What is SPLICE?

SPLICE (Summer institute for Performance, Listening, Interpretation, and Creation of Electroacoustic music) is a weeklong, intensive program for performers and composers to experience, explore, interpret, and create music for instruments and electronics. Composers and performers participate in workshops, master classes, private lessons, and performances. Faculty members work directly with participants and auditors to provide feedback and guidance. Participants and auditors select from a variety of workshops and activities depending on their specific interests and previous experience with electronic music and technology. Participant composers will have a new or previously composed work performed at the festival, and participant performers will play one to two works at SPLICE, including the opportunity to collaborate with a participant composer and premiere a new work at SPLICE. Community building and collaboration are at the heart of SPLICE: attendees will become part of a community that will continue to grow and develop beyond the event.

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Who is SPLICE for?

SPLICE is designed for performers and composers who are interested in new music that integrates performance with electronics. Performers engage in workshops that provide them with the knowledge to setup and problem solve the technology typically required to perform with electronics, as well as learning about the aesthetic and performance considerations of this medium. Participant performers perform one to two works at SPLICE. Composers with previous experience in electroacoustic composition receive higher-level instruction in areas such as interactive systems and programming, while composers with limited previous knowledge learn techniques to improve their creative capacity with digital media, including basic programming. Each participant composer will have their work featured on a concert in a performance by one of the student performers, SPLICE performance faculty, or a guest performer.

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Who is involved?

SPLICE offers direct feedback and interaction with a highly experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable faculty. The faculty is comprised of composers who specialize in writing music for instruments and electronics, and performers who regularly perform interactive electroacoustic music and are experts in the creating, problem-solving, and optimizing the expressive potential of technology-based performances. For SPLICE 2017 the guest performer will be Mari Kimura, a violinist and composer who works extensively with technology and is a pioneer of interactive computer music. The guest composer will be Paula Matthusen, a composer who has written extensively for instruments and electronics and who received the 2014 Elliott Carter Rome Prize.

SPLICE 2016 faculty will include:

Christopher Biggs, Director of SPLICE Institute and Composition Faculty
Per Bloland, Composition Faculty
Richard Johnson, Director of Technology, Web Design, and Composition Faculty
Mari Kimura, Guest Performance Faculty
Keith Kirchoff, Director of Performance Activities and Performance Faculty
Elainie Lillios, Director of Composition Activities and Composition Faculty
Paula Matthusen, Guest Composition Faculty
Adam Vidiksis, Coordinator of Admissions and Calls and Performance Faculty
Samuel Wells, Assistant Director of Performance Activities, Coordinator of Concert Tech, and Performance Faculty

For more info on our Faculty, visit the Faculty page.

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What do attendees do at SPLICE?

Attendees engage in workshops, lessons, discussions, and collaboration meetings. A typical day includes two workshops in the morning, with private and group lessons, rehearsals, master classes, and presentations in the afternoon. Each day ends with a concert by members of the SPLICE Ensemble.

Performers engage with faculty in workshops that introduce the concepts of electroacoustic music performance. These include sessions introducing common hardware and software, basic programming, troubleshooting, and repertoire exposure. Performers with sufficient previous experience with electronics can attend the workshops that cover more advanced material.

Composers with limited experience with electroacoustic composition will participate in workshops that expand their current knowledge and skills with digital audio workstations and basic programming. Composers with significant previous experience will participate in workshops involving more advanced programming, and discussions that relate aesthetic outcomes to creative process and programming structures.

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What specific workshops are offered?

The composition faculty will lead workshops with a general focus on Coding Extensions, which will include a beginner and advanced SuperCollider workshop, in addition to workshops related to working with JavaScript in Max, Max for Live, and signal processing algorithms in Gen. There will also be introductory workshops that explore extensions of digital audio workstations and an introduction to Max.

Performance faculty will lead performance workshops geared towards working with electronics without the aid of a composer or sound engineer: How does one setup the hall for performance? How does one optimize a Max patch for performance? How does one communicate with the available sound engineer to express needs and requirements? What if there isn’t a sound engineer available? What is the best and most essential equipment needed to get started?

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What is the difference between a participant and an auditor?

Auditors and participants attend the same workshops, concerts, group lessons, discussions, and master classes. However, unlike participants, auditors do not receive private lessons, do not show work in group lessons, do not perform (in concert or master classes), and do not receive a performance of their work. Composers and performers should audit SPLICE to gain hands-on experience working with audio software and hardware, engage in aesthetic discussions, attend concerts, refresh or extend technical knowledge, and experience the community-oriented and collaborative environment which is at the core of SPLICE.

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What do you participant-performers perform at SPLICE?

Participant performers have the option to play one to two pieces at SPLICE on the participant concerts. Most participant performers will have the option to premiere a work by a participant composer at the event. Participant composers and participant performers will be paired prior to the event in order to collaborate on the creation of the new work. These works will be created before SPLICE, and meetings and rehearsals will occur at SPLICE. If a participant performer does not want to be paired with a composer, this can be indicated in the application.

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What if you are both a performer and a composer?

If you are a performer and a composer who is interested in doing aspects of both programs, you should submit two separate applications. There is no application fee and there is no increase in cost for doing aspects of both programs. If you are a performer who would like attend the general workshops, not the performer specific workshops, you do not need to submit an additional application. You only need to submit an additional application, if you want to have work you have written performed by another performer or yourself.

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How do you apply?

Applications are due by 11:59pm Eastern Time on February 15, 2017.

Please apply by completing this form.

If you are applying as a participant composer or performer, be prepared to submit 2-3 links to samples of your work as a single zip file. Please supply scores in PDF format, audio in mp3 format, and video in mp4 format. Other formats are acceptable, but these are the preferred formats.

Participant COMPOSER applicants will submit recordings and scores (if applicable) of 2-3 compositions, with at least one work that involves an electroacoustic element. These works will be considered for performance by the participant performers, performance faculty, and guest performers as applicable. Most participant composers will write a new piece that will be premiered at SPLICE by a participant performer or performance faculty.

Participant PERFORMER applicants will submit recordings of 2-3 solo works, it is encouraged to submit one work that was written after 1950.

AUDITORS do not have to submit work samples, but it is encouraged. All applicants will be considered to be accepted as auditors after the participant slots are filled.

The single zip file should be labelled as follows: lastName_firstName_applicationType, where application type is PP (performer participant), CP (composition participant), PA (performance auditor), or CA (composition auditor). Zip files must not exceed 10GB, but please keep them relatively small by working with the suggested file formats.

You should also be prepared to answer questions about the following:

  • Housing and meal preferences
  • Short answers related to your previous experiences in performance or composition, your previous experience with technology, and your interest in attending SPLICE
  • If you want to collaborate with another participant to create or perform a new work at SPLICE
  • If you are seeking scholarship information, be prepared to provide information related to your previous experience with stage management and working with technology in performance situations.

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What do we do at SPLICE?
(Why is SPLICE important?)

SPLICE is designed to improve technical and aesthetic practice related to both the performance and creation of electroacoustic music, to foster community, and to facilitate collaboration. We are dedicated to building a community of individuals interested in performing and creating works for instruments that exists beyond the event itself.

In our view, the most interesting, expressive, and diverse accompaniment for a single performer or chamber group is digital media. However, detailed technical and aesthetic education related to the performance and creation of electroacoustic music is rare: almost non-existent for performers and often undervalued or limited for composers. Therefore, we are dedicated to facilitating the ability to perform, create, and produce music with electronics at the highest level. We believe the community-building and collaborative experiences that are at the core of what SPLICE provides will increase the visibility and quality of work involving performance and electronics.

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When and where is SPLICE 2016?

June 11 - June 17, 2016 at Western Michigan University, located in Kalamazoo, MI

Participant performers and composers will need to arrive at Western Michigan University by 1 pm on Sunday, June 11th in order to have initial collaboration meetings.

Auditors will need to arrive by 7:30 PM on Sunday, June 11th for orientation.

The activities will not until the evening of Saturday, June 17th at 10 PM. Most individuals do not leave on Sunday morning, the following day.

If you must arrive late or leave early special arrangements can be made, but it is strongly encouraged that everyone attend SPLICE for the complete duration.

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What do you need to bring?

SPLICE is intended for students of all levels of familiarity with electroacoustics. It is strongly encouraged for every student to bring a laptop. For performers this is less significant. For composers if you do not have a laptop, you can still learn by taking notes and watching others, but generally, it is best to do the work along with the demonstrations that occur in the workshops. If you own an audio interface, please bring it. However, ownership of equipment is not required for participation, and students will be provided opportunities to work with this equipment through the week.

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How much does it cost? When are fees due?

The total cost that you will pay to SPLICE will be the program fee, in addition to room and board. We do not arrange your travel. SPLICE is dedicated to providing the highest possible quality at the lowest possible cost. Our attendee to faculty ratio will be approximately 5:1.

The program fees are as follows:

  • Early registration participant program fee is $600
    A deposit of $300 is due on March 22nd, 2017 and the final payment, which includes the remainder of the program fee and your individual room and board costs are due on May 8th.
  • Late registration participant program fee is $700
    A deposit of $400 is due on April 22nd, 2017 and the final payment, which includes the remainder of the program fee and your individual room and board costs are due on May 8th.
  • Auditor program fee is $400
    A deposit of $200 is due on April 22nd, 2017 and the final payment, which includes the remainder of the program fee and your individual room and board costs are due on May 8th.

You are not required to stay on campus or to eat meals in the cafeteria; however, that is part of the community-building feature of SPLICE and the prices are quite reasonable, so all attendees are encouraged to eat meals in the cafeteria. The faculty will eat almost all their meals at the cafeteria. (Note that these prices are subject to change, but any change should not be substantial and could be lower.) Housing and meal payments are due on May 8th along with the remainder of the program fee. Also some individuals will probably need to pay for housing for eight days in order to be prepared to start activities on Sunday, June 11th.


  • Single-occupancy room will be about $27 per night: $189 for the week
  • Double-occupancy room will be about $23 per night: $161 for the week
  • Single-occupancy room with air conditioning will be about $35 per night: $245
  • Double-occupancy room with air conditioning will be about $25 per night: $175
  • There are also hotels in the area.


Three meals per day costs approximately $28 per day: $196 for the week

The total cost of attending SPLICE will be the program fee + room + board. This does not include scholarship reductions. Nor does this include travel costs. Attendees will be put in contact with each other in order to coordinate driving to Kalamazoo and other travel. We will arrange rides to and from the airport, bus station, and train station in Kalamazoo on Sunday, June 11th and Saturday, June 10th.

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Are there scholarships?

There are a limited number of work-study positions, in addition to performance and composition scholarships available.

Participant performers who premiere a work by a participant composer will receive an automatic $200 program fee reduction. Participant performers who are interested in this opportunity simply select this option during the application process, and those awarded this scholarship will be required to collaborate with and premiere a work by one of the participant composers. Some performers might have the opportunity to collaborate with an additional composer, which would be an additional $100 program fee reduction.

Participant composers who receive a scholarship will be required to participate in concerts and rehearsal management, including stage management and live sound reinforcement. Participant composers who are interested in providing auxiliary live sound reinforcement and stage management, simply select this option during the application and provide any information regarding your qualifications. Scholarships for composers who help with live sound reinforcement will range from a $100-$250 program fee reduction. Participants providing this service will be required to attend the live sound reinforcement workshop and miss a few other activities when their duties during rehearsals conflict with other activities.

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What are the room and board accommodations?

The room and board accommodations are very reasonably priced. The meals are cafeteria-style meals similar to what is found at most state universities. The rooms are in a relatively old dormitory. There will be some rooms available with air conditioning.

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What are all the important dates? (All dates are 2017)

  • Wednesday, February 15 at 11:59 PM EST: EXTENDED Application Deadline
  • Wednesday, March 8: Initial announcements of acceptances and waitlist. This will also be the beginning of pairing participant composers and performers for collaborative projects.
  • Wednesday, March 22: Deadline for early-registration participant program fee deposit. A non-refundable $300 deposit is required. This will also be the beginning of the second round of pairing participant composers and performers and updating waitlisted applications on their status. Waitlisted applicants will be able to pay the early-registration fee at a later date.
  • Friday, April 21: Deadline for late-registration participant program fee deposit and auditor program fee deposit. A non-refundable $300 deposit is required. Participant composers who will have an existing work played at SPLICE must send all performance materials to the performing artist.
  • Monday, May 8: Deadline for paying the remainder of the program fee and the room and board cost.
  • Wednesday, May 17: Deadline for participant composers writing a new work to send the collaborating performer a draft of the notation of the work. This can be provided earlier, but not later than this date.
  • Friday, June 2: Deadline for participant composers writing a new work to send the collaborating performer a semi-final score and any other necessary materials required for rehearsal prior to the meetings that will occur at SPLICE. Composers should only expect minor changes to be possible after the start of SPLICE, since all participants will be busy during the week. This will also be the deadline for all participant composers to send all necessary performance materials and technical information via a Google Form to SPLICE.

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What is SPLICE’s role within the collaborative process for composers and performers working together to premiere a piece at SPLICE? What does SPLICE recommend and require regarding this process?

Outside of the deadlines indicated under important dates, SPLICE allows participants to find a collaborative process that works for them. Communicating and figuring out how to work together is largely the responsibility of the participants; however, each collaborative team will be assigned a faculty member who will contact the collaborative team during the collaborative process. Also, all individuals collaborating on a new work will meet together with a faculty member during the afternoon on Sunday, June 11th. We are dedicated to facilitating these collaborative processes and hope that attendees at SPLICE will form relationships that result in future collaborations and projects. We do suggest the following regarding the collaborative projects that will premiere at SPLICE:

  • As soon as you are paired with someone, begin communications regarding creating a plan that works for both collaborators, including more specific deadlines, aesthetic considerations, and technical concerns.
  • Make sure that you are being clear regarding your preferences, while also being responsive and open-minded to the ideas and concerns of your collaborator.
  • If something is not clear to you, continue to ask questions until it is clear.
  • We recommend that, given the time restrictions inherent in this type of process, that these collaborations and premieres be viewed as works-in-process; however, a number of collaborations from previous years did result in final products that went on to presented at conferences, such as SEAMUS, NYCEMF, ICMC, and the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium.

The requirements regarding these works are as follows:

  • The technology required can not exceed the equipment that we have available*
  • The program note must include a statement that the work was written to premier at SPLICE
  • The works may not exceed 8 minutes in duration, unless special permission is provided and both members of the collaborating team agree to the duration.
  • The composers must create work that performer performs without the composer. This requirement facilitates learning objectives for performers, problem-solving and setting the piece for performance, and composers, providing a score and technology that can be realized regarding of their presence.

*SPLICE has access to the music technology equipment at Western Michigan University during the week. This technology is quite robust and includes numerous microphone options, speaker configuration possibilities, software, and all other equipment common in these performance situations. For anything that is exceptional, please inquire about your tech needs early on in the process. We are happy to provide various speaker configuration options, but cannot move speakers between pieces during concerts; therefore, we will need this information early in the process in order to make sure that individual desires regarding performances are not mutually exclusive.

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