Welcome from new editor

Hi, I’m Scott Mc Laughlin, and I’m very pleased to be stepping into the role of editor of Array, the journal of the ICMA, and also of the Array blog. Many thanks to the ICMA board, and to previous editor Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz, especially for her excellent work on building up the blog.

Briefly, about me. I’m an improvisor and composer based at CeReNeM at the University of Huddersfield, with specific research interests in live-electronics, especially chaotic and self-organising systems in music. I also cook a mean curry.

As ever, I’d like to invite anyone with suggestions for articles and reviews to contact us (array dot journal at gmail dot com), and in the run-up to ICMC 2012 there will be a specific call for comments and discussion on what you hope to experience there in terms of new music, new technologies, and new ideas.

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ICMC 2011 Review: Concert 8, Wednesday 3rd August

By John ffitch

Concert 8 was given twice on account of the room size.  I attended the second performance, in which there were five tape pieces and a video.

The concert started with a bang that made me jump, as Horacio Vaggione’s Points Critiques began.  Throughout the work, the prevailing sounds were of percussion, and that unified the piece. The other main sound was a swarm of clicks, probably from percussion as well.  Structurally I described this to myself as a sequence of grand gestures ending with the swarm of clicks.  These gestures were short and usually of a similar length.  I was just getting a little bored with this small scale structure when there was a change to the grand gesture + a chord, twice and it ended.  This is mainstream acousmatic work with continuous sounds; if that is what you like, it was good of this style.

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ICMC 2011 Review: Audiovisual works, Thursday 4th August

By Andrew Connor

It is the fourth day of the main conference, and my last, as I have a prior commitment requiring me to leave early tomorrow. But it’s a great day for audiovisual work, with a fine example on show in the listening room, and visual elements cropping up in a swath of the concert pieces.

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ICMC 2011 Review: Audiovisual works, Wednesday 3rd August

By Andrew Connor

It is the halfway point in the Conference. My body is beginning to remind me that sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Due to the keynote speech and conference banquet, the schedule contained fewer concerts than the other days, but there was still plenty of audiovisual work on offer.

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ICMC 2011 Review: Audiovisual works, Tuesday 2nd August

By Andrew Connor

The second day of the full conference has been quite exhausting, with so much of interest to try and get to. It’s definitely a good place to see how people are interpreting and creating work that can be seen as audiovisual.  In addition to the more straightforward sound and video work to be experienced in the listening rooms, the concerts also had a couple of performances that linked audio, video and live performance. It’s been inspiring – and a bit daunting – and certainly very impressive.

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ICMC 2011 Review: Audiovisual works, Monday 1st August

By Andrew Connor

As I have a particular interest in audiovisual compositions, I’ve approached the idea of reviewing ICMC performances from a slightly different angle. Instead of reviewing concerts in their entirety, I have specifically focussed on individual audiovisual pieces shown in the concert halls and in the listening rooms.

Starting with the listening room works, we had three audiovisual pieces on show today: Louise Harris’s Fuzee, Andrew Hill’s Perpetual Motion, and my own Study No. 2 (which I cannot really review objectively).

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ICMC 2011 Review: Concert 9, Thursday 4th August

By Howard Kenty

Phipps Hall, a fairly acoustically dry space with a surround speaker configuration, seats approximately 100 people.  This program was repeated at 2:00 PM the same day; this review deals only with the 12:30 concert.

The first performance consisted of two short pieces from Eric Lyon’s Selected Noise Quartets, featuring the Noise Quartet (Steve Davis, drums; Eric Lyon, piano; Franziska Schroeder, saxophone; and Paul Stapleton, electric guitar).  The performers generated all sounds acoustically (save the guitar’s amplification); the electronic elements here wirelessly delivered text instructions to the performers via synchronized computers.  These instructions were apparently often new to the players and/or impossible to execute literally, and as their selection and order was chosen live by a computer program, each performance is different.  It was indeed quite “noisy,” in the manner of avant-garde free jazz.  The players were all gifted improvisers, and handled the abrupt starts, stops, and aggressive dynamic and tempo changes with aplomb.  Though the pieces are by nature of an uncertain structure, and would perhaps have benefited from a more composed form, the performances were enjoyable to watch, and an interesting variation from standard ICMC fare.

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