After an invitation by composer and technologist Jeff Treviño, friend and former colleague at University of California, San Diego, I had the chance to spend three stimulating days of work at Dias de Música Electroacústica in Lisbon and enjoy the rare hospitality of the mastermind behind this project, Jaime Reis.
Jeff introduced me to his recent work, including:
His idiosyncratic use (via Python) of the concatenative synthesis program AudioGuide, developed by our former colleague at UCSD Ben Hackbarth;
a fast introduction to Abjad, a Python extension for music notation, in the development of which Jeff has been a main collaborator;
his work on performance analysis, with a comparative analysis of 30 (!) recordings of Webern’s Variations op. 27. This work materialised as an installation in a summer exhibition at MIT Museum (here the original visualisation). A relevant publication on automated notation for Webern can be found in the Journal of Computing and Cultural Heritage;
and his latest composition for orchestra with electronic sound, How to Build Fences and Gates.
Jaime has been introducing me to his tireless work as a composer, curator and teacher, as well as to the work of his mentor Emmanuel Nunes. Dias de Música Electroacústica is his creation, a dynamic multifaceted festival for electronic music in Portugal and abroad.
On my part, I had the chance to share my latest research on the concept of “embodied navigation of complex notation” and the relevant tools developed at IRCAM, as well as some of my recordings for piano with electronics (notably Nicolas Tzortzis’ Incompatible(s) V , Alistair Zaldua’s Contrejours and Luis Antunes Pena’s K-U-L-T).
Jeff expressed interest in developing custom abjad objects relevant to my typology of embodied layers of notation, which could hopefully be employed in a new work for piano and live electronics.