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Past Performances

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Performances presented on 2018

Art's Birthday Euroradio Broadcast
January 17, 2018, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River Listen online at https://www.naisa.ca/naisa-radio/ and https://arsacustica.wordpress.com/
Deep Wireless opens on January 17 with Art’s Birthday, a celebration of art that happens worldwide every year. Art’s Birthday was envisioned in the sixties by Fluxus artist Robert Filliou in his work "A Whispered Art History" in which he declared that the birth of art happened when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. On January 17, 2018 Montreal artist Martin Marier will perform at NAISA using his unique digital instrument called "The Sponge." His performance will be transmitted live during the Ars Acustica Special Evening over the Euroradio “Liszt” Satellite network.
Meet The Sponge Maker
January 19, 2018, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
A special highlight of the Arts Meetup series will be a performance by and conversation with Martin Marier who has created The Sponge, an electronic musical instrument. This presentation will be recorded for NAISA's Making Waves radio program for WGXC Wave Farm and will feature performaces by Marier of the compositions he has created for the Sponge. To read more about The Sponge and how it is made go to: http://www.martinmarier.com/wp/?page_id=12
Sonic Reflections: People and Place
February 3, 2018, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
General $10, Advance Tickets - https://naisa.ca/purchase-tickets/
Featured in this concert is a performance by Andrew O’Connor of his piece RavenSpeak along with radio art works by Jenni Schine and Sarah Dew. The works in this show reflect on people and their relationship to place - the mythologies and the stories people tell about themselves and about the other creatures that inhabit their world.

I. Ravenspeak by Andrew O'Connor
A performance for live multi-channel audio and two performers, based off adaptations of two traditional Inuit stories about the Raven. Using field recordings of multiple Ravens and their extensive vocalizations, along with the soundscapes they inhabit, Ravenspeak creates an immersive setting for two ancient Inuit stories, the Raven Creation Myth and the story of the Raven and the Whale.
II. Caught Between Two Worlds (Seen Off Scarborough) by Sarah Dew
‘Caught Between Two Worlds (Seen Off Scarborough)’ is a new take on the myth of the ‘selkies’: the seal people. The work combines the artist’s narrative with field recordings of the sea (at Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK); recordings of family members discussing the selkie myth; original music and sound art.
III. Conversations with Billy Proctor by Jenni Schine
An intimate audio work based on conversations between Billy Proctor, a lifelong resident of the Broughton Archipelago area in BC, and Jenni Schine, a sound artist based on Vancouver Island. As an elder who has witness the transformation of B.C.’s coast, Billy is known as an important knowledge keeper and “the heart" of his settler community called Echo Bay.
Sound Memories
February 10, 2018, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
General $10, Advance Tickets - https://naisa.ca/purchase-tickets/
Photographs trigger memories of places we have visited. Sound recordings of those same places often give us a chance to relive those moments and even re-experience them on an emotional and visceral level. The artists included on this concert use sound recordings from across Europe and eastern North America to re-live experiences from their past while introducing us - the listening audience - to a new world that might resonate with our own.

I. Hyvät matkustajat by James Andean
'Hyvät matkustajat' began as a "sonic postcard from Finland", using soundscape field recordings from around the country. The original material was later further developed as material for sonic exploration and spectral transformations. Everything in 'Hyvät matkustajat' is made from the original field recordings that first gave birth to the piece.
II. o perioadä de cincizeci de ani by Stefana Fratila
"o perioadä de cincizeci de ani", translated from Romanian as “a period of fifty years", interrogates the relationship between memory across distance (space/time) and between generations (collective/individual). Earlier this year, my entire family returned to Romania to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It was our family’s first reunion since my parents and I immigrated to Canada in 1995. Through a sonic interplay of field recordings, I ask the listener to consider how emigration from our place of birth impacts our understanding of intergenerational memory and our ability to receive/pass down stories. For this project, I collected recordings of my family during our two weeks together, collaged amidst the sounds that have surrounded me each summer that I’ve returned alone: church bells, crickets, dogs barking, wedding parties passing by, or building a fire to the sound of the local station playing off a radio my grandpa built under communism using a spare car battery. The recordings act as testimonies assembled in the shape of a ‘sonic’ photo album, denoting the consequences of immigration, namely the sensation of continuously missing loved ones and feeling perpetually uprooted and isolated, while also drawing on the paradoxical nostalgia for communism experienced across Eastern European states.
III. Babble Streams and Cicada Routes by Daniel Linn-Pearl
Audio samples collected on a journey in and around Toronto as well as trips south by train to Raleigh, have been composed in this work. The audience is invited to move around the space, manipulating the sonic narrative. Within its unfolding structure is the story of a family in transit.
IV. Projet Archipel by Guillaume Côté and Guillaume Campion
Projet Archipel is a cross-media work comprised of a 29-minute sound documentary (Archipel, 2016), an interactive website (www.projetarchipel.com) and a mobile soundwalk app, available on iPhone and Android devices. Driven by a desire to address concrete informative facts through the poetry of electroacoustic music, composers Guillaume Côté and Guillaume Campion tackle the complex relationship between the archipelago of Montréal and its surrounding waters, mainly focusing on the St.Lawrence River, a majestuous stream strongly symbolic of the history and identity of Québec’s metropolis.

Interviewees for the sound documentary (in order of appearance) : Richard Bergeron, Alexandre Joly, Claude Cormier, Simon Lebrun, Jean-François Parenteau, anonymous fisherman, Jean Desjardins, Denis Coderre, Chantal Rouleau.

Thanks to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the arts, Code d’accès, Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (LMCML) and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT).
Ambient Tones and Dreams
By Jason Brock
June 30, 2018, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
General $10,
North Bay artist Jason Brock performs his cycle of pieces ”expressed in Ambient Tones - Songs, Soundscapes and Dreams" using the 12 String (Grand) Chapman Stick Touchboard controlling a Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer.
Jason Brock is a North Bay musician and artist focused on the unique touch-style (electric) guitar and bass instrument called the "Chapman Stick Touchboard" where he has received recognition from world renowned teachers/performers of the Chapman Stick as well as from the creator of the instrument "Emmett Chapman" (California). He began playing the Chapman Stick in 2000 after discovering it allowed him to still play music despite a work place injury that left his right arm with permanent nerve damage and a 90% bone fusion of the wrist . His first CD Medicine Stick has 21 original compositions ranging across several genres (Celtic, contemporary, light jazz, progressive, and folk). Since 2015 Jason has been researching and building his custom pedal-board with a wide range of analog and digital effects to expand the musical capabilities of the Chapman Stick in tonal palette and live performance.
'Rock' Concert for the Cave
By Stéphane Roy, Maggie Payne and Michael Obst
July 7, 2018, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
General $10,
This is a different kind of 'Rock' concert. It is a concert of electronic works inspired by crystals in honour of the new Crystal Cave museum in South River. Listen in surround sound to works by Maggi Payne, Stéphane Roy, and Michael Obst.

Examples from the Crystal Cave will be on display for this performance. Don't miss the artist talk the following afternoon on July 8 by Julia Breckenridge and Lyn Rose from the Crystal Cave.

Photo: Maggi Payne.

I. Crystal Music by Stéphane Roy
"Material substances and sound substance have never been so closely associated as in the acousmatic genre. Crystal Music, which originates in this genre, is a music of forms, colors and materials shaped by kinetic energies and perspectives in the inner space of the work. Like glasswork, the material has been expanded, moulded, transmuted in the fiery furnaces of experimentation. Like crystal, it has been worked upon by the imagination which imbues its transparency with the power of illusion.

Beyond pure matter, there still remain certain sham voices lost in factual collages, but also rhetorical phenomena of ruptures and antagonistic relationships between musical characters, strained nodes, suddenly subjugated by the whimsicality of an arabesque. The work is permeated by a bountiful style employing sound material as others use flat areas of color which they scratch with a nervous, angular graphism: it thus reveals a desire for plasticity which soon enough betrays a dramatic expression.

This work, composed largely with Bill Schottstaedt’s Common Lisp Music program, could not have been realized without the technical support and exceptional conditions I enjoyed at CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) at Stanford University (California, USA) during the year 1992-93, as well as in the studios at the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal in 1994. The work was premiered on March 3, 1994 at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal during the 15th anniversary concert of ACREQ (Association pour la création et la recherche électroacoustiques du Québec). Crystal Music was commissioned by ACREQ with support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). I wish to thank the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal for having lent me its studios in order to complete the piece. Crystal Music was awarded the First Prize at the 3rd Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1994). Crystal Music previously appeared on the compact disc Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1993 (NOR 3)."
II. Crystal by Maggie Payne
I composed Crystal in 1982 using a Moog IIIP synthesizer with extensive multi-tracking. Spatial location and modulation are important aspects of this work as is delicate timbral manipulation, with the harmonic spectrum in constant flux. Spatialization was created by carefully dovetailing the envelope of each sound to the sound that followed. Individual tracks were recorded to a four track Ampex 440, with the inherent spatialization retained through multiple generations of layering to and from a 12-track Scully 280, resulting in the equivalent of 26 tracks. For the video I shot crystals forming in real time using my father’s medical school microscope.
III. Crystal World by Michael Obst
The composition of the cycle of works "Kristallwelt" (crystal world) started in 1983, and with that, my investigation of the wide range of acoustic manifestations of traditional Asian percussion instruments. The compositional process and the many electronic transformations of the instrumental sounds and their overtone-spectra led to very unusual musical structures. The resulting unique sounds were comparable to various manifestations of light - such as reflections and prism-spectra - and reminded me of a novel by J. G. Ballard titled “The Crystal World". The author describes how nature's plants, animals and also humans gradually change into a crystal world. Everything "freezes" into crystals and precious stones, which, in turn, transform sunlight into an environment of countless fantastic light-spectra. The unusual paradox is the perfect harmony of the millions of refractions of light, which is at the same time responsible for the destruction of life, absolute paralysis and coldness.

The central idea of "Kristallwelt 1" is anchored in the contrast between sound-points ("Klangpunkte") and sound-planes ("Klangflächen") and is derived from recordings of the Asian percussion instruments Rîn, Keysu, Mokusho, Glissando-Gong and a Javanese Rotating Sound-plate. The original instrumental attacks were almost never used in "Kristallwelt 1", thus nearly all sounds originate from the resonance of the instruments. In the sense of an "overture", it introduces the harmonic structure and motivic concept of the entire cycle, which are the connecting links between all three parts of "Kristallwelt". The harmonic progression of this part becomes brighter and richer in overtone, supporting the analogy to crystals, or the dispersion of light, and therefore, a sort of musical coldness.

"Kristallwelt 2 (Choral)" draws its sound material entirely from synthetic computer-generated sounds imitating Asian percussion instruments and a female voice. The motives, which dominated in Part 1, are now reduced and seem to be improvised. The darker "Klangfarben", and the primarily calm musical development contribute to a somewhat meditative and - due to the manipulation of the synthetic voice - surreal impression.

The composition "Interméde" (Interlude) returns to the bright, overtone-rich sound world of first part, although the musical impression of Part 2 remains. Three "Klangfarben" determine the musical development of "Kristallwelt 3" and point to the central importance of this composition within the cycle: the sound-spectra of the Asian instruments; the original attacks of the instruments; and the human voice.

Kristallwelt 1 and the Interméde were realized at Studio for electronic music of the conservatory of Cologne (Germany), Kristallwelt 2 at EMS Stockholm and Kristallwelt 3 at IRCAM.
Stéphane Roy The author of a book on electroacoustic music analysis (L’Harmattan, Paris, 2003), Stéphane Roy holds both a doctorate degree in electroacoustic composition and a PhD in musicology from the Université de Montréal where he has taught electroacoustic techniques and auditory perception for a few years. Back to Canada after spending close to five years in St Louis (Missouri, USA), he has tought music analysis at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Stéphane Roy’s work has received awards from international competitions in Canada, the USA, and Europe. It has been released on a number of labels, including empreintes DIGITALes (Kaleidos, 1996; Migrations, 2003). Stéphane Roy has been invited to present his work in Europe and the Americas.
Maggie Payne is Co-Director (since 1992) of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, Oakland, CA, where she teaches recording engineering, composition, and electronic music. She also freelances as a recording engineer and editor and a historical remastering engineer. Her electroacoustic works often include visual elements which she creates, including video, dance, transparencies, and film. She enjoys collaborating with other artists and has worked with video artist Ed Tannenbaum for over twenty years. She is also a flutist, and has written several works for flute as well as other acoustic instruments. She has had performances of her works throughout the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Australasia. She received six honorary mentions from Bourges, and one from Prix Ars Electronica, and was an Artist in Residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA. Her works are available on Aguirre, The Label, Root Strata, Lovely Music, Starkland, Innova, Music and Arts, Centaur, MMC, CRI, Digital Narcis, Frog Peak, Asphodel, and/OAR, Ubuibi, and Mills College labels.
Michael Obst is a composer, born in 1955 in Frankfurt Germany. He studied piano with Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky in Cologne, becoming active as a composer at the Studio for Electronic Music of the Cologne Musikhochschule between 1979 and 1982. Obst was a pianist in the Ensemble Modern from 1981 to 1986, and worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen as performer of electronic keyboard instruments from 1986 to 1989. Since 1996, he has been a professor of composition and electronic music in Weimar. Photo: Guido Werner, Weimar
Psychoactive Listening
By Aaron Labbé
July 14, 2018, drop in between 12 pm and 4 pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
Pay by donation (suggested $10)
Lounge outdoors as you listen to binaural ‘Psychoactive Music' composed by Aaron Labbé. The music you will hear will be created live through algorithmic responses to your real-time EEG data.

Don't miss the artist talk by Aaron Labbé on the following afternoon.

I. Psychoactive Music by Aaron Labbé
"Psychoactive Music" is an interactive music composition that results in a completely binaural/three dimensional auditory experience that infuses various personalized neurological triggers within carefully constructed music in order to evoke a "dream-like" meditative experience. In performance, users wear noise-cancelling headphones and an EEG reader and audio content is live-mixed/outputted in real-time. Live composition decisions are made algorithmically based on the user's real-time EEG data and are rendered in a carefully engineered method, designed to provide what each user needs in order to reach the targeted mental state.
Aaron Labbé is an Intermedia Artist based in Toronto, Canada. The driving-force of his work includes concepts drawn from the topics of mental health, empathy, the psyche and explorations of human consciousness. His specialities include interactive experience design, data visualization, experimental music practices, spatial sound design and autonomous systems.