Concert France Jobin (CAN) / AIR – ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Lower Austria in Krems in November 2019 concert

  • Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6:00 pm

The Canadian-born sound artist, composer and curator France Jobin immerses herself in the electronic sound worlds of Ernst Krenek’s Buchla synthesizer during her stay in Krems and is inspired by atonal tonal language and works by the composer’s random elements (aleatoric). She explores parallels between atonal-aleatoric principles and modular sound synthesis in a new composition.

For many years, France Jobin has been exploring the sounds and sounds that surround us daily, collecting and “recycling” field recordings to present them in a whole new light. Her audio art refers to her as a “sound sculpture” and shows a minimalist approach to complex sound environments in which the analog and the digital intersect.

France Jobin, composer, sound artist

Ernst Krenek Forum
Minoritenplatz 4
3500 Krems
Austria

France Jobin acknowledges the support of Conseil des arts et des lettres Québec.

Australia tour 2019

Perth – January 25 – 31
Melbourne February 1 – 10
Brisbane February 11 – 13

Perth – January 25 – 31
Audible Edge Festival organized by Tone List

Field Recording & Electronic Composition Masterclass 
27 Jan | 10am – 1pm
28 Jan | 10am – 1pm

PICA Northbridge – Old Customs House Fremantle

Facilitated by renowned minimalist composer and sound artist France Jobin, this two-day workshop will immerse participants in the composition of music using field recordings and different sound processing techniques.

Requirements: Please bring your best pair of headphones, a recording device (lo-fi gear is fine!) and a laptop.

Participation cost: Free, but EOIs to info@tonelist.com.au are essential.

Day 1: Listening & recording
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 10am

Participants will explore the urban environment through sound walks and recording. Recording techniques both conventional and unconventional will be used in order to facilitate new ways of listening to the environment and considering how and why to capture sounds for use in composition. Jobin will also discuss how the recording process itself can facilitate a deeper connection to place, self and others.

Day 2: Processing & composing
Artsource Old Customs House, 10am

Jobin will discuss her own process of manipulating and assembling sounds into compositions. Both technical and conceptual aspects of the processing and composition stage will be discussed, and participants will work on generating short studies to share and discuss with the group.

Concert at PICA 
27 Jan  | 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Perth Cultural Centre, 51 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA, 6003

Artists:
– Ben Greene, Matthias Müller & Kirsten Symczycz
– Laura Altman
– Ryan Burge & Christian Marien
– France Jobin
– Plant: Éric Normand & Jim Denley

Melbourne – February 1 – 10
MESS residency – France will be taking part in a 10 day residency at MESS.

Concert
Saturday 2 February, 3pm

MUMA | Monash University Museum of Art
Ground floor, Building F
Monash University, Caulfied Campus
FREE/// All welcome

In collaboration with Room40, Sound Spaces presents France Jobin and Heinz Riegler.

France Jobin: Intrication

Inspired by quantum entanglement, I have attempted to discover the relationship between sound and observing sound.

France Jobin is a sound / installation / artist, composer and curator residing in Montreal, Canada. Her audio art can be qualified as ‘sound-sculpture’, revealing a minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analogue and digital intersect. Her installations express a parallel path, incorporating both musical and visual elements inspired by the architecture of physical spaces. Her works can be ‘experienced’ in a variety of unconventional spaces and new technology festivals across Canada, the United States, South America, South Africa, Europe and Japan.

www.francejobin.com

Heinz Riegler: Score for Uncertainty 3

(Improvisation for Magnetic Tape, Guitar, MP3 Players, Found Objects)

Austrian-born artist Heinz Riegler creates an evolving sound space that folds into itself, building on his Score for Uncertainty work that was debuted at Gallery 5020, Salzburg, in 2017. Part performance, part installation, this piece evolves in unexpected ways, pulling both the listener and the performer through the space.

Heinz Riegler is a musician, artist and curator working between Australia and Europe. Working with an interdisciplinary focus, he operates at the intersection of sound art, installation and performance. Since 1989, Riegler has been releasing musical works with a variety of imprints, such as Room40 and Warner Records, and has played concerts in Australia, Europe, Japan, the UK and USA. In a curatorial capacity, Riegler co-produced a season of performances at the Gallery of Modern Art Cinémathèque, Brisbane, and is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the minus20degree Winter Biennale in Flachau, Austria. Riegler is an ARIA Award winner and was twice nominated for the Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship.

www.heinzriegler.com

Brisbane – February 11 – 13

12 Feb 2019 @ IMA

The IMA and Room40 present MONO 31 with France Jobin and special guests Robert Crouch and Yann Novak.

MONO 31

Jobin will present Intrication, a work inspired by quantum entanglement, seeking to discover the relationship between sound and observing sound. Jobin is a sound and installation artist, composer, and curator based in Montreal, Canada. Her sonic work has been described as sound sculpture, fusing both musical and visual elements to create experiential environments where analogue and digital intersect. She often draws inspiration from architecture and her work has been staged in unconventional spaces and at festivals across Canada, the United States, South America, South Africa, Europe, and Japan. MONO is a program of sound curated by Lawrence English of Room40.

Robert Crouch is an artist and curator whose work encompasses sound, performance, and technology. His work can be understood as a conversation between tonality, context, history and subjectivities

Los Angeles based artist and composer Yann Novak explores how intangible materials—sound and light—can act as catalysts to focus our awareness on the felt presence of direct experience. 

France would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Le conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their support.

Soledad – Medellin

Laboratorio de arte sonoro –

Semana #1  – 4 – 12 de Septiembre – Exploratorio
Semana #2 – 18 – 22 de Septiembre – MAMM (LAB3)

Inauguramos nuestra plataforma itinerante con un nuevo taller para el mes de Septiembre.

A raíz de su visita durante la Semana de la Escucha, la artista France Jobin quedó profundamente interesada por explorar más a fondo Medellín y sus sonidos, y es así como nace un laboratorio para proponer el arte sonoro, la música ambient y la escucha minimalista dentro de nuestro contexto.

“Soledad, Medellín” comenzará con una primera etapa de escucha y grabación de campo en el territorio, que se desarrollará en el Exploratorio del Parque Explora; y culminará con una segunda etapa de procesamiento del paisaje sonoro y con el proceso de difusión multi-canal para una instalación a realizarse con los participantes en el LAB3 del Mamm Medellín.

El laboratorio busca reconocer una multidimensionalidad de la escucha al introducirse en el entorno para sentirlo, procesarlo e imaginarlo, en su soledad, que es también esa del escucha.

El laboratorio es gratuito, con cupos limitados e inscripción previa. Más información: http://auditum.co/evento/soledad-medellin-laboratorio-de-arte-sonoro/

Soledad” will bring the participants closer to their territory by the “act of field recording” in various parts of the city that are sonically contrasting in terms of social dynamics, geography and neighbourhoods. The multidimensionality specific to Medellin offers a rich sound palette that may enable the participants to reconnect with their environment.

Throughout this process, we will share knowledge, perceptions and thoughts which I hope will inspire the participants to re-connect with their environment and ultimately, themselves. The idea of solitude is not approached from a perception of isolation but rather from a recognition of one’s connection in a world of disconnect. Technology has enabled us to be more  connected yet, we have never been so apart. Social media sells this illusion of hyper connected society yet, more people are unhappy and isolated.

With this workshop, I-we hope to achieve a state of “Soledad”, similar to a zen state, utilizing technology, the act of listening and ambient minimal sound art in order re-connect with one, and ultimately others.

Soledad” will conclude as a multichannel sound installation created by the participants to be presented September 22nd and 23rd  at MAMM -LAB3. They will be taken through the entire process of the creation of a sound installation up to and including the inauguration of their project, an opportunity for us all to experience a collective solitude through sound art.

with the kind support of:
Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada

Auditum – Semana de la escucha – Medellin, Colombia

France Jobin will be travelling to Medellin, Colombia in July and September 2018, to take part in an international residency organized by Éter Lab and Museo de Arte Moderno  Medellin..

The first half of the residency will take place July 12th -26th 2018 during Auditum Festival – Semana de la Escucha.

July 18th 2018 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
She will be teaching her Masterclass Intro-specciòn Medellín – un taller de arte sonore at Museo de Arte Moderno  Medellin. – LAB 3
Cra. 44 #19a-100, Medellín, Antioquia

In spanish only:

Escuchando desde adentro – La arquitectura del sonido y nuestras expectativas.

La instalación, la música y elementos visuales inspirados por la arquitectura y el manejo del espacio, convergen en el trabajo de France Jobin, artista sonora, compositora y curadora de Canadá. Es reconocida por sus “esculturas sonoras” en tiempo real que revelan una aproximación minimalista a paisajes sonoros complejos, mezclando influencias digitales y analógicas.

En este taller, la artista introducirá su práctica, específicamente los aspectos alusivos al sonido y los espacios; las relaciones de estos sonidos con la música tradicional, el cine y otras características de la experiencia de la percepción sonora en su sentido abierto a las diferentes formas de la escucha.

“La sinestesia que se produce en los espacios arquitectónicos es la la fuerza que me impulsa a explorar el sonido. Mientras un arquitecto hace diseños pensados para ocupar un espacio, yo me intereso por elaborar esculturas de sonido que encajan en la fluidez del tiempo y la percepción. El entorno, por ejemplo, le da forma y un carácter arquitectónico a mis piezas y a su sonoridad. Por otro lado, cuando hago instalaciones y conciertos tiendo a ubicar parlantes en lugares específicos que tienen correlación con la arquitectura del espacio. De esta manera logro esculturas sonoras que no son necesariamente objetuales”.

July 20th 2018
She will also present Inter/sperse* at Domo del Planetario as part of the program Micro-estruendos en el domo.

Artistas: Carmen Gil Vrojlik (COL) · France Jobin (CAN) · Merino (COL)

In spanish only:

Un vuelo por el espacio fulldome, microsonido y ambient en el Domo del Planetario, hoy espacio de tradición en nuestra celebración anual. Concierto de cierre de la Semana de la Escucha 2018, una exploración abierta de la escucha en la inmersión y la quietud.

  • La Quinta del Lobo (Carmen Gil Vrojlik y Camilo Giraldo) · HYBRIS Fulldome

Esta propuesta para el formato fulldome parte como un vuelo por el espacio, por la representación en diferentes culturas de constelaciones como dioses y seres híbridos que a su vez se unen con los humanos y crean otros seres, que se aparean con bestias y crean otras bestias, que a su vez arrasan con su entorno. ¿Qué pasa con el híbrido que se cruza con otro híbrido?

  • Merino · Ambient DJ Set · Acostumbra un techno hipnótico, un ritmo telúrico que ha sabido ubicarse en la pista de baile pero esta vez se ubica en una postura acusmática, explorando el ambient desde el arte de la mezcla y la escucha atenta de un espacio normalmente ocupado por el beat.
  • France Jobin · Inter/sperse · Concierto nacido como adaptación de la instalación creada por la artista para sitio específico en el territorio y alrededores del Museolaboratorio (Città Sant’Angelo, Pescara) en Italia, con el apoyo del programa de residencias LUX, Museolaboratorio, 901 editions y el Conseil des Arts du Canada.

 “Ser afectado por la sinestesia en una forma positiva con respecto a los espacios arquitectónicos, es la fuerza que me impulsa a crear exploraciones con sonido. Un arquitecto diseña trabajos que ocupan un espacio; Yo diría que me encargo de construir esculturas sonoras que encajan con el flujo del tiempo y la percepción. Para mi, el entorno arquitectónicamente moldea las piezas y cómo deberán ser escuchadas.” – France Jobin

A very special thanks to Miguel Isaza!

with the kind support of:
Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada


Éter-Lab, Museo de Arte Moderno Medellin

*Inter/sperse is a concert adapted from an in-situ sound installation that addressed the territory and surroundings of Museolaboratorio (Città Sant’Angelo, Pescara) which was supported by the LUX residency program, Museolaboratorio, 901 editions, Conseil des Arts du Canada.

Entre-deux @ n38e13 in Palermo, Sicily

 

Entre-deux @ n38e13  in Palermo, Sicily

May.21.2017

France has been invited to present Entre-deux, a 4-channel site-specific sound installation, 144 minute cycles

Entre-deux will be presented in the context of Innerscape organized by Vacuamoenia. Innerscape is a week-long project where artists are invited to reflect through their own compositions on a type of exploration in unusual landscapes, trying to make to hear the inaudible.

Entre-deux will be presented for the closing of the event May 20th 2017.
Artists involved and compilation album

More about  Entre-deux :

Jobin was one of five international artists selected to present her sound installation, Entre-Deux, in the new media exhibit Data/Fields, curated by Richard Chartier at Artisphere in the Washington, DC area, along with Ryoji Ikeda, Mark Fell, Caleb Coppock, and Andy Graydon. Her proposition received critical acclaim from the national press.

Created entirely with actual field recordings from across the globe and on location around Artisphere, Montreal sound artist France Jobin’s site-specific work Entre-deux explores acts of systemic, yet subjective, information gathering. Spaces and times are chosen for their inherent beauty, then processed and reformed as location and experience itself becomes transposed. Entre-deux is the re-placing of data.  RC

This residency is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Research grant for New Media and Audio Artists.

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Inter/sperse – a new site-specific installation

LUX RESIDENCY PROGRAM 
April.24 – May.27.2017
Inter/sperse @ Museolaboratorio in Città Sant’ Angelo, Pescara, Italy
Vernissage – May.27.2017

France is the first artist to take part in the new LUX RESIDENCY PROGRAM. She was invited to create and present Inter/sperse, an in-situ sound installation that will address the territory and surroundings of Museolaboratorio.

Credits:

Curator: Fabio Perletta, Carla Capodimonti, Rossano Polidoro
Lighting design: Marco De Leonibus
Director of Museolaboratorio: Enzo De Leonibus
Technical Support: Daniele Cilli

Sounds: In and around museolaboratorio
Guitar: Marco De Leonibus
Voice: Sandro Naglia

 

This residency is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts,Travel Grant to Media Artists – International Residencies program.

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Guest composer @ ems Stockholm Jan 23 – Feb 1st 2017

FJ_3_color_thumb

Photo by Fabio Perletta

France Jobin will be guest composer at EMS Jan 23 – Feb 1st 2017.

France will be following up her research on modular synthesizers at EMS.

Since 1964, EMS Elektronmusikstudion is the centre for Swedish electroacoustic music and sound-art. EMS is run as an independent part of Musikverket (Swedish Performing Arts Agency).

Besides making professional studios available for the production of electroacoustic music and sound-art, EMS’ aim is to support artistic development of electroacoustic music and its integration within other artistic areas. EMS represents electroacoustic music from Sweden in various international contexts and sees as one of its main tasks to act as an informer, both nationally and internationally. Foreign composers regularly come to EMS to work and may be granted a working period by submitting a project application according to the same conditions that Swedish composers are subject to.

HISTORY

Sanne Krogh Groth

(Musicology Section, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen)

Sanne Krogh Groth is working on a Ph.D. thesis about the electronic music studio EMS (Electroacoustic Music in Sweden) from its establishment in 1964 until the mid 1970s. Subjects of interest in this study are: early computer music studios (institutional and compositional processes), experiments with voices (synthetic and analogue), the relationship between art and science, and questions related to historiographical issues. Earlier, Krogh Groth has done work on sound art, the sound of theatre, and performance art.

Exerpt from “The Stockholm Studio EMS during its Early Years”EMS08 by Sanne Krogh Groth

EMS is and was an institution with studios for producing electronic music and sound art. The first embryo to the larger studio at the radio was a smaller studio in the workers’ society of education, which is an organization that shares its ideology with the social democratic party. This studio was set up in 1960. Courses were organized by the Norwegian composer and chairman of the society of contemporary music Fylkingen Knut Wiggen, who brought in teachers from abroad, such as Gottfried Michael Koenig, Iannis Xenakis and Henri Pousseur.

In 1964 the Swedish composer Karl Birger Blomdahl was appointed music director at the Swedish Radio. The story goes that he would only accept the job, if he was allowed to build up a studio for producing electronic music. The deal was made, and for the purpose he employed Knut Wiggen to be in charge of it. In 1965 an old radio theater studio was opened towards composers, which has later on been named “klangverkstan” or “the sound workshop”.

This studio was meant to be only contemporary and very high investments were assigned a very prestigious and for its time high-quality computer music studio, which opened in around 1970. Up until the death of music director Blomdahl in 1968, the Swedish Radio (SR) invested quite an amount of money, but since the new director lost interest, EMS in 1969 became an independent organization founded partly by SR, Fylkingen/FST and the government (through the Royal Academy of Music).

Olof Palme, who was the minister of Education from 1967-69, helped EMS directly with financial aid. In a debate book from 1960 it says: “Education and research are parts of cultural politics, which most likely will be the easiest fields to get resources to, because of these fields’ importance

for the materiel progression. Striving to heighten spiritual culture will on the other hand also in the future be squeezed.” (Assar LIndbeck: Att förutse utvecklingen fra Roland Pålsson: Inför 60-talet, Debattbok om socialismens framtid av tio författare under redaktion av Roland Pålsson, Malmö 1960 (Rabén & Shögren 1959), p. 79, translated by S.K.Groth)

With this statement in mind, the foundation, organization and ideas of EMS makes very good sense.

To Wiggen EMS was not only to be a studio for producing electro acoustic music, but also an institution of research. In an article in Interface from 1972 Wiggen writes that he would like to give the composer “the possibility of describing sounds in psychological terms. This far, this system of description exists only in the form Pierre Schaeffer has given it in his theoretical work “Traité des objets musicaux”. We at EMS shall try if given economical possibility to realize the idea in terms of a computer program.” (Knut Wiggen: The electronic Music Studio at Stockholm, its Development and Construction, Interface, 1 (1972) p. 127-165 p. 134)

His research project can be described very briefly as: – selected sound objects recorded on analogue tape are given a digital form, and the computer gives an analysis of the sound in physical terms.

composers and researchers remove the sounds to which the ear does not react and find the least possible amount of information in order to synthesize a similar sound object.

a test panel will compare the original and the synthesized sound and give its opinion about the sound in the psychological terminology invented by Schaeffer, and we will try to bridge the gap between the physical and psychological description.

the next step is to try to build “scales” between two such sound objects by allowing the computer to change the physical properties of the sounds.

a test panel will search for corresponding changes in their experiences, and we hope to construct a description in which the composer writes the desired sound within the framework of a number of psychological variables.

the composer no longer plays with a keyboard, and he no longer presses buttons. He writes his sounds and musical structures in psychological terms, and the apparatus at EMS translates these terms into sounds.

Besides the research project, Wiggen also worked on a computer program called Music Box, which later has been compared to Max MSP. The above mentioned research project was never realized in Stockholm. For various reasons, the good times ended, and various conflicts emerged from the beginning of the 1970s. On an ideological and political level, the Swedish musicologist Per O. Broman describes the turning point, as – that (…) the 1960s technique utopian visions for the future were replaced by the 1970s social utopian, and within this, the electronic music had no space, even though thoughts about electronic music as the music of the future did not lack social utopian features. (Per O. Broman: Kort historik over över Framtidens musik, Stockholm 2007, p. 72)

So to say – he sort of explains it with characteristics we also know from the student revolt of 1968. On a personal level internal to the organization, there were also major problems, which might be a concretisation of the above; the younger composers wanted democracy and to set the agenda. Besides that, it is no doubt that Knut Wiggen must have been a challenging character to work with. Jon Appleton describes him as “one of the most astute music administrators I have ever met (…) He combined the qualities of a visionary, an intellectual spokesman, a megalomaniac, and a con artist.” (Jon Appleton: review of Bits and Pieces: EMS 30 years [CD], Computer Music Journal, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), p. 100-103)

This residency is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Research grant for New Media and Audio Artists.

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Empac – residency October 5th – 16th 2015, concert etc

ESTO_AaronEsto_50

Residency – October 5th – October 16th 2015
Concert – October 15th 2015 – 8pm Concert Hall
In conversation :  Mark Fell and France Jobin – October 7th 2015 – 7pm

Concert

The electronic music of composer France Jobin can be described as “sound-sculpture,” revealing a minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital methods intersect. While her music often makes use of restraint and limit, she isn’t one to shy away from extremes. Her skillful interplay between highs and lows, louds and softs, creates an intricate narrative, which stretches the listener’s perception and continually refocuses attention.

Using an array of specifically placed loudspeakers numbering in the dozens, Jobin will present a new work built for the EMPAC Concert Hall.

France Jobin is a sound/installation artist, composer, and curator residing in Montreal, Canada. Her installations express a parallel path, incorporating both musical and visual elements inspired by the architecture of physical spaces. Her works can be “experienced” in various music venues and new-technology festivals across Canada, the United States, South America, South Africa, Europe and Japan.

CURATOR: 

ARGEO ASCANI

In conversation : Mark Fell and France Jobin

Often, the mark of excellence in electronic music and sound art is the ability of the composer to hide their identity and virtuosity behind an inscrutable bank of machinery or within the ambient acoustics of the space in which the piece is performed. Whether or not this obfuscation is willful, it results in a genre of music that is vastly diverse in both its effects and technical configurations. In this conversation between Mark Fell and France Jobin, two masters of their understated craft will step forward to engage in dialogue and answer questions about the aesthetics, techniques, and politics of their work.

Fell has been in residence at EMPAC to develop Recursive Frame Analysis, a new work for sound, light, and dance; meanwhile, Jobin has been working on the premiere of a multi-channel sound piece for the Concert Hall.

Mark Fell is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sheffield, UK. He is widely known for combining popular music styles such as electronica and techno with more academic approaches to computer-based composition, with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems. As well as recorded works, he produces installation pieces, often using multiple speaker systems. He started his career in the ’90s house and techno scene as one half of electronic duo SND and released The Neurobiology of Moral Decision Making earlier this year on label The Death of Rave.

France Jobin is a sound/installation artist, composer, and curator residing in Montreal, Canada. Her installations express a parallel path, incorporating both musical and visual elements inspired by the architecture of physical spaces. Her works can be “experienced” in various music venues and new-technology festivals across Canada, the United States, South America, South Africa, Europe and Japan.

 

 

und transit @ la vitrine sonore – sporopole

und transit – a 16.5 hours – multichannel sound installation @ Sporobole‘s Vitrine Sonore

11227903_10153258198449037_3922572741823182292_n©France Jobin

On alternate weeks from September 15th 2015 to October 31st 2015 –
Every day – from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Week of 09.15.015
Week of 09.29.2015
Week of 10.11.2015
Week of 10.25.2015

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Und transit

We all have a capacity to ignore the space we must use to get to our destination. Like most passage ways, they are a means to an end, and rarely are treated as an end in itself. Upon being introduced to minoritenplatz, I was immediately struck by the loneliness and practicality of this passage way.

Inspired by the solitary and functional aspects of La vitrine sonore’s location, I plan to collect a number of field recordings from in and around its emplacement, in order to create a series of soundscapes based on the sound of emptiness in this space.

France Jobin

und transit – sound installation will be presented in September 2015 at la Vitrine Sonore of Sporobole in Sherbrooke. The result of a 3 week residency in situ, will transform this passageway into a place to stop, listen and meander.

 

La vitrine sonore

Sporobole launches a new annual program that provides a curator the opportunity to gather sound artists around a curatorial approach and concepts about the Sound Window diffusion device. During a three-week residency, each artist will have unlimited access to the sound laboratory and will develop a project which will be broadcast and discussed during a round table that will conclude the year’s program.

The Sound Window is a permanent system for sound projection on the façade of Sporobole, along the sidewalk on Albert Street. Made up of sixteen loudspeakers, it makes it possible to enter into direct contact with passers-by making their way to the above-ground parking garage next door to Sporoble on city’s main street, Wellington. The linear arrangement of the sixteen speakers and their position at the geometrical interface between Sporobole and the thoroughfare make this new outdoor sound gallery a singular platform for sound spatialisation and the projection of works of sound art.

 

Guest composer @ EMS April 5-16th 2015

francejobin_wheat
Photo : Antonello Carbone

France Jobin will be guest composer at EMS April 5-16 2015!

Since 1964, EMS Elektronmusikstudion is the centre for Swedish electroacoustic music and sound-art. EMS is run as an independent part of Musikverket (Swedish Performing Arts Agency).

Besides making professional studios available for the production of electroacoustic music and sound-art, EMS’ aim is to support artistic development of electroacoustic music and its integration within other artistic areas. EMS represents electroacoustic music from Sweden in various international contexts and sees as one of its main tasks to act as an informer, both nationally and internationally. Foreign composers regularly come to EMS to work and may be granted a working period by submitting a project application according to the same conditions that Swedish composers are subject to.

HISTORY

Sanne Krogh Groth

(Musicology Section, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen)

Sanne Krogh Groth is working on a Ph.D. thesis about the electronic music studio EMS (Electroacoustic Music in Sweden) from its establishment in 1964 until the mid 1970s. Subjects of interest in this study are: early computer music studios (institutional and compositional processes), experiments with voices (synthetic and analogue), the relationship between art and science, and questions related to historiographical issues. Earlier, Krogh Groth has done work on sound art, the sound of theatre, and performance art.

Exerpt from “The Stockholm Studio EMS during its Early Years”EMS08 by Sanne Krogh Groth

EMS is and was an institution with studios for producing electronic music and sound art. The first embryo to the larger studio at the radio was a smaller studio in the workers’ society of education, which is an organization that shares its ideology with the social democratic party. This studio was set up in 1960. Courses were organized by the Norwegian composer and chairman of the society of contemporary music Fylkingen Knut Wiggen, who brought in teachers from abroad, such as Gottfried Michael Koenig, Iannis Xenakis and Henri Pousseur.

In 1964 the Swedish composer Karl Birger Blomdahl was appointed music director at the Swedish Radio. The story goes that he would only accept the job, if he was allowed to build up a studio for producing electronic music. The deal was made, and for the purpose he employed Knut Wiggen to be in charge of it. In 1965 an old radio theater studio was opened towards composers, which has later on been named “klangverkstan” or “the sound workshop”.

This studio was meant to be only contemporary and very high investments were assigned a very prestigious and for its time high-quality computer music studio, which opened in around 1970. Up until the death of music director Blomdahl in 1968, the Swedish Radio (SR) invested quite an amount of money, but since the new director lost interest, EMS in 1969 became an independent organization founded partly by SR, Fylkingen/FST and the government (through the Royal Academy of Music).

Olof Palme, who was the minister of Education from 1967-69, helped EMS directly with financial aid. In a debate book from 1960 it says: “Education and research are parts of cultural politics, which most likely will be the easiest fields to get resources to, because of these fields’ importance

for the materiel progression. Striving to heighten spiritual culture will on the other hand also in the future be squeezed.” (Assar LIndbeck: Att förutse utvecklingen fra Roland Pålsson: Inför 60-talet, Debattbok om socialismens framtid av tio författare under redaktion av Roland Pålsson, Malmö 1960 (Rabén & Shögren 1959), p. 79, translated by S.K.Groth)

With this statement in mind, the foundation, organization and ideas of EMS makes very good sense.

To Wiggen EMS was not only to be a studio for producing electro acoustic music, but also an institution of research. In an article in Interface from 1972 Wiggen writes that he would like to give the composer “the possibility of describing sounds in psychological terms. This far, this system of description exists only in the form Pierre Schaeffer has given it in his theoretical work “Traité des objets musicaux”. We at EMS shall try if given economical possibility to realize the idea in terms of a computer program.” (Knut Wiggen: The electronic Music Studio at Stockholm, its Development and Construction, Interface, 1 (1972) p. 127-165 p. 134)

His research project can be described very briefly as: – selected sound objects recorded on analogue tape are given a digital form, and the computer gives an analysis of the sound in physical terms.

composers and researchers remove the sounds to which the ear does not react and find the least possible amount of information in order to synthesize a similar sound object.

a test panel will compare the original and the synthesized sound and give its opinion about the sound in the psychological terminology invented by Schaeffer, and we will try to bridge the gap between the physical and psychological description.

the next step is to try to build “scales” between two such sound objects by allowing the computer to change the physical properties of the sounds.

a test panel will search for corresponding changes in their experiences, and we hope to construct a description in which the composer writes the desired sound within the framework of a number of psychological variables.

the composer no longer plays with a keyboard, and he no longer presses buttons. He writes his sounds and musical structures in psychological terms, and the apparatus at EMS translates these terms into sounds.

Besides the research project, Wiggen also worked on a computer program called Music Box, which later has been compared to Max MSP. The above mentioned research project was never realized in Stockholm. For various reasons, the good times ended, and various conflicts emerged from the beginning of the 1970s. On an ideological and political level, the Swedish musicologist Per O. Broman describes the turning point, as – that (…) the 1960s technique utopian visions for the future were replaced by the 1970s social utopian, and within this, the electronic music had no space, even though thoughts about electronic music as the music of the future did not lack social utopian features. (Per O. Broman: Kort historik over över Framtidens musik, Stockholm 2007, p. 72)

So to say – he sort of explains it with characteristics we also know from the student revolt of 1968. On a personal level internal to the organization, there were also major problems, which might be a concretisation of the above; the younger composers wanted democracy and to set the agenda. Besides that, it is no doubt that Knut Wiggen must have been a challenging character to work with. Jon Appleton describes him as “one of the most astute music administrators I have ever met (…) He combined the qualities of a visionary, an intellectual spokesman, a megalomaniac, and a con artist.” (Jon Appleton: review of Bits and Pieces: EMS 30 years [CD], Computer Music Journal, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), p. 100-103)

This residency is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres Québec.

 

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