This event is presented in association with Course 21M.370 Digital Instrument Design and supported by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology Cross Disciplinary Class Development Fund
CONCERT DETAILS: Friday, May 7, 2021 | 7PM
Featuring: Myriam Bleau, Ian Hattwick, Marije Baalman, 80KV, Author & Punisher
WORKSHOP DETAILS: Saturday, May 8, 2021 | 1PM - 4PM
NOTE: Links to the livestreams will be posted on this page on the day of the event
ABOUT THE EVENT
Creating and performing with new digital and electronic musical instruments has always been an important part of electronic and computer music. This concert and workshop features musicians for whom this is a central part of their practice. Whether it takes the form of a physical interface, motion sensor, or software system, these new instruments are shaped by the artistic and aesthetic goals of the performer. Their instruments become part of their extended musicality, providing tactile interaction with computational processes and algorithms and becoming an essential element of their performance practice.
The motivation for creating new instruments can vary widely, especially as you move between musical communities. Sometimes it is the desire to interact with electronic sounds using traditional gestures, or bringing interaction with software systems or digital audio workstations into the physical world, or embracing the crossover between digital media in order to create dynamic multi sensory performances.
In any of these cases, the challenges of creating new instruments are significant. It requires a synthesis of many elements: imagination and creativity, mechanical and software design, sound design and composition, and the creation of a unique musical and gestural vocabulary. Instrument design is often a very personal endeavor, one which develops over years of practice and iterative design, and which results in tangible artifacts which reflect crucial elements of a performer's artistic vision.
In this concert and workshop we will be exploring the ways in which this manifests in the practice of musicians from several different musical communities. On Friday May 7 we will present performances by each of the different musicians, and on Saturday May 8 will be a 3-hour workshop featuring conversations with the performers and in-depth explorations of their instruments.
This concert and workshop were created to support the creation of a new MIT course, 21M.370 Digital Instrument Design, in which students engage with the full practice of instrument design, engaging with design issues, technical implementation, and artistic practice. The final project for this course is the creation of a brand new digital instrument, and a performance in which the students integrate their new instrument into their musical practice.
For the workshop, class members will be invited to participate in the discussions, asking questions and adding comments. Comments and questions will also be welcome from the general public.
MYRIAM BLEAU is a composer, digital artist and performer based in Montreal. Her work investigates performance, both as a codified cultural manifestation, and as an embodied (re)enactment of symbolic systems through human and non-human agencies. Using music and sound as a point of departure, she has created gestural electronic music performances, audiovisual interfaces, installations and interactive devices that articulate sound, light, movement and symbols. Her work has been recognized and presented internationally : Prix Ars Electronica (AT), Sónar (ES) and Sónar Hong Kong, Sonic Arts Award (IT), Elektra (CA), Mutek (MX), ISEA (CA), Transmediale (DE), ACT (KR), LABoral (ES), Scopitone (FR) and Cafe Oto (UK). www.myriambleau.com
IAN HATTWICK is an artist, researcher, and technology developer whose work focuses on the creation and use of digital systems for professional artistic performance. He is particularly interested in collaborative performance and the creation of multimodal hardware systems to explore and facilitate social and embodied interaction. He teaches music technology and digital musical instrument at MIT, and is the director of FaMLE, the MIT Laptop Ensemble. ianhattwick.com
80KV is a noise/industrial musician, performance artist, and mixed media sculptor whose work explores the interface between technology and the human body. Inspired by cyberpunk transhumanism and gothic aesthetics, her performances use custom digital instruments and robotic prostheses to produce disquiet. 80KV loves shiny red LEDs, upsetting noises, and knitting, but definitely not long walks on the beach because who wants salty, sandy circuitry? https://eightykv.com/
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