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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 - 6:30 and meets in the CCRMA Classroom, Knoll 217 unless otherwise noted.

Autumn Quarter Schedule

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 (Stage)

Title: "The electronic studio as instrument".


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.

Previous 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.