The first SPLICE was held in July 2015 at Western Michigan University. Twenty-two participants and auditors joined the faculty (listed below) to discuss, create, and perform Electroacoustic music.
SPLICE 2015 included eight concerts (programs linked below), which featured a total of fifteen world premieres. Of those fifteen, twelve were composed by participants, three by faculty. Faculty performed ten of the premieres, and participants performed five.
SPLICE2015 CONCERT PROGRAMS
July 6. Faculty Concert I - Keith Kirchoff, piano
July 7. Faculty Concert II - David Wetzel, clarinets
July 8. Faculty Concert III - Samuel Wells, trumpet
July 9. Faculty Concert IV - Adam Vidiksis, percussion
July 10. Chamber Music Concert - Faculty Ensembles
July 11, 11am. Participant Concert I
July 11, 3pm. Participant Concert II
July 11, 7:30pm. Participant Concert III
Select a faculty member for more information
"Among Fireflies" Performed by Erin Lesser
Elainie Lillios's music reflects her fascination with listening, sound, space, time, immersion and anecdote. Her music explores many sound worlds; sometime referential ones such as the human voice, cars, wind chimes, or water. Other times her materials are less obvious, like crunching branches, walking through snow or pebbles shuffling in water. Her compositional output includes electroacoustic and acoustic works, music for instruments with live interactive electroacoustics, and collaborative immersive multimedia audio/visual installation environments. Her research interests include sound diffusion as the performance practice of electroacoustic music, audio spatialization employing Ambisonics (3D audio), critical listening as a creative aid and Deep Listening.
Her creative work and research has been funded through grants and commissions from organizations including the International Computer Music Association, La Muse en Circuit, New Adventures in Sound Art, Reseaux, ASCAP/SEAMUS, Kalamazoo Animation Festival International, Louisiana State Universitys Center for Computation and Technology, Sonic Arts Research Centre Belfast, Ohio Arts Council, Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music, Ohio Board of Regents and National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. She has also received commissions from individual performers including saxophonist Steve Duke, soprano Diane Ragains and pianist Thomas Rosenkranz. Elainies composition,Veiled Resonance for soprano saxophone and live, interactive electroacoustics was recently awarded First Prize in the 36th International Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art/Bourges 2009. Elainies music has received other awards and recognition from international competitions including the Concurso Internacional de Musica Electroacustica de Sao Paulo, Concorso Internazionale Russolo, Concours Internationale de Bourges, Pierre Schaeffer Competition, Kalamazoo Animation Festival International and La Muse en Circuit Radiophonic Competition.
Her pieces have been presented nationally and internationally at conferences, concerts and festivals including the International Computer Music Conferences (New York, Belfast, New Orleans, Miami, Goteborg, Cuba, Berlin), Society for ElectroAcoustic Music in the United States National Conferences (Minnesota, Indiana, Utah, Iowa, Oregon, California, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, New Hampshire), Australasian Computer Music Conference, Festival di interpretazione della musica acusmatica and others.Her collaborative animation work has been screened at international festivals including SIGGRAPH 2009, Melbourne Animation Festival, London Animation Festival, Les Sommets du Cinema DAnimation de Montreal, Visual Music Marathon, Red Stick Animation Festival, Kalamazoo Animation Festival International and the International Digital Media Art Association IDEAS Festival. She has been featured as a special guest composer at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, Rien a Voir, festival lespace du son, June in Buffalo Festival, Mountain Computer Music Festival, Future Music Oregon, Western Oregon University Electronic Music Festival, Louisiana State University and Ionian University Corfu.
Elainie's music is available on the Empreintes DIGITALes, StudioPANaroma, La Muse en Circuit, and SEAMUS labels, and is included in New Adventures in Sound Arts The Radio Art Companion. Three of her pieces were released in 2009; Veiled Resonance for soprano saxophone and live interactive electroacoustics on SEAMUS Volume XVIII, Toronto Island Contrasts on Deep Wireless 6, and Listening Beyond the LMJ Mix on Leonardo Music Journal Volume 19.
Elainie serves as Professor of Composition and Coordinator of Music Technology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio where she teaches applied composition, music technology and experimental digital audio and animation.
"Desire with Digressions" by Butch Rovan
Keith Kirchoff is a pianist, composer, conductor, concert curator, and teacher. Described as a “virtuosic tour de force” whose playing is “energetic, precise, (and) sensitive,” he works towards promoting under-recognized composers and educating audiences of the importance of new and experimental music. An active lecturer who has presented in countries throughout the world, his recital programs focus on the integration of computers and modern electronics into a traditional classical performance space.
Kirchoff has played in many of the United States’ largest cities including New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh, as well as major cities throughout Italy, England, Canada, Belgium, Mexico, and The Netherlands. He has appeared with orchestras throughout the U.S. performing a wide range of concerti, including the Boston premier of Charles Ives’ Emerson Concerto and the world premier of Matthew McConnell’s Concerto for Toy Piano, as well as more traditional concerti by Tschaikowsky and Chopin. He has also been a featured soloist in many music festivals including the Festival de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, Festival Internacional de Müsica Contemporánea, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), Performing Arts at CAM (Chelsea Contemporary Art Museum, New York), the Oregon Festival of American Music, PianoForte Chicago, The Experimental Piano Series, Ives and His World, and The eXtensible Toy Piano Project.
Throughout his career, Kirchoff has premiered well over 100 new works and commissioned several dozen. As a strong supporter of modern music, he has worked closely with many prominent composers including Christian Wolff, Frederic Rzewski, and Louie Andriessen. As a lecturer, Kirchoff has presented seminars, lectures, and master workshops on the music of the 21st century at many of the country's largest Universities. One of the nation's prominent performers of electronic music, his "Electro-Acoustic Piano" tour has been presented throughout two continents, and he has twice hosted an international composers competition seeking music for piano and live electronics: first with the University of Toronto in 2011, and then again with the American Composers Forum in 2015. The first album in his Electro-Acoustic Piano series was released by Thinking outLOUD Records in July 2011.
As a composer, Kirchoff is equally comfortable in acoustic and electronic mediums. The 2010 Rozsa Visiting Artist & Composer at the University of Tulsa, Kirchoff has been awarded residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts, New York Mills, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Wildacres, and has been a guest composer/pianist at several Universities including Brown University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Cal State, University of New Mexico, University of North Florida, and Brigham Young University. He has received commissions from numerous ensembles and soloists including Ensemble Mise-En, pianists Shiau-uen Ding and Kai Schumacher, tuba player Jeffrey Meyer, organist Matthew McConnell, soprano Christine Keene, and Telling Stories Music. Often performing his own works in recital, his music, which has been described as "hyperactive," has also been performed throughout the United States, Canada, England, Turkey, Holland, Mexico, Australia, and Germany by many respected musicians and ensembles including the California E.A.R. Unit, the Firewire Ensemble, mezzo-soprano Erica Brookhyser, violinists Carmel Raz and Stephanie Skor, cellist Alex Kelly, and pianists Albert Muhlbock and Mabel Kwan.
Kirchoff serves on the board of directors for the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) as the Vice President of Programs, and is also the Artistic Director of Original Gravity: a Boston-based concert series that features the music of local composers and pairs that music with locally brewed beer. Together with Christopher Biggs, he is also the founder and director of SPLICE (Summer institute for the Performance, Listening, Interpretation, and Creation of Electroacoustic music) hosted at Western Michigan University.
The winner of the 2006 Steinway Society Piano Competition and the 2005 John Cage Award, Kirchoff was named the 2011 "Distinguished Scholar" by the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association. He has also received composing grants from MetLife Meet the Composer and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Kirchoff’s primary teachers include Dean Kramer, Stephen Drury, and Paul Wirth. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Oregon in 2003 graduating summa cum laude and then received his Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory in 2005. He has also studied composition with Michael Gandolfi and Jeffrey Stolet, and conducting with Richard Hoenich. In addition to his recordings on his independent label Thinking outLOUD Records, Kirchoff has released recordings on the New World, SEAMUS, New Focus, Tantara, and Zerx labels.
Adam Vidiksis is a composer, conductor, percussionist, and technologist based in Philadelphia whose interests span from historically informed performance to the cutting edge of digital audio processing. Equally comfortable with both electronic and acoustic composition, his music has been heard in concert halls and venues around the world. Critics have called his music “mesmerizing”, “dramatic”, “striking” (Philadelphia Weekly), “notable”, “catchy” (WQHS), “interesting”, and “special” (Percussive Notes), and have noted that Vidiksis provides “an electronically produced frame giving each sound such a deep-colored radiance you could miss the piece's shape for being caught up in each moment” (David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer). Vidiksis has become known for exploring new timbral soundscapes in his electronic and acoustic works, often using the computer not only as a means of enhancing and manipulating the sounds he produces, but as a digital performer on equal footing with its human counterparts. His unique approach to performance has been praised for its “outstanding control” (Philadelphia Weekly) and for being “restrained” and “magical” (Local Arts Live).
Vidiksis’s compositions have been heard throughout North America and Europe. His work has been performed by the orchestra of the Oleg Danovski National Theater of Opera and Ballet in Constanta, Romania, the Omaha Symphony, the Momenta Quartet, the Zephyrus Duo, and the percussion ensembles of NYU and the University of Alabama. He has been commissioned by many organizations and performers, including International Composers and Interactive Artists, Philadelphia’s Network for New Music, the Renegade and Luna Theater Companies, the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, and the ElectroAcoustic Piano project. His compositions have been heard at the national conferences of SEAMUS, CMS, NSEME, and SCI, the Huntsville New Music Festival, Soundcrawl Festival, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Raven Stadium, the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, the Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, Athens Slingshot, the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, the International Csound Conference, and the Licino Refice Conservatorio di Musica in Frosinone, Italy. Vidiksis’s music has won numerous awards, including recognition from SCI and ASCAP. His works are available through HoneyRock Publishing and PARMA Recordings.
Vidiksis’s research in music technology focuses on techniques for realtime audio processing, designing gestural controllers for live digital performance, and machine improvisation. He has presented his research at a number of institutions, including the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the McNally Smith College of Music. His gestural controller, the Tapbox DSP, was a semifinalist in the 2012 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. As a technologist, Vidiksis has worked with a number of prominent artists and ensembles, including Gene Coleman, Ge Wang, Eric Chasalow, Benjamin Broening, Toshimaru Nakamura, Network for New Music, Donald Nally, and the Crossing.
Vidiksis holds degrees from Drew University, New York University, and Temple University, culminating in a doctoral degree in music composition. Vidiksis currently serves on the composition faculty of Temple University, where he teaches classes in music theory, orchestration, composition, and music technology. He is currently conductor of the Temple Composers Orchestra, faculty advisor to conTemplum (Boyer College’s new-music student organization and student chapter of the SCI.), and director of the Boyer Electroacoustic Ensemble Project (BEEP). Vidiksis also regularly directs and conducts Ensemble NJ_P, an international chamber group of musicians performing both traditional Western and Japanese instruments.
"(dys)functions" composed and performed by Sam Wells
Samuel Wells is a composer, performer, and arranger based in Bloomington, Indiana. As an advocate for new and exciting music, he actively commissions and performs contemporary works for trumpet.
Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Sam has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and France. He has performed electroacoustic works for trumpet and presented his own music at the Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar, as well as the Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, N_SEME, and SEAMUS festivals. Sam and his music have also been featured by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance (KcEMA) and Fulcrum Point Discoveries. In February 2014, Sam was the guest artist and composer at the Montana State University Brass Weekend.
Sam has collaborated with Max Wellman and the Belin Quartet to create all new arrangements of classic songs from the American songbook. His work (dys)functions is published by qPress.
Sam has degrees in both performance and composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studied composition with James Mobberley, Paul Rudy, Chen Yi and Zhou Long, and trumpet with Keith Benjamin. He is currently studying with Sven-David Sandström, Jeffrey Hass, and John Rommel while pursuing graduate degrees in Trumpet Performance and Computer Music Composition at Indiana University, where he has served as the Assistant Director of the IU New Music Ensemble.
David Wetzel is a classically trained clarinetist and bass clarinetist with interests in the traditional clarinet literature, contemporary music, collaborative multimedia, and interactive electroacoustic music. He recently left his position as an associate professor of music at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, where he taught applied clarinet, recording, music technology, and general music courses. He was coordinator of degree programs in music technology and music business at Mansfield. David holds degrees in both clarinet performance (DMA, University of Arizona; B.Mus. Lawrence University) and computer music performance and concert production (Peabody Consesrvatory).
David’s research (presented recently at ICMC, SEAMUS, Spark, and in the British journal Organised Sound) focuses on interactive performance systems for electroacoustic music and the sustainability of electroacoustic repertoire. Recent solo performances include the New York Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYC), the Electroacoustic Barn Dance (VA), Electronic Music Midwest (Joliet, IL), eArts (Mansfield, PA), the Endless Mountains Music Festival (Wellsboro, PA), the Spark Festival (Minneapolis, MN), Sonic Fusion (Edinburgh, Scotland), and as a featured performer at SEAMUS 2012 (Appleton, WI) and the 2010 International Computer Music Conference (NYC/Stonybrook, NY).
"Greed" Performed by Abderrahman Anzaldua
Dr. Christopher Biggs is a composer and mulitmedia artist residing in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he is assistant professor of digital composition at Western Michigan University. Biggs’ recent projects focus on integrating live instrumental performance with interactive audiovisual media. In addition to collaborating with artists in other disciplines on projects, he treats all of his works as collaborations between himself and the initial performing artist by working with the performers during the creative process and considering their specific skills and preferences.
Biggs’ music has been presented across the United States and Europe, as well as in Latin America and Asia. His music is regularly performed on conferences and festivals, including the SEAMUS Conference, Visiones Sonoras, Electronic Music Midwest, and Society for Composers Inc. His music is available on Ravello Records, Irritable Hedgehog, and Peanut Shell Productions.
Biggs received the 2008 Missouri Music Teacher’s Association composer of the year award, the 2009 SEMAUS/ASCAP first place award, the 2011 MACRO International Composition Award, the 2012 Issa Music and Dance Faculty Award, and a 2013 Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative Grant. He was a Preparing Future Faculty Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2007 to 2010.
Biggs teaches acoustic and electronic music composition, electronic music, digital media, and music theory. He received degrees from American University (B.A. in print journalism), The University of Arizona (M.M. in music composition), and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (D.M.A. in music composition). He studied music composition with Zhou Long, Chen Yi, James Mobberley, Joao Pedro Oliveira, Daniel Asia, and Paul Rudy.
Per Bloland is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music praised by the New York Times for his “ear-opening electronic innovations.” His compositions range from intimate solo pieces to works for large orchestra, and incorporate video, dance, and custom built electronics. He has received awards and recognition from organizations including IRCAM, SEAMUS/ASCAP, Digital Art Awards of Tokyo, ISCM, the Martirano Competition, and SCI/ASCAP. He has received commissions from the Guerilla Opera Company, Wild Rumpus, the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), Ensemble Pi, the Callithumpian Consort, Stanford’s CCRMA, SEAMUS/ASCAP, the Kenners, Michael Straus and Patti Cudd. His music can be heard on the TauKay (Italy), Capstone, Spektral, and SEAMUS labels, and through the MIT Press. A portrait CD of his work, performed by the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.
Bloland is the co-creator of the Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano, about which he has given numerous lecture/demonstrations and published a paper. He is an Assistant Professor of Technology and Music Theory at Miami University, Ohio, and recently completed a five-month Musical Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris. He received his D.M.A. in composition from Stanford University and his M.M. from the University of Texas at Austin.
"Introit" Performed by Sam Wells
Richard Johnson is a multimedia artist and composer whose interest in music was piqued during a childhood heavily impacted by film. Equal parts Kurosawa and Spielberg combined to create his ongoing interest in culture and history, the music of Takemitsu and Williams, and an obsession with mystery, adventure, and storytelling. This blend of interests is most clearly present in his set of pieces for soloists, electronics, and video entitled Quaerere Sententias.
Richard’s music has been performed throughout the United States and internationally, and has been presented at events such as SEAMUS, Electronic Music Midwest, Electro-Acoustic Barn Dance, SCI conferences, Thailand International Composers’ Festival, and the Festival Internacional Punto de Ecuentro in Spain.
In 2012, Richard received his DMA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he studied with Chen Yi, James Mobberley, Paul Rudy, and Zhou Long. He also holds degrees from the Hartt School at University of Hartford (MM) and West Chester University of Pennsylvania (BM).
Richard is the Assistant Professor of Multimedia Arts Technology at Western Michigan University.
Workshop I: Introduction to Electronics
This workshop introduces the participant to the basics of performing with electronics. Included is an introduction to common hardware, microphone and speaker placement, and the basics of signal flow. By the workshop's end, the participant will know how to setup for performances and rehearsals.
Workshop II: Introduction to DAWs
This workshop explores performing fixed media pieces, and teaches how to work with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for performance and rehearsal. At the end of the workshop, the participant will be able to navigate four commonly used DAW's (Ardour, Audacity, Logic X, and ProTools), and will know how to apply this knowledge to the use of other DAW's.
Workshop III: Introduction to Max
This workshop introduces the participant to Max: a graphic programming language that is the most common platform for music with live electronics. We will learn basic Max code, learn how to read a Max patch, and learn how to work within that environment. Participants will be able to troubleshoot common problems with Max, build rehearsals patches, and setup interactive works for performance and rehearsal.
Workshop IV: Troubleshooting Part I: Home
This workshop explores how to rehearse and troubleshoot music at home and is the culmination of knowledge gained in the first three workshops. Looking at music for both fixed media and live electronics, the participant will be asked to address problems with faulty patches and find ways to effectively rehearse in a home or studio setting.
Workshop V: Troubleshooting Part II: Performance
This workshop involves troubleshooting during a performance. Various in-hall challenges will be presented, and the participants will be asked to setup for a recital, and then fix problems. By the end of this workshop, participants will have all of the necessary tools to successfully setup, learn, rehearse, and perform Electroacoustic music.
Workshop VI: EARepertoire
This workshop introduces the participants to a brief survey of electroacoustic music that combines instruments and electronics. We will study and listen to major works that integrate a live instrument with electronics and explore the evolutionary history of this medium.
Workshop VII: Interactive Event Manager
While earlier workshops presented the basic concepts required to be self-sufficient in the performance of electroacoustic music, this workshop will demonstrate more advanced ways to apply these principles in performance and rehearsal. Participants will learn about coordinating individual works or entire concerts within a standard system developed by David Wetzel.
Electronic Music Aesthetics and Repertoire
This workshop will increase participants' familiarity with the vast repertoire of electroacoustic compositions, emphasizing discussion of relevant aesthetic issues. Time will be spent on critical listening sessions in which selected pieces are played in their entirety (time permitting) and discussed in terms of compositional effectiveness, historical place in the canon, and aesthetic decisions, conscious or unconscious, made by the composers.
For students with previous experience in a Digital Audio Workstation, this workshop facilitates a detailed understanding of filters, dynamics processing, delay-based effects, modulation, distortion, reverb, and FFT. Composers completing this workshop will have the ability to intentionally employ effects for creative purposes.
Introduction to Max
For students with little to no previous experience working in Max or Pure Data, this workshop teaches composers to complete simple, useful tasks in Max and Jitter, such as writing algorithms for processing MIDI information, basic synthesis, and triggering sound files. Student completing this workshop will have the ability to complete simple tasks in Max/MSP, to understand the basic workings of the applications, and think creatively about the possibilities provided by the software.
Intermediate and Advanced Max
For students with previous experience working with Max or Pure Data, this workshop teaches composers the basics of creative interactive works with Max. Composers completing this workshop will be able to create basic interactions between external data sources (sound sources, midi controllers, etc…) and internal data sources (synthesizers, sound files, etc…), and think creatively about generating interactive works.
Live Sound and Event Production
A limited number of composers will receive a reduced participation fee and do live sound reinforcement for the end of the week participation concerts. Composers will learn the basics of live sound reinforcement and event production, including microphones, digital and analog mixers, surround sound speaker arrays, and stage management.