The impact of digital technology on Instruments, Performances, Notations and Compositions - DAY 2

The impact of digital technology on Instruments, Performances, Notations and Compositions - DAY 2

A two-day workshop with DigiScore research team (Prof. Craig Vear and Dr. Solomiya Moroz) and Matthew Lane, planned in conjunction with CIRMMT research Axes 1, 2, and 4.

Description and Overview

Digital technology has greatly impacted the way we create and perform music. From digital musical instruments that offer new ways to produce and perform sounds, to digital scores that offer creative possibilities beyond traditional printed scores, the impact of digital technology on instruments, performances, notations, and compositions has been significant.

In the realm of musical instruments, digital instruments such as drum machines and Karlax offer a non-linear relationship between performing gestures and resulting sounds, independent from the physical laws that govern traditional acoustic instruments. This opens up new possibilities for expression and experimentation for musicians and composers.

In the realm of notation and composition, digital scores created using computer graphics offer composers the ability to lay out their compositions in new and innovative ways. This, in turn, has transformed the role of these tools from reproduction to production, impacting the way we perform music.

Performance practice has also been impacted by digital technology, with performers facing new challenges in their practice due to the encroachment of digital technologies into the concert space. Live electronics and interactive computers have led to the exploration of alternative performance practices.
Join us in this workshop series as we delve into the fascinating world of digital music-making and explore the various ways in which digital technology has impacted instruments, performances, notations, and compositions.

Bach Library workshop

The Bach library is a powerful tool for real-time computer-assisted composition and musical notation in Max. With its extensive collection of objects, you can notate, manipulate, and generate musical information. This workshop will provide a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of the Bach library and its syntax, empowering you to represent, process, and create music with any number of parameters. Join us with your laptop, and discover the intersection of musical notation, algorithmic transformations, and real-time audio and score processing!

Schedule of Events

Day 1 - March 7
  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (A-820) - Workshop on performance practice with Digital Scores - Solomiya Moroz & Craig Vear (limited to 6 participants)
  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. (A-832) - Lunch provided for participants registered for workshops in either the morning and/or afternoon.
  • 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (A-832) - Seminar on Digital Scores - Solomiya Moroz & Craig Vear
  • 2:00 - 2:15 p.m. (A-832) - Coffee break
  • 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. (A-832) - Round table on Digital Scores - Solomiya Moroz & Craig Vear
  • 3:15 - 3:30 p.m. (A-832) - Coffee break
  • 3:30 - 5:10 p.m. (A-832) - Presentations from CIRMMT members:
    • 3:30: Yuval Adler, Goni Peles
    • 3:50: Dr. Jean-Michaël Celerier
    • 4:10: Coffee break
    • 4:30: Martin Daigle
    • 4:50: Alberto Acquilino, Ninad Puranik

Day 2 - March 8 (A-832)
  • 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Bach Library workshop - Matthew Lane (limited to 15 participants)
  • 3:30 - 3:45 p.m. - Coffee break
  • 3:45 - 5:25 p.m. - Presentations from CIRMMT members:
    • 3:45: Jay Marchand Knight, Kofi Oduro, Eldad Tsabary
    • 4:05: Dr. Arlan N. Schultz
    • 4:25: Coffee break
    • 4:45: Erich Barganier
    • 5:05: Jérémie Martineau

Registration and Call for Participation

These events are free and open to the general public with Registration

*Although the registration deadline for presenters has passed, you may still register as a general attendee. Note that lunch can no longer be guaranteed for general attendees.* 

Our research follows all ethical standards and has been approved by the European Research Commission and the University of Nottingham. Prior to participating, participants should read the consent info sheet and complete a consent form that will be provided.


Matthew LaneMatthew Lane studied organ and composition at Mount Allison University before pursuing masters and doctoral degrees in composition at Université de Montréal. His doctoral work, supported by the FRQSC, focused on computer-assisted composition, notably in OpenMusic and Bach. His own works often explore an extended and distorted vision of tonality and spectral components. He was music director at St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Pierrefonds for 5 years and is currently an invited professor at Université de Montréal.

CIRMMT Members Presentations

Jay Marchand Knight (CIRMMT, Concordia University), Kofi Oduro (Concordia University), Eldad Tsabary (Concordia University)

Title: Time(lessness), Structuralism, and Interdependence in the Electoracoustic Operas of RISE and CLOrk

Abstract: This presentation will explore the practices of comprovisation, co-composing, interdendence in performance, and to new ideas of time (lessness), form, and structuralism in experimental opera for voices, acoustic sounds, and laptop orchestra. Singers with formal musical training often react with trepidation when exposed to this medium but this freer environment opens possibilities for inclusive practice in opera. Questions that have been raised by RISE Opera include: What is voice type? What is the role of notation? Can we attribute an opera to a conceiver rather than a composer? Can a conductor “conduct” on Discord? And finally: What counts as opera?

Dr. Arlan N. Schultz (Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Music and Digital Audio Arts, University of Lethbridge & CIRMMT Collaborator Member)

Title: SpatWand: A New Gestural Controller for Immersive Audio

Abstract: The use of inventive spatial elements in digital composition is now established as part of the composer’s expressive palette. Digital technology has given composers unprecedented control over spatial parameters such as sound source position and orientation parameters (SSPOPs) and room model parameters (RMPs). This presentation outlines some of the aesthetic reasons for employing spatial elements in digital composition and proposes a new device, the SpatWand, for composers to control SSPOPs and RMPs in real time as well as map movements onto sonic objects through physical space with bodily gestures.

Erich Barganier (New York University & CIRMMT Collaborator)

Title: Mapping Vocal Formants for Acoustic Instrumentation

Abstract: Composers have relied on ear training and their own transcriptions to map and notate natural acoustic phenomena for generations, like Olivier Messiaen who notably created compositions based on his transcription of bird songs, or Steve Reich’s Different Trains, which requires the performers to mimic recordings of the human voice on strings. Through the use of the coding language Python, machine learning, and instruments like the disklavier, composers can create a new framework for transcribing and notating vocal formants with greater clarity and accuracy. A case study that transforms human voice to music will be presented to highlight the methodology.

Jérémie Martineau (CIRMMT, Université de Montréal)

Title: Weekly Meditations

Abstract: Weekly Meditations is a seven-piece cycle for mixed instrumental and electronic ensembles following a will to deepen the immersive musical experience, notably by redefining the role of the performer(s) as well as by taking charge of visual and spatial elements. By combining technology (spatial audio - dome and spherical speaker, as well as video projections, lighting), meditative approaches (Mindfulness, Metta), and performance practice - I believe the experience of both the audience and the composer can be heightened through multi-media works. Inspired by the practice of Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros (2005), the cycle is an invitation to practice more regularly a certain form of mindfulness and sound appreciation of the world around us.

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