Monique Buzzarté
Performance/Lecture: "Here Right Now: Live Processing and Improvisation (Where the Present Is the Future and the Future Is the Past”
October 9, 2008

Click here to hear an excerpt from Elegy (2008)

Trombonist and composer Monique Buzzarté led an audience full of captivated listeners on a sonic journey through space and time during an October 9 performance entitled “Here Right Now: Live Processing and Improvisation (Where the Present Is the Future and the Future Is the Past”). Co-sponsored by the Center and the Unruly Music Series at the Peck School of the Arts, the event combined an analytical lecture with a cutting edge recital that incorporated both live improvised performances on the trombone and conch shell as well as real-time recordings and time-delayed playbacks. 

Using Max/MSP graphical programming software and multi-channel manipulation to gain control over various parameters of delayed sound transformations, Buzzarté built a complex “canopy of sound” in a “sonic rainforest” that blurred perceptions of time and space.

After performing three pieces, Buzzarté delivered a reflective and inspiring lecture that described the influence of musical pioneer Pauline Oliveros on her work. Citing the transformative power of Oliveros’s concept of “deep listening,” Buzzarté explained how she began to listen in “every possible way to everything possible.” It was not until Buzzarté began studying under Oliveros a decade ago that she launched her career as a composer.

She then performed a piece entitled “Black Hole,” which was accompanied by a video of a corresponding choreographic routine by Morgan Thorson and Company.

In the ensuing question and answer session, Buzzarté fielded questions from diverse audience members ranging from high school students to distinguished professors. Describing the Max/MSP software as a frustratingly unreliable friend, Buzzarté noted that, despite its inconsistencies, the program helps create a heightened sense of awareness that “whatever is put into the sonic world will return,” a concept she termed “musical ecology.” 

Buzzarté closed the evening on a positive note, encouraging audience members to explore the full extent of their creativity. “Inside of each one of us is the possibility to do something creative,” she said. “You don’t have to be trained as a composer or musician or artist to create. If everyone knew they have the power to create something unique, it could change the world.”


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