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Everyone knows J.S. Bach as a composer, but it turns out he was also a music-technology enthusiast and a sound designer, having spent many hours of his childhood hanging out at the local organ workshop, fascinated with what was the state of the art in sound synthesis technology. Throughout his life, Bach continued to support experimental musical instrument development (like the forte-piano and the bassono grosso) and his experience with the organ (aka additive synthesis), led him to experiment with creating new timbres in his instrumental music through unusual voicings and instrument combinations. In fact it was his technical expertise, as much as his mastery of organ performance, that landed him his first post at the New Church in Arnstadt, where, at age 18, he was hired to both play and maintain the organ there.

Kungsleden_trailIn October 1705, the then 20 year-old Bach requested a one-month leave of absence from his post in Arnstadt so he could visit the famed organist/composer Dieterich Buxtehude in Lübeck Germany. Obviously, Bach didn’t have a car, so he ended up walking the 250 miles to Lübeck, where he was so intrigued by what he heard, he stayed for an extra two months. We don’t know exactly what happened to Bach in Lübeck, but we do know the experience had a deep influence on both his music and his ideas for new instrument designs throughout the rest of his career.

On 25-28 September 2014, we invite you to undertake your own music-technology and sound-design pilgrimage to Lübeck for KISS2014. At KISS2014, you can immerse yourself in sound and ideas, surrounded by an international community of sound-technology enthusiasts who share your passion for sound, music, and the future of musical instruments. And, like Bach, you’ll return home refreshed, renewed, and with enough new ideas, contacts, and friendships to keep you motivated and inspired for your entire career.

Whether you’re a Kyma expert, new to Kyma, or are simply curious about what Kyma might be and why it inspires so much enthusiasm among composers, live performers, sound designers for film and games, researchers, and educators, KISS2014 is your opportunity to experience an inspiring four days of ideas, music, and interaction with your fellow music/technology/sound enthusiasts.

Early registration discount ending soon!

Register by 1 August to get the early registration discount: http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com/kiss2014-registration

Registration includes access to paper sessions, demonstrations, workshops, the Kyma open lab, opening reception and all evening concerts, plus a free lunch with your fellow symposiasts each day.

For travel and lodging information, please visit: http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com/travel-and-lodging

More information

Get the latest KISS2014 news and updates:

KISS2014 Site: http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kyma-International-Sound-Symposium/241910735840451
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KymaSymposium

Contact the organizers: mailto:info.kiss2014@gmail.com

 

 

Workshops, Talks, and Live Performances on “Organic Sound”

From organs (biological) to organs (musical), this year’s Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2014), to be held in Lübeck Germany on 25-28 September 2014, will explore multiple meanings of the phrase “organic sound” through technical talks, live performances, and hands-on workshops. Sound designers, composers, and live performers are invited to participate in a wide range of thought-provoking activities including:

  • An examination of how to emulate the organic sound of the analog recording studio using Kyma, presented by composer/sound engineer Greg Hunter of Dub Sahara
  • A special evening of “pipe organs like you’ve never heard them before” in the experimental, virtuosic hands of master organist/composer Franz Danksagmüller and his students
  • Intensive afternoons in The Collaboratory creating and rehearsing several world premieres including a live sound track for a new film by experimental filmmaker Theo Lipfert performed by faculty and students of the Musikhochschule Lübeck processed through Kyma
  • A hands-on “plantification” workshop where you’ll learn from Rudi Giot and his graduate engineering students how to control Kyma sounds through the growth of living plants

Events will kick off on Thursday with the unveiling of a major new release of the Kyma software and will culminate on Sunday with an evening of dancing to Kyma beats at club Parkhaus. The full program is online at: http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com/detailed-program

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About the Symposium

KMHHosted this year by Franz Danksagmüller and the Musikhochschule Lübeck, each morning of KISS2014: “Organic Sound” features technical/philosophical sessions on topics ranging from voice processing, to sonification of organic chemicals and the Internet, to organic growth and decay, to how to build your own performance controller and use it to control Kyma via OSC, to presentations by individual composer/performers detailing how they utilize Kyma in their live performances and installations.

Afternoons are dedicated to interaction and hands-on activities including open rehearsals of collaborations-in-progress in The Collaboratory, a workshop on Conduction ensemble improvisation techniques presented by London Improvisers Orchestra trombonist and Kymaist Robert Jarvis, and the Kyma Open Lab where Kyma experts (Jeffrey Stolet, Cristian Vogel, Bruno Liberda, Scott Miller, Kurt Hebel, Carla Scaletti and others) will be on hand to answer your questions and consult with you on your current projects.

Franz foreground recording two percussionist

This year’s KISS features more live performances than ever before, with concerts every evening showcasing some of the best work created in Kyma this year, presented in the acoustically perfect MHL Große Saal and the Jakobikirche Lübeck with its three historically important pipe organs, famously decorated with faces on every pipe.

Check out the exciting lineup of presenters, composers, performers and Kyma experts here.

Who should attend

organ pipesAnyone who lives for sound — whether you are a novice looking to kickstart your career, an expert seeking a fresh jolt of inspiration, or simply someone who is curious about sound and Kyma — you will find in KISS2014 a chance to meet kindred spirits and immerse yourself in sound and ideas for four intense and inspiring days and nights of non-stop discussions, interactions, music and sound design.

Here’s how Chicago-based sound designer and re-recording mixer, Dustin Camilleri (http://www.pulsetrain.net) describes his experience at a previous KISS:

“…The unique thing about Kyma, I find, is that it appeals to such a wide spectrum of people doing such an amazingly diverse set of things, but sharing a common language. The conversations I had were so incredibly inspiring; the performances I saw were just over the top, and the community at large was just some of the nicest most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending some time with.”

Registration and travel

Registration is now open: http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com/kiss2014-registration. Discounts are available for students and for anyone registering before 1 August 2014.

For travel and lodging information, please visit: http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com/travel-and-lodging

More information

Stay apprised of the latest KISS2014 news:

KISS2014 Site: http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kyma-International-Sound-Symposium/241910735840451
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KymaSymposium

Contact the organizers: mailto:info.kiss2014@gmail.com

Jun 122014
 

In celebration of Friday the thirteenth, Franz Danksagmüller and friends will perform a live sound track for the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera in the Concert Hall of the Musikhochschule Lübeck (MHL).

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Organ, harmonium, and soprano (all three processed through Kyma), piano, percussion, and the haunting sounds of the Gullyphone (Danksagmüller’s own invention, now complete with black light LEDs!) will all be contributing to the mysterious and dramatic live soundscape.

Friday the thirteenth of June 2014 at 8 pm in Lübeck at the MHL Großer Saal.

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Jean-Edouard Miclot, sound designer for Killer Instinct Xbox One, recently posted this little homage to Kyma on his SoundCloud page:

 

scottMillerComposer and Kyma enthusiast, Scott L. Miller, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Estonia during the 2014-2015 academic year. Professor Miller will lecture on approaches to electroacoustic composition, with an emphasis on real-time electronics and improvisation with Kyma.

Miller’s Every Problem is a Nail, for piano and electronics, premiers on June 7 at the New York City Electronic Music Festival (NYCEMF). The piece will be performed by pianist Keith Kirchoff (who commissioned the work), and was supported in part by the American Composers Forum 2013 McKnight Composer Fellowship Program.

Also on the NYCEMF will be the NYC premier of Miller’s Contents May Differ, performed by bass clarinetist Pat O’Keefe on June 4. O’Keefe commissioned the piece and his recording of the work is to be released on Innova later this year.  Both Every Problem is a Nail and Contents May Differ feature the Additive Synthesis Sound that Miller created especially for teaching his students.

The world premiere of Miller’s Electro-organic Ecosystem for pipe organ and Kyma is set for 26 September 2014 as part of the Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2014) in Lübeck Germany 25-29 September.

 

Contemporary Music Review has just released a special issue dedicated to “Agostino Di Scipio: Audible Ecosystems”. Authors include Makis Solomos, Renaud Meric, Laura Zattra, Luc Dobereiner, Pedro Bittencourt, Owen Green and Julia Schroeder.

In an audible ecosystem, one or more agents enter into and interfere with a feedback loop, causing changes in the sound it generates while also adjusting and regulating their own actions based upon the changes. Di Scipio describes it as a double feedback loop, “one electroacoustic, the other ‘cognitive’: agents act in the loop system and the audible consequences direct their further actions”.

In Di Scipio’s contribution to the issue, he analyzes his Modes of Interference No. 3 for three or more guitars, amplifiers, and computer.  In that installation, Kyma is used for ring modulation and delays whose parameters are, in turn, recursively controlled by amplitude envelope followers tracking the audio output at various time scales.

By removing the human performers’ homo-erotic stroking of the electric guitar, Di Scipio’s intention was to castrate the technophallic associations of cock rock and, in so doing, come to terms with his own teenage experimentations with the electric guitar and rock music.

May 022014
 

Jeffrey Agrell, educator/performer/composer and author of Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians, writes in his blog about a new experience he had recently: he performed with Mike Wittgraf who was processing his signal through Kyma and controlling the processing using a Wiimote + Nunchuck game controller.  Here’s an excerpt:

More video from their performance on youtube:

  1. http://youtu.be/k4F-ELZD4Yo 4:05
  2. http://youtu.be/NwRogbxIbyM 4:07
  3. http://youtu.be/lFBQV7wQXsI 5:59
  4. http://youtu.be/sRMazAfJVeM 4:53
Apr 262014
 

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In 1819, Diabelli provided a waltz theme and asked all the major composers of Vienna to compose a variation on the theme so he could compile all of them into a single Theme and Variations.  Beethoven indignantly refused to write a variation on such a “Schusterfleck” of a theme, and then, in irritation decided to show what you could do with such a banal and not very charming subject by composing, not one, but 33 variations with a playing time of over 50 minutes; he even demonstrated his own brand of humor in that Variation No. 22 is not a real variation but a quote from Don Giovanni (“Hab kein Ruh bei Tag und Nacht“).

Now in 2014, Viennese composer Bruno Liberda, intrigued with this idea of finding such a wealth of material within a simple source, proposes to create 31 variations on a theme provided by the audience!  All those who are present will witness the composition of a new piece.

Audience members will improvise sounds using brooms, scissors, paper, piano, wire, bell, cellophane, porcelain and other instruments which will be distilled by the composer over the course of the performance into motifs that become 31 overlapping variations.

Witness a new piece in the process of formation! Boundaries cancel… between emergence and the finished work, between a composer and an audience, between show and do.

See, hear, and experience together the process of composition!

Wo: Alte Schmiede, Schönlaterngasse 9, 1010 Wien
Wann: 30 April 2014, 19h
 

What if you could hear your music performed on a 500 year old organ that was once played by J.S. Bach? What if you could invent a new kind of live DJ set with Kyma and live percussion? Or work with an opera singer and a pop singer to develop new ways of transforming the voice in a live performance? What if you could spend several days experimenting with live Kyma-processing of strings, woodwinds, piano, percussion, and other acoustic instruments?

The Collaboratory is a “collaboration laboratory” where you can be part of a team of composers/performers/technologists inventing a new kind of live performance piece, live improvisation, live sound-track-to-picture performance, live DJ set or experimental live interaction involving Kyma and acoustic or electronic performers. The choices are yours, and the possibilities are limitless. Make a proposal and see what happens!

http://kiss2014.symbolicsound.com/the-collaboratory

 

What happens when an artist, a composer, an actor, and a dancer meet in an art gallery? Find out next month, when Phil Curtis travels from Los Angeles to London to perform with photographer Kelly Nipper, actor Małgorzata Białek, and dancer Marissa Ruazol in Tessa Pattern Takes a Picture at the South London Gallery. The hour-long piece features  electronic music performed live by Curtis using a combination of Ableton Live and Kyma processing.   Curtis used 24 drawings based on Labanotation  as the inspiration for the score, transforming each page into a two-and-a-half minute segment of music.

Tessa Pattern Takes a Picture explores the spatial, expressive qualities of time when rendered in a photograph or a film.   It touches on the history of photography, the Black Forest, clocks, and the ideas of Rudolf Laban (an early twentieth century movement theorist). The piece opens on Saturday 1 March 2014 at 7 pm in the Main Gallery of the South London Gallery.

In the meantime, back in Los Angeles, Floodsongs, the album Curtis recorded with Anne LeBaron has just been released; it features Kyma-generated electronic sounds on the title track, LeBaron’s piece for vocal ensemble: Floodsongs.

© 2012 the eighth nerve Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha