Saturday – March 7, 2020 – Five Minute Video – Saturday 11:00am to 12noon – Studio A

Five Minute Video – Saturday 11:00am to 12noon – Studio A
Five minutes + Five Minutes for Questions – videos will then be available for the duration of the festival

  • Alexandria Renata Smith – Materiality of Physicality (working title)
  • Anthony T Marasco – Bendit_I/O: A System for Extending Mediation and Disembodiment to Networked, Circuit-Bent Devices
  • Jason Palamara – HIDI.distractifier, a fully autonomous self-driving musician for Max
  • Ted King-Smith – Songs of the 614

*****

Creating Exhale:  Practice based research on physicality, affect, and interactive media.  

Alexandria Smith

Alexandria Smith, Trumpet, Composer

As a performer within the western classical (conservatory )system,  the expectation has always been to produce ‘the intention of the composer’ within a set of parameters that have been instilled by tradition and/or the interpretations of the ‘greats’.  One must develop an effortless sound, transcend the technical difficulties of the instrument, and/or strive for an inhuman level of consistency; do whatever it takes to put your own thoughts and feelings aside in order to present ‘the music’.  While many performers have challenged this model, this ideal of achieving ‘perfection’ remains as the gauge of determining a performer’s worth. The worth that often becomes an impossible conquest and/or plea for validation from the greats at the expense of one’s psychological health, physical health, or development of one’s creative practice.

Program note for the piece, Exhale:
Exhale is a piece that goes against the notion of music as an adjective, i.e., that music is this, this execution is that.  As a performer trained in the western, classical tradition, I was taught to get to a point in a piece where I didn’t have to think or feel; just play.  This sensation of having calculated control over my body and technical capacity was needed in order to execute the intention of the composer, but often left me with a feeling of emptiness after a performance.  Writing exhale is my attempt to reverse this dynamic within myself and embrace the physicality of performance in the present. Instead of trying to execute passages with my interpretation on auto-pilot, the material is generated by my present, embodied performance experience.  Images and sonic material are abstracted into patterns, textures, and unnatural time to invite the audience and the performer to “go visiting” into an undefined space that is distorted and reiterated with the use of breath and heart rate sensing. Inspired by the Grain of the Voice, Roland Barthes. 

Praised by The New York Times for her “appealingly melancholic sound” and “entertaining array of distortion effects,” Alexandria Smith is a trumpeter, multimedia artist, curator, and recording engineer studying at the University of California San Diego. Her current projects focus on the use of biofeedback as an interfacing tool for musicians, interactive media (audio and visual), and practice based research. Previous engagements include her week (curation) at the Stone in 2019, performing as an ensemble member in the premiere of Alvin Lucier’s Orpheus Variations for solo cello (Charles Curtis), seven wind instruments, and seven dancers,  performances at the La Semana Internacional de Improvisación in Ensenada, Baja California, trumpet/electronics Luminous Tubes Concert at the FONT Festival 2019,, and John Zorn’s Improv Night at the Stone.  

*****

Bendit_I/O: A System for Extending Mediation and Disembodiment to Networked, Circuit-Bent Devices

Anthony T. Marasco

Bendit_I/O is a system that allows for wireless, networked performance of circuit-bent devices, giving artists a new outlet for performing with repurposed technology. In a typical setup, a user pre-bends a device using the system’s custom I/O board as an intermediary, replacing physical switches and potentiometers with the board’s reed relays, motor driver, and digital potentiometer signals. Bendit_I/O brings the networking techniques of distributed music performances to the hardware hacking realm, opening the door for creative implementation of multiple circuit-bent devices in audiovisual experiences. Just as adding MIDI I/O to the organ opened the door for local network control and mediation of an instrument’s physical, mechanical systems, artists can turn any device into a Smart Musical Instrument by hacking the Bendit_I/O system into their creative practice. Consisting of a Wi-Fi- enabled I/O board and a Node-based server, the system provides performers with a variety of interaction and control possibilities between connected users and hacked devices. Moreover, it is user-friendly, low-cost, and modular, making it a flexible toolset for artists of diverse experience levels.  

 The system’s I/O board and server software allow for performing hacked hardware in collaborative and generative compositions by syncing devices in a number of
network configurations. The programming interface is accessible by every device on the network, which means that Bendit_I/O boards can communicate with other Bendit_I/O
boards, multiple audience members or a single performer can communicate to any number of Bendit_I/O boards, and multimedia elements (visualizations, live data streams, social media feeds, etc.) can interact with Bendit_I/O-enabled devices.

There are a wide variety of interactive performance applications for the
Bendit_I/O system. A connected web-client can monitor
social media feeds or changing weather data, route that data
to the server, and trigger bend events on an ensemble of devices. Live performers experimenting with the board’s DAC
outputs can create on-board LFO generators and control
voltage outputs useful for interacting with toy keyboards or
tabletop synthesizers. These additional outputs could also
be useful for hacking the optical pickup unit on portable
CD players or the processing chips on video equipment, allowing for more complex datamoshing in live performance.
Signals from points on a hacked device can also be “sniffed”
and sampled into the microcontroller’s memory through the
ADC inputs. In performance, users can store these signals
into a buffer and replicate them as method of modifying a
digital potentiometer channel, creating local (between the
circuit-bent device and its attached I/O board) and/or networked (device-device, data source-device, etc.) performative feedback loops.

Anthony T. Marasco is a composer and sound artist who takes influence from the aesthetics of today’s Digimodernist culture, exploring the relationships between the eccentric and the every-day, the strict and the indeterminate, and the retro and the contemporary. These explorations result in a wide variety of works written for electro-acoustic ensembles, interactive computer performance systems, and multimedia installations.
An internationally recognized composer, he has received commissions from performers and institutions such as WIRED Magazine, Phyllis Chen, the American Composers Forum Philadelphia, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Toy Piano Composers, the Rhymes With Opera New Chamber Music Workshop, Data Garden, andPLAY Duo, and the soundSCAPE International Composition Exchange. Marasco was the grand-prize winner of the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival’s 2013 Call for Scores, a resident artist at Signal Culture Experimental Media Labs, and a grant winner for the American Composers Forum’s “If You Could Hear These Walls” project. His works and research have been featured at festivals across the globe, such as NIME, the Web Audio Conference, the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, SEAMUS, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, ICMC, Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, and Omaha Under the Radar.  Marasco is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Experimental Music & Digital Media at Louisiana State University where his research centers on the creation of new software and interfaces for digital art performance and installation. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Scranton and the Pennsylvania State University.

 

*****

HIDI.distractifier, a fully autonomous self-driving musician for Max

Jason Palamara, software developer.

HIDI.distractifier is a fully autonomous music making program which creates undistractingly excellent background music for people who are trying to get work done. This project has been written in Max and also works as a Max-for-Live device. HIDI.distractifier is almost 100% hands-off, and fully autonomous, meaning once the user turns it on, it makes music indefinitely until it is turned off without any further input from the user. 

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 ceation 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.

*****

Songs of the 614

Ted King-Smith, composer

Songs of the 614 is a collaboration between Ted King-Smith and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at Ohio State University to meaningfully sonify citywide data based around neighborhoods and bus lines into four songs. In each song data for diversity, housing, employment, or healthcare are scaled to a useable range and then mapped to musical elements and effects including volume, tempo, low-pass filters, pitch, and other effects. All other musical material is generated from recordings taken on the very bus lines the data covers. The result is a series of songs that raises concerns and questions of modern-day struggles of diversity, access to jobs and healthcare, and housing in the Columbus, Ohio metro and similar regions across the world.

Ted King-Smith is a composer, educator, and saxophonist based in Kansas City, Missouri. As a composer he is interested in the combination of acoustic and electronic forces in music, and emphasizes virtuosity and improvisation in his works. Recent recognition for his music has come from The National Band Association, I Care if You Listen, the American Prize, and BMI. Ted’s music has been featured at numerous conferences and festivals as well as Late Night at National Sawdust, and WFMT and WKCR radio stations. He holds degrees from the Hartt School of Music, Washington State University, and the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Ted is on faculty at Kansas City Kansas Community College and Johnson County Community College where he teaches courses in music technology, music theory, and multimedia. He is also active as a performer with the Mnemosyne Quartet, and organizes the Kansas City Contemporary Music Festival with the NewEar Contemporary Chamber ensemble.

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