Visiting Artist – Erika Bell

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Monday, March 1 @ 11am -1pm via Zoom

Erika Bell is a Los Angeles-based musician. Their work explores visceral textures through both traditional and experimental sound-making practices. Having quickly developed a distinctive style and approach to composition, Bell has found a niche in the experimental music underground. Recently, they have expanded their approach, embracing songlike structures and creative processes that might be more familiar to a rock band than a traditional composer. The latter style can be heard on their debut full-length Precept (2020) while the former is heard on long-form ensemble works such as “Moving Like Icebergs Against Each Other” and “Sucking Stones.” Their work retains a signature sound as a through line, generally revolving around dissonant harmonies, cyclical loops, drone, and a sculptural approach to sound.

Bell has had works performed in Sweden, U.K., New York and—in Los Angeles—the Walt Disney Hall, Zebulon, The Dog Star Festival, the wulf. Human Resources and more. Bell also performs with their eponymous ensemble, art-punk band Picky Bunches, The Ensemble Whose Name is Uhhhhhmm (formerly known as Lil Jürg Frey), Cali Bellow, and other occasional projects. Erika holds a BFA in music composition from California Institute of the Arts where they studied with Michael Pisaro and Laura Steenberge.

ESP Fest – Telematic Concert 3

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Thursday, April 30th @ 6:00pm PST on Twitch

Performances by:  Leslie Lang, Isaac Rohr

ESP Fest is a multi-day virtual concert series presented by CalArts Composition and Experimental Sound Practices (ESP) students. From a program committed to experimentation and innovation, the fest aims to examine the challenges posed to musicians, composers, and sound artists by nationwide shelter-in-place orders and the uncertain future of live performance. Over the course of five days between Tuesday, April 28th and Saturday, May 2nd, fourteen ESP students will showcase work that ranges from electronic music to performance art. Join us as we explore performance’s new relationship to the internet.

CEMEC Concert at CalArts

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Wednesday, April 8th @ 8:00pm in the ROD Concert Hall

The California Electronic Music Exchange Concert series is back for another year. The concert series features works by graduate composers and sound artists from CalArts, Mills College, UCSB, UCSC, UCSD and Stanford University. CalArts will be hosting a concert on Wednesday, April 8th. More information about CEMEC 2020 can be found on the CEMEC website

Fall 2017 ESP Night Concert

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Tuesday, November 14th @ 8:00pm in the ROD Concert Hall

A concert of new and exciting works by current ESP students. Details will be announced as plans develop.

Visiting Artists – Akio Suzuki and Aki Onda

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Monday, October 23rd @ 2:00pm in B304

Though they differ in generation and performance practice, the NYC-based Aki Onda (b. 1967) and the Kyotango-based Akio Suzuki (b. 1941) share an astonishingly inventive, open-ended, and spontaneous approach to the infinite and variegated possibilities of sound. Since initiating a collaborative relationship in 2005, the duo have embarked on a number of tours in Europe and Asia, exploring site-specific locations ranging from an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Brussels to an underground parking lot in Glasgow. Suzuki and Onda released their first album “ma ta ta bi” on ORAL_records in 2014. This year, they were invited to perform at documenta 14 in Athens.

Since the 1960s, sound art pioneer Akio Suzuki has been investigating the acoustic quality of selected locations and creating corresponding topographies. His intensive involvement with the phenomena of pulse and echo led him to develop his own instruments in the 1970s. Starting from the 90s, his soundwalk project, oto-date, which means, respectively, “sound” and “point” in Japanese, finds listening points in the city, and playfully invites the audience to stop and listen carefully at given points on the map.

Aki Onda is a New York-based artist and composer. He is particularly known for his “Cassette Memories” — works compiled from a “sound diary” of field-recordings collected by using the cassette Walkman over a span of last quarter-century. He creates compositions, performances, and visual artworks from those sound memories.

CEMEC Concert at CalArts

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Tuesday, April 4th @ 8:00pm in the ROD Concert Hall

The California Electronic Music Exchange Concert series is back for another year. The concert series features works by graduate composers and sound artists from CalArts, Mills College, UCSB, UCSC, UCSD and Stanford University. CalArts will be hosting a concert on Tuesday, April 4th. More information about CEMEC 2017 can be found on the CEMEC website

Visiting Artist – Bryan Jacobs

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Monday, December 4th @ 2:00pm in B304  |  Tuesday, December 5th @ All day in B305A

ESP visiting artist, composer, and sound artist Bryan Jacobs will discuss his work in B304 during ESP Forum on Monday, December 4th. Bryan will also be available on Tuesday, December 5th to meet with students. A signup sheet for lessons with Bryan is posted on the door of B305A.

Composer, performer, and sound artist, Bryan Jacobs’ work focuses on interactions between live performers, mechanical instruments and computers. His pieces are often theatrical in nature, pitting blabber-mouthed fanciful showoffs against timid reluctants. The sounds are playfully organized and many times mimic patterns found in human dialogue. Hand-build electromechanical instruments controlled by microcontrollers bridg  e acoustic and electroacoutic sound worlds. These instruments live dual lives as time-based concert works and non-time-based gallery works.

His music has been performed by ensembles such as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Wet Ink, International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Pamplemousse, and defunensemble.  His music has been featured at many music festivals in Europe and the US. He is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow. He has performed his own compositions for guitar and electronics at the Stone (NYC), Miller Theater (NYC), and the Wulf (LA). In addition to his artistic endeavors, Bryan is the co-founder of Qubit, a New York based new music initiative that presents mostly emerging artists whose work involves creative uses of technology.

Visiting Artist – Cooper Baker

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Monday, November 7th @ 2:00pm in B304

Cooper Baker is a sound artist living in San Diego, California. He regularly plays experimental music at venues along the west coast and his artwork has been exhibited in galleries and publications throughout the United States and abroad. In addition to his own creative output, he provides other artists and companies with custom software and electronics as a creative technical consultant. Originally from Los Angeles, he moved to San Diego to attend the University of California San Diego where he earned his Ph.D. while studying with Miller Puckette, Tom Erbe, and F. Richard Moore. Prior to enrollment at UCSD he was a music faculty member at California Institute of the Arts where he also received his MFA in experimental composition and finished his BFA in music technology. While at CalArts he refined his artistic practice and began incorporating new and experimental electronic media in his artwork and music production, under the guidance of Morton Subotnick, Mark Trayle, and Barry Schrader.