Three days of performances, workshops, and more highlight technology's connection to music.
Computer music has had a welcome space at Oberlin since back when the computers themselves took up nearly all the space.
Half a century later, Oberlin’s TIMARA Department—short for Technology in Music and Related Arts—is presenting a celebration that honors that past while keeping an eye ever trained on the future.
(T)echs Machina is a three-day festival of performances, workshops, and talks featuring TIMARA faculty, alumni, and esteemed guests. (The name derives from the Latin term ex machina, meaning “from a machine.”)
Among those onboard are award-winning composer and Columbia University professor George Lewis, composer-performers Onyx Ashanti, Akiko Hatakeyama, and Steven Kemper, and TIMARA alumni Eli Stine ’14 (pictured right) and Alex Christie ’09 (above).
Bassoonist Dana Jessen, Oberlin Conservatory’s director of professional development and associate professor of contemporary music and improvisation, will perform works by Swendsen and Lewis. Beverly Acha, a visiting assistant professor of studio art, will perform a piece with Aresty.
“TIMARA is an exciting world of music, technology, innovation, and imagination,” says Hsu, who will perform a piece she created with Kemper. “ (T)echs Machina invites the campus and community to celebrate both these beginnings and the endless possibilities that arise when we combine music, technology, and performance.”
Hsu and Kemper's piece, Why Should Our Bodies End at the Skin, for sensor-equipped dancer, robotic percussion, sound exciters, and live sound processing, probes the “intersectionality and fluidity” between organisms and machines. It will be performed as part of the festival’s first of two concerts, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in the Birenbaum, on the lower level of the Hotel at Oberlin (10 E. College St.). A reception will follow the performance.
(Techs) Machina’s second concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, in the Birenbaum.
To hear more about the festival and some of the music programmed, visit Oberlin Conservatory on SoundCloud.
The complete festival schedule is as follows (all events are free and most are open to the public):
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13
George Lewis and Dana Jessen: Seismologic: Q&A and Demo (in Stull Recital Hall)
Eli Stine: Introduction to Processing Workshop; limited to current Oberlin students, advance signup required (TIMARA Gallery, lower level of Bibbins Hall)
Alex Christie Lecture/Demo: Composing Musical Power Structures Through Light and Sound (TIMARA Gallery)
THURSDAY, MARCH 14
George Lewis Talk: Open, Available, and Situational Forms (Birenbaum, lower level of the Hotel at Oberlin)
FRIDAY, MARCH 15
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Onyx Ashanti Talk: Sonocybernetics: a new model of language for the singularity age (Birenbaum)
(T)echs Machina was organized in conjunction with Alumni in Service to Oberlin College (ASOC).