Vés enrere

A day with Nicolas Collins, together with Ferran Fages and Tom Chant

A day with Nicolas Collins, together with Ferran Fages and Tom Chant

Tuesday 9 April, from 12:00 h. Campus UPF Poblenou (Roc Boronat 138), free access


Imatge inicial

We have the pleasure to welcome Nicolas Collins, the renowned author of the best-selling "Handmade Electronic Music", audio-feedback wizard, ex-artistic director of STEIM, and long-time collaborator of Alvin Lucier. He is passing by Barcelona and we didn't want to miss our chance to get the most out of him. For that reason, we convinced him (it was easy, though!) to prepare a threefold programme with a short workshop on handmade electronics, a lecture on his trade as an electronic instrument luthier, and a improvised concert joining two of the best local musicians.


I. Short workshop on Hardware Hacking

12:00 h. Room 55.003

In this short workshop on DIY electronics, Nicolas will guide us to make our first victorian oscillator and a few coil pickups. it will be a great opportunity to discuss aspects of musical experimentation, hacking, sharing and more while having our hands busy with the soldering iron...

Participation in the workshop is completely free, but due to reduced availability, we ask you to write us beforehand if you're planning to come ([email protected]). You should also bring a few cheap and easy to find components with you:

• 1x loudspeaker, 10cm diameter or larger (raw speaker, or enclosed in a cabinet/box, but not a powered speaker). Bigger is better!

• One nine-volt battery

• A soldering iron if you have one (lightweight, fine point)

• Additional hand tools (diagonal cutters, wire strippers, a knife, etc.).


II. Lecture on Electronic Lutherie

15:30 h. Room 55.003

"I retired rev. 3.0 of my trombone-propelled electronics around 10 years ago, bored with the vocabulary of live signal processing. But the urge to improvise recently pushed me back into the hybrid instrument fray: a trumpet with a built-in speaker, Hall-effect sensors reading valve positions, a breath control and an infrared-equipped toilet plunger (valving and mute movement acoustically filtered the built-in speaker). For 40 years I had chosen technologies according to guidelines that, while perhaps seeming somewhat arbitrary, were based on direct experience: homemade circuitry for touch and instability; software for accurate control and autonomous decisions; musicians for distributed intelligence. With this new instrument I gave myself the challenge of confounding these assumptions: programming a computer to behave and sound like a glitching circuit, and to scramble the interface sufficiently that playing has to be learned afresh on each re-boot. Now I’m in a position of not only improvising with other players, but improvising with the instrument itself."

In this lecture, Nicolas will share with us experiences from his lifelong experience as an instrument builder, composer and performer, which could be summarised in his latest instrumental creation, the !trumpet, with which he will play live in the evening concert.


III. Concert with Ferran Fages and Tom Chant

20 h. Sala Aranyó

In this double concert, Nicolas will first present an assortment of old and new works, including Pea Soup, Still Lives, and play solo on his 2018 project !trumpet (a nod to David Tudor's Bandoneon¡). He will be then joined by local masters Ferran Fages on prepared turntables and Tom Chant on saxophones.



New York born and raised, Nicolas Collins spent most of the 1990s in Europe, where he was Visiting Artistic Director of Stichting STEIM (Amsterdam), and a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin. An early adopter of microcomputers for live performance, Collins also makes use of homemade electronic circuitry and conventional acoustic instruments. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Leonardo Music Journal from 1997 – 2017, and since 1999 has been a Professor in the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His book, Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking (Routledge), has influenced emerging electronic music worldwide.

Tom Chant has worked with internationally renown artists Bernard Purdey, Fontella Bass, Sunny Murray, Toshimaru Nakamura and Gerry Hemingway and with many London, Paris and Barcelona based improvisers including Steve Noble, Veryan Weston, Steve Beresford, Pat Thomas, John Bisset, Gail Brand, Sharif Sehnaoui, Agustí Fernandez and Pablo Rega and with the London Improvisers Orchestra which includes the likes of Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, John Butcher and many more. He has worked with dance music acts like Coldcut, DJ Vadim and Bonobo and in Paris with dance group Compagnie Jot. Currently active groups include the Cinematic Orchestra, the Eddie Prévost Trio and Stripped Abstract.

Ferran Fages is an improviser and composer, and an international reference in the sphere of electroacoustic improvisation. Since the end of the 1990s, he has published over fifty discographic references on national and international labels. He has undertaken tours, performed concerts and led workshops around Europe and South America as well as in Canada and Japan.




Perfils dels protagonistes:

Perfiles de los protagonistas:

Profiles of the protagonists:

Nicolas Collins
Ferran Fages
Tom Chant


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