Friday-Saturday – Fixed Media – Electronic Music Composition Studio – Wood 003A

For the duration of the festival: Fixed Media – Electronic Composition Studio (Wood Hall, basement level) — 8.1 Genelec System — Comfortable Chairs – Interactive Listening Space

  • Allison Ogden: Pale Blue Dot
  • Berk Yagli: Hypnagogic Hallucination Machinery
  • Dmitri Volkov: Untitled 16
  • Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner: The Worth of Water
  • Jacob Mager: Hohle der Nacht
  • Janis Mercer: Friends…Flowers
  • Michael Wittgraf: Trains of Grand Forks
  • Jean Howard: Captcha
  • Trinnis Morrow: Dearly Departed

Allison Ogden – Pale Blue Dot

On February 14, 1990, the space probe Voyager 1, from a distance of 6 billion kilometers, took one last photo of Earth before it exited our solar system. Three of the frames sent back to Earth that showed our planet were taken using blue, green and violet filters and recombined to form the now famous photo known as Pale Blue Dot. This composition’s sounds were created similarly, utilizing filters and mapping light spectra onto sound spectra. The work’s 4-part structure is also derived from the creation of the photograph, with the three filtered photographs combining to form the full “picture” in the final portion of the work.

On a personal level, I have always found this photo inspiring for many different reasons. Whenever I see this photo, I find myself contemplating life’s “big questions”. Whether the photo, or this work, provides any answers to those “big questions” is something everyone can decide for themselves.

Dr. Allison Ogden works as an Assistant Professor of Composition and Literature at the University of Louisville. She has a PhD from The University of Chicago, has taught many classes on a wide variety of subjects, enjoys working with her students, has written a number of pieces of music, climbed many mountains and hiked many trails, and brought two human beings into this world.

Berk Yagli – Hypnagogic Hallucination Machinery

The Cycle of Life and Decay is about the condition that surrounds all living things (and arguably our universe): All things are bound to a never-ending cycle of life, growth, and decay. Unlike our general human perception (which generates illusions that the life we surround and create for ourselves is/will be stable), nothing is permanent, and everything is bound to change. Life and death, suffering and tranquility, and ever changing states of consciousness are what is stable.

This continuous process of creation, growth, and destruction of matter works as a solution for the problem of heat death through entropy; allowing a universe that is eternal, without a beginning or ending.

In Buddhist belief, Samsara is the endless cycle of life, death, and suffering (which all living souls are part of and will be part of until they manage to free themselves from it).

This piece attempts to find a parallel between these two notions (the cycle bounding living things, and the cycle that considers our universe) to create a sonic farewell to ‘Şampiyon Melekler’ (two Cypriot volleyball teams (high school girls-boys) that went to Turkey in February 2023 to compete in the finals and lost their lives due to their hotel collapsing because of the 7.8 Earthquake) wishing that they found liberation from this cycle in which they are no longer experiencing suffering but only tranquility.

Berk Yağlı (born 1999) is a Cypriot guitarist, composer, and producer. His mission with his music has been to talk about social, political, and philosophical matters interestingly to invite the listeners into reflecting on the topics. He has been active in the UK since 2017. He studied Music and Sound Technology (University of Portsmouth), Masters in Composition (University of Sheffield), and currently at the University of the Arts London working under Adam Stanovic for his Ph.D. topic hybridity between metal and electroacoustic music. His works have been presented internationally including Argentina (Salta), UK (Leicester, Plymouth, Sheffield, London, Staffordshire), US (New York City, Indianapolis, Georgia, Utah, Kansas City, Missouri), Taiwan (Taipei), South Korea (Seoul, Daegu), Poland (Krakow), Switzerland (Zurich), Ireland (Limerick), Italy (Padova), Mexico (Morelia), Austria (Linz), Australia (Sydney), China (Shenzhen) and more. He is regularly invited to compose in studios including VICC (Visby, Sweden), CMMAS (Morelia, Mexico), Studio Kura (Fukuoka, Japan), and ACA (Florida, USA). He recently won the 2022 18th WOCMAT Phil Winsor International Youth Computer Music Competition Award.

Dmitri Volkov – Untitled 16

All the sounds heard here were created from recordings of interacting with a metal water bottle in various ways; while some of the sounds are reminiscent of their origin, many of them sound far removed. The piece presents a dialogue between two broad types of sounds: a gentle white-noise like sound, and busier sounds with sharper attacks. The gentler sound appears flatly, and only in a single channel at a time, whereas the other sounds are presented in full quadraphonic surround; this could be heard as the difference between an empty and a full bottle (although this interpretation is certainly a bit contrived).

Dmitri Volkov primarily operates within the realms of music and computer science, both of which he currently studies at IU Bloomington, within the Jacobs School of Music and the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Musically, Dmitri is an award-winning composer who seeks to find the technical and academic boundaries to which music can be pushed while maintaining a rich emotional response; he is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who has performed alongside highly accomplished musicians, including members of world-famous orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. With computer science, Dmitri is self-taught in C++/JUCE and Python, and has published several apps to the App and Google Play stores; he is currently developing Pivotuner, an audio plugin which enables adaptive pure intonation on keyboard instruments. Dmitri also wants you to know that he does not usually write in the third person.

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner – The Worth of Water

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” – Benjamin Franklin

I have collected recordings of water – fountains, beaches in Guatemala and Texas, koi ponds with children laughing and playing by them, faucets dripping and running – for several years just waiting for the right moment to utilize them. That moment came this past summer during unimaginably high temperatures and drought in my region of the country. As I watched my garden burn up in the blazing sun I knew, “Now is the time.” The Worth of Water employs repetition, layering, and distortion representing what became my obsession with what I no longer had and what our world may alternatively long for and fear if we do not act quickly.

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (b. 1964) received her D.M.A. from the University of Illinois in 1991 and has been on the staff of the University of North Texas for 25 years building computer labs, classrooms, and testing facilities. She is a board member of the Society for Electro-acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) and is the listserv coordinator for the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM). She is also a karate instructor and national martial arts competitor and champion and currently holds the rank of 4th-degree black belt in American Karate.

Hinkle-Turner is the author of Women Composers and Music Technology in the United States (Ashgate [now Routledge], 2006) and is currently working on a twentieth-anniversary edition of this text.

Jacob Mager – Hohle der Nacht

Mager is currently a Music Technology student at the University of Central Missouri

This piece is an eight channel composition created using only micro-sounds recorded by the composer.

The idea of a micro-sound is just that: a sound that usually is so small that it’s often overlooked. This piece takes that idea and turns those sounds into their own soundscape.

Janis Mercer – Friends…Flowers

Friends…Flowers contains two threads that I have attempted to translate into music. The first is the effect of looking at a painting, in this case, Two Friends Become Flowers by Max Ernst. I have seen this painting and thought about it and the title many times over the years, yet whenever I see it again, I am surprised how poorly I remember it. In Friends…Flowers the work opens murkily, as if one is looking at a painting for the first time and trying to get a general sense of it. Gradually parts or colors, shapes appear to the eye and the brain perceives what it represents. Repeat viewings create more meaning until the eye achieves an understanding of the painting. The parallel thread is the subject matter of the painting itself, the aftermath of a battle. Ernst wrote in a journal about the painting that, “…All of his friends were transformed into flowers. All flowers metamorphosed into birds, all birds into mountains…” Since there are four distinct colors in the painting, there are fours sections in the music. There are four tenses used in the journal entry to describe the transforming of live, inanimate objects to animate or to other inanimate objects. Four instruments are used in the tape part: viola, trumpet, bass, piano When performed with live trumpet/flugel horn, its role is to observe and be part of, the sonic painting.

Janis Mercer is an American composer/pianist living in San Francisco. Her musical activities as composer, and pianist are closely interwoven. Her compositions range in size from 8-piece chamber ensemble to digitally realized fixed electronics; utilize timbres from voice to drum set; and employ styles from 12-tone technique to structured improvisation, microtonality to field recordings. Ms. Mercer holds artist residencies at Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts, Ragdale, Centrum, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods.

Ms. Mercer’s music appears on Centaur Records. She is published by Media Press.

Michael Wittgraf – Trains of Grand Forks

Trains of Grand Forks is a fixed media video work making up one-third of the output of my 2022-2023 North Dakota Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship project. The project involved gathering audio, video, and photographs from specific locations in North Dakota to use in the production of three video works, which can be found on my YouTube channel. Trains of Grand Forks takes a single video of my walk from work to the parking lot on the campus of the University of North Dakota and repeats it for seventeen minutes with audio and video variations on each iteration. The first ten minutes border on the surreal, with the final seven minutes devolving into kaleidoscopic effects and endlessly repetitive dance beats.

Michael Wittgraf is an electronic music composer whose recent work explores interactive improvisation and video. His music has been performed in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia, and appears on the Ravello, Eroica, New Ariel, and SEAMUS labels. He has awards, commissions, and recognition from ASCAP, Modern Chamber Players, National Symphony Orchestra, Tempus Fugit, Louisiana State University, University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, Florida State University, PiKappa Lambda, Zeitgeist, Chiara String Quartet, Bush Foundation, North Dakota Council on the Arts, and more.

Mike is a multi-instrumentalist, having performed with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra on bassoon, in a number of rock-and-roll bands on keyboards, saxophone, and electric bass, and as a solo and collaborative performer on computer. He holds the title of Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor at the University of North Dakota, where his teaching specialties are music technology, composition, theory, and bassoon.

Jean Howard – Captcha

Captcha is an electroacoustic composition first premiered in asu’s fifth order ambisonic dome. Made up of almost entirely AI generated stems reorganized and processed with the help of synthesizers and granulators. Vocals consist of human and Ai voice, blending in the final act of the song. The tools used to create Captcha were Uber duck ai (vocals), Mathi Gatti’s ai (lyrics), and Aiva (music/ stems).

Jean Howard, a current masters student in the interdisciplinary composition program at ASU with a B.A. in Arts Media and Engineering, has been exploring digital audio technology, electroacoustic music, sound spatialization, and interactive media in their compositions. Past works have included pop influenced performance patches executed with programs like MAX/MSP, an EP exploring the act of observing through the use of found sound and other collected noises, as well as spatialized fixed media performances concerning “Ai collaboration.”

Trinnis Morrow – Dearly Departed

Trinnis Morrow (they/them) is an artist currently based out of South Bend, Indiana. A student of the music technology program at Indiana University South Bend, Trinnis seeks to find where the voice, electronics, software, and emotions can meet each other.

This piece was composed entirely on a Behringer Neutron analog synthesizer as a way to musically represent my father’s death. He died when I was 7 years old and I was not present at the hospital when it happened, so I tried to collect different sounds from the synthesizer and structure them in a way that I felt could represent what his last few minutes felt like.

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