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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 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.

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.

Performing Ethnomusicology Series: Munir Beken, Turkish Ud

28 Feb

Munir Beken, Turkish Ud

March 4, 2011


Munir Beken, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles and virtuoso performer on the Turkish Ud, presents a lecture-rehearsal and seminar in the School of Music’s 2011 Performing Ethnomusicology Series.

Lecture-Rehearsal (12:30-1:20 pm, Brechemin Auditorium, FREE):

“Memories of a Shoehorn,” a 20-minute chamber work in two movements for flute, violin, viola, and cello.

Seminar (2:30-4:30 pm, Fishbowl Conference Room, FREE):
Pitch-Form Continuum and Teaching World Music Theory


In the first half his appearance, Dr. Beken leads an open rehearsal of “Memories of a Shoehorn,” a 20-minute chamber work in two movements for flute, violin, viola, and cello, and discusses the background of the piece, his compositional process, and issues of cross-cultural composition and performance in the 21st Century.

“The ‘shoehorn’ refers to an item that my father always carried with him when he went to musical gatherings at other peoples’ homes in Istanbul, Turkey, in the 1940s and 1950s,” Dr. Beken explains. “Since polite guests always took their shoes off in the house, he carried his own shoehorn with him. The inspiration for this piece comes from my childhood imagination of what the shoehorn might have heard at these musical gatherings, rather than a duplication of the music that would actually have been played. I based the work on my memory of what my father, arriving home from a gathering, used to explain to me as an 8-year-old child. The composition incorporates some elements of Turkish classical music, such as melodic modes, rhythms, and ornamentation, to create an impression of traditional music heard in Turkey.”

The performers will be School of Music students Katherine Isbill (flute), Constance Shepherd (violin), Romaric Pokorny (viola), and Lauren Vander Lind (cello).

A former Visiting Artist in Ethnomusicology (2000-2002) at the University of Washington, Dr. Beken will lead a seminar on world music theory in the second half of his appearance.


Dance Majors Concert

17 Feb

2011 UW Dance Majors Concert
Thursday – Saturday, March 3 – 5, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 6, 2:00 p.m.
Meany Hall Studio Theater
Purchase tickets online, in person at the UW Arts Ticket Office, or call (206)543-4880.

Please join the University of Washington Dance Program for its annual concert of undergraduate choreography featuring nine original dances.  This popular concert offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates, many of whom are experiencing their choreography fully produced for the first time.

Although the artistic director is a faculty member, the production of the concert is a community effort. Each choreographer contributes extra time on top of orchestrating their own rehearsals to help with everything from writing programs and designing posters, to offering supportive feedback to their peers. Some of the highlights include a collaboration with a composer from digital art and experimental media (DXARTS), costumes consisting of latex body paint, and a dance exploring Hip Hop subcultures, both past and present. The concert also includes the premiere of a group piece choreographed and performed by all of the choreographers.

The result is a fresh take on concert dance from a youthful perspective.General admission tickets are $14, $12 UW faculty/staff, UWAA members, and $10 students/seniors. Tickets are available at the UW Arts Ticket office at:

3901 University Way NE,
at (206) 543-4880
or online at


From Object to Action: Art and Performance Symposium

16 Feb

Thursday, April 7, 2011
4-6 pm & 7-8 pm
Nordstrom Lecture Hall, SAM Downtown

Join graduate students from the University of Washington for an early evening symposium in conjunction with the special exhibition Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth. Presentations will highlight the role of performance through Nick Cave’s art works, global cultures and the history of art. Between sessions, Cornish College of the Arts performs work by modern dance choreographer Merce Cunningham live in the galleries.

Free and open to the public. Registration required if planning to attend.

Call for proposals. Participants should prepare a presentation of around 15 minutes, which will be followed by a brief period of questions and answers. The deadline for the call for proposals (a title and an abstract of around 1 page) is February 12, 2011. Proposals are reviewed within two weeks of submission. Submit via email to:

les percussions de strasbourg | saturday

16 Feb

The School of Music and the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) present a special appearance by Europe’s leading percussion ensemble, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, as part of their 50th anniversary North American tour. The program will include Tempus ex Machina by Gérard Grisey and Persephassa, by Iannis Xenakis—two master pieces commissioned by the group that require the players to perform surrounding the audience. The program will also include a performance of On Space, a work for percussion sextet and 3D sound composed for the group by School of Music professor Juan Pampin.

Please Note: Due to the stage set-up for this concert, seating is extremely limited. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended.

DATE & TIME Saturday, February 19, 2011 :: 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION Meany Theater, UW Campus
TICKETS $15 ($10 students and seniors)

Purchase Tickets Online