Ephémère June 2012

Reflections for the accordion and performer (composed by Lucie Vitkova, performed by Donia Jourabchi)

Reflections for the accordion and performer is an audiovisual composition, where form is created by the parameters of used objects. We play with two mirrors, which reflect the sound of the accordion and the LED light. In the music, the audience can hear reflections of the movements of players as well. The piece is based on simple geometric shapes and on different distances from the sound and light sources. The light directs in the same way as the sound goes, so you can observe the sound and its trajectory also with your eyes.

Lucie Vitkova was born in 1985 in Boskovice, Czech Republic, studying in Blansko where she completed her Primary and Grammar School in 2004. Afterwards Lucie moved to Brno where she completed studies at the Music Conservatory Brno. She studied accordion performance with Miroslav Morys there, obtaining a professional level of skills as an accordion player. Lucie studied composition with renowned artists as mentors, among them was Pavel Novak – Zemek (Conservatory Brno – 2007 – 2008), Martin Smolka (JAMU Brno – 2008 – 2011) and Jaroslav Sastny (JAMU Brno 2010). Passing her exams in 2008, she entered Janaček Akademy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU). Lucie completed her Bachelor Degree with Martin Smolka at JAMU in 2011. She was awarded with a ten months of scholarship at Royal Conservatoir in Den Haag (NL) to study composition and sonology. Lucie is interested in music improvisation due to her teacher Jaroslav Sastny (aka Peter Graham) who influenced her to pursue, improvisation using accordion, voice, moving and mouthorgan. Lucie also writes music for films and theater. Another skill Lucie obtains is her interest in various dance styles, here Lucie was active by teaching tap dancing at the Theatre faculty of JAMU in Brno for four years.

Donia Jourabchi, Iranian, born in Brussels, is a sound explorer. She developed artistic expression at the Fine Arts Academy of Brussels. Her sensitivity and attraction for sound and music were the reason to learn and practice audio technics, at SAE institute. After her study, she worked as technician for live performances, recordings, musical projects… Using technics as a tool for recording and reproduction more than as a creation process. But her desire was to use technics as a way to interact with sounds and senses, to express feelings, play with perception. And to use electronic and acoustic sound creation in relation with physical proprieties and material manipulations.She did some workshops in different interactive media techniques at the research center of new media (CECN) in Belgium. To develop her composition technics, she took a class of electro-acoustic composition at ArtZoyd studios in Valenciennes, France. Currenly she is studying Sonology at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Live electronics improvisation by Younes Riad (electronics) and Marie Guilleray (voice and electronics) 

Younes Riad started making music as a child with a guitar. After playing in several bands he got introduced and interested in electronic music. Younes developed interest in improvised electronic music and started programming computer instruments. While studying Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague he is working on a solo project where he as a human performer plays a duet with the computer. He has been part of several ensembles, among other things: Beukorkest, Sonology Electroacoutsic Ensemble directed by Richard Barrett, Senga Etna, Dejima Ensemble, YOTR and various incidental collaborations.

Marie Guilleray (1978) is a French vocalist, composer, and sound artist currently based in The Netherlands. She performs mainly in the context of improvised, experimental and electronic music. Her work focuses on free improvisation, the development of vocal extended techniques, the combination of voice and electronics to extend the voice and explore its abstract properties, and a research on bridging music and poetry. As a composer, she is focusing on electronic music for fixed media and live electronics. She is a member of several ensembles such as Royal Improvisers Orchestra, MGBG, Sonology Electroacoutsic Ensemble directed by Richard Barrett, and collaborates on various experimental, improvised and electronic music projects.

Gereh by Siamak Anvari (setar and live electronics)
“Gereh” for Setar and live electronics is an attempt to use a Persian instrument in combination with electronics. In this piece Siamak is trying to explore new sounds of Setar and using extended techniques which is not common for this instrument. The piece is mainly based on improvisation in pre-composed situations. His main inspiration comes from a traditional technique in Persian music, in which there is a singer and an instrument player as accompanist. In this duet, the instrument player accompanies singer while and after each phrase, according to a certain rules. In this piece, Siamak is playing these two roles in interaction with electronics.

Siamak Anvari graduated from the Art university of Tehran with a Master Degree in composition, and has work on different instrumental compositions. At the moment he is studying electronic music at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Polyphtong by Jaap Blonk (new piece for voice and electronics)

Polyphtong is a new 4-channel piece for voice and live-electronics. It was premiered at CCRMA (Stanford University) on March 8, 2012 and also performed in Chicago and Miami. It can be seen as an extension of Mundrundum a quadraphonic piece for solo voice I did at the Donaueschinger Musiktage in 2002. Here I worked with an array of 6 microphones in order to pan the stereo possibilities of the mouth along all 4 sides of the room. The piece was included in a CD compilation of the festival of the Festival. In ‘Polyphtong’ spatial placement and movement are extended by electronic means. The phonetic concepts of diphtong and approximant are an important focus in the more meditative sections of the work. It also uses the techniques of my cheek synthesizer: many kinds of stereo mouth sounds driven by sheer air, ranging from very low to extremely high pressures.

Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in Woerden, Holland) is a self-taught composer, performer and poet. He went to university for mathematics and musicology but did not finish those studies. In the late 1970s he took up saxophone and started to compose music. A few years later he discovered his potential as a vocal performer, at first in reciting poetry and later on in improvisations and his own compositions. For almost two decades the voice was his main means for the discovery and development of new sounds. From around the year 2000 on Blonk started work with electronics, at first using samples of his own voice, then extending the field to include pure sound synthesis as well. He took a year off of performing in 2006. As a result, his renewed interest in mathematics made him start a research of the possibilities of algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual animation and poetry. As a vocalist, Jaap Blonk is unique for his powerful stage presence and almost childlike freedom in improvisation, combined with a keen grasp of structure. He performed in many European countries, as well as in the U.S. and Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa and Latin America. With the use of live electronics the scope and range of his concerts has acquired a considerable extension. Besides working as a soloist, he collaborated with many musicians and ensembles in the field of contemporary and improvised music, like Maja Ratkje, Mats Gustafsson, Nicolas Collins, Joan La Barbara, The Ex, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and the Ebony Band. He premiered several compositions by the German composer Carola Bauckholt, including a piece for voice and orchestra. A solo voice piece was commissioned by the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2002. On several occasions he collaborated with visual computer artist Golan Levin. Blonk’s work for radio and television includes several commissioned radio plays. He also makes larger-scale drawings of his scores, which are being exhibited. He was the founder and leader of the long-standing bands Splinks (modern jazz, 1983-1999) and BRAAXTAAL (avant-rock, 1987-2005). He also has his own record label, Kontrans, featuring a total of 15 releases so far. Other Blonk recordings appeared on Staalplaat, Basta and VICTO.