Festival 2015

3rd Ear: Expanded Notions of Sound in Science and Art, May 25-31, 2015

Image credit: Ian Jarvis




This year’s festival brings together scientists, artists and inventors that are exploring the mind and body altering properties of sound; working toward innovation in the way we conceive of it and its numerous possibilities for the future. From applications in clinical medicine to cultural healing and trauma therapy, each component of this year’s program addresses sound as more than a phenomenon, but as a powerful and largely untapped resource for better living and social progress.




FESTIVAL PROGRAM


en. morendo

May 25 – 31
Sound art installations at the Gladstone Hotel

 

Still from Cienfuegos by Andrew Zealley

Still from Cienfuegos by Andrew Zealley


1214 Queen Street West, first floor

Gallery hours: Noon-5pm daily

FREE


Featuring works by:

 

ALEXANDRA GELIS
ANDREW ZEALLEY
MITCHELL AKIYAMA


In musical composition the words “en. morendo” indicate a piece should be played as if “fading into nothingness,” or, in other words, a sound that slowly dies. In contrast, this term can also be interpreted to mark a sudden change in tempo, and more often one that alters the entire mood of the piece. In this spirit, the works presented in this exhibition evoke decay and deterioration but in ways that focus less on notions of ‘the end’ so much as notions of transference and passing from one form to another.



Collide

May 28 8pm
at the
Theatre Centre

 

Icicle Atlas by Stephen Morris

Image from the project the Icicle Atlas led by Stephen Morris


Co-presented with Continuum Contemporary Music


1115 Queen Street West

$30 (adults) $20 (seniors & arts workers) $10 (students)

 

PURCHASE TICKETS

 

Subtle Technologies teams up with Continuum to host an evening of experiments in music, media art and science. In this groundbreaking cross-disciplinary project, leading Canadian scientists, composers and contemporary artists explore sound as a means to express geological patterns, galaxy formation, the boundaries of time and beyond.



PERFORMANCES


Ice


FAREENA CHANDA (media artist)

JIMMIE LEBLANC (composer)

& STEPHEN MORRIS (scientist)


Ice is an immersive mixed-media and sound installation that explores the silent formation of icicles. The slow yet dynamic process of fluid water becoming static ice is characteristically universal, beautiful and violent. The piece invites the viewer to experience the frozen moments of this process by committing their mind and body to the installation space. The culmination of a collaboration between composer Jimmie LeBlanc, mixed-media artist Fareena Chanda and scientist Stephen Morris, Ice is inspired by and uses Morris’ Icicle Atlas—an open source database of hundreds of icicle shapes evolving over time.


Colliding Galaxies: Colour & Tones


NICOLE LIZEE (composer)

JAYANNE ENGLISH (scientist)


Using the colourization of data at specific frequencies, a striking Hubble Space Telescope image of Hickson Compact Group 31 is deconstructed in this composition for six musicians by Nicole Lizée. The accompanying projected visuals, based on images by astronomer Jayanne English, peel back layers of data to reveal detector noise and the pixelated substrata associated with the physics of machine “seeing”.


Times Collide


ERIN FORTIER (scientist/artist)

JASON BAERG (interdisciplinary artist)

& JAMES ROLFE (composer)


This hybrid presentation will begin with a dialog across time and transition through performance, music, and new media representations of the relationships between land, animals, and humanness. Rhythm, colour, and narrative are key themes that are woven through the works.


Therefore


MICHAEL OESTERLE (composer)

CARLA HUHTANEN (soprano)


Acclaimed Canadian soprano Carla Huhtanen performs this work by Michael Oesterle, commissioned by Daniel Cooper (Chair of the Subtle Technologies board of directors), and based on the life of Marie Curie.



Conductor: Brian Current




HIGHNOTE

May 29, 7-10pm
in the Melody Bar at the Gladstone Hotel

 

Image credit: Rob Cruickshank. Courtesy of the artist.


1214 Queen Street West, first floor

$10 (general) $7 (student/senior/arts worker)



PURCHASE TICKETS

HIGHNOTE is the official launch party for the 18th annual Subtle Technologies Festival. Join us in the Melody Bar for a vibrant evening of experimental musical performances that span algorithm raving to improvised audio/video duets to low-frequency dance music. Stick around after the show for some good old-fashioned karaoke fun.



PERFORMANCES


ANDREW ZEALLEY

Cienfuegos

Singing bowls in tandem with video projection


IAN JARVIS

T(IO)R-There Is Only Rhythm

Improvised ‘algorave’


LITTLE OAK ANIMAL aka Dafydd Hughes & Rob Cruickshank

Computer-generated music & live video projection


MITCHELL AKIYAMA

DJ set | contemporary




Speaker Series

May 30, 9am-4:30pm
at Artscape Youngplace

 

Dipna's Ears by Dipna Horra

Dipna’s Ears by Dipna Horra. Photo credit: Ken Campbell. Image courtesy of the artist.


180 Shaw Street, Flex Studios Gold and Silver (Rm 106 & 107)

 

$40 (full day, regular) $20 (student/senior/artist)

$20 (half day, regular) $10 (student/senior/artist)



REGISTER ONLINE



INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATIONS (rm 107)


9:15 | DR. FRANK A. RUSSO Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of SMART Lab, Ryerson University

 

Music as a technology for oscillatory coupling within and between brains

This talk will be divided into two complementary parts. The first part considers the perception of music from the perspective of oscillatory dynamics. After a brief discussion of physical principles that govern oscillatory coupling, I will consider its role in the perception of pitch, rhythm and emotion in music. The second part of the talk uses the same oscillatory framework to interpret new findings on the effectiveness of music as an agent of neuroplastic and social change.



10:00 | KATHY KENNEDY Composer, Artist and Lecturer, Electroacoustics, Concordia University

 

Voicing Public Space: Hmmm performances from 2005 to the present

The composer will discuss strategies for enabling adhoc groups to create sonic flashmobs, through her ongoing performance piece, HMMM. The non-verbal aspects of singing are explored, allowing the voice to be used in new ways.



11:00 | MITCHELL AKIYAMA PhD Composer, Artist and Scholar

 

The Object of Permanence: 2500 Years of Frozen Sound

The speculation that sound is endowed with material, tangible properties that make it susceptible to storage has, for centuries, haunted literature and philosophy. This talk will chart the prehistory of sonic storage, listening for moments at which philosophers and inventors imagined that sounds might possess an immortality that could outlive their makers. We will hear not only of acoustic condensation due to icy conditions, but also of the haunting and spectral quality of sonic storage, a phenomenon that continued a nineteenth century obsession with preserving the bodies—and the voices—of the dead.



1:00 | LORETTA FAVERI Artist, Designer and Founder of Sonic Wear Studios

 

Turning Movement into Sound:
How SonicWear is using wearable technology to inspire creativity and innovation

This session will look at SonicWear’s research and development of SOMO, a wearable sensor that turns body movement into music and how the device is changing the way we think about creative movement and dance education.



2:00 | MARC DE PAPE Artist, Designer and Consultant, Experience Design, ThoughtWorks

 

Sonification and The Poetic Translation of Data

This talk will be an exploration of digital sensing, physical computing and qualitative pattern making as it relates to our understanding of the lived environment. Increasingly, digital technology is being applied to the abstraction and modeling of natural phenomena for the purposes of prediction. However, this ignores the potential to utilize digital sensed data, from precise engineered instruments, for expressive purposes. Some of these uses may bring attention to patterns that impact the experience of the world, rather than simply describe it.



3:00 | DIPNA HORRA Media Artist

 

Sounds of (Dis)Location: audio art projects, 2009-2015

Works presented in this talk offer the sense of hearing to evoke hybrid musical and visual spaces layered with aural memories. Subtle sound strategies are used to investigate deeper social contexts of storytelling, cultural identity and architectural elements. The installation of these objects in space is an exploration of ephemeral boundary conditions.  Here, structures develop and the physical presence of sound proposes an elsewhere, an in between dwelling.




COLLIDE COLLOQUIUM (rm 106)


Three years in the making, Collide brings together Canada’s leading scientists, composers and media artists to undertake an unprecedented experiment in live music and performance. To be held on May 28 at the Theatre Centre, collaborators from this one-of-a-kind event will speak about their research, creative process and the greater social and cultural contexts for their work.

 

 

1:30 | Group 1: Times Collide (ERIN FORTIER, JASON BAERG & JAMES ROLFE)

 

In tandem with this talk:

 

Dance performance and intervention by Lucy M. May (Compagnie Marie Chouinard) & Erin Fortier

This choreographic performance hones in on the transformative properties of the body to reveal relationships in time. Sculptural reference points stand in for the forces that influence the active, reactive, and coincidental relationships between human, animal, and nature.


2:30 | Group 2 : Colliding Galaxies: Colour & Tones (JAYANNE ENGLISH & NICOLE LIZEE)


3:30 | Group 3 : Ice (FAREENA CHANDA, JIMMIE LEBLANC & STEPHEN MORRIS)




Screening: I Dream of Wires

May 30 7pm & 9pm
at Small World Music Centre

 

I Dream Of Wires



Co-presented with Hot Docs


180 Shaw Street, Suite 101

$10 (adults) $7 (students/seniors/artists)



PURCHASE TICKETS

 

I Dream of Wires (2014) is an independent documentary about the history, demise and resurgence of the modular synthesizer, featuring interviews with over 100 modular musicians, inventors and enthusiasts, including Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Gary Numan, Vince Clarke (Erasure), Morton Subotnick, Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle), Daniel Miller, Carl Craig, Flood, Cevin Key (Skinny Puppy), James Holden, Factory Floor, Legowelt, Clark, John Foxx and Bernie Krause, as well as manufacturers and modular industry leaders Doepfer, Modcan and Make Noise.

 

Written and directed by Robert Fantinatto

Co-written and produced by Jason Amm




Panel Discussions

May 31, 10am-3pm
at Artscape Youngplace

 

o'honey collective at the Gladstone Hotel

Image credit: O’Honey Collective (David Bobier & Leslie Putnam). Courtesy of the artists.


180 Shaw Street, Flex Studio Silver (Rm 107)

 

$40 (full day, regular) $20 (student/senior/artist)

$20 (half day, regular) $10 (student/senior/artist)



REGISTER ONLINE

 

 

10:00-1200 | Sounding/Surviving : the role of music in health, emotion and memory

 

DIPNA HORRA Media artist

DAVID BOBIER Founder & Director, VibraFusionLab & Chair, London Ontario Media Arts Association

JO SIMALAYA ALCAMPO Interdisciplinary artist and writer

 

This panel will explore the ways in which music can be used as tool for therapy and rememberance. In an increasingly globalized world, migration and networked technologies have both diffused and enriched cultures through the fluid storage and transference of sound. What are the possibilities for personal and collective healing through the integration of audio technologies and aesthetic experiences?

 

1:00-3:00 | Instruments of Change : the politics of voice and voice recognition technology

 

KATHY KENNEDY Artist and Lecturer, Electroacoustics, Concordia University

DAVID CECCHETTO Assistant Professor (Critical Digital Theory), Department of Humanities, York University

COSMIN MUNTEANU Assistant Professor at the Institute for Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology (University of Toronto, Mississauga) & Associate Director of the Technologies for Ageing Gracefully lab

 

Voice recognition technology has existed for decades, but despite advances in audio recording much of voice recognition software has remained crude and inaccurate. Recently, however, scientists have begun to experiment with ‘deep neural networks’ or building software that emulates processes in the human brain to recognize, predict and translate speech patterns. With the commercial tech market looking toward voice-activation as an attractive functionality for consumers, what does this move towards artificial intelligence in voice recognition mean for the future of our society, both practically and philosophically?



Workshops

May 31, 10am-6:30pm
at Artscape Youngplace

 

SoMo demonstration by Sonic Wear

SOMO Footwear Research Performance, FedDev Grant, Studio for Movement (2013) Dancer: Denise Mireau, Videographer: Erin Lewis, MAX Programmer: Zev Farber


180 Shaw Street, Flex Studio Silver (Rm 106)

 

 

10:00-12:00 | SOMO Workshop: The Creative Process

 

Instructors: Loretta Faveri and Denise Mireau

Registration fee: $20

Enrolment cap: 10



REGISTER HERE

 

For many of us, dancing means moving our bodies to the beat of our favourite song, it’s predictable, comfortable and makes us happy. For some, it’s painfully uncomfortable and must be avoided at all costs. But what if we could make music with our bodies? Wouldn’t it challenge everything we understand about dance? Attend this workshop and find out for yourself. You and your fellow participants will be guided through a series of collaborative activities using SOMO, a wearable sensor that turns your movement into music. By the end of the session the group will have created a unique composition of SOund and MOvement.


1:00-3:30 | Live Coding in SuperCollider

 

Instructor: Ian Jarvis

Registration fee: $20

Enrolment cap: 20



REGISTER HERE

 

This workshop will touch upon the basics of programming as well as the basics of computer music, all within the context of live coding, i.e. creating and altering the code as a mode of performance. Participants will use the keyboard and mouse of their own computer as an interface to create completely digital, improvised sound compositions. Using of one of the Instructor’s existing ‘instruments’ as a reference, participants will build their own versions and take part in a collaborative, impromptu performance to conclude the workshop.


4:00-6:30 | There’s not an app for that: roll your own interactive audio with Pure Data

 

Instructor: Dafydd Hughes

Registration fee: $40

Enrolment cap: 15



REGISTER HERE

 

As artists, it’s inevitable that every once in a while we’ll need to do something our tools just weren’t designed to do. This can be pretty frustrating, but it doesn’t have to stop us in our tracks–we just need to make our own tools. In this workshop we’ll learn the basics of Pure Data, a free/open source environment dedicated to building custom software for sound, visual and kinetic work.

 

 

 

 

Subtle Technologies gratefully acknowledges the support of

 

sponsor-cca

OAC_2014

sponsor-tac

 

 

Thank you to our partners:

 

Logo for Continuum Contemporary Music

 

 

Logo for the Gladstone Hotel

 

 

 

 

Logo for Hot Docs film festival

 

 

Logo for Steinway & Sons





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