After Hours I

Improvisation on Nostalgia – Tay | Taylor Neal, guitar, electronics; Nick Sprague, video capture/projection. 

After recently discovering my parents’ JVC digital tape camera, I found myself being drawn to the nuances in the way the camera looked, felt, and the sounds it makes, bringing me back to a previous, simpler reality. This performance is improvisational, using sources from this camera, old tape recordings, guitar, and voice. I will be projecting prepared manipulated videos onto me as I perform, as well as a live image capture from the JVC videographed by Nick Sprague. 

These sounds will be coming from a place of exhaustion, perseverance, nostalgia, reflection, and creative inspiration. As I am nearing the end of my undergrad as a Music Business Major, I’m recollecting experiences I’ve had at many high points in my life. Recalling these moments of better times, filled with attention to sensory details and an adventurous spirit, I will use samples from old tape recordings to synthesize my nostalgia, blurred with a sense of noisy chaos that is the year twenty-twenty.

I want to recognize Mark Snyder and Eric Sheffield for putting this event together. They have put so much into making this experience just as special online as it was in person. I couldn’t have done this piece without them, and I appreciate their inspiration. 

Taylor Neal’s music is like sitting in the living room and catching up with a long-time friend. It’s filled with both the comfort of familiarity and curiosity of new beginnings. Through songwriting, Neal is able to feel detached from the world at large, yet close to the things in this world that matter to him. It’s a way for him to creatively express his own thoughts and emotions. Production and recording with others are another way where he works to engage in genuine creativity through collaboration.

As a multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and sound engineer, Neal finds himself through his work in a variety of styles. With an education in music business and electroacoustic music under Mark Snyder, the fundamental and technical knowledge drives his inspiration and creativity. Along with mixing and engineering, Neal plays the French horn, guitar, and keyboard. Placid and calming, his music is sure to put your mind at ease and make you feel at home.

In 2018, he started producing and playing with indie-rock band Bobby Kid. Since then, he’s produced music for Quarter Roy, Matilda, Howdy, Shane Malone, Tay, and Runners High. His sound lies somewhere between indie-folk and dreamy syphonics. No matter what project he’s working on or contributing to, you’ll be able to hear the warm inviting sound shining through the music.” – Carissa Marques, theindiepopsicle

Plastissiteez – Elizabeth Hoffman | Elizabeth Hoffman, laptop; gamin, Piri and Saenghwang; D. Carlton Bright, video recording and edit; Sofy Yuditskaya, additional camera work; Daniel Neumann, audio recording and mixing

Improvisational modules

  1. Vibrating chords
  2. Sliding
  3. Crystals
  4. Stone
  5. Waves
  6. Color

The title of this piece, as a playful homonym, references a machine learning algorithm that I use in the last module (“Color”); the degree of ‘plasticity’ is the algorithm’s capacity for deformation, i.e., its tendency to yield to pressure for change. Plasticity is thus a variable. The title also embraces the project’s ambitus more generally: each module is an improvisational atemporal structure that generates diverse material which can be isolated or interlinked or layered; but which imply no particular realized form. Perhaps one might call them genotypes. The resultant phenotypes are not replicable since all of them incorporate live data to some extent. The plasticity also refers to the responsiveness of the performers to one another. There is virtually no hierarchy of elements in the computer structures, hence either performer may influence which sonic elements are pursued in any given live performance. Data used through live mic input includes pitch analysis, assessment of the analytic accuracy, input volume, and spectral content. Some of the mappings are to audible parameters; but many of the mappings are tied to contributory non-audible features. A note about the final module: I read, in real time, the RGB layers (i.e., its rows and columns) of an algorithmically evolving pixelated fabric of color.

Elizabeth Hoffman’s creative work encompasses acoustic and computer media. The latter includes multi-channel works, and mixed musics where the computer is simultaneously instrument, composition, and potential structure. Hoffman’s electronic works appear on the empreintes DIGITALes label and others. She has worked with artists including Jane Rigler, String Noise, Marianne Gythfeldt, Margaret Lancaster, Sarah Plum, Louis Arques, Yvonne Troxler and others who value composition that invites performer intervention. Her sonification installation RETU(R)NINGS opened as a permanent, daily sounding feature of NYU’s Bobst Library Atrium in September 2019. This EABD premiere is funded by a research grant from NYU where Hoffman teaches in the Department of Music, Arts and Science. Other awards include those from Bourges, Prix Ars Electronica, Jerome Foundation, Sonic Circuits Festival, MacDowell, NEA, Seattle Arts Commission and ICMA commissions, and a recent KEAR Residency at Bowling Green State University. 

Hoffman is particularly interested in music that exists in a space between fixity at one end, and directed freedom, at the other, in response to a live malleable context. Her music is preoccupied with tuning, timbre, and micro-temporal tactile detail. She has published on narrative viewpoint in electroacoustic music, and spatialization as interpretation, among other topics. She is also interested in relationships between gender, and approaches to design and use of technology. Striving to create music that changes listeners through the listening, whether it be perceptual, reflective, associative, or some other form of catalyst is satisfying, as is working with performers who are receptive to exploring computer-acoustic hybrid forms.

Gamin Kang, simply known as “gamin,” a distinguished NYC soloist, tours the world performing both traditional Korean music and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Gamin plays piri (double reed Korean oboe), taepyeonso (double-reed horn), and saenghwang (mouth organ). Gamin is a designated Yisuja (Senior Diplomate), official holder of Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 46 for Court and Royal Military music. In addition to her artistic endeavor, she dedicates herself to academic research activities. She received her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Korean traditional music at Seoul National University. Gamin was second principal piri player at National Gugak Orchestra, 2004-10.

Re-inventing new sonorities from ancient, somewhat restrictive, musical systems, gamin has received several cultural exchange program grants, including Artist-in-Residence (2014) at the Asian Cultural Council, Rockefeller U., and Ministry of Culture, Sports, Tourism of Republic of Korea (2012). She has presented lecture/concerts at Harvard and Dartmouth, and in Paris, Strasbourg, and Freiburg. Gamin has collaborated in cross-cultural improvisation in NYC with world-acclaimed musician Jane Ira Bloom, presenting premieres at Roulette Theater, New School, and Metropolitan Museum, NYC. Gamin was featured artist at the Silkroad concert, Seoul, 2018, performing on-stage with Yo-Yo Ma.

In addition to 5 CD’s, gamin digitally released “Attraction,” traditional solo music for piri. All About Jazz (2014) praised “…the most haunting track, the elegiac Jeongseon Arirang, played by gamin on piri…” Gamin’s latest recording comprises improvs with today’s most innovative musicians, including Ned Rothenberg. Gamin premiered her newest solos, performed by Korea Symphony (2016), Seoul Philharmonic (2015), and National Gugak Orchestra (2019).

Gamin was visiting scholar at James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies, U. of Pennsylvania, 2018.

Closing out 2019, gamin was artist-in-residence at Brandeis University, then continued her tour to Mexico City, Berlin, and Soeul. 2020 will kick off with fantastic collaborative concerts at Roulette in Brooklyn on March 8, and Tenri Cultural Institute on March 15. 

Most exciting of all is my Carnegie Hall début on March 27. I will be the featured soloist, accompanied by my alma mater, the Nangye Gugak Orchestra of Korea.

D. Carlton Bright

Sofy Yuditskaya

Daniel Neumann [art], [engineering], [curatorial] 

Additional credits:

Thanks to the Fridman Gallery, and to Christopher Pelham and CRS for the use of their respective spaces. Recorded on 10/25/2020.

A machine learning MaxMSP external from the toolbox by Benjamin Day Smith. 

Several MaxMSP externals from the toolkit called Fluid Corpus Manipulation, a University of Huddersfield research project.

Additional videos for piece:

Complete version Module 6, taping 10/25/2020 [13:34]

Module 5, another performance (T3), taping 10/25/2020 [4:38]

Module 3, left out of streaming representation, taping 10/25/2020 [performance version T5]

[performance version edit, T1, T2, T4]

How Things Are Made with Lu-Han Li – Lu-Han Li with How Things Are Made

If you’re reading this while you are watching it, you will be reading and listening (not seeing the video because your eyes are reading) but also listening to Lu-Han reading. At the same time Matt is in his kitchen, Dave is in his rectangular-shaped room and Brian checks his emails I think, at least that’s what he likes to call it. Why don’t you take a break from reading this and look at what they are doing? I’ll tell you why not. You’re a committer, but you also wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to be. 

Maybe you’re like me. Once, when I was a charter blimp pilot, there was a nice family who chartered a blimp for a birthday party. I know what you are thinking, but back then it was actually pretty affordable to rent a blimp for a private event as long as you could be flexible with the weather conditions. Anyway, maybe it was a retirement party. Either way, there was this family that brought their dog on the blimp and it made a mess of the place. We were smart enough not to let people drink up there since there was no bathroom to speak of and you couldn’t go out the window without losing your balance. But we didn’t think about pets. 

Lu-Han Li and How Things Are Made have a long and storied past together, but there are some differences between them. For instance, Lu-Han Li is one person and How Things Are Made is at least three but often more. Still, they all get along quite well. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that they are collaborators on the project for which this biographical statement is being written, and if you know Lu-Han and How Things Are Made, and believe me as their biographer, I do, you know that you can listen to and purchase copies of their previous collaborations on the How Things Are Made bandcamp site. However, if you’d like to check out Lu-Han’s solo work, you should go to her website which, funny enough, contains a nice little collection of Lu-Han’s performances on the How Things Are Made Podcast including such recordings as: Toilet Paper, Milk, Window Blinds, Compost, Grinding Wheels, Dining Room Tables, Cement, Glider Rockers and Kitchen Knives. 

Let’s get personal. Here are how they all know each other. Lu-Han Li, the Taiwanese music maker, and Matt Aelmore met in 2010 in New York. Lu-Han and Matt met Brian Riordan in Pittsburgh around 2014. I think Brian met David Bernabo first around 2016 in Pittsburgh and then Matt and Lu-Han met Dave shortly after. They all met each other in public places. 

Lu-Han Li

How Things Are Made

Brian Riordan

Paul Leary

Paul Leary is currently Assistant Professor of Music SUNY Oswego in Oswego, NY where he is teaching electronic music, theory, composition, and popular music.

After earning degrees in music composition at the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Dr. Leary completed a PhD in composition from Duke University in 2012. His recent video project with CCP Games’ EVE Online has been viewed 277,000 times on youtube. His choral music has been performed widely and his electronic music has been featured at over forty concerts and festivals over the last few years including SEAMUS, The Florida State New Music Festival, the New York City Electro Acoustic Music Festival, The Electro Acoustic Barn Dance Festival, and Electronic Music Midwest.
In addition to composing and teaching, Paul is a professional orchestrator and arranger and was principle orchestrator of the ASCAP award-winning Contemporary Youth Orchestra for ten years, orchestrating over a hundred works of jazz, hip-hop, popular, Broadway, and classical music. He has orchestrated and arranged for various pop artists including Pat Benatar, Graham Nash, and Jon Anderson, as well as music by percussionist Valerie Naranjo and pianist Michael Garson. Some of these orchestrations have been featured on VH1, PBS, and HDNet internationally as well as released on CD and DVD. His works are published by Bachovich Music Publications.