FALL 2005

TUESDAY OCTOBER 18, 2005 AT 8:30PM. $5–10.


CTRL+ALT+REPEAT is an experimental music series that focuses on cutting-edge electronic music, improvisation, contemporary classical music, and sound art. The Fall 2005 concert on October 18th at Selah in downtown Los Angeles will present performances by internationally renowned cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, electronic music guru and innovator David Wessel, local field recording artist Jen Boyd, and the electroacoustic cello and laptop duo Mem1.

Featured artist Frances-Marie Uitti will perform an original work, Night Lies, that demonstrates her pioneering technique of using two bows in one hand, rendering the cello a polyphonic instrument. She will also perform with David Wessel on electronics in an improvisation that reflects their collaboration during Uitti’s Regent’s Lectureship at the University of California, Berkeley for the 2005-2006 season. Sound artist Jen Boyd will be presenting a work of natural and processed field recordings with manipulated short-wave radio. The electroacoustic duo mem1 will perform an improvisation comprised of cello and live digital signal processing.


Frances-Marie Uitti, composer/performer, pioneered a revolutionary dimension to the cello by transforming it for the first time into a polyphonic instrument capable of sustained chordal (two, three, and four-part) and intricate multivoiced writing. Using two bows in one hand, this invention permits contemporaneous cross accents, multiple timbres, contrasting 4-voiced dynamics, simultaneous legato/articulated playing, that her previous work with a curved bow couldn’t attain. György Kurtág, Luigi Nono, Giacinto Scelsi, Louis Andriessen, Jonathan Harvey, Richard Barrett, Sylvano Bussoti are among those who have used this technique in their works dedicated to her. Collaborating significantly over years with radicals Dick Raaijmakers, John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi, she has also worked closely with Iannis Xenakis, Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough and countless composers from the new generation. She premeired cello concerti dedicated to her By Per Norgaard, Jonathan Harvey and gave the first performance of the cello concerto of William Jeths in 2000. Peter Nelson is writing a work for her with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Canadian composer Rodney Sharman is also composing a cello concerto for her. She collaborates with pianist Rolf Hind, classical pianist Alwin Bar, filmmakers Frank Scheffer and Frans Zwaartjes, avant-garde guitarist Elliott Sharp, accordionist Pauline Oliveros, DJ Scanner, DJ Low, and Stephen Vitiello and video master Ferenc van Damme. Her compositions can be heard on ECM records, Cryptogrammophone, JdKrecords, Seraphin, Etcetera, and BVHaast. Her performances can be heard on ECM records, Wergo, CRI, Mode, HatHut, Raretone, Cramps, JdK recordings, BVHaast, Etcetera and Cryptogramophone.


David Wessel studied mathematics and experimental psychology at the University of Illinois and received a doctorate in mathematical psychology from Stanford in 1972. His work on the perception and compositional control of timbre in the early 70’s at Michigan State University led to a musical research position at IRCAM in Paris in 1976. In 1979 he began reshaping the Pedagogy Department to link the scientific and musical sectors of IRCAM. In 1985 he established a new IRCAM department devoted to the development of interactive musical software for personal computers. In 1988 he began his current position as Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley where he is Director of CNMAT. He is particularly interested in live-performance computer music where improvisation plays an essential role. He has collaborated in performance with a variety of improvising composers including Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Coleman, Ushio Torikai, Thomas Buckner, Vinko Globokar, Jin Hi Kim, Shafqat Ali Khan, and Laetitia Sonami, and has performed throughout the US and Europe. His interests include interactive composition and performance, analysis and synthesis of sound, music perception and cognition.


Los Angeles sound artist Jen Boyd collects microscopic recordings of trees, plants and other audible organic matter, creating layered compositions in real time with the use of a portable mixer. She explores the depths of natural sounds and their presentation as art in the form of live performance and sound installations. Working with contact microphones and a compact flash recorder, Boyd constructs layered soundscapes from the delicate sounds of hollow trees, birds and various insects, capturing sounds as they naturally unfold. Jen is a composition major at the California Institute for the Arts, and has studied under Morton Subotnick, Mark Trayle, Leticia Sonomi, and Sarah Roberts.


Mem1 is a collaborative venture between cellist lrtm & laptop artist M. Cera, the curators of the quarterly experimental music series CTRL+ALT+REAPEAT. In their improvisation-based performances, the cello is manipulated using custom software built by cera in max/msp. Extended cello technique is magnified by live signal processing, which is in turn influenced by the sounds produced by the cello. The result is a subtle electroacoustic hybrid that culminates not in a duet between two individuals, but in a single performance by a fused and cohesive instrument. Utilizing a limitless palate of sonic possibilities, Mem1’s sound is a constant evolution of textures ranging from sparse to dense, ambient to beat-driven tranquil to volatile… the listener is submerged in layers of distinctive, complex patterns which provide a focus not on melody or lyricism but an opportunity to listen beyond such structural confines. There is a sense of narrative, but one that unravels organically, almost in slow motion.

Mem1 has performed with the renowned Penderecki String Quartet, and were invited to play at the LA ArtFest 2005, soundwalk 2005 in Long Beach, and Blim in Vancouver, Canada. They released a full length album in January 2005 and will release a second album of live performances in December 2005.

Mem1’s performance tonight features data visualization of M. Cera’s live signal processing using Max/MSP/Jitter, Flash and the Open Sound Control protocol. For each parameter controlled, a new color field is created. higher values are reflected by larger, slower-moving fields, while lower values are reflected by smaller, faster-moving ones. The colors of the fields are linked by their musical motifs, and shift according to the loudness, brightness, and noisiness of the final mix. We hope this provides an aesthetically interesting framework for analyzing the actions responsible for shaping the sounds you hear.