Posts Tagged ‘EMPAC’

A Talk by Media Theorist Susan Kozel @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

On Wednesday (March 29), EMPAC at RPI will host media theorist Susan Kozel to discuss her research on the convergence of philosophy, dance and media technologies. The talk, titled When Performance and Philosophy Become Design Materials: Dialogues Between Dance and Interaction Design, will start at 7pm. Admission is free and open to the public.

In the realm of human-computer interaction — a field that drives the development of immersive and virtual digital environments and performances — the physical and affective aspect of the human experience has often received secondary consideration within the design and development of new technologies. Integrating the practice of dance improvisation with an analysis of the human body in digital culture, Kozel offers a somatic counterpoint to this tech-driven approach to HCI.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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FILM: “Some Kind of Joy” Profiles Architecture Firm That Designed EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 27th, 2017

In 2001, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and his practice won the architectural competition for the design of EMPAC at RPI in Troy. Throughout the building’s construction, the collaboration between Grimshaw Architects (now just Grimshaw) and RPI was very close in all details of this extraordinary project.

Tonight (Monday, March 27) EMPAC and the Rensselaer School of Architecture will screen the new documentary Some Kind of Joy: The Inside Story of Grimshaw in Twelve Buildings at 6pm in the EMPAC Theater. Admission is free. The film will be introduced by Grimshaw partner William Horgan, who was the lead project architect for EMPAC.

“Watering the Flowers” Film Series Continues @ EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Tonight (Wednesday, March 1) EMPAC at RPI in Troy kicks off the second half of the Watering the Flowers film series, which will feature the work of EMPAC artists-in-residence throughout the Spring 2017 season.

Started in Fall 2016, Watering the Flowers takes its title from cinema pioneer Georges Méliès’ 1896 film of the same name, which was itself a copy of a Lumiere brothers film and was in turn endlessly copied and referenced by fellow filmmakers. In a similar way, this film series aims to “water the flowers” by allowing current artists-in-residence to screen the films that influence them.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Explore Wave Field Synthesis @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

In 2016, EMPAC at RPI in Troy completed construction on a 496-speaker “wave field synthesis” audio array, one of the most extensive and precise systems of its kind in the world, and this week on February 16-18, EMPAC music curator Argeo Ascani and audio engineers Todd Vos and Jeff Svatek will present a series of demonstrations introducing audiences to this new immersive sound technology.

Introduction to Wave Field Synthesis will be offered in four sessions between Thursday-Saturday, with attendance limited to just 15 participants at each event. Please reserve your ticket in advance.

Wave field synthesis is a spatial audio rendering technique that places virtual sound sources in real space, creating a precise three-dimensional sound field that may be physically explored by the listener. This is accomplished by placing a very large number of very small speakers very close together. EMPAC’s new system is novel in that it can reach into a much higher frequency range than other such systems — the band of human hearing that is most sensitive to sound placement in space. EMPAC’s system is also unique in that it is modular in construction, allowing composers, musicians and aficionados different geometric configurations for the wave field.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER: Wu Tsang moves beyond the transgender experience to experimental art @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
Patrick Belaga, Wu Tsang and Boychild.

Patrick Belaga, Wu Tsang and boychild

By Larry Murray

When most people think of transgender art (if they think about it at all) they conjure up tacky nightclubs, drag queens and a hidden, clandestine world. That’s not only wrong: it’s insulting.

Dig a little more deeply and you will find there is some exceptional artisty to be had, and given the chance, you and I can discover what a truly creative mind can bring to the stage. It is in that spirit that we choose this performance as a top pick, one you should not miss.

As it is, artist Wu Tsang will cap a week-long production residency at EMPAC at RPI in Troy with the stage performance Moved by the Motion, a collaboration with performer boychild and experimental cellist Patrick Belaga. Part of an ongoing, iterative series of such performances, the show at 8pm on Friday (April 15) will feature a new lighting design, crafted in the EMPAC Theater.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Salvatore Sciarrino’s Sounds of Silence @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Existing at the edge of what can be heard, the music of Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino is identified by whispers of sound that punctuate a canvas of silence. It’s music that demands a pristine listening environment to be presented properly. On Thursday (April 14), the rare pairing will be achieved when a program of chamber works by Sciarrino is presented in the concert hall of EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

Often touching upon Italian medieval and Renaissance culture as an inspiration, Sciarrino distills the sounds he uses in his compositions down to their essence to create music that exists outside of the noise of daily modern life. For his new approach to old ideas, he has become one of the best known and respected European composers working today, with more than 100 recordings to his name. His fragile music requires exceptional focus from its performers, stretching their technique and control to extremes.

Rensselaer faculty Nicholas DeMaison has been working in residence at EMPAC this week rehearsing three of Sciarrino’s best-known works (composed between 1985 and 2009). Working with a nine-piece ensemble and featured vocalist Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, the program will consist of “Infinito Nero,” a piece that draws its inspiration from the vocal outbursts of 16th-century mystic St. Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi; “Lo Spazio Inverso,” a piece that creates islands of sound in a sea of silence; and the most recent, “L’Altro Giardino,” an elaboration of his earlier work “Il Giardino di Sara.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire in Stage.

FILM: On Screen/Sound 6 @ EMPAC at RPI, 11/4/15

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music" @ EMPAC (photo:  Jeff Nania)

Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music” @ EMPAC (photo: Jeff Nania)

Review and photographs by Jeff Nania

The latest installment of EMPAC’s On Screen/Sound series continued its exploration into interesting and unique connections between film and sound last week with two pieces composed entirely for light. Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music,” and Henning Lohner and John Cage’s collaborative piece “One11 and 103” were both screened.

Notably, “Light Music” was the only piece of the entire On Screen/Sound series to be presented in Studio One with standing room only because it is meant to be experienced in an environmental space. Old school film projectors sat on the floor on either side of the room and sputtered at each other through a theatrical haze as they projected onto opposing screens. The visual images were black and white patterns printed onto the celluloid film and then read as both visual and audio information, so that what you see is also what you hear. It makes for a bath of early computer and videogame-esque sounds. Because of the haze that filled the room you could see this happening throughout the airspace as well.

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Electronic Composer Mark Fell Debuts as Choreographer at EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, October 5th, 2015

bosrecursiveframe

British artist Mark Fell is best known as an electronic composer. Starting out in the UK house and techno scene of the 1990s, Fell has become one of the most esteemed innovators of electronic music’s more experimental flavors. It’s within this context that Fell has expanded his art practice to include light design, architectural installation, and other configurations of multimedia performance. With Recursive Frame Analysis, Fell will add the ingredient of human movement to the mix for his official debut as a choreographer. Developed over the course of a year in residence at EMPAC at RPI in Troy), the piece will premiere there at 8pm on Thursday and Friday (October 8 & 9).

The title and disciplinary progression of the piece takes its inspiration from a mode of talk therapy developed in the 1980s. RFA is a technique whereby the content of a conversation is reconsidered by analyzing the linguistic framework in which it unfolds. Inevitably, this process becomes recursive with the context of a prior exchange becoming the content for a new one. In Fell’s project, a similar process is undertaken with each medium (sound, light, and dance) nesting within the others.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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