Electronic Music Studio - Concert II

Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 7:30pm, Stark Opera Studio

Hybrid Systems

Sivan Cohen Elias, EMS director

Stephan Carlson, teaching assistant

This concert includes compositions by graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty for fixed media, mixed media, and real time performances with live electronics. It includes five pieces by students of the Electronic Media II course, which are their final projects. All those pieces are using Max/MSP and Jitter programming environment to create works that process inter-reactive processes between sound and video manipulations in real time. They were all recorded at the Stark Opera Studio especially for this event.


|| download program ||

The Walking on Sol. ver-vary

Nima Bahremand; Ramin Roshandel

Instrumentation: fixed-/multi-media
        How do the ancient beliefs and tales, or lullabies, become manifestations of what is happening before our eyes? -- The whispers of the past are signals of today’s events. The Walking on Sol. ver-vary is a two-channel video projection, in which by using digital transportation and reconstruction, it represents documentation and investigation of the truth and fiction of the slaughterhouse of a Persian myth — a giant gluttonous worm. The destruction of the worm is believed to have sealed a permanent curse on the city, which causes drought, and the city would eventually be destroyed.


Sanggeun Choi

Instrumentation: real time processing of a Max and Jitter patch
*Final project in the Max/MSP/Jitter course: Electronic Media II: Hybrid Systems

Collapsing Shells

Hongwei Cai

Instrumentation: solo double bass and live electronics
Performer: Will Yager
        Collapsing Shells was inspired by astrophysical conjectures related to the “frozen star” paradox, a phenomenon predicted by general relativity. During the gravitational collapsing of a star, the clock inside the shell slows down as the dust shells collapse toward the existing black hole. In real astrophysical settings, matter can pass through the event horizon of the black hole according to the clock of the external observer and will not accumulate around the black hole. In this case, when matter falls towards a black hole, it will not form a “frozen star” to the external observer. Through this work, I attempt to depict the phenomenon by creating several combinations of gestures for the soloist with guided improvisations and a series of max patches.

Doran Black

Max Denney

Instrumentation: no-input mixer with real time processing of a Max and Jitter patch
*Final project in the Max/MSP/Jitter course: Electronic Media II: HybridSystems
        Doran Black is a structured improvisation for feedback and electronics. A no-input mixer is used as the main feedback source, which is performed live and run through a Max/MSP patch that performers spectral analysis on the incoming sound and renders it using visual noise and feedback. The audio feedback is also fed through a resonant equalizer that the performer also controls. Doran Black is named for a type of hybrid aloe plant.


Stephan Carlson

Instrumentation: fixed-media
        A folk-ballad laced with electronic and granular synthesis techniques, serving as a space for reflection upon and confrontation of the individual’s identity and place within the dominant (Christian) religious communities of the United States.

meat jib

Will Yager

Instrumentation: double-bass, live processing of Max and Jitter patch
Performer: Will Yager
*Final project in the Max/MSP/Jitter course: Electronic Media II: Hybrid Systems.
meat jib is a visual environment for solo performer. The projection creates space for and is influenced by the sonic contribution of the performer, before gradually asserting its own will and culminating in a more synthesized result.

Memory III/IV: Chimaeram

Trinton Prater

Instrumentation: chamber ensemble
(percussion, piano, violin, viola, cello, bass), voice, and analog synthesis
        In Greek mythology, the Chimera is an offspring of Typhon and Echidna: a monster composed of the parts of many animals. Literally translating to “she-goat,” the creature is always female and most often depicted as a three-headed beast with the body of a lion, a goat’s head protruding from its back, and a tail like a serpent, sometimes with the head of the serpent at the tip of the tail. In Medieval art, creatures similar to the Chimera were used to embody the forces of raw nature. In genetics, a chimera is a single organism composed of cells with more than one distinct genotype.


Anshuman Sahu

Instrumentation: real time processing of a Max and Jitter patch
*Final project in the Max/MSP/Jitter course: Electronic Media II: Hybrid Systems

blue chalk

Max Denney

Instrumentation: standing bells, tape loops, and electronics
        blue chalk is an improvisation for standing bells, tape loops, and electronics. Various gestures and fragments of the bell playing are recorded live to cassette tape loops, which are then fed through a granular processing patch to create the layered textures of the piece. The title blue chalk comes from a species of South African succulents found growing in the cracks and crevices of sandstone cliffs.

Three shape shifters

Jessica Dzielinski

Instrumentation: real time processing of a Max and Jitter patch
*Final project in the Max/MSP/Jitter course: Electronic Media II: Hybrid Systems

Status of Pietà

Nima Bahremand; Ramin Roshandel

Medium: video-art
        The Status of Pietà is a video-sound art collaboration between Nima Bahrehmand and Ramin Roshandel; it examines the notion of machine vision in the context of the humanitarian crisis in the middle east. On one level, across the region, networks of decentralized wars have ebbed and flowed, determining what the region should and can be. On the other, the lives of its people are under surveillance 24/7 by mechanical eyes - drones and satellites - that capture them from a distance. So, how can a Machine/an AI read, process, and represent the shattered and repressed bodies and lives of people in the middle east? In this project, images of the Syrian war were imported into a pre-trained AI called BigBiGAN. The machine then generated similar images based on the given images, in which war victims embraced other human beings as they fled the bombing. The images represent not only human emotions, but they also evoke inhumanity. The machine vision outcome is a collection of abstract and pixelates images — images that tend to move — with a low-frequency movement. Although the images are blurry and shattered, they powerfully represent the anxiety and restlessness of a region that is under constant crisis.

Technicolor Turbulence

Stephan Carlson

Instrumentation: fixed-/multi-media
        Technicolor Turbulence is a work in progress. This sampling offers to you the results of weeks of experimentation with multilayered frequency modulation and waveshaping. Various components of the sounds are monitored by Max/MSP and translated for use as variable control data for 3D graphics in Jitter.

Music for Giselle (Unused)

Max Denney

Instrumentation: fixed media
Music for Giselle (Unused) was created for Julia Cooper’s thesis project Trapped in the Folds, a reimagining and reinterpretation of the classical ballet Giselle. The work layers distorted and incoherent fragments of the original ballet against slowly shifting noise and drones.


Sivan Cohen Elias

Instrumentation: double bass and live electronics
Performers: Will Yager & Sivan Cohen Elias
        In the center of Reset is a rotation between beginnings and endings, torn-up sonic memories of nature, music, noise, repeatedly coming to an end and starting over. The materials get stuck, get lost, get cut, get frozen, get melted, and yet keep starting over. We dive inside an oily past, present, and future while the center remains unclear, so we start over again and again.


Sivan Cohen Elias is a composer-performer (b. Israel). Her work is cross-disciplinary using the body, everyday objects, installations, technological interventions and musical instruments to all constantly contribute to, and disrupt, one another’s domains. She looks to materials that appear in “in-between” places; places where contradictory impulses - performance, task, absurdity, tension, humor – operate simultaneously.
Cohen Elias has received various international awards, residencies, and commissions, including the Fromm Commission Award 2020, winner of the Music Theatre Composition Competition Staatstheater Darmstadt 2016, Akademie Schloss Solitude fellowship 2012-13, and Impuls Composition Competition award 2009.
Her works have been commissioned, broadcast, and performed by ensembles and performers internationally, including Klangforum Wien, MusikFabrik, Dal Niente, Jack Quartet, Distractfold, in festivals such as Darmstadt, Bludenz, Wien Modern, Witten, among many others.
She received her Ph.D. in composition from Harvard University, where she studied with Chaya Czernowin. Currently, she is finishing her third year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, where she has been teaching composition and electronic media and served as the interim director of the Electronic Music Studio. From August 2021, she relocates to New York.