The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States: Music from SEAMUS Volume 26

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SEAMUS Records continues its series celebrating the electro-acoustic and electronic works by its member composers. This release, Volume 26, features works by Scott A. Wyatt, Eli Fieldsteel, Keith Kirchoff, Becky Brown, Benjamin D. Whiting, Adam Vidiksis, Olga Oseth, David Z. Durant, and William Dougherty.

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SEAMUS Records continues its series celebrating the best in contemporary electronic and electro-acoustic music with Volume 26, a compilation assembled in 2017 of recent works by its composer members. Scott Wyatt’s …and nature is alone memorializes the Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster in 1986. Elena Filatova, who wrote the text, and Valerie Sobol, who performs the text, both have personal connections to Chernobyl and their inclusion intensifies the cathartic nature of the work. Eli Fieldsteel’s work includes extensive investigation into music generated by microcontrollers. Using motion-sensitive resistors and sensor gloves in collaboration with the open source platform Arduino, Fieldsteel fashons a musical vocabulary that corresponds to his arsenal of physical gestures. Brain Candy is the fruit of those efforts. Pianist and composer Keith Kirchoff’s Irrational Rationalities is inspired by the work of cubist painter Alvin Loving. Loving’s paintings use tricks of the eye to embed visual contradictions within seemingly simple elements. Kirchoff strives to achieve a similar sleight of hand in music, combining three distinct thematic ideas in such a way that they are taken out of context and challenge a passive listening experience. Becky Brown’s Hold Still is a multi-disciplinary work combining poetry, drawings, video, and electronics processing.

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Benjamin D. Whiting’s Illumina! Arabidopsis thaliana represents an ongoing collaboration between genomic biologist Aleel K. Grennan and the composer. Grennan’s research involves rates of photosynthesis in the Arabidopsis thaliana leaf, and Whiting incorporates data results into various parameters in DISSCO and KYMA, mapping on the experimental results to a set of sounds to reflect the diversity of leaves involved in the research. Local Equilibrium Dynamics, by Adam Vidiksis, involves different kinds of interactions between the live instrumentalists, sometimes disrupting each other’s sound, sometimes dispersing it, and other times collaborating with each other. These ensemble dynamics are then processed by the live electronics, forming a third player in the drama and generating a constantly shifting composite. Olga Oseth’s Shapes of Each Other includes field recordings of engines and a text reading of Rumi poetry. Oseth is interested in the ways that distinctive natures complement each other and result in a new, unique whole. David Durant’s Sighs of an Ancient Wall combines manipulated audio recordings of mezzo soprano Vikki Turner and Esther Lamnock’s composition and performance of her part on tárogató, a Hungarian wind instrument. The inspiration for the piece is taken from the medieval walls on the outskirts of Florence, Italy. William Dougherty’s Intersections utilizes the largest instrumentation on the collection, performed here by ensemble zone expérimentale. Dougherty’s piece involves slow glissandi against sine tones, using the resultant beatings from the microtonal discrepancies in pitch to determine the rhythmic structure of the piece, and to underscore what he terms the “psychoacoustic effects” of sonority.

Esther Lamneck

The New York Times calls Esther Lamneck “an astonishing virtuoso.” She has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, with renowned chamber music artists and an international roster of musicians from the new music improvisation scene. A versatile performer and an advocate of contemporary music, she is known for her work with electronic media including interactive arts, movement, dance and improvisation. She is an internationally acclaimed recording artist and has releases on Amirani Records, Capstone, Centaur, CRI, EMF, Music and Arts, Opus One, SEAMUS, Romeo/Qualiton, New World Records, INNOVA and PARMA.

Scott A. Wyatt

Scott A. Wyatt is Professor Emeritus of Composition and the former director of the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios having retired in May 2016. He served as president of SEAMUS from 1989 until 1996. His compositions are recorded on CAPSTONE, CENTAUR, GMEB Cultures Electroniques Series, Library of Congress, MARK, OFFICE, Music from SEAMUS, UBRES, and VERIATZA recordings.

Eli Fieldsteel

Dr. Eli Fieldsteel, Assistant Professor of Composition-Theory and Director of the University of Illinois Experi- mental Music Studios, is a composer specializing in music technology with a diverse history of cross-disciplinary collaboration. Fieldsteel's music and research engages with the intersection between music technology and contemporary instrumental practice, focusing on topics such as human-computer improvisation, interactivity, and generative music. Utilizing new technologies and real-time environments, his works are highly gestural, expressive, and richly detailed. As an active collaborator, he has worked closely with dancers, choreographers, lighting designers, architects, and video artists, resulting in a variety of unique and site-specific installations and performances. Fieldsteel was born in Middletown, CT and holds degrees from Brown University (BA, 2008), The University of North Texas (MM, 2010), and The University of Texas at Austin (DMA, 2015).

Becky Brown

Becky Brown is a 2015 Music and Computer Science graduate of the University of Mary Washington, studying electroacoustic composition with Mark Snyder, and harp performance with Grace Bauson. She has been a performer of Dr. Snyder's music at festivals including SCI National and Regional Conferences, Third Practice, and Electronic Music Midwest, as well as in his guest artist appearances at numerous universities. Her own works have been performed at SEAMUS 2016, Root Signals, EABD, and the BSU New Music Festival. In addition, Brown has engineered or assisted on recordings in a wide range of genres, and composed music for theatre and dance. She is the tech director of the Electroacoustic Barn Dance at UMW.

Benjamin D. Whiting

Benjamin D. Whiting is an internationally award-winning composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic music. Never satisfied by simply composing alone, Whiting is fascinated with and constantly seeks out interdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation, often working with artists and performers from many different fields on several projects, such as his current work with flautist Melody Chua on developing a sensor augmented electroacoustic flute. Over the years, Whiting has studied composition with Scott Wyatt, Sever Tipei, Erik Lund, Erin Gee, and Ladislav Kubik. Recordings of his work can be found on the ABLAZE Records and the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios labels.

Olga Oseth

Olga Oseth is an interactive media composer/performer, pianist and accompanist. Olga received her BM in Piano Performance, BA in New Media and Composition from St. Cloud State University and her MM in Intermedia Music Technology from the University of Oregon. Her native country is Ukraine, where she started taking piano lessons at the age of 5. Olga’s works have been performed at SEAMUS, KISS and WIMT conferences. She is a recipient of Outstanding Music Student Award, Graduate Scholar award and several scholarships including UO general scholarship and Graduate Music Student Scholarship. Miss Oseth is attending University of Oregon and working towards her Doctoral in Musical Arts degree in Data Driven Instrument Performance.

David Z. Durant

David Z. Durant (b. 1957, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.) is a Professor of Music at the University of South Alabama where he is the Director of the Music Theory and Technology.

William Dougherty

William Dougherty is an American composer whose works have been performed in festivals such as the Tectonics Festival New York, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the 47th Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, the New York Philharmonic Biennale, and broadcast on both BBC Radio 3 and WKCR-FM New York. Dougherty has received recognitions and awards from BMI, PARMA Recordings, the PRS for Music Society, the American Composers Forum, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the Institute for European Studies. William graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music Composition from Temple University in Philadelphia. As a Marshall Scholar, William earned his Master’s from the Royal College of Music in London after which he completed supplementary studies under the guidance of Georg Friedrich Haas at the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of the Musical Arts at Columbia University in New York City.

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