Marlon Titre, Cesare Marchini, Gianni Coscia, Gianluigi Trovesi, and has performed solo at the Carlo Felice Theatre in Genova, with compositions by Tiomkin and Rota. He has recorded for Max Manfredi, Stradivarius, Audioglobe and Sheva Collections with compositions by Javier Torres and Fabio Gremo . He has performed professionally, also as a soloist, with: Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia, Orchestra Sinfonica del Piemonte, Orchestra da Camera del “Vivaldi” di Alessandria, Choir and Orchestra del Piemonte Orientale, Orchestra Giovanile Spazio Musica, Cycnus Opera Festival, Teatro dell’ Archivolto, Teatro Scalzo, Inconsueto Popolare, under outstanding conductors, among which Peter Maag, Karl Martin, Piero Bellugi, Marco Guidarini, Lorraine Vaillancourt, Paolo Ferrara, Aldo Faldi. He has taken part in the Concert Season of Milano Musica 2006 with the world-renowned Dynamis Ensemble, and in collaboration with Teatro alla Scala of Milano. He realized an installation with the audiovisual project “Inscape” for the Florence “Festival della creatività 2008”. He has broadened his competences in Music Therapy with Dr. Annamaria Gheltrito, in Jazz Music with M° Luigi Bonafede as well as in Electronic Music, achieving with the highest marks the cum laude Diploma Ordinamentale at the Conservatorio “A. Vivaldi” di Alessandria under the guidance of Annamaria Federici, Giuliano Palmieri, Pasquale Spiniello, Javier Torres. He continues his studies in composition with Fabrizio Fanticini and performs duo concerts with Wiktor Brzuchacz, Monica Pons y Barreras and Guido Ferrari. He works also with la Casa del Suono of Parma and Ischia Musica in the analytic field of electroacoustic music, as well as at the Autonomous University of Madrid. His works have been executed at the Festivals Intorno al ‘900, Nuovi orizzonti sonori, New York Electroacoustic Music Festival 2018, Barcelona Zeppelin 2018, Leicester Convergence 2019, Barcelona Flexus Project 2019, NACUSA Mid-South composers concert at the University of North Georgia, Monterrey Ecos urbanos Festival de arte sonoro y transmedia 2019, University of Tennessee Contemporary Music Festival/SCI Region IV, Missouri Experimental Sonic Arts 2020.
He has recently recorded the soundtracks of the film “Tutti i rumori del mare” and of the Sit-com “Impazienti” broadcast on the Italian second TV channel Raidue. He is currently the responsible for the Liceo Musicale Statale Sandro Pertini di Genova, and is also coordinating the Commission for the teaching Coordination of the Liguria Network of Schools and AFAM in charge of the music formation “Liguria – Musica in rete”. He is a member of the Academic Committee of the Stresa International Competition, and has won the Teaching Prize at the IV Competition of musical interpretation ‘Clara Wieck Schumann’. He was selected as a soloist at the Abrons Art Center in New York and the Convergence 2019 Festival of Music in Leicester and was the winner (with highest marks) in both the Competitions for qualifications and exams D.D.G. 85/2018 for Trumpet teaching Italian Junior and High School. He regularly holds masterclasses, seminars and summer courses in Santa Margherita Ligure (Musicamica Association), Madrid (Autonomous University), Australia (Rosebank College in Sidney and Alexandra Hills High School in Wellington Point).


Unifying Sonification: Comparing and Codifying Standards of Sonification between Scientific and Artistic Communities

Jared Bradley Tubbs

Since its conception in the late twentieth century, sonification has become an increasingly popular field for artists and scientists alike, providing audiences with unique perspectives into data. This shared use has not gone without debate; many examples of sonification used in artists’ works are believed to be unfaithful to the data used, a distorted form that functions to emphasize the emotional effect desired. Unifying the definition and standards of sonification would increase communication between the two communities, ideally leading to a higher quality and quantity of future collaborations. This paper uses a standard for sonification codified in The Sonification Handbook by Thomas Hermann, viewing recent examples of works claiming to use sonification through the lens of their ability (or inability) to meet these standards. Through examination, it is seen that collaborative efforts between members of the artistic and scientific communities are more likely to match standards of sonification set by Hermann as well as create works of art that have more detailed relationships to the data involved.

Jared Bradley Tubbs, native to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a composer and percussionist currently pursuing the Master’s degree in Music Composition, studying under Dr. Christopher Biggs and Dr. Lisa Coons at the University of Western Michigan after receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition at the University of Alabama.

Since he began his studies, JBT has had numerous performances by various ensembles, including the UA Contemporary Ensemble and UA Percussion Ensemble, and his work for solo violin, “Unknown Conversations”, is featured on PARMA’s Early Musings: New Music for Solo Violin. His collaboration with choreographer Rebecca Salzer for the premiere of his work To Whom It May Concern for fixed media and dancers received multiple performances during the 2016 Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre season. His work for live biofeedback electronics, Internal, was featured in an installation in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center from May 4 to May 15, 2018. 52Factorial, an improvisational work featuring live electronics, was chosen for performance at the 49th Annual Festival of New Music at Ball State University.

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