On 27 January 2024, the Royal Conservatoire organises its annual Open Day. The Institute of Sonology will have performances and demonstrations in all its studios on the sixth floor of Amare from 12:00 until 16:30.
The Open Day is for anyone who is interested in our educational programmes or who just wants to see and hear our studios and know more about the Institute of Sonology.
New Music Lab 12:00–16:30: information about Sonology’s educational programmes 12:45: multichannel fixed media composition by Yaara Yaniv (13 minutes, followed by Q&A) live performance by Francesco Corvi (10 minutes, followed by Q&A) 13:30: piece for cello and electronics by Liza Kuzyakova (12 minutes, followed by Q&A) 14:15: improvised music by Nicolas Kliwadenko and friends (15 minutes, followed by Q&A) 15:00: multichannel fixed media composition by Siamak Anvari (17 minutes, followed by Q&A)
Computer Music Studio 1 (6.69) 12:00–16:30: demonstrations and info by Bjarni Gunnarsson and students
Computer Music Studio 2 (6.68) 12:00–16:30: demonstrations and info by Riccardo Marogna
Wave Field Synthesis Studio (6.74) 12:00–16:30: demonstrations and info by Ji Youn Kang and students
Live Electronic Music Studio (6.75) 12:00–13:30: demonstrations and info by Johan van Kreij and students
Voltage Control Studio (6.76) 12:00–17:00: demonstrations and info by students
1. Mutable Audible / Doctoral Defence, October 11th / Artistic Presentation October 6th to 10th
This October 11that 13:45, at the Academiegebouw of Leiden University, Rapenburg 73, Gabriel Paiuk will defend his dissertation “Mutable Audible – An Operative Ontology of the Sound Image”.
Paiuk’s project Mutable Audible investigates how that which is heard – the audible – is formed as inherent to material, collective and technical circumstances. The audible is conceived as not exclusively bound to the private realm of the mind or the will of the individual listener, but as dependent on the diverse operations that inform how a sensorial engagement with sound takes place.
As part of the doctoral promotion, three of the artistic works developed by Gabriel Paiuk as part of his dissertation will be presented publicly.
On October 6th, 8th and 9th, the sound installation Focus will be exhibited at The Grey Space in the Middle – Paviljoensgracht 20–24, Den Haag – from 14:00 till 20:00. On October 10th, Focus will be open to the public from 15:00 to 17:00 and 18:00 to 20:00.
On October 10th, the works The Construction of an Imaginary Acoustic Space, for ensemble, tape and digital soundtrack, and Sound Theory (The Clouds)for violoncello, specially-purposed loudspeaker setup, video and live video will be performed by the New European Ensemble and cellist Arne Deforce at the Conservatoriumzaal in Amare – Spuiplein 150, 2511 DG Den Haag, at 20:00.
As an addendum to Gabriel Paiuk’s doctoral promotion, a brief symposium will take place on October 12th, 15:30 at the Institute of Sonology’s New Music Lab on the 6th floor of Amare – Spuiplein 150, 2511 DG Den Haag, comprising presentations by Colombian sound scholar and ethnomusicologist Ana María Ochoa Gautier (Tulane University) and French philosopher Cécile Malaspina (Collége International de Philosophie), followed by a round table discussion.
Both presentations will address the audible as a variable locus of engagement with the world. The work of Ana María Ochoa Gautier, primarily articulated in her work Aurality – Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth Century Colombia, is a fundamental landmark in articulating how listening is inherent to singular cosmologies and how this unfolds in non-western indigenous communities. She elaborates on how diverse “ontologies and epistemologies of the acoustic” are proper of “audile techniques, in which sound appears simultaneously as a force that constitutes the world and a medium for constructing knowledge about it” (Ochoa 2014, “Aurality…”, p.3) Cécile Malaspina is the author of An Epistemology of Noise and principal translator of Gilbert Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects. In her work, the notion of noise is explored in its emancipatory potential as understood across a range of realms, not tied to the categories of acoustic or visual ‘noise’ but as a fundamental category for a reevaluation of how theories of knowledge can be articulated.
This coming weekend, Raviv Ganchrow’s installation Lightning Ellipse will be presented at the French pavilion in Venice as part of the Radio Utopia series (August 1st to 5th 2023).
Lightning Ellipseis a site-specific sound circuit, installed in the portico of the French Pavilion, Venice, patching together earth’s native transmissions (lightning), received on ground telluric currents, passing through contextual features of the site. The sound installation relays electrical activities from the ground beneath the French consulate in the Netherlands, during a recent torrential thunderstorm that quenched a record-breaking dry-spell, played back through agencies of Venetian echo (the acoustics of the Basilica di San Marco) and geometries of architecturally broadcast voice (the pavilion’s elliptic portico) interspersed with the call-and-response of a common blackbird.
With great sadness we report the death of Clarence Barlow (1945–2023) from the results of injuries suffered in a fall in April of this year. Before taking up a professorship at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006, Clarence had been on the faculty of the Institute of Sonology since 1990, together with a position at the Royal Conservatoire’s Composition Department from 1994. His unique courses under the title MusiQuantics were an inspiration to a generation of students at both departments, along with his genial and warm-hearted presence, his often outrageous wit, and his dedication to innovative musical thinking both in his own work and that of his students.
Clarence Barlow held the Corwin Endowed Chair and was Head of Composition at UCSB’s Music Department from 2006 to 2019. Barlow’s previous teaching posts included twelve years as Professor of Composition and Computer Music at the renowned biennial Summer Courses of the International Music Institute at Darmstadt (1982–1994); over twenty years at Cologne Music University (Musikhochschule) as Lecturer in Computer Music (1984–2005); four years as Artistic Director of the Institute of Sonology at The Hague’s Royal Conservatoire (1990–1994); and twelve years as Professor of Composition and Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire (1994–2006). Other posts included Visiting Professor of Composition and Acoustic Art at the Folkwang University in Essen, Germany (1990–1991), Visiting Professor of Composition at the Superior School of Music and Dramatic Arts (ESMAE) in Porto, Portugal (2005–2006) and more recently Visiting Professor of Composition at the Catalonia College of Music (ESMUC) in Barcelona, Spain (2018–2020).
Barlow, who studied composition under Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1968–1970) and Karlheinz Stockhausen (1971–1973), is a universally acknowledged pioneer and celebrated composer in the field of electroacoustic and computer music. He has made groundbreaking advancements in interdisciplinary composition that unite mathematics, computer science, visual arts, and literature. While he has been a driving force in interdisciplinary and technological advances, his music is nevertheless firmly grounded in tradition and thus incorporates much inherited from the past. His works, primarily for traditional instruments, feature a vocabulary that ranges from pretonal to tonal, nontonal, or microtonal idioms, and, further, may incorporate elements derived from non-Western cultures. Between 1959 and 2020 Barlow has produced over 100 works of various types, including 4 orchestral works (2 piano concertos, and a work each for string orchestra and for large orchestra); 40 chamber works for various groups of traditional instruments, including 2 string quartets and 5 pieces for music theater; 3 choral pieces; 4 vocal works with instrumental accompaniment; 30 piano pieces (including works for two pianos); 3 organ works; 20 electroacoustic works, 3 of which fall into the category of abstract radio plays; and 5 films.
Barlow’s music has been programmed on concerts far too numerous to list here. From 1968 to 2019, 53 concerts in Germany, the Netherlands, California and elsewhere were devoted entirely to his music (in Aachen, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berne, Bratislava, Bremen, Calcutta, Cologne, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Dublin, Frankfurt, Fullerton, Graz, Hamburg, Helsinki, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Krefeld, Ljubljana, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Münster, New York City, Palma de Mallorca, Roermond, Rotterdam, Santa Barbara, Stanford, Stockholm, The Hague, Trstĕnice, Wissembourg, Yokohama and Zurich). His music has been recorded on 27 CDs and one LP, five of these devoted entirely to Barlow’s music. In addition to his renown as composer, Barlow has also attained high distinction as an interdisciplinary researcher, author, and software developer. His publications include a number of books, one of which is an extensive study on tonality and metricism, BusJourney to Parametron (1980) and another, On Musiquantics (1986–2008), a textbook on the relation between music and mathematics, acoustics, phonetics, computer science and Barlow’s own methods to quantify tonality and metricism. Additional publications are the software that Barlow has written as aids for composing and notating music. These include the notation program ЖSC (1972–1976), Synthrumentator (1984–2013) for converting speech into performable scores, Autobusk (1986–2001), a realtime modal and metric pitch and rhythm generator, and Tupletizer (1998–2005) for notating irrational rhythms for manual performance. Most recently, Barlow had been working on a joint project to translate and publish the entirety of Bhatkhande’s Kramik Pustak Malika containing over 1900 compositions of Indian Classical Music to Western Staff notation.
On 2 and 3 June 2023, Ji Youn Kang will present her annual Wave Field Synthesis Festival in Sonology’s New Music Lab and Wave Field Synthesis Studio (6.74) in collaboration with The Game of Life. The festival will have works by Ana Amaral da Silva, Jemin Choi, Jacob Eckhardt, Gaia Heichal, Kerim Kali, Liza Kuzyakova, Lawrence Mc Guire, Roc Montoriol Torrent, Lenny Sprenger, Giorgio Zangarini, Casimir Geelhoed, Nicolas Kliwadenko, Anton Kondratov, Leila Masharipova, Julien Palluel, Virág Anna Virág, Shawn Wong, Otis Thomet, Nina Uzelac, Agita Reke, Orfeas Manolidis, Lennart Sailer, Amit Dagim, Ida Hirsenfelder, Farzaneh Nouri and Leslee Smucker.
As part of the 2023 International Conference on Live Coding (ICLC) in Utrecht, the Institute of Sonology will host a satellite event for multichannel performances and live coding. There will be 8 performances exploring the 12-channel Amadeus loudspeaker system in Sonology’s New Music Lab on Tuesday 18 April 2023 from 17:00–19:00.
The New Music Lab is on the sixth floor of the Amare building in The Hague. There is space for 75 people to attend the concert. Admission is free and based on a first-come, first-served basis.
10 years after the festival Composing Spaces: Spatial Music from Gabrieli to the 21st Century, the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire presents Composing Spaces 2: Space as Music’s Medium of Transformation. From 12 to 14 April 2023 there are three concerts, six lectures and a sound installation in the Conservatoriumzaal, the Concertzaal, and the New Music Lab in Amare, Spuiplein 150, 2511 DG Den Haag. The entrance for concerts and lectures is free. Registration for the concert on 13 April through this link is recommended.
12 April 2023, 15:30–17:30, New Music Lab
Lecture by Raviv Ganchrow: Archeoacoustics: Hearing Spaces from the Past
12 April 2023, 19:30, Conservatoriumzaal
Daryna Mamaisur and Anna Khvyl: A Steppe with Rabbits and Pheasants Running Around, and Where Some Even Saw Foxes (audiovisual fixed media, 8-channel sound)
Hilde Wollenstein: Please Stop Yelling At Me, I Don’t Know What I Want (multichannel fixed media)
Cathy van Eck: Wings (three performers and live electronics) performed by Cathy van Eck, Ioannis Michos and Danya Pilchen
Giulia Francavilla: Flow States #3 (16-channel fixed media)
Teresa Carrasco: FLYSCH (violin, baritone sax, accordion, percussion, live electronics) performed by Leslee Smucker, Alejandro Fenollosa, Kaat Vanhaverbeke, Rubén Castillo del Pozo and Teresa Carrasco
Bjarni Gunnarsson’s article “Balancing Behaviours” was published on 17 February 2023 as part of the Orpheus Institute’s ECHO journal and the New Mimesis edition curated by Jonathan Impett. The article presents ideas relating to the creation of computer music using emergent systems based on rules and local interactions. It involves a reflection on algorithms, interaction, and the behaviour of sound processes. It questions the scope and potential boundaries of computational systems through the space relating compositional practice with the development of generative environments. Three open-source software systems are also introduced, including Wildfires, which can be used to generate WFSCollider scores.
A few weeks earlier, Bjarni Gunnarsson’s latest album UPICS was released on the American label Flag Day Recordings. The pieces on the album are the outcome of his research into database-driven reconstructions based on sound analysis. All the source material has been created with Iannis Xenakis’s UPIC system: a graphical computer system where users draw shapes, waveforms, and modulations on ‘pages’ which form a composition or composed sound. The material was recorded between September 2006 and March 2007 at the CCMIX institute in Paris. None of those recordings ever made it to a completed work until now, through the use of a newly developed system, SNDArchive (github.com/bjarnig/SNDArchive), which allows to recompose and combine sound parts based on different dimensions discovered through offline analysis processes. The idea was to create methods for engaging with sound archives in novel ways, to review them from a different angle, or to reveal previously unknown aspects of material already loaded with meaning.
Starting in October 2023, the University of Music (HfM) Trossingen (Germany) will offer a master’s degree program that is unique in Europe and aims to train a new generation of artistically and technically competent composers, sound artists, and music designers, especially by critically exploring the creative possibilities of AI-based technologies.
This program (Master of Music in Composition) builds on the music technology teaching foundations of the HfM Trossingen and takes place in close cooperation with Furtwangen University. The students are taught by an internationally renowned team of researchers and experienced artistic practitioners, first and foremost Prof. Dr. Luc Döbereiner and Prof. Dr. Joachim Goßmann. In addition, this course is being developed within the framework of a cross-university project funded by the BMBF (KISS – Artificial Intelligence Service and Systems), whose long-term goal is to establish a center of excellence for the sustainable development of AI. As part of the master’s program, interested students with prior musical and/or technical experience at bachelor’s level can choose one of three concentrations: Music Design, Instrumental Composition, or Electroacoustic Composition. Available modules of study range from Digital Lutherie, Experimental Sound Synthesis, and Interface Design to Sound Ecology and Digital Ethics. In addition, a new space for the conception, experimentation and realisation of artistic projects (“Latent Space” – Space for Artistic Research and Design in Music and AI) is being created.
Jaap Vink (Den Helder, 12 February 1930 – Appingedam, 30 January 2023) studied engineering at first, but then became interested in electronic music. He attended courses in electroacoustics at Delft University of Technology and installed a pedagogical studio for electronic music in 1961 at the Gaudeamus Foundation in Bilthoven with the help of the Nederlandse Radio Unie (NRU). He was a staff member at the Institute of Sonology as a teacher in analogue studio techniques from 1967 until his retirement in 1993, where he taught and assisted an enormous number of students and composers from all over the world.
Jaap Vink always tried to break out of the periodicity of the sounds so abundantly available in the electronic studio. Although his music was entirely produced with purely electronic sound material, its textures resemble the richness of orchestral sounds, or large natural sound-complexes, as a result of recursive processes. The density of their sound material increases and decreases by careful control of feedback networks with configurations of analogue tape recorders (delay lines), filters and modulators.
It should come as no surprise that his work is being rediscovered at a time when a new generation of musicians has conquered the stage with modular synthesizer setups and ‘no-input mixers’, in which feedback of audio and control signals plays an important role. And although Jaap Vink’s music wasn’t performed live but produced and recorded on magnetic tape in the studio, it is exactly the human interaction with feedback processes that connects his work with the current generation of live electronic music performers. To some extent Jaap Vink’s pieces are indeed recorded live improvisations, and extending his patches and ‘rehearsing’ with them was an ongoing process. To see Jaap Vink at work in the studio was to hear the studio coming to life.