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SUNDAY 10 NOV 19:00-21:30
CONCERT 4: ELECTROACOUSTIC MUSIC IN 45.4
LILLA SALEN
Manuella Blackburn, Ludger Brümmer, Marcin Pietruszewski, Claude Cadoz, David Berezan, Giuseppe Gavazza

Manuella Blackburn: Landline (2018) 9’34”


I have vivid memories of my landline telephone in the home I grew up in. It was an old-style shiny black rotary dial phone, with its own table, accompanied with directory and phone book, all situated in the entrance hallway. As I grew up, the home telephone changed size and shape, the rotary dial disappeared and replaced with touch-tone buttons, and then eventually it became cordless liberating the speaker from its fixed location. I realised recently that I had not used my current landline telephone in a long time. It had fallen behind some furniture and become caked in dust. When I came to use it, it felt strange and the sounds it made me curious about this somewhat endangered household object. I became fascinated with the dial tone sound and later discovered that landline dial tone sounds are not the same in every country. For some of my non-British friends and family dial tone pitches appeared to be a type of cultural sound emblem reminding them of home. The UK’s dial tone is a combination of sine waves mixed from 350Hz and 450Hz, while the North American is a combination of 350Hz and 440Hz. In this piece I have explored my landline telephone in all its glory and have tried to recreate and reimagine the sounds of that first home telephone I remember from when I was younger. Many thanks go to Conserve the Sound online museum (https://www.conservethesound.de/en/) for granting permissions to me to borrow one of their archived dial telephone sounds (name: Fernsprechtischapparat, Manufacturer: Deutsche Bundespost) and giving me insight into the world of disappearing sounds.

Manuella Blackburn is an electroacoustic music composer who specializes in acousmatic music creation. However, she also has composed for instruments and electronics, laptop ensemble improvisations, and music for dance.
She studied music at The University of Manchester (England, UK), followed by a Masters in Electroacoustic Composition with David Berezan. She became a member of Manchester Theatre in Sound (MANTIS) in 2006 and completed a PhD at The University of Manchester with Ricardo Climent in 2010.

Manuella Blackburn has worked in residence in the studios of Miso Music (Lisbon, Portugal), EMS (Stockholm, Sweden), Atlantic Centre for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA), and Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo, Japan).
Her music has been performed at concerts, festivals, conferences and gallery exhibitions in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the USA.

Manuella Blackburn has received a number of international awards and prizes for her acousmatic music including: Grand Prize in the Digital Art Awards (Fujisawa, Japan, 2007), First Prize in the 7th and 10th Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Lisbon, Portugal, 2006, ’09), First Prize in the Musica Nova International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic, 2014), International Computer Music Association European Regional Award (Australia, 2013), 3rd Prize in the Diffusion Competition (Ireland, 2008), Public Prize in the Concurso Internacional de Composição Eletroacústica (CEMJKO, Brazil, 2007) and Honorary Mentions in the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) competition (Morelia, Mexico, 2008) and in the Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo (CIMESP ’07, Brazil).

After several years as Senior Lecturer in Music at Liverpool Hope University (England, UK), in September 2019 she joined the Music and Music Technology school at Keele University (England, UK).


Marcin Pietruczewski: Pulsar Sieve (2019) 24’00”



World Premiere
- a pluriphonic composition for computer-generated sounds

The material point of departure for the work of ‘pulsarSIEVE’ is a new implementation of the pulsar synthesis technique - and its digital instrument incarnation the New Pulsar Generator (nuPg) - seamlessly integrated with an adaptation of a sieve algorithm as first introduced by Iannis Xenakis. The work branches together the Xenakian concept of formalised approach to musical form, the notion of arborescences, and the theory of sieves with a microsound digital technique of pulsar synthesis.

The coupling of two concepts, pulsar and sieve, in the title of the work indicates the process of osmosis between material and abstract, phenomenal and symbolic, local and global, and the emergence of musical form as a pendular movement between bottom-up and top-down processes of arborescences

The work pulsarSIEVEcan be seen as an algorithmic script for a multidimensional auditory scene formulation; an elemental synthetic laboratory where the sensible, the intelligible, the abstract, and the phenomenal are animated and combined. Integrating a novel sound synthesis design, algorithmic composition and performance environment, and original spatialisation score, the work probes the temporal, spatial and qualitative relationships in the emergence of a large scale musical form.

The work was composed during an artistic residency at Hertz-Lab at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe


Marcin Pietruszewski (*1984 in Gniezno, Poland) is a composer and researcher based in Edinburgh. He engages with sound synthesis and composition using computers, exploring specific formal developments in the tradition of electroacoustic music and contemporary sound art, as well as extra-musical domains of auditory design, computational linguistics, and psychoacoustics. He works across performance, multimedia installations, and radio productions, probing the dynamics between formalism of synthetic sound and its material realization. He has collaborated extensively with musicians and composers, including Marcus Schmickler, Tristan Clutterbuck (fancyyyyy), Jules Rawlinson, and Lauren Sarah Hayes. Among his recent projects are a collaboration with Florian Hecker and graphic design company NORM from Zurich, philosopher Chris Schambaugh (The New School, New York), choreographer and dancer Agnes Cebere (Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, New York), the Laboria Cubonics Collective (the authors of Xenofeminist Manifesto).


Ludger Brümmer: Glasharfe (2006) 19’00”



A glass harp is an instrument with which sounds are produced by brushing or striking chromatically tuned glasses. Glass sounds play a central role in acousmatic music, as their timbre changes from noise to a definable tone during the sound. The sounds range from bowed to struck gestures to the clear sound of breaking glass. In the composition "Glasharfe" the composer experiments with these different qualities and uses dense algorithmic techniques to create structures that can considerably influence the sound properties. In addition to the tones produced by glass, piano and celesta sounds can also be heard, both of which can be described as "crystal clear". In addition to the tonal dimension, the structure also plays a decisive role in this work. This is created by the rhythmic distribution or pitch distribution of the sound particles. In addition, spatial information is assigned to the sound particles. The "glass harp" was manufactured entirely using the high-resolution 192 kHz process. Special highfrequency microphones were used to record the sounds. In addition, the high resolution of 192 kHz offers the advantage that the sounds can be transposed without the loss of harmonics.
Ludger Brümmer (*1958, Werne, Germany) is a composer, professor of composition, and head of the research institute ZKM | Hertz-Lab since 2017. Since 2003, as head of the former ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics, he initiated the Sound Dome Project and important festivals on electronic music. The central focus of his music is the use of the computer both as an artistic means of composition and for electronic sound production. Brümmer has also realized a series of multimedia and interdisciplinary projects, experimental music pieces, compositions for dance and live electronics, and is interested in the interaction between acoustic instruments and live video.



David Berezan: Run (2019) 10’00”


Format: Stereo Audio Visual

After completing a BA in History (1988) at the University of Calgary, a Diploma in Composition (1996) at Grant MacEwan College (Edmonton) and an MMus in Composition (2000) at the University of Calgary, David Berezan moved to the UK and completed a PhD in Electroacoustic Composition (2003) at the University of Birmingham (UK). In 2012 he was appointed Professor in Electroacoustic Music Composition at The University of Manchester (UK), where he has acted, since 2003, as Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios and MANTIS (Manchester Theatre in Sound).

Since 2000 he has primarily composed acousmatic music, though he has also composed and performed solo and ensemble live-electronics works. He is a practitioner and proponent of sound diffusion performance and the interpretation of fixed-media work.

David Berezan has been awarded in the Klang (France, 2015), Música Viva (Portugal, 2012), CIMESP (Brazil, 2003, ’05), Bourges (France, 2002), Luigi Russolo (Italy, 2002), Espace du son (Belgium, 2002), EAR (Hungary, 2001), and JTTP (Canada, 2000) competitions. In addition to frequent concert performances of his work, his music has been broadcasted on the CBC(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) as well as the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).

He has worked in residence in the studios of the University of Calgary (Canada, 2011), Université de Montréal (Québec, 2011), CMMAS (Mexico, 2011), EMS (Sweden, 2011, ’12, ’18), VICC (Sweden, 2011, ’12, ’14), The Banff Centre of the Arts (Canada, 2000, ’07), ZKM’s Institut für Musik und Akustik (Germany, 2007), Ina-GRM (France, 2007), IMEB (France, 2007), ESB(Switzerland, 2005), and Tamagawa University (Japan, 2007).


Claude Cadoz: Helios  (2016-2019) 13’07’’



The very complex non-real-time model includes approximately 130,000 CORDIS-ANIMA modules structured in about twenty virtual physical structures with specific properties. They simulate plates, membranes, large sets of interacting elementary particles, and so on. Some are very close to realistic structures, others, while remaining physically coherent, could not be built in reality.

Helios version with force feedback keyboard is composed of two simultaneous parts: a real-time part and a very complex part, calculated in non-real-time and played simultaneously with the previous during the performance.
The "live" part is built from subsets of the complex model, which allows a perfect fusion between the two worlds, live and time-deferred. The performance of the live part is done with the haptic keyboard and the performer has a total freedom of improvisation.


Giuseppe Gavazza: La foresta delle voci timide (2019) 10’00”


World premier

In the new composition La foresta delle voci timide (The forest of timid voices) I take up a working method already used in two previous compositions: Sciamano and Le voci del mondo. All sounds are generated with the synthesis program for physical models GENESIS using a single simple model for each audio channel/loudspeaker.

Every single model has its own voice lasting a long time (several minutes, hours, days, maybe years); assigning each of these voices to a loudspeaker I like to imagine that in every loudspeaker is hidden one of these uncommon sounding objects. Some of these sounds appear to me like strange animals, cryptic signal coming from outer-world, unusual musical objects.

Playing at the mixer during the concert I shall give voices to these sounds scattered in space staying immobile in the centre of an unreal forest.

In The forest of timid voices, unlike the previous two compositions, I will use as well a GENESIS macromodel (composed of some thousand modules) that will shape the form acting as a Basso Continuo.

Working on physical modelling synthesis gave me the opportunity to get closer to the concepts of Virtual Realities also in relation with Artificial Intelligence(s) envisaging an interchange to create hybrids: can VR and AI generate VI and AR?

Another connection to my previous composition Le voci del mondo (The voices of the world) come from literature and suggestion triggered by translation. That composition take the title from Robert Schneider beautiful novel Schlafes Bruder that became Brother of sleep in English and Le voci del mondo in the Italian version.

I am reading in these days Richard Powers The Overstory, in Italian version Il sussurro del mondo (The whisper of the world); I chose my title The Forest of Timid Voices long before I knew Powers' novel, but I find myself fully in the spirit of this novel.

This new composition shall be modulated in relation with every multichannel audio system: I will select as many GENESIS models as will be speakers. The duration may also vary depending on the circumstances, ranging from a minimum of 06’05’’ to an unspecified maximum (hours, days, …).


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