Friday, April 24, 2009

Get Your Fix of Electronic Music at Brandeis

If you want to check out some great electronic music tonight, the Slosberg Music Center at Brandeis University is the place to be. The intimate venue will be the scene for the Electro-Acoustic Music Studio (BEAMS) Electronic Music Half-Marathon.

“I’ve been playing music since I was four years old,” says featured artist James Borchers, “ever since my parents bought me a sears drum set.” A Nebraska native, Borchers moved to New York in 2001 to study music. While he still enjoys percussion, he admits that composition is his first love.

An incredibly versatile musician, Borchers has composed pieces for orchestral and chamber music, electronic music, opera and music theater. He’s performed at the Storm King Music Festival, Bang on a can marathon, Ballet Hispanico, New York Youth Symphony and the New Amsterdam Orchestra.

“Tonight I’ll be performing Composed Improvisation,” says Borchers, “it’s a piece using the tabla and a laptop. The actual notes are not written, but the piece is fairly consistent at each performance. The laptop responds to different sounds the tabla makes.” The Tabla is a popular Indian percussion instrument.

Guest artist Charles Dodge will start off events at 4:00 p.m. with a lecture on his extensive work in the field. One of the first musicians to use synthetic voice manipulation, his 1972 composition Speech Songs is considered a computer classic.

Dodge’s award winning work music led him to co-author book Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition and Performance, a well-known textbook on electronic music. He’s also the founder of the Center for Computer Music at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

At 8:00 p.m. the Slosberg Music Center audience will be treated to Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental performed by Sara Bob and for Baird, etudes for violin and electronics performed by Krista Reisner. The lineup will continue with James Borchers, Christian Gentry, Peter Lane, Travis Alford, Yohanan Chendler and Brandeis Professor Eric Chasalow.

The marathon is taking place in conjunction with the April 22-26 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts which features plays, concerts and art exhibitions. All events are free and open to the public.

The marathon will be held at the Slosberg Music center, Brandeis University Brandeis at 415 South St in Waltham. Call 781/736-3331 for more information.

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