Ok, so it's been an entire year since my last post and I have a few things to mention. The first is that work goes in cycles where I learn new techniques, think about how they might be used, experiment, tuck my head in and develop hard-core, create works and make things happen. Then every once in a while, I pop my head up, take a breath, look around and reflect on what has been done, how it relates to other things going on, and re-negotiate my understanding of art, beauty, sound, and meaning. Reflection is so incredibly important and it is fairly obvious that I have neglected it for some time now. Therefor, now is one of those times. Before getting to the meaty thoughts though, let's use this post to bring us up to date on the BIG happenings that I have failed to post.
I was invited to present at the first ever TEDxLSU event. This was an incredible honor as I got to speak alongside some of the most innovative, and interesting people from LSU, Baton Rouge, and Louisiana. Not to mention EMDM doctoral students Nick Hwang and Will Conlin stunning the audience with their mesmerizing performance just after my presentation. It was a great day for experimental music at LSU. Once the videos go online, I'll be sure to post the links!
LSU hosted the first ever Symposium of Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras (SLEO). This was a huge endeavor with 5 laptop ensembles on site and a telematic performance with 6 more around the world thanks to Roger Dannenberg. We had presentations, demos, performances, and a keynote by Ge Wang. The symposium went off without a hitch and I think we could pull off another conference sometime in the future. More on that in a future post...
I love the NIME conference and this year I was able to stay extremely busy at the NIME conference in Michigan. Stephan Moore and I shared a booth for Electrotap and Isobel Audio showing off the new powered Hemispherical speakers and Hipno Touch. Nick Hwang and I set up Social Structure which ran for the duration of the conference. I also presented a paper with Christian Dell on AuRal, a research project using Android devices, GPS, a Rails server, and Supercollider to share synthesizers among participants within a geographical area. All in all, it was an awesome trip and I can't wait to go to South Korea this year!
Our second year of the iOS App BootCamp (iOS-ABC) went incredibly well. We had more than 30 students with a wide range of specialties and experience levels - they all got through the basics and into some really great projects. Everyone had a working app at the end and presented to a number of luminaries from Baton Rouge app companies. I was particularly impressed with a group of 4 students from engineering, computer science, music, and art who created Vocales, an app that teaches kids about vowel sounds in spanish and english. What a phenomenal experience. This coming year, we at the CCT will be doing all of the teaching in house. We'll have some interesting possibilities for where the course can go! Should be fun.
MAG Mobile Music App-a-thon
This was one of the highlights of my year. I taught a workshop on integrating lib-pd with iOS devices then ran an App-a-thon for students to make mobile instruments, then a week later we had an impromptu concert at Highland Coffees with the results. The instruments created were a blast and have inspired me and Danny Holmes to put together some educational experiences for high school and middle school kids including a summer camp in June. Check it out at the Performing Arts Academy
When the apps hit the app store, I'll make sure to post it.
This was a perfect storm. We spent the month+ leading up to the concert frantically (and methodically) re-coding the iCast system in Chuck and Max to be able to run an incredibly large number of audio channels. Eric Lyon was our guest composer and he brought and compiled his new piece Spirits for our system using 49 channels. With a few late nights and some tense moments, Yemin Oh, Nick Hwang, Ben Taylor and I were able to complete the software to a fairly functional stage (cleanup and documentation forthcoming, as with all projects.) The concert was amazing and we had way more audience members than speakers - our prerequisite - and even more than we had programs. I was able to demo a piece using web browsers on mobile phones to fling sounds around all 50 channels! Many props to Ben Taylor for working up the UI.
In coming up to my third year review, I decided it would be good to put on a faculty recital. It turns out that its good for a lot of other reasons as well: productivity, reconnect with the joy of performing, and getting to know your wonderful colleagues. I was able to write new pieces for our Percussion Professor Brett Dietz - Nocturne for Glockenspiel, projection and live processing, share criticalMass|Media my piece for Griff Campbell and live processing, and compose a work for Dr. Sarah Bartolome and the LSU Girls Choir using my iPad instrument Synthaesthesia!
That sums up a few of the BIG highlights from the past year. Sometimes it is good to recap like this to show yourself that you are doing quite enough and not to fret the things that you have had to put on the shelf. Life is good. Perhaps it's time to reflect on that.