People

Project Co-Directors:

Bissera Pentcheva Bissera V. Pentcheva is full professor of art history at Stanford University; she has published three books with Pennsylvania State University Press: Icons and Power: The Mother of God in Byzantium, 2006 (received the Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America, 2010), The Sensual Icon: Space, Ritual, and the Senses in Byzantium, 2010, and Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space and Spirit in Byzantium, 2017 (received the 2018 American Academy of Religion Award in historical studies), and has edited the volume Aural Architecture, Ashgate 2017. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Rome, the Wissenscha skolleg zu Berlin, Alexander von Humboldt, Mellon New Directions, Onassis Foundation, and Dumbarton Oaks Research Institute.

 

Jonathan S. Abel Jonathan S. Abel is an adjunct professor at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, working in music and audio applications of signal and array processing, parameter estimation, and acoustics. He was a Co–Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the GRAMMY Award-winning Universal Audio, a researcher at NASA/Ames Research Center, Chief Scientist at Crystal River Engineering, and a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Yale University. He has consulted for Apple, Dolby, FDNY, LR Baggs, LSI Logic, Native Instruments, SAIC, Sennheiser, Sigma Cubed, Triple Ring, and the U.S. NRL on topics ranging from audio effects processing to fire department siting and deployment, GPS, medical imaging, and seismic processing. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Stanford and an S.B. from MIT, all in electrical engineering. He is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society for contributions to audio effects processing.

 

Project Contributors:

Capella Romana (https://cappellaromana.org/) is a professional vocal ensemble that performs early and contemporary sacred classical music in the Christian traditions of East and West. The ensemble is known especially for its presentations and recordings of medieval Byzantine chant (the Eastern sibling of Gregorian chant), Greek and Russian Orthodox choral works, and other sacred music that expresses the historic traditions of a unified Christian inheritance. Since 2011, they have performed and recorded music with the Icons of Sound project. Their collaborations include two Stanford Live concerts in the Bing Concert Hall and the resultant recording, Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia, first vocal album to be recorded entirely in virtual acoustics.

Ravinder S. Binning was research assistant for the Aural Architecture seminar sponsored by the Onassis Foundation, 2013-14. Binning worked as an aid from the project’s beginnings as a seminar with guest speakers to its final completion as a book: Aural Architecture in Byzantium: Music, Acoustics and Ritual, edited by Bissera V. Pentcheva (Abingdon, Oxon/New York: Routledge, 2018). ). Binning assisted presentations and also assisted in editing the book manuscript, and contributed the chapter entitled Christ’s All-Seeing Eye in the Dome, which considered the deep origins of “panoptic architecture,” tracing the origins of a modern architectural disciplinary phenomenon to an undiscovered Byzantine past. Thanks to the inspiration of this seminar, Binning launched inquiry a dissertation on the relationship between fear and the construction of Christian art in the Mediterranean world. The 2018 dissertation was subsequently awarded a three-year grant from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art.

Nicholas J. Bryan, MA/MST & Ph.D., Stanford University, CCRMA. Bryan is a research scientist at Adobe Research in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering, also at Stanford. During his graduate studies, he was advised by Prof. Ge Wang with additional work with Prof. Julius O. Smith III and Jonathan S. Abel at CCRMA and Gautham J. Mysore and Paris Smaragdis at Adobe Research. Prior to joining Adobe, he worked on audio algorithms at Apple for four and half years. His research interests are at the intersection of signal processing, machine learning, and human-computer interaction.

Konstantine Buhler, BS&E, MS Computer, MBA Arjay Miller Scholar, Stanford University. Buhler was awarded the 2014 Terman Award, Stanford University Engineering. Konstantine holds a B.S. in Management Science & Engineering with a minor in Art History, an M.S. in Computer Science with an Artificial Intelligence concentration and an M.B.A., all from Stanford University. He is a recipient of the Terman Engineering Award, Mayfield Fellowship and is an Arjay Miller scholar. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Societies, received the top GPA in his engineering department, and was selected as the Stanford Baccalaureate speaker. As part of the Icons of Sound project, Konstantine was a research assistant and chanter.

Eoin Callery, DMA, Stanford University, CCRMA, held the position of Lecturer at Stanford University and the CCRMA Concert Coordinator 2017-19. Callery is an Irish artist and researcher who holds a BMus from University College Cork (2008), MA from Wesleyan University (2010), and DMA from Stanford University (2016). His work on the Icons of Sound project includes installing and configuring the recording equipment at CCRMA for a recording session with Capella Romana, and consulting/assisting at CCRMA with Abel and Canfied-Dafilou on the  5.1 (Film) and Atmos mixes for the Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia album. He is currently a lecturer and the course director for the Composition and Creative Music Practice MA in The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. His art and research focuses on electro-acoustic systems relating to chamber music, performance space augmentation, and sound installation. This often involves exploring acoustic phenomena – especially feedback derived from both real and virtual systems – in live situations, and embedding sounds or gestures into layers of automated live electronic processes. Information about his work and recent performances can be found at eoincallerysound.com.   

Elliot Kermit Canfied-Dafilou, MA/MST & Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University, CCRMA. Canfied-Dafilou’ is a researcher, sound engineer, and composer. Elliot holds degrees in music theory and music technology from Penn State University and a degree in music, science, and technology from CCRMA. His master’s thesis investigates the role of dynamics, density, and timbre on spatialization in the music of Iannis Xenakis. Elliot’s Ph.D. research, supported through the David L. Sze and Kathleen Donohue Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship (SIGF), aims to understand and to model human auditory spatial perception with a specific focus on how physical spaces and spatial cues affect the way we create, produce, and listen to music.

Sean Coffin, BSEE, UCLA & MSEE, Stanford University

Gina Collecchia, MA/MST, Stanford University, CCRMA. Gina currently manages projects related to sound for Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, where she relocated after 8 years of audio hardware and software engineering in the Bay Area. She contributed to the Icons of Sound project by developing an interactive auralization website: http://ginacollecchia.com/stanfordwork/methodology.html. Collecchia is author of Numbers and Notes: An Introduction to Musical Signal Processing (Perfectly Scientific Press, 2012). She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Mathematics and a Masters from Stanford University’s CCRMA.

François Germain, Ph.D., Stanford University, CCRMA. François joined the Icons of Sound project while a doctoral Candidate at CCRMA. He participated in the preparation for the 2016 Hagia Sophia Reimagined concert at Bing Concert Hall, working on the cataloging and signal analysis of the balloon-pop and sweep measurements brought back from the various measurement campaigns done in Hagia Sophia. He developed novel methods to convert soundfield microphone recordings into directional auralization of the recorded space. With project director Abel, he selected the best recordings, and he assisted in analyzing and converting these recordings into the Hagia Sophia auralization that was deployed in the concert. François now works as a Research Engineer at iZotope, Inc. in Cambridge, MA, developing the next generation of intelligent audio technology to unleash the creativity of musicians, music producers, and audio post engineers alike.

Andy Greenwood, MA/MST, Stanford University, CCRMA

Patty Huang, MA/MST, Stanford University, CCRMA

Yoomi Hur, BSEE, MSEE, Ph.D. Yonsei University; Visiting Researcher, Stanford University, CCRMA (2010-2014). Yoomi Hur received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Since 2008, she has spent many years as a visiting researcher at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University, Stanford, CA, working on various array signal processing techniques including the Icons of Sound project. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Yonsei University in 2015. Her research interests include 3D audio signal processing, multi-mic/speaker array signal processing and multimedia applications such as mobile device and home audio product. At present she is an acoustic engineer at Apple Inc.

Christopher Jette, Stanford University, CCRMA Faculty/Staff (Lecturer, Technical Staff and Max Lab Director, 2016-18), is curator of lovely sounds, creating work as a composer and new media artist. His creative work explores the artistic possibilities at the intersection of human performers/creators and technological tools. Having trained as a violinist, his compositions are strongly coupled to the performer that they are written for, highlighting their unique performance perspective. Jette’s research details his technical and aesthetic investigations and explores technology as a physical manifestation of formalized human constructs.

Miriam A. Kolar, Ph.D., Stanford University, CCRMA, and Presidential Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow (SIGF). Kolar has led archaeoacoustics and music archaeology research at the UNESCO World Heritage site at Chavín de Huántar, Perú since 2008, and consults on a variety of cultural acoustics projects. Recently a Weatherhead Fellow at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, NM, Kolar taught at Amherst College and Hampshire College while serving as Five College Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities (2014-15), following a pre-doctoral faculty position as director of the B.F.A. Program in Multi-Focus Music Technologies at CalArts (2003-2006). With Pentcheva and Abel, Kolar co-authored the initial grant proposal to Stanford that provided start-up funding for the Icons of Sound project. In its early years, Kolar worked closely with Abel and Pentcheva to develop the project’s interdisciplinary research approach, including collaborating with Abel to advise Pentcheva on acoustical measurement procedures and terminology, and engineering the analogous dome acoustics measurement sessions designed by Abel in Stanford’s Memorial Church. In 2011, Kolar specified the recording and monitoring technology and engineered the first virtual acoustics session recording with Capella Romana in the CCRMA Stage, and mixed the multi-track audio recordings used as soundtrack for the project’s “Aesthetics” video. Kolar’s research draws on practical expertise from her early career in recording engineering and performance sound design prior to her doctoral studies at Stanford.

Keunsup Lee, Ph.D., Yonsei University; Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, CCRMA (2010-2014)

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, Stanford University, CCRMA Faculty/Staff (Researcher, Systems Administrator, Lecturer). 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.

John Newcomb, BA in CS, Stanford University, 2016

Chris Platz, Visiting Researcher, Stanford University, CCRMA and Instructor, Art Institute of California, San Francisco, Game Art and Design

Carlos A. Sánchez García-Saavedra, Stanford University, CCRMA Faculty/Staff (Researcher, Systems Administrator, Engineer, Musician). Carlos is an eclectic multidisciplinary musician, engineer and researcher (he likes the word “Musingineer”), born in the beautiful city of Sevilla (Andalusia, Spain), who loves music, jamming, learning, teaching and developing bits and things to minimize technical thinking in favor of musical flow, performance and creativity: “More Muso (playing, creating), Less Tech (clicking, typing, touching)”. He gigged around the world at a very young age as the main guitarist of the renowned Flamenco Ballet. He also studied Classical guitar in the Conservatory and self-taught other instruments along the way, and for many years he’s been a guitar and music technology instructor. As a musician he’s been composing original works and collaborating with bands and musicians, playing different roles (soloist, live and session musician, co-producer, music and tech advisor), instruments (guitar, piano, keyboards, bass, drums, cajón, ukelele), and genres (rock, metal, flamenco, classical, contemporary), and involved in many projects and productions for events, records, radio and TV. In parallel, he completed his Superior CS Engineering Degree and for many years he worked for the Spanish and local governments, Aeronautics and IT Consulting companies in almost every position from programmer to software architect and director, mainly in projects related to Mobile technologies, Enterprise platforms, Web standards, and Service Architecture and Systems Integration. His research and development projects are mostly oriented to putting technology at the service of music, creation and improvisation, trying to free the creative mind from displays, mice and keyboards, developing software and hardware to achieve this goal. He’s been an active developer, translator and co-director in multiple musical and technological Open Source projects and multimedia Linux distributions.

Travis Skare, BSEE & MSEE, Stanford University Engineering & CCRMA

Danny Smith is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University. His dissertation, “Dreaming in Public in Late Medieval Rome,” examines the pictorial, theological, and intellectual histories of dreams and dreaming in thirteenth-century Italian art. In conjunction with the Icons of Sounds project, Smith and Lora Webb co-produced Façade, an exhibition entitled that presented a 5-channel video of the façade of Mission Santa Clara de Asis from sunrise to sunset on a single day.  Each screen played a different hour of the day, dramatizing the effects of time and light on architecture. The exhibition culminated in a live projection of the film during the 2016 Icons of Sound Symposium. In 2017 they produced a similar exhibition, Chapel, for Stanford’s Coulter Gallery. For Chapel they filmed the façade of the Calera Chapel near Balmorhea, Texas from sunrise to sunset and projected this footage into five screens in asynchronous loops, immersing a viewer within the façade and landscape’s changes over the course of a day. A smaller gallery laid out to match the chapel’s interior featured ambient audio recorded during the filming: marking time in the chapel’s tolling bell, the rare passing car, and the steady whine of cicadas.

Laura Steenberge became involved with the Icons of Sound project while working towards a DMA in music composition at Stanford, a composer and performer. In 2014 Steenberge began working with Pentcheva on a research project about text painting in medieval Byzantine chant, culminating in a paper, “We Who Musically Represent,” included in the Aural Architecture book. The project investigated how musical icons were employed in medieval settings of the Cherubikon, a hymn that originated in the Hagia Sophia during the sixth century. Since the completion of this project, Steenberge continues work with Pentcheva on transcriptions of musical chant that illuminate instances of text painting, and in creative practice, performs and composes works influenced by chant, ritual practices imaginary music (fictitious or hypothetical sounds that exist primarily as text descriptions, such as the singing of the sirens or the Big Bang). A few recent projects that emerged from these studies include Byzantine Rites, a series of site-specific performance pieces; Harmonica Fables, a collection of recordings for harmonica; and The Imaginary Music Radio Hour, a monthly show about music, mythology and shape.

Lora Webb is a PhD candidate in art history at Stanford University. She collaborated in the creation of an art piece, Façade, along with Danny Smith for the conference “Icons of Sound: Voice, Architecture, Imagination” held in November of 2016. The installation provided the chance to view the building in real time, and to see the dramatic change the day brings to the static structure from the rainy morning, to the sunny afternoon, to just after dusk. Through headphones, viewers could also hear the ambient sounds available on that day, including the church bells, sounds of the mass filtering through the door, and even skateboarding students. Webb also published an essay on ritual and the monastic church at Nea Moni on the island of Chios in the collection Aural Architecture in Byzantium (edited by Bissera V. Pentcheva, 2018). The article, entitled “Transfigured: mosaic and liturgy at Nea Moni,” focuses on the liturgical activities of a single day, August 6, the feast of the Transfiguration, and the mosaic depicting the same subject. Webb’s dissertation “Kosmos Embodied: Eunuchs and Byzantine Art in the Ninth through Twelfth Centuries” asks how eunuchs were visually present in the Byzantine court, exploring concepts of liminality within manuscripts, metalwork, and ritual. It addresses their artistic patronage, how they are represented, and, because they are “made” through the act of castration, how they themselves functioned as aesthetic objects within the ceremony of the court.

Kurt James Werner, Ph.D., Stanford University, CCRMA, B.M./B.S. (UIUC, 2011) is a Research Engineer at iZotope, Inc. in Cambridge, MA. Formerly, he was a Lecturer in Audio (U.K. Asst. Prof.) at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) of Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. His contribution to Icons of Sound was the book chapter “Live Auralization of Cappella Romana at the Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University” in Aural Architecture in Byzantium: Music, Acoustics, and Ritual (Ashgate 2017, ed. Pentcheva), co-authored with Jonathan Abel, which grew out of their research collaboration on artificial reverberation. In general, he conducts research on virtual analog, the history of music technology (e.g. analog drum machine voice circuits), and sound synthesis (e.g. 1-bit music). His dissertation “Virtual Analog Modeling of Audio Circuitry Using Wave Digital Filters” improved an important branch of circuit modeling theory, using the classic Roland TR-808 bass drum circuit as a case study. He has been awarded best paper awards from the IEEE WASPAA (2015) and (as second author) AES (2017) and DAFx (2018). As co-author he was also awarded best paper no. 3 (DAFx, 2016) and a best paper honorable mention (DAFx, 2015).

Michael J. Wilson, MA/MST, Stanford University, CCRMA; BS Computer Science, Caltech. Wilson is a technology consultant in Hamamatsu, Japan. Wilson contributed audio engineering and acoustical measurement research during the early years of the Icons of Sound project, including supporting the first virtual acoustics recording session with Capella Romana in 2011 at the CCRMA Stage. He worked closely with Abel and CCRMA colleagues on the initial research phase of the project, and created an auralization tutorial on the project’s first website. He has worked at Yamaha Corporation on actuated acoustic guitars, singing analysis and synthesis, and at Altera Corporation on FPGA feature support.

Matthew Wright, Ph.D., Stanford University, CCRMA Faculty/Staff (Technical Director). Wright is a computer music researcher, improvising composer/performer, musical ensemble leader, media systems designer, since August 2015, the Technical Director of CCRMA. My research interests include interactive systems, musical rhythm, new interfaces for musical expression, sound synthesis, sonification and visualization, interactive audiovisual system design, musical networking, sound in space, and computational ethnomusicology. I started my career as the Musical Systems Designer at U.C. Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technology (CNMAT) from 1993-2008, where I was known for developing and promoting the Sound Description Interchange Format (SDIF) and Open Sound Control (OSC) standards, as well as work with real-time mapping of musical gestures to sound synthesis.

Sean Zhang, MA/MST, Stanford University, CCRMA