Sonic Circuits VII: International Festival of Electronic Music

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Jose Halac: The Breaking of the Scream 10:52

Mark Applebaum: Dead White Males ReMix 6:03

Mike Frengel: Long Slender Heels 3:15

Mario Verandi: Figuras Flamencas 12:30

Timothy Oesau: Angola du Sons 6:20

Thomas Gerwin: Rollenspiel 17:02

Hideko Kawamoto: Night Ascends from the Ear like a Butterfly 8:10

Christina Agamanolis: Aftermath 5:27


Jose Halac - The Breaking of the Scream


The Breaking of the Scream is based on a poem by Argentine poet Pablo Anadon and a traditional folk song from the Northwest of Argentina.  The poem, originally in Spanish, is entitled “Seasons of the Tree” and is centered around the idea of the departure of the loved one and the painful remains of the sentiments no longer recognized (for full text see:  The folk song describes the purely carnal and sexual desire of a man who compares himself with a tiger.  These two ideas are merged with screams, chanting, drums, and electronic manipulation of these sources.  After my very own experience, I can describe this piece as THE ultimate homage to divorce.


Jose Halac is an Argentine-American composer whose music has concentrated in recent years on the merging of western techniques of composition with popular musics, voices and indigenous singing from South America and the rhythms of Northwest Argentina, resulting in a new and avant garde world music.  Halac received a 1994 National Endowment for the Arts grant to write a song cycle, a 1998 New York State Council for the Arts grant, seven ASCAP Standard Awards, the 1996 International Music Council-UNESCO Rostrum Award, as well as several Meet the Composer Grants. [[email protected]]


Mark Applebaum - Dead White Males ReMix


In 1993, the American Composers Forum commissioned the orchestral work Dead White Males.  In this 1998 ReMix I collected digital samples from the recorded premiere, and through rather prosaic operations I arrived at this piece—one which has little, if anything, to do with the discursive vector of the original orchestral work.  One area of fascination for me is inherently postmodern: the aesthetic squeezing of plastic sounds—themselves containing a particular modernist investment from my own compositional past—into the foreign working conditions of the software: industrial, techno-oriented, cinematic. Dead White Males ReMix used Pro Tools software as its compositional platform.


Mark Applebaum received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego where he worked with Brian Ferneyhough.  His music has been performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia with notable premieres at ICMC and the Darmstadt sessions.  He has received commissions from Betty Freeman, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, and Zeitgeist, among others.  He is the recipient of the American Music Center's 1997 Stephen Albert Award and served as the Dayton-Hudson Visiting Artist at Carleton College.  He currently teaches at Mississippi State University.  Applebaum has two CDs on the innova label: Mousetrap Music and The Janus ReMixes. [[email protected]]


Mario Verandi - Figuras Flamencas


Composed in the Electroacoustic Music Studios at Birmingham University, the source materials for Figuras Flamencas include samples from Spanish flamenco music and spoken texts from “Blood Wedding” by Federico Garcia Lorca.  By means of sound manipulations on the computer a new surreal parallel sound world is originated from the recognizable flamenco sound world.  The musical discourse flows as a sequence of superimposed and juxtaposed transformations and confrontations between the flamenco world and the surreal world.  The piece intends to evoke a metaphorical journey across a flamenco dreamland which is “corrupted by surreal sonic creatures.”  Lorca’s texts were the source of inspiration behind the music as well as the core element to organize the musical discourse.


Mario Verandi is a composer and sound artist born into a theatrical family in San Nicolas (Buenos Aires) where he later studied music and computing at college.  In 1986 he moved to Barcelona and joined the Phonos Electronic Studios where he had an intensive period of learning, experimenting and performing using electroacoustic means.  In 1990 he made London his home and in 1994 he completed a M.Mus. at Birmingham University where he is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Composition.  His work has received a number of prizes and awards such as a prize in the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Awards ‘96, a main prize in the Musica Nova Awards ‘96 in Prague, a prize in the CIEJ Musics Electronics Awards ‘89 in Barcelona, a Finalist Prize in the Bourges International Music Awards ‘98, an Honorary Mention in the Prix Ars Electronica ‘97 in Linz, Austria and in the Stockholm Electronic Art Awards ‘97.  In addition, the DAAD (Germany) has awarded him a grant for the artists-in-residence programme in Berlin in the year 2000. Figuras Flamencas also appears on Cultures Electroniques Vol.6, France. [[email protected]]


Mike Frengel - Long Slender Heels


Long Slender Heels was composed in 1999 at the Bregman Electro-Acoustic Music Studio at Dartmouth College.  Composer Mike Frengel graduated with a B.A. degree in electroacoustic music from San Jose State University in 1995, where he studied with Allen Strange and Dan Wyman.  He spent another two years in the Bay Area working at Apple Computers as well as remaining affiliated with the C.R.E.A.M. Studios at SJSU as a Research Scientist.  Frengel received an M.A. in electro-acoustic music from Dartmouth College in 1999, where he studied with Jon Appleton, Charles Dodge, Larry Polansky, and Christian Wolff.  He is now at City University in London, where he is working towards a Ph.D. in electroacoustic music.  Mike’s compositions have been included on the ICMC ‘95, CDCM Vol. 26 compact disc, performed live at numerous international music events, and broadcast over American, Canadian, French, and Slovak radio and the World Wide Web.  [[email protected],]


Thomas Gerwin - Rollenspiel πr2


Rollenspiel πr2 is meant as a musical investigation of the abstract form of a circle or sphere.  Because I did not want to lose the contact to sounding reality within this abstract task of creating this piece, I used for this examination the sounds of a rolling or falling ball in a round wooden bowl. This sound material was the sole basis and inspiration for the different digital and analog methods of evocation, processing and composition which I used in my computer music studio to represent the structural idea. But, working with the

concrete material, more and more 'stories' and 'individuals' appeared, playing different roles. That's because sounds are beings. They are born, spend a distinct life span at discrete places and then die. Sometimes they form higher organisms. “Rollenspiel” is a German pun meaning “a game with a rolling ball” and “playing a part” (as in theatre, etc.).


Thomas Gerwin is a classically educated composer and musicologist.  To improve and widen his artistic expression, he worked together with other disciplines like theater, film, dance and painting and came into the field of electroacoustic music very early.  After teaching experimental music and composition for many years, he constructed the audio library at Center for the Arts and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany 1990-1998.  Recently, he won the Karl-Sczuka-Förderpreis, an award which is given yearly by German State Radio SWR (Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk).  He is founder and director of the Studio for Media Art and Acoustic Design 'inter art project' and a member of the Board of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). [[email protected]]


Christina Agamanolis - Aftermath


I often find some kind of peace after a disaster has passed, whether the disaster is of a personal nature, or it is something of a much larger scale.  Aftermath is a composition about this peace.  All of the sounds used here were made from two main sound samples (“zzzz” and “oh” modulated by laughter), processed with SoundHack and Turbosynth, and sequenced in Studio Vision.


Christina Agamanolis holds a B.M. in Technology In Music And Related Arts (TIMARA) from Oberlin College, and is currently a masters student in the Composition for New Media Program at California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS).  Her primary teachers have been Kristine Burns, Gary Nelson, Richard Povall, Marc Trayle, Morton Subotnick, and Sara Roberts.  Christina has interned/worked for Realworld Production Company at Beachwood Studios and Midtown Studios in Cleveland and attended the Aspen Music Festival for two years.  Along with having her works featured at Oberlin College, CALARTS, Threshold, and Society of Composers Incorporated (SCI) concerts, Christina has also performed at Connecticut College’s Electronic Media Symposium and Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Studio in New York City. [[email protected]]


Timothy Oesau - Angola du Sons


By design, Angola du Sons is invasive and unsettling.  It is intended to be experienced in a completely dark concert hall at a volume slightly below “permanent damage.”  In this setting the concertgoers’ expectations are negated and, in fact, used to enhance the listening experience. 


Timothy Oesau received a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1995, where his primary teachers were Malcolm Peyton and Robert Ceely.  He has composed works for soloists, chamber groups, orchestra, and electronic tape.  In addition to composing, Timothy is an active performer.  He performs with several ensembles in the Twin Cities and has performed with New England Conservatory’s Callithumpian Consort, a performance group that champions the work of 20th century composers such as John Zorn, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen.  He currently resides in Minneapolis. [[email protected]]


Hideko Kawamoto - Night Ascends from the Ear Like a Butterfly


Night Ascends from the Ear Like a Butterfly, composed in 1999 and dedicated to my grandmother, Tami, was inspired from Haruo Shibuya's poem, Coliseum in the Desert.  The words Shibuya uses in this poem such as 'night', 'a time of music', 'rain', 'black fountain', 'piano-string', 'useless choir' and 'butterfly' gave me compositional ideas.  These images were developed in my imagination separately from Shibuya's poem.  To me it is very interesting that once one finishes a piece, it leaves the creator, and is grown on its own inside somebody maybe or maybe not the same as in the creator's mind.  The piece has its own life.  I am hoping my piece has left me.


Hideko Kawamoto, born in Toyama Japan, is an active composer in electro-acoustic and instrumental music.  Currently she is a doctoral student and a teaching fellow in composition, studying with Phil Winsor at the University of North Texas, where she received the B.M. and M.M. in piano performance.  Her works has been played at a number of institutions and festivals including Beckonings 1999 at the Stanford University, Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, Aspen Music School and Festival, and "Women in Music" Conference at the Ohio University.  She also studied with Mario Lavista, Martin Mailman and Bernard Rands. Her music is published by the Whole>Sum Productions (C. Alan Publications). [[email protected] ,]




Each year the American Composers Forum curates a program of live, video, and electro-acoustic music by composers around the world.  The program is reproduced and then sent out as a Do-It-Yourself kit for budding impresarios to prepare their own presentations.  (To find out more about how you can host a Sonic Circuits event, see  Over 165 composers have been programmed since 1993 on international radio stations and at many sites throughout the world: art galleries, colleges, conservatories, raves, chapels, and courtyards.  In this way composers, performers and listeners alike catch an up-to-date glimpse of what is being done at the cusp where music, art, and electrons collide.


Sonic Circuits is supported by the Jerome Foundation

Producer: Philip Blackburn

Thanks to the following curators and helpers: Benjamin Jacobsen, Jan Gilbert, Tim Donahue, Mike Halvorsen, Jason Shapiro, Chris Strouth, Pete Thomas.

Mastered by Bob de Maa.

Graphic Design: Philip Blackburn, Chris Strouth

Cover art: Robert Kostka, Ancestors (1987, watercolor 10” x 14”), Gaia (1989, watercolor 13” x 22”)


The American Composers Forum offers some 20 programs that link communities with composers and performers. Founded in 1973 as the Minnesota Composers Forum, it now has more than 1,400 members and 10 chapters in US cities. It is the publisher of innova Recordings and of Sounding Board, a monthly newsletter.  Membership is open to all.


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Telephone: (651) 228-1407x23; fax: (651) 291-7978.

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