Digital Musics Highlights
Greetings from Hallgarten Hall!
In 2012, our graduate students continued to present their research here and abroad. Jessica Thompson has shown that hemodynamic brain activity collected during music listening can predict lists of descriptive labels. She has presented this work at several conferences, including the Cognitively Based Music Information Retrieval (CogMIR) workshop, the conference of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR), and the Machine Learning and Interpretation in Neuroimaging (MLINI) workshop at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference. In December, Phillip Hermans presented a paper on goal-based music compositions in Lucca, Italy, at the 15th Generative Art Conference (GA2012). There were installations, paper sessions, live performances, lively discussion, and “lots of great Tuscan food.” In addition to live performance, Carlos Dominguez has been working on a soundtrack for the 1928 silent film, Beggars of Life, to be performed live alongside the film on February 2, 2013, at Dartmouth in conjunction with the Department of Film & Media Studies.
We are most delighted to welcome winter and spring term visiting professor, Dr. Tara Rodgers, a University of Maryland assistant professor of Women’s Studies, a distinguished faculty fellow in Digital Cultures & Creativity, and an affiliate faculty of American Studies and Musicology & Ethnomusicology. She is also the coordinator of the Women’s Studies Multimedia Studio and was a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar (2006-2007) and a visiting faculty in sound at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2004-2005). Her book, Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound, received the 2011 Pauline Alderman Book Award for outstanding scholarship on women in music from the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM). Rodgers’ current project is a feminist history of synthesized sound.
Professor Spencer Topel began 2013 in Copenhagen for a winter 2013 Danish International Visiting Artist (DIVA) residency to collaborate on a performance and sound installation series with the acclaimed Figura Ensemble. Digital musics faculty, Professor Larry Polansky and Professor Kui Dong, along with Professor Christian Wolff (former faculty), released a CD on Henceforth Records.
In fall 2012, Nathan Davis, director of the Performance Laboratory in Contemporary Music, appeared as a concerto soloist with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ludovic Morlot, giving the world premiere of Dai Fujikura’s concerto, “Mina.” As a percussionist in the International Contemporary Ensemble, he also performed at the Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, inaugurated a new hall in Sonoma with John Adams, and premiered a new work by John Zorn in Berlin. Also an active composer, Davis wrote music for Morningside Lights (commissioned by Columbia University’s Miller Theatre) and performed it in New York City, together with Dartmouth Contemporary Music Lab graduate students Ryan Maguire, Phillip Hermans, and Carlos Dominguez. Davis was also awarded a 2012 commission by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University and a recording grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
In January, Andrew Sarroff, technical director of the Bregman Music and Audio Research Studio (BMARS) received funding from the Neukom Institute for Computational Science for Dartmouth to host the two-day Northeast Music Informatics Special Interest Group (NEMESIG) 2012. Dozens of music information researchers attended and presented, and Frank Russo of Ryerson University in Toronto was the keynote speaker.
Paul Osetinsky is the chief technology officer of his new web company, Treatings, where he handles all of the coding. Treatings is a professional networking platform that makes it easy to propose informational meetings with people in local coffee shops and bars.
Beau Sievers’ (PhD student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences) recent study about the uniquely human capacity to feel emotion through music was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found our cognitive connection to music may have evolved from an older skill, the ability to glean emotion from motion. People will choose the same combination of spatiotemporal features—a certain speed, rhythm, and smoothness—whether pairing a particular emotion with a melody or with a cartoon animation. But most surprising, the results held true in people from two starkly different cultures: a rural village in Cambodia and a college campus in New England.
Bruno Ruviaro has just started a new job as assistant professor of music at Santa Clara University in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is in charge of developing a new electronic music program and also teaching composition and music theory. Starting in the spring of 2013, he will be directing the newly-formed Santa Clara University Laptop Orchestra.
Christian Jaksjø works as a trombonist in the Frankfurt Radio Jazz Orchestra in Germany, as well as serving as the chief editor of Lydskrift, a Norwegian periodical on art music. Recent compositions include a work for ring modulated electromechanically amplified piano and electronic sound, commissioned by the pianist Ellen Ugelvik and released on her recent CD, Serynade (catalog number, ACD5061).
Iroro Orife is a staff engineer at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco, working on perceptual audio codecs and audio processing for mobile devices, while continuing to run his label, de’fchild productions, releasing underground dub, techno, and experimental vibes on 12-inch vinyl with parity in the online spaces.
In fall 2012, Tae Hong Park started his new, tenured post as associate professor at New York University. He also received the 2012 Regional International Computer Music Association (ICMA) Award at the 2012 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) and survived Hurricane Sandy in New York City this year, after surviving Hurricane Katrina at Tulane University in New Orleans in 2005!
by Rebecca Fawcett