Saturday – March 7, 2020 – Concert 4 – 1pm – Hart Recital Hall

Concert 4 – 1pm – Hart Recital Hall

  • Ben Fuhrman – Particle Forge, for Game Controller and Computer
  • 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 – Wave Trains


Particle Forge

Ben Fuhrman

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.


Involution: Meta-Slendro

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 diverse hearing profiles. 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, In Situ: Festival for Electronic Music and Sound Art 2019, Aural Diversity Conference 2019, October Meeting Contemporary Music and Musicians 2019, Seoul International Computer Music Festival 2019, ICMC-NYCEMF 2019, Linux Audio Conference 2019, and Disability Awareness Week 2019. He has been awarded the Ambassador’s Award for Excellence 2019 by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for the United States, the 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.


Myopic Phantasy

Mike McFerron, composer

Mobile device trio: Ty Cavin, Evan Jenkins, Alexander Goldwasser

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  ( 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

Tye Cavin, Evan Jenkins, and Alexander Goldwasser are all working towards their B.M. in Music Technology at UCM. They are currently completing coursework in Music Technology Performance.


Wave Trains

Imagine a train full of pianos on the beach.
This piece is nothing like that.

Travis Garrison is a composer, audio engineer, and performer of electroacoustic music, and is Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Music Theory at UCM. He was previously on the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and worked as an audio engineer and taught courses at East Carolina University and Bennington College. A common thread throughout his work as a composer and performer is a blurring of the boundaries between things organic and things electronic, between the actual and the imagined, and between the real and the hyperreal. His work as a recording/editing/mixing/mastering engineer and producer is represented on a number of commercially available recordings in the areas of classical and experimental music, and he has worked in live sound reinforcement in venues across the country. Current research interests include computer-based improvisational systems and aesthetics, history, and theory of electroacoustic music.

Dr. Garrison’s compositions have been performed at many festivals and conferences including the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Symposium on Arts and Technology at Connecticut College, the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) national conference, and the Electronic Music Midwest (EMM) Festival. His work selectric metal is included on the “Electronic Masters Vol. 3” album released in 2014 by ABLAZE Records, and the piece was also awarded Honorable Mention in the 2012 SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Competition. He currently serves as Technical Director of the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival and as the CD Series Editor for the Society of Composers, Inc. Dr. Garrison holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition with a cognate in Historical Musicology from the University of Florida, an M.A. in Electroacoustic Music from Dartmouth College, and a B.A. in Computer Music and Composition from the University of California, San Diego.

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