Maa' Featuring Sonic Generator

Event Details

Kathleen Covington,, 678.313.4123


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Full Summary: Music, dance and theatrical performance unites Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano, Georgia Tech’s Sonic Generator and gloATL.

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On September 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., Maá – an evening-length, live multimedia performance – will premiere in Atlanta Symphony Hall.  A collaboration among Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano, Georgia Tech’s Sonic Generator and gloATL, Maá is an original contemporary creation.'

At the center of Maá is the music composition of the same name by renowned Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.  Saariaho’s work blends the use of electronics and traditional instruments and is marked by its emphasis on timbre.  Considered to be among Saariaho’s most important compositions, the Atlanta premiere of Maá will be performed in its entirety as the score to this new production by Georgia Tech’s Sonic Generator, a chamber music ensemble that combines virtuosic performance with technical innovation. Georgia Tech faculty and students will assist in the production of the work’s complex live electronic sound.

gloATL Dancemaker Lauri Stallings will choreograph and stage the work for seven principal dancers, the musicians, and Spano. A large physical chorus of dancers from gloLAB and Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance will complete the cast.  gloATL has been producing ground-breaking contemporary experience performances in Atlanta and around the country for two years.  Stallings has once again assembled an exciting creative team including Bruce Harlan, Lighting Designer; Adam Larsen, Multi-Media Artist; Anne Patterson, Scenic Designer; Tian Justman, Costume Designer; and Richard Carvlin, Production Manager. 

Maá translates to “earth,” and its meaning will be seen in a tangible way in Symphony Hall.  Grass will cover the stage, and seating on the stage as well as in the hall will create a 360 degree viewing experience.  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano will not only direct the musicians on stage but will act as the “operator,” conducting the entire Maá environment.

Tickets for the two-night-only premiere of Maá are limited.  Tickets may be purchased at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office at 404.733.5000 or online. 

Purchase Tickets:
Premium Seats - $50
General Admission - $25
Student Tickets (with valid ID; in-person sales only) - $12

About gloATL
gloATL is a collaborative platform of exceptional contemporary physical experience.  gloATL creates in a mode whose process is as important as the end result.  The forum incubates fresh, original philosophies of contemporary art and relational aesthetics through live performance, public intervention and a choreographic lab. The work reflects a genuine approach toward negotiating with space, objects, and people, in order for a dynamic of roaming to occur.  Part choreography and part interactive art installation, glo performances regularly bridge the gap between artists and audience, to explore the phenomena of reception, intention, and interpretation.  The work increasingly displays a synergy of art forms, with dance being the center of gravity, eliciting a human point of view. The choreographic language - a breadth of fresh movement extracting classical elements with the complexity and groove of today’ rhythmic culture - creates emotional, physical, and entertaining bridges through the universality of gesture and essence of being.

Since its inaugural work 24 months ago, gloATL has created artistic experiences – 5 that were free to the public - unlike any other on the Atlanta art scene. Creations include: “Rapt,” architect Renzo Piano’s Woodruff Arts Center campus; “pour,” Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill District; “The Plum Line,” Brooklyn’s Wave Rising Festival;  “Crea,” Richard Meier’s atrium of the High Museum; “Bloom,” Lenox Square, the inaugural work of Flux Projects;  “Halo”, a full evening work, commission of NYC’s Duo Theatre, “Roem,” Woodruff campus, “Plum Line Revisited,” Joyce Theatre AWARDS Show, “Hinterland,” in downtown Atlanta’s historic Woodruff Park, and this past February, “This is a World” and “Chapter III,” intimate non-migratory works at Goodson Yard at the Goat Farm.

gloATL is looking forward to the rest of 2011 when it continues to expand its work with new spaces and collaborations that reach from the very center of our city.  glo returns to migratory work for the first time since November 2009, with Livers, a new creation to premiere in FLUX on September 30th.  Other commissions for the rest of 2011 include gloATL's second year artist residency at Kennesaw State University, a new work by Stallings at SUNY/Purchase (NY), and a new work in the form of a short "urban fantasy" entitled Float, to premiere in November.  gloATL is also collaborating with the Rialto Center for Performing Arts to present OFF THE EDGE – an international showcase of contemporary dance – January 26-28.

In gloATL’s work is a vivid line that refers to the whereabouts of mankind’s existence. glo founder Lauri Stallings believes that the search for characteristics and values that belong to all times is a journey worthy of the effort; for therein lies the genuine cultural identity of a city.

About Sonic Generator:
Founded in 2006, Sonic Generator is the contemporary music ensemble-in-residence at Georgia Tech dedicated to using technology to transform the ways in which we compose, perform and listen to music. Sponsored by Georgia Tech’s GVU Center, College of Architecture, and School of Music, the group works closely with students and faculty across campus to implement technology in concert and to incorporate new research into live performance. Sonic Generator presents a diverse lineup of music by composers such as Steve Reich, John Cage, Mario Davidovsky, Brian Eno, Louis Andriessen and Terry Riley; it is also committed to performing music of younger composers and to commissioning new works. Sonic Generator's experiments with new technologies have led the group to perform with wine glasses, iPhones, comic strips, car speakers, DJs and a robotic drummer. The ensemble also frequently collaborates with visual artists to create video projections to accompany its performances. Sonic Generator's work has been recognized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which noted that the group was "…the most stimulating addition to Atlanta's musical life…" in its debut season. Inside Arts, a national trade magazine for arts presenters, featured the group's innovative work with video on its front cover. Sonic Generator has performed at national conferences of the College Music Society and the Society of Composers, and its concerts at Georgia Tech routinely attract a standing-room-only crowd.

About Kaija Saariaho and Maá:
Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is one of the preeminent living composers of contemporary classical music. She is particularly well known for her contributions to interactive electronic music. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she wrote a number of works at IRCAM, the famous research center for computer music in Paris, using their new 4X computer, one of the first computers capable of doing sophisticated real-time signal processing of sounds in concert performance. Her works at IRCAM revolutionized the ways in which composers approach working with computers and defined new styles of composition based on deep explorations of the timbres of acoustic instruments and their transformation through electronic processing. Maá (Earth in Finnish), written in 1991, is a 90-minute ballet exploring these ideas in a piece scored for seven musicians and live electronics. The sounds of the acoustic instruments are processed in real time on a computer to create an otherworldly backdrop to the performance that swirls around the concert venue as it is diffused from a multi-speaker array. It is a work of great historical significance that has been often performed in Europe but only once before presented in the United States. 

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

College of Design, School of Music

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Center for Music Technology, College of Architecture, Jason Freeman, music technology, school of music, Sonic Generator
  • Created By: Teri Nagel
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 1, 2011 - 4:11am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:55pm