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Program 741: Interactive Electronic Music

KALW Broadcast Date: May 14, 2023 | Host: Joseph Bohigian

Electronics pervade the performance of music in the 21st century. The use of electronic elements are common across many genres of music, and composers today are searching for new and interactive ways to incorporate them into live performance. The composers on this program take a variety of approaches to the use of interactive electronics, from the combination of acoustic instruments and voices and electronic processing to the creation of new electronic instruments using motion sensors and game controllers. In pieces by Mari Kimura and Paul Leary, the composers turn everyday objects into instruments. In KISMET, Kimura embeds her self-designed MUGIC sensor inside a rubber dog toy, which responds to the performers’ movements. In Monolith, Leary maps the controls of a joystick onto musical parameters such as pitch and timbre. Two duo improvisations for voice and electronics follow, by Kate Soper/Sam Pluta and Pamela Z/Paula Matthusen, and a solo performance for violin and live electronic processing by Thea Farhadian. We close with a selection from Anne Hege’s The Furies, the first-ever “laptopera,” Lei Liang‘s sonification of Huang Binhong’s landscape paintings in Hearing Landscapes, a recent performance by Bora Yoon at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, New York, and a short track from Caroline Polachek’s Drawing the Target Around the Arrow.

Program Audio

30-Second Spot

Track Info & Links
Mari Kimura plays a violin with a motion sensor strapped to her bow hand.

Composer: Mari Kimura
Performers: Ensemble Decipher
Recording Title: Live at New Music for Strings
Record Label: Private recording

Two people sitting at a table with joysticks and laptops.

Title: Monolith
Composer: Paul Leary
Performers: Ensemble Decipher
Recording Title: Live at Alchemical
Record Label: Private recording

The Understanding of All Things, Kate Soper feat. Sam Pluta

Title: Dialogue II
Composer: Kate Soper and Sam Pluta
Performers: Kate Soper, voice and piano and Sam Pluta, live electronics
Recording Title: The Understanding of All Things
Record Label: New Focus Recordings
Catalog Number: FCR322

Thea Farhadian, Tectonic Shifts

Title: Ice Wave, Quantum Shift, Vertical, Silverplate
Composer: Thea Farhadian
Performers: Thea Farhadian
Recording Title: Tectonic Shifts
Record Label: Creative Sources Recordings
Catalog Number: CS 365 CD

Other Minds Logo with white O M in a circle on black background and red diagonal stripe

Title: Improvisation
Composer: Pamela Z and Paula Matthusen
Performers: Pamela Z and Paula Matthusen
Recording Title: Other Minds Festival 18
Record Label: Other Minds Archive

A group of people in dark clothing hold aloft a thick rope with strings attached to the rope and the floor.

Title: Glorious Guilt
Composer: Anne Hege
Performers: Stanford Laptop Orchestra
Recording Title: The Furies: A Laptopera
Record Label: Private recording

Lei Liang Hearing Landscapes Hearing Icescapes

Title: Hearing Landscapes
Composer: Lei Liang
Recording Title: Hearing Landscapes/Hearing Icescapes
Record Label: New Focus Recordings
Catalog Number: FCR360

Bora Yoon performing with electronic sensors above a disco ball.

Title: SPKR SPRKL, “ClockSequence” from PHONO KINETIC
Composer: Bora Yoon
Performers: Bora Yoon
Record Label: Private recording

Drawing the Target Around the Arrow

Title: Missed Exit
Composer: CEP
Recording Title: Drawing the Target Around the Arrow
Record Label: Pannonica Records

Image of the Thai Elephant Orchestra, human riders sit on a row of elephants in front of percussion instruments.
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