Monthly Archives: November 2013

4.Dec.13 Guest Lecture: William Brent

Guest Talk

- William Brent -

Making Sense and Use of Audio Features in Creative Contexts

WHEN: Wednesday, December 4th, 6:30PM
WHERE: NYU Music Department
24 Waverly Place, Room 220, NY 10003

Here are the patches from the talk.


Certain standard audio features can be understood intuitively, but the meanings of others are less obvious. William Brent will discuss some practical and theoretical aspects of audio feature extraction in connection with his timbreID library for Pure Data. Special attention will be given to the meaning of more abstract feature information - curso java, such as cepstrum and Mel-frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCCs). Recent projects making use of such features will be reviewed as well, including a realization of John Cage’s Variations II that requires ordering of hundreds of audio files by timbre, and software for Bryan Christian’s Ignota, designed to compare the timbres of percussion instruments and sung IPA phonemes for the purpose of generating instrument-dependent language.


William Brent is a computer musician and Assistant Professor of Audio Technology at American University in Washington DC. His creative work is spread across the areas of experimental music performance, sound installation, and instrument design, and involves various combinations of human- robotic- and computer-realized sound. In collaboration with internationally recognized composers and performers, he develops and operates real-time audiovisual manipulation software for inter-media performance works. In this capacity, he has presented work at venues such as SESC (São Paulo), Glasgow Concert Halls (Scotland), Miller Theatre (New York), and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC). As a programmer, he develops open source software libraries for the Pure Data (Pd) programming environment. His current lines of research include new methods for physical control of synthesized audio, signal analysis techniques for quantifying timbre, and various aspects of human timbre perception.

Brent holds a Ph.D in Music from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied in the computer music area with Miller Puckette, F.R. Moore, and Shlomo Dubnov. Centered on various understandings of timbre, his dissertation research examined signal processing techniques for automatic classification of percussion instruments, and the relationship between objective measurements and human judgments of percussive sounds.

Software and further information can be accessed at

3&17.Dec.13 ICE performs NYU’s Lara & Stankova

Upcoming performances of works by NYU alumnae Felipe Lara & Maria Stankova by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) at Roulette.

#OpenICE at Roulette!

Three weeks of radical new projects by emerging composers, commissioned, produced and performed by ICE, presented by Roulette, Brooklyn’s home for new music. All three concerts are FREE:

December 3: Maria Stankova and Sasha Siem
December 10: Martin Hiendl and Monica Duncan
December 17: Daniel Dehaan and Felipe Lara

3.Dec.13 Guest Lecture: Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Graduate Composition Colloquium No. 5

- Anna Thorvaldsdottir -

WHEN: Wednesday, December 3rd, 10:30AM
WHERE: NYU Music Department
24 Waverly Place, Room 220, NY 10003


In her music Anna Thorvaldsdottir frequently works with large sonic structures that tend to reveal the presence of a vast variety of sustained sound materials. Her approach to music composition can be said to reflect her sense of imaginative listening to landscapes and nature and the music tends to portray a flowing world of sounds with an enigmatic lyrical atmosphere.
In the presentation Anna will be talking about her music, inspirations, aesthetics, and compositional approach with regards to some recent projects.


Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s music is frequently performed in Europe and in the US, and has been featured at several major music festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival and Beijing Modern Music Festival. Her works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions, e.g. at the Icelandic Music Awards and the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition. Anna is the recipient of the prestige Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for her orchestral work Dreaming.
Some of the orchestras and ensembles that Anna has worked with include e.g. the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, BIT20, CAPUT Ensemble, Musiques Nouvelles, Either/Or Ensemble and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Anna holds a PhD degree from the University of California in San Diego where she primarily worked with Rand Steiger and Lei Liang, as well as with Chinary Ung, Philippe Manoury, Roger Reynolds, and percussionist Steven Schick.
Anna’s debut portrait album – Rhízoma – was released in October 2011 through Innova Recordings. The album features three larger pieces for orchestra and chamber orchestra, and five shorter movements from a solo percussed piano work. In addition to being selected Classical/Contemporary Album of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards 2012, Rhízoma also appeared on a number of “Best of 2011” lists, e.g. at TimeOut New York and TimeOut Chicago. For more info:


Category: Guest Talks Tags: anna thorvaldsdottir, music department, new music,

15.Dec.13 Concert: Time Axiom: A Telematic Music Concert – New York, Belfast, Zurich

Time Axiom: A Telematic Music Concert – New York, Belfast, Zurich

December 15, 2013

3:00pmEST New York, United States of America
8:00pmGMT Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
9:00pmCST Zurich, Switzerland

Time Axiom is a concert in the telematic music medium – live performance via the internet by musicians in different geographic locations. Featuring premieres of works by composers in New York – Mark Dresser, Elizabeth Hoffman, and Sarah Weaver, Time Axiom utilizes renowned acoustic and electronic musicians, static and processed video, and the temporal and spatial properties of the telematic medium.

This concert can be attended in-person at any of the locations. The high-definition audio and video network technology on high-bandwidth internet with low-latency provides a co-located venue for synchronous performance. Video processing by artists in Zurich – Benjamin Burger, Joel De Giovanni. The project is directed by Sarah Weaver with site coordinators Elizabeth Hoffman (New York), Franziska Schroeder (Belfast), Matthias Ziegler (Zurich).


Trifecta Tele Phases – by Mark Dresser
Matthias Ziegler, multiple flutes (Zurich), Franziska Schroeder, saxophones (Belfast), Ray Anderson, trombone (New York), Sylvie Courvoisier, piano (New York), Mark Dresser, bass (New York), Lucas Niggli, drumset (Zurich), Paul Stapleton, bonsai sound sculpture (Belfast), Tullis Rennie, trombone/laptop (Belfast), Sarah Weaver, conductor (New York)

between that is turning – by Elizabeth Hoffman
Franziska Schroeder, saxophones (Belfast), Tullis Rennie, trombone (Belfast), Paul Stapleton, bonsai sound sculpture (Belfast); Elizabeth Hoffman, laptop (New York)

The Becoming of Time – by Sarah Weaver
Matthias Ziegler, multiple flutes (Zurich), Franziska Schroeder, saxophones (Belfast), Ray Anderson, trombone (New York), Sylvie Courvoisier, piano (New York), Mark Dresser, bass (New York), Lucas Niggli, drumset (Zurich), Paul Stapleton, bonsai sound sculpture (Belfast), Tullis Rennie, laptop (Belfast), Elizabeth Hoffman, laptop (New York), Sarah Weaver, conductor (New York)

Admission free.

RSVP required via email to <>

or via Facebook:


New York, United States of America 3:00pmEST
New York University Silver Center, Room 220, 32 Waverly Place, New York.
GSAS Department of Music, with support from Liminal Music Inc.
Sarah Weaver, project director, technical director, Elizabeth Hoffman, site coordinator.

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom 8:00pmGMT
The Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, BT7 1NN
Franziska Schroeder, site coordinator, Robin Renwick, technical director.
Admission free. For information, contact: <>Zurich, Switzerland 9:00pmCST
Zurich University of Arts ICST (International Computer Music Studio) in collaboration with Moods Jazz Club. Moods im Schiffbau, Schiffbaustrasse 6, 8005 Zürich. . Matthias Ziegler, site coordinator, Daniel Späti, technical director, Johannes Schütt, streaming. For information, contact: <> 


22-24.Nov.13 Workshop: PWGL / Mika Kuuskankare

Graduate Composition Workshop No. 1 – 2013

- PatchWork Graphical Language PWGL: a Software for Computer Assisted Composition -

by Mika Kuuskankare

organized in collaboration between the NYU Department of Music and Columbia University’s Computer Music Center (CMC)

FRI 11/22, 3-6pm @ NYU General Presentation of PWGL
Present & future; the basics of the patch language, and ENP; Small patch/score assignments illustrating the interplay between them; review of the most important tutorial patches.
SAT 11/23,10-1pm @ NYU Hands-on Workshop of PWGL
Hands-on workshop with exercises of various compositional algorithms.
SAT 11/23, 3-6pm @ CMC Sessions with advanced users: Constraints
SUN 11/24, 3-6pm @ CMC Sessions with advanced users

NYU – Dept. of Music: 24 Waverly Pl., Rm 220, NY 10003
CMC – Columbia Univ.: Dodge Hall, Rm. 620, 2960 Broadway, NY 10027

is a free cross-platform visual language based on Common Lisp, CLOS, and OpenGL specialized in computer aided composition and sound synthesis. PWGL is one of the three major computer-assisted composition environments, along with IRCAM’s Open-Music (OM), and Stanford’s Common Music (CM). PWGL and OM, rely on visual programming and contain many visualization aids,such as music notation, which are an integral part of the system.

pmc-pwglOne of the main advantages of PWGL is that it offers a flexible music notation tool called Expressive Notation Package (ENP). ENP has a graphical user interface, a large set of musical primitives and an extended concept of expression markings, and it allows for algorithmic control over scores. PWGL is publicly available since 2006 and is distributed as freeware for OS X and Windows.

To register for the workshop, or to ask questions, write to both:
Jaime Oliver () AND Jean-Baptiste Barrière ()

Mika Kuuskankare (Finland 1970) studied composition at Sibelius Academy receiving a Master’s degree in Composition in 1999. During the past 20 years, Kuuskankare has worked as a researcher and has participated in several research projects funded by the Academy of Finland in close collaboration with the Acoustics Laboratory of Helsinki University of Technology. During the years 2003-2006, Kuuskankare conducted his doctoral studies at the Department of Doctoral Studies in Musical Performance and Research and also participated as an associated student in the Pythagoras Graduate School of Music and Sound Research funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and the Academy of Finland. In 2006 Kuuskankare received his doctorate with the distinction “pass with merit”. The topic of the thesis was the computer-assisted, music notation software Expressive Notation Package (ENP). His opponent was Roger Dannenberg from the School of Computer Science and the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. The most prominent result of this research is a visual music programming environment called PWGL, which started about 10 years ago by DMus Mikael Laurson and Kuuskankare. The present PWGL team also includes MMus V. Norilo, currently conducting doctoral studies at Sibelius Academy, and Diplom-Komponist K. Sprotte.

More info at:

Announcement in PDF format.


Category: Workshops

19.Nov.13 Guest Lecture: Douglas Geers

Graduate Composition Colloquium No. 4

- Douglas Geers -

Drama, Data, Scores, and Circuits

WHEN: Tuesday, November 19th,10:30AM
WHERE: NYU Music Department
24 Waverly Place, Room 220, NY 10003


Composer Douglas Geers has spent much of his career investigating how to integrate acoustic instruments, electroacoustic techniques, and visual media. In this presentation he will trace his evolving methodology and pose questions regarding what roles composers choose to assume in the creative process.


Composer Douglas Geers works extensively with technology in composition, performance, and multimedia collaborations, focusing on creative integration of new technologies and multimedia dimensions into concert music, with a continuing emphasis on interactive electroacoustic works.
Reviewers have described Geers’ music as “glitchy… keening… scrabbling… contemplative” (S. Smith, NYTimes), “kaleidoscopic” (A. Lindemann Malone, Wash. Post), “fascinating… virtuosic… beautifully eerie” (J. Lowe, Montpelier Times-Argus), “Powerful” (Neue Zuericher Zietung), “arresting… extraordinarily gratifying” (Dierdre Donovan,, “rhythmically complex, ominous” (KE. Moorman, CVNC), and have praised its “virtuosic exuberance” (Computer Music Journal) and “shimmering electronic textures” (Kyle Gann, Village Voice.)
Geers’ works include Inanna, a 90-minute multimedia theater piece (2009, Zürich); an opera, Calling (2008, New York); Sweep, written for the Princeton University Laptop Orchestra (2008, Chicago); a violin concerto, Laugh Perfumes, commissioned by Festival Unicum for the RTV Orchestra of Slovenia (2006, Ljubljana); Gilgamesh, a 70-minute multimedia theatrical concerto; and numerous works of acoustic and electroacoustic concert music.
Geers completed his doctorate at Columbia University, where he studied with Tristan Murail, Fred Lerdahl, Brad Garton, and Jonathan D. Kramer. Currently he is Associate Professor of Music Composition at the City University of New York Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, where he is Director of the Center for Computer Music (
See Geers’ personal website for information, audio, video, and scores:

Upcoming Guests: Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Dec. 3


8.Nov.13 Guest Lecture: Miller Puckette


Graduate Composition Colloquium No. 3

- Miller Puckette -

Why we need a good graphical score language, and why we don’t have one

WHEN: Friday, November 8th,10:30AMPd
WHERE: NYU Music Department
24 Waverly Place, Room 220, NY 10003


Since the 1970s (if not earlier) computer music researchers have been developing graphics-based languages for describing musical data structures that a computer could render into sound. Although the idea sounds natural enough, no solution has yet gained wide acceptance (not counting the common practice music notation packages, which describe notes rather than sounds themselves). My own attempts haven’t fared batter than anyone else’s. This talk won’t so much make a new proposal as consider carefully what it is that makes the problem hard.


Miller Puckette obtained a B.S. in Mathematics from MIT (1980) and Ph. D. in Mathematics from Harvard (1986). He was a member of MIT’s Media Lab from its inception until 1987, and then a researcher at IRCAM (l’Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Musique/Acoustique), founded by composer and conductor Pierre Boulez. At IRCAM he wrote Max, a widely used computer music software environment, released commercially by Opcode Systems in 1990 and now available from

Puckette joined the Music department of the University of California, San Diego in 1994, where he is now professor. From 2000 to 2011 he was Associate Director of Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at UCSD.

He is currently working on Pure Data (“Pd”), a leading open-source real-time multimedia arts programming environment, with software contributions by many others worldwide. Puckette has collaborated with many artists and musicians, including Philipe Manoury (whose Sonus ex Machina cycle was the first major work to use Max), and Rand Steiger, and Vibeke Sorensen (as part of the Global Visual Music project). Since 2004 he has performed with the Convolution Brothers.

This website is under construction

This is the website for the NYU Waverly Labs for Music & Computing at the Department of Music in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. We are in the process of generating the content for this website, so we would encourage you to visit us in a few days for updated information.

Category: Uncategorized