09 Apr 11

Workshop and Concert in the Netherlands

Last month I did a concert in Den Haag at Loos Foundation. This was part of a series organized by Marie Guileray. Last year I did a concert there as a part of the Wonderwerp series, and the energy there was amazing, giving me one of the best memories I have of a performance. (I am not usually as excited about performance as I am about making the tools and presenting them.) Last month was also very nice, with a good number of people with genuine interest in the sonification tools.
One guy was even nice enough to record the performance and put it up on youtube:

Something about Den Haag is very special when it comes to atmosphere in experimental music. The city is home to the Royal Conservatory, where a number of notable people have taught, including Louis Andriessen. The conservatory also contains the sonology department, which has been a home to Gottfried Michael Konig and a large number of students focusing on some type of computer music. The city itself is not that big, so the experimental music scene revolves around the students of the school. This makes for a very knowledgeable audience. The level of focus the audience has feels very high there. It’s interesting that such a thing can be different for two audiences that are silent and watching the performance, but it really feels this way to me. I’m not getting spiritual on you; I think there are subtle cues that give this away, such as the breathing patterns of the room. It’s also a very positive place, preferring synergy over competition, which is important in an educational environment.

Three weeks later I did a program sonification workshop in Amsterdam at STEIM. I wasn’t sure what to expect for turnout, but it sold out two weeks before the workshop date. The people that showed up had a wide range of backgrounds. I would say most did not know programming per se, which was great, because the sonification of program concepts are not really about code at all, but rather about behavior, something which should be able to make sense to everyone that uses a computer. We did go into xcode a bit, to recompile programs to sonify themselves. While some people didn’t know how to code, it wasn’t so important since the steps to do this using my libraries were quite simple. Also because this was a workshop, and you’re supposed to learn things, everyone was open to the idea. To be honest there were a few bumps, but everyone came through in the end. I am thinking to polish the workshop up a bit and give it another shot.