05-06.07 / moco16 @Megaron, Thessaloniki



Simulation of learning Brian Ferneyhough’s Lemma-Icon-Epigram for solo piano with GesTCom

Pianist Pavlos Antoniadis presents interpretational possibilities in Brian Ferneyhough’s solo piano work Lemma-Icon-Epigram in the form of a real-time simulation of the learning process. His approach, by the title “embodied navigation”of textual complexity, is informed both from embodied cognition concepts and cutting-edge technologies for gesture capture. Purpose of this lecture-performance is to make palpable the tension between text and act as aesthetic concept. He utilises a prototype system by the name GesTCom developed at Ircam with the collaboration of Frédéric Bevilacqua and Dominique Fober.

The presentation is based on the paper “Comparison of gestural patterning and complex notated rhythm via multimodal performance data: Brian Ferneyhough’s Lemma-Icon-Epigram for solo piano, phases 1&2″.  In the preface to his piano work Lemma-Icon-Epigram, Brian Ferneyhough proposes a top-down learning strategy: Its first phase consists in an “overview of gestural patterning”, while notated rhythms are to be dealt with at a second phase. We present a methodology for the inference of gestural patterning from multimodal performance data (first phase), and we map our results on to the complex notated rhythms (second phase). The coupling of physical movement patterns and symbolic rhythm affirms the multilayered, embodied and enactive nature of musical forms: Gesture might be proven more effective than abstract understanding in dealing with musical rhythm. This work draws equally from embodied cognition, gesture modelling, performance practice and music analysis. Future perspectives include the probabilistic modelling of gesture-to-notation mappings, towards the design of interactive systems that will be learning along with the performer while cutting through textual complexity. The proposed demo re-enacts Ferneyhough’s suggested top-down learning strategy based on a gestural patterning and measures varied performances against this patterning through the use of the motionfollower and the INScore joined together with the GesTCom (gesture cutting through textual complexity).


02.07 /music as process @ Bath Spa University

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Open Cycles: Embodied Navigation of Unreal-time improv

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This lecture-recital will present the results of a collaborative process between two complimentary research projects: Panos Ghikas’ concept of Unreal-time improv, that approaches improvisation and composition as interchangeable and/or complementary strands of music-making; and Pavlos Antoniadis’ concept of Embodied Navigation of Complex Notation, which explores a similar fluidity between the realms of gesture, notation and sound in piano performance.

Unreal-time improv is a process by which a recording of an improvisation is converted into a gestural matrix of samples, projected through the use of software onto the layout of specially configured and designed interfaces (e-drums, iPads, MAX). The resulting meta-instrument facilitates new types of physical memory for the improviser, transforming the manner in which the gestural material can be temporally re-pronounced.

In this collaboration, Unreal-time improv is deployed from a new starting point: fixed composition is subjected to a process of progressive transmutation through an Open Cycle of improvisation-notation-performance. This yields a series of variations on the original, whereby change is derived by a sequence of re-improvisations and re-notations, towards a new series of fixed works.

Pavlos Antoniadis’ contribution in the domain of performance extends the mediation at the domain of notation and representation, turning the score into a musical instrument in itself. Drawing from recent studies in the fields of gesture modelling and interaction, he uses recordings of sight-reading performances for the generation of multimodal representations (notation systems). The input performative gesture produces data (gestural signals, audio, MIDI and video), which are subsequently used for the annotation, rewriting and multimodal augmentation of the original score.

Consequently, this opens the cycle of variation to a wider investigative sphere, where the sequence of actions within that cycle are challenged, bringing into question whether notation remains the salient defining element that differentiates improvisation from composition.

The lecture (15-20 mins) will be followed by a performance (5-10mins) by Panos Ghikas and Pavlos Antoniadis, who will perform both fixed work and improvised material derived from this Open Cycle process.

Technical requirements: Grand piano, amplification for a laptop (stereo output) – no microphones required for the performance.


 Pavlos Antoniadis is a Berlin-based new music pianist & a PhD researcher at Ircam and Labex Gream. He has performed in Europe, the Americas and Asia with Work in Progress-Berlin, KNM, Phorminx, Ergon and as a soloist. He has recorded for Mode (2015 Deutscheschallplattenkritikspreis) and Wergo records. He has published on embodied cognition, gesture capture and piano performance and has been invited to lecture at institutions such as Goldsmiths London, INMM Darmstadt, Orcim Gent, Ircam Paris, Conservatoire Strasbourg, Aristoteleio Thessaloniki. He was a Musical Research Residency fellow at Ircam in 2014. Pavlos holds degrees in piano performance (MA, UC San Diego) and musicology (Athens National University) and has studied on Gream, Fulbright, Ucsd, Nakas, IEMA Frankfurt and Impuls Academy Gratz scholarships.

Panos Ghikas is a composer, improviser and producer. His output encompasses concert music, live improvisation, interdisciplinary collaborations in digital media, film music and pop production. He is a member of surrealist post-pop band The Chap, runs the Migro Records label. Panos performs and releases collaborative multi-channel work with composer/improviser Jennifer Walshe in ‘unreal-time’ improv duo Ghikas and Walshe and performs violin and viola in free-improvisation groups Friendo, the Bohman Expanded Family. Panos completed his PhD in Composition at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has a Masters in Composition for Film from the London College of Music and Media and a degree in Physics from the University of Patras, Greece. Panos Ghikas is now a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University.