John Ahern performs on harpsichord with members of the Stanford Baroque Soloists: Elan Degenais, violin; Eren Billir, cello; Emily Graber, violin; Eun-Mee Jeong, violin; Alessandra Aquilanti, viola; George Anderson, viola; Lennart Jansson, cello; and Janice Gho, bass.
The program will include works from Peter Phillips, William Byrd, Jan Peterson Sweelinck, and J. S. Bach.
This colloquium and concert by David A. Jaffe highlights 30 years of spatial music with computers. In the mid-1950s, American composer Henry Brant wrote that “single-style music can no longer evoke the multi-directional assaults of contemporary life on the spirit.” In pursuit of a framework for music based on simultaneity, he made a series of experiments and compositions exploring the physical position of sounds as an essential compositional element. Jaffe met Brant in the mid-1970s, and became a life-long friend and advocate. In 1979, at CCRMA, he began applying the principles of acoustic spatial music to the computer domain. In this colloquium and concert, Jaffe discusses and presents three of his spatial works, spanning a 30-year period.
Silicon Valley Breakdown for synthetic plucked strings (1982) will be heard in a newly-restored form, a rare opportunity to hear this well-known work in its original 4-channel format. Impossible Animals (1986) for live performers and computer-synthesized voices creates a hybrid human-bird vocalise, as if the brain of a bird were transplanted into the body of a wildly-gifted soprano. Finally, The Space Between Us (2011), an acoustic spatial work with interactive computer control, uses 21 robotic mechanical instruments created by Trimpin, positioned around and above the audience. A video of this work will be presented, featuring CCRMA alumnus Andrew Schloss performing on a new version of the Boie / Mathews Radiodrum, accompanied by eight string players distributed throughout the hall.
David A. Jaffe (b. 1955) is a composer, performer, and computer music innovator. He attended Bennington College and Stanford University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1983, and has taught at Princeton University, UC San Diego, Melbourne University, and Stanford. His large catalogue is noted for its personal "maximalist" approach in the American experimentalist tradition of Charles Ives and Henry Brant, as well as its ground-breaking use of technology in pieces such as Silicon Valley Breakdown, frequently cited as a a landmark of computer music. Also an expert programmer, he was hired by Steve Jobs in 1987 to collaborate with Julius O. Smith in creating music software for the NeXT Computer. He later co-founded Staccato Systems, Inc. and is currently Senior Scientist/Engineer at Universal Audio, Inc. Jaffe's music has been performed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and numerous chamber ensembles, with commissions from the Kronos Quartet, the Russian National Orchestra, Cello Octet Amsterdam, Chanticleer, and others. His music has been featured on the San Francisco Symphony chamber music series and at festivals in 26 countries, including the Berlin Festival, the American Festival in London, and the Venice Biennale.
Mirror Image is an original musical by Louis Lagalante and Patty Kim Hamilton. This is Louis' senior honors project in the Department of Music, directed by Patty Kim Hamilton.
The celebrated mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is a radiant-voiced artist of remarkable depth and range, equally masterful singing Monteverdi, Mozart, Massenet, and the role of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s hit contemporary opera Dead Man Walking. “America’s favorite mezzo,” as Gramophone called her, this star of the world’s great operatic and concert stages is particularly renowned for her French repertoire but can also swing an American standard.
Piano students perform (program TBA).
The Stanford New Ensemble, conducted by Jindong Cai, presents Vela 6911, a multimedia piece by Victor Gama. The ensemble will feature a variety of instruments designed by the composer, accompanied by video he shot in Antarctica in January 2012.
Vela 6911 is based on the diary of a South African Navy officer, lieutenant Lindsey Rooke, who took part in a secret nuclear weapons test conducted by the apartheid regime in 1979 off the coast of Antarctica. The test, detected by a U.S. satellite called Vela, was the validation of a military power that engulfed the whole Southern African region in a cold-war conflict in the late '70s and '80s. Rooke's diary reveals someone in contradiction between her love for nature and the mission she was on, which left a trace of devastation, death, and radioactive contamination in one of the most pristine and protected environments on earth.
The idea to compose Vela 6911 started at Stanford in 2010 when Gama was SiCa Arts Visitor at the Humanities Center. Valuable contributions towards its research phase were provided by Stanford University Libraries. The piece was subsequently commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and premiered at Harris Theatre in 2012.
All of Gama's video, photographs, and research documentation for Vela 6911 are now part of Stanford University Library’s Archive of Recorded Sound.