Sonic Generator presents "Something Old, Something New"

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Georgia Tech's chamber music ensemble-in-residence, Sonic Generator, features music by Philip Glass, Gil Weinberg, Milton Babbitt, Randall Woolf, Daniel Wohl, and Charles Amirkhanian in a free performance in partnership with the Woodruff Arts Center. The concert explores the power of words and images to reframe musical experiences and performances.

The concert features the premiere of Bafana by Gil Weinberg, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology. The piece pairs Shimon, a robotic marimba player, with Sonic Generator's percussionist Tom Sherwood, using sophisticated machine musicianship techniques to analyze Sherwood's performance and improvise with him in real time. Shimon not only listens to Sherwood, it also watches him through a camera embedded in its head, and so visual cues become important to the performance. Visual elements also play a key role in Sonic Generator's presentation of Music in Similar Motion, a classic Philip Glass score paired with a frenetic video by artist Simon Doyle.

Other works on the program focus on the power of text, and particularly spoken voice, in music. In Everything Is Green by Randall Woolf, a recorded voice reads a text by David Foster Wallace, while in Charles Amirkhanian's Church Car, live and recorded performers rhythmically shout seemingly nonsense phrases. Sonic Generator honors the legacy of Milton Babbitt (1916-2011) with a performance of Images, a pioneering work combining electronically synthesized sounds and instrumental performance. Also on the program is music by Daniel Wohl, a rising star on the New York music scene whose music revels in the dark recesses of decayed audio, flaws in recorded media, and white noise.

After the performance, concertgoers are invited to attend a special exhibition and reception that will feature hands-on demonstrations of interactive music systems developed by students at Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology. Many of those systems feature novel visual interfaces for creating and manipulating music. There will also be an opportunity to meet some of the composers and performers.

Sonic Generator, Georgia Tech's chamber music ensemble-in-residence, explores the ways in which technology can transform how we create, perform and listen to music. The ensemble, comprised of some of the top classical musicians in Atlanta, works closely with Georgia Tech faculty in the GVU Center and the Center for Music Technology to present concerts that bring cutting-edge technologies to the world of contemporary classical music.

Sonic Generator is sponsored by the GVU Center, which seeks to advance the state of the art of the interaction between people, computing machines and information. The concert series is organized in collaboration with the Center for Music Technology and the School of Music in the College of Architecture. These entities champion advancements in creativity, expression, and human-computer interaction through research and education at Georgia Tech. Sonic Generator's season is also supported by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Over the past 40 years, the Woodruff Arts Center has distinguished itself as one of the premier cultural centers in the nation. The Woodruff Arts Center campus houses four renowned arts organizations including Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences. In addition to its role as a cultural beacon and hub of the Southeast, the Woodruff serves as a critical economic, educational, and social catalyst for Atlanta and the region. For more, visit woodruffcenter.org.


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  • Created By:
    Teri Nagel
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    Fletcher Moore
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