Digital Orchestra Project featured in the McGill Reporter

February 25, 2008

Digital Instruments Debut at MusiMarch Festival (March 3-7, 2008)

Sounds from our musical future

BY KIRA NEWMAN, WARM-SPARK WRITER | High-pitched, metallic notes fill the air in the Digital Composition Studios of McGill's Schulich School of Music as composer Andrew Stewart plays the T-stick, a thin, nearly two-metre long, orange pole. As he holds the unusual instrument in front of him, tapping its ends with his fingers, a low, hollow, drum-like sound seeps from speakers nearby. A slide of Stewart's hand produces a sustained sound, called a "groan," and a shake of the stick creates jagged bursts of sound.

The T-stick is one of several new digital instruments developed in the McGill Digital Orchestra, a three-year research project at the Centre For Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technology (CIRMMT) bringing engineers, performers and composers together to discover new ways of using technology for musical expression. A number of the instruments developed in the project will be showcased March 5 at Pollack Hall as part of the live@CIRMMT concert series during McGill's MusiMarch International Festival of Contemporary Music. The event gets under way at 7:30.

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For further information on MusiMars, visit the Festival website: