International festival stops in Boston to spotlight local cyber musicians. Sonic Circuits VIII International Electronic Music Festival at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Friday April 27: Works by: Charles Dodge, Ron Kuivila, Dennis Miller, Arun Chandra, , Ezra Sims, Amnon Wolman, Jorrit Dijkstra. Guest performers include Michael Bierylo, David Bryant, James Coleman and Kirsten Wegeman. Saturday April 28: Works by: Richard Lerman, Dennis Miller, Arun Chandra, Ileana Perez, Neil Leonard. Guest performers include Badal Roy, David Bryant, Bob Guilotti and John Lockwood. A Festival Overview by Neil Leonard Massachusetts has long been a center for innovation in art and technology. In 1902 Thaddeus Cahill set up shop in the Cabot Street Mill, Holyoke MA to perfect his Teleharmonium, the first and largest sound synthesizer ever developed. His first working prototype weighed 200 tons and required two railroad boxcars to transport. At Boston based WBGH-TV composer/artist Nam June Paik and electronics engineer Shuya Abe built the world's first video synthesizer to distort existing video signals. The synthesizer was first used in a revolutionary four-hour-long broadcast during Paik's residency at WGBH in 1970. Today the regional spirit of innovation is carried on by new generations of composers and artists exploring new approaches to composition, performance, instrument design and sound installation. The exciting and varied all-star line-up includes works by Charles Dodge, one of the first composers to realize the vast potential of the computer for broadening the composer's palette. In creating Any resemblance is Purely Coincidental, Dodge stripped the vocal performance from Enrico Caruso's 1907 recording of Ruggiero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. Dodge then processed Caruso's voice. The final piece is performed live with a piano reduction of the original orchestral score and a synthetic realization of Caruso who emerges from the libretto to take on a life of his own. Dodge’s Earth's Magnetic Field, was computed using changes in the activity of the earth's magnetic field. The piece can be viewed as a contemporary realization of Plato's inquiry into the connection between celestial movement and the form of the soul. John Rockwell of the New York Times called it one of "the ten most significant works of the 1970's". Dodge will be presenting new work for microtonal synthetic sound. Richard Lerman has devoted his career to exploring new sonic territory via custom instruments and sound installations. Lerman will perform Changing States 6 using homemade metal microphones and small jeweler's propane torches and Border Fences 2 using a compass, rose branch, passport, computer floppy disk and homemade tape delay comprised of two Walkman Cassette recorders. Amnon Wolman is best known for his controversial experimentation with unusual sound sources and unique presentations. His piece Right Lane Must turn Right, commissioned by the International Tuba Society for their 1995 meeting, was written for many tubas and asked that the 600 tuba players walk around a prescribed area of the downtown of a city while playing their parts. His No U Turn was described by Josef Woodard, of the Los Angeles Times, "...The [six percussionists] took the stage in handcuffs ... coaxing layers of rhythm and texture from these implements of limited mobility. Here lies a graphic illustration of the notion that an aesthetic stance can be forged through limitations." Wolman will present Noises for tape and an ensemble comprised of Michael Bierylo, David Bryant, James Coleman and Neil Leonard. Jorrit Dijkstra is from Amsterdam and performs on alto saxophone, Lyricon and live electronics. Emile Tobenfeld (Dr. T) calls Dijkstra's music “A very nice mix of post Trane/Jimmy Lyons sax and electronic processing -effectively mixing jazz, techno, and ambient soundscapes. The fusion of styles is effective because Jorrit keeps his jazz at full strength- the electronics (sax processed with a simple set of electronic effects, mainly a delay/looping device and an analog filter) layers with the jazz without in any way diluting it.” Ron Kuivila is known for his sound installation Radial Arcs for 96 stun guns that was commissioned by Ars Electronica. His recent sound installation Sparks on Paper was exhibited at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and included a network of piano wires strung just above our heads. In the dark these invisible wires became the home for a constellation of crackles and flashes as electrical current raced through the wires and static charges were released. An excellent recent radio interview with Kuivila can be heard at www.theconnection.org. Ron Kuivila will perform Beatification of the Facsimile Tone. For four decades, Cambridge based Ezra Sims has produced a rich body of works that has distinguished him as one of the leading voices in microtonal composition. All but a very few of his works use a scale of 18 or 24 tones within a 72-note division of the octave. He is a recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, Koussevitsky Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation and Fulbright Senior Scholar Program. He will be presenting Flight for flute and tape, created using a custom made synthesizer. Dennis H. Miller's recent works meld synthetic images and electronic music in a virtual environment. Miller calls his works "fine art animations" and though both the music and the picture often exhibit repeating patterns, there is rarely an attempt to duplicate in any literal sense one medium by the other. "I see them as two coexisting streams of events that simply work well together." This modern day audio/visual synthesis is realized using tools that can be downloaded from the Internet, and that are programmed using algorithms of Miller's design. Arun Chandra's computer generated text/sound pieces explore the sonic properties of speech with charm, wit and poignancy. Chandra puts the physical aspects of speech in relief by carefully reversing small segments of the sound wave thus rendering the semantic meaning of the text unintelligible. In this context the idiosyncratic inflections and dramatic embellishments of the voice are transformed into a rich tapestry of pure sound. . Ileana Perez Velazquez presents Un ser con unas alas enormes... (A being with enormous wings) for violin and tape. Critically acclaimed by the New York Times, this piece furthers her work in melding virtuostic performance and extended instrumental techniques with computer generated tape. In several recent pieces she takes recordings by the performer at hand and creates digital reconstruction of their performance to create a stunning dialog between live soloist in an algorithmically transformed performance. Neil Leonard will be performing with his cyberjazz ensemble featuring Badal Roy, tabla virtuoso and veteran of Miles Davis’ band, and David Bryant, synthesist with Ornette Coleman, Bob Guilotti and John Lockwood. Regarding Leonard's new solo CD "Timaeus" George Russell wrote "If anyone can "in-soulmate" the computer in a manner which integrates it beautifully and subtly with the heart and soul of the human artist, that person is Neil Leonard, and this CD is the realization of this worthy goal." ACF-BAC is grateful to the Institute of Contemporary Art for their generous support. Recognizing the fact that contemporary art in all its forms shares a common source, the ICA has consistently presented programs of new and experimental music which has included performances by such artists as trumpeter Dave Douglas and John Zorn. Currently the ICA co-produces a program of new jazz, experimental and improvised music in collaboration with the Boston Creative Music Alliance. Performances are April 27 & 28, 2001, at 8 pm at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 955 Boylston Street, Boston. Tickets are $12 general admission and $10 students and seniors. Tickets are available in advance at Loony Tunes Records 1106 Boylston St., Boston, (617) 247-2238, and also at the ICA Box Office the day of the event. Handicapped accessible. For more information, call the ICA at 617-266-5152 or the American Composers Forum at 508-587-0993 or visit: soniccircuits.com.
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