TENOR 2018: CLOrk & Friends Concert

Tanna Schulich Hall, Elizabeth Wirth Music Building

May 24, 2018

7:00 PM

Concert featuring Concordia Laptop Orchestra (CLOrk)

$10 at the door

Created by Eldad Tsabary in 2010, Concordia Laptop Orchestra (CLOrk) is a versatile ensemble of laptopists and other sound makers from the Electroacoustic Studies program at Concordia‘s Department of Music. The ensemble explores diverse forms of collective music making, improvisation, and communication approaches; and has years of experience in networked and telematic performances, in interdisciplinary performance, and in developing strategies for large ensemble collective improvisation. Notable CLOrk performances include a collaboration with pop star Ariane Moffat at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) and a performance in Akousma festival at Usine C.


Realtime composition environment for improvising soloists 1999-2007. “more or less” is a computer-driven realtime composition where the musicians do not reproduce parts of a fixed score. Instead of executing a pre-fabricated text from note sheets, they are viewing mobile devices (such as smartphones or tablets) which display randomlygenerated playing instructions. During the performance the musicians can make queries to their mobile devices asking for playing instructions whenever they feel a necessity for it. Furthermore, a random-generated Haiku is created whenever a musician receives a new instruction from the computer / mobile device. This three-liner provides a puzzle that has to be “”solved”” by the musicians and which will influence the interpretation of the required structure to a great extend. The piece is based on 5 different types of musical structures (gestures) that have to be improvised by the musicians according to the description given below. As long as a certain structure is valid, the musician improvise a phrase of an indetermined length, followed by a silence which duration is free. The steady alternation between phrases (a time span filled with sound) and silences (a time span with no sound) is continued for the whole duration of one structure.

Listening Not Guaranteed (2017), an animated screen score for laptop ensemble, thematizes human-computer interaction. The intricate score image is animated with pink lines, which performers choose whether and how to trace with the mouse. This (x,y) gesture controls various audio parameters. The sonic content of Listening Not Guaranteed explores multiple forms of sparseness: in texture and silence, in control choices, and in gesture-output relationships.

Alexander Calder, with his mobiles, was able to go farther than capturing motion in sculpture, he was able to employ the dynamics of motion as a means of expression. Composers such as Colon Nancarrow, James Tenney, and Morton Feldman achieved similar ends, in different ways, through the medium of sound. Nancarrow, through long accelerations and decelerations brought the dynamics of motion to the forefront, unseating the dominance of melody and rhythm. Tenney, in his work “Having never
written a note for percussion”, created musical form through the transformations in the resonance of a tam tam during a long crescendo and decrescendo. Morton Feldman in works such as “Triadic Memories”, embodied the other end of the spectrum with transformations happening at a glacial pace. Calder’s mobiles are in constant transformation yet retain their essential identity, they are always the same yet always not the same. Motion becomes the focus. The process of transformation tangible. Multiform transformations happen through the complexity of simultaneous interactions.

The piece Hidden Motive is an exploration of a threedimensional improvised graphic score, where through the use of virtual reality and streaming technology, the musician(s) can be placed inside the score itself. Although the musician(s) experience the score through 360, VR or AR headset(s), the audience also witnesses its live creation (using the VR art application Tilt Brush) through mixed reality and projection techniques.


CLOrk features:

Kacey Pocius, Danile Ulmashev, Sam Donald, Anthony Caci, Robert Stiglitz, Andrei Mugur Busuioceanu & Nathaniel Bachelder St. Pierre