Multimedia Ensemble Lab (Master Class)

Director Esther Lamneck



Alessandro Biagiotti* (keyboards), Luca Del Fante* (keyboards),

Fabrizio Filesi* (electric guitar), Cristian Gajardo Allende (contrabass),

Davide Martiello* (electric guitar/acoustic guitar), Sergio Odori (percussions),

Nicola Pelli                 * (tuba bass), Matteo Tundo* (electric guitar)


Eric Lyon

Rock and Roll Goddess (5’28”)


Thomas Beverly

Ocotillo, video (9’59)


David Durant

Bay (7’43”)


Sylvia Pengilly

Maze, video (7’41”)


Jorge Sosa

Stray Birds, electronic score and live Interactive work for ensemble (8’30”)


Izzi Ramikssoon

Kill Switch (7’08”)


program notes


Eric Lyon - Rock and Roll Goddess

Rock 'n Roll Goddess was created in 2001 and was first programmed on the International Computer Music Conference in Havana, 2001. The sound sources were taken from electric guitar improvisations by Seth Josel. In contrast to my usual computer compositional methods, I chose to create the work, including all sound transformations, exclusively through live performance, using the popular program Max/MSP. The central transformational instrument employed was Mushroom, an oracular sound processor, which I redesigned for live use. Oracular processes produce unpredictable results that often suggest unanticipated directions for the evolution of sounds. The final section features a process in which dynamic sounds are frozen into static snapshots that can be extended indefinitely in time.


Thomas Beverly - Ocotillo

Ocotillo for multi-percussion, seasonally variable electronics, and video

The video for this piece, captured in summer 2013, consists of time-lapse photographs depicting the extreme dynamics of the west Texas landscape. The majority of the electronics in this piece are fixed, but I also built a computer program that receives data from the McDonald Observatory in west Texas. For each performance, the software translates the temperature data from the prior day into a new layer of audio that colors the piece differently depending on the season. For example, in the summer the software generates a brighter, more vibrant sound and in the winter a darker, denser one. The temperature data is not a metaphor; rather it directly connects the visual and auditory experience with the current natural energy of west Texas.


David Durant - Bay

Bay (2005) was created using recordings of objects that had personal significance to me. These recordings were then used as the basis for samples that were used in a sampler and as manipulated sounds inserted into the mix. An analog modeling digital synthesizer was also used in the composition. The title refers to Mobile Bay on the Alabama Gulf Coast in the USA which separates Mobile County from Baldwin County. The piece was written right before and right after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. The piece was written for and dedicated to Esther Lamneck and the New York University New Music Ensemble.


Sylvia Pengilly - Maze

As a child, I vividly remember my parents taking me to Hampton Court, where the major attraction for me was not the palace, but the maze.  We would wander through it, often taking wrong turns and having to retrace our steps, and soon were completely disoriented.  Eventually we would hit on the right combination of turns and find our way to the exit, having been pleasantly scared.  Later, I read the legend of Ariadne, holding a ball of thread for Theseus so that he could find his way out of the maze after slaying the Minotaur.

These experiences combined to suggest the form for "Maze" which is followed by both video and music. After the title sequence, the next segment represents the entire "map" of the maze, but following this there is a series of "wrong turns," represented by the black and white segments, that lead to dead ends.  These finally return to the "main path," represented by the color segments, each of which leads a little further into the heart of the maze.  There, the monster appears, but is vanquished, ironically by the "wrong turns" after which the "wrong" and "right" turns are combined and presented in retrograde, forming a type of palindrome which, like all good palindromes, ends as it began. 


Jorge Sosa - Stray Birds

Stray Birds is based on a poem by the Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). The ensemble improvises over a fixed track, that aims to illustrate the imagery of the poem. At the same time two soloists improvise, while their instruments are processed in real time. The performers need to listen to each other, and to react to the backtrack, to the gestures of their fellow performers and to the way that the live processing transforms their gestures.

Stray Birds (1916) STRAY birds of summer come to my window to sing and fly away. And yellow leaves of autumn, which have no songs, flutter and fall there with a sigh.


Izzi Ramkissoon - Kill Switch 

Kill Switch is an audio-visual composition that draws upon the idea of situations that turn out of control, blurring the lines between control and havoc into a progression towards the inevitable explosion unless avoided.  The composition was created by processing live flute, cello and percussion samples then arranging them into various patterns that develop in a specific start and stop sequence.  In other forms the composition can be performed with or without the live processing of instruments.  Kill Switch was commissioned by flutist Sarah Carrier.