Back Electroacoustic music concert with works from the DEBRIS project

Electroacoustic music concert with works from the DEBRIS project

Thursday 3 November 19h. Sala Aranyó, Campus UPF de Poblenou

In this concert, we present a set of electronic compositions based on materials generated by the Demiurge audio synthesis engine, a music machine-learning platform. Demiurge consists of a tripartite neural network architecture developed by Roberto Alonso, Marek Poliks, and a team of collaborators at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Debris indexes a subset of Demiurge’s massive output database as waste material ripe for creative reconsumption. Working with Debris invokes an array of concepts that range from archaeomusicology to new materialism; Debris positions its human and nonhuman collaborators within a network, a Deleuzian assemblage, an Adornian constellation, a swarm intelligence, a xenobestial orgy, a platform. These human-in-the-loop interactions were begotten by Mariam Gviniashvili, Kyoka, Dariush Derakhshani, David Q. Nguyen, Didem Coskunseven, Bihe Wen, Stylianos Dimou and Iván Ferrer-Orozco.



Bihe Wen: Metamorphosis [9:56]
Dariush Derakhsani: Debris [8:42]
David Nguyen: Textures Arc the Points [9:58]
Kyoka: Dbris [8:32]
Iván Ferrer-Orozco: Jardín de Luz [6:47]
Stylianos Dimou: de faux échos [14:49]
Mariam Gviniashvili: FREE FLOW [8:52]
Didem Coskunseven: Moon Song [8:50]


Programme notes

Bihe Wen: "Metamorphosis (2022) is conceived as an electroacoustic suite, examin the sonic relationships between prototypes and variants. The first movement establishes a dialogue among materials with diverse spectromorphologies. The second explores the unpitched sounds produced by the friction between bow and strings, using these “frozen” unpitched materials, generated through granular synthesis, as a sustained “flux”. In the third movement, Wen follows other sound-processing paths, exploring pitched sounds, distortion, synthesiser-like texture, and even glitch."


Dariush Derakhshani: "Since the Debris sample database included over two thousand violin audio samples—ranging from a second to five minutes—the compositional process started with the selection, categorization, and distribution of the selected sound files into eight categories, each containing ten to twenty ready-to-be-processed sound files. Derakhshani’s sound-processing method has evolved over the years into a more hands-off approach using SuperCollider–a free and open-source software–enabling the use of code and algorithms to manipulate and synthesise sounds from scratch. The composer applied stochastic procedures to the pre-selected audio files, manipulating, combining, orchestrating, and spatializing the sounds in SuperCollider with no predefined knowledge of the final sonic output. With over seven hours of sound recordings, Debris is a collection of unique algorithmically generated musical moments that trace a narrative shaped by Roberto’s performance at its heart."

David Quang-Minh Nguyen: "Engulfed by the many points, as these materials conglomerate within the plane / Matter as figurative and external / Conglomerates veil the arcs / Meandering through the flow, / at times with extreme exaggeration / A Flow that is never the same / As it is made up of impermanent elements / Cyclic material that occurs “once”; an ephemeral quality / Often unfair / Endure with an inner rhythm of / Textures of a phantom-like movement / Veiled by the engulfment of the points / We endure through perception of, not form, but rather / Yielding the flow / And respond to the “through” material. Nguyen dedicates Textures Arc the Points to his late teacher Mark Chambers, a great and introspective composer: “thank you for introducing me to the world of “Spectra and Pixies” and the world of electronics.”

Kyoka: "The soundscape of Dbris embeds my personal reflections on neuroscience and its relation to consciousness and the nature and structure of human memory. My approach questions the blurred distinction between fantasy and reality, real and artificial intelligence, and their impact on the understanding and definition of hybrid human consciousness and the role that analogic/digital memory plays -as an enabler- in its development. I wonder, what if we take neurological activity as a starting point? Could we re-define factuality and fantasy by taking such objective “neutral” data as a starting point and adopting an inductive approach? The algorithm used to create the sounds takes as a basis a minimalistic repetition of a core beat designed to reduce brain-energy-consumption, but the Debris material reappears as a reminder of the potential discomfort of an unexpected glitch, leading our brains to engage in an endless game of emergent pattern recognition."


Iván Ferrer-Orozco: "Ferrer-Orozco created Jardín de luz (garden of light) using a descriptor-based algorithm that made a “musical” selection of samples taken from the Debris database. The composer then produced larger sequences conceived as a new type of hybrid material using several different sampling and synthesis techniques. Some “hybrids” were resynthesized creating new layers within the same category. Since the original materials were limited to those conforming the Debris database, Ferrer-Orozco envisioned his task as something akin to landscape design or gardening: knowing the specimens contained in the different subset categories and carefully placing them in the acoustic space to design a sonic experience including, as in any garden, references to the outside world; e.g., a homage to the fantastic composer Beatriz Ferreyra and her piece Dans un point infini, Dada poetry, John Oswald and his plunderphonics, Elsa Justell and her superb piece Chi-pa-boo, etc. The idea of a “garden of light” symbolises the capacity of light to transform the perception of space: a garden at noon in the summer or winter light is not the same. Light is a key element to consider when designing a garden. In this case, illumination works as a metaphor for the spirit's predisposition to listen. This work was created with the kind support of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Artes of Mexico, the Electroacoustic Studio for Electroacoustic Music of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin; and Espacio de Creación e Investigación Sonora ECIS-UAM."


Stylianos Dimou: “De faux échos” is an acousmatic composition that explores the timbral dimensions of AI-generated sonic material. The piece formulates a continuum of interchangeable and superimposed timbral spaces that comprise sounds subjected to various re-synthesis and spectral transformation techniques. Its sonic canvas revitalises the sonic flaws of AI-generated audio samples such as noise and annoying glitches, focusing instead on the creative narratives deeply ingrained in this material. The exploitation of a noisy roughness and the retrieval of hidden sonic nuances, valuable in the conception of the music, had an impact on Dimou’s artistic choices and the nature of the DSP tools designed and used throughout. The piece is heartily dedicated to Roberto Alonso Trillo, supporting the creative investigations of Debris.


Mariam Gviniashvili: "FREE FLOW is a fixed-media multichannel piece based on Debris’ AI-generated violin samples, a database that provided the work’s grounding noise(s), glitches, and distorted sounds. Using the selected material, Gviniashvili created a sound-world opposing the traditional sonority of a violin, a sonic space at once powerful, rich in textures, overwhelming, harsh, and ear-piercing. She allowed the sound material to guide her through the compositional process, freely shaping -through a FREE FLOW- the form and dramaturgy of the piece."


Bihe Wen is a Chinese composer whose works span instrumental, electroacoustic music, and collaborative work for multimedia installations. Bihe’s compositions have received several distinctions and prizes in international competitions. He is a recipient of the GREAT Scholarships from the British Council and is currently a PhD candidate at the Sonic Arts Research Centre of Queen’s University Belfast.

Dariush Derakhshani is an experimental electroacoustic composer and audio programmer based in Santa Barbara. His research focuses on what he calls ecopoietic synthesis, where the resulting digital sound waves are modelled after natural phenomena. Derakhshani is currently a PhD candidate in Music Composition at the California University of Music, Santa Barbara, under the supervision of João Pedro Olivera and Curtis Roads.

Stylianos Dimou is a composer of acoustic, electroacoustic, and acousmatic music. A recipient of numerous International Awards and Grants, his music has been premiered and commissioned by Festivals and Institutions in Europe and the USA. He holds a doctoral degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor of Music in the Department of Music at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Iván Ferrer-Orozco (Mexico City, 1976) is a composer, electronic media performer, and technologist. He has received several international awards, most recently the 2021 ICMA Best Music Award. He has been a member of Neopercusión, which is a Madrid-based contemporary ensemble, for eight years. At present, he is a member of The Experimental Tooth, Vertixe Sonora Ensemble, and Synergein Project.

Kyoka is a Japan-born and Berlin-based electronic producer, DJ, installation artist, and field recorder, interested in the exploration of and experimentation with a pioneering approach to sound. She is recognized for her chaotic yet direct approach to music-making, using what she defines as heavy-rough sounds that result in a broken pop-beat with experimental yet danceable rhythms.

David Quang-Minh Nguyen is a composer and audio engineer. His current interests lie in composing acousmatic works that deal with multichannel loudspeaker expansion, sound spatialisation, and immersive audio. He holds a bachelors from Old Dominion University, where he studied with Andrey R. Kasparov and Mark Chambers. He has received his Master’s degree and is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where his primary teachers are Sever Tipei and Scott A. Wyatt.

Mariam Gviniashvili is an Oslo-based electroacoustic composer, originally from Georgia. Her creative approach explores the role of spatiality in music. Her artistic practice also extends to audiovisual works that explore the relationships between 3D sounds and moving images. She collaborates with performers and creates music for dancing and theatre.

Roberto Alonso is a musician and researcher based in Hong Kong, where he works as an assistant professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. His practice explores the connections between different artistic disciplines, from dance and music to video art and interactive sound installations. His recent work examines networked hybrid music practices that are endemic to a world that is increasingly mediated by AI and machine learning. His multi-pronged practice-based and -led research spans the post-structuralist reconsideration of musical workhood and authorship, technologically enhanced string pedagogy, gestural analysis, and interface development.

Marek Poliks (b. 1989) is an artist, engineer, and teacher based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’s especially interested in machine learning, especially as applied to musical interface design. He is working on a book on the performativities implicit in AI with Roberto Alonso Trillo (a/o), with whom he is also developing the Demiurge synthesis engine at a research cluster in Hong Kong.



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