McGill DCS Concert this Saturday

Subject: McGill DCS Concert this Saturday
From: Sean Ferguson (
Date: Wed Nov 09 2005 - 23:30:14 EST


Those of you in the Montreal area might be
interested in the following concert. It features
mixed works for soloist, electronics and
multi-channel audio, as well as Stockhausen's
classic Kontakte in all of its original
quadrophonic glory.

Sean Ferguson

McGill Digital Composition Studios
Sean Ferguson, Director
Richard McKenzie, Technical Director

Studio Concert I
November 12, 2005
8:00 p.m., Pollack Hall

Kontakte (1959), for four-channel tape
        Karlheinz Stockhausen

Losing Touch (1994), solo percussion and tape
        Edmund J. Campion
        Fernando Rocha, percussion

Resonances (2005, revised), solo percussion and live electronics
        Jacob David Sudol
        Fernando Rocha, percussion

Vers le vide (2005, world premiere), saxophone and live electronics
        David Adamcyk
        Adam Kinner, saxophone

Acknowledgements: Société de musique
contemporaine du Québec, Jacob Sudol, Bryan Jacobs


Kontakte - an enormously successful early
electronic work - exists in two versions. The
first one, presented on this concert, is the
quadraphonic tape composition by itself. The
second version adds a pianist and a percussionist
playing with the tape. [NB: the latter version
will be performed by the SMCQ on November 15 in
Redpath Hall, with pianist Brigitte Poulin and
percussionist D'Arcy Gray.] The following
comments were made by Stockhausen at an
introduction to a performance in Stockholm in

"Kontakte means 'contacts'; what is in contact.
First of all, in Kontakte there are families of
sounds. I started making, in 1958, families of
sounds. I made a lot of sounds with a special
technique of pulse technique (that is not
important now), which had no association. They
sounded strange, from very complex noises to very
clearly pitched sounds, a whole series, and I
worked already at the very beginning in
transposing these sounds, or producing them, with
many different scales, so no longer with
chromatic scales, but with 42 different scales.
The largest was the fifths, for the biggest or
widest noises, and the smallest was the fifths
subdivided in more than 30 steps, because it was
possible for the first time to work with these
scales, and I was very interested to see what
happens if I work with all different kinds of
steps... Kontakte is the first work which not
only allows, like in Gesang der
Jünglinge,...which was the first electronic music
for four tracks, when sounds rotate and then
contacts between different angles of the room,
but in Kontakte it goes much further. I
constructed a special rotation table with
microphones around it and a speaker in the
middle, and sounds on the speaker, and then it
rotates up to 6 revolutions per second, and I
recorded these rotations through the microphones
on a multi-channel machine, and now I can project
them in the hall."

Losing Touch
En composant Losing Touch pour vibraphone solo et
bande, j'ai voulu réaliser une sorte d'unité
timbrique en dérivant la majorité des sons
électroniques de l'analyse et de la resynthèse
d'échantillons préenregistrés de vibraphone.
Cette démarche incluait la mise au point de
vibraphones échantillonnés, ainsi que
d'instruments hybrides dérivés du vibraphone,
obtenus à l'aide du programme Additive, développé
à l'Ircam. Pour la seconde partie de mon travail
précompositionnel, j'ai isolé tous les ensembles
numériques construits à partir des facteurs du
nombre 120. Chacun de ses constituants, lorsqu'on
en fait la somme, est égal à l'un des facteurs
(c'est à dire: 1+2=3, ou bien
2+5+6+10+12+15+30+40=120, etc ). Dans cette
pièce, ces ensembles numèriques fonctionnent en
tant que durées. Bien entendu, ces procédures
techniques n'ont en fait été qu'un outil au
service de fins purement subjectives. Les
ensembles rythimiques et harmoniques ont été
conçus comme une alternative ou plutôt un
enrichissement des pratiques harmoniques et
métriques occientales et non-occidentales
traditionelles. Ainsi, ici, le temps frappé est
défini par la simultanéité rytimique périodique
sous-tendant le système. Les canons circulaires
qui en résultent ont été conçus pour être
spatialisés ainsi la polyphonie plus évidente et
produisant un effet global de matière sculptée, à
l'intérieur de l'oeuvre.

Would that the sound of the bell might go beyond our earth,
And be heard even by all in the darkness outside the cakravala;
Would that, their organ of hearing become pure, beings might
attain perfect infusion of the senses,
So that every one of them might come finally to the realization
of supreme enlightenment.

-bell gatha enchanted after reading the Samantamukha-Parivarta

        Resonances (2005) is entirely based upon
the physical phenomena of resonance. In this
work, metallic percussion is emphasized. In
Zen/Buddhist philosophy, a bell's ringing, or
resonance, represents eternity's fabric. In this
work the ringing of the bell is expanded to
include the resonance of metallic percussion
instruments (bells pitched and unpitched), the
spatial environment of the performance, and the
physchological resonance of musical ideas.

Vers le vide
Register and spatialisation are the two main
parameters used in the composition of Vers le
vide. The register of the piece evolves from very
wide at the beginning to extremely narrow and
high at the end. During this process, the
electronic part constantly circulates in the six
speakers, and adds and substracts layers to the
saxophone, mimicking a swelling and contracting

Biographical Notes:

David Adamcyk recently completed a Master's
degree in composition at McGill University under
the supervision of Brian Cherney. His works have
been performed around Canada and most recently at
the Banff Center for the Arts and the National
Arts Center in Ottawa. His piece for solo
clarinet, wind symphony and electronics,
Balbuzard, was awarded a second prize at the
SOCAN young composers competition. During
2005-06, David Adamcyk is Guest Composer of the
McGill Digital Composition Studios.

Edmund J. Campion was born in Dallas Texas in
1957. He received his Doctorate degree in
composition at Columbia University and attended
the Paris Conservatory where he worked with
composer Gérard Grisey. In 1994 he was
commissioned by IRCAM (L'Institut de Recherche et
Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris to
produce a large scale work for interactive
electronics and midi-grand piano (Natural
Selection) (ICMC 2002). Campion is currently an
Associate Professor of Music at the University of
Berkeley in California where he also serves as
the Composer in Residence at CNMAT (The Center
for New Music and AudioTechnologies).

Fernando Rocha is Professor of Music at Minas
Gerais Federal University (UFMG) in Brazil. He
holds degrees from UFMG and Sao Paulo State
University. He is currently pursuing his doctoral
degree at McGill University with D'Arcy Philip
Gray. He has performed in many contemporary music
festivals in Brazil, Argentina, United States,
Portugal, and Canada. From 1999 to 2004, he
directed the UFMG Percussion Ensemble performing
seventy-two concerts and recording a CD. In 2004,
Rocha hosted the 1st International Percussion
Festival in Belo Horizonte, Brazil with musicians
from Brazil, the United States, Portugal, France,
and Canada.

Adam Kinner is a fourth year jazz performance
student at McGill University. He has performed
extensively in Montreal, Toronto and the
north-eastern United-States. His interests range
from funk/rock bands to music and dance
improvisation groups.

Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928 - ) is a modern
composer. Born in Burg Modarath, near Cologne
(German: Koln), he studied at the Cologne
Musikhochschule and University (1947-51), at
Darmstadt in 1951 and with Messiaen in Paris
(1951-53). From 1954 to 1956, at the University
of Bonn, he studied phonetics, acoustics, and
information theory and composition. After
lecturing at the contemporary music seminars at
Darmstadt (1957), Stockhausen gave lectures and
concerts in Europe and North America. Stockhausen
has worked with serial and electronic procedures,
with spatial placements of sound sources, and
with graphical notation. In most of his works,
elements are played off against one another,
simultaneously and successively: in Kontrapunkte
(1953) pairs of instruments and extremes of note
values "confront" one another; in Gruppen (1959)
fanfares and passages of varying speed are flung
between three full orchestras, giving the
impression of movement in space. Stockhausen has
written over 300 individual works. Since 1977 he
has been working on a single enormous opera in
seven parts, entitled Licht. In the early 90's he
gained access to all the recordings of his music
he had made to that point, and began his own
record company to make this music permanently
available on compact disc. He also designs and
prints his own musical scores

Jacob David Sudol was born in Des Moines Iowa. He
is a second year masters student at McGill
University where he studies with composition John
Rea and electronic music with Sean Ferguson. In
May 2004, Jacob graduated from the University of
Arizona with a Bachelors' of Music in Composition
(with honours) and Piano Performance. His
previous mentors include Dan Asia, Dan Coleman,
and Craig Walsh in composition. Jacob is
currently composing a large-scale work for
ensemble and live electronics as student composer
in residence for the McGill Contemporary Music
Ensemble and the Digital Composition Studios.

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