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MusicAcoustica Beijing

The MusicAcoustica Beijing festival of electroacoustic and computer music took place 24–29 October 2017 in Beijing, China, featuring nine concerts, a series of invited lectures, panel discussions, and a composition competition. The festival’s opening concert included Chi Wang’s Peony Garden (see Figure 1), performed with suspended inertial-sensing game controllers and inspired by a traditional Chinese opera, and Jeffrey Stolet’s Fantasies of the Mind, an interactive composition for piano and real-time audio processing. A concert of recent works by Belgian composers featured Elizabeth Anderson’s L’Heure Bleue: Renaître du Silence, which, in the composer’s words, “addresses the reawakening of the human being and its environments.” A separate concert focused on noted Belgian composer Annette Vande Gorne’s Tao cycle, presenting three of the cycle’s five pieces: Bois, Metal, and Terre. One concert featured works for saxophone and electronics performed by Pedro Bittencourt, including Panayiotis Kokoras’s Rhino I, utilizing a custom synthetic reed designed by the composer, and Horacio Vaggione’s Shifting Mirrors, constituting a detailed interplay between short prerecorded saxophone sounds and the live saxophone performer.

MusicAcoustica’s guest speakers included Miller Puckette, who in separate lectures discussed the design of electronic music instruments and the role of scores in electronic music; Jeff Kaiser, discussing generative and interactive software; and Annette Vande Gorne, covering sound and space in acousmatic music. The MusicAcoustica Beijing Electro-acoustic Composition Competition also occurred during the festival. A concert was held for each of four categories, showcasing pieces that had reached the final round, and with a winner selected from each. The winners of each category were Peixin Liu, winning the fixed media works category; Bihe Wen, winning the category for works incorporating acoustic instrumentation with electronics; Lifei Cai, winning in the multimedia works group; and Yu Zhang, winning first prize in the MIDI-based works category.


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Figure 1.

Chi Wang performs her piece Peony Garden at MusicAcoustica Beijing. (Photo: Jeff Kaiser.)

Legacies of Pauline Oliveros

On 3–4 November 2017, the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College hosted the Legacies of Pauline Oliveros symposium in Brooklyn, New York. The symposium honored the first anniversary of Oliveros’s death by celebrating her pioneering practice and considering the composer and performer’s place in the context of contemporary experimental music. The symposium included two concerts, scholarly presentations, a workshop, and a panel discussion. The two concerts focused on works composed by or inspired by Oliveros, including Oliveros’s The Witness, performed by Seth Cluett, and an excerpt of Daniel Weintraub’s documentary film, Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros. Douglas Cohen led a group performance of Oliveros’s Bonn Feier across the Brooklyn College campus. Topics of the lectures at the symposium included an examination of the roots of Oliveros’s notion of deep listening in her early works, from before deep listening had been formally developed or described, and the influences between Oliveros and the queer community and identity. A panel discussion among Ione (Oliveros’s partner and collaborator), composer Tania León, Morton [End Page 7] Subotnick, multimedia artist Tony Martin, and moderator Tomie Hahn reflected on the composer’s life and work (see Figure 2).


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Figure 2.

The panel discussion during the Legacies of Pauline Oliveros symposium. From left, Tomie Hahn, Tania León, Morton Subotnick, Tony Martin, and Ione. (Photo: Gabriela Baez.)

AlgoMech Festival

The AlgoMech Festival, a festival of algorithmic and mechanical movement, occurred 8–12 November 2017 in Sheffield, UK. The festival included concerts, talks, workshops, and installations. The festival’s main exhibition included a number of ongoing works tying computer algorithms and mechanical processes, such as Julian Rohrhuber and Dave Griffiths’s Inca Telefax: Listening to Pre-Columbian Administration without Understanding a Word, an audiovisual installation inspired by knotted threads used during the Inca civilization to record administrative data, and Darren Chouings and T. C. McCormack’s Playing the ends against the middle, which overlaid multiple projected displays mounted on tracks. The festival showcased the...


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