Surround Sound Salon Series (SSSS) #3
Featuring: Maggi Payne – Michelle Moeller- Léa Boudreau – T.D. Skatchit & Company
**Due to recommendations from the CA Department of Public Health related to the Coronavirus outbreak, we are canceling this event.**
The third edition of this monthly, informal series at CNM features three 20 minute sets of fixed media audio pieces (tape music) that have in common the theme of nature. The first set is by Bay Area legend Maggi Payne, and is entirely composed using natural sounds she recorded over her whole 50+ year career. The second set features two pieces that were recently premiered at the San Francisco Tape Music Festival, by composers Michelle Moeller and Léa Boudreau, reprised here through the Center’s 8-channel surround system, generously provided by Meyer Sound. The third set is an eight-channel version of pieces composed for 20 acoustic and electronic musicians organized and arranged for surround sound by David Michalak. The musicians mix their pieces from the center of the space, and the audience is free to choose their own listening location, and to move within the space to hear the music from different vantage points.
Immersion, was composed for the Downtown Berkeley BART plaza’s outdoor eight-channel sound installation. All sounds in the piece are taken from field recordings made in natural settings by the composer over many years, starting in the 1970s and ending just a few days before the piece was premiered.
Maggi Payne is a composer primarily of electronic and electroacoustic music, a video artist, and flutist. She is a recording engineer/editor, archivist, and historical remastering engineer. She obtained music degrees from Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, and Mills College, where she taught from the ‘70s to 2018. She was Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College (1992-2018).
Spoke explores the possibilities generated by a simple field recording interacting with synthesis parameters. Meticulously crafted timbres are driven by a bicycle spoke sample recorded during my daily commute. Relationships and contingencies were designed to create a composition with a life of its own, allowing textures and tonality to unfold spontaneously. Michelle Moeller is a composer and performer based in Oakland, CA. Having a background as a piano performer and improviser, her approach to composing with electronics is melodically inclined and rich in timbre. She currently studies Music Composition as a graduate student at Mills College.
Quatre machines pour sauver le monde (2019)
(diffused by Kristin Miltner)
In January 2019, students from Jean-Baptiste-Meilleur elementary school in Montréal took part in a little brainstorm: imagine fantastic machines under the theme Quatre machines pour sauver le monde (Four machines to save the world). No limit. No other instruction. All ideas were welcomed. Based on their suggestions, I composed this piece, expressing with sound and music the devices thought out by the youngsters but also their surrounding environment. The work is divided into four parts which respect the original titles given by the schoolchildren:
1) Une machine volante qui fonctionne à la pollution et qui la transforme en air pur (A flying machine that functions with pollution and turns it into fresh air)
2) Une machine-robot en forme d’animal pour sauver les animaux qui n’ont pas de maison et qui sont dans la rue (An animal-shaped robot-machine to save homeless animals that live on the street)
3) Une machine pour envoyer toute la neige qui tombe ici au pôle Nord pour ne plus que ça fonde (A machine to send all the snow falling here to the North Pole so it doesn’t melt anymore)
4) Une machine-bateau-sous-marin pour nettoyer les océans (A machine-boat-submarine to clean the oceans)
Léa Boudreau is a composer, musician and sound artist based in Montréal. Now a final-year digital arts student, she has nourished a passionate relationship with sound since her teenage years. It was a time when she used to spend days as a hermit, listening and creating. Oh how few things have changed. Nowadays, she continues to create with performance and composition in which she hopes to explore the infinite possibilities of everyday objects and to express the thousand of ideas she has kept in her mind for a long time now. In 2019, she won the 3rd place in SIME competition (International Electroacoustic Music Week, Lille University, April 2019) with her piece Recovery. She has received the Marcelle award 2019 from Université de Montréal music department for the work she accomplished during her academic journey. In 2017, she received the 3rd Hugh-Le Caine prize from the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers for her piece Dementia.
T.D. Skatchit (Tom Nunn and David Michalak) & Company
Ear of the Storm Suite (2013)
This turbulent piece is based on an extended skatchbox arrangement inspired by the wild rhythms of tornados, hurricanes, and thunderstorms, and it features a diverse group of musicians (the Company). The listener is in the ear of the storm, where music is born out of the elemental noise only to be whisked away by the wind. It was from released in 2013 on Edgetone Records, and also made available in 5.1 surround. It has been remixed for this 8-channel diffusion by David Michalak. Nunn and Michalak play skatchboxes throughout. The company includes a cast of Bay Area improvisers, including Aurora, Bot Marsh, Ron Heglin, Rent Romus, Bruce Ackleuy, Phillip Greenlief, Tom Djll, Polly Moller, Thollem McDonas, Scott Looney, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Jackob Felix Heule, Doug Carroll and Jonathan Segal.
T.D. Skatchit & Company is a duo featuring Tom Nunn & David Michalak playing Skatchboxes. As the story goes, one day while on a visit to his cousin’s workshop, David picked up the combs and began to play the Skatchbox. Thomas sat in amazement at this first performance on his new invention. And so T.D. Skatchit was formed to spread the Skatch throughout the land performing with other traveling minstrels at carnivals & sideshows or wherever people would listen. They continue to explore the sounds of Skatch in combination with other instruments and have begun work on their 2nd CD called, Skatch Migration to be released as a 5.1 surround sound DVD Audio and CD.
Tom Nunn has built and performed on his own musical inventions since 1975 constructing over 150 instruments including about 50 Skatchboxes. He plays with RTD3, Axallto and is also a member of Ghost In The House and REEL CHANGE. Tom has written and published, Wisdom of The Impulse: On The Nature of Free Improvisation, a book that examines various aspects of this illusive art.
David Michalak plays lap steel guitar, skatchboxes and percussion instruments. He performs regularly in a duo called Doctor Bob, a quartet – Ghost In The House and a live soundtrack band called REEL CHANGE. He’s also a filmmaker, operating his own production company, Eye-Full Films for over 30 years.
*Please note, advance ticket sales will end at 2 pm on the day of the event. Door tickets will be available 30 minutes before showtime.*