TENOR 2018: matralab & Ensemble ILÉA Concert
Concordia Dance Blackbox, John Molson Building
May 25, 2018
$10 at the door
A concert by matralab and Ensemble ILÉA. matralab is a research space of inter-x art directed by Sandeep Bhagwati at Concordia University in Montréal. Ensemble ILÉA is an ensemble of variable size dedicated to experimental improvised music. Created in 2016 underthe initiative of Kevin Gironnay, Ensemble ILÉA gathers some of the finest Montréal musicians in the fields of experimental electronic and acoustic music. The result: free improvisations influenced by instinct and ornamented by sonic experimentation shaped by generative and interactive visual guiding software.
SILENCE NOT ABSENCE
In Adrienne Rich’s poem “Cartographies of Silence” I once read the following lines: The technologies of silence, / the rituals, the etiquette / the blurring of terms / silence not absence / of words or music or even / raw sounds. I immediately imagined a pair of musicians that would silently quarrel and dance around each
other, sometimes tightly coordinated, sometimes in opposition. And let us experience various qualities of silence – heavy, glorious, anguished, painful, calm, absent-minded, focused… Like in a quarrel, when we seem to be out of our minds, the musicians, too, cannot control what happens to their music-making – they are almost like puppets in a sonic play, buffeted by commands from a randomly generated audio-score, and by commands from the audience, transmitted to them via the tactile body-suit score. Both scores allow the musicians to focus on their movements, their spatial relationship to each other, their situation. Like we, when we quietly quarrel, they, again and again, say the same things, play the same music, sometimes louder, sometimes softer, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, sometimes blurry, sometimes clearly. They fail to connect, then succeed, then fail again, harder. How will this claustrophobic moment end? In harmony – or in a sonic rift?
Elinor Frey, Violoncello
Felix Del Tredici, Bass Trombone
Joseph A Browne, Live-Audio
Travis West, Live-Scores
VIRUS FOR PERCUSSION
COMPOSITION FOR LIVE GENERATED ELECTRONIC
RESONATING BODY AND PERCUSSION SOLO
The live generated electronic resonating body is the host to which the sounds of the percussion player attach and adapt, they penetrate into it and use it for their replication. At first the body is immune, but during the course of the piece the body stops resisting, takes in the sounds of the percussion instruments, and allows the viruses to multiply freely. It is a struggle and synthesis between two resonating bodies. Together they stay alive. Both bodies are audible. The virus series is an expedition into acoustic perception, a sounding of the responses of our brains in the span of milliseconds, a plea for the precise acoustic moment. And what do you hear?
Percussion: Jessica Tsang
Live electronic: Elisabeth Schimana
Like some of my earlier pieces, Swan Song is based on transcriptions of preexisting sonic materials: speech, music and noises. For this piece I have chosen the final scene of a masterpiece of Chinese cinema called Farewell, My Concubine by Chen Kaige, a movie that had a great impact on me when it was released in 1993. The movie revolves around a complicated love story and features scenes from an eponymous Peking Opera. Life and theater blend dramatically in the final scene. The rendering of the transcribed materials by the cello and percussion, mimicking the voices and instruments of Peking opera, are accompanied by processed video from the movie as well as electronic and prerecorded sounds. The first two tracks of the master score (written with MaxScore running inside my multimedia performance environment Quintet.net) are being used for real-time part extraction and sent to the players over the network, the third and fourth tracks for the control of audio and video playback and the fifth is a click track, synchronizing the musicians to the audio and video playback.
Elinor Frey, Violoncello
Jessica Tsang, Percussion
Georg Hajdu, Live Interactive Media
RYAN ROSS SMITH
STUDY NO. 38 [VARIATIONS ON SOL LEWITT’S VARIATIONS
OF INCOMPLETE OPEN CUBES]
In ‘Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes,’ Sol LeWitt provided instructions for the creation of physical models of the 122 variations of an open cube, with each variation representing a non-reflective version of a cube with at least one edge absent. LeWitt’s instructions are the inspiration for Study no. 38, a composition for 8 performers, each with 7 distinct sonic events. Each event node, or corner, corresponds to one of these sonic events. Because the potential sequence of events for each variation is determined by which nodes are visible, and how they are connected to one another, each variation represents a unique variation on the 7-event ‘non-theme’. A generative animated notation prescribes player actions for each variation.
KEVIN GIRONNAY/ENSEMBLE ILEA
For this performance, a new combination of Ensemble ILÉA will play improvised music following a generative and interactive software seen only by the musicians on stage. Focusing the audience’s attention on the music itself, this software allows for musical directions and synchronized moments, and sometimes generates rules that improvisers can chose to observe. All the prompts displayed through this software are merely suggestions, not orders: its purpose being to suggest a “norm”. When a musician challenges a given notion, they are perceived as “abnormal”, thus unlocking new musical relations and tensions between the ensemble.
Charlotte Layec, bass clarinet
Alexandra Tibbitts, harp
Genevieve D’Ortun, saxophone
Ana Dall’Ara-Majek, electronics
Jeremy Chignec, flute
Vincent Fliniaux, double bass
Kevin Gironnay, electronics
TWO SHORT PIECES FOR SIBELIUS NOTATION SOFTWARE
Two Short Pieces for Sibelius Notation Software” form part of a larger series of compositional studies for midi instruments, and notation software. Each étude in the series attempts to answer the question: What if composers stopped treating midi instruments as ersatz human performances and started treating them as a new type of performer- with their own idioms, extended techniques, and histories. Additionally, these pieces allow for visually stimulating and complex scores and license the use of score projection during performance – partly because they grow from an aesthetic that is not only rooted in that of new music, but also in audio-visual, internet-based traditions, like that of Black Midi.
Instrumentation: Solo Macbook Air running Sibelius
Notation Software version 8.3.0