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Final Notes on SEAMUS 2009

50th Anniversary of UofI Experimental Music Studios

At the end of his presentation on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios, Scott Wyatt handed out a 4-CD set of music produced in the studios. It’s a pretty comprehensive collection, containing tracks from composers like Lejaren Hiller, Herbert Brun, Sever Tipei and Scott Wyatt. But it also contains some nice gems from composers who I was only vaguely familiar with.

The 4-CD set is certainly one of the nicest freebies that I’ve ever gotten at one of these conferences.

The 4-CD set handed out by Scott Wyatt
The 4-CD set handed out by Scott Wyatt

More Coverage of SEAMUS 2009 on Other Blogs

Nathan Edwards, one of my travelling companions, has posted some nice pictures and blog posts about the conference.

Asymmetry Music Magazine just posted a rundown of last year’s conference, and I know that they will be posting a review of this year’s conference shortly.

The SEAMUS 2009 Program

If you’re still curious about what you missed, you can get the SEAMUS 2009 program from the Sweetwater site. It’s worth browsing, just to get an overview of the music that was presented.

Later this week I will be posting a few final links related to the music at SEAMUS, if I can manage to track down a few more recordings.


Welcome to the new This is also the new, transplanted home of Please bear with me as I get content transferred over.

Tesla Coil Demo from SEAMUS 2009

The final event of SEAMUS was a musical demonstration of a pair of tesla coils. It was an amazing demo, and it was lightened up by an interruption from a streaker.

Video by Nate Edwards

Pictures From Friday at SEAMUS 2009

This is Christopher Ariza giving an interesting talk on a pioneer of algorithmic composition who was previously unknown to me: Sister Harriet Padberg

Christopher Ariza on Sister Harriet Padberg

And this is Scott Wyatt speaking on the 50th anniversary of The University of Illinois Experimental Music Studio.

Scott Wyatt on UI EMS

And here is just another sound check.

sound check at SEAMUS 2009

ViPer by Tae Hong Park

At the 10am concert, one of the more interesting pieces was Tae Hong Park’s ViPer. The piece was scheduled for a live performance, but at the last minute, the performers were unable to be there. So we listened to a recorded version, which was still quite compelling.

This piece has no program notes, and the only note online reads “for violin, drum kit and 7 channel tape.”

ViPer by Tae Hong Park

Displaced Resonance

In this video, I talk with Michael Pounds, one of the creators of Displaced Resonance, an installation at SEAMUS 2009.

Calligraphy of Dynasties by Lorelei Tong

This is an excerpt from Calligraphy of Dynasties by Lorelei Tong. The full piece was presented at the 10am concert.

Calligraphy of Dynasties is an 8-channel electro-acoustic composition for Chinese calligraphy of Han dynasty, Tang dynasty, and Ming dynasty. The music tries to capture the drama of the characters being written, which are hypothetically presented in 2D animation composited with close shots of real-time handwriting. For each dynasty, the most representative instruments are chosen as source material for the music. For instance, bronze bells, Qin and Xun are used for Han dynasty; short samples of Kun opera are used for Ming dynasty. The music is dynastically contextualized. The spatialization basically follows the strokes in a sonic space, most precisely in the section of Ming dynasty, least precisely in Tang dynasty, according to the cultural themes and the styles of the calligraphy.