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DXARTS Autumn Concert

28 Oct

The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) presents an evening of 3-D digital music by graduate students and faculty. The program features works by graduate students Daniel Peterson, Abby Aresty, Stelios Manousakis, and Nicolás Varchausky and the word premiere of “A Line (Part I, IDA),” by School of Music composition faculty and DXARTS Director Juan Pampin.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

7:30 p.m.

Meany Theater



$15 ($10 students/seniors)




A full 3-D sound presentation employing the DXARTS 12.6 audio system, the program features works by graduate students Daniel Peterson, Abby Aresty, Stelios Manousakis, and Nicolás Varchausky, as well as the world premiere of “A Line (Part I, IDA)” by School of Music composition faculty and DXARTS Director, Juan Pampin.


DXARTS Courses for Autumn 2011

31 May

Interested in experimental video? Sound art? Mechatronics?

Non-majors are encouraged to apply to enroll in year-long, in-depth explorations of experimental art. No prerequisites.

Check out the application links below.


Sound (application link at bottom of the page)



12 May

Open enrollment — anyone can take classes during the summer, choosing from over 2,000 courses in 100 fields of study, including the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media.

Courses offered Summer 2011:

DXARTS 450 – Digital Video Foundations

DXARTS 460 – Digital Sound

DXARTS 470 – Sensing and Control Systems for Digital Arts

DXARTS 490 – Special Topics in Digital Arts: Film Production

No prerequisites.

Registration informaton for non-UW students

DXARTS and School of Music present A Celebration of John Chowning

18 Apr

The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) presents a celebration of visiting artist John Chowning, pioneer of Computer Music and father of FM Digital Synthesis. Works on the program include some of Chowning’s most notable compositions played over a state-of-the-art surround sound system, as well as his composition Voices (2005) for soprano and live electronics, performed by soprano Maureen Chowning.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

7:30 p.m.

Meany Theater | University of Washington | Seattle | USA

TICKETS $10 ($5 students/seniors)


Composer John Chowning is considered one of the pioneers of Computer Music. His contributions to this field, such as the invention of FM Digital Synthesis, had a strong cultural impact in the worlds of both classical and popular music. His invention allowed the production of one of the most popular digital synthesizers, the Yamaha DX7, which sold millions of units in the 1980s and was used by virtually every rock band from that era. Revenues from the licensing of this technology to Yamaha Corporation allowed Chowning to create the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, one of the most important Computer Music research centers in the world.

Chowning’s most important contribution to the world of music, however, can be found in his compositions, all considered master pieces of Computer Music: Sabelithe (1971), Turenas (1972), Stria (1977), and Phoné (1981). Several of these pieces will be played during DXARTS’ concert in Meany Hall over a state-of-the art surround sound system. The program will also include a more recent piece by Chowning, Voices (2005), for soprano and live electronics, performed by soprano Maureen Chowning.



John Chowning was born in Salem, New Jersey, in 1934. Following military service he studied music at Wittenberg University where he concentrated on composition and received his degree in 1959. He then studied composition in Paris for three years with Nadia Boulanger. In 1966 he received the doctorate in composition from Stanford University, where he studied with Leland Smith.

With the help of Max Mathews of Bell Telephone Laboratories and David Poole of Stanford, in 1964 he set up a computer music program using the computer system of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. This was the first implementation of an on-line computer music system ever.

Beginning in 1964 he began the research leading to the first generalized sound localization algorithm implemented in a quad format in 1966. In 1967, John Chowning discovered the frequency modulation (FM) algorithm in which both the carrier frequency and the modulating frequency are within the audio band. This breakthrough in the synthesis of timbres allowed a very simple yet elegant way of creating and controlling time-varying spectra. Over the next six years he worked toward turning this discovery into a system of musical importance. In 1973, he and Stanford University began a relationship with Yamaha in Japan, which led to the most successful synthesizer technology in the history of electronic musical instruments, known as FM synthesis.

John Chowning has received fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and was artist-in-residence with the Kunstlerprogramm des Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdiensts for the City of Berlin in 1974, and guest artist in IRCAM, Paris in 1978, in 1981, and in 1985. His compositions have been recorded on compact disc, WERGO 2012-50. In 1983 he was honored for his contributions to the field of computer music at the International Computer Music Conference in Rochester, New York. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988.

In 1992 he was given The Osgood Hooker Professorship of Fine Arts by the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford. The French Ministry of Culture awarded him the Diplôme d’Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1995 and he was given the Doctorat Honoris Causa December 2002 by the Université de la Méditerranée. Chowning taught computer-sound synthesis and composition at Stanford University’s Department of Music and was founder and director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), one of the leading centers for computer music and related research.

REMINDER: UW Freshman Music award application due April 15!

14 Apr


Applications for the Dryfoos Music Award are due tomorrow, April 15th! The prize is $1000 and goes to the best performance by a current UW freshman. All genres and musical styles are welcome, and all UW freshmen are eligible.

To apply, email an MP3 file of your music to by April 15, 2011.

Good luck!

$1K Cash Prize Music Award: UW Freshman Musicians

11 Mar

The School of Music is now accepting auditions for the Barbara, Walt, and David Dryfoos Award. A $1,000 prize will go to the best performance by a UW Freshmen* (see details below). All musical styles and genres are welcome!

To apply, email an MP3 file of your audition to by Friday, April 15, 2011 by 5 p.m.

*Qualifying applicants must currently be registered as a University of Washington freshman student and registered as a sophomore for the 2011/12 academic year. You do NOT need to be a Music Major to apply; however, you must be taking lessons and/or classes or performing in an ensemble at the School of Music to qualify. Prize winner will be determined through a live musical competition by the top three applicants.

Performing Ethnomusicology Series: Thione Diop and Yeke Yeke, West African Music

7 Mar

Thione Diop and Yeke Yeke, West African Music

March 11, 2011

Concert (12:30-1:20 pm, Brechemin Auditorium, FREE):
Thione Diop and Yeke Yeke perform a concert of traditional West African music.

Workshop (3:30-5:30 pm, Music 313, FREE)

Senegalese percussionist Thione Diop is a master of the djembe, sabar, tama (talking drum), and djun djun. Based in Seattle since 1999, he has toured internationally with musicians such as Poncho Sanchez, Alpha Blondy, Lucky Dube, and Max Romeo. He is the creator and producer of the annual Spirit of West Africa Festal at the Seattle Center, and Kasumai Africa at the Northshore Performing Arts Center in Bothell. Thione Diop and “Yeke Yeke” present a concert and workshop in the School of Music’s 2011 Performing Ethnomusicology Series.