LAB1: Michael Winter, Louis d’Heudieres, Luke Nickel

Lab 1: Wednesday 5 October, 12-4pm, CM131

In the first lab of the year we welcome American composer Michael Winter who will talk about combinatorics in his recent work. For more information about Michael, please see his website. Michael will also be speaking to the Centre for Creative Computing on 11am on Thursday 6 October in the Riding School at Corsham Court. Michael’s presentation will be preceded by work from lab members Louis d’Heudieres and Luke Nickel. Their work shares a focus on the oral communication of instructions either before or during a realisation. We will perform one of Louis’s pieces as part of the lab.

12-2pm: Louis d’Heudieres / Luke Nickel

Louis d’Heudieres / In this session I will demonstrate a piece I wrote this year, Laughter Studies 2, which involves performers reacting vocally to a score they hear on headphones. After a group discussion, I will talk about the ideas that influenced my writing it, attempting to find links with other pieces of music and theoretical writings. I will end the talk with a summary of what happened at this year’s Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music.

Luke Nickel / In a continuation of my work that began with String Quartet #1I will explore the translation and sonification of “hidden” musical devices using speaking performers.

 

2-4pm: Michael Winter – Over 300 years ago, Leibniz predicted many current trends in music: a lecture / performance

I was recently asked to write a piece for the 300th anniversary of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s death and have been investigating musical threads running through his vast body of writing. Even within his early works, it was clear that Leibniz had very deep musical insights. For example, his dissertation entitled “On the Art of Combinations” discusses applications of combinatorics to possible musical registries of an organ and in a later letter to Christian Goldbach, Leibniz suggests an extended harmony based on higher primes.

Leibniz worked in a world with far less specialization than is common today. He was a polymath of epic proportions who drew little distinction between various intellectual domains; including music. In this talk, I will follow three particular connections between Leibniz’s ideas and my own work / influences: 1) combinatorics as applied to generating music, 2) extended harmonic spaces, and 3) the influence of digital philosophy from Leibniz to modern mathematicians such as Gregory Chaitin.

Many of Leibniz’s texts are in the form of letters. The lecture will be followed by a performance of my new piece, preliminary thoughts, which is a “musical letter” to Gregory Chaitin with initial thoughts and reactions to my early investigations into the life and work of Leibniz addressing combinatorics, harmony, aesthetics, structure, epistemological vs. practical limits, free will, and even love with respect to creativity. The text of the letter sounds against a minimal guitar part that continually repeats a set of 6 tones with ever changing durations between the articulations of the tones and random flickerings of computer-generated noise.

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