Electronic Music Foundation
joins many organizations in collaboration with
IRCAM, NYU and Columbia University
in presenting

Paris-New York

      Improvisation &

      May 16—18

A gathering of researchers and artists dedicated to the exploration of the links between musical improvisation and digital technologies.

Back to the conference index

Thursday, May 17
Workshops & presentations at NYU

James L. Dolan Studios
35 West 4th Street 6th Floor

Please note: You are invited to attend any or all of these sessions as our guest. But since space is limited, please let us know that you are planning to attend by sending an email to events[at]emf.org. Let us know when you expect to come and how many people you'll be.


George Lewis: Opening Words

Marc Chemillier: The ImproTeK Project

Pierre Saint Germier: Can Computers Improvise?
There are now many computer programs (eg. Voyager, Omax) devised to interact in real time with human musicians. A question naturally arises about the status of the computer in this kind of interaction. Is there a legitimate sense in which one could say that the computer improvises ? This question can be seen as a variation on the theme of machine intelligence, as raised by Turing (1950). But improvisation has special features that make this case particularly interesting. We try to clarify the question at a general philosophical level and discuss various possible arguments and positions on this matter.


Frederic Bevilacqua & Norbert Schnell: Playing the MO – Improvising with embodied Musical Objects
The MO (Modular Musical Objects) are small tangible motion interfaces that were designed for the interaction between gesture and sound. Hardware and software elements are thought as part of a modular ensemble enabling different digital music instruments. We will demonstrate different usage paradigms, and in particular, how these instruments can be used to (re-)embody recorded sounds when improvising with acoustic instruments.


Mari Kimura & her Juilliard Students: Integrating Musical Expression and Technology in Performance
Mari Kimura will demonstrate her work combining OMAX and Augmented Violin, her collaboration with both Musical Representation and Real Time Musical Interaction teams at Ircam. Her Juilliard students and colleagues will show their own works at Kimura's Interactive Computer Music Performance class at Juilliard, and at the end, give a short OMAX performance. The artists are: Mari Kimura, violin & ICS; Milica Paranosic, vocals & gusle, composition; Matthew Weber, bass, composition; Mitchell Montealegre, bass, composition; Brandon Labadie: baroque oboe, composition; Chad Cannon, composition.

Steve Lehman: Tempo-based Interactivity in Manifold
Manifold is an interactive composition built around a computer-driven model of musical improvisation. Based primarily in the Max/MSP programming environment, the piece incorporates detailed programming and live processing, and calls for an instrumental soloist and a trio of virtual instrumentalists to navigate a series of highly structured compositional grids.


Gilbert Nouno: Experiments in Rhythm and Harmony Interaction
Gilbert Nouno is a composer and has collaborated as a live electronics artist with Steve Coleman and Magic Malik.

Jaime Oliver: Musical Instruments as Open Scores
Attempting to explore the intersections between instrument design and composition, I am currently working on the idea of designing systems that can be considered both a musical instrument, and an open work. An open work, in the sense developed by Umberto Eco, refers to a work that needs active participation from the performer and/or audience in order to be completed. In this case, the work is open not only to the performer, but also to the computer, process or interactive system. Open works usually take the form of a constrained space that fosters the emergence of specific musical while hindering others. Open scores are the way to notate these works offering ranges and options for the performer to execute. When talking of an instrument as open score, I am proposing that an instrument enforces an action space that makes available only certain desired material and combinations of material. By delineating a constrained space of action, an instrument ultimately performers to outcomes that exhibit invariant features, while the specific details of the work will vary form performance to performance. In such a context, we move away from the instrument as a supposedly neutral device, to one that is designed with an aesthetic purpose.

Robert Rowe: Interactive Music @ NYU
An active community of composers, performers, and researchers has developed at NYU Steinhardt around issues of improvisation, performance, and technology. This overview will report on work by a number of practitioners in that community, including Robert Rowe, Morton Subotnick, Joel Chadabe, Luke Dubois, Dafna Naphtali, Florent Ghys, and others.

← Back to the conference index