tristan perich at cornell

tristan publicity photo (2)

hi everyone– i just wanted to write a quick post to remind you about tristan perich’s residency at cornell this weekend. tristan is one of the most celebrated young artists working in digital art and electroacoustic music today, and it’s a great opportunity to hear some of his work, hear him speak, or meet him while he’s on campus.

i’m also really pleased to be putting on a concert featuring his music. tristan will perform his piece for two percussionists and 1-bit electronics (joined by prof. mike compitello), and there will also be performances of a large portion of his music for keyboard instruments (including the piece for three toy pianos and 1-bit electronics that i posted earlier in the semester!) performed by myself and the other two doctoral students in my program. i am particularly excited to be playing his piece ‘dual synthesis’ (an *extremely* demanding work for harpsichord and electronics) for the first time.

you can find information on the residency (including the composers forum lecture on nov 7 at 1:30PM and the concert on nov 8 at 8PM) at this link:

you can also learn more about tristan and his work here:

hope to see you!

>david f

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)

Project One

We ran out of time during section, and it’s too large to directly upload to this blog, so here’s my piece for Project One:

Perhaps ‘Sturm und Drang’ might be a bit much, but I think the thunderstorm sounds justify the dramatic title. Also, I couldn’t think of anything else, so there.

I got the following tracks from Trifonic: vocals, “ambiance”, synth strings, bass, kick, and guitar. I found recording of a thunderstorm on the sound library–thank you, Dave Welsh! I found a track called “breath” that featured two raspy breaths in quick succession. I used those as a sort of heartbeat at the start and end of the piece. I don’t know whose track that is, but thank you, and feel free to comment on this post and take credit; that track was really cool, so you definitely deserve it.

There’s also a pulsating drone throughout. I used drumsticks and chopsticks and recorded myself running the sticks across the keyboards (the one for the iMac, the Yamaha keyboard and the MIDI input device). That track was originally supposed to be rain, but I put resonators on it (Valhalla and Rome, I think), and really liked the sound, so I removed the percussive attacks and made it unrecognizable by adding more reverb. I really like reverb. And resonators. Resonators are cool.

Let me know what you think!

Lab Questions, Fall 2014

Hey everyone-

A few questions have been coming up repeatedly, so I wanted to post a few notes here that might help you get back to work quicker:

1) STUDIO B PASSWORD– Studios C and D are set up so that when the computer restarts, it will automatically log you back in.  For whatever reason, Studio B’s computer has decided to do its own thing.  If you find yourself locked out of the Studio B computer, the password is written on the whiteboard behind the monitor.  You should be logging into studio user, not guest.

2) SOUND QUALITY ISSUES– Another frequent concert has been with sound quality (specifically, with stuttering and static).  The first thing to check is where your files were opened from.  When you start working, you should copy all of your files from the network (or from any other flash drive, etc. you might be using) to the Studio computer’s drive or desktop.  Just make sure to copy all of your work back to the network when you’re done!  If you’re working directly from the network or a flash drive, this is going to slow things down.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, the program or computer might just need to be rebooted.  As a reminder, these programs require a lot of computing power, and the computers have been in almost constant use the last few days.  So, please, please, please, shut any programs you’ve opened when you’re done.  If there is not someone waiting at the door to take over when you finish, please shut everything down.  David and I have walked into the rooms multiple times to find that everything has been left on overnight- this shouldn’t be happening.  If everyone’s a little bit more conscientious, it’ll help give the equipment some time to cool down and prevent further problems.

3) I can’t figure out what’s wrong and I’m wasting my much-needed studio time- If you can’t figure out the problem, and can’t get in touch with Professor Ernste, David, or myself quickly, please remember: the library lab is available for you to use during library hours! The same goes for if you run out of reserved studio time and want to keep working.

Hope this helps!


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.

question about assignments

Hi all,

Are assignments due any specific time on Thursdays, or just anytime before Friday?

Also, this may be a stupid question but how do you access work you saved on the Sound drive in one studio, from a different studio?



Class is CANCELED Today, September 16

Sorry for the short notice.  See everyone on Thursday!

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

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