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CCRMA Colloquium

The CCRMA Colloquium is a weekly gathering of CCRMA students, faculty and staff. It is an opportunity for members of the CCRMA community and guests to share the work that they are doing in the field of Computer Music. The colloquium typically happens every Wednesday during the school year from 5:15 - 7:00 and meets in the CCRMA Classroom, Knoll 217 unless otherwise noted.

2011-2012 CCRMA Colloquim Schedule

Spring 2012

Apr 4 -

Apr 11 - [lac?]

Apr 18 -

Apr 25 -

May 2 -

May 9 - Ikue Mori [Bruno]

May 16 -

May 23 -

Winter 2012

Jan 11 -

Jan 18 -

Jan 25 - Joshua Kit Clayton [Bruno]

Feb 1 - Larry Polansky [Bruno]

Feb 8 -

Feb 15 -

Feb 22 - Matt Ingalls [Bruno]

Feb 29 -

Mar 7 - Jaap Blonk [Bruno]

Mar 14 - Subotnick / La Barbara [Bruno]

Autumn 2011

Oct 5 -

Oct 12 - [Christopher Willits] and Jonathan Berger

[enter info here]

2010-2011 CCRMA Colloquim Schedule

Spring 2011

Winter 2011

Autumn 2010

Older Info on Past Colloquia

10/17/07 ---------- Keith McMillen -------------Mapps: A persistent performance score for modern music

Title: Mapps: A persistent performance score for modern music

Abstract: A brief history of the effects of technology on music followed by a description of the problems facing modern technical composers and performers with the persistence of any performable repertoire. Progress on this front as characterized by the software program MACIAS as used by TrioMetrik and plans for a more enduring format.

Presenter: Keith McMillen has been working his entire adult life on one single problem – how to play live interactive music in an ensemble using extended instruments moderated by computer intelligence. This goal has required him to create dozens of new instruments, patented technologies and multiple successful companies in order to advance the technology sufficiently to reach his musical objectives. Keith began his audio career in 1979, when he founded Zeta Music. The company's revolutionary electronic instrument designs created a new market in the music industry, and the brand “Zeta” is synonymous with the modern violin. Later, as Vice President of R&D at Gibson Guitars, Keith worked with UC Berkeley’s CNMAT and created a new technology group focusing on audio networking, synthesizers and string instruments. As Director of Engineering at Harman Kardon, he formed an innovative new software product division dealing with audio processing and distributed networks. Keith founded Octiv in 1999 to solve major issues with live audio and led the company as both technologist and business guru raising over $20M from VCs such as 3i and Intel Capital. In April of 2005, Keith successfully sold Octiv to Plantronics (NYSE:PLT) and is personally funding the current operations of the BEAM Foundation. Keith received his BS in Acoustics under James Beauchamp from the University of Illinois where he also trained in classical guitar and studied composition with Herbert Brun, Scott Wyatt, and Sal Martirano. Keith has spent 25 years developing MACIAS – an integrated composition performance system that is the foundation of TrioMetrik’s music. He now works full time at composing, creating and performing while pursuing his original goal of a next generation music he has termed NuRoque and a method for creating a persistent performance score for modern music called MAPPS.

10/24/07 ---------- Flo Menezes --------------- Maximal Music

Title: Maximal Music

Abstract: The purpose of the lecture is to give an insight on the compositional aesthetics of composer Flo Menezes. Aspects such as pitch polarization, directionalities, musical references, sound spatialilty and interval techniques will be exposed along with 22 musical examples, which go from purely instrumental to electroacoustic compositions.

Presenter: Flo Menezes (São Paulo, 1962) studied Composition at the University of São Paulo with Willy Corrêa de Oliveira (1980-85), Electroacoustic Music with Hans Humpert at the Studio für elektronische Musik of Cologne (1986-90) and Computer Music at the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale in Padova, Italy (1991), besides courses in France with Pierre Boulez (1988) and Brian Ferneyhough (1995), in Austria with Luciano Berio (1989), and in Germany with Karlheinz Stockhausen (1998), who has invited him as Professor of his International Stockhausen Courses in 1999 and 2001. In 1992, he concluded a PhD on the work of Berio in Liège under the supervision of Henri Pousseur and worked on Berioâ’s manuscripts at the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basle, Switzerland. His analysis of Visage by Berio was awarded in 1990 at the 1st International Musicology Competition, Italy.

Menezes was awarded significant international prizes for composition: UNESCO in Paris (1991); TRIMALCA-Prize (1993); Prix Ars Electronica in Austria (1995); Luigi Russolo Contest in Italy (1996); Prêmio Sergio Motta in São Paulo (2002); Bolsa Vitae de Artes in São Paulo (2003); Giga-Hertz-Preis at ZKM in Karlsruhe (2007). He was invited by many institutions such as Fondation Royaumont (1995), IRCAM and GRM (1997), BEAST in Birmingham (2001), CRCA in San Diego (2007), Experimental studio of Freiburg (2008) etc. and his works have been played in many festivals and theaters around the world (Carnegie Hall in NY; Salle Olivier Messiaen in Paris; Walt Disney Hall/Redcat in Los Angeles; Sala São Paulo; Maison de la Suisse Romande; etc.)

Author of several books, he is founder and Director of the Studio PANaroma in São Paulo and of the PUTS: PANaroma/Unesp Teatro Sonoro, the first loudspeaker orchestra in Brazil, and is currently Professor of Electroacoustic Music at the State University of São Paulo (Unesp) and Visiting Professor at the University of Cologne, Germany.

10/31/07 ---------- Craig Sapp ----------------- Measuring Similarity in Performances of Chopin Mazurkas

Title: Measuring Similarity in Performances of Chopin Mazurkas

Abstract: Recent work in performance analysis being done at the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM) at Royal Holloway, University of London will be presented. Performance features, such as note timings and loudness are extracted from audio files from various performances of the same work. These musical features are then compared between performers in isolation, in combination, and in subcomponents to get a feeling for where a performer might be getting their inspiration. One pianist was found to have gotten her inspiration in an unusual way:

Presenter: Craig Sapp has been working on performance analysis of Chopin mazurkas with Nicholas Cook and Andrew Earis at CHARM in London for the past two years.

11/7/07 ------------ Jonathan Middleton ----- The Algorithmic Foundations of My Instrumental Music

Title: The Algorithmic Foundations of My Instrumental Music

Abstract: In the book "Atlas" one can see the original photographs Gerhard Richter collected as inspiration and source material for his photo-paintings. In my CCRMA colloquium, I'd like to make a similar attempt to reveal my creative sources and the artistic strategy I have developed to make these sources the foundation of my music. I will present the early stages of my creative process that provide a basic thread and musical themes for Redwoods Symphony (Kiev Philharmonic), Radiant Peaks (Coeur d'Alene Symphony), Reciprocal Refractions (Spokane Symphony), and Dreaming Among Thermal Pools and Concentric Spirals (Paradox duo). Each process begins with the algorithmic transformation (or translation) of things I care about: redwood trees, bull trout, spirals, topographical maps... things that serve as a creative launching point. Algorithmic examples will be presented from, the user-friendly freeware I designed in 2004-05.

Presenter: Jonathan Middleton is an Associate Professor of Theory and Composition at Eastern Washington University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition, counterpoint, theory, orchestration, and computer music. During the 2007-08 academic year he is on professional leave at Stanford University serving as a visiting scholar at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Jonathan Middleton’s creative interests include spontaneous approaches to composition through stream of consciousness and algorithmic composition. His music has won awards and performances throughout the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. and Europe. In the year 2000, Jonathan Middleton became Washington State’s “Composer of the Year,” an award sponsored by the Washington State Music Teachers Association. In 2004, he was awarded a regionally competitive grant to develop a Web-based application that explores algorithmic composition and interdisciplinary learning: The program provides a creative environment where composers can create music from integer sequences and DNA. In 2005 he completed the first movement of Redwoods Symphony, a work that uses themes created from DNA of redwood trees. The first movement of Redwoods Symphony has been recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic under the direction of Robert Winstin. The recording is available on ERM Media’s “Masterworks of the New Era” vol. 11. The “musicalgorithms” program was also used to complete Dreaming Among Thermal Pools and Concentric Spirals available on “Soak,” sold through CD Baby ( and iTunes. In 2007 he will be completing commissions for the Coeur d’Alene and Spokane Symphonies. Jonathan Middleton’s background includes studies with numerous composition teachers, most notably those with Frederic Rzewski, William Kraft, Fred Lerdahl, Emma Lou Diemer, Ann Kearns, Peter Golub and two Pulitzer Prize winners Roger Reynolds and Lewis Spratlan. He also studied twentieth century compositional techniques with Kyle Gann and Tristan Murail. He obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts in 1999 from Columbia University where he was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the School of the Arts.

11/14/07 ---------- Jesper Nordin ------------- "calm like a bomb"

Title: "calm like a bomb" - Jesper Nordin

Abstract: Jesper Nordin's music is largly influenced by his background in rock music and the traditional Swedish folk music. These influences are always present in his music, be it orchestral pieces or works with live electronics. His focus on the audible aspect in composition has made the computer his foremost tool in composing. Usually he builds up very detailed sketches/maquettes with recorded and treated sounds that he then transcribes. The use of improvisation during composing is also important and can include everything from himself singing to letting different programs treat his material in controlled or random ways. Lately he has also started to incorporate different control surfaces to be able to improvise but still keep control over musical materials and techniques. His piece "calm like a bomb" for violin and electronics will be performed by Greame Jennings of the SFCMP on November 19th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum.

Presenter: The music of Jesper Nordin, with its clear traces of traditional Swedish folk music, rock music and improvised music, is played throughout the world by major soloists, ensembles and symphony orchestras. His international break-through came in 2000 with the piece “calm like a bomb” that is regularly performed by ensembles like ASKO, l’Itineraire and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He has been awarded prizes in many composition competitions in Europ and North America, for instance at UNESCO’s Rostrum of Composers. His music is broadcast around the world and has been played at festivals such as ISCM, Gaudeamus, ICMC and Resonances. After studies at the Royal College in Stockholm, Stanford University and at IRCAM in Paris he was appointed Composer in Residence at the National Swedish Radio 2004-2006. In 2006 the Swedish Radio Released the portraid CD “Residues” that include some of his major orchestral works. For more info see

11/28/07 ---------- Hans Tutschku ------------ The electronic studio as instrument

Title: The electronic studio as instrument

Abstract: My compositional work is very much informed by the practice of performance. Many of my musical ideas emerge from playing an instrument. I’m interested in the human gesture and how it can be analyzed and used to influence electroacoustic treatments. The piece « Zellen Linien » for piano and live-electronics, presented on the Thursday nights concert program, is a result of such a research, where the pianist is controlling many aspects of the live-electronics by the way how he/she interprets the score.

But also in non-real-time settings, during my work in the studio, I search for possibilities to transform the studio into an instrument, which reacts as spontaneously as possible to my ideas. The colloquium will provide an analysis of « Zellen Linien » with practical examples.


Hans Tutschku Born 1966 in Weimar. Member of the "Ensemble for intuitive music Weimar" since 1982. He studied composition of electronic music at the college of music Dresde and had since 1989 the opportunity to participate in several concert cycles of Karlheinz Stockhausen to learn the art of the sound direction. He further studied 1991/92 Sonology and electroacoustic composition at the royal conservatoire in the Hague (Holland). 1994 followed a oneyear’s study stay at IRCAM in Paris. He taught 1995/96 as a guest professor electroacoustic composition in Weimar. 1996 he participated in composition workshops with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough. 1997-2001 he taught electroacoustic composition at IRCAM in Paris and from 2001 to 2004 at the conservatory of Montbéliard. In May 2003 he completed a doctorate (PhD) with Professor Dr. Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham. During the spring term 2003 he was the "Edgar Varèse Gast Professor" at the TU Berlin. Since September 2004 Hans Tutschku has been working as composition professor and director of the electroacoustic studios at Harvard University (Boston). He is the winner of many international composition competitions, among other: Bourges, CIMESP Sao Paulo, Hanns Eisler price, Prix Ars Electronica, Prix Noroit and Prix Musica Nova. In 2005 he rezeived the culture prize of the city of Weimar.

NOTE: The first three colloquiums of the quarter will be talks presented by applicants to the Music Department's faculty position in composition. These presentations will occur from 4:15 - 6:15 on January 9, 16 and 23 in Cambell Recital Hall in Braun Music Center. Application letters and curriculum vita can be found at:

1/9/08 Dr. Marcelo Toledo Application letters and curriculum vita can be found at:

1/16/08 Dr. Jaroslaw Kapuscinski Application letters and curriculum vita can be found at:

1/23/08 Dr. Panayiotis Kokoras

Application letters and curriculum vita can be found at:

3/12/08----------Bruce Pennycook--------Who will turn the knobs when I die?

Title: Who will turn the knobs when I die?

Abstract: This slide & audio presentation tackles the thorny problem of interactive music composition, performance and preservation and addresses the reality that interactive works are rarely performed without the composer present as either a performer or at least as an equipment operator.

Many of my works over the past 20 years (including Praescio-VI to be performed March 13 in a modified format) have utilized a variety of technologies, some of them custom made specifically for a particular piece. One challenge has been sustaining these works against a rapidly changing hardware and software landscape. The other challenge has been to encourage performers with little or no technical skills to adopt such works into their standing repertoire. The presentation will attempt to address both issues.

Presenter: Professor Bruce Pennycook (Doctor of Musical Arts, Stanford, '78) is a composer, new media developer and media technology specialist. He taught at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario then McGill University in Montreal, Quebec where he developed undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Music Technology and held the position of Vice-Principal for Information Systems and Technology. Pennycook moved to Austin in 2002 and was appointed Senior Lecturer at UT Austin in 2004. He teaches in the Department of Composition, School of Music and in the Radio-Television-Film Department, College of Communication.

4/9/08----------Rick Taube --Grace:A Graphical Realtime Algorithmic Composition Environment

Title: GRACE: a graphical realtime algorithmic composition environment implemented in C++ and Chicken Scheme

4/16/08--------Paul Davis-----------Ardour Stanford's AES Student Section and the CCRMA Colloqium Series presents Paul Davis, author of the Ardour, the Open Source Digital Audio Workstation.

"Paul Davis is the primary author of the open source digital audio workstation Ardour and the JACK Audio Connection Kit. Post-graduate studies in computational biology at the Weizmann and EMBL seemed too intractable in comparision to the more tangible joys of Unix. Paul alternated between research & commercial environments for several years, eventually spending 4-1/2 years in the CS&E department at the University of Washington. He left to help start but stayed for only a year before becoming an at-home parent. Ardour and JACK emerged from the dark nights and early mornings, and after more than 8 years dedicated to open source pro-audio and MIDI software, Paul now works fulltime thanks to the support of the user community and several audio technology companies. He also likes to race triathlons, cook and listen to music that keeps the listener in mind."

A special thanks to Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts for making this visit possible.

4/23/08--------Julio Estrada--------A General Theory of Combinatory in Musical Scales

Abstract: MuSIIC-Win (interactive system for research and composition) is based on "Theory d1" by Julio Estrada on the combinatory potential of scale intervals. (ESTRADA 1994) The denomination Theory d1 refers to the continuous character that is maintained in all operations based on the transformation of a minimal distance, d1. Its mathematical reference is the combinatory and its representation is done by means of graphic theory. In general terms, Theory d1 invites a free exploration of scales, not imposing any categories for systems of composition or musical aesthetics.

The program Theory d1 allows a total of 22 scales that range from 3 to 24 intervals of pitch (per octave) and duration. The program is expected to develop further and overcome the difficulties of an adequate graphic representation of scales of greater extension close to 50 intervals.

MuSIIC-Win is the result of a new design and reengineering of the program MuSIIC for MSDOS (PMMI 1990-97). Its appearance has been completely redesigned and made standard to the Windows® environment. MuSIIC-Win allows for a user-friendly exploration and interaction. MuSIIC-Win enhances the visualization of the musical notation materials, as well as listening through a multimedia computer or a MIDI interface.

Presenter: Julio Estrada was born in Mexico City, 10th of April 1943. His family was exiled from Spain in 1941. His activities are multiple: composer, theoretician, historian, pedagogue, and interpreter.

He began his musical studies in Mexico [1953-65], where he studied composition with Julián Orbón. In Paris (1965-69) he studied with Nadia Boulanger, Messiaen and attended courses and lectures of Xenakis. In Germany he studied with Stockhausen [1968] and with Ligeti [1972] He did a Ph. D. in Musicology at Strasbourg University (1990- 1994).

Since 1974 he became researcher in music at the Instituto de Estéticas, IIE/UNAM, where he was apointed as the Chair of a project on Mexican Music History and as the head of MúSIIC, Música, Sistema Interactivo de Investigación y Composición, a musical system designed by himself. He is the first music scholar to be honored as member of the Science Academy of Mexico and by the Mexican Education Ministry as National Researcher [since 1984]. He created a Composition Seminar at UNAM, where he has been teaching Compositional Theory and Philosophy of Composition.

He has written about a hundred of articles based on his research. Some have been translated into English, French, German, Italian and Japanese. He is the General Editor of the must complete publication on Mexican music history, La Música de México [Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, IIE / UNAM, México 1984, ca. 2000 p.] He wrote with Jorge Gil "Musica y Teoria de Grupos Finitos, 3 Variables Booleanas, with an English abstract" [IIE UNAM, Mexico 1984]. He has postulated a "General Theory of Intervallic Classes" applicable to macro and microintervallic scales of duration and of pitch. In the field of the continuum, Estrada has developed new methods of multidimensional graphic description of several parameters of sound and rhythm ("Ouvrir l?horizon du son : le continuum.")

4/30/08--------Ajay Kapur-----------21st Century Raga, Digitizing North Indian Music


This presentation describes methods for digitizing, analyzing,
preserving and extending North Indian Classical Music. Custom built

controllers, influenced by the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Community, serve as

new interfaces to gather musical gestures from a performing artist.
Modified tabla, dholak, and sitar will be described. Experiments using Wearable
sensors to capture ancillary gestures of a human performer will also
be discussed. A brief history through the world of Musical Robotics
will be followed by an introduction to the MahaDeviBot, a 12-armed
solenoid-based drummer used to accompany a live sitar player.
Presentation is full of video examples showing evolution of the body
of work in the laboratory to the live performance stage.
Live demonstrations will also be included.

After talk audience will be invited to begin brainstorming tools need to write a composition for the MahaDeviBot.

Presenter: Blending Indian Classical knowledge with the 21st century music scene, by adopting the age of computer human interface. Custom made Electronic Tabla, Sitar and wearable sensors, controlling modular robotic systems used to bring dance and tribal groove to the next dimension. Ajay Kapur is the Music Technology Director at California Institute of the Arts. He received an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2007 from University of Victoria combining Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Music and Psychology with a focus on Intelligence Music and Media Technology. Ajay graduated with a Bachelor in Science and Engineering Computer Science degree from Princeton University in 2002. He has been educated by music technology leaders including Dr. Perry R. Cook, Dr. George Tzanetakis, and Dr. Andrew Schloss, combined with mentorship from robotic musical instrument sculptors Eric Singer and the world famous Trimpin. A musician at heart, trained on Drumset, Tabla, Sitar and other percussion instruments from around the world, Ajay strives to push the technological barrier in order to make new music.

5/7/08----------Paul Koonce-------The Performative Embodiment of Sounds Unseen

Abstract: Threading through my work is a search for an imagined performer. This talk will focus on the way real, virtual, illusory, or surreal performers have shaped the voice of my music. My comments will touch on the subjects of timbral design, microtonality, acoustic instrument simulation, feature extraction, alternative control, and spatial ambience, particularly as they have contributed to the composed escape of real and imagined bodies into sound.

Presenter: Paul Koonce (b.1956) studied composition at the University of Illinois and the University of California, San Diego where he received the Ph.D. in Music. His music focuses upon issues of representation and perception in electroacoustic sound. A software developer as well as a composer, he has explored the invention of computer technologies for the manipulation of sound and timbre, focusing on tools for exploring the parallels between musical and environmental sound phenomena. Recent work has turned to the use of data gloves and their use in the real-time compositional/improvisational control of virtual instruments. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and McKnight Foundations, and has received awards and commissions from the Luigi Russolo International Competition for Composers of Electronic Music, the National Flute Association, Prix Ars Electronica Electronic Arts Competition, the Electroacoustic Music Contest of Sao Paulo, the Bourges International Competition, the International Computer Music Association, and the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College. His music is available on CD from SEAMUS, Mnemosyne, ICMA, Panorama, Innova, Einstein, Centaur, Computer Music Journal, and Mode records.

5/14/08--------Julius Smith----------Virtual Electric Guitars and Effects Using Faust and Octave


This talk, extending a recent LAC-2008 presentation, is devoted to virtual electric guitar components and associated effects in the Faust language. Faust can be compiled to conveniently generate plugins for Pd, VST, and other environments. Octave is used for signal analysis, filter design, and component testing. Components addressed include vibrating strings (including two coupled polarization planes), dynamic level filtering, distortion, amplifier feedback, and digital wah pedals.

LAC-2008 paper: LAC-2008 overheads: Supplementary website:


Julius Smith is Professor of Music and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering (by courtesy) at CCRMA, Stanford University, specializing in music/audio signal processing. For more information, see

5/21/08--------Kelly Fitz--------------Techniques for Digital Sound Morphing


Sound morphing has been used to synthesize the voices of aliens and talking fish and a wide variety of sound effects in sound tracks and popular music. I will present a variety of techniques that are used to create hybrid sounds or to impart the characteristics of one sound onto another, including various sound models and techniques for interpolation in the model domain and the construction of filter and resonator systems that shape the spectrum of one sound by the spectrum of another. I will present the principles underlying the different algorithms and considerations for implementing them. Different morphing techniques are suited to different kinds of source sounds, achieve different effects, and are vulnerable to different artifacts. I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods, and the variety of sounds and effects produced by each one. I will illustrate the capabilities of each method and give live demonstrations under real time control. I will morph machines, mammals, musical instruments, and anything else I can get my converters on.


Kelly Fitz is a software developer and audio signal processing engineer working at the Starkey Hearing Research Center in Berkeley, where he develops new audio signal processing algorithms for hearing aids, including algorithms for improving speech intelligibility and the sound of music. Fitz was a member of the Electrical Engineering faculty at Washington State University, where he developed algorithms and software for sound modeling and sound morphing, including an open source software library called Loris, and led a research program to develop sonified program debugging environments. Previously, he worked in the audio development group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications developing a real-time sound synthesis API for virtual reality applications. Fitz has Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Univerisity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.