CCRMA Summer 2002 Concert

Digital Music Under the Stars

Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music & Acoustics (CCRMA) will present its annual summer concert featuring totally new music by Applebaum, Chafe, Landa, Lee, Norton, Pennycook, Scavone and Scott Amendola, Chris Chafe, Gary Scavone, Jeff Walters and performing Gascia Ouzounian, Bruce Pennycook live from Montreal. The show features newly created music instruments and Internet technology alongside traditional instruments. Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics is a research group and studio developing new music and cutting-edge resources for musical creation. Concert music includes works by CCRMA faculty, students and visiting musicians. The program begins and ends with improv groups connecting players on stage and in Montreal, via new Internet2 university reserved bandwidth streaming capabilities. Digital audio compositions use the 8-channel outdoor sound system and include works based on texts from inside the head of a composer, the plight of Napster, music generated from traffic patterns in the world-wide Internet, and previously unheard outtakes from special effects for the soundtrack from the film "The Shipping News." New instruments in the concert and in the pre-concert demonstrations, replicate the acoustical DNA of a saxophone and more.

Thursday July 25, at 8 p.m.,

The Knoll Courtyard, Stanford University.

Sound installations and demonstrations begin at 6:00 P.M. Admission is free.

For information, call the Music Department at (650) 723-3811 or CCRMA at (650) 723-4971

Sound Installations and Demonstrations
Touch Sound -- Lonny Chu
PadMaster -- Fernando Lopez-Lezcano
Cool: Circular Optical Object Locator -- David Merril
13 -- Seungyon-Seny Lee
vBow -- Charles Nichols
Other demos by -- Craig Sapp and Michael Gurevich

Ping Wheel -- Chris Chafe / Greg Niemeyer
Panmure Vistas -- Bruce Pennycook
Air Study I -- Gary Scavone
Pre-Composition -- Mark Applebaum
Stop Thief -- Jonathan Norton
Oil Thanker -- Peer Landa
Post-script music: Time-zone zone-out Jazz Jam

Ping Wheel

for Internet, improvisers, and improvisers over the Internet

Scott Amendola, drums

Chris Chafe, celletto

Bruce Pennycook, soprano sax

via Internet2 from Montreal

Chris Chafe / Greg Niemeyer

Concert versions of art gallery installation pieces represent a new trend in recycling in my life. Tonight's piece uses the basic musical setup of Ping, an installation which was part of SFMOMA's exhibition last year, "010101: Art in Technological Times." The wheel "steers" the music through a constellation of Internet hosts who are repeatedly being "pinged," much like SONAR. Ping is a collaboration with digital artist Greg Niemeyer.

Patterns emerge in the echoes from the remote computers. If the Internet were perfectly predictable, or if it were entirely "random," these would have less significance musically. What we actually get depends on complex interactions in network traffic and in the computers themselves. For example, fast, high riffs represent responsive machines on clear paths, low tones are emitted by echoes from slower-responding sites.

The band itself includes networked contributions coming from Montreal (McGill University). Turning on the low-latency audio / video streams adds our saxophonist to the stage, and also severely loads the network, in turn affecting the Ping music.

The audience is invited to experience the wheel for themselves before the show.

Chris Chafe, composer / cellist, has been a long-term denizen of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University where he teaches courses in computer music and directs the center. He completed a doctorate in composition at Stanford in 1983 with prior studies at the University of California at San Diego and Antioch College. While at IRCAM, Paris (under the codename "XF"), he developed methods for computer sound synthesis based on physical models of musical instrument mechanics. Current projects include the "SoundWIRE" experiments for network evaluation and musical collaboration using high-speed internets for high-quality sound. He has performed in Europe, the Americas and Asia including new works for the celletto, an electric cello he developed for extreme playing situations. Two new discs are available from Centaur Records, plus "Extrasensory Perceptions" a new disc of music from two collaborations with artist Greg Niemeyer. "Ping" was exhibited at SF MOMA in Spring 2001, and online via Walker Art Center's "Crossfade." "Oxygen Flute," has been exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Art and now moves to Berkeley's University Art Museum. A new piece, "Carbon Path," takes Oxygen Flute into a concert setting in its premier August, 2002 at the Keihanna Multi-media Festival near Kyoto.

Panmure Vistas

for violin and computer

Gascia Ouzounian, violin

via Internet2 from Montreal

Bruce Pennycook

Panmure Vistas was conceived during an idyllic summer holiday touring New Brunswick and camping in Panmure Island Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island. There are echoes of fiddle music in this piece combined with an electroacoustic soundscape inspired by the rugged beauty and ceaseless oscillations of wind and sea.

Panmure Vistas can be peformed by a solo violinist or by any number of violinists playing in unison. It was first performed in Montreal(1999) by Clemens Markel for a concert of the Group of the Electronic Music Studio (GEMS) at McGill University.

A recording produced by the composer and Oles Protsydim with Gascia Ouzounian, violin, can be previewed at:

The Canadian composer, Bruce Pennycook, holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Stanford University (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) and a M.Mus. and a B.Mus. in composition from the University of Toronto.

From 1978 to 1987 he was a professor at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario in the Department of Music and the Department of Computing and Information Science. In 1987 he joined the Faculty of Music, McGill University where he formed graduate and undergraduate degree programs in music technology. From 1997-2000 he held the position of Vice-Principal for Information Systems and Technology at McGill University. Pennycook is currently an independent composer, author and consultant living in Montreal.

Pennycook¹s works for soloist or small ensemble coupled with interactive computer systems have been performed and broadcast widely in Canada, US, Europe and Japan. He has published numerous articles on music and technology and contemporary compositional methods.

For more information visit:

Air Study I

for saxophone and tape

Gary Scavone, saxophone

Gary Scavone

This work is an exploration of subtle overblowing effects using two virtual "blowed string" physical models and a live saxophonist. The physical model algorithms were created and controlled using the Synthesis ToolKit in C++, a software environment by Perry Cook and Gary Scavone.

Gary Scavone, specializes in the performance of contemporary concert music and encourages new works incorporating the saxophone. He studied saxophone with Ronald Caravan and Sigurd Rascher at Syracuse University, as well as with Jean-Marie Londeix at the National Conservatory of France in Bordeaux while on a Fulbright Scholarship. He has performed at numerous venues around the San Francisco Bay Area and may occasionally be seen playing with the San Francisco Saxophone Quartet. Mr. Scavone is currently Technical Director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University, where he received a Ph.D in "Computer-Based Music Theory & Acoustics" and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.


for 8-channel tape

Pre-Composition is a work for 8-channel tape. The sound source is my voice

... or voices.

Mark Applebaum is assistant professor of composition and theory at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego where he studied principally with Brian Ferneyhough. His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, electro-acoustic, and electronic work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has received commissions from Betty Freeman, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, Zeitgeist, MANUFACTURE (Tokyo), the Jerome Foundation, and the American Composers Forum, among others.

Since 1990 Applebaum has built electro-acoustic instruments out of junk, hardware, and found objects for use as both compositional and improvisational tools. He is also active as a jazz pianist and performs with his father, Robert Applebaum of Chicago, in the Applebaum Jazz Piano Duo. Prior to his current appointment, he taught at UCSD, Mississippi State University, and Carleton College where he served as Dayton-Hudson Visiting Artist. His recordings can be heard on the Innova label. Additional information is available at

Stop Thief!

for tape

Jonathan Norton

This text-sound music composition examines the controversy surrounding online music swapping and intellectual property infringement that was brought to a head by a company called Napster. Although it was forced to shut down, the company was poised to resume its business in a revised format. Will the new incarnation squelch the controversy or will it just fuel the flames ?

Jonathan Norton, is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Computer-Based Music Theory at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. During his time at Stanford, he has studied with John Chowning, Julius Smith, Max Mathews, Jonathan Harvey, Chris Chafe, David Soley and Jody Rockmaker. He received his Master's degree in Composition from Northwestern University.

His works for dance, acoustic instruments, tape and soundtracks have been heard and performed worldwide in festivals and on television in the United States, Russia, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Holland, Brazil, Japan, Monaco, Italy, China, Hong Kong, France and Switzerland.

Oil Thanker

for cello and tape

Chris Chafe, cello

Peer Landa

The compositional technique for "Oil Thanker" is based on both traditional instrumental composition and digital signal processing. This piece is mostly scrap material from a Miramax feature film I recently worked on, "The Shipping News" by Lasse Hallstrom (which is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of 1994). Initially I wrote traditional notation for a string octet and processed the tracks with my DSP programs. Eventually the tracks were convolved, processed, and edited with other recordings, (such as steel cables, water bubbles, girls' screams, etc.). To create an orchestral feel to the piece, I've left most of the instruments' original timbres intact. Since this piece is based on the life struggle of the Newfoundlanders (on which the Shipping News film and novel are based) I have again chosen to make a rather unpleasant piece -- that is just how I am.

Below is a short background of the film "Shipping News" on which this piece is based.

Fishing was the main source of income for the Newfoundlanders ever since the island was officially discovered in 1497 by John Cabot (well over 500 years after the Norwegian Vikings' settlement). Cabot also discovered that the coastal waters and the offshore banks contained a vast quantity of cod. Fishermen from England, France, Portugal and Spain crossed the Atlantic to harvest the goods from the rich waters. The local economy was boosted due to the huge amount of fish caught and sold within the community. A drastic change happened to the traditional Newfoundland life in the 1950s and 1960s when the small family-run operations were replaced by large fisheries and canneries -- most people started to move from the smaller villages to larger towns. To make things worse, a few years later (1977) the Canadian government set its fishery jurisdiction to just 200 miles around the coast of Newfoundland, and shortly thereafter fishing boats from all over the world invaded the coast. In 1989 scientists discovered that over-fishing had dangerously decreased some key groundfish stocks. The fishermen had to give up fishing altogether or settle with the restricted quotas -- all due to the industrialization by big companies. In a futile attempt, the Canadian government promised to create new jobs, but hardly any projects materialized until oil was found off the coast of Newfoundland. This quick fix "rescued" a lot of people who began to work in the oil industry, but most have still not gotten back on their feet.

The reason why all this is so close to my heart is that I grew up in similar circumstances back home in western Norway, where in my youth I worked seasonally on oilrigs along with my relatives, farmers and fishermen, just to make some quick dough -- almost a form of prostitution. The environment we live in should always take precedence over greed.

The ironic quote heard in my piece is spoken by the character played by Kevin Spacey: "Let's all hang a picture of an oil tanker on our wall." This again reflects the somewhat disturbing nature of this piece.

Very special thanks to: Chris, Ori, Jay, Jack, Roy, Michael, Andy and Lasse.

Peer Landa,was born in Norway, 1960. For the past fifteen years, he has barely survived by composing computer and instrumental music. He was invited to CCRMA in 1989 by John Chowning.

Post-script music: Time-zone zone-out jam

... For internet, improvisers

McGill University

The concert will be ending with an informal jam session with players in Montreal, performing three jazz standards.

Live from Montreal


Interactive demonstration

Lonny Chu

TouchSound is a prototype system used to investigate the incorporation of haptic feedback into a digital sound editing system. With this prototype, the user physically feels vibrations and forces through the mouse or control knob while scrolling through a sound file. By providing haptic feedback that is relevant to the sound data, the user experience is enhanced and will hopefully lead to greater user efficiency, productivity, and gratification.


Interactive demonstration

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano

PadMaster is an improvisation and compositional environment that is controlled by the Radio Baton, a six three dimentional controller. The surface of the Radio Baton is split in pads that can be programmed to trigger individual notes or start or stop autonomous performers, pads can also be grouped in scenes so that the behavior of the surface can be redefined on the fly through the duration of a piece. Active pads can also react in real-time to the position of the batons in 3d space, triggering changes in parameters that are sent through midi to external synthesizers. PadMaster was developed and is currently still running in original vintage NeXT hardware and software. The demo will include the setup and sounds of House of Mirrors, a piece written for this environment.

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano (Buenos Aires, 1956) received both a Master in Electronic Engineering (Faculty of Engineering, University of Buenos Aires) and a Master in Music (Carlos Lopez Buchardo National Conservatory, Buenos Aires). He started working with electroacoustic music by building his own analog studio and synthesizers around 1976. After graduating he worked for nine years in industry as microprocessor hardware and software Design Engineer for embedded real-time systems (telephone exchanges) while simultaneaously pursuing his interests in electroacoustic music composition. His 1986 piece "Quest" won a mention in the 1990 Bouges Competition. Starting in October 1990 he spent one year at CCRMA, Stanford University, as Invited Composer, as part of an exchange program between LIPM in Argentina, CCRMA at Stanford and CRCA at UCSD sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. He latter did research in dynamic sound localization and taught an Introduction to Electronic Music course for one year at the Shonan Fujisawa Campus of Keio University, Japan. He is currently Lecturer and Systems Administrator of the computer resources at CCRMA, where he splits his time between the company of good friends, keeping computers and users at CCRMA more or less happy and enjoying the arts of composing music and writing software. His music has been released on CD's and played in the Americas, Europe and East Asia.


Circular Optical Object Locator

Interactive demonstration

David Merril

Circular Optical Object Locator is a collaborative and cooperative music-making device. It uses an inexpensive digital video camera to observe a rotating platter. Objects placed on the platter are detected by the camera during rotation. The locations of the objects passing under the camera are used to generate music.

Webpage for the project is at:


Interactive demonstration

Charles Nichols

The vBowThe vBow, a virtual violin bow musical controller, has been designed to provide the computer musician with most of the gestural freedom of a bow on a violin string. Four cable and servomotor systems allow for four degrees of freedom, including the lateral motion of a bow stroke across a string, the rotational motion of a bow crossing strings, the vertical motion of a bow approaching and pushing into a string, and the longitudinal motion of a bow traveling along the length of a string. Encoders, attached to the shaft of the servomotors, sense the gesture of the performer, through the rotation of the servomotor shafts, turned by the motion of the cables. The data from each encoder is mapped to a parameter in synthesis software of a bowed-string physical model. The software also sends control voltages to the servomotors, engaging them and the cables attached to them with a haptic feedback simulation of friction, vibration, detents, and elasticity.

Charles Nichols received his Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music, and his Master of Music degree in composition from the Yale University School of Music. Currently, he is working on his Ph.D. dissertation, engineering a virtual violin bow controller human-computer interface, composing and performing interactive computer music, and serving as the Associate Technical Director, at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. He has recently accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Technology at the Department of Music at the University of Montana.


Sound installation and concert performance featuring drums

Jeffrey Walters, drums

Seungyon-Seny Lee

13 is a real-time interactive collaboration work by the composer, Seny Lee and the scientist, Jeffrey Walters. Craig Sapp provided invaluable assistance with the hardware interfaces.

13 is one of composer's imagined numbers- one step beyond the end of a common cycle. Simple additions leading to "13" create short episodes of sound. The desired additions are expressed by grasping the plastic panel on the numbered sensors. Vibration sensors are also placed on the panels, and the vibrations caused by the users' interaction produce another layer of sound.

The mirrored surfaces project desired and undesired self images, distorted in ways reflected by the sounds.

Seungyon-Seny Lee, was born in Seoul, Korea. She received a D.M.A. in 2002 from Stanford University, where she studied with Jonathan Harvey and Chris Chafe. In 2000, she was selected to be one of ten composers to study at IRCAM in Paris. Her instrumental works and collaborative multimedia projects, which include documentary films, dance, video, and installations, have been performed in the U.S., Korea, Europe, and Cuba. She has received an Asia/Pacific Scholars and Oshita fellowship, grants and awards from the Korean Culture & Arts Foundation, Stanford University, and Acanthes. She has also been a resident artist in Paris at the Cite Internationale des Arts, the Djerassi Resident Artists program in Wooside, CA, and at the ArtOMI in New York State.

About the performers...
Hard-hitting percussionist, Scott Amendola beats his drums so much into submission that the LA Weekly likens his sound to "being slapped in the face with a rare steak doused in a great white wine sauce." The New Jersey-born Berklee College-grad teamed up with guitarist Charlie Hunter and many others soon after arriving in San Francsico in 1992. From stick-work to brush-work, mallet-banging to hand-slapping and Warner Bros. to Blue Note, Amendola continues to turn heads as one of the Bay Area's most powerful, rhythmically sophisticated young drummers.

Gascia Ouzounian began studying violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.Under the tutelage of Denise Lupien, she later completed undergraduate degrees in Violin Performance and Computer Applications in Music at McGill University, as well as a Master's degree in Violin Performance.For two years, she was the concertmaster of the McGill Contemporary Ensemble, and was a finalist in the CBC/McGill concerto competition. In 1999 she founded the group art-Sounds, committed to producing mixed-media events using live electronics. Gascia currently studies at the University of California at San Diego, where she is a doctoral student in the Critical Studies and Experimental Practices program.

Jeffrey Walters was born in Fairfax, Virginia. He received an M.A. in Music, Science and Technology from CCRMA in 2002. Previously, he received in B.A. in Physics from Dartmouth College in 2000. In addition to his technical work, he was a marimba student of Robert van Sice of the Yale School of Music from 1997 to 2000, and during that time was an active performer of contemporary music for marimba, premiering a new marimba concerto with the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra in 2000 and also works by composers such as Christian Wolff.

©2002 CCRMA, Stanford University. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Juan Reyes,