The CHIME Studio (Chicago Integrated Media Experimental Studio) is a vital creative space in the Music Department at the University of Chicago. Directed by composer, improviser, and sound artist Sam Pluta, the studio is focused on creativity in the many realms of electronic music and its integration with other media.

CHIMEFest 2019

The CHIME Studio presents CHIMEFest 2019, a meeting of electronics performers and improvisers from around the globe, with leading artists and researchers from the United States, the UK, and Europe.

Events on May 2 and 3 include concerts at 7pm each evening, as well as talks by local artists and guests during the day. See the full schedule below for details.

CHIMEFest 2019 is a collaboration between the CHIME Studio, the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition, and the Arts, Science, and Culture Initiative.

Guest Bios

Talks Abstracts

Schedule:

All events are free and open to the public, and located in the Logan Center Penthouse (9th floor):

915 E. 60th. St.

Chicago, IL 60637

Thursday, May 2 / 10 AM – 2 PM / Logan Center Performance Penthouse (915 East 60th Street)

Talks Session I

Anne La Berge – Devices

Jeff Snyder – Snyderphonics Genera: A DSP Eurorack module for rapid hardware prototyping

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – Fluid Corpus Manipulation: blurring taxonomies through creative convergences of practices 

Alex Harker – FrameLib: A DSP framework for arbitrary size frame processing with arbitrary sub-sample accurate timing

Admission: Free

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Thursday, May 2 / 7 PM / Logan Center Performance Penthouse (915 East 60th Street)

Concert I

Artists:

Ann La Berge

Ted Moore

Katherine Young

RAGE THORMBONES: Weston Olencki and Matt Barbier

Program:
Utter by Anne La Berge

Performed by Anne La Berge, flute and electronics

Improvisation Set I

Performance by Ted Moore, electronics

Katherine Young, bassoon & electronics

Weston Olencki, analog synthesizer

Matt Barbier, trombones

Matrix (for George Lewis)…Sam Pluta

Performed by RAGE THORMBONES

World premiere by Baldwin Giang

Performed by RAGE THORMBONES

Improvisation Set II

Performance by Lauren Sarah Hayes

Admission: Free

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Friday, May 3 / 3 PM – 6 PM / Logan Center Performance Penthouse (915 East 60th Street)

Talks Session II

Sam Pluta – LMI Version 3 – A New Approach to Multi-Dimensional Performance Software

Ted Moore – New Approaches to Machine Listening and AI-based Composition in SuperCollider

Lauren Hayes – Beyond Skill Acquisition: Improvisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Enactive Music Cognition

Admission: Free

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Friday, May 3 / 7 PM (reception at 6 PM) / Logan Center Performance Penthouse (915 East 60th Street)

Concert II

Artists:

Jeff Snyder

Anne La Berge

Sam Pluta

Ben Lamar Gay

Program:
Improvisation Set III

Performance by Pedro Lopes, turntables

La rupture ineluctable by Pierre Alexandre Tremblay

Performed by Katie Schoepflin Jimoh, clarinets

Fluence by Alex Harker

Performed by Katie Schoepflin Jimoh, clarinets

World Premiere by Darlene Castro

Performed by Katie Schoepflin, clarinets

Improvisation Set IIII

Performance by Jeff Snyder, analog synthesizer

Anne La Berge, flute and electronics

Sam Pluta, electronics

Ben Lamar Gay, cornet

Guest Bios:

Darlene Castro
 
Darlene Castro (b.1993) is a Mexican-American composer and classical guitarist based in Chicago. Her interest in music began at a young age with the violin, first in a youth mariachi band, then in a classical orchestra setting. Raised in a bilingual family, her creative interest mostly lies in sound translation and creating sonic representations of non-musical objects, often using electronics, noise, and extended techniques. Her music has been performed and commissioned by ensembles such as Spektral Quartet, the Runnin’ Fl’UTES’, Salty Cricket Composers Collective, PANTS (Wind Quintet), Nightingale Ensemble, and the Salt Lake City Public Library’s SHH! A Very Quiet Music Series.  
 
Her research on historical music notation has been presented with the American Musicological Society (Rocky Mountain Chapter) and has led her to conduct research in a week-long seminar on historical music notation at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.  She completed her Bachelors in Music Composition in 2017 at the University of Utah and has studied with Igor Iachimciuc, Morris Rosenzweig, Inés Thiebaut, and Sam Pluta. Currently, she  is pursuing a PhD in music composition at the University of Chicago.
Ben Lamar Gay

Ben LaMar Gay is a composer/cornetist who moves components of sound, color, and space through folkloric filters to produce brilliant electroacoustic collages. The unification of various styles is always in service of the narrative and never solely a display of technique. The Chicago native’s true technique is giving life to an idea while exploring and expanding on the term “Americana”.

Active in the vibrant experimental music scene of Chicago, including a three­‐year residency in Brazil, allows him to collaborate with some influential figures in the world of music. The list includes George Lewis, Itibere Zwarg, Black Monks of Mississippi, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker,

Mike Reed, Joshua Abrams, Tomeka Reid, Bixiga 70 and the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians, to name a few.

Baldwin Giang

Baldwin Giang (b. 1992) is a composer whose music aims to empower communities of audiences and performers by creating concert experiences that are opportunities for collective wonder and judgment. Described as “taut and cohesive…challenging and rewarding” (Cacophony), Baldwin’s music has been performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center, and Chateau de Fontainebleau.   He has received commissions and performances from groups including the Albany Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, International Contemporary Ensemble, orkest de ereprijs, Argento Ensemble, Arditti Quartet, JACK quartet, Spektral Quartet, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Yale Symphony Orchestra, and University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and Indiana University New Music Ensemble.

Baldwin is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.  He has received awards and recognition from the Fondation Maurice Ravel’s Prix Ravel, Yale’s Beekman Cannon Friends Prize and Abraham Beekman Cox Award, and the University of Pennsylvania’s David Halstead Prize. Baldwin is currently a PhD student and fellow at the University of Chicago studying with Sam Pluta.

Alex Harker

Alex Harker composes electroacoustic, instrumental and interactive music. His work focuses on strategies for bringing together these activities to create engaging and coherent musical works. Computer programming for audio applications forms a key part of his workflow, and he creates tools for the composition and performance of electronic music, alongside composing. He holds a lectureship at the University of Huddersfield, where he leads the Creative Coding Lab.

His works have been performed in the UK, France, Denmark, Switzerland and South Korea, including at the International Computer Music Conference and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Performers and organisations he has worked with include Jonathan Sage, Heather Roche, Elastic Axis, Pete Furniss and BEAST.

Lauren Hayes

Lauren Hayes is a Scottish musician and sound artist who builds hybrid analogue/digital instruments. She is a “positively ferocious improvisor” (Cycling ’74), her music refusing to sit nicely between free improv, experimental pop, techno, and noise. Over the last decade she has developed an unpredictable performance system that explores the relationships between bodies, sound, and environments. She has created several haptic (touch-based) interfaces and composes music that can be experienced physically as vibration throughout the body. Her research explores embodied music cognition, enactive approaches to digital instrument design, haptic technologies, and interdisciplinary improvisation. She is currently Assistant Professor of Sound Studies within the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University where she leads PARIESA (Practice and Research in Enactive Sonic Art). She is a member of the New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and At-Large Director of the International Computer Music Association. www.pariesa.com www.laurensarahhayes.com

Twitter: @elleesaich

Katherine Schoepflin Jimoh

Katherine Schoepflin Jimoh is a Chicago based clarinetist, vocalist, pianist and composer. She is currently a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, University of Chicago’s Grossman Ensemble, and the faculty ensemble at The Walden School. Katherine is the singer, songwriter and pianist for her band Katet. She has had the privilege of working with and performing the works of Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Raphael Cendo, Brian Ferneyhough, Lee Hyla, George Lewis, Enno Poppe and Augusta Read Thomas. Highlights in Katherine’s career include performing Enno Poppe’s clarinet concerto, Holz, sitting principal clarinetist of the Kakogawa Philharmonic Orchestra in Hyogo prefecture, touring with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, being a participant at The Henry Mancini Institute in LA, and receiving an Essentially Ellington jazz soloist award for the clarinet. Katherine earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she won the IU clarinet concerto competition and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate. She earned her Master of Music degree from McGill University where she was awarded a full Schulich School of Music scholarship.

Anne La Berge

Anne La Berge’s passion for the extremes in both composed and improvised music has led her to the fringes of storytelling and sound art as her sources of musical inspiration. Her performances bring together a ferocious virtuosity, a penchant for microtonal textures and melodies, and an array of extended flute effects, all combined with interactive electronic processing. She is a founding artist of Splendor Amsterdam, a collective of musicians, who have transformed a bathhouse in Amsterdam into a cultural mecca. She can be heard on the Largo, Artifact, Etcetera, Hat Art, Frog Peak, Einstein, X-OR, Unsounds, Canal Street, Rambo, esc.rec., Intackt, Data and verz labels. She is the Managing Director of the Volsap Foundation that produces innovative music projects and concert tours.

annelaberge.com

Pedro Lopes

Pedro Lopes is a turntablist metamorphosed into a percussionist. When playing live he deconstructs his instrument, the turntables, into a vehicle of a rapid, post-scratch and post-jazz, musical dialog of analog intonation and acoustic overtones. Pedro has been collaborating with artists such as Carlos Zíngaro, Reinhold Friedl, DJ Sniff, Imre Thormann, Gabriel Ferrandini, Pedro Sousa, among many others, in a life entangled deeply with his research on interfaces and performance arts. This led him to produce/play/make pieces for Jazz em Agosto, Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Serralves Foundation & Museum, Science Gallery Dublin, Fylkingen, Ausland, Ljubljana Jazz Festival, and Goethe Institut.

Ted Moore

Ted Moore is a composer, improviser, intermedia artist, and educator based in Chicago. His work focuses on fusing the sonic, visual, physical, and acoustic aspects of performance and sound, often through the integration of technology. Ted’s work has been described as “frankly unsafe” (icareifyoulisten.com), “an impressive achievement both artistically and technically” (VitaMN), and “epic” (Pioneer Press). Ted’s work has been premiered by the International Contemporary EnsembleSpektral QuartetLine Upon LineThe Dream Songs ProjectYarn/WireSplinter ReedsQuince Vocal EnsembleAVIDduoImani Winds, and others, and has been performed around the world including at South by Southwest (Austin), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), STEIM (Amsterdam), Spectrum (NYC), NUNC! (Chicago), New York City Electroacoustic Music FestivalCubeFest(Blacksburg, VA), Whatever Works! (Finland), Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (Germany), MASS MoCA (Massachusetts), Omaha Under the Radar (Nebraska), Electroacoustic Barn DanceRoot Signals Electronic Music Festival (Georgia), World Saxophone Congress (Croatia), SEAMUSPunk Ass Classical (Minneapolis), MOXsonic (Warrensburg, MO), New Horizons Music Festival (Kirksville, MO), and the SPLICE Festival (Bowling Green, OH), among others.

Ted also frequently performs solo on electronics using his laptop, modular synthesizer systems, resonant physical objects, lighting instruments, and video projection. He has been featured as an installation artist at New York University, Northern Spark Festival(Minneapolis), Studio 300 Festival of Digital Art and Music (Lexington, KY), and St. Paul Public Library. As an improviser, Ted is one half of Binary Canary, a woodwinds-laptop improvisation duo alongside saxophonist Kyle Hutchins. As a theater artist, Ted has worked with many independent companies, notably with Skewed Visions and Savage Umbrella. He has taught in a variety of capacities, including at The Walden School’s Young Musicians Program and Creative Musicians Retreat (Dublin, NH), MacPhail Center for Music (Minneapolis), Slam Academy (Minneapolis), and McNally Smith College of Music (St. Paul).

Currently, Ted is a doctoral fellow in Music Composition at the University of Chicago. Visit him at tedmooremusic.com.

Sam Pluta

Sam Pluta is a composer and electronics performer whose work explores the intersections between instrumental forces, reactive computerized sound worlds, traditionally notated scores, improvisation, audio-visuals, psycho-acoustic phenomena, and installation-like soundscapes. Since 2009, Sam has served as Technical Director and composing member of Wet Ink Ensemble. He has also received commissions and written music for groups like Yarn/Wire, Ensemble Dal Niente, International Contemporary Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Mantra Percussion, Spektral Quartet, TAK, and the New York Philharmonic. Laptop improvisation is a core part of Pluta’s artistic practice. Performing on his custom software instrument, he has toured internationally with Rocket Science, the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, and the Peter Evans Quintet. Sam appears as a composer and performer on over thirty albums of new music and jazz, many of which are released on his label, Carrier Records. Prof Pluta is currently Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Chicago, where he teaches composition and directs the CHIME Studio.

Jeff Snyder

Jeff Snyder (b.1978) is a composer, improviser and instrument-designer living in Princeton, New Jersey, and active in the New York City area. He is the Director of Electronic Music at Princeton University, and the Director of PLOrk, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra.

As founder and lead designer of Snyderphonics, Jeff designs and builds unusual electronic musical instruments. His creations include the Manta, a touch keyboard played by over 150 musicians around the world; and the MantaMate, a versatile digital module for the Eurorack modular synthesizer format. He has also created several custom instruments, including the JD-1 Keyboard/Sequencer, the Birl electronic wind instrument, the Feedback Trombone, the Contravielle, the Electrobass, and the DrumBox.

Jeff is a member of experimental electronic duo exclusiveOr, avant jazz groups The Federico Ughi Quartet and the Listening Group, improvisatory noise trio The Mizries, and laptop ensemble Sideband. He fronts the band Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves as his electro-country alter-ego, Owen Lake. He also composes alternate-reality Early Music for an ensemble of his invented instruments. His music has been called “electronic music to lose oneself in; a timeless ode to the power of effective sonic exploration.” by HeavyBlogIsHeavy, and “somehow obscene—feels so hideously wrong that, ultimately, it’s marvelously right.” by Bandcamp Daily. The Guardian called his recent duo record with Federico Ughi “a fascinating mix of brutal beats and abstract synth explorations,” and PopMatters named his latest electro-country record as Owen Lake one of the best Americana recordings of 2018.

In 2009, Jeff co-founded an experimental music record label, Carrier Records, which continues to release strange and exciting experimental music. In 2011, he received a doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University.

RAGE THORMBONES 

RAGE THORMBONES is an ongoing collaboration between trombonist/composers Matt Barbier and Weston Olencki. They explore the outer reaches of instrumental performance and brass technique, often combining hand-built instruments, extreme preparations, and geometric approaches toward harmony with analog/digital synthesis to create immersive environments of dense sonic forces. Recent collaborators include Kevin Drumm, Michelle Lou, Liza Lim, Timothy McCormack, Laura Steenberge, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Lester St. Louis, Katherine Young, and British pop maverick Scott Walker. They have fulfilled residencies in the composition departments at Harvard, Stanford, and New York Universities, recorded for HatHut and Populist Records, and are best friends. Weston lives in New York City and Matt lives in Los Angeles.

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (Montréal, 1975) is a composer and an improviser on bass guitar and sound processing devices, in solo and within various ensembles. He is a member of the London-based collective Loop, and his music is also released on Empreintes DIGITALes and Ora. Pierre Alexandre is also Professor in Composition and Improvisation at the University of Huddersfield (UK). He previously worked in popular music as producer and bassist, and has a keen interest for creative coding. He enjoys spending time with his family, drinking oolong tea, gazing at dictionaries, reading prose, and taking long walks. As a founding member of the no-tv collective, he does not own a working television set.
www.pierrealexandretremblay.com

Katherine Young

Katherine Young makes electroacoustic music using expressive noises, curious timbres, and kinetic structures to explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and tensions between the familiar and the strange. As an improviser, Katherine amplifies and processes her bassoon. She has led her own groups, such as Architeuthis Walks on Land with violist Amy Cimini and sludge improv quartet Pretty Monsters, while also working with Anthony Braxton, Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust, Sam Pluta, Birgit Uhler, Tomeka Reid, and many others. The LA Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, and Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, are among those who have commissioned her music. She’s excited about recent and coming-soon projects with Bludenz Festival, Luftwerk, WasteLAnd and RAGE Thormbones, Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian Consort, Yarn/Wire, and about a site-specific installation for the University of Chicago. She has also recently released new music with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang, Dal Niente, and Wet Ink.

Talks Abstracts:

Talks Session I

Thursday, May 2 / 10 AM – 2 PM / Logan Center Performance Penthouse (915 East 60th Street)

Anne le Berge

Devices

I have been using a set of 6 iPads to provide the visual element to a couple of performance works. I have also been using these same iPads in other settings to enable musicians to read and respond interactively in ensemble settings. The Apps that I’m using vary from custom built Interactive Scores to Cycling 74’s MIRA and Symbolic Sounds’ Kyma Control. Currently I am working to develop an environment in P5.js where I can move beyond my dependence on Apps for computer to device communication. In this talk, I will show the nuts and bolts of my history with the iOs Apps and the strategy for moving to P5.js.

Jeff Snyder

Unusual Embedded Instruments

Jeff Snyder will talk about his work creating physical electronic instruments as Snyderphonics, and introduce the LEAF (Lightweight Embedded Audio Framework) audio library, that he has been developing in his lab along with Mike Mulshine, and his hardware DSP board platform, the Genera. He will discuss the development of some of his recent designs, such as the MantaMate eurorack module, and do a demonstration of how some of his newest instruments are created using the LEAF library running on the Genera.

PA Tremblay

Fluid Corpus Manipulation: blurring taxonomies through creative convergences of practices 

In this presentation, I will introduce my different musical biases and their converging consequences in my latest works, and in my research group’s project, Fluid Corpus Manipulations (flucoma.org). This is a space where inter-disciplinarity is embraced as frontier research by bridging gaps, through knowledge exchange and tool development. I will present some results on how the team is empowering composers with recent developments of signal processing and machine learning algorithms to be used and abused, to enable new discussions around large corpus manipulations in creative manners for techno-fluent musicians.

Alex Harker

FrameLib – Music and DSP in Slices of Time

Traditionally, realtime environments for audio programming such as Max and SuperCollider have modelled time as a continuous flow of samples, broken into blocks simply for convenience of processing. However, this model is ill-suited to processes that operate on meaningful frames, such as frequency domain processes. Access to multi-rate processing in such environments has been limited and often unwieldy.

FrameLib is an extensible open-source library for flexible multi-rate processing that can be hosted environments such as Max, SuperCollider and pd. Frames of arbitrary length and timing can be handled in a single DSP network, with timing and frame lengths varying between nodes.. It aims to handle low-level concerns so that users can focus on more creative and sonic outcomes. In this talk I present the motivations and features of FrameLib, along with some possible applications.

Talks Session II

Friday, May 3 / 3 PM – 6 PM / Logan Center Performance Penthouse (915 East 60th Street)

Sam Pluta

LMI Version 3 – A New Approach to Multi-Dimensional Performance Software

In order to facilitate virtuosic and musical manipulation of digital sound, my software instrument, the LMI, has evolved to adopt a multidimensional approach to modular systems design. Two major concerns have arisen in performance using this system in recent years: 1) dealing with audio in a future with increasing reliance on multiprocessor systems and 2) the need to provide a multitude of musical processes while still providing a clear, uncluttered interface, and to be able to access an increasing number of processes at the same time. In this talk, I outline the design of Version 2 of the software, the musical shortcomings of this system, and the design strategy behind Version 3.

Ted Moore
Lauren Hayes

Beyond Skill Acquisition: Improvisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Enactive Music Cognition

The paradigm of enactive music cognition offers an anti-representational framework for understanding musical activity as both corporeal and culturally-situated. In this paper, I discuss live electronic musical improvisation as an exemplary model for the enactive framework in its ability to demonstrate the importance of participatory, relational, emergent, and embodied musical activities and processes. Following Gallagher, I argue that the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition, where performers develop from novices to experts who may eventually achieve a state of ‘mindless flow’, does not adequately account for what can happen during various forms of musical play. A critical study of improvisation reveals that a more generous conception of meaningful musical activity is needed, particularly in terms of who is able to take part as an improviser. I contextualise these ideas from the position of being an improviser of live electronic music performed on self-built hybrid analogue/digital instruments, my background in creating expressive musical systems for people with profound and complex learning difficulties, and through my recent explorations of both pedagogical and research approaches to interdisciplinary improvisation.