Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 11:53 pm | Mostly Cloudy 56º


Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Hosts California Electronic Music Exchange

The free event gets under way at 8 p.m. Friday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall

It stands to reason in this age of incessant social networking that student-composers of electronic music at various campuses throughout California would keep in touch with one another, and that they would plan — and perform at — concerts of their music.

So, when I recently encountered the words “California Electronic Music Exchange” for the first time, my initial reaction was to slap my forehead and say, “Duh!”

I came across the phrase in the title of an upcoming concert sponsored by the UCSB Corwin Chair (professor Clarence Barlow) and the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology/“CREATE” (JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, founder and director).

Called, appropriately enough, the “California Electronic Music Exchange Concert,” the event will take place at 8 p.m. Friday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall of the UCSB Music Building. Perhaps to encourage our spirit of adventure without insisting that we buy a pig in a poke, or possibly to thwart irate concert-goers from demanding their money back, the concert is free.

The concert, one of a California-wide series, draws on the talents of students at five California campuses: CalArts, Mills College, Stanford, UCSB and UC San Diego.

The concert will be in two parts. Part one will be in the Music Bowl across from the entrance of Lehmann Hall, and part two will be inside the hall.

As for the music, I can do no better than let the published program speak for itself. Here are, in order, the pieces, the players and what to expect:

» Meat Drone, from UCSD, composed by Joseph Mariglio. “A quarter pound of ground beef is cooked (and eventually burned) on an electric skillet. Analog electronics respond to the rising electrical resistance of the meat as it cooks, producing an overwhelming and inescapable physical presence. Amplified string bass and homebrew synths weave gritty, microtonal drones through the meat synth’s bed of pulsing subharmonics. The piece ends when the meat has charred.” Performed by Molten Lava Eyeball Fiend (Joseph Mariglio, ground beef plus George Foreman grill plus homemade electronics, and Adam Goodwin on bass).

» The New Brutalists, from UCSD. “The New Brutalists play freely improvised music contained in collaboratively developed musical forms. We use electronics and extended techniques to process our instruments, creating unusual and experimental sounds.” Performed by The New Brutalists (Cooper Baker on laptop, Christine Tavolacci on flute and electronics, and Adam Tinkle on saxophones/bass clarinet and electronics.

» Bleeding Rainbows, from Mills College, composed by Evan Adams for “fixed media.” “This piece explores a three-dimensional sound world comprised of sounds produced exclusively on a modular synthesizer. The sonic material, however, represents an attempt to move away from the archetypal sounds of analog synthesis. This material was created with a semi-chaotic modulation feedback system, which results in an inherent unpredictability and fragility within the sounds. Bleeding Rainbows also focuses on the development of spatial gesture in an eight-channel.”

» The O’Neill Cylinder, from Mills College, composed by Ashley Bellouin for “fixed media.” “The intent of this piece was to create a dynamic, changing atmosphere from one-sound source only. The inspiration for the structure and title of the piece comes from Don Davis’ visual interpretation of Gerard K. O’Neill’s vision of a futuristic space colony. It is built around a single two-minute sound sample, taken from a DX-11 synthesizer and processed in a variety of ways using Max/MSP. As the piece progresses, the listener becomes more and more immersed in sound, traveling forth from the initial utopian wonders of the space colony, through the inevitable chaos zone and out into the cosmic realms of space.”

» Radio Breakfast, from the California Institute of the Arts, composed and performed by Max Foreman for computer and interface. “Music for computerized synthesis.”

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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