Concert 4 – 1pm – Hart Recital Hall
- Ben Fuhrman – Particle Forge, for Game Controller and Computer
- Michael Smith – Discords, for 3D audio, with playback over multi-channel speaker array and guitar amplifier
- Dave Seidel – Involution, generative work for modular synthesizer
- Jay Afrisando – The Night is Dark and Full of Roarers, for saluang, sarunai, bansi, & live electronics
- Mike McFerron – Myopic Phantasy, mobile device trio
- Travis Garrison – TBA
Ben Fuhrman, game controller and computer
I created the majority of the code for Particle Forge back in grad school, plugging away in Pd when I should have been paying attention in studio class. The idea was to create a chaotic sound design tool that created a variety of sounds though frequency modulating extremely small sine wave blips (anywhere from 20 – 22000 per second) heavily bandlimited by logic gates to keep the frequency modulation under control. The result was something like spraying a firehose of subatomic particles inside a supercollider…
Fast forward nearly a decade, and I rediscover the code while upgrading my computer. A little bit of tweaking, and it becomes a very interesting Max4Live patch that creates highly unstable sounds using a game controller by banging small particles together, until they collide and become something else entirely. A small reflection on super colliding particles using sine waves.
Born in Lansing, Benjamin Fuhrman is a graduate of the doctoral program in music composition at Michigan State University, where his primary instructors were Dr. Ricardo Lorenz and Dr. Mark Sullivan. He also holds a master’s degree in music composition from Michigan State University, and a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Hope College, where his principal instructor was Mihai Craioveanu.
He has had works commissioned from a number of performers, including Drake Dantzler, Violet, Jeffrey Loeffert, Nathan Boggert, the H¬2 Quartet, the East Lansing High School Orchestra, REACH Studio Art, and the MSU National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, and has been performed throughout the world. His works are available on the Albany Records, Argali Records, Blue Griffin, Elmstreet, and SEAMUS labels.
He maintains an active role as a performer and teacher of composition and music technology at Oakland University. www.benfuhrman.com
Michael Smith, composer
Michael Smith, composer
Discords (ca. 9 minutes 30 seconds) is a fixed media work for 3D audio, with playback over multi-channel speaker array, guitar amplifier, and laptop speakers. It was composed in 2018 as part of my PhD studies at the University of North Texas. The sound sources for Discords include various “noise” materials. Analog electrical noise is derived from an electric guitar and amplifier, digital noise recorded with a physical modeled flute, man-made noise from a water cooled power plant, recordings of cymbals, and noise from nature consisting of calls from over one hundred species of birds. The subjective nature of noise is explored through the juxtaposition and complementation of these various elements. Much of the spatialization in the work derives from the composer’s software VRSoMa, an application for designing spatial audio within virtual reality.
Michael Sterling Smith is a composer|sound designer|educator based in Dallas Texas. He holds degrees from University of Delaware (BM), University of Florida (MM), and University of North Texas (PhD). His works have recently been shown at SEAMUS 2017, the SCI national conference at UF and WMU (2015 & 2017), N_SEME (2016 & 2017), the Diffrazioni Festival (2016), EMM (2016), Ars Electronica Forum Wallis (2016), the Open Circuit Festival (2016), and the BGSU Graduate Student Conference (2016). His work Ictus was chosen as a finalist in the 2017 ASCAP/SEAMUS competition and the 2016 Open Circuit Festival call for electroacoustic works. Michael is a team member of the Score Follower/Incipitsify youtube channel. His current research involves the development of VRSoMa, an application for designing spatial audio within virtual reality.
Dave Seidel, electronics
Dave Seidel, electronics
Involution is a generative piece for modular and computer synthesizers. It consists of slowly-changing sonorities that explore the harmonic spaces inherent in selected microtonal tuning schemes. These sonorities are formed using a combinatorial process that generates two-note chords (dyads). Complex chords bloom algorithmically out the frequencies of the dyad. By combining and contrasting the idiomatic outputs of analog and digital sound sources, we hear several textural layers: pure sine waves, evolving drones using scanned synthesis (both in the digital domain of software synthesis), and glitchy, semi-random modulations of audio and control voltage signals (in the modular synthesis domain, which combines analog and digital elements).
The modular portion of Involution’s setup is based on a Make Noise Shared System, though several modules have been swapped in and out to customize the system for this piece. The computer portion is a Raspberry Pi 4 running Csound in real time and using an external USB audio interface with four output channels. Dyads are generated by two independent channels of the Rene sequencer, running at different speeds. On the modular, notes are quantized to the selected tuning before being rendered and processed. Unquantized dyads are also sent to the computer system as MIDI notes on two separate channels, where they are quantized by Csound.
A CD-length version of Involution is slated to be released on the XI Records label in late 2020.
This condensed concert version of a section of Involution uses a tuning called Meta-Slendro, based on the work of theorist Erv Wilson as explicated by Kraig Grady.
Dave Seidel was born in Hudson, NY in 1958 and received a BA in Music Theory & Composition from Simon’s Rock College in 1978, studying with Larry Wallach and Thom Lipiczky. He also studied classical guitar with Edward Flower for a time.
In the 1980s he played electric guitar in the Downtown NYC new music scene, working in ensembles led by composers Lois V Vierk, Scott Johnson, Guy Klucevsek, and Bill Obrecht, and co-leading the band People Falling. He premiered the electric version of Vierk’s 五 Guitars (Go Guitars) for five microtonally-tuned guitars, live and on Simoom (Experimental Intermedia CD, 1990), and recorded Vierk’s Red Shift on River Beneath the River (Tzadik CD, 2000). He appeared on Klucevsek’s Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse (Experimental Intermedia CD, 1991). He performed at a wide variety of venues, ranging from night clubs (CBGB, Mudd Club) to downtown performance spaces (The Kitchen, Dia Art Foundation, Dance Theater Workshop) to concert halls (New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Minneapolis’ Walker Arts Center) and at several new music festivals (New Music America in Los Angeles, Bang On A Can in New York, and Styrian Autumn in Graz, Austria).
Since 2004, Seidel has been focused on composing and performing of electronic music, usually with a microtonal and/or drone emphasis. He has presented his solo and collaborative work at Electronic Music Midwest, SEAMUS, North Country Electronic Music Festival, XFest, PVDLoopFest, and The Thing in the Spring. He also does live sound design for Greg Kowalski’s Machine 5 Theatre Works.
He lives in Peterborough, NH.
The Night is Dark and Full of Roarers
Jay Afrisando, composer
Jay Afrisando, saluang, sarunai, bansi, live electronics
“The Night is Dark and Full of Roarers” is an improvised piece for saluang, sarunai, bansi, and live electronics using an 8-channel output (originally a stereo output). The sound of saluang, sarunai, and bansi (wind instruments made of bamboo originated from West Sumatra, Indonesia) is live-processed using SuperCollider’s pattern libraries. It may evoke acousmatic image at some points.
Jay Afrisando is a music composer and sonic artist. He uses sound and other media to share awareness of human-nature-technology relationships and our diverse hearing profiles. To communicate this to public, he employs artistic approaches including contemporary music, sound installation, mixed media, participatory work, improvisation, and everything in-between.
His works have been presented at Sonic Salon Winter 2020 (MN, US), In Situ: Festival for Electronic Music and Sound Art 2019 (MN, US), Aural Diversity Conference 2019 (UK), October Meeting 2019 (ID), Seoul International Computer Music Festival 2019 (KR), ICMC-NYCEMF 2019 (NY), Linux Audio Conference 2019 (CA, US), Disability Awareness Week 2019 (VA, US), as well as at Seattle Art Museum (WA, US), Montalvo Arts Center (CA, US), and National Gugak Center (KR).
He was awarded the Ambassador’s Award for Excellence 2019 by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for the United States, 2016 Minnesota Emerging Composer Award by the American Composers Forum, the 2016 Innovative Art Grant by Kelola Foundation, and the 2nd Prize composition winner of Prix Annelie de Man 2015. He participated at the OneBeat 2015 residency (US) and the 2014 International Fellowship in Study of Korean Music (KR). He is a co-author of “Basic Music Technology: An Introduction” published by Springer in 2018. https://www.jayafrisando.com/
Mike McFerron, composer
Myopic Phantasy for mobile device trio was written in 2019. The foundation for this work is the opening lines of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” whose narrator describes a feeling of “insufferable gloom” upon seeing the titular house and its decayed surroundings. The reader understands this description as a prediction of what is to come as the narrator descends to the House of Usher.
Many composers, from Debussy to Philip Glass, have produced music inspired by Poe’s famous text, and for good reason. In it, the reader is confronted with quintessential Gothic themes, magnificently rendered: psychosis, metaphysics, human decay (physical and moral), and the strong tether of family. But perhaps the two themes that most elicit dread are isolation and captivity—being alone, captive to a sibling, captive to a house, captive to a sick mind. The terror and horror of this story may be that readers, through the eyes of Poe’s narrator, begin to imagine themselves isolated and trapped by their circumstances. It is upon these themes that Myopic Phantasy is built.
Mike McFerron is professor of music and composer-in-residence at Lewis University and he is founder and co-director of Electronic Music Midwest (http://www.emmfestival.org). McFerron’s music has received critical acclaim and recognition. His music has been performed by the Remarkable Theater Brigade (Carnegie Hall), the Louisville Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Cantus among many others.
He serves on the board of the directors for the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra and is a past Chair of the Executive Committee for the Society of Composers, Inc. McFerron’s music can be heard on numerous commercial recordings as well as on his website at http://www.bigcomposer.com.