Below are all the program notes and bios for composers, performer, and presenters for N_SEME 2019.

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Joshua Brown - The Treachery of Birds

Language Commons
Friday evening - all day Saturday

After an environmental catastrophe wipes out birds, a group of artists have come together to recreate the experience of birds. The Treachery of Birds is an exhibition opera, exploring memory and myth, facsimile and realism, and the ethic of exhibition.

Joshua Brown is an American multimedia artist based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Exploring performance at the intersection of the tragic and the absurd, Joshua’s work leverages a diverse skillset, spanning writing, sound art, and graphic design. His artwork deals with found material, performer agency, and a recurring obsession with catastrophic failure. Joshua’s work has been performed at the Charlotte New Music Festival, the International Computer Music Conference, and by the Pittsburgh Opera. Joshua holds a BHA in Technical Writing & Music Technology from Carnegie Mellon University and is currently pursuing an Advanced Music Studies Certificate under Prof. Nancy Galbraith.

Helen He - Memories of Light

Language Alcove
Friday – Saturday

“Memories of Lights” is my attempt to create an abstract cemetery that provides a healing experience. Most people associate the image of cemeteries and graveyards to adjectives such as “creepy” “spooky” or “unsettling”. However, there shouldn’t be anything inherently spooky with cemeteries – they contain the memories of people who came to this world and left and the spirits of our forefathers. In this installation, I created what a cemetery represents for me - Birds. Bells. A butterfly fluttering its wings. Sunrise on the horizon. A stroll in a late autumn afternoon. Memories. Lights. In making everything abstract, I attempted to omit all reference or context to any personnel or location, so that the listeners/audience can come to the installation with their own memories and associations, which contribute to their individual listening experiences.

A young artist originally from Hangzhou, China, Yuxun “Helen” He is a fourth-year triple major at Oberlin College and Conservatory studying Computer Science, Math, and Technology in Music and Related Arts as a student of Tom Handman Lopez and Aurie Hsu. Growing up as a choir girl, He has attended festivals and competitions in Austria, the United States, Spain, China, the United Kingdom, and Canada. As a composer, Helen has also attended festivals and workshops around the world, including the 2017 International Music Festival of the Adriatics (where she studied composition with Tom Lopez and Stefano Sacher) and the Kyiv Contemporary Music Days masterclass (where she studied with Ake Parmerud, Jaime Reis, Mehmet Can Ozer, and Alla Zagaykevych). Additionally, she is a member of the student council of Society of Composers, Inc.

Chris Luna - Through summersultryings

outside Old Cabell Hall
Friday afternoon - all day Saturday

This installation aims to recreate the sounds of the summer night life of central Virginia. The field recording was realized in a pentagonal set up, with five rigs consisting of a microphone and a recording device facing outwards and placed 30 yards from each other. The spatialized speaker set up aims to recreate the interactions and relationships of the exuberant voices in the sultry summer’s biosphere. For the patient ears, it also displays the gradual and dramatic increase in the texture of the night sounds over a long span of time (around 35 minutes). The piece intends to preserve the abundance of a life that is fragile and already in alarming decline in various regions of the world due to urbanization, unsustainable agricultural practices and climate change.

Christopher Luna-Mega is a composer and improviser. He studied Composition at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México –UNAM (B.M.) and Mills College (M.A.), as well as Film/Communication Theory at the Universidad Iberoamericana –UIA, Mexico City (B.A.). His work analyzes sounds from natural and urban environments and translates them into notated music for performers and electronics. His orchestral music has been performed by the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra, New Thread Quartet, Arditti String Quartet, JACK Quartet, etc. Luna-Mega is a PhD candidate at the University of Virginia.

Tate Carson - A more perfect union

Old Cabell Hall lobby
Friday - Saturday

A more perfect union is an experiment in participatory real-time composing, where the participant chooses the outcome of the work by listening. The longer a person listens to a certain melody, the more likely an aspect of that melody is to become a lasting part of the composition. Then the participants enact the fitness function of an evolutionary algorithm. Over the duration of the installation, through choosing sounds we like and skipping ones we don’t, we should hear a composition develop through our collective effort. From the chaos will emerge A more perfect union.

Tate Carson is a composer from New Orleans, Louisiana. He studied jazz composition and performance at both Loyola University New Orleans and the University of New Orleans. Carson was active in the New Orleans jazz improvisation scene from 2009 until 2015 when he moved to Oakland, California to attend Mills College where he earned an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Experimental Music and Digital Media at Louisiana State University.

Concert 1

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Elliott Lupp – Hinge

bowed-dulcimer and live electronics

Hinge joins together acoustic and electro acoustic properties derived from the hammered-dulcimer to create an overall texture that exemplifies both separately, yet is for a majority of the time, perceptually unified. The work can also be thought of as a timbral exploration of the instrument; since in terms of its traditional timbral capabilities, the hammered-dulcimer can be “limiting”. By bowing the instrument as well as processing its sound in real time, the instrument’s timbral possibilities can be expanded upon. The work is also heavily reliant on the performer’s ability to improvise when given improvisatory guidelines.

Elliott Lupp is a composer, visual artist, and improviser that seeks to engage listeners through poly-stylistic sound-worlds that juxtapose moments of order and chaos. His aesthetic approach to composition has led to a body of work that, at the root of its construction, utilizes both simple and complex gestures to create a variety of overarching forms. Lupp is currently pursuing his master’s degree in composition at Western Michigan University, where he holds an assistantship in research. His primary teachers at WMU include Dr. Christopher Biggs and Dr. Lisa Renee Coons.

Juan Carlos Vasquez - Collage 11 “Albeniz Collage”

stereo fixed media

The “Albeniz Collage” features a radical de-construction of Isaac Albeniz’ “Granada”, from the “Suite Española No.1, Op 47”. Is part of the “Collages” series, which are electroacoustic pieces composed with fragments of existing classical music recordings. The “Collages” series use the concept of appropriation in art as a way to tend a bridge between electroacoustic music and the classical tradition of music composition. Not other sources than an original performance of “Granada” were used in the making of this composition. As many of the audio digital processes include random algorithms, the composer selected this version from close to 100 exports of the piece.

Juan Carlos Vasquez is an award-winning composer and researcher from Colombia. His electroacoustic music works are performed constantly around the world and have been premiered in 28 countries of the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Vasquez has received creation grants and/or commissions by numerous institutions, including the Nokia Research Center, the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, AVEK, the Finnish National Gallery, the Sibelius Birth Town Foundation, the Arts Promotion Centre in Finland and the Royal College of Music in London, UK. Vasquez received his education at the Sibelius Academy (FI), Aalto University (FI) and currently at the University of Virginia (USA)

Nicholas Chuauqui – Footprints I

trumpet and stereo fixed media
David Joo, trumpet

The trumpet is a character entering into a new world. It speaks through the music it “knows”—you will recognize the allusions. Through granulation, though, these transform into a landscape that the trumpet must navigate.

Nicolas Chuaqui’s recent works have been heard at many prominent festivals, including June in Buffalo, Diffrazioni Multimedia Festival (Florence, Italy), The Florida Electroacoustic Student Festival, The NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, and The Deer Valley Festival. He has also recently had his first opera, The Forest of Dreams, premiered in a fully-staged production by Indiana’s New Voices Opera. His music draws on his childhood training as a chorister and pianist, his interest in musical memory and time, and the sound world existing around us. He has studied at Dartmouth College and Indiana University, and now studies at Eastman.

David Joo is a recent UVA graduate. He folds paper, makes paper out of kombucha, and plays the trumpet.

harleigh shaw – Entangled


Through the sinister landscape of “Entangled” I think through ideas of the body past the physical flesh. I explore sounds, objects, technology, environment, and the human form as bodily entities, rendering a fluid relationship amongst them through consideration of the entangled consciousness of these seemingly separate entities.

harleigh shaw: I am a new media artist and student on track to complete a B.F.A. in Digital Art at Tulane University this upcoming Spring of 2019. I work mostly with the mediums of sound and video, utilizing layering and a spatial treatment of the digital towards my goal of creating immersive and affective experiences.

Eli Stine – No Where

octophonic fixed media

This octophonic work shifts the listener between different places and spaces, some authentic, others synthetic, most only inhabited for moments before transporting to another. Ambience tropes (for example, filmic tropes of what archetypal spaces (restaurants, carnivals, offices) sound like) and impossible deformations of recorded and virtual spaces (pushing the ceiling beneath the floor, for example), are juxtaposed and interposed to dis- and un-place the listener.

Eli Stine is a composer, programmer, and educator. Stine’s work explores electroacoustic sound, multimedia technologies (often custom-built software, video projection, and multi-channel speaker systems), and collaboration between disciplines (artistic, scientific, and otherwise). His research has been presented and published internationally. A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in Technology In Music And Related Arts and Computer Science, Stine is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technologies as a Jefferson Fellow at the University of Virginia. For more information and work visit

Ian English – Organism 2.5

stereo fixed media

One of many attempts to create something not unlike an aquatic mammal.

Born at the age of 0 in the Year of our Lord, 1998, Ian English is a composer, musician, multi-media artist, comedian, magician, Posadist revolutionary, blossoming occultist, reptile enthusiast, and whirling dervish hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, though currently stationed in Oberlin, Ohio. Though born in Manhattan, New York to Douglas English and Mary Beyt and initially raised in Brooklyn, the majority of English’s childhood (after age 4) was spent in Lafayette, where they gained their first classical education in piano at the age of four. This repertoire soon came to encompass several other instruments, and ultimately, many electronic and sound production techniques. From as early as 12, Ian took interest in avant-garde music, taking an early interest in the works of Cage, Wyschnegradsky, Cowell, Sun Ra, and whoever composed Hot Cross Buns. Since then their work has come to envelop a multitude of techniques, most consistently manifested through electroacoustic music. It has since been described as “oh no, oh no no no no no”, “Hey! Get down from there!”, and “tedious, to say the least”. Currently, English studies Technology in Music and Related Arts at the Oberlin Conservatory, where they continue to produce their own works, alongside working within collaborations and ensembles with many of their peers. When English is not working on music, they enjoy running, studying esotericism, and exploring outsider YouTube content for application in future ventures.

Ryan Siesky - …grind…

octophonic fixed media

…grind… is inspired by two things: the daily grind and coffee. The piece exists as a sound synthesis exploration in that all gestures originate from a one-second sound file of a Keurig coffee pod hitting the floor.

Siesky’s music is deeply rooted in aestheticism, visual arts, psychology, and modern jazz. His music as been performed by Hypercube, Phoenix Brass, Jonathan Forbes, among others. Ryne graduated, with honors, from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and is currently a Graduate Assistant at Ohio University where he works to earn his Master’s in Music Composition under the tutelage of Dr. Robert McClure. Ryne is currently an Adjunct Professor in Music Theory at Hocking College. His works may be found through Talent Music Publishers.

Paper Session 1

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Using an Electromagnetic Pickup to Listen to Electronic Devices

Justine Valka

The goal of this research is to relate electronic components to the sound they produce when in contact with an electromagnetic pickup. Four objects were researched: (1) Wi-Fi router, (2) cell phone, (3) light bulb powered by alternating current, and (4) laptop computer. An electric guitar pickup was used to sonify the interactions with each of the devices. The recordings of this audio were used to create spectrograms which aided in analysis. In general, electronic components produce specific electromagnetic energy while in operation. The presence of this information through electromagnetic pickup, or the lack of, can help to determine if an electronic device is functioning properly. A similar method can also be used to hack computer hard drive information when properly decoded.

Justina Valka: I studied electrical engineering at Wayne State with a minor in music. During my final year, I completed a senior thesis under the direction of Dr. Joo Won Park in the music technology department, which is the paper I am submitting.

Bridging Worlds: Creating Fixed-Media Microtonal Music with Acoustic Instruments

Skye van Duuren

I have written a piece of music in three movements, scored for an octet comprised of the following: flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet in Bb (doubling bass clarinet), trumpet in C, tenor trombone, piano, marimba, violin, and ‘cello. This piece serves as a vehicle for demonstrating a method using pitch adjustment software to incorporate microtonal aspects into a fixed-media piece in which acoustic instruments, without any physical alteration or extended techniques, may accurately play pitches outside of the traditional twelve-tone chromatic scale in ways that add expressiveness and/or impart structural significance. The microtonal elements of this piece are incorporated via three primary techniques, which I devised over a period of experimentation with various ideas and procedures involving microtonality using MIDI as a medium for exploration and practice. I am proposing the following names for these techniques: linear inflections, controlled beating, and centstonic modulation. In my paper, I describe in detail what each of these techniques entails, how they relate to and inform the piece, and outline one possible workflow for producing a recording of this piece which may in the future be applied to works with similar concepts.

Skye van Duuren is a composer, trumpeter, arranger, copyist, transcriber, and tutor. He holds two Master of Music degrees from The University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from The University of Arizona. Mr. van Duuren’s teachers of composition include Andrew Sigler, Jorge Variego, Daniel Asia, Alejandro Rutty, and Mark Engebretson. His compositions have been performed in academic and sacred venues in the USA and abroad. His newer work explores just intonation, microtonality, and other alternative tuning systems in fixed media and live performance. He is an active presenter and educator on subjects ranging from his own unique compositional innovations and theoretical writings to special performance topics.

Concert 2

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Stephen Hennessey - Left of Moments

piccolo duo with live electronics
Meghan Cullen, piccolo; Natalie Magan, piccolo

Seven apertures to association.

Stephen Hennessey is a composer, guitarist, and researcher formerly from the central Virginia area who is now working on a dual master’s in Composition and Ethnomusicology at Bowling Green State University. Asides from earlier festival performances, in 2018 he participated in a six day trip through arctic Alaska as part of Composing in the Wilderness. His principle teachers include Elainie Lillios, Christopher Dietz, and Mark Snyder.

T. R. Beery – inside

octophonic fixed media

inside, for 8 channel speaker array, was conceived as an exploration of sounds found within electronic equipment. Imagining a surreal landscape of electronic sounds, I tried to place the listener inside the world of a no-input mixer. Sourcing material exclusively from a no-input mixer, fragments of sound are manipulated and placed in the multi-channel field through Audio Spray Gun, created by Richard Garrett. inside attempts to merge the worlds of chaos and beauty through a variety of gestures and textures.

A current student at Ohio University and graduate of the College–Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, T. R. Beery’s music focuses on the abstract qualities of sound in both acoustic and electronic composition. With a love of story-telling that originates in his early life spent in Southern Ohio, much of his music focuses on meditative, abstract responses to narratives, in a non-programmatic fashion. Currently working as Graduate Assistant at Ohio University and Adjunct Faculty at Shawnee State University, Beery is an active educator and is committed to engaging the community with the musical arts. Teachers include Robert McClure, Mark Phillips, Michael Fiday, Douglas Knehans, Mara Helmuth, Joel Hoffman, and Michael R. Barnhart.

Carolyn Borcherding - Frenetic Disintegration

bass clarinet and stereo fixed media
Lara Mitsofsky Neuss, bass clarinet

Frenetic Disintegration focuses on a trajectory of falling energy. The bass clarinet begins with fast, guided improvised gestures, each for a certain amount of seconds. Written gestures are angular and spin upwards into high improvisatory lines. Over time, disjunct gestures become smoother, and broken electronic sounds stretch into longer supporting bodies of sound. Rapidity decreases and pitched gestures shorten. The bass clarinet ends with a final short motive that all previous pitched materials had built upon.

Carolyn Borcherding is a Graduate Assistant at the University of Illinois pursuing a doctoral degree in music composition. Her compositional interests involve exploring the potential musical relationships between acoustic instruments and electronics, and experimenting with the creation of space in fixed media works. She has had works performed at SEAMUS, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Electronic Music Midwest, SPLICE Institute, and others. Carolyn received her Master’s in Music Composition at Western Michigan University where she studied with Dr. Christopher Biggs and Dr. Lisa Coons.

Lara Mitofsky Neuss is a clarinetist, educator, and administrator. Her work focuses on creating an innovative and engaging environment for the world of music, one that bridges the gap between classical music and other mainstream genres. She has organized and performed many exciting workshops and recitals, including “The 21st Century Clarinet,” a solo recital consisting of all music written in the past ten years, and a recital looking back on her time living in Colorado titled “Reflections.” She recently created a workshop titled “Electroacoustic Endeavors,” in which she organized world premieres and classes on electroacoustic music at The Music District in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2018, she was a chosen performer and educator for the Orford Contemporary Music and Improvisation Tour in Stockholm, Sweden with improviser Anders Ästrand.

Mitofsky Neuss has performed at a variety of ensembles and festivals including Americans for the Arts, SPLICE Electroacoustic Festival, Bang on a Can Music Festival, Banff Center for the Arts, Orford Musique, Opera Parallele, New York Youth Symphony, and Domaine Forget Music Academy, among others. Performances have taken her to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and the Berlin Philharmonie. As a soloist, she was the winner of the Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition, and has been a finalist and semi-finalist in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition and the William C. Byrd International Competition, respectively. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Music degree at Florida State University as a graduate teaching assistant and she is a graduate of Colorado State University (MM) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (BM). Mitofsky Neuss maintains a private teaching studio with dedication to mentoring the next generation of musicians and artists.

Peiyue Lu - Aquatic Cubes

interactive real-time performance

A cube is a simple, solid, and symmetrical three-dimensional shape; however, when the cube is conceptually combined with the elegance of the movement of water new complexities arise. Aquatic Cubes is a real-time interactive multimedia work for a single compact flashlight, Processing and Ableton Live that consists of both live generated music and visual domain animation. In my composition I work to depict the subjective representation of both the visual and sonic dimensions of water and its movement. The sound sources for this piece were derived from percussion, synthetic sounds, and audio recordings of water. The hybridity of the concrete and abstract sounds combined with visual domain animation strive to unfold my interpretation of the world of water.

Peiyue Lu is an electronic music and intermedia composer and performer. Her musical creation and research focuses on electroacoustic music, data-driven-instrument performance, and audio visualization. Peiyue’s pieces have been presented internationally including Future Music Oregon concerts, performances by the Taihei Ensemble, concerts in the Radziejowice Electronic Music Series in Poland, concert in the Musicacoustica in Beijing, and performances at the National Center of Musical Creation(GRAME) in France.

Stewart Engart - Gli ugonotti – Qui sotto il ciel

stereo fixed media

This piece uses a damaged 1902 Pathé cylinder recording of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots for source material. In the process of digitizing the cylinder, the composer removed years of dirt and mold. This physical act inspired a contrast of the analog noise present in the recording with the addition of the digital noise of down-sampling, bit-crushing, clicks and glitchy stutters. This recording, from the 20th century, is of a piece written in the 19th century and is used to create a new algorithmic piece that traverses the layers of the past through the aesthetics of the 21st century.

Stewart Engart is a second year PhD Student in Music Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studies with Clarence Barlow, Curtis Roads, and Andrew Tholl. He has a Masters of Music in Music Composition from the University of Georgia where he was a Graduate Research Assistant for ICE (Ideas for Creative Exploration), an interdisciplinary initiative for the advanced research in the arts, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received the Thelma Thompson Award for Composition and the Andy Griffith Music Scholarship.

Tomek Arnold - Dance and Noise

cajon and live electronics

The piece is an improvisation for Cajon with live electronics. The live electronics component is a MAX patch programmed to mix various dance music samples that the performer triggers with MIDI pedals. In the middle section, various noise samples are triggered by the sound of the cajon that’s picked up with a contact mic. The piece blends the two sound worlds of electronic dance music and noise into an improvised but structured percussion solo.

Tomek Arnold is a Krakow-born musician currently working and living in the US. His areas of work include: composition, percussion performance (solo and collaborative), electronic music and improvisation. In his work he likes to explore the concepts of genre hybridism, appropriation and bending the boarders of what can be considered as “high” and “low” art. Five times winner of international solo marimba and percussion competitions between years 2006 and 2011. Performed as a soloist and ensemble member in Poland, USA, Germany, Lithuania, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland, Mexico and China. PhD student at University at Buffalo (music theory and composition). Previously Wesleyan University (MA in composition), Manhattan School of Music (MM in classical percussion) and Eastman School of Music (BM in percussion and composition).

Ryan Maguire – freeLanguage

stereo fixed media and video

free_language was created from the deleted mp3 detritus of “In All Languages” by Ornette Coleman, one of the original test tracks used during the development of the MP3. the video was created using deleted mp4 detritus from the Ornette Coleman documentary “Made in America”. Video by Heather Mease.

Ryan Maguire‘s music has received millions of plays globally in over 200 countries and territories via Vimeo, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp, and has been presented widely in Los Angeles, Berlin, London, New York, Toronto, and Copenhagen. His project Ghost in the MP3 has received international coverage from the BBC, CBC, NPR, Radiodeutschland Kultur, and Vice NOISEY, with related awards from the International Computer Music Association, Public Radio Exchange, the Raven Society and others. He is credited with creating “a great new genre of ambient ghost music” by Death and Taxes Magazine. Ryan is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Composition and Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia. He holds a B.A. in Physics from Beloit College, a postgraduate degree in Music Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, and an A.M. in Digital Musics from Dartmouth College.

Carpool/Shuttle Piece

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Ralph Lewis - Drive to the Edge

fixed-media radio transmission

Drive to the Edge is a suite of fixed-media radio transmission pieces where listeners use radio reception as a feature of acoustic identity to make interactive connections with geographic locations. In its original context, the audio guides listeners as they manipulate the broadcast they are receiving on their radios. Drivers and passengers, as well as listeners at home, follow the intermittent instructions given as each movement happens: firstly, by exploring within an area where the transmission’s frequency is somehow unstable or weak, and secondly, by moving around in that space, this edge of clarity, inspecting different interferences and interruptions. As this process brings forth the nuances of boundaries, a similar questioning of the rigidity of gender binary emerges from the community of voices heard throughout the work.

Ralph Lewis is a composer whose works seek meeting points between sonorous music and arresting noise, alternative tunings and timbre, and the roles of performer and audience. Currently attending University of Illinois, his music has been presented at Boston Microtonal Society, SEAMUS, Electronic Music Midwest, CHIMEFest, Banff Centre for the Arts, SCI National Student Conference, EMS60, Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp, New Music on the Point, Fresh Inc Festival, Wave Farm, and the Festival for People and Thingamajigs, and on radio broadcasts throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK. Lewis’s All Score Urbana program works to create inclusive community spaces for exploring contemporary music throughout Illinois.

Late Night 1

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Julius Bucsis

This music is real special to me. It incorporates all of the musical interests I’ve been fascinated by throughout my life. It integrates my love of playing guitar, of jazz, of rock, of electronic sounds, and of improvisation.

Julius Bucsis is an award-winning composer, guitarist, and music technologist. Since beginning serious efforts with composition in 2011, his works have been included in over 100 juried events worldwide. He has performed a set of original compositions featuring electric guitar and computer generated sounds nationally and internationally. His compositions have been included on CDs released by Ablaze, PARMA, RMN Classical, and Soundiff. His artistic interests include using computer technology in music composition and performance, developing musical forms that incorporate improvisation, and composing music for traditional orchestral instruments. He is currently pursuing a DA in music at Ball State University.


|md|l|wr| is an electronic ambient music piece created by Skylar Chen, Danny Hynds and Skylar’s AI “Reso”. It is a conversation between player and computer. Unlike playing music with a human player, the computer program does not understand words, it only understands sound signal, and in its own way. Based on the input signal, the AI generate real-time audio-visual feedback. The AI responds to music in a unique way and thus players need to play in creative ways as well.

MDLWR is an electronic music duo featuring Skylar Chen and Danny Hynds. Formed in 2017, their work is inspired by artists such as Ryoji Ikeda, Andy Stott, Yasutaka Nagata, and Burial. In October they began a bi-monthly webcast performance series titled ideae, which features improvisations, performances, and visual works. Their debut release |md|l|wr| is scheduled for a December 30th release.


It’s a party!

AUTODIVA has two albums scheduled for upcoming release on the internet! Soon – DUALITY … next… a mystery


This EP was written over the summer in 2018 and encompasses no input mixing samples, live processed violin, and 4 on the floor house. This set includes all 4 tracks with live violin, mixing, and improvisation on violin and electronics throughout.

Jacob Duber is a composer and violinist from Cleveland, OH currently studying at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under Mara Helmuth. He has been creating electronic music for 6 years and has spanned multiple genres including musique concrete, ambient, house, noise, and glitch. Jacob also is an accomplished violinist and has premiered numerous pieces as a soloist and with an ensemble. He also plays bass in the post punk band Grand Process.

Concert 3

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Nicole Carroll - Orrery Arcana

bespoke instrument, live electronics

“Orrery Arcana” is a system for real-time audio-visual performance. The system includes a self-made modular hardware controller and custom software that allows the performer to manipulate sound during performance. The hardware controller is used to navigate systems that encompass chance operations, conceptual mapping, and data mapping, to control audio generation and processing. These process systems are based on NASA lunar data, the esoteric system in W.B. Yeats’ (1865-1939) A Vision (1937), and the numerology and symbolism of the tarot. Sound sources include generated audio as well as field recordings that represent elemental correspondences.

Nicole Carroll is a composer, performer, sound designer, and builder. Her work spans installation, improvisation, and fixed media performance. Through her work, she seeks to reconcile the natural world with technology. Themes found in her work derive from reflections on nature, occult philosophies, literature, and the human psyche. Her works have been performed internationally in USA, Mexico, Wales, Germany, Greece, Australia, and China. She was an Adjunct Research Fellow at QCGU in Brisbane, Australia during the 2017-18 academic year. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Music and Multimedia at Brown University in Providence, RI, USA.

Kittie Cooper - Party Teen #1

stereo fixed media

I wrote Party Teen #1 in confrontation with expectations of feminine emotionality in music. In this piece, I use the sounds of a screaming woman to explore how the acousmatic voice can separate not only sound and body, but also sound and emotion. Screaming is usually unpremeditated and can express fear, pain, excitement, or surprise. When voluntary, screaming can be used as a form of explosive liberation and power.

Kittie Cooper is a composer, performer, and educator based in Charlottesville. She makes art that incorporates feminism and explores the spectrum between silliness and seriousness. Her work has been called “highly original and wonderfully fun”. She is interested in text and graphic scores, improvisation, and DIY electronic instruments. Kittie teaches music and English at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. She holds a BM from Northwestern University in music education and guitar performance, and is pursuing a Master’s degree in special education at George Mason University. In her spare time, she enjoys taking care of stray cats.

Drew Smith – Open Your Window

stereo fixed media

Open Your Window is a meditation on struggles with insomnia that I composed towards the end of my first semester of college. The piece was created almost entirely with a Ciat-Lonbarde Plumbutter, ARP 2600 and electric guitar.

Drew Smith (1999 - , they/them) is an American electroacoustic composer, musician, multimedia artist and engineer. In recent years, their musical work has revolved around explorations of the possibilities of combining analog synthesis techniques, digital processing, and acoustic instruments through recording and performance. They have begun to expand into multimedia work and instillation, incorporating circuit/instrument building, video, dance, and sculpture into his composition practice. As a musician, Smith plays prepared electric guitar, modular synthesizer and various live electronics in their own pieces and with various ensembles. Smith is currently attending Oberlin Conservatory, working towards a BM in Technology in Music and Related Arts, where they study primarily with Peter Swendsen and Tom Lopez.

Carlos Cotallo Solares and Timothy David Orme - generations 1.1

stereo fixed media and video

generations 1.1 is part of a series in which new works are created by translating and/or reinterpreting older ones. The new material can be presented in combination with the one it was generated from or on its own.

Carlos Cotallo Solares is a Spanish composer and improviser. His work deals with subjects such as the relationship between music and language, quotation, and meter and tempo polyphony. His pieces often focus on a single concept or technique that is interpreted in multiple ways. He performs regularly with the free improvisation trio Wombat.

Timothy David Orme is a writer, filmmaker, and animator. His short films have been shown at film festivals and art venues all over the world, including European Media Arts Fest, Jihalva International Documentary Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Philadelphia Film and Animation Festival, Raindance, and others.

Omar Fraire - Winning Quotes

octophonic fixed media

One of my most melodic influences is the concept of challenging passive movements, which deconstructs my vision and causes my tone-row to become somewhat Wagnerian. The most important tip I can give anyone is this: Never compose aesthetic non-linearities; rather, endeavor to inform your artistically-extended oppositions. The fact that cadences tend to (at least in their critical state), choreographically contextualize, even in the presence of a strong ensemble, is, you will agree, patently absurd. The pursuit of flowing study-illusions to superimpose the mostly-progressive paradigm is a key focus of my monophonic study. I build upon the so-called ‘unities of experimental processes’ and transform them into what I term ‘modernistic-post-unified oscillation-resonances’, which I see as a distinct improvement. My latest piece begins with a rather developmental ‘sketch-fanfare’, before absolutely transforming the existing contrasting material into a more structuredly-spectral state, a process I term ‘aleatorically-choreographic-recontextualising’


oegf. Human as an artist, inventor, magician, curator, teacher. After having deserted from two composition universities in México, he specializes in Sonology (Koninklijk Conservatorium - Holland) and holds a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Art as auditor (Aguascalientes). His work is inserted into reality by transducing it and functions as an act of resistance. Enjoys collaborative work and his energies oscillate across disciplines. Creator of Punto Ciego Festival and artist of the Guggenheim Aguascalientes, is mostly self-taught although he holds an M.A. with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan and studies de Ph. D at UVA.

G. Blake Harrison-Lane – Squissael

quadrophonic fixed media

I wanted to investigate the variety of timbres and moods that I could get out of a single, familiar object so this piece was created using recordings of a party balloon. The sounds obtained were surprisingly human-like, echoing the laughter and cries of a child. The piece uses light reverb and pitch and time shifting to make the most out of the limited initial material.

G. Blake Harrison-Lane is a composer, audio engineer, and multi-instrumentalist currently residing in Tampa, FL. His music has been performed by the Quasar Saxophone Quartet, String Noise, Kate Amrine, and Meitar Ensemble and has been featured at the NSEME, CEME, BEAMSFest, SEAMUS, SCNMF, SICPP, and ICMC. His primary composition teachers include Lewis Nielson, Baljinder Sekhon, Paul Reller, and Scott Eggert. Blake received his M.M. in Music Composition from the University of South Florida and is pursuing his Ph.D. in the Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Composition Program (ICIT) at the University of California, Irvine.

Aiman Khan - Ragged Call

fixed media and live improvisation on horn

For this piece, I used recordings from the Ragged Mountain Reservoir. While at the Reservoir, I heard a distant hum. I wasn’t able to identify its source, but it completely changed the space for me and became the main color of the reservoir. I’ve drawn out the sound of this hum and made it much louder, emulating its strong presence in my headspace as I walked along the reservoir trail. On top of the sounds of my footsteps, the surrounding animals, and this hum, I improvise on horn and try to reflect/respond to what I felt in the reservoir.

Aiman Khan is currently in her fourth year at the University of Virginia, studying Economics and Music. She is in the Performance Concentration within the music major, and will be performing a Distinguished Major Recital in March 2019. Over the summer, Aiman was chosen to be the 2018/19 recipient of the Wednesday Music Club Award, which she used to attend Eastern Music Festival for five weeks in Greensboro, North Carolina. She began composing through UVa’s EcoAcoustics class, and has since been interested in writing music that incorporates and evokes the sounds of nature.

Paper Session 2

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Perception and Analysis in Electroacoustic Music: A Unified Approach

John Clay Allen

In the 1990s François Delalande’s conducted experiments that showed that when listeners experience a piece of electroacoustic music they invariably construct a narrative, however broadly, to understand the discourse of the music. Most listeners understood the composition - in this case, a piece by Pierre Henry - in terms of the figurative, perceiving form through a narrative or dramatic lens.Traditional techniques of analysis - particularly of electronic music - often fail to acknowledge this role that perception plays in the understanding of a piece of music, focusing instead on quantifiable features like frequency, duration, amplitude, etc. In “Spectromorphology” (1997), Denis Smalley acknowledges the role that perception must play in the analysis of electronic music and outlines a series of terms rooted in metaphor in order to help analysts incorporate this parameter into their analyses. In this paper, I have recreated Delalande’s listening experiments using Natasha Barrett’s Animalcules. The results are then compared to a spectromorphological analysis of the same piece in order to demonstrate that subjective elements in the realm of perception are rooted in quantifiable features revealed in a more objective analysis.

Originally from Ruidoso, New Mexico, Clay Allen is an American composer and pianist. Clay has studied composition at the University of North Texas with Kirsten Broberg, Andrew May, and Joseph Klein and at West Texas A&M University with BJ Brooks. Clay is currently pursuing his DMA at the University of Colorado – Boulder where he works with Carter Pann and Michael Theodore.

Extended Combinatorial Structures in “Out of Time”

Logan Barrett

This paper discusses compositional processes adapted from the serial procedures of composers such as Milton Babbitt, Robert Morris, and Charles Wuorinen within the electronic realm in my piece “Out of Time” for quadraphonic playback. The piece expands upon techniques used in 12-tone equal temperament to a 16-tone equal temperament system to introduce new types of intervallic content and combinatorial advantages. The compositional design of the piece exploits various aspects of this temperament that relate to its four-channel spatial setup. The pitch structure of the piece is based around a 16-note “Mallalieu-like” tone row. This row is derived from modular exponentiation and has many unique properties including a self-embedded structure by which taking every nth pitch class yields transpositions of the original row. Rhythmic analogues to this present in Robert Morris’ embedded temporal hierarchies are used to further extract similar combinatorial time structures. The full paper discusses work by Caleb Morgan and Matthew Barber in relation to further technical details and compositional implications. Transformations of the tone row are used to generate arrays like the trichordal arrays used by Babbitt in pieces such as Composition for Four Instruments, but in a larger cardinality. Using multiplicative operations produces four distinct arrays which saturate every possible row form related to the original row by multiplication. These arrays and are subsequently composed out and spatialized in a four-fold fashion which reflect the piece’s quadraphonic setup. The electronic medium not only serves as a compositional tool, but an educational one. Realizing the piece with electronics serves not only to yield a precise result of a non-traditional tuning, but also to provide an intuitive and visually simple tool for demonstrating the shapes of the pitch structures and the rhythmic embedding process.

Logan Barrett is a composer and pianist currently based in Tampa, Florida. His compositions include works ranging from small and large ensemble to electroacoustic media. He has participated in Summer festivals such as the SoundSCAPE festival and the Nief Norf Research Summit. As an active advocate of new music, he has premiered and performed multiple works as a pianist. Logan is currently pursuing degrees in music composition and philosophy studying composition with Paul Reller and Baljinder Sekhon at the University of South Florida, and has had additional study with Louis Andriessen, Jason Eckardt, Kate Soper, and Marcos Balter.

MelodyPainter: Draw the Melody in Virtual Reality

Kaiming Chen

The introduction of computer-based musical systems has largely changed our perception for creating music. However, most music creation systems are firmly rooted in existing conceptual models like a keyboard or a digital audio workstation(DAW). Virtual Reality applications provide an alternative to existing musical expression methods by making use of the expressive capabilities of motion controls as well as the fluidity of virtual environments. In this paper, I present MelodyPainter, a virtual reality-based composition software that transforms the user’s motion in the creative melody. It explores new possibilities for musicians to express their musical ideas more intuitively and for people with nonmusical training experience to improvise their musical ideas freely. This paper also discusses control and programming methodologies as well as the specific mapping algorithm used to link three-dimensional coordinates with musical characteristics.

Kaiming is an undergrad student at the University of Virginia, majoring in music and computer science. He is very passionate about technology application in the music industry, particularly in regards to new forms of musical expression and its educational potential. Whether he is playing, composing, programming or collaborating with others, he believes music brings people together and enriches life.

Concert 4

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Jacob Sandridge – Flock

tenor saxophone and interactive electronics
Jacob Kopcienski, tenor saxophone

In Flock, the performer acts as one member of a flock. The saxophone is often the prominent voice, but at times it is lost in a mass of sound. Through the interaction of the saxophone and the electronics we can hear flourishes of motion, calls and response, and even a great mass taking flight. In the end, the flock moves off in the distance. The gestures are produced via live electronics—the performer maintains control of the pacing of the piece.

Jacob Sandridge divides his time between the composition and performance of contemporary music. He has collaborated with other forms of media, including dance and poetry, and often performs his own compositions. As a pianist, he has experience collaborating with soloists and ensembles in all styles. Jacob holds degrees in music composition and piano performance from Bowling Green State University and West Virginia University and has served as a lecturer at Bowling Green State University. He taught music theory and composition at WVU for the academic year 2017-18 and will begin his DMA at Rice University in the fall of 2018.

Liz Knox - In situ

octophonic fixed media

As a child, I was fascinated with digging to the Earth’s core. In 1989, a story circulated among a few Christian news outlets that a group of scientists in Siberia had reached a digging depth of about nine miles into the Earth’s surface. The story alleged that they reported extremely hot temperatures and heard human screams and moaning from the site. I remember the conversations and terrified reactions of adults toward the prospects of this “well to hell”. In situ is a collection of symbolic sounds to represent the story of the Siberian dig site and our Earth’s mysterious center.

Liz Knox is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at Louisiana State University. She holds a Master of Music degree with a double major in conducting and composition from Butler University in Indianapolis, and a Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in composition from the University of Indianapolis. Liz completed her M.M. in conducting under the direction of Col. Michael J. Colburn, former conductor of the United States Marine Band in Washington D.C., now Director of Bands at Butler University. M.M. Composition studies were completed under the direction of Drs. Frank Felice, and Michael Schelle at Butler University.

William Bertrand, Austin Covell - dregs-magic

stereo fixed media and video

A thematization of residue, dregs-magic functions like a microscope, revealing streams of subterranean texture and movement, freeing some ordinary metal to reveal its internal world. Unlike the microscope, however, the work does not purport to depict a viewer-independent world – rather, it is the residue of the encounter itself which is interrogated – the bumping of the microphone, the texture of the chalk and charcoal. Its microscope is one of nakedness, its object, vision. Audio by Will Bertrand and video by Austin Covell.

William Bertrand is a composer and improviser from Jupiter, Florida. He is currently a double-degree student at Oberlin College, pursuing degrees in physics and electroacoustic music. Austin Covell is a multi-disciplinary artist from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Austin is a 2015 Young Arts Recipient for Music Composition, and currently studies film, sound art, and sculpture as an undergraduate at Tufts University.

Mauricio Fonseca López – Calicanto

stereo fixed media

Work for double bass, keyboards, guitar, flute and electroacoustic. Double bass: Francisco “Panchito” García, keyboards, guitar, processing, modeling and electroacoustics: Mauricio Fonseca, flute: Raquel Gudiño. Stereo work (2.0), duration: 9 ‘32’ ‘, Wav 44100 Hz - 16 bits. The work is previously panned. The work, apart from its purely aesthetic and stylistic purposes, is a kind of study on granular synthesis, applied to small gestures previously recorded with the guitar and hence creating sound layers that will serve throughout the compositional discourse of support for other instruments or sound objects. MusiqueLab (Ircam), Max / Msp were some of the software used.

Mauricio Fonseca is a Costa Rican rewarded composer and guitarist. He pursued his studies in Costa Rica, México, Cuba and Brazil.He has held three collective audio recordings: First Anthology of Costa Rican Electroacoustic Music, recording carried out in collaboration with the ICAT and Redasla Volume II and III in cooperation with the CMMAS. In 2011 received one nomination from ACAM for his electroacoustic production “Ciudad Victoria,” the same year he was awarded the prize to the best National Work as well as the prize to the best International Work, MUCEVI event- Spanish Embassy, for his work “Calicanto.”

Drake Dragone – Quiv

piano, cello, and video
Austin O’Rourke, piano; Luke Payne, cello

passing obliquely through

Drake Dragone is a composer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist from Richmond, Virginia. His works have been described as “fascinating textural creations, which invoke introspective feelings and senses of ethereal wonder.” Drake’s music has been accepted and presented at multiple festivals, including the Electro-Acoustic Barn Dance, for which he also serves as Assistant Tech Director, West Fork New Music Festival, and Third Practice New Music Festival. Drake is currently studying at the University of Mary Washington with Michael Bratt where he will graduate with a BA in Music and a minor in Computer Science in the Spring of 2019.

Austin O’Rourke is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound designer, electronic music producer and recipient of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award in 2015. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is a recent graduate from Mary Washington, having studied music composition with Mark Snyder.

Luke Payne is a cellist and composer of new music based in Fredericksburg, VA. An alumnus of the University of Mary Washington, he has studied composition with Dr. Mark Snyder and Dr. Michael Bratt. Luke is deeply interested in the use of live electronics to expand the artistic capabilities of traditional instruments and uses them to create lush, evolving soundscapes. This perspective and fascination with timbral and spectral development transfers directly to his purely acoustic works, where he explores the possibilities of virtuosity and vulnerability on traditional instruments.

Aaron Stepp - Transparent, Luminescent

flute and stereo fixed media
Kelly Sulick, flute

Transparent, Luminescent is a meditation of sorts. In the work, the recorder phases in and out of the electronics, composed of beer glasses. At times, the recorder gives premonitions of the electronics, and at times it responds to the electronics. This interplay is never light or humorous, though. The intent is that you, as a listener, fnd yourself unsure of which voice is which – who leads, and who follows? As the piece progresses, the recorder part becomes more sad, making attempts at rising gestures, only to eventually fall back down and, with resignation, ft into the sustained harmony of the beer glasses. All of this is surrounded by book ends of glasses chattering and clinking, taking us away from, and, conversely, returning us to, this strange meditative world.

Aaron Stepp is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic works. His works have been performed in Louisville, Chicago, New York City, Quito, Berlin, Boston, Bloomington, and Lexington. He was selected as the Artist in Residence at the TC Steele State Historic Site in Nashville, Indiana and at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He has received commissions from recorder virtuoso Eva Legêne, TrioArsenal, The Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, Duo Passionato, Orchestra Enigmatic, and Scott County High School. He has also published a warm-up method for high school bands that is popular in Kentucky. Poet Rebecca Morgan Frank is a frequent collaborator.

Kelly Sulick teaches at the University of Virginia and serves as Principal Flute in the Charlottesville Symphony. She previously served as Principal Flute with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and taught at the University of Evansville. Hailed as “flawless” by the Evansville Courier Press, Sulick appears nationwide as a concerto soloist, most recently alongside Sir James Galway at the Kennedy Center. A prizewinner in the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, Sulick can be heard on several recordings, including William Bolcom’s “Songs of Innocence and of Experience” under Leonard Slatkin, a Naxos release that received four Grammy awards including Best Classical Album.


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Light Controlled Noise Synth Workshop

Travis Thatcher

Learn to build a hackable self-contained, light controlled three oscillator noise synthesizer based around the Hex Schmitt Trigger chip in this two hour workshop. Open to all skill levels though some soldering experience would be helpful.

Travis Thatcher is a pillar of Charlottesville’s music community, and Technical Director of the UVA Department of Music. His dedication to the local scene includes serving on The Bridge Progressive Art Initiative’s programming committee and helping to facilitate Telemetry, a concert series at the Bridge sponsored by the UVA Music Department. Travis performs locally and nationally as Voice of Saturn and has recently released “Shapeshifter” available through DKA Records on cassette tape or digital download.

Late-Night 2

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Anruo Cheng

I designed an audio/sound installation to express the philosophy idea of Chinese Five-Elements (Wuxing): the universe consists of five elements (gold, wood, water, fire, and earth), and they mutually reinforce and neutralize each other to reach the state of balance. The sound installation consists of a lamp, an integrated circuit plate, and a laptop running a Max/MSP/Jitter patch. When touching the sphere, it will make a sound through the speakers, which represents that element’s texture. Meanwhile, the picture of the element will also show on the projection screen in the real time. It also contains the sound effects like delay, reverb, erosion, etc.

Anruo Cheng is a Miami based electronic music composer, pop music producer and DJ. She is currently a DMA student in composition in Frost School of Music, University of Miami. Her works focus on sound installations, and combination of experimental electronic music and electronic dance music.

Aaron Dilloway

Aaron Dilloway is one of the most creative, prolific, and revered figures in the Midwest American experimental/noise scene. His performances and recordings incorporate rhythmic loops from eight-track tapes, vocal improvisations, found sounds, and field recordings. He uses contact microphones in order to generate harsh, feedback-laced noises, sometimes placing microphones inside his mouth in order to create bizarre, ogre-like distorted voices. While he channels some dark, violent energies into his sonic constructions, there’s also a crucial element of playful, absurdist humor to his work, making his performances confusing yet highly enjoyable spectacles of Dadaist performance art.

While Dilloway is perhaps best known for his involvement with Michigan noise group Wolf Eyes, he’s had an extensive solo career, issuing hundreds of recordings (usually limited cassettes) under his own name as well as Spine Scavenger. In addition, he’s also collaborated and issued split releases with other well-known noise and experimental artists such as Kevin Drumm, Prurient, John Wiese, and many others. Dilloway is also the owner of Hanson Records, a long-running experimental music label as well as a brick-and-mortar record store and mail-order service based in Oberlin, Ohio.

Leon Bison

Leon Bison is from Space but makes algorithmic techno on Earth (for now).

Leon Bison guides unpredictable patterns through worlds of dance music, experimentation, and noise. Leon Bison wants to create spaces where people feel invited to express themselves and challenged to engage with new forms of music-making.

Binary Canary

Binary Canary is a collaborative improvisation ensemble featuring electronicist Ted Moore and saxophonist Kyle Hutchins.

Ted Moore is a composer, improviser, intermedia artist, and educator based in Chicago. His work focuses on fusing the sonic, visual, physical, and acoustic aspects of performance and sound, often through the integration of technology. Ted frequently performs solo on electronics using his laptop, modular synthesizer systems, resonant physical objects, lighting equipment, and video projection. Currently Ted is pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Chicago.