CSMA Electronic Music Festival
Friday, April 13 - Sunday, April 15, 2018
Community School of Music and Arts, Mountain View
*Free event! Advanced tickets required.
- 8:00pm - Bathing
- Sundown - Pulsefield by Brent Townshend
- 6:00pm - Daniel Berkman
- 4:00pm - Polybius Ensemble
- 2pm-6pm - Moldover / Rich DDT (Controllerism Exhibit)
- 5:00pm - Hurd Ensemble
- 2:30pm - John Chowning and Curtis Roads (Talk and Performance)
- 1:00pm - Paul Dresher / Joel Davel Duo
- 11am-5pm - Moldover / Rich DDT (Controllerism Exhibit)
The Flashbulb is the most notable alias of composer Benn Jordan. Since 1999, The Flashbulb has gained a sizable global following by defying the constraints of genre, as his releases vary from cinematic orchestral movements to abrasive electronic music and post-rock. His albums have a cohesive bond tied around intricate drum programming, jazz-influenced melodies, and a wide array of live instrumentation from various instruments.
Bathing is a live electronic duo from San Francisco. Their debut EP (released via Bandcamp) was played by discerning DJs on BBC1 and Rinse FM in the UK and college radio in the US. They were an opening act for Four Tet and have played a sold out show in London and at festivals such as Number 6 in the UK.
Their recordings and live show are done completely live using a unique collection of hardware only: a mess of wires, miniature synths and drum machines run through obsolete phaser pedals. Their music is equally capable of soundtracking a late night drive, psychedelic gathering, or 5AM at a techno club depending on how loud your sound system goes.
Daniel Berkman is a San Francisco-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, accompanist, singer-songwriter, electronic musician, producer and innovator of electro-acoustic music. He specializes in the gravikord and kora (a 21-stringed West African harp), on which he has produced four acclaimed musical releases: Heartstrings (1996), Feverdreams (1998), Calabashmoon (2005) and Headlands (2015).
In 2010 Berkman released his acclaimed electronic music debut Tape on RTFM Records under the pseudonym Colfax and in 2013 he released Earth Portal, a soundtrack to the planetarium show of the same name. Berkman’s array of musical instruments includes kora, guitar, keyboards and synthesizers, cello, viola da gamba, handsonic, esraj, tabla, marxophone, ukelin, tremoloa, ukulele, guitarlele, jambe, virtual instruments and the uncharted immersive musical world of LyraVR.
Led by composer George Hurd, the Hurd Ensemble unifies the worlds of electronic and classical music. SF-based composer George Hurd writes the music for string quartet, piano and electronics, bound together with digitally-arranged sounds collected from Hurd’s travels. Absolutely no stock electronic sounds are used – every sound produced is of Hurd’s own creation, recorded, edited and manipulated himself. The electronics are layered to create textures that perfectly complement the acoustic instruments, giving rise to a sound that is extremely organic despite its partially digital origins. Hurd’s music is both wildly, intricately rhythmic and aglow with shimmering harmonies and melodies. Accessible and daring, its percussive yet lyrical qualities make it at home in both concert halls and nightclubs.
Paul Dresher/Joel Davel Duo
Composer Paul Dresher and percussionist-extraordinaire Joel Davel present a full concert performed on their unique invented instruments. Playing the 15-foot Quadrachord or the 10-foot Hurdy Grande, Dresher and Davel create lush textures and rhythmically propulsive grooves that fascinate the ear and the eye. Exploring unique sound-colors amplified by live digital looping, this electro-acoustic duo creates complex sonic layers as rich as a full orchestra. Paul Dresher has been described by composer John Adams as “a maverick in the very best sense of the world.” His many honors include a 2006-07 Guggenheim Fellowship and commissions from the Library of Congress, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, the San Francisco Symphony, Zeitgeist, San Francisco Ballet and more.
The Polybius Ensemble is the electronic-based solo project of Marcos Saenz, a Bay Area multi-instrumentalist. The project began while Marcos was studying music composition with Curtis Roads at UCSB. His experiments in granular synthesis led to a series of recordings that referenced his interests in electronic sound design, postmodern chamber music, hardcore rock, and drum and bass. In order to perform these works in a live setting, Marcos recruited longtime friend and collaborator Andrew Hedge to reconstruct a new variant on the recorded material.
Moldover is known as the “Godfather of Controllerism”. Controllerism is the art of using music software controllers (MIDI, etc.) to build upon, mix, scratch, remix, effect and modify to create music. Moldover not only creates music, but also creates the instruments to make that music. He builds his own MIDI controllers and interactive installations called Jamboxes. Dig deeper into Moldover’s world and you’ll uncover a subversive cultural icon who is jolting new life into physical media with “Playable Packaging”, sparking beautiful collaborations with his custom Jamboxes, and drawing wave after wave of followers with an open-source approach to sharing his methods and madness.
Rich DDT is an interactive installation designer and live electronic music producer/performer. His work features emerging technologies to create an awe-inspiring, educational and playful environment for human connection. He has created installations for The Exploratorium, The Tech Museum of Innovation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the CA Academy of Sciences. On stage, Rich Detonates Dance Tracks in live music performance, wielding his custom ControlliTAR to make contagiously funky dance music, live looped and electrifying, infused with exotic and nostalgic beats and bass blasted world flavors. He has performed at events including Maker Faire, SF MusicTech Summit, Lightning In A Bottle, Symbiosis, Sea of Dreams, Lucidity and Priceless.
Brent Townshend is an artist and inventor from Toronto, Canada that loves photography, engineering, synthetic biology and making things. He has a passion for combining science with an artistic purpose, especially when it involves lasers, video, music, and lots of people. He has exhibited his work in New York, Chicago, Miami, Toronto and Basel.
The Pulsefield is an interactive installation that combines high-resolution motion tracking of up to 20-50 people with immersive music and video. Using LIDAR, the Pulsefield maps the movement of people within the installation to patterns of light, generative video, and interactive music. Music elements were composed by Marcos Saenz, a Bay Area musician and composer. The Pulsefield premiered at Burning Man in 2012, and has been shown in various incarnations there in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
Dr. Curtis Roads is Professor of Media Arts and Technology, as well as Associate Director of the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE) at UCSB. His research is focused on microsound synthesis (granular, pulsar, and related techniques), pluriphonic spatialization, notation and visualization of sound, and the history and aesthetics of electronic music composition. Roads is the first person to implement granular sound processing in the digital domain.
In 2001, Roads and Alberto de Campo developed PulsarGenerator, a widely distributed application for sound particle synthesis. Together with David Thall, he developed EmissionControl (2005, updated 2008), a program for generalized granular synthesis. In 2010 he won the SEAMUS Prize for lifetime achievement in electronic music awarded by the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States. In 2016, he won the Giga-Hertz Prize for lifetime achievement in electronic music, awarded by the Center for Art and Media (ZKM), Karlsruhe, and the Southwest Radio (SWR), Baden-Baden.
John M. Chowning is an American composer, musician, inventor, and professor best known for his work at Stanford University and his invention of FM synthesis. In 1974, Stanford University licensed the discovery to Yamaha in Japan, with whom Chowning worked in developing a family of synthesizers and electronic organs - most notably, the Yamaha DX7, arguably the most widely used and sold synthesizer in history. One of Chowning’s most famous pieces is called Stria (1977). It was commissioned by IRCAM for the Institute’s first major concert series called Perspectives of the 20th Century.
During the Electronic Music Festival, see artwork on display from digital artist Yanling He.
Yanling He is a computer scientist, photographer and visual artist, best known for her computational graphics art. Yanling’s love in art came from studying computer graphics. Through computer graphics rendering she found the connection of virtual imagination to the real physical world. Her work explores the boundary of virtual and real, natural and artificial.
Three parts of her work will be shown:
Part I—Computational Motion Graphics
Part II—Computational Static Visual Art