4/23 12PM EDT – 4/24 12AM EDT
2020 has been a year of isolation for everyone. Performing artists have been especially affected by the pandemic restrictions. However, this time spent physically apart from our families, friends, collaborators, and audiences has also highlighted something for artists: the value and convenience of meeting, collaborating, and performing with other people around the world via the Internet (and our planet is happy, too, about less carbon emissions!). At the SEAMUS 2021 Virtual National Conference, CCRMA is delighted to host a 12-hour telematic audiovisual event. The selected musicians and visual artists will present both individual and collaborative live acts throughout the day. Between 6:30–8:30pm EDT, we will open the virtual playground for even more partnerships between participating performers, including free improvisation.
We invite you to leave comments, ask questions, and interact with the artists and other audience members through the chat window.
(click on names to see more info)
The Unreliable Narrator: a series of fixed media audiovisual interludes created by Cathleen Grado (audio+video) and Nick Virzi (audio) will be played between the live performances.
1:01 Adam Vidiksis
1:24 Jean-Paul Perrotte
1:47 Sam Wells
2:10 Sonic Arts Ensemble
2:43 A Sonic Healing Trio: Cecilia Wu, Cecilia Suhr & Chris Chafe
3:24 The Core
4:27 Dilate Ensemble
5:00 Steven Kemper
5:18 OEGF + Shivasongster
5:46 duo B. vs. viDEO sAVant
8:30 Jean-François Charles / Will Yager
8:58 Cecilia Suhr
9:16 Fernando Lopez-Lezcano + Stephanie Sherriff
9:42 Daniel McKemie
10:15 Brad Decker
10:41 Seth Shafer + Bradley Robin / Sarah Church
11:22 Cathleen Grado
11:37 Nick Virzi + Stephanie Sherriff
All times are PM in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
As this is a live event, please note that performance times may slightly shift throughout the day.
Jeremy dePrisco’s artistic practice uses improvisation, collaboration, and noise to examine and re-contextualize the alienation inherent in media influence, socially constructed reality, conspiracy, and myth. He works with field recordings, guitar, electronics, synthesizers, radios, found sounds, home-made gadgets, and processed video.
Modality is Charles Nichols on violin and computer, Clark Grant on guitars, Ben Weiss on keyboards, and Jay Bruns on electronics and video synthesis. This Montana and Virginia based collective swims through oceans of sound, conjuring immersive, psychedelic, beautifully strange worlds, sonic excursions for fans of drone, ambient, krautrock, and contemporary music. Their practice is to co-compose, through recording free-improvisation, harvesting material, and collaboratively arranging and rerecording. Since 2013, they have rehearsed, recorded, produced, and performed telematically between their four studios, in Missoula and Butte, Montana, and Blacksburg, Virginia. In 2016, the band toured Montana, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia, starting with a performance at the DAT Music Conference in Missoula and ending with a performance at the Cube Fest at Virginia Tech. In 2020, they performed telematically, streamed live to Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. for the Network Music Festival, and recorded live to be streamed from St. Petersburg, Russia, for the Theremin Fest. Modality have co-composed and recorded four albums, Particle City, their debut, Under the Shadow of this Red Rock, a double LP, The Moruvians, a split with the band Lazertüth, and Megacycles, their latest album. These and other recordings can be found at modality.bandcamp.com.
Adam is a composer, conductor, percussionist, improviser, and technologist based in Philadelphia whose music often explores social structures, science, and the intersection of humankind with the machines we build. His music focuses on exploring new timbral soundscapes in both electronic and acoustic works, frequently using found objects that highlight and explore the vast world of sounds that surround us everyday. He often use the computer not only as a means of enhancing and manipulating the sounds he produces, but as a digital instrument on equal footing with its acoustic counterparts. He has a deep interest in science and technology, an enthusiasm that has profoundly influenced his work as a musician. His research in music technology focuses on techniques for real time audio processing, designing gestural controllers for live digital performance, and machine improvisation. He is an Assistant Professor of music technology at Temple University, President and founding member of SPLICE Music, which includes the annual Institute, Academy, and Festival, and a Resident Artist at the Renegade Theater company.
Jean-Paul Perrotte’s artistic practice is very much established in performance and improvisation. Whether he is performing on traditional instruments or instruments that he has created to perform with his computer, he relishes the excitement and the immediacy of an improvised performance. Improvisation has always been a big part of his musical life as a performing guitarist since his teenage years to his undergraduate degree in Jazz Composition and now as a professor of Electronic Music Composition.
Samuel Wells is a trumpeter, composer, improvisor, music technologist and multimedia artist. Improvisation is a central element of his practice as a performer-composer. His compositions create scenarios for the improvisatory traversal of musical and multimedia spaces. He often improvises as a soloist with electronics, or as a trumpeter in group improvisation that involves electronics, and his practice also heavily involves interactive visuals.
Sonic Arts Ensemble
Founded by Marc Ainger and Ann Stimson, the Sonic Arts Ensemble is a collaborative group of artists that comes together in different configurations over time. The artists are seeking collectively and individually to extend traditional instruments and modes of performance into new, imaginative realms of action and interaction. Relationships between the real and the imagined are re-imagined through sound.
The current ensemble includes Marc Ainger and Ann Stimson; Scott Deal; Atelier Avant Austria - Andreas Weixler and Se-Lien Chuang (connecting from Austria); Jacob Kopcienski; Sammy Gardner; Joseph Sferra; James Croson, and Fede Camara Halac and Berenice Llorens (connecting from Argentina).
This live performance includes a video created by Charles Woodman (viDEO sAVant).
A Sonic Healing Trio: Cecilia Wu, Cecilia Suhr & Chris Chafe
Video score by Cecilia Suhr
Originally from Beijing, Jiayue Cecilia Wu (AKA: 武小慈) is a scholar, composer, vocalist, multimedia technologist, and audio engineer. Cecilia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Design and Engineering in 2000. She then worked as a professional musician at EMI Records and Universal Music Group for ten years. In 2010, Cecilia produced her original album of electroacoustic music, Clean Your Heart, published by Taihe Music Group. In 2013, Cecilia obtained her Master of Arts degree in Music, Science, and Technology at the Center of Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. In 2018, Cecilia obtained her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Technology from the University of California Santa Barbara. As an audio engineer, she received a two-year-long grant award from the Audio Engineering Society (AES). As a musician, she received an award from the California State Assembly for being a positive role model in sharing Chinese culture. As a multimedia artist, she received the “Young Alumni Arts Project Grant Award” from Stanford University. Her work has been exhibited at museums and international arts and engineering societies such as the National Museum of China, Denver Art Museum, IEEE, ICMC, SEAMUS, NIME, MOCO, and ISEA. Her piece
Julie Zhu is a composer and carillonneur. She employs a variety of media, from mural painting and sculpture to performance and video, and collaborates with artists from different fields to create experimental chamber experiences. She has activated living rooms, concert halls, art galleries, bell towers, caves, copses, and once made a tiny house for just one harpsichordist’s body and the keyboard. Her scores range from hair cast in clear resin to temporary tattoos to traditional orchestration. Zhu’s music has been performed by Marco Fusi, Longleash, PROMPTUS, TAK ensemble, among others. Zhu performs carillon concerts around the world and was the resident carillonneur at Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue in New York City.
The Core is a group of six musicians that formed when the lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic first started in March 2020. Since then, they have been live streaming weekly telematic concerts of electroacoustic improvisation. Their ongoing series, the Quarantine Sessions, has reached number forty-eight and they have also performed at two virtual conferences. In their one-hour weekly sessions they have had over thirty guest musicians and visual artists from various countries, including the US, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania, Australia, and the UK. The members of the group are: Constantin Basica - keyboards and live electronics (Stanford, CA) / Chris Chafe - Celletto, dilruba, and Stegasaurus (Woodside, CA) / Henrik von Coler – hypermodular synthesizer (Berlin, DE) / Fernando Lopez-Lezcano - synthesizers and live electronics (San Carlos, CA) / Juan Parra - guitars (Ghent, BE) / Klaus Scheuermann - modular synthesizer (Berlin, DE).
Dilate Ensemble are Carole Kim (S. California), Gloria Damijan (Vienna), Jon Raskin (N. California), Luisa Muhr (NY/Vienna), and Scott L. Miller (Minnesota). This audio-visual band explores virtual spaces. Seeking to find ways to still connect with other performers during a pandemic, the members of Dilate Ensemble met while participating in the NowNet Arts Lab Ensemble led by Sarah Weaver. As a satellite to this ensemble we dove into an exploration of how we might be able to engage in audio/visual improvisation online. Kim has compressed her work in video installation to fit beneath her kitchen table. This intimate live "venue" provides an illusionistic physical space that readily accommodates a convergence of online live presence. The ensemble collaboratively develops their work, which involves a shared visual element delivered over Zoom. They use Netty-McNetface to mix the audio in Scott's studio, where he individually processed the various audio tracks in Kyma, which is then monitored by the ensemble in Netty. Scott uses Netty/Zoom/OBS to produce a live a-v work that is streamed to YouTube/Facebook/Zoom as preferred by the venue. By embracing the latent nature of telematic performance, the ensemble has developed an artistic practice that is idiomatic to the venue of networked audio-visual art. This activity is supported in part by the Austrian Cultural Forum, New York City (ACFNYC).
As a designer of robotic musical instruments, Steven Kemper is interested in the ability of machines to facilitate new avenues for sonic exploration, both by taking advantage of the unique timbral possibilities afforded by mechatronic actuation, as well as exploring the ways that musical robots’ capabilities differ from human performers. His recent work explores the collaborative relationship between human performance and robotic sound production, using sensors to translate the movements of a human performer into sound produced by musical robots. Not only does this approach produce novel timbral results, but also evokes the cyborg: a hybrid body that blurs the lines between human and machine.
Human as an artist, inventor, magician, curator, teacher - Omar Fraire’s work is inserted into reality by transducing it, and functions as an act of resistance. Fraire enjoys collaborative work, and his energies oscillate across disciplines. After having deserted from two universities in México, Fraire has gone on to specialize in Sonology (Koninklijk Conserva¬torium - Holland) and holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art as auditor (Aguascalientes). He is the creator of Punto Ciego Festival, and artist of the Guggenheim Aguascalientes. Fraire is mostly self-taught, though he holds an M.A. from Wesleyan, having studied under R. Kuivila, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at UVA.
duo B. vs. viDEO sAVant
duo B. vs. viDEO sAVant is an intermedia trio featuring live processed video by veteran media artist Charles Woodman (viDEO sAVant) and live acoustic music by the improvising percussion and acoustic bass duo of duo B. (Jason Levis and Lisa Mezzacappa). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, duo B. vs. video sAVant creates revelatory moments where the distinction between music and video, sound and image melt away and a new whole emerges from the flow between individuals and media. The group’s immersive performances explore layered audiovisual soundscapes, from frenetic juxtapositions to meditative fantasies. Moods shift from contemplative to chaotic, with slowly evolving visual and sonic narratives collapsing into psychedelic colorplay fueled by dynamic and electrifying ensemble interaction. The result is a live soundtrack to a film created in the moment—in front of a live audience, in response to a specific time, place and physical space.
Participating artists in various configurations. Names TBA.
Jean-François Charles / Will Yager
Bassist Will Yager and composer Jean-François Charles work at the crossroads of written and improvised music. Over the last few years, they have been frequent collaborators in multiple contexts including chamber music, large & small electro-acoustic ensembles, music for dance, and improvised music. Their practice consists in a deep sonic exploration through experimental playing techniques and live sound processing.They have been invited to perform at the SPLICE 2020 Festival, MOXSonic Experimental Electronic Music 2019 Festival, and in various basements & dives across the Midwest.
Crossing the boundaries between audience and performer, vision and sound, motion and stasis, digital and analog, seen and unseen reality, Cecilia Suhr’s improvisational performance on the violin, voice, and cello often interacts with live electronics and video or fixed media. She often invite audiences’ participation as a part of live performance to heighten audiences’ intimate and embodied experience while honoring unity and collective bonding. So far, her intermedia performance works incorporate interactive techniques such as face-tracking, color tracking and drawing with sound to create a unique audio-visual experience. She also carefully design a human focused interaction along with the art installation/camera installation. Overall, her creative practice yields a unique combination of various mediums such as performance art, movement, video, installation while an experimental comprovisation/improvisation in an electro-acoustic style of music is the central element that anchors all mediums.
Fernando Lopez-Lezcano enjoys imagining and building things, fixing them when they don't work, and improving them even if they seem to work just fine. The scope of the word "things" is very wide, and includes computer hardware and software, controllers, music composition, performance and sound. His music blurs the line between technology and art, and is as much about form and sound processing, synthesis and spatialization, as about algorithms and custom software he writes for each piece. He has been working in multichannel sound and diffusion techniques for a long time, and can hack Linux for a living. At CCRMA, Stanford University since 1993, he combines his backgrounds in music (piano and composition), electronic engineering and programming with his love of teaching and music composition and performance. He discovered the intimate workings of sound while building his own analog synthesizers a very very long time ago, and even after more than 30 years, "El Dinosaurio" is still being used in live performances."
Stephanie Sherriff is an interdisciplinary artist and performer currently based in San Francisco, California. Their work with sound, video, and plants is ephemeral in nature and culminates as time-based installations and performances that deconstruct fragments of daily life through experimental processes. They received a BA from San Francisco State University in 2014 and an MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University in 2019. Their work has been featured at numerous cultural centers, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, the Sfendoni Theater in Athens, Greece, and a range of art and music spaces within California including Gray Area, The Lab, Artists Television Access, and the Center for New Music.
Daniel McKemie has an extensive background in live performance and improvisation as both a percussionist and on electronic instruments. He has spent many years coding his own software, building hardware, and joining the two when applicable. His practice of improvisation really hit a stride in my graduate studies at Mills College and after, where he spends his time in the Bay Area circuit playing his own sets, but also alongside many other great performers. This past year I has done a number of performances online and have spent a great deal of the last few years utilizing web technologies to further distance collaborations, many of which are rooted in improvisation.
Interact with the performer during the live set here.
As a double bassist and improvisor, Brad Decker has been exploring the intersection of extended techniques, computer processing, and improvisation for over 15 years. In his practice, he explores the immediacy of expression through hands-on exploration of acoustic elements of the double bass and how they can be processed digitally to create an immersive, overarching sonic environment. Each project captures the essence of the moment, time and place, emotion, and life experience. These have been recorded in different capacities, and have led to a series of scored solo works for double bass and computer. He continues to perform as a double-bassist using structured improvisation and live computer processing in numerous capacities, namely solo works, group ensemble collaboration, video-art installations, and film soundtracks. Notable performances have been in Mexico, Australia, Italy, France, Brazil, and Canada, as well as at numerous venues in the United States.
Seth Shafer + Brad Robin / Sarah Church
Seth Shafer’s artistic practice represents musical exploration at the extreme edge of performance. He develops interactive installations and improvisational performance environments that are audience-involved meta-instruments. His work includes generative pseudo-hologram installations, interactive floor projection systems, and live data sonification exploiting privacy loopholes and feedback networks. He also looks for opportunities to explore ephemerality and multiplicity in live performance. This often involves performance situations that have limited or impossible rehearsal scenarios, purposeful impediments to ensemble coordination, live sight-reading, and unavoidable failure.
Brad Robin composes and conducts music in a multitude of styles for soloists and ensembles ranging from jazz band to contemporary chamber groups and orchestras. Compositions have also included a computer component designed to manipulate and augment the sound of acoustic instruments. As a pianist and keyboardist, he composes and performs music for dance, theatre, film and multimedia performance art. In addition to the United States, his music has been performed in Croatia, Mexico and New Zealand.Recent performances include Phase: Transmuted Agony for chamber ensemble, fixed media and dance, International New Directions in the Humanities Conference in Chicago, Texas Dance Improvisation Festival, and the Uzmah–Upbeat festival in Croatia. Having completed a PhD in Music Composition from the University of North Texas and Master's degree in music composition at DePaul University, he currently resides in Chicago with his wife Nicole and continues his studies at Northwestern University.
Cathleen Grado is an interdisciplinary artist whose work addresses sound, memory and absence/presence in real and imagined spaces. Her work uses in-person field recordings and remote acoustic monitoring to inform the composition of spatial installations and virtual sound environments. She holds a B.F.A in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A in Media Study from the University at Buffalo SUNY.
As a composer and field recording artist, Nick Virzi’s current work explores music and the natural world through imagistic representation, orchestration of complex numerical systems, and use of original natural sound recordings. Inspired by an enduring curiosity and love of nature, his artistic practice emphasizes the use of live electronics to combine natural sounds and acoustic instruments in immersive electroacoustic environments. He has recorded hundreds of hours of natural soundscapes at over 30 wilderness locations worldwide, developing novel approaches to field recording through the experimental use of portable audio technology. As a performer, he has presented his work in various concert settings, including the use of electronic instruments, live electronics, and laptop performance in solo and group improvisation, durational performance, and intermedial collaboration.
Event Tech Support
Poster and title animation: Simona Fitcal