Author Archives: Kevinernste

Tyler Ehrlich’s ScoreViewer for Google Glass

Tyler Ehrlich’s ScoreViewer for Google Glass , a project initially conceived for use by Professor Cynthia Johnston Turner and the Cornell Wind Ensemble, provided a framework for the performance of Professor Kevin Ernste‘s AdWords™/Edward, the first commission piece of its kind for the Google Glass Explorers program.

Score “cards” can be uploaded directly from the web and called up verbally for performance (“OK Glass, perform Kevin’s piece”. Once loaded, performers “wink” through parts of the score (pages, cards, etc).

In AdWords™/Edward, winking advances through a series of short, repeated/looped phrases (see examples below, click to open) displayed in their glasses…a stylistic homage to Terry Riley’s In C, celebrating its 50th Anniversary year in 2014.

IMAGE: John Roark (

Listening from today

Erik Satie: Vexations, score and music (excerpt).

Terry Riley: In C (1964)

Original recording (instrumental ensemble)

Another version (chamber ensemble)

Version for orchestra

Musical score here.

Steve Reich: Come Out

Brian Eno: Music For Airports (Ambient 1)

Alvin Lucier: I am sitting in a room

(Optional) In Bb (YouTube crowdsourced video/music project)

Recording audio in Ableton Live

Recording audio directly into Ableton Live’s DAW is simple, requiring only an audio track and the specification of the input channel. This recording method has advantages over an editor, such as Audacity, in that it allows the selection of arbitrary input channels and easily facilitates the layered synchronization of new material onto old.

1) Create an audio track in Live

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.33.32 PM

2) In the new track’s input/output section, select the audio input channel you wish to record from.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.34.24 PM

3) Arm the record for this new track (WARNING: if the input is a microphone, make sure the speakers are turned down, monitoring only through headphones).

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.34.59 PM

4) Arm the master record (circle, top-level “transport” control) and hit “play” (triangle)

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.35.58 PM

Connecting your laptop to studio computers and speakers

1) Using the cable supplied in each studio (1/8″ to split 1/4″, red and white), connect your laptop output to the front “Hi-Z 1 and 2” inputs on the Apogee Ensemble (top-most silver device under the computer).

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 5.46.56 PM

2) In either Audacity or Live, set monitoring to “On” or arm record for channels 1 & 2 — in Audacity, 1& 2 are the default; in Live you must specify the track input, as shown here:

Tutorial on “Recording Audio” (as needed):

3 (May be needed)) Open the “Apogee Maestro” software (in /Applications if not shown as a purple “A” icon in the Macintosh dock). In the software’s “Input” tab, under channels 1 & 2 (left-most channels), set the input from “Mic” to either “Inst” (instrument) or “+4”, depending on what is listed.

  • If you do this, please do set it back to “Mic” when you are finished as this might confuse others using the studio after you.


Cornell Cinema presents:

A Sneak Preview of the New Documentary

Elektro Moskva

Introduced by Trevor Pinch (Science & Technology Studies, Cornell)

Wednesday, September 24 at 7:15pm

Willard Straight Theatre

The film features rare archival footage, including the last 1993 interview with famed inventor Leon Theremin.

Watch a trailer at:

Directed by Dominik Spritzendorfer & Elena Tikhonova

Welcome to the weird and definitely wired world of avant garde rock musicians, DIY circuit benders, vodka-swilling dealers and urban archaeologists/collectors, all fascinated with obsolete Soviet-era electronic synthesizers that were the by-product of the KGB and Soviet military, created in the off-hours by scientist/inventors cobbling together spare transistors and wires. In Russian and English with English subtitles. Cosponsored with Science & Technology Studies and The History Center of Tompkins County.

1 hr 29 min

More at

Assignment 3: Due Thursday October 2nd

This assignment is, as announced in lecture, in two parts.

1. Choose a song or piece of music you know (or think you know!) well. Analyze the song in terms of its form and progression in time,  listening carefully to how its inner details might aid in this progression. What do you think makes the music tick? What makes it move forward? What are the instruments and/or sounds and how do they develop? Are there small details, momentary or otherwise unnoticed, that you thing are important?

The result should be a diagram, in letters or symbols, of the form of the music plus a brief verbal description. This need not be any more than a few paragraphs to a full page, describing what you perceive to be the driving factors in the music.

2. A short re-mix using the materials provided below, taken from This should not be a time-consuming exercise as many of the raw materials will work nicely with one another without effort, but consider the relationships not only of simultaneity but also in time. Think about the form as a compositional strategy: how could/should the music unfold?

Turn in the resulting WAV or AIFF audio file along with a brief description of your re-mix. Did you follow or attempt to follow a particular form? Or was the result serendipitous? If so, can you make some brief observations about the result?

Here are the links to download content:

Instrumental tracks

Vocal tracks

The original artist page on CCMixter is here.

These materials are available under a Creative Commons “Attribution / Non-commercial” license, meaning:

You are free to: “share”—-copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and “adapt”–remix, transform, and build upon the material. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

Taylan Cihan’s custom electronic instruments

Profile, Taylan Cihan

Taylan Cihan, in performance

UPDATE: With profound sadness, I relay that Taylan Cihan, whose research and development at CEMC is featured below, has passed away–October 8th 2014. His instruments remain at the Center and are planned to be used as part of SoundLab, a DIY electronics initiative at Cornell that Taylan himself was, at the time of his death, working to implement.


Composition graduate student Tayan Cihan (DMA anticipated 2015) has developed a series of instruments at CEMC, primarily for his own use in live performances with the Cornell Avant Garde Ensemble (CAGE) and elsewhere. Each contributes to a continuously developing modular performance system, operating individually or generating layers within a collective. Below is a gallery of several of these instruments, created 0ver the last several years at CEMC.

Each instruments represents hundreds of hours of design and implementation, ranging from purely electronic circuitry through Arduino-based (open hardware) digital/analog hybrid devices, and onto integrated analog-digital mechanisms where computer and analog hardware are sharing, listening, and modifying on another. His endeavor with these devices is technical, practical, sonic, and aesthetic.

Further devices, complete instrument details, schematics, design rationale, sounds, video, and software code (where applicable) can be found on Taylan’s personal website.

Cornell LadyFest, 2014

Ladyfest Cornell – April 11, 2015 at the Schwartz Center

This year marks the first ever Ladyfest Cornell, a one day festival of performance, activism, music, and film that will feature original works by women and LGBTQ Cornell students. We are currently seeking proposals from interested students. For more information and the proposal form, please visit:

Proposals are due October 15th. Questions can be emailed to Annie Lewandowski, Lecturer in Music.

Early electronic music, links

Here are some materials related to this morning’s lecture on various currents in early electronic music:

The Futurists

Marinetti’s Futurust Manefesto (1909), the philosophical foundations of Futurism

Russolo’s Intonarumori (noise instruments) in an exhibition and in performance.

Mechanical and early electronic instruments

Thaddeus Cahill’s Telharmonium (1906)

George Antheil’s Ballet Mecanique (1924) — also a version at the National Gallery showing instruments.

The Theremin, played by Clara Rockmore (virtuosi)

Musique concrète

Pierre Schaeffer – “Etude aux Chemins de Fer”

Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry’s Symphony for a Man Alone, Mvt. 1:  Prossopopeé I

Elektronische Musik

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Studie I (1953)

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (1955/1956)

Varese and the Phillips Pavilion

Details on the building itself, images and descriptions of the work

Some further background, images, and virtual video

Poème électronique (1958), with video “overlay”

Marc Treib’s Space Calculated in Seconds, a book on the piece

Deatils on the “Vitual Electronic Poem Project“, a contemporary realization

Editing and Saving with Audacity

Below is a brief video tutorial for editing and saving with Audacity. These basic steps will help you in completing the early assignments in this Music 1421.

Editing and Saving Audio Files with Audacity

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