NEW YORK –– Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts, under the direction of Edward Bilous, presents Beyond the Machine 15.2: eVirtuosos on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8 p.m. in Juilliard’s Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater. The program features original electro-acoustic works by Juilliard students and outside composers, with a work by Pierre Boulez: Crossfaded by Sam Jones and Aaron Plourde; Brighter by Hilary Purrington; Energy Fields by Aaron Plourde; Rosetta’s Lullaby by Sam Jones; Labyrinth by Nathan Prillaman; Pierre Boulez’s Anthèmes II by Pierre Boulez; Long Distance by Steve Snowden; and the world premiere of Hall of Mirrors by Rick Baitz. Limited free tickets are available at events.juilliard.edu.
About the Program
Composers Sam Jones and Aaron Plourde were inspired by Stravinsky’s Fanfare for a New Theatre for their work, Crossfaded. They write: “Our piece expands the antiphonal sound world that two trumpets can create by enveloping the audience in a complete surround-sound experience. When trumpet meets technology, composers have the opportunity to further develop the rhythmic and harmonic structure of the music that was once only possible with larger ensembles.”
Composer Hilary Purrington writes of Brighter: “My goal here was to compose a work that is both challenging and enjoyable to play, set against the backdrop of a mesmerizing, atmospheric sound world. I composed the bassoon music first, then created an electronic part that both support and add greater depth to the live instruments. To create electronic sounds, I recorded melodic and harmonic materials on the piano, harmonica, and harp. Brighter consists of four movements with brief electronic interludes linking everything together.”
Energy Fields was written in response to a painting by French artist Fabienne Verdier, who was in residence at Juilliard in the fall semester. “The electronics part,” writes composer Aaron Plourde “contains samples of acoustic instruments, electronically-created sounds, and sounds that are recorded live. These samples are sent through different pitch modulators, reverb patches, and feedback patches. They are programmed to respond to the music I am playing on the trumpet.”
Rosetta’s Lullaby, makes reference to the first comet landing in history. A small spacecraft landed on the surface of Comet 67P, also known as Rosetta’s Comet. The spacecraft recorded sound produced by the comet, which after being manipulated into humanly-audible frequencies, sounds like whirring melodies. Composer Sam Jones was inspired by these melodies and five distinct landscapes of the comet. “By using delicate air sounds and gruff multiphonics on the piccolo trumpet, the performer is able to create a spatial experience with the help of live audio processing in surround sound,” writes Mr. Jones.
Composer Nathan Prillaman tried to capture the feelings of wandering through a hedge maze, a dense patch of forest, or the catacombs of an old church in his work, Labyrinth. “With Labyrinth, I tried to capture those feelings: the twists and turns as you wander through the structure, searching for an exit, and the eventual release as you cross the boundary back into the sunlight,” writes Mr. Prillaman.
Pierre Boulez’s Anthèmes II was first performed at the Donaueschingen Festival in October 1997. The work uses a system based on a perceptual approach to spatial hearing, which enables the listener to hear sounds clearly in this or that position in space, independently of the position and number of speakers used. All the electronic material is generated in real time during the performance; there is no pre-recorded material that is played back during the piece. The computer “listens” to the soloist and compares what the soloist is playing with the score in order to establish the precise moment for triggering modifications of the sound, using modules that affect the pitch, timbre, timing and spatial location of what is played by the soloist. (Adapted from Universal Edition Score)
Composer Steve Snowden learned about phone phreaks a couple of years ago and became fascinated by them. It was quite common for phone phreaks, who hack the inner workings of pay phones, to make high quality reel-to-reel recordings of what they heard. All the electronic sounds used in his work, Long Distance, comes from these recordings, and each movement is based upon the unique sonic qualities of calls from payphones in various locations in the U.S. in the 1970s.
In Rick Baitz’s Halls of Mirrors, many of the instruments are amplified and processed through the computer, and sonically refracted back to the listener, with their elements transformed: pitch-shifted, granulated, echoed, much like one’s visual images in a hall of mirrors. Mr. Baitz spent time when he was younger in Brazil and Africa, and some of the instruments he uses are of African and Brazilian origin. Hall of Mirrors has its world premiere on this concert.
About Beyond the Machine
Beyond the Machine is a multimedia performance environment that offers young musicians, actors, and dancers the opportunity to bring their creative ideas to life with digital technology. Our programs feature collaborations with creative artists from around the world who share an interest in new technology and interdisciplinary work. Now in its 15th year, the festival has grown to include biannual performances of new music, interdisciplinary and multimedia art.
Beyond the Machine has received critical acclaim from The New York Times, TheWall Street Journal, and Musical America for innovative programming. Basetrack Live, a multimedia work first produced on Beyond the Machine in 2012 was hailed by The New York Times as one of the “top ten theatrical events of 2014.”
Beyond the Machine programs feature innovative performance technology that allows artists to expand the range of their instruments, control audio and visual elements with electronic tools, shape video and projection design in real time, and interact with artists and computers around the world via the Web.
Collectively, the actors, dancers, and musicians who perform in Beyond the Machine are the Juilliard Electric Ensemble. The Juilliard Electric Ensemble was created in 2003 to provide students from Juilliard’s Dance, Drama, and Music Divisions with the opportunity to work together to create and perform interdisciplinary work.
Since its debut, the Juilliard Electric Ensemble has performed works by more than 50 composers including Joan La Barbara, Kenji Bunch, Eric Chasalow, Sebastian Currier, Michelle DiBucci, Avner Dorman, Jonathan Harvey, Jocelyn Pook, Steve Reich, Neil Rolnick, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Morton Subotnick, Jacob Ter Veldhuis, and Alejandro Viñao.
About Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts
The Center for Innovation in the Arts (formerly the Music Technology Center) was created in 1993 to provide students with the opportunity to use innovative technology in the creation and performance of new works. Since then the program has expanded to include classes in music production, film scoring, and performance technology.
In 2001 the Music Technology Center launched Beyond the Machine; A Festival of Interdisciplinary and Multimedia Art. Beyond the Machine is a 21st-century performance environment that nurtures young artists who are interested in collaboration and exploring new ways of creating and performing.
With the inauguration of the Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater in 2009, the Music Technology Center moved to a new, state-of-the-art facility that includes a record and mix suite to support music production activities and a digital playroom with interactive performance technology. The Willson Theater was designed with Beyond the Machine events in mind and features interactive audio, lighting, and computer systems.
In 2012 the Music Technology Center was renamed the Center for Innovation in the Arts to reflect the growing opportunities for students in all divisions to collaborate on innovative projects. Together with the Willson Theater, the Center for Innovation in the Arts is the home for interdisciplinary (InterArts) and technology-driven activities at Juilliard.
About Edward Bilous, Director of Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts, Artistic Director for Beyondthe Machine, and a member of Juilliard’s Faculty
Edward Bilous, a Juilliard faculty member since 1984, developed many of Juilliard’s most innovative programs, including the Arts and Education program, the Music Technology Center, and the Center for Innovation in the Arts. In 2012 he was awarded the William Schuman Scholars Chair. Mr. Bilous served on the National Endowment for the Arts panel for Learning in the Arts, the Lincoln Center Institute, and ACJW (senior education advisor). His creative works include Basetrack Live, five compositions for Pilobolus, Lucid Dreams (American Composers Orchestra), and the scores for Scottsboro, Portraits of Grief, and The Emperor of All Maladies (Ken Burns). Mr. Bilous earned his M.M. and D.M.A. from Juilliard, where he studied composition with Elliott Carter and Vincent Persichetti. He also studied privately with Krzystof Penderecki.