Event

Sonic Art Pieces by Ostertag, Acimovic, Avis, and Del Fava
Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Bob Ostertag with a Buchla 200 synthesizer, with many yellow wires attached.

“Sonic Arts” incorporate live, recorded, and found sounds to create multidimensional stories. Here is an article about this performance. 

Marc Del Fava: Buchla

In the Grace and Grant Noda Lobby, undergraduate student Marc Del Fava will demonstrate four-channel audio on the Buchla 200, a modular synthesizer created by Don Buchla in 1970, and is pictured with Cinema and Digital Media Professor Bob Ostertag.

David Avis: Improvisations on Presence

David Avis is an undergraduate composer from Sacramento. His Improvisations on Presence is a free improvisation of material deriving mostly from a recording he previously released called Presence (they are the same synthesizer patches). This piece features David playing and controlling sound environments in Madrona Labs’ digital modular synthesizer Aalto with a Nintendo GameCube controller. This project stems from studying analog synthesis with Bob Ostertag and Max/MSP with Sam Nichols, whom he could not thank more. It is his aim to combine the nostalgia David associates with that particular gaming controller with the intuitive and powerful synthesis control seen and heard in Ostertag’s work. David’s approach, however, is focused on allowing these constantly morphing shapes to direct the music as much as the performer. With this emphasis on non-attachment, these precarious environments teeter between peaceful stasis and utter chaos. It is along this line that David’s music attempts to walk, constantly edging closer to and flirting with processes of which he may or may not lose control.

Bob Ostertag: Wish You Were Here and w00t

Ostertag performs Wish You Were Here on an Aalto virtual modular synthesizer, which is software created by Randy Jones at Madrona Labs, and is controlled by a standard gamepad. Ostertag says he feels like he has “finally found a way to play a modular synthesizer in a manner both musical and constantly surprising” which he first dreamt of doing more than forty years ago. The juxtaposition of this music, and his video-game music piece, titled w00t, in the Pitzer Center’s recital hall is on purpose as a formal acoustic concert space for synthesized music is sure to be unexpected. w00t contains fragments of music and effects from video games from Balloon Fight to Halo: Combat Evolved to World of Warcraft, as well as many others. w00t originated as a live soundtrack for Pierre Hébert’s live film that addressed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006.

Phil Acimovic: Speaking of Sound

Graduate composition student Phil Acimovic—also the current director of the department’s Indonesian gamelan ensemble—wrote a piece for the concert titled Speaking of Sound, in which the audience experiences the piece by actively walking throughout the backstage area of the Pitzer Center. As they move, they experience ambient sounds—such as frogs, crickets, wind, trains—which parallel recorded (spoken) memories. As the audience proceeds, the memories become heavier in an emotional sense. The concept, Acimovic says, is to construct an environment where we purposely think about how we experience and remember sounds.

Free, no tickets necessary

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA

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