Electric Spring is an annual festival of sonic exploration of cutting-edge practice in electronic music.
The five-day programme of concerts, installations and symposia brings together a collection of people from diverse musical backgrounds to share their knowledge and perform music. The festival is curated by the Music and Music Technology staff of the University of Huddersfield.
opening act: Aaron Cassidy (USA)
opening act: Sam Gillies (AUS/UK) & Katy Gray (UK)
An evening of immersive audiovisual and multimedia works by Freida Abtan, Sam Gillies and Kathryn Gray. Freida presents her work 'the hands of the dancer' (2008), a 21 minute audiovisual composition inspired by the logic of dream narrative. It explores the multiple ways that movement and form can be abstracted through surface and temporal manipulation, as well as the defining sensory relationship that exists between sound and image in time-based composition. Bodily gestures convey secret meanings that need not resort to language.
From 9:00PM - 12:00AM we encourage you to visit 'I am here, and there is nothing to say', a multi-disciplinary installation run by students affiliated with Huddersfield University. After Freida, Sam and Karthyn's concert concludes in Phipps Hall, wander through the CAB atrium and experience the outcome of a 4-day workshop promoting inter-disciplinary collaboration and experimentation. For more information visit here.
opening act: Owen Green (UK) w/ cardboard.
This year Electric Spring hosts the first Creative Coding Lab Symposium. Those who have attended the Max/MSP Power Users’ Symposium in the past will recognise the format of four guest speakers taking about creative work with audio programming, but in this new incarnation we’ve broadened the remit to encompass a wider range of languages and practices. This new name is taken from the recently formed Creative Coding Lab here at the University of Huddersfield.
The afternoon is an opportunity for practitioners in creative coding to share and discuss both their technical approaches and their artistic thinking, as well as the way they link the two together. Each of the four guest speakers will talk for around 45 mins to an hour, about their practice with the opportunity for attendees to ask questions after each talk.
The symposium will run from 12-5 on Saturday the 24th of Feb in CAM G/01 in the Creative Arts Building. The setting will be relatively informal. Light refreshments will be provided.
Some time ago we made a simple proposition: a minimalist physical instrument that by default does nothing, whose behavior is to be defined by the user. We made a grid interface. What followed was an unexpected journey into community building, shared musical exploration, and open source collaboration.
More recently monome has been pushing the modular environment in new directions: grid-enabled for dense data and gestural manipulation, integrating scripting for both live code and functional reconfiguration, a digital communications bus for inter-module awareness, and more. We propose a different system philosophy, one of expansive possibilities within a small collection.
Brian Crabtree (US) creates objects, music, and objects that make music. In 2005 with Kelli Cain he founded monome, pioneering the grid-based performance interface. This open-source tool encourages people to envision and build their own musical systems, fostering an international community where people share code, sounds, and ideas. Brian and Kelli's work has shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in addition to numerous international performances. They live in upstate New York where time is shared with apple orchards, shiitake stacks, and birds of all size and color and song.
In this talk, I will describe an approach to working that I and colleagues have variably characterised as ‘public making’, ‘many makings’, ‘curated’ or ‘performative research’ as an alternative to traditional engineering-oriented methods. Our emphasis is on light-touch creation of multiple small makes in response to a provocative theme and their assemblage into hybrid performance/installation environments where digital technologies interwork with other materialities. In a manner which draws on the tradition of ‘Research Through Design’, it is through creative work that we speak to research issues.
Work in this style has included: Sound Spaces (with Simon Bowen and Tim Shaw) where multiple strategies for spatialising sound were experimented with to uncover the esoteric sonic organisation of the city of Liverpool, Turing Tape Music (with Tom Schofield) where a physicalisation of a Turing Machine was live coded by sensor data, Stookie John Comes To Belfast where a dummy head listened to a live improvisation and coded musical algorithms in its own esoteric programming language, All The Noises (with Owen Green) where multiple machine listening and generative algorithms coexisted in a multi-loudspeaker environment, One Knob To Rule Them All where 11 researchers rapidly made work to a common brief and created a layered performance environment, and Mythogeosonics (with Tim Shaw), a collective name to a series of pieces exploring an extended practice of walking, field recording and live performance.
All of these have involved extensive use of media programming languages, in particular Pure Data and Processing, and have caused us to reflect on the status of code and the activity of coding in our creative practice. In particular, as an alternative to representational accounts of how programming works, we have begun to explore ideas of ‘performative coding’ to think about code in the multivalent, hybrid performance ecologies which we like to create. In my own coding practice, this has lead to exploration of strategies that I will discuss under the provisional names of ‘perverse hyper-conformity’, ‘brutalism’, ‘reductionism’, ‘ironic universalism’, and ‘chthonicism’.
John Bowers has a varied academic background having made contributions to research in psychology, sociology, computer science, and art and design. He is also a sound and inter-media artist who works with modular synthesisers, home-brew electronics, and reconstructions of antique image and sound-making devices, alongside contemporary digital technology. He makes performance environments which combine sound, image and gesture at a fundamental material level. He has performed at festivals including the collateral programme of the Venice Biennale, Piksel Bergen, Electropixel Nantes, AlgoMech Sheffield, BEAM Uxbridge and Spill Ipswich, and toured with the Rambert Dance Company performing David Tudor’s music to Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest. He contributed to the design of The Prayer Companion - a piece exhibited twice at the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, and acquired for their permanent collection. Amongst many musical collaborations, he works with Sten-Olof Hellström, Tim Shaw and in the noise drone band Tonesucker. John Bowers works in Culture Lab and Fine Art, Newcastle University, where he helps coordinate the Digital Cultures Research Group.
This talk will give insights into the creative journey from working with Max for the development of the performance system Piano+ towards the realisation of the touchscreen controller app Parat+ and the development of modular synth modules.
I will also discuss various aspects and approaches with examples at the piano, to demonstrate the practicality and musical potential of exploring contingencies in controller mappings and processes.
Sebastian Lexer’s musical life is focused on free improvisation and the experimental. The role of technology has become increasingly integral in his music, reflected in his creation of the Piano+, an electroacoustic extension to the piano. His solo CD Dazwischen and various collaborations—including Steve Noble, Evan Parker, Eddie Prévost, Ute Kanngiesser and Seymour Wright—show the exciting soundworlds ‘in between’ the acoustic piano and the electroacoustic.
Sebastian works as a musician and lecturer, and is the founder of Incalcando, developing the iOS app Parat+ and bespoke interactive software and hardware for musicians and artists. A regular performance schedule has included concerts and radio broadcasts in Europe and the US.
I’m all about showing you some of the stuff I do. A lot of it uses computers. Some of it uses lights. I might go on and on about why and forget about the how, but then remember that too, and go on and on about that a bit as well.
Rodrigo Constanzo makes art.
He thinks this is an important thing to do.
The art he makes is generally smeared in time, in the form of music.
He believes in magic. He believes in sharing things.
He believes in teaching.
He believes in openness.
He love sweet jams, and avoids speaking with a complicated vocabulary as much as possible.
He tries to live as presently and honestly as possible.
In the forty years since the release of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports the concept and aesthetics of ambient music have proliferated, influencing artists as diverse as Taylor Deupree, Steven Wilson, David Lynch and The Orb, infusing drone, microsound, minimalism and experimental electronic music as well as aspects of contemporary instrumental music. The aim of this two-day conference is to re-appraise ambient music in relation to Eno’s milestone release.
Ambient@40 will be hosted in the George Buckley Theatre at the University of Huddersfield from Friday 23rd to Saturday 24th February.
The open call for Ambient@40 has now closed. For more information, event times and contact details you can visit the official website here.