News and Media
Eli Stine premiere with the Akropolis Reed Quintet
May 16, 2013This Friday, May 17, 2013 at 8 PM, the Akropolis Reed Quintet will perform on the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings' Nightnotes Series. Included on the program will be a reed quintet and tape piece composed by TIMARA fourth-year Eli Stine, which features pre-recorded interviews and poems read by Alzheimer's and dementia sufferers.
Eli on the collaboration: "Through an ongoing collaboration between Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and the University of Michigan, I was asked by the Akropolis Quintet to compose a piece for electronics and reed quintet (the first piece with electronics that they have performed) on the theme of "Unraveling." I chose to center the piece around the loss of communication and memory caused by Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. The piece is in 5 movements, each movement roughly corresponding to one of the five stages of grief. The content of the instrumental parts is motivic, and development occurs from these different motives being transformed, lost, suddenly remembered, and, ultimately, forgotten. The electro-acoustic playback portion of the piece is made from dozens of recordings from around 20 people reading the writings of caretakers of people suffering Dementia/Alzheimer's disease, caretakers themselves, and Alzheimer's patients. The title of the piece, "Forget," refers both to the act of actively losing one's memories and also passively, tragically, forgetting a loved one's personality after they are affected by Alzheimer's. The piece is being premiered May 17th in Detroit and will be recorded in June."
Friday's concert will be held at the Hagopian World of Rugs on 850 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, MI 48009. There will be a reception at 7:30, with the concert following shortly after at 8 PM. Learn more about composer Eli Stine. - MC
Arlene Sierra '91 featured on NewMusicBox
May 3, 2013Filmed, condensed, and edited by Alexandra Gardner Transcribed by Julia Lu.
Sierra grew up studying piano, and later discovered how fulfilling composition was through her involvement in the Technology In Music and Related Arts program (TIMARA) at Oberlin College, where she was a student. "Electronic music was a way of getting ideas down, manipulating musical materials without having to worry about notation," she says. " For someone who studied piano, and didn't study composition, that was really a relief and a wonderful opening to ways of manipulating sound and making new things without all the business of getting the notation right."
Read the rest of Arlene's story on NewMusicBox.
Charlie Abbott: double-degree TIMARA major
April 24, 2013I was a weird kid in high school. I was known for playing in an experimental noise band, The Big Trucks. Much to the chagrin of my quiet suburban community, my fellow Big Trucks and I prided ourselves on sonic, and occasionally visual, shock value. For example, all of our live sound ran through the speakers inside approximately eight old small television sets. During one of our performances, we played the infamous '90s exercise video masterpiece Buns of Steel through each of the TVs as one person moved magnets over the back of the sets to manipulate the picture and two of us improvised on a theremin and a hacked Nintendo DS. As weird as we were, The Big Trucks attracted a contingent of like-minded local musicians that would go on to build a small fringe musical community in the suburban Boston area...
Read the rest of Charlie's story here.
Peter Swendsen featured on Pulse of the Planet
April 11, 2013TIMARA Professor Peter Swendsen was recently interviewed by Jim Metzner on the radio series Pulse of the Planet. Each weekday, Pulse of the Planet provides its listeners with a two-minute sound portrait of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide and blending interviews and extraordinary natural sound. The series is broadcast over 209 public and commercial stations around the world and on the Voice of America and the Armed Forces Radio Network, reaching over 415,000 listeners daily. The series is presented by the National Science Foundation. Peter has conducted research on soundscape composition and ecoacoustics throughout his career, and has been published by SEAMUS, ICMC, NIME, EMS, and others. You can listen to Peter's interview online, and hear wintry sounds of Oberlin featured on this award-winning radio show. - MC
Summer Program for High School Students
March 29, 2013This summer, from June 23-30, TIMARA professors Tom Lopez and Peter Swendsen will co-direct Oberlin's annual Sonic Arts Workshop (SAW), a summer program that focuses on the composition of electroacoustic music and is geared toward high school students interested in expanding their technical and creative resources. Topics will include field recording, digital audio editing and manipulation, real-time computer music performance techniques, and discussion of pieces from the field's growing repertoire. The program will cover issues of interest to young composers heading toward conservatory studies, and also non-musicians who are interested in experimenting with electronic and computer music.
Workshops will primarily focus on students' original creative work, and faculty and participants will regularly listen to student works in progress to share reactions, suggestions, and feedback. The workshop will conclude with an informal concert to present final works to the public. To apply for this exciting opportunity, please submit an application by April 10, 2013.
Paulus Van Horne with Verb Ballet at Cleveland Public Theater
March 19, 2013First-year TIMARA major Paulus Van Horne has been selected as one of four composers for the 2013 Young & Emerging Electronic Music performance with Verb Ballet and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Young composers and students throughout Ohio submitted original electronic works to be considered for inclusion in this unique production. Once the four compositions were selected, Verb Ballet choreographers were assigned to the different works, crafting companion dance pieces to the accepted electronic music submissions. Paulus' piece started out merely as an experiment with FM synthesis, but once he started time stretching and manipulating shifting polyrhythms, the experiment turned into a fully-realized composition with changing, varying speeds – allowing freedom and flexibility in tempo rates for the dancers and choreographers to follow.
The performances will be on March 21, 22, and 23 at Cleveland's Public Theater (CPT) at 7pm, in the James Levin Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave. Cleveland, OH 44102). Single tickets are available by calling the CPT Box Office at 216-631-2727 x501, or for purchase online. This event will serve as a precursor to a large CCS New Music Festival planned for the spring of 2014. Come show your support for the local arts, and join us in congratulating Paulus on this exciting opportunity! - MC
Tom Lopez performance of Curvatures this weekend
March 11, 2013If you are in the Detroit / Ann Arbor vicinity this weekend, consider attending "All Strings Considered" at the Kirk in the Hills Refectory. This concert, hosted by the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, will feature "Curvatures" for string quartet and live electronics by Tom Lopez.
"Curvatures" was composed in 2001 and originally featured the Oberlin Zeta String Quartet and choreography / dance by Nusha Martynuk. It's been performed over 25 times since then in various configurations: acoustic quartet, amplified quartet, and amplified quartet with electronics. Tom Lopez will attend the concert and perform the live electronics. The event will take place at 1340 West Long Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Student tickets are $10, $22 for seniors, and the regular prices is $25. For tickets and additional information, follow this link.
Allison Swaim wins Third Coast Competition
March 5, 2013Watson Fellowship winner Allison Swaim (OC '10), a former TIMARA and CAST (Comparative American Studies) student, has won the Best New Artist Award in the 2012 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Her documentary, Big Ship Diary, was produced with editor Cecilia Vaisman for WBEZ Chicago's series Front and Center. Swaim circumnavigated the world for twelve months by cargo ship to investigate how trade routes shape narratives of people and places. She built a network of industry contacts and worked to get one ride at a time, slowly making her way east and stopping at port cities en route. Her trip included stops in Canada, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Cyprus, and South Korea. She documented her journey and the stories she encountered by recording sound, photo and video. In January, Swaim led an on-campus, full credit Winter Term class, where she invited students of all fields to help collaborate on the production phase of her "Trade Route Stories" project. Read Allison's full story on Oberlin College's website. - MC
Dan Tacke, Eric Wubbels, Lyn Goeringer, Tom Lopez, Peter Swendsen, and Josh Levine (left to right)
February 22, 2013The Faculty Composers concert will be held Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8 PM in Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The concert will be comprised of original works by professors in the TIMARA and Composition Departments, including Tom Lopez, Peter Swendsen, Lyn Goeringer, Josh Levine, Daniel Tacke, and Eric Wubbels.
This concert will feature professional performers, including Dr. Susan Nelson (bassoon), Matthew Younglove (alto saxophone), and Joshua Modney (violin), and superb student performers as well. The night will include a large scope of media, from video work and live-processing to strictly acoustic instrumentation, and is not an event to be missed. - MC
Peter Swendsen Premiere this Weekend
February 15, 2013This weekend, February 15th (Friday) and 16th (Saturday), TIMARA professor Peter Swendsen will premiere a new piece in collaboration with GroundWorks Artistic Director and choreographer David Shimotakahara.
These performances will take place at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts, located at 2008 W. 30th Street (on St. Ignatius Campus), Cleveland, OH 44113, and will last from 7:30 PM until 9:30 PM. Students with valid student ID's can purchase tickets for only $10.00. General admission costs $20.00 per person, and preferred seating is available for $25.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased online.
Shimotakahara's newest work 'LUNA' was created in collaboration with composer Peter V. Swendsen, who has worked previously with GroundWorks Artistic Associate Amy Miller on a number of projects including, 'Valence' and 'Running To Earth.' His compositions and research are focused on soundscape composition, interdisciplinary performance practice, and interactive technologies. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to see the world premiere of LUNA, featuring music and sounds from our very own Peter Swendsen! - MC
TIMARA Students Collaborate on the OASIS Project: Water Ways
February 12, 2013Last semester, Oberlin collaborated with the Cleveland Public Theater to offer students the chance to enroll in the Oasis Program. The OASIS Program was an arts-intensive semester of interdisciplinary study, followed by a full-time, collaborative Winter Term project, which culminated in 8 performances of original work by Oberlin faculty and students at the Cleveland Public Theater.
The faculty members involved were Tom Lopez of the TIMARA Department, Carter McAdams and Nusha Martynuk of the Dance Department, and Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree of the Cinema Studies Department. Guest artists and lecturers from the Cleveland Public Theater were also involved with teaching the classes. Several TIMARA students enrolled, including Charles Glanders, Sam Fisher, Kaeli Mogg, and Noah Chevan, in addition to other students from various arts. The production received rave reviews, including this one from Cleveland's Scene Magazine. - MC
TIMARA Students Collaborate on Fall Forward Dance Concert
December 4, 2012The Oberlin College Dance Department held their annual "Fall Forward" event on November 8, 9, and 10, in the Warner Center Main Spa<br>ce. Eight Oberlin choreographers, with backgrounds ranging from classical ballet, modern dance, acrobatics, martial arts and tricking, amazed audiences last week with the versatility and expressiveness of dance. Breathtaking movement was brought to life by Oberlin dancers, and the event also featured original music by Oberlin students, including the TIMARA Department's very own Sam Fisher and Eastman Presser (both juniors).
Sam Fisher, on his two pieces featured in this year's Fall Forward: "Rift is a solo piece choreographed and danced by Ben George-Hinnant. It is a wild concoction of mixed violent and peaceful gestures drawing from Ben's experience in martial arts and tricking, but grounded in a dance framework. The score we decided to create for it is something of an atmospheric four-part chorale for distorted and reverberant synthesizers. Interia is a group piece choreographed by Elaine Liu, which I composed music for with Adam Himes [a junior Composition student at Oberlin]. Adam's piece was originally scored for an ensemble of instrumentalists, but a performer dropped out and forced him to create a new interpretation of the piece for synthesizers and samples. This is where I came in. It's a really fun and quirky piece of music, probably atypical to even those who came expecting the bizarre."
Eastman Presser, on his original work featured in the event: "Hayley Larson choreographed a solo piece called Hush, and I composed a piece called The Mouth, The Medium. Our collaboration explored the differences between gesture and texture as it related to the interaction between the dance and the sound score. I played with perception of 'synthesized' versus 'organic' and 'physical' versus 'mechanical' sounds." - MC
Michael Bratt: Visiting Faculty
November 17, 2012The TIMARA Department has the pleasure of working with Michael Bratt this semester. He is teaching TECH 101 in addition to other courses for Conservatory Studies. Bratt is a Cleveland-based composer who writes for a diverse array of instrumentation, including orchestra, chamber groups, solo instruments, and electronic media. His work has been premiered throughout the U.S. and internationally as well, and has won him numerous honors, including Composer/Fellow for the Canton Symphony Orchestra in 2008-2009.
Mr. Bratt is also the co-founder and board president of FiveOne, a Cleveland-based new music ensemble. FiveOne will be performing "Sonic Cinema," a showcase of video art and film shorts with live orchestral accompaniment. This exhibition was created as part of the annual BigBox production series at the Cleveland Public Theatre, and will be held on Saturday, November 17th at 3:30 PM at the Cleveland Public Library, in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium. - MC
Faculty Performing: 3rd Practice
Electroacoustic Music Festival
October 30, 2012TIMARA Professors Tom Lopez and Peter Swendsen will be attending the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival November 2-3, 2012 at the University of Richmond. Concerts will be held on Friday at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, and Saturday at 11:00am, 2:30pm, and 7:30pm, at the Modlin Center for the Arts. No tickets are required, and all events are free and open to the public. Now in its twelfth year, the festival presents works for instruments and computer, video, and stereo and multi-channel works for fixed media. This year the festival will present pieces that explore voice and text, the boundary between experimental and popular musical practices, and a range of modes of improvisation with technology. In addition to performances of Lopez's and Swendsen's work, Oberlin alum ensemble Eighth Blackbird will be performing as well. — MC
Eli Stine Awarded Berlin Performance
October 22, 2012TIMARA is proud to announce that Eli Stine's piece "Life" has been chosen for the 60x60 Voice project, which was created for the International Sound Art Festival in Berlin. Eli is a fourth-year TIMARA and Computer Science double-degree student, with a minor in Music Composition. His piece is for stereo fixed-media. The source material consists of a single word, "life," spoken by one person. All of the sounds in the piece are derived from that single recording, and manipulations involve stretching, breaking apart, adding resonance to, and creating instrumental sounds from the original recording. The concert is on October 28, 2012, at the Mitte Museum, in Berlin, Germany. — MC
Ana Knezevic in residence
October 10, 2012The TIMARA Department will host Ana Knezevic, Serbian-born visual artist and author, for five weeks between October and November 2012. Knezevic works in several mediums, including drawing, painting, and light/sound installations, and public art projects. She seeks to explore the relationships between space, light, and sound, by forging intersections between science, technology, and art. Her work has been exhibited around the world and won numerous awards. She will be working in the TIMARA Studios during her stay at Oberlin College and she is also hoping to collaborate with students and faculty. Visit her website to learn more. Ana's residency is courtesy of ArtsLink, a program enabling artists from 32 overseas countries to participate in communities across the US. Visit our calendar for information about Ana's upcoming appearances in Oberlin (concerts, showings, lectures, etc.) — MC
October 3, 2012The town of Oberlin is commemorating the impact of Oberlin student and resident, Thaddeus Cahill (1867-1934), with a banner in his honor displayed on the corner of College and Main. Cahill grew up in Ohio, and studied the physics of music at Oberlin College. He was an early believer that music could be made with electricity. Cahill became a prominent inventor of the early 20th century. In 1897, he invented the Telharmonium, the first electromechanical musical instrument.
The original design of the Telharmonium weighed 7 tons, and the third and final design weighed up to 200 tons. The performer would sit at a control console to play the instrument, which was installed in a concert hall called "Telharmonic Hall" across the street from the Met Opera in NYC. But the instrument's actual mechanism was so huge that it filled an entire room in the basement beneath the hall. Wires from the control console were discreetly fed through holes in the floor and into the lower room. Cahill's Telharmonium was the first musical synthesizer. — MC
Robert Normandeau & Terri Hron
September 26, 2012TIMARA and the Oberlin Conservatory are honored to host composers Robert Normandeau and Terri Hron for a concert of live electroacoustic, multi-channel works this Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 8 PM, in Warner Concert Hall.
Normandeau, a native of Quebec, is an influential composer and a brilliant sound diffusionist. He has been a Professor of electroacoustic music composition at Université de Montréal since 1999. He has also won many major prizes and international competitions, including Bourges and the Golden Nica from Ars Electronica. He has received two Prix Opus from the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM) in 1999: "Composer of the Year" and "Record of the Year — Contemporary Music" for Figures (IMED 0944).
Hron, a professional recorder player and composer who hails from Alberta, Canada, is an incredible performer and improviser who has commissioned and released two full albums of music for recorders and live electronics. Many foundations and artist organizations have awarded Terri scholarships, prizes and residencies, including the Banff Centre, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music and Media Technologies, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She is currently touring throughout the US and Europe, promoting her new multi-channel album Flocking Patterns.
For more information: Robert Normandeau & Terri Hron — MC
September 18, 2012The TIMARA Department welcomes Lyn Goeringer to the TIMARA faculty for two years starting fall 2012. Lyn is an intermedia composer, performer, and sound artist who originally hales from Colorado. In May of 2011, she received her PhD in Computer Music and Multimedia Composition from Brown University, where her research focused on public space, infrastructure and the elements of the everyday. She works in a vast array of artistic fields, including sound, music composition, video, dance/movement, and public art intervention. This semester, she will be giving private lessons and teaching Tech 201: Introduction to Electroacoustic Music and Tech 350: Site and Sound: the location and materiality of place. Please help us welcome Visiting Assistant Professor Goeringer to our new music community! We are thrilled to have her here. For more information and to view her work, here is her website. — MC
A Fond Farewell from Per Bloland
August 13, 2012Now that summer is in full swing, it is time for me, after 4 fantastic years, to bid farewell to the TIMARA department and to Oberlin. Hard to believe it's been so long, the time has rushed by in such a blur. From teaching the Max class, Advanced Digital Signal Processing, or the seminar on composition and literature, it's been a blast! And of course OINC… I am truly amazed at what you all created out of our weekly gatherings. I can't tell you all how grateful I am for all of your enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, hard work, and of course all the weird interests and crazy side projects you all get into. You kept me busy just trying to keep up, and fueled my imagination in so many ways.
It seems appropriate to reminisce a bit more about OINC, since in many ways that was my signature contribution to the Oberlin culture, and was so pivotal in my own development. It's amazing to me how much the ensemble changed over its 4 years of existence. There was, of course, the size - it grew much larger than any self-respecting improvising ensemble has a right to be. But we made it work, and the challenge of doing so turned out to be a fascinating problem to be tackled anew every semester. The tenor of our work changed as well, as we became so ever more invested in examining what makes for good improvisation when the rules are not specifically defined. And of course there was CarnivOINC – what an incredible ride that was! I was extremely proud of how you all handled yourselves while working with the visiting ensembles, and I know they were all impressed with you!
As many of you already know, this fall I will be joining the faculty at Miami University (it's in Ohio, not to be confused with the one in a much warmer clime!). I am very excited about the new position, and look forward to being part of a thriving music department not so far from here. Strangely enough I will be on sabbatical during the spring semester to complete a Musical Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris. It is indeed going to be a year filled with exploration and adventure!
Though signing off for now, I will most certainly miss you all and reflect often on the oh so many fond memories of my time in the TIMARA department. I certainly plan to visit whenever I can, and if you are ever in the Cincinnati area, my doors are always open. I look forward to hearing about future activities here at Oberlin, as well as the many adventures you all have ahead!
Sonic Arts Workshop 2012
June 1, 2012
This summer, from June 17th to 24th, Oberlin Conservatory will host the Sonic Arts Workshop for high school students. SAW is a TIMARA summer program geared towards the composition of electroacoustic music. Topics covered include digital audio editing, live performance with computers, and the discussion of electroacoustic music history and theory. TIMARA Professors Tom Lopez and Peter Swendsen run the workshop with the assistance of 3 TIMARA students/graduates: Evan Adams (2009), Eli Stine (2014), and Francis Wilson (2012). — ES