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Turn up the Sound Systems! Generative Sound Art Today

Sound Thinking 2018: Turn up the Sound Systems!

Turn up the Sound Systems! Generative Sound Art Today

Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave

Date & Time:
November 24, 2018
Noon - 3:30 PM






Presented by:

Surrey Art Gallery

2018-11-24 12:00:00 2018-11-24 15:30:00 America/Vancouver Turn up the Sound Systems! Generative Sound Art Today Join us for this year's Sound Thinking event featuring performances and talks on generative music. Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave

Join us for this year's Sound Thinking event focused on generative sound art.

With advances in computer technology, artists and composers program more complex self-generating musical structures. They use algorithms (which are no more than instruction lists for computers) to produce new music and sound forms. In doing so, they delegate some of their authority to machines.

The 2018 Sound Thinking Symposium gathers six artists whose practices take advantage of the generative potential of machines:

Kiran Bhumber & Nancy Lee (presenters)

Arne Eigenfeldt (presenter & performer)

Amber Frid-Jimenez (presenter)

Norah Lorway (presenter & performer)

George Rahi (presenter)

Philippe Pasquier (convener & host)

Among the questions addressed will be: What is at stake for art and culture with the increase of computer-driven sound practices?

The symposium includes presentations, discussions, and live performances that focus on generative music. Generative music refers to music that is always changing and created by systems.

Music is made of organized sounds. Rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, pitch, and tone all give music structure. The vast variety of music—from classical to hip hop to experimental—shows how many ways sounds can be arranged.

Amber Frid-Jiminez will discuss how video production can exploit data architectures and computer programmed sound. George Rahi will talk about his generative sound installations that bridge the precision of digital to the warmth of analog (non-digital) organs. Kiran Bhumber and Nancy Lee will share about their new virtual reality installation that reverses the hierarchy between visual and audio elements. Following his talk, Arne Eigenfeldt will perform with groups of artificial musical agents, the Musebots. These smart musical pieces of software produce music in real time. Finally, Norah Lorway will give a live coding performance. She’ll explain how to use computer coding as an instrument for playing music live.

About the Artists

Kiran Bhumber

Kiran Bhumber is a media artist, composer, musician and educator based in Vancouver. Kiran constructs interactive installations and performance systems that allow performers and audiences to engage with themes relating to cultural memory, embodiment, and nostalgia. She has performed and presented her works throughout North America, Asia, Europe and Australia including conferences and festivals such as MUTEK, The International Symposium on Electronic (ISEA), The Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, International Conference on Live Coding, and New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME).

Arne Eigenfeldt

Arne Eigenfeldt is a composer of live electroacoustic music, and a researcher into intelligent generative music systems. His music has been performed around the world, and his collaborations range from Persian Tar masters to free improvisers to contemporary dance companies to musical robots. He has presented his research at major conferences and festivals, and published over 50 peer-reviewed papers on his research and collaborations. He is a professor of music and technology at Simon Fraser University.

Amber Frid-Jimenez

Amber Frid-Jimenez is an artist whose work explores the role of design and technology in contemporary society. Her work investigates the aesthetics and cultural mechanics of the network through experimental platforms and visual installations. She is a Canada Research Chair in art and design technology, and an associate professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Frid-Jimenez has presented her work internationally at institutions including the Smithsonian Institution, Casco Office for Art Design and Theory (NL), Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (Paris, FR), FACT (UK), A Foundation (Liverpool, UK), Vancouver Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Western Front (Vancouver), Banff New Media Institute (Alberta, CA), Media Lab Prado (Madrid, SP), among others.

Nancy Lee

Nancy Lee is a curator of interactions. The notion of staging is a constant in her practice from her early days as a filmmaker to her current work in VR, new media performance, and installation. She has performed and presented her work at the Cannes Film Festival, MUTEK (Japan), SXSW, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, New Forms Festival, and ISEA (Vancouver & Durban), among others. Nancy is co-founder of Chapel Sound and the co-producer of Current: Feminist Electronic Art Symposium. 

Norah Lorway

Norah Lorway is an academic researcher, lecturer, programmer, and data artist. She works mainly with Human Computer Interaction, Creative Computing, VR/MR game experiences, and immersive sound. She live codes techno (and other music) around the world in venues and festivals such as Norberg Festival (Sweden), Corsica Studios (London UK), Incubate Festival (NL).  She is currently constructing 3D printed sensor-based wearables for use with sound performance. Lorway has run the electronic music label xylem records since 2012, and makes music for film such as Anthropocene: The Human Epoch which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018.

George Rahi

George Rahi is a composer, performer, and installation artist exploring new hybrids between the acoustic, electronic, mechanical, and sculptural realms. Currently he is an MFA candidate at Simon Fraser’s School for the Contemporary Arts where he works across a diverse array of interests including electro-acoustics, organology, robotics, and the soundscape. He has produced performances, installations, and works for radio and theatre, notably for the Canadian Music Centre, Western Front, Vancouver New Music, SPEKTRUM (Berlin), VIVO Media Arts Centre and Vancouver Co-op Radio’s Media Arts Program. He is also the instrument builder and founding member of the percussion ensemble Gamelan Bike Bike.

Philippe Pasquier

Philippe Pasquier researches creative processes and generative systems. He is a scientist with a specialization in artificial intelligence, a multidisciplinary artist, an educator, and a community builder. His contributions range from theoretical research in multi-agent systems, computational creativity, creative AI and machine learning, to applied artistic research and practice in digital art, computer music, and generative art.  He has co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed articles. His artistic work has been shown at Ars Electronica, Centre Pompidou, ISEA, Mutek festival, and ZKM. Philippe is an associate professor in the School for Interactive Arts and Technology, where he directs the Metacreation Lab for Creative AI, and an adjunct professor in Cognitive Science at Simon Fraser University.