Calendar of Events

Spring 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011
[Ø] [zerospace]

zerospace logo

A performance and conference on distance and interaction in music
Organized by Matthew Burtner (C21 Provost Fellow, Associate Professor, Music, UVA)
Co-sponsored by Unruly Music, PSOA

Program (reading)
Program (printing, duplex)

NOMADS (Network-Operational Mobile Applied Digital System)
3:30 pm Curtin Hall 175

Bring your laptop to join in an interactive group performance!

With Interactive Media Research Group/IMRG (UVA); Chris Chafe (Stanford), via Skype; and Scott Deal (IUPUI). Panel discussion moderated by Christopher Burns (UWM)

7:00 pm PSOA Music Recital Hall

Telematic interactive performances between UWM and UVA, IUPUI/Indianapolis, CCRMA/Stanford, and UMKC/Kansas City, featuring music and performances by Burtner, Chafe, Deal, Michael Drews (IUPUI), Aurie Hsu (UVA), IMRG, IUPUI Telematic Collective, Steven Kemper (UVA), John Mayhood (UVA), MICE (UVA), MiLO (UWM), Chryssie Nanou (Stanford), RAT (UMKC), and David Topper (UVA).

Featured performers in the IUPUI Telematic Collective include Chuiyaun Meng, technical director; Nick Hartgrove, percussion; Brendon Rhia, Kara Commons, and Ben Rogge, technical support; and Margaret Dolinsky (Indiana University, Bloomington), VRT Navigation. Featured performers in RAT include Scott Blasco, John Chittum, Andrew Cole, Scott King, James Kirkpatrick, Betty Liang, Nicholas Mason, Stamos Martin, and Jamie Searle.

"Deconstructions No. 4" for telematic musicians and 3-D animation, music by Michael Drews and 3-D animation by Margaret Dolinsky

"Ester Parade" for telematic musicians and video, music by Scott Deal and video by Jordan Munson

"Iceprints" for three pianos and three-channel sub-ice ecoacoustics
Matthew Burtner, composer; Aurie Hsu (UVA), John Frederick Mayhood (UVA), and Chryssie Nanou (Stanford), pianists

MiLO Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra performance
Christopher Burns (UWM), director

"RAT vs MICE" interactive performance through NOMADS with Radical Arts Technology/RAT (UMKC) and Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble/MICE (UVA)
Matthew Burtner, director; featuring NOMADS by the IMRG: Burtner, Kemper, and Topper

"Shadows No. 5" belly dance and sensor-based interaction performance
Aurie Hsu and Steven Kemper

"Siren Cloud" for piano, telematics, and interactive carbon dioxide sensors
Chris Chafe, composer; Chryssie Nanou (Stanford), pianist

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The Center for 21st Century Studies presents [Ø] [zerospace], a performance and conference on distance and interaction in music organized by C21 Provost Fellow, Matthew Burtner. This one-day event explores emerging possibilities of distance and interaction in music. As new network-based technologies have facilitated and amplified human communal interaction, musicians have simultaneously embraced these for live performance. [Ø] [zerospace]—consisting of an afternoon colloquium with performances, and an evening concert—will explore several musical trends in distance and interaction in music.

The afternoon participatory colloquium and performance will showcase the Network-Operational Mobile Applied Digital System (NOMADS), a new network-based software tool developed by IMRG’s Matthew Burtner, David Topper and Steven Kemper. Featured speakers include Chris Chafe of Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Scott Deal of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and the Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) of the University of Virginia (UVA). Following the presentations, a panel moderated by Christopher Burns (UWM, Music) will invite audience questions and comments for the presenters.

The evening concert will include real time interaction between stages at Stanford’s CCRMA, the University of Virginia, IUPUI in Indianapolis, and UMKC in Kansas City, MO. The concert will feature compositions and performances by Matthew Burtner; Chris Chafe; Scott Deal and Michael Drews; Aurie Hsu and Steven Kemper; the RAT and MICE ensembles; and UWM’s own Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra (MiLO), directed by Christopher Burns. Additional performers include Chryssie Nannou, John Mayhood, and the IUPUI Telematic Collective.

Network-based multimedia communications tools improve the convenience of working with remote collaborators, musical or otherwise. But perhaps more interestingly, these techniques also bring “distance” to the foreground of musical interaction. The activation of the network as a tool within the concert hall expands previous techniques of sonic spatialization, which allowed sound to move around the listener locally primarily with the assistance of multichannel loudspeaker projection. With telematics—integrated use of telecommunications and informatics—sounds can now be projected and received far more remotely. Composers such as Beethoven, Mahler, Berlioz, and Ives created scored parts for off-stage instruments, and these parts were designed to transcend the spatial confines of the concert hall, tugging at the listener’s mind or emotionally connecting them to a world physically dislocated from the hall. Telematics allows this sense of distance to become a primary parameter of the composition.

The works on the evening concert approach the notion of interaction and distance in different ways. Chafe’s “Siren Cloud” for piano and telematics uses the changing CO2 level of the concert hall in Milwaukee to control an interactive score for a pianist in California. Deal (percussion) and Drews (laptop) will interact with musicians in Indianapolis. Burtner’s “Iceprints” for three pianos and three-channel sub-ice ecoacoustics collates Arctic Ocean ice changes over 40 years with the real time recording of sounds beneath the Polar ice cap. Hsu and Kemper explore the movement of bodies and sound in “Shadows No. 5” for belly dancer and sensor-based human-computer interaction. The RAT and MICE ensembles perform through the NOMADS network-software. And Milwaukee’s own MiLO will perform one of their engaging multimedia compositions for networked laptop ensemble.

Matthew Burtner

Telematic music can foreground distance in exciting ways. Burtner’s score to “Iceprints,” for example, uses recordings of the sub-ice Arctic Ocean, created from three synchronized hydrophones arranged in a triangular relationship and separated by over a kilometer. The recording technique allows the propagation of sound under the ice to be captured and applied to the movement of sound in a three-channel audio system surrounding a concert audience. The piano parts are also transcriptions of the recordings of ice cracking and splitting, filtered through a harmonic system created using 40 years of data measuring annual cycle ice extent changes in the Arctic Ocean. Like the three hydrophones, the three pianists form a spatial triangle across the network. The audience perceives the remote pianos through the delays, glitches and compression artifacts of network sound. These sounds of separation, introduced by the medium, evoke distance. The audience in any of the three locations will constantly be pulled to the other locations and simultaneously to the Arctic sub-ice world of cracking and thumping ice, whale and seal calls. "Iceprints" uses telematics to evoke a complex paradox: individuals are distant and separate from some real effects of our actions and from things that affect us; we cannot escape our physical or temporal context and yet we are constantly affecting and affected by things that are not present spatially or temporally. "Iceprints" collapses and folds time and space to illustrate this concept.

The Network-Operational Mobile Applied Digital System (NOMADS) is a server-software project developed by Matthew Burtner, David Topper and Steven Kemper of the Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) at the University of Virginia. NOMADS arose from Burtner’s work with multi-agent interactive systems such as the 250-person MICE human-computer orchestra. The system is designed for use in large group presentation settings such as lecture classes, musical concerts or assemblies. In such contexts, NOMADS enables student/viewer interaction through the use of network-based software tools accessed by personal web-enabled devices. Participants can interact with one another and with the presenters/performers creating a synergistic dialog between traditionally separate aspects of a presentation. The system gathers, parses, collates, analyzes and presents participant input as rich media in real time.

During the [Ø] [zerospace] colloquium, NOMADS will enable a UWM community interaction. It will also be used in the evening concert by the MICE and RAT ensembles.

Photo: Matthew Burtner

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