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iChamber – Computer Music International

October 14, 2002

WHAT: iChamber – Computer Music International
WHEN: 7:30 p.m., (Friday) Oct. 25 or (Saturday) Oct. 26
WHERE: Digital Arts Ranch, Tempe
TICKETS: Free, no admission charge; seating is limited, call 480-965-9438
INFORMATION: 480-965-9438

The Institute for Students in the Arts' iChamber Players, consisting of School of Music faculty, graduate students and guest artists, presents iChamber – Computer Musical International, a program of recent works for acoustic instruments and computer generated sounds on Oct. 25-26, with ASU's Director of Bands Gary Hill conducting. Both the ISA and the School of Music are units of the ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts.

“The program gives the valley a taste of the activities being developed in some of the world's most active computer music centers: ZKM in Germany, IRCAM in Paris, Kunitachi College in Japan, and the University of California at San Diego,” says JB Smith, iChamber managing director and director of percussion studies in the School of Music.

The program will be held on Oct. 25 and again on Oct 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the ISA’s newly refurbished and newly named Digital Arts Ranch (formerly Drama City). Included in the renovation of the venue were upgrades to the audio system, seating, lobby and video projection system. The iChamber program takes full advantage of the cinema quality surround-sound speaker system and digital audio console.

The Digital Arts Ranch is located on the main ASU campus in Tempe on the southeast corner of University Drive and Myrtle Avenue. Admission is free to either concert, but seating is limited, call 480-965-9438.

“As music technology has evolved so have the spectra of possibilities for live musicians interacting with digital media,” notes Smith. “Ludger Brümmer's Medusa requires two percussionists (Doug Nottingham and valley newcomer Brett Reed) to perform with the prerecorded soundtrack of a DVD. The video imagery was created with the same alogrithmic processes as those used to compose the music.”

Page 2: iChamber program
Tomoko Nakai's Whirlpool for solo trombone and Macintosh requires the musician (Ted Foreman) to step through a series of computer processor settings, which dramatically alter the sound of his instrument. Marita Bolles' What Exit for chamber ensemble has the musicians accompanying computer generated interview fragments, remembered dreams and other memories. “Layers of voices take over the texture and eventually envelop the space,” explains Smith.

“Tristan Murail's richly complex L'esprit des Dunes tears the 11 musicians away from traditional performance practice by requiring microtonal intonation (pitches between the white and black notes of a piano) and complicated rhythmic execution,” says Smith. “The computer part is driven by a digital piano keyboard. The program (MAX/MSP) ‘listens’ for particular notes and responds by stepping through prerecorded electronic musical passages, which are equally complex. American ears may not be familiar with the sound but the effect is a fascinating marriage of acoustic and electronic imagery creating what might be described as sound wave sculptures.”

Several new School of Music faculty make their debut with the iChamber Players with this program: Elizabeth Buck, flute; Nancy Buck, viola; Andrew Campbell, piano; and Courtney LeBauer, violin. They will join returning members of the group: Lisa Dektor, flute; Robert Spring, clarinet; Martin Schuring, oboe; Ted Foreman, trombone; Thomas Landschoot, cello; Daniel Swaim, bass; and JB Smith, percussion.

The ISA is an interdisciplinary research center in the ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts. In collaboration with the ASU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as other disciplines at ASU, the ISA supports creation, research, development, presentation and education at the intersection of the arts and technology. For more information on the ISA, visit 

Media Contact:
Mary Brennan