Following Green Orpheus’s Call for Works, The Dream Team came to Dartmouth College for their mini-residency, featuring a workshop with composers, multiple pop-up performances and an evening concert at Rollin’s Chapel.
The residency started off with a reading session in which Dartmouth composers got to work with The Dream Team. This allowed them to test out pieces and discuss the intricacies of instrumentation and ensemble dynamics.
We had pop-up performances throughout the Dartmouth campus. This helped to promote the event as well as expose different portions of the Dartmouth community to music they wouldn’t normally hear, in places where they often don’t hear music.
The concert was held in Rollin’s Chapel, the acoustics were amazing and despite the large size of the hall we managed to pull everyone in close for an intimate setting.
The Dream Team played seven new pieces by five Dartmouth composers. The pieces varied enormously in aesthetics, structure and intention. They were all very demanding of the ensemble’s focus and musicianship and The Dream Team rose to the occasion.
You can see the rest of the pieces on the concert’s program.
They were kind enough to perform three of my pieces, two of which you can hear via the links below.
The first piece is similar in style to a work I wrote for TIGUE called Cinque, while Survival… was a competition between the performer’s similar in process to a genetic algorithm.
The entire concert was recorded and more audio/video should be available soon.
This event was generously supported by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and the Dartmouth Centers Forum as part of Dartmouth’s Year of the Arts initiative. Green Orpheus would like to thank all of those sponsors as well as the Dartmouth music department for their help in making this possible.
Green Orpheus, in collaboration with the Year of the Arts is happy to announce a call for works for the music trio The Dream Team (harmonium, electric guitar, tenor saxophone).
Selected pieces will be read/workshopped (Feb. 14th) and performed (Feb. 15th) at Dartmouth College while the ensemble is in residence.
All Dartmouth community members: students, faculty and staff are encouraged to submit scores, by 2/6/13, for this group.
(submissions may be sent to GreenOrpheusMusic@gmail.com)
Any concerns regarding instrumentation or questions for the ensemble may be directed to email@example.com
About the group:
” The Dream Team is an experimental music ensemble. Formed in the summer of 2012, the ensemble toured the entire united states, performing concert halls, clubs, galleries, warehouses, bedrooms, basements and outdoors. The Dream Team is dedicated to new works and has received pieces from composers young and old and from all over, including Andrew C Smith, Jürg Frey, Craig Shepard and Tom Crean. The ensemble’s members are Jack Callahan, guitar; Mustafa Walker, harmonium; and David Kant, tenor saxophone. The ensemble is currently preparing for an lp release.”
Last November was the 2nd annual MIDI Jamz concert hosted by Green Orpheus at Dartmouth College.
This year featured an international call for works and competition for the best MIDI submissions.
The MIDI Jamz concert series celebrates the now 30 year old technology MIDI, short for Music Instrument Digital Interface. We showcase music created for or generated exclusively by MIDI. We encourage abandoned works from Sibelius/Finale that will never be realized by acoustic ensembles as well as purely electronic pieces.
Here is a recording of the concert complete with MCing by Chet Checkers and Franky Franklin. You’ll have to listen to the end to find out the winners!
We’d like to thank the Dartmouth Graduate Student Council and Dartmouth Department of Music for their financial support.
While the majority of the students were away on break this winter, I found some time to sneak into the empty campus dining hall to do a recording project.
This project was motivated by two pieces of music written by two different guys during the latter half of the 20th century. These guys being Charles Dodge and Alvin Lucier and their pieces being “A Man Sitting in a Cafeteria“(1973ish) and “I Am Sitting in a Room” (1969) respectively.
Dodge’s piece was a digital intonement of a poem by Mark Strand of the same name. Working after hours at Bell Labs on a computer used for speech research, Dodge made a group of speech poems of which “A Man Sitting in a Cafeteria” is my favorite and perhaps the most comical. The text of the poem:
“A man sitting in a cafeteria
Had one enormous ear
And one tiny one.
Which was fake?”
Lucier’s piece, one of his most well known, features a recording of himself reading a text in some given room, and then re-recording that recording in the same room. This process is repeated multiple times resulting in a filtered version of each previous step in the process. As the piece unfolds the resonant frequencies of the room are emphasized and the speech slowly is blurred into the formant frequencies of the room. The text that Lucier reads in the piece describes it as such:
“I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.”
The recording that I made uses Dodge’s speech song in lieu of Lucier’s narration but follows the same process of recording and re-recording in the same space, this space being a cafeteria. You don’t have to listen very hard to hear the sounds of stray cafeteria workers that wandered in during the recording. I was never able to fully articulate to them exactly what I was doing but they were nice enough to let me continue.
Finally, here is the actual audio.
I traveled to the Tuscan town of Lucca in December of 2012 to participate in 15th Generative Arts Conference. The schedule consisted of lectures, discussions, performances and installations by architects, artists, programmers, designers, biologists, historians and a variety of others. Each copy of the proceedings was personally dedicated to a GA2012 participant with a unique cover art design. Created in Basilica these designs are another variation of the Generative Scenatios of Lucca seen on the conference poster.
At this event, there was a strong emphasis that “art” refers to the ancient Latin word Ars, with the motto “… Ars sine scientia nihil est” (art without science is nothing) – Jean Vignot, 1392. Everyone at the conference worked in interdisciplinary domains and had various opinions on what the term “Generative Art” means, or should mean. I will not rehash any of the debates here, many of the well formulated arguments can be found in the conference proceedings which should be available soon at the GA website. Just like everywhere else in Italy, the arguments ceased momentarily when it was time for coffee. No matter what problems Italy may seem to be having, they always get the coffee perfect.
Pictured below is a wood sculpture by Massimo Gasperini. The designs are adapted from an old woodworking technique in which one cuts concentric circles on a a board at a bevel angle and then stacks them to make a bowl. Using a wedge instead of a board results in a logarithmic spiral, and Gasperini exploits this in his practice. Using software that he wrote he draws outlines of segments to be cut on the wedges that are more complicated than the circles used in the traditional technique. He experiments with different angles and curves in software and then realizes the 3D shape in oak, cherry, linden, wengé or aformosia.
Below is an image of Marco Cardini interacting with his audio/visual system via gesture capture. It took me 10 minutes into the performance to realize that he was standing off to the side steering something that I thought looked like a ’90s era screen saver. It took me another 10 minutes to be convinced that he was actually controlling the thing. He did a pretty good job considering he only used one camera to do his cyber painting.
Boris Magrini managed to rile everyone up with his talk on “Should generative art be political?”. Margrini hypothesized that the reason generative art has gained less attention in the contemporary and new media art worlds is that it deals mostly with abstract computer images. Making political statements is a major emphasis of many contemporary artworks and perhaps a reason why they garner attention, a general lack of this kind of activity from generative arts may explain why it spends less time in the limelight. Margrini cites historical works such as MEART by the SymbioticA Research Group and Wrong Browser by Jodi which contradict the idea that generative art is not political. The general consensus of the community at GA2012 seemed to be that generative art is meta-political and is more concerned with larger issues that are more complex than ones that typical contemporary artists can understand. At least no one was falling asleep.
Celestino Soddu and Enrica Colabella did a great job organizing, the food was always amazing the space was gorgeous and they really invited a lot of really cool people. There was talk of holding a workshop sometime this summer in Sardinia (as soon as I know anything I’ll relay it) as well as plugs for an upcoming conference CroArtScia2013 in Croatia and the first annual Art, Science and Technology conference in Israel.
We were fortunate enough to have the New York based percussion trio TIGUE do a residency at Dartmouth College this November.
The trio (Matt Evans, Amy Garapic, Carson Moody) read, performed and recorded works by undergraduate, graduate and faculty members of the Dartmouth community.
To promote the concert TIGUE played some pop-up concerts around the Dartmouth campus.
Below are two videos of the performance. The first is them playing Cinque (2012), a piece I wrote for them.
The second is a work of their own creation involving some instruments mr. z game them.
This piece is a competition between the guitarists. Each player has a series of guitar exercises that they attempt to perform in time with the metronome, if they successfully complete an exercise they increase the metronome speed by one click. If they are in the middle of an exercise when the metronome speed increases, or they make a mistake, they must restart the exercise.
The player who turns the metronome from the highest speed to the tuning note is the winner.
Here is the video of the premiere: Juan King for 4 Guitars
Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, or to request a copy of the score.
While John King has been a great influence on my work, specifically with regard to guitar quartets (like D4G15 ) I wrote this piece before I met him, so the similarity between the title of my quartet and his name is just a coincidence.
If I was really trying to relate it to John’s name I would have called it Juan Rey, not Juan King…