For the duration of the festival: Listening Room – Electronic Composition Studio, Wood Hall
Brian Belet, composer
Name Droppings began when I was reading through a concert program in Santa Cruz, California in early 2007. Sitting with Marianne Bickett and Allen Strange (OK, my own name droppings here…) I remarked that too many program notes and biographical statements were either filled with academic posturing (too much information) or trivial tangents (no useful information). We read and laughed over several excerpts, and I decided to compose a vocal collage of such text fragments. Allen suggested the title and remarked that he would like to construct his own version. Sadly, that did not come to light before his death in early 2008.
Starting with that evening, I limited myself to using program texts from concerts I attended over the next three months. I selected those text fragments that jumped off the page at me, for whatever reason. I asked some friends and colleagues to record their own selections from my text list, and these sound files are the sole material for this assemblage. The performers are: Marianne Bickett, Gordon Haramaki, Janis Mercer, Erie Mills, Stephen Ruppenthal, and Jeffrey Stolet, in addition to myself. When performed live within Kyma, the recorded sound files are segmented and processed in real time to create a unique performance environment (live musique concrète!). Alternately, a specific performance can be recorded and preserved as a fixed audio structure in a more traditional musique concrète format. This composition was commissioned by the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios and is published on the four-CD compilation In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios (1958-2008). Another real-time mix is published on Sufficient Trouble, Ravello Records (RR7969), 2017.
Brian Belet lives in northwestern Oregon (USA) with his partner and wife Marianne Bickett. His music is published on albums by Capstone, Centaur, Frog Peak Music, IMG Media, Innova, New Ariel Recording, PARMA Recordings (Navona and Ravello imprints), SWR Music/Hänssler Classic, and the University of Illinois labels (including two Navona albums in 2022). His music research is published in Contemporary Music Review, Organised Sound, Perspectives of New Music, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, and Proceedings of the International Web Audio Conference.
Belet earned the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in 1990, and pursued a thirty-year academic career. Dr. Belet retired from San Jose State University (California) as Emeritus Professor of Music in 2020, where he was named President’s Scholar in 2017.
Ben Fuhrman, composer
“Curvilinear Space” is a study in the diffusion of sound in three-dimensional space, inspired by one of it’s source sounds, a manual iron spice grinder. A smaller bowl is placed inside a larger one, and the abrasive surfaces on the outside of the smaller bowl and inside of the larger bowl quickly grind spices into a fine powder, while also creating an interesting sound. The motions of the hand grinding were the primary idea for how to pan the sounds within space; first mimicking the motion, but then gradually defining a curved space as the sonic particles envelop the listener. This space morphs and changes as the piece progresses, bringing sounds in and out of focus around the listener.
Ben Fuhrman, is a composer, musician, programmer, and coffee aficionado. As a result, he writes music with a focus on technology, including acousmatic, interactive, and improvisatory works. His degrees are from Michigan State University (D.M.A and M.M in composition), and Hope College (B.Mus in violin performance). His teachers include Ricardo Lorenz, Mark Sullivan, Steve Talaga, Rob Lunn, and Mihai Craioveanu.
He has had works commissioned from a number of performers, including Drake Dantzler, Violet, Jeffrey Loeffert, Nathan Boggert, the H2 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. He was also the recipient of a billboard dedicated to his music from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing – possibly the first composer in the US to receive one. His solo albums Concrete Oasis and Synthesizer and Computer Works are available online, among others 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. For more information, check out www.benfuhrman.com
Carter John Rice, composer
You are the smoothie now.
Carter John Rice is an assistant professor of Multimedia Arts Technology at Western Michigan University. A native of Minot, North Dakota, Rice is not only a composer but also an audio engineer and educator drawn to music through a desire to instill knowledge in others. He is passionate about music education and enjoys teaching music at all levels.
As a composer, Rice draws inspiration from a wide array of sources including acoustic phenomena, cognitive science, and classical mechanics. His music has been featured at venues such as the national SEAMUS conference, the national conference for the Society of Composers Inc. (SCI), the International Computer Music Conference, Electronic Music Midwest, and the Electroacoustic Barn Dance.
Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from Concordia College, a master’s degree in music composition from Bowling Green State University, and a doctor of arts in music composition from Ball State University. He has studied with Elainie Lillios, Christopher Dietz, Michael Pounds, Jody Nagel, Keith Kothman, Daniel Breedon, and Steven Makela.
Fantasy and Regret
Daniel Karcher, composer
The genesis of this piece began, like many other electronic compositions, with the acquisition of a new toy. In this case, an electromagnetic microphone. After sampling everything with a circuit I could find, I began to mold and shape my favorite sounds into different characters. Samples with pitch identities I twisted and bent into chaotic melodies, and sounds of whirrs, clicks, and pops were fashioned into gestures with a variety of envelopes. The piece itself takes after the classical “fantasia,” in that it wanders from section to section depending on where the capricious characters in the material want to go. This resulted in an overall form starkly divided in two, a first half full of squabbling sounds vying for attention and second half that mourns the turmoil from before, building up into a canon of weeping voices.
Daniel Karcher is a composer originally from the Pacific Northwest who enjoys creating music for both acoustic and electronic mediums. Currently he is working on a DMA in composition at the University of Georgia and has earned previous degrees from the University of Miami and Oberlin Conservatory. He endeavors to make each piece he writes a unique experience for both himself and others listening to it. Aside from composing, his musical interests include discussing aesthetics, playing viola among friends, and analyzing video game soundtracks, text scores, and indeterminate music.
Erik Hose, composer
Dracula’s Ghost explores the juxtapositions of through composed FM based synthesis with manipulations of different recordings. Of the variety of recordings used, these include a night at the graveyard, a large fire, old lawn equipment, cars flying by on a highway, walking through a graveyard, and a surprise.
Erik Hose is a second year masters student here at UCM. He work for the university as a graduate assistant, previously working as a studio manager, and teaching Intro to Rock. He is fairly new at creating electronic music of this genre but have found quite a lot of joy in the limitless possibilities acousmatic music provides.
Fantasies, CRC 3579).
Voice, percussion, flute, Celletto, and electronics
Jiayue Cecilia Wu, composer
Heart Sutra is an augmented-reality musical expression of the most widely recited Buddhist texts, integrating chanting traditions in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as electroacoustic music. The audiovisual spectrums and compositional structure transform back and forth between dark and bright, tension and peace, as well as conflicts and harmony, illuminates the non-dual view in “form is emptiness; emptiness is formed.” Meanwhile, the voices of the sacred feminine are amplified by empowering the women musicians to chant at the beginning of the piece, opening up the spiritual sonic space. Led by the soprano, the chant of South Korean monks in Tongdosa Monastery concludes the piece.
The musicians collaborated long-distance, through seven remote recording sessions, using network music technology, such as Jacktrip and Netty-McNetface. The audio transmission latency for multi-channel synchronicity recording from different geographical locations as well as the unstable internet speed contributing to the pop-and-clips audio imperfections can be perceived through the composition. This unique sonic phenomenon defines technology-driven collaboration in performance and music practices during the COVID-19 Era.
The result of this multimedia collaboration was precisely video mapped onto the Western sacred art in mosaic and stained glass at Stanford University’s historical monument, Memorial Church. It was then documented by three high-definition camera recordings for the final edit. To truthfully recreate the sacred soundscape, Memorial Church’s reverberation was recorded and mixed into the final postproduction. Altogether, this piece incorporates layers of cultural complexity and spiritual symbolism. It initiates multifaith conversations and exchanges. It narrates the contemplative concept of “play of reality”––understanding things are illusory and the boundaries are not always firm in our limited three-dimensional universe. This means that all suffering and happiness are passing, temporary, and transformative.”
A series of GLSL algorithms were developed specifically for this piece’s real-time audio-driven visuals. It is computationally intensive to combine the deep fractal algorithms, live audio processing, and multilayers of audio-driven filters at 30 frames per second and output the results into 5760 by 1080-pixel videos.
Dr. Jiayue Cecilia Wu is an award-winning scholar, educator, musician, and audio engineer. She has 10 years of diversified work experience in music and media technology companies such as Universal Music Group, EMI Records, and Shazam. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Music, Science, and Technology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. degree in Media Arts and Technology with an emphasis in Computer Music from the University of California Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on how music technology can augment the healing power of music. Her music and research have been presented in Asia, the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and Europe. Her audiovisual work has been exhibited at museums and international arts and engineering societies such as the National Museum of China, AES, IEEE, CMS/ATMI, ICMC, NIME, ISEA, and SEAMUS. Her piece <Mandala> was selected by the Denver Art Museum for its permanent collection. Currently, Dr. Wu is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado’s College of Arts and Media. She is the chairperson of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committees at both the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and Colorado MahlerFest. She also serves as a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMY), the Editor-in-Chief of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the US (SEAMUS), and the board director at-large at the International Computer Music Association (ICMA).
Jorge Martínez Valderrama, composer
Saa Ñu’ú (Clay Birds) combines natural sounds from the landscape, traditional instruments, poetry and computer generated sounds to create an electroacoustic soundscape composition of the Mixtec region in México (Oaxaca, Guerrero, Puebla) through his experimental art practice.
This artwork was commissioned by the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research at the British Museum for a digital residency program, as part of the research project “Ancient Writing, Contemporary Voices: Decolonising the Mesoamerican Quincentenary”.
Martínez Valderrama worked alongside Indigenous archaeologists from three cultural and linguistic areas in Mesoamerica who are using contemporary Indigenous knowledge and languages to reinterpret items from these regions that contain written and pictographic narratives such as the Tonindeye Codex (Zouche-Nutall) and the Xiuhpohualli of Tenochtitlán (Aubin Codex). This collaboration underlines the importance of including descendent communities in studies of their heritage as well as engaging with Indigenous knowledges and positions, but in his practice of listening and creating space for self-representation. He also defends the importance of working respectfully and responsibly with ancestral material.
‘Saa Ñu’ú’ brings together sounds produced by ancestral instruments, recited poetry in a variant of contemporary Mixtec, and field recordings conducted in the Mixtec landscape itself. Martínez Valderrama collaborated with Mixtec musician Luis Fernando García Acevedo and Mixtec poet Nadia Ñuu Savi, privileging Indigenous knowledge and experience by electing to leave their music and poetry unaltered within his composition.
The electroacoustic soundscape nudges the listener to experience a sound-art work through a Mesoamerican means of expression, chiefly extrapolated from the narratives in the Tonindeye Codex and the perspectives of the Indigenous archaeologists involved in its decipherment. An immersive experience, this electroacoustic soundscape challenges us to engage with a local sound universe.
Jorge Martínez Valderramahas a degree in Music and Composition from the University of the Americas Puebla and Sound Art Creation certification by CMMAS (Morelia). As a composer he has submitted some of his works in venues and festivals both in Mexico and abroad. His work reflects on various concepts and elements of contemporary, electroacoustic, electronic and acousmatic music. His creative processes are mainly centered in the deconstruction of audio recordings, generating sound discourses through the alteration of their acoustic qualities and incorporating new elements through edition, synthesis and programming. He was a resident composer in the “Tejido Vivo 2018” program in Cusco, Peru, through the Ministry of Culture, “Buinho Creative Hub” in Messejana, Portugal (2019), and the digital art residency program for the SDCELAR, British Museum(2021). He has worked as a composer, music supervisor and sound designer for film, dance, theater, multimedia and installations projects.
A Long Day
Patrick Reed, composer
Jae-Eun Suh, video
This work was created with both audio and visual together at the same time in a week long collaboration. We chose the explorations of color pallets and how we see color changing in different times of the day. Telling the story through the audio of a journey through a day, trekking through a long rainstorm and begrudgingly walking into the night soaked and wet.
Patrick Reed is a native of Dallas Texas, as a composer and educator, he hopes to foster and teach an interest and love for contemporary music to people of all ages. His music style ranges from solo to large ensemble compositions, to works written for beginners and young band ensembles. His works have recently been performed at the International Computer Music Conference(ICMC), Electronic Music Midwest, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, SEAMUS, NSEME, and Society of Composers national and regional conferences.
Reed is currently pursuing a PhD. in music composition at the University of North Texas.
Reed earned his Master in Music in composition at Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Elainie Lillios Christopher Dietz, and Mikel Kuehn. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Music Education from Texas Tech University, where he studied composition with Peter Fischer and Mei-Fang Lin.
Rodney DuPlessis, composer
Classical objects push and pull in tangible and deterministic gestures. A Newton’s cradle collides on one side, energy courses through the system, and it erupts on the other side. Quantum objects mystify the imagination with erratic and unpredictable behavior. Psi guides the listener from a classical mechanical sound world into a quantum soundscape populated by quantum harmonic oscillators. For these quantum sounds, I created a software, QHOSYN, that sonifies evolving wave functions using the time-dependent Schrödinger equation.
The narrative of Psi unfolds from the contrast between classical and quantum systems. The piece begins with the sound of a Newton’s Cradle; the quintessential classical system. Some synthetic sounds based on the same physics are added gradually while leaving the focus on the sound of the Newton’s cradle. This material is explored extensively from various perspectives, diving deeper into the sounds before zooming in to a level where quantum effects begin to emerge. In this quantum sound world, particles become smeared out into droning waves and jump around in the stereo field unpredictably. Eventually, echoes of the classical return as processed versions of the cradle sounds from the beginning, now unstable and flitting about the sound field haphazardly. Quantum particles dance like tiny corpuscular creatures popping in and out of our perception, spinning, collapsing, dispersing, and entangling with one another. The activity grows as we begin to zoom out and widen our perspective once again. We finally emerge from the quantum sound world to re-examine the Newton’s Cradle with the remnants of the quantum effects now coloring our aural perception.
Rodney DuPlessis is a Canadian composer and programmer exploring intersections of science, nature, technology, and music. He studies processes and patterns from natural and human-made systems to extract latent musicality and visceral sonic narratives. His music has been performed and recognized internationally. He develops innovative sound processing and synthesis software including EmissionControl2 and QHOSYN, a quantum synthesizer. He promotes new art through organizing festivals and concerts, and as Programs and Development Director of Nomadic Soundsters. He holds an MA in composition, MSc in Media Arts and Technology, and PhD in composition.
Say The Word
Stephen Ruppenthal and Gary R. Weisberg, composers
“Say the Word” a collaborative electroacoustic work between Stephen Ruppenthal and Gary R. Weisberg explores the twisted linguistic landscape of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) through variants of Pareidalia, Apophenia, and a “Mise en Abyme,” interpreting random sound/utterances as voices in a phantasmagorical language, perceiving patterns in random information. Linguistic cross-modulation achieved in the electroacoustic domain raises the noise-floor to create a meta-language that duplicates numerous copies of the verbal image within itself in seemingly infinite recurring word and utterance cascades.
Stephen Ruppenthal is Principal Trumpet and Contemporary Music Advisor for the Redwood Symphony. Guest Artist-in-Residence at numerous universities in the US, holding courses in Electronic Music Studio Arts, Sound Poetry, and Composition at the Center for Experimental and Interdisciplinary Art. Founding member, along with Don Buchla and Allen Strange, of the Electric Weasel Ensemble, and with Brian Belet and Pat Strange, of SoundProof. Known internationally for his performances and writings on text-sound composition and sound poetry. Flamethrower, a 2017 CD of electroacoustic works for trumpet and flugelhorn, by Allen Strange, Brian Belet, Bruno Liberda, and Elainie Lillios, and performed by Stephen is currently available from Ravello Records.
Gary R. Weisberg at age 2 was exposed by his mother to the music of Brahms, Khatchaturian and Rimsky-Korsakov. He also had a fascination with dinosaurs. He first picked up a musical instrument in 1972, playing free-jazz improvisation on flute and alto sax.
Gary moved to San Francisco in 1976 and was involved in a collective of jazz and experimental musicians and artists, operating a small performance space called The Blue Dolphin. Studied music, computer programming and electronics at San Francisco State University, graduating with a degree in Electronic Music Composition. From 1986-1994, Gary maintained a MIDI project studio for the production of his own music, as well as sound and music for TV/Film/Video productions. Since 1994, Gary has been composing PC-based experimental electronic music, as well as pieces for electronic and acoustic instruments, performing with composers and collaborating with visual artists. He currently resides in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley.
3 movements from “7deadlySins”
Stephen David Beck, composer
7deadlySins was inspired by the comedy routine from George Carlin, “the seven words you cannot say on TV.” The piece takes recordings of people saying those words, granulates those sounds and reconstructs them in a way that conveys their meaning without actually hearing the words. Ideally, this piece should be acceptable for broadcast over radio. Each movement focuses on one word at a time, and the title of the movement is a euphemism for the banned word.
Stephen David Beck is the Haymon Professor of Composition and Computer Music. He holds a joint appointment at the Center for Computation & Technology, where he previously served as the Area Head for the Cultural Computing focus area and Director of the AVATAR Initiative in Digital Media. He currently serves as Associate Vice President for Research & Economic Development at LSU. Beck received his Ph.D. in music composition and theory from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988, and held a Fulbright Fellowship in 1985-86 where he was a researcher at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, France.
Timothy Moyers Jr., composer
/Stráhlung/ (Translated from German)
noun, feminine [die]
Propagation of energy or matter in the form of rays emanating from a source of radiation
“cosmic, atomic radiation”
Energy or matter emanating from a source of radiation
“measure the radiation”
Timothy Moyers Jr. is a composer and audio-visual artist originally from Chicago. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Kentucky and supervises the Electroacoustic Music Studio.
Timothy W. McDunn, composer
This composition considers a small poetic fragment from the Psalms:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
(Psalm 139:13, ESV)
The constantly permutating harmonic materials of the piece represent the endless process of Becoming that constitutes the existential condition of personhood. This condition is ultimately mysterious, as the Psalmist describes. The piece is intended to provide space for private reflection on this mystery.
Timothy W. McDunn is a composer and theorist with a national and international profile. He specializes in just intonation, electronics, and multimedia composition. His music and research has been published and selected for presentation at peer-reviewed conferences including NYCEMF, SCI National Conference, and Convergence. He has also presented research in the area of Dante studies, with support from an Andrew W. Mellon foundation grant; his background in classical languages and literature strongly influences his work as a composer.
Born in Chicago, IL, Timothy grew up in the Midwest. He began studying composition with William Riddle at York Community High School and with Dr. David Vayo at Illinois Wesleyan University. In 2016, he moved to Milan, Italy, where he lived for three years, while earning a terminal degree in composition from the Verdi Conservatory of Milan. While there, he studied with distinguished composers from the Donatoni school, including Mº Mario Garuti, while also teaching Latin at the top classical studies high school in the country, Liceo Classico Berchet. He is currently finishing a DMA in composition at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign and teaching music and Latin at Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, IL. His research concerns microtonality and the frailty of human expression.
Zachary Daniels, composer
Service, Please! is the sonic exploration of a service bell (found in the University of Oklahoma Fine Arts Library) and its’ various components that make such a simple, widely used sound throughout the world every day. This piece also acts as a narrative that raises the question we all ask as we’ve rung the bell impatiently once, twice, and even a third time: “What’s going on back there?”
Zachary Daniels (born 1992) is a composer of experimental, minimalist, and electronic music currently residing in Oklahoma City with his wife, Ashlie. His compositions employ forces ranging from symphony orchestra to solo flute, from experimental pieces for laptop quartet to full-length symphonies. His music makes regular appearances with Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center and the Oklahoma Chamber Symphony, and has been selected for performance at venues and events including the College Music Society, Inner sOUndscapes Concert Series, Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Zach’s music is often described to be driving, engaging, and highly eclectic in nature. After graduating from Drury University in 2014 with a BA in Music, Zach moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where continued his studies at the University of Oklahoma School of Music, serving as the composition area coordinator. He received his MM and DMA from the University of Oklahoma in 2016 and 2019 respectively, both in music composition. Zach continues to advocate for new music locally and across the region. This work includes the Composed in Oklahoma Anthology series which he is the organizer of, and having served on the inaugural SCI student council. Zach’s music is all under ASCAP rights, available through his website (https://zachdaniels.com), and published by Divisi Labs.