Saturday, March 9, 2019, 10:30am – Papers – Utt 008

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Saturday, March 9, 2019, 10:30am – Papers – Utt 008

Panel Moderator: Dr. Allison Robbins

Touch, Turn and Push: a Study of Aesthetics in Relation to Performance Surfaces in Live Electroacoustic Music

Lars Bröndum

This paper presents the author’s ‘practice as research’ in using control surfaces as a path towards developing a musical aesthetic in composition and performance. The aesthetic is based on avoiding traditional performance surfaces, such as keyboards, and consequently opening new ways to compose and perform. By connecting synthesizer or electronic equipment in unique ways and by controlling them by manipulating knobs, buttons, joysticks, ribbons, contact microphones and wires in custom tailored systems, new and unique performance surfaces can be achieved. “New means change the method; new methods change the experience, and new experience change man (Stockhausen 1989: 89). The method used to examine these questions, were carried out by analysis of the performance surface and setup of the piece Suspended in The Pit (Bröndum 2016) and by interviews with other active live electronic performers about their aesthetics.The paper closes with thoughts and ideas of future developments.

Lars Bröndum, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Skövde, Sweden. Bröndum is also a professional musician and composer and has performed throughout the world. His music often explores the interaction between acoustic and electronic instruments and integration of improvisation into through-composed music. He performs live as a solo artist and in several ensemble configurations using analog modular synthesizers and effect pedals. He has received several grants and commission and his CD “Fallout” was 2016 awarded “best experimental music album” at the SOM (Independent Music Labels of Sweden) Manifest Awards. Bröndum completed his PhD in Music Theory and Composition at University of Pittsburgh in 1992. He also has a Masters degree in Composition and Music Theory (1989) and a Bachelors of Music degree in Guitar Performance (1987). Bröndum also runs an independent record label, Antennae Media

Composing and coding in the Music and Sound Design Platform

Hugh Lobel

Creator, Lead Developer

This workshop will be introducing MSDP: a free and open-source platform for Multimedia Synthesis, Design, and Performance. This introduction to the software will walk through the basics of making sound and multimedia works in the platform and will look at templates that streamline the process of making custom modules for the program.

For audience members who would like to follow along, MSDP 2 can be downloaded free for MacOS and Windows at The source code is also available, and requires Max 8 to run.

MSDP is an ideal platform for experimental multimedia and intermedia artists, VJs, laptop musicians and orchestras, electroacoustic composers, musicians looking for new sonic possibilities for their instruments, and anyone interested in blurring the lines between traditional modes of art making and new, forward-looking creative spaces.

Dr. Hugh Lobel is a creator and educator who works in the realms of sound and technology, and moves dynamically between them. He teaches Sound Practices courses in the Department of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research revolves around the creation, development, and distribution of The Music and Sound Design Platform, and he creates and performs art that explores the spaces where music, narrative, dance, video, and technology intersect.

Fluvial Traces: Submerged Storytelling through Intermedial Practices

seah (birth name: Chelsea Heikes)

Fluvial Traces is an ongoing project using the artist’s body as an apparatus for
communicating between digital technologies and bodies of water. Having studied intensively in somatic modalities such as Body Weather Laboratory and Noguchi gymnastics, seah has trained to experience her body as a bag of water. Dragging her bag of water to other bodies of water, seah wears body cameras and contact mic’s to record intra-actions from below the surface. These fluid field recordings are then brought into the studio for editing. The final work is site-responsive and may involve surround sound set ups, projection mapping, and/or live movement performance.In this paper, I will describe the theory and praxis of my current trajectory.

Fluvial Traces is both an artistic and philosophical investigation into intra-being storytelling through bodies of water. My praxis concerns de-objectifying the subject of my own body in this interaction, considering it an apparatus/tool/conduit for movement and intra-action. The philosophical writing is aligned with the Posthumanist writings of Rosi Braidotti and Karen Barad, Benjamin Bratton’s writing about geologic intelligence in The Stack, as well as earlier philosophers such as Deleuze and Nietzche. In my paper presentation, I will align my practice with these theories and open up discussion about the notions of intra-being collaboration in art (particularly new media).

seah investigates relational techniques for posthuman articulations of the landscape within the structures of video, sound, and performance. Current “techno-naturalbody” experiments involve wearing multiple cameras and contact mic’s on the body while physically interacting with the immediate environment. The movement language has evolved from decades long research in Butoh, Body Weather Laboratory, Noguchi Taiso, and Somatic Movement, as well as extended periods of time spent in remote wilderness areas. seah spends a great deal of time tracing waterways. The ongoing body of work titled “Fluvial Traces” follows rivers using feet, bike, or paddleboat and has included the Mae Nam Ping in Chiang Mai, Thailand as well as the Detroit River, and a river in Saas-Fee, Switzerland whose name is currently unknown. The larger arc of “Water
Tracings” includes sites such as various waterways in San Francisco/Oakland,
Venice, Italy, and the Finnish Archipelago.

Use of technology references the conundrum of being housed in a body that is
already made to sense the world, while also playing host to myriad technologies
created to “enhance” our ability to interface with it. seah’s particular scope and
vision embraces a posthuman experience that simultaneously acknowledges both this growing desire for technological interface/stimulation AND the innate
intelligence of materiality (raw matter), which includes human and nonhuman

As of April 2019, seah will have received her MA from the European Graduate
School in Philsophy, Art, and Critical Thought. Her MA thesis was supervised by Elie During and is titled “AnthropoThing”.

Thingy Box & Ghost Hands: A Raspberry Pi ”sketching”
framework for Musical-Machine Learning Interaction (MMLI)

Shawn Trail

This paper introduces a platform for novel Musical-Machine Learning Interaction. An open source, DIY interface prototyping platform is presented along with a machine learning tool designed to learn and predict gestures from the interface. The system builds on previous work on noninvasive gesture sensing by integrating the work for use with the Raspberry Pi computing platform. The system is meant to be low-cost and easy to implement for artists, composers, and teachers to use for creative and pedagogical purposes.

Shawn Trail is a percussionist/computer scientist working at the intersection of tradition and innovation. As a performer Trail has toured North America performing on stages ranging from Lincoln Center, Webster Hall, Montreal Jazzfest and more, alongside artists ranging from Meshell Ndegeocello, Budos Band, to Pharoah Sanders. In the studio Trail has worked with Bernard Purdie, multi-platinum producer Peter Denenberg, Jaga Jazzist and was a contributor to the soundtrack of Emmy nominated film Favela Rising. Currently Trail is Visiting Assistant Professor/Artist-in-Residence of Sound Arts at Dakota State University. He has a PhD in Computer Science/Music; his research focuses on non-invasive gesture sensing, physical modeling, machine learning and acoustic actuation for pitched percussion performance. He has published his work at NIME, ICMC, SMC, and IEEE; was twice artist-in-residence at STEIM in Amsterdam, NL and was the Robotics Technician for Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion Project. He has conducted research internationally: novel musical interfaces on a Fulbright to Copenhagen, and traditional xylophone and percussion at the University of Ghana. Trail holds a Master of Music degree in Studio Composition from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Music; and Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology/Percussion Performance from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. Trail maintains Lost Audio, a digital R&D lab and recording studio.

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