Walter Mencken 10 a.m., Sept. 20
Statewide Sound Masters Unite at UCSD
The blossoming, technologically savvy, music pioneers of the state have joined forces to create the California Electronic Music Exchange Concert series. I am referring to the grad students of leading California universities: UCSD, UCSB, CalArts, Mills and Stanford. Your chance to peak in and witness the future leaders and innovators of the field is tonight, Friday April 27, for free.
"The CEMEC concerts are always very engaging and showcase the state of experimental electronic music at California universities," says Cooper Baker, UCSD's ambassador of the sound extravaganza about to ensue.
Dating back to 2002, the concert concept emanated from a cauldron at CalArts involving electronic music wizard Tom Erbe (current professor at UCSD) and Clay Chaplin. The concerts take place at the universities which are involved, with visiting performers migrating. This year there will be a total of 5 concerts, only one of which is at UCSD - this one.
Regarding tonight Baker says, "The performances are very diverse from dancing, to no-input mixing, to cavemen smashing technology. The entire concert will be an interesting mix of experimental work with a wide aesthetic range."
CalArts grad student Steven Touchton, guitarist of the noisey punk outfit XBXRX, will be performing in a controlled feedback trio at the event. The last time Touchton was at UCSD (in Janurary), XBXRX was helping save the Che Cafe - a historical punk venue located on the campus. At one point his guitar and amp were being shoved into the rafters of the Che Cafe. Regarding his parts in tonight's performance, in a composition by Justin Asher, Touchton tells me that the nontraditional sheet music includes every possible feedback you can get with a Stratocaster guitar. Although there is some wiggle room for a bit of improvisation, the sounds are very much mapped out.
To illustrate this point Touchton points out, with a good-humored matter-of-fact tone in his voice, "If you are spinning an amp around the pick-up (of a guitar), you know the general colour of the sound." Also incorporated into the piece, entitled Genghis Khan's Siege of Zhongdu, will be a technique known as no-input mixing, which essentially is connecting the output of a mixer into the input, and then playing the mixer.
Below is a list of the performers/performances with shortened versions of the concert program information.
Polymorphous #1 - Ori Barel (UCSB)
"The aesthetic of the piece deals with the boundaries of chaotic instability within an ordered deterministic structure," reads the program for the evening.
Patch - Greg Surges (UCSD)
"My improvisational practice combines homemade electronic hardware systems with custom laptop software to create a gestural, chaotic, evolving, abstract and distinctly electronic sound-world," says Surges via the concert program.
Solidus - Evan Bogunia (Mills)
"A system for improvisation with aggressive timbres and a constantly shifting sense of space."
The Next Step is to Go Back - Paul Matthis (CalArts), Lindsey Lollie (CalArts)
The piece is a solo performance incorporating voice recordings taken from an Arthur Young lecture, according to the program.
Luddite Industrialists - Sam Dunscombe (UCSD), Adam Goodwin (UCSD), Joe Mariglio (UCSD)
"Donning loincloths and body paint, Ludite Industrialists brutally smash amplified technological items with bones and rocks."
An Archic Duo - Max Foreman (CalArts), Jinku Kim (CalArts)
South Korean audio-visual artist Jinku Kim, focuses on "the crossover between art and technology. He currently composes using micro-tonal composition, audio-visual realtime performances and modular synthesis." Max Forman's compositions "work in the exploration of sound spatialization, granular synthesis, psychoacoustics and just intonation."
Genghis Khan's Siege of Zhongdu - Justin Asher (CalArts), Stephen Touchton (CalArts), Brendan Byrnes (CalArts)
Polyrhythmic Overtone Beating - Brian Baumbusch (Mills)
"This piece was developed based on specific microtonal scales which are used to determine the composition, and in many ways, act as key elements of the compositions. It involves retuning sine wave samples in order to create symmetrical scales which produce polyrhythmic overtone beats because of their relationship."
California Electronic Music Exchange Concert
Experimental Theatre Room 122
April 27 2012 - 8:00pm