Uncaged::Conlon Robot Keyboard Prize 2017 Deadline extended.

In 2017, for the first time, the UnCaged Toy Piano (US) and Conlon Foundation (NL)  will collaborate on a joint call for submissions for the 2017 Robot Keyboard Prize. For this year’s competition, we are seeking adventurous new works for Ranjit Bhatnagar's midi-controlled Robot Toy Piano. Innovative ways of integrating electronics are encouraged, but not mandatory.

 

The prize for 1st place is a performance in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht, Holland) in September 2017 and the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival (New York City, December 2017), plus $1000 of which $500 from the UnCaged Toy Piano and $500 from Conlon Foundation towards travel/accommodation costs, to enable the prize winner to attend the performance in Utrecht, NL. The prize for Honorable Mention is a performance in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht, Holland) in September 2017 and the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival (New York City, December 2017).

 

Guidelines for the competition:

1. The competition is open to composers and sound artists of all ages and nationalities.

2. Works must be written for the Robot Toy Piano as a concert work (not installations).

3. Works may include one live performer on a conventional or unconventional instrument (i.e. orchestral, homemade, or mechanized instrument)     

4. The duration of the piece may be no longer than 15 minutes. 

 

The deadline for submissions is May 1st, 2017 and should include:

1. A short bio of the composer in pdf.

2. A score/information sheet with a detailed description of the work in pdf.

3. A downloadable audio and/or video preview of the work in .mp3 or .avi. or a link to a website where the file remains available until June 1st, 2017                                         

The decision of the jury will be made public no later than June 1st, 2017

Built by New York-based sound artist, Ranjit Bhatnagar, the robot toy piano is a redesigned

player toy piano (PianoLodeon) that reads midi files. The range of the robot toy piano keyboard

is midi note 36-64 (C3-E5). The sounding pitch is a major third lower, due to the construction of the original Pianolodeon.                                                                                                                                                  

Please check the UnCaged and Conlon websites for more detailed information about the instrument and updates.

 

Submissions and inquiries should be sent to:  uncagedconlon2017@gmail.com

 

 



Posted on March 20, 2017


Disklavier concert in the Pianino Theater

(English version below)

 

Drie componisten met een achtergrond in de Mechanische Muziek brengen een gevarieerd programma dat toegespitst is op de Disklavier, een digitaal aangestuurd zelfspelende piano. Dit alles vindt plaats in de intieme sfeer van het Pianino Theater in Den Haag.

 

Ben Wallet zal zijn Sonate voor Spookpiano spelen, die in 2014 in première is gegaan op de Gaudeamus Muziekweek. Daarnaast zal hij een nieuw arrangement spelen van Anton Webern's Opus 1, een loodzwaar Passacaglia dat oorspronkelijk geschreven is voor groot orkest. Jerke van den Braak zal nadat hij het hele land (en zelfs Carré) bespeeld heeft met zijn Wii-controllers, nu komen met enkele nieuwe werken. Bram Stadhouders gaat na zijn vernieuwende concert op de UitMarkt, waar hij met zijn gitaar een kerkorgel en een kermisorgel aanstuurde, op dezelfde weg verder met een nieuw instrument. Met zijn gitaar en MIDI-controllers zal hij een spectaculaire improvisatie spelen op de Disklavier. Na dit programma zullen we onder het genot van de nodige drankjes nog vele klassiekers spelen van o.a. George Gershwin en Georgy Ligeti.

 

Three composers with a background in mechanical music, but with a totally different approach towards it, are bringing a program that is focused on the Disklavier. This will take place in the intimate atmosphere of the brand new Pianino Theater in Den Haag.

 

Ben Wallet will play his Sonate voor Spookpiano, which had its premiere at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2014. He will also play his brand new Disklavier-arrangement of Anton Webern's Opus 1, an incredibly heavy Passacaglia that was initially written for large orchestra. Jerke van den Braak will come with a few new pieces, after he played the entire country including the great Carré with his Wii controllers. Bram Stadhouders will play a spectacular improvisation, controlling the Disklavier with his guitar. He already impressed at the UitMarkt, doing the same thing with a church organ and a fairground organ. After the program we will play some classics from the repertoire, while the bar is open.

 



Posted on November 7, 2016


Uncaged::Conlon Robot Keyboard Prize 2017

In 2017, for the first time, the UnCaged Toy Piano (US) and Conlon Foundation (NL)  will collaborate on a joint call for submissions for the 2017 Robot Keyboard Prize. For this year’s competition, we are seeking adventurous new works for Ranjit Bhatnagar's midi-controlled Robot Toy Piano. Innovative ways of integrating electronics are encouraged, but not mandatory.

 

The prize for 1st place is a performance in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht, Holland) in September 2017 and the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival (New York City, December 2017), plus $1000 of which $500 from the UnCaged Toy Piano and $500 from Conlon Foundation towards travel/accommodation costs, to enable the prize winner to attend the performance in Utrecht, NL. The prize for Honorable Mention is a performance in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht, Holland) in September 2017 and the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival (New York City, December 2017).

 

Guidelines for the competition:

1. The competition is open to composers and sound artists of all ages and nationalities.

2. Works must be written for the Robot Toy Piano as a concert work (not installations).

3. Works may include one live performer on a conventional or unconventional instrument (i.e. orchestral, homemade, or mechanized instrument)     

4. The duration of the piece may be no longer than 15 minutes. 

 

The deadline for submissions is April 1st, 2017 and should include:

1. A short bio of the composer in pdf.

2. A score/information sheet with a detailed description of the work in pdf.

3. A downloadable audio and/or video preview of the work in .mp3 or .avi. or a link to a website where the file remains available until June 1st, 2017                                         

The decision of the jury will be made public no later than June 1st, 2017

Built by New York-based sound artist, Ranjit Bhatnagar, the robot toy piano is a redesigned

player toy piano (PianoLodeon) that reads midi files. The range of the robot toy piano keyboard

is midi note 36-64 (C3-E5). The sounding pitch is a major third lower, due to the construction of the original Pianolodeon.                                                                                                                                                  

Please check the UnCaged and Conlon websites for more detailed information about the instrument and updates.

 

Submissions and inquiries should be sent to:  uncagedconlon2017@gmail.com

 




Posted on October 30, 2016


ICMC 2016 Call for Music using Conlon’s Disklavier

The 2016 edition of the International Computer Music Festival takes place in Utrecht, NL. The 'Call for Music' for this year’s festival specifically mentions the Disklavier of the Conlon Foundation as an optional instrument to combine with electronics or live coding. We strongly encourage composers to send in works for the Disklavier. The submission deadline is February 1. More info at http://www.icmc2016.com/open-call-for-music/



Posted on January 5, 2016


Gaudeamus Muziekweek Sessies #10: Conlon KonCon Concert

Date: January 17, 2016, 16:00h

Location: Muziekhuis Utrecht

More info: GMW Sessies #10

 

In the spring of 2015 the Conlon Foundation organised a workshop for students of Martijn Padding at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Composer/performer and Disklavier expert Robert van Heumen introduced 4 students to the Disklavier and its possibilities and impossibilities. The workshop resulted in 2 new compositions for extended Disklavier. For this concert these two new works are accompanied by a composition by Van Heumen, commissioned by the Conlon Foundation in 2011. This program is part of Gaudeamus Muziekweek Sessies #10, in a combination with the Basklarinet Festival.

 

Program

 

Escalator (2016, premiere) Yvonne Freckmann

Scriabin to MIDI (2015, premiere) Andrius Arutiunian

The Sound of the Machine (2011, revised 2015) Robert van Heumen

 

Program Notes

 

Escalator

 

Escalator for Yamaha Disklavier and Field Recording is a 11:30-minute visual and aural translation of a ride up and down an escalator in Den Haag Centraal Station. The looped 1.5-minute field recording I processed, filtered and edited in different ways to highlight different components of the audio, and rhythmic, melodic and pitch elements emerge in the Disklavier just as relationships between the two machines - the escalator and Disklavier - come into focus over time. Another connection is the trend of public pianos in train stations of The Netherlands.

 

Scriabin to MIDI

 

Disklavier communicates through MIDI; MIDI translates musical parameters into a quantifiable, measured language. This has been done before - one of the first examples of such process were the piano rolls, which function by punching the holes in a paper roll and which were so widely used before the era of gramophone took over.

 

One of the composers to record his music on the piano rolls was Scriabin; these rolls are the only surviving medium to hear him playing his own music, since Scriabin died just before the widely available audio recording technology was developed. Because both the piano roll and MIDI work in a similar fashion, I've decided to take the piano rolls of Scriabin's Deux Poemes op 32, no.1 and to do an audio to MIDI conversion (once for every year since the recording was made (1905)). Because of this process, the initial recording starts to "disappear" and the imperfections of the DAW audio to MIDI conversion algorithm begin not only to obscure, but also disintegrate the original piece. The work thus functions not so much by concentrating on the original piece and its execution by Scriabin, but instead by articulating the analogue to digital conversion artefacts and sonic debris.

 

The Disklavier part therefore consists of Scriabin himself playing one of his piano pieces, but translated from analogue to digital (piano roll to recording), then from audio signal to MIDI and back forth to the Disklavier. The electronic part consists of the original Scriabin's piano roll recording in a gradual slow-down. The video is made of colour projection, based on the famous colour theory by Scriabin and is following the harmonic pace of the music.

 

The Sound of the Machine

 

A composition for Disklavier, soundtrack, acoustic instrument (pre-recorded or live) and live electronics.

 

The sound of machines is fascinating. They scream, growl, grind, buzz, hum, sing, roar, whistle, thunder. The Disklavier is a machine to make music with. But it's not only the strings that make sound. This composition exposes the Disklavier's mechanism and produces freshly squeezed music.

http://west28.nl/gvdm/



Posted on December 18, 2015


Conlon Music Prize 2015 for Disklavier Plus

The Conlon Foundation has chosen the winners of the third international Conlon Music Prize 2015 for Disklavier Plus:

Andreas Greiner (DE), visual artist, and composer Tyler Friedman (DE), composer, for their collaboration:

 

Multitudes (2015)                                                                                              

an audiovisual installation straddling the fields of biology, digitality and sculpture

 

Also, the Conlon Foundation has chosen to give an Honourable Mention to     

Danny de Graan (NL) for:

 

Riding the Euclidean Planes (2015)

for Disklavier, electronics and live video

 

We received an interesting and exciting mix of works in the seventeen entries sent from across the globe.

 

The jury consisted of the Conlon Board: 

Robert van Heuman, Henk Heuvelmans, Luc Houtkamp, Christina Viola Oorebeek, chair  and Wouter Snoei. Because of the focus on works for Disklavier and visuals/video, we invited Karl Klomp, visual artist, to join the jury. Also, the composers, Ji Youn Kang and Lucas Wiegerink, participants of the Ulysses Network Project "Disklavier plus", were asked to be members.

 

As stated in our announcement, the winners of the competition, Andreas Greiner and Tyler Friedman will be invited to perform and present "Multitudes" in the Disklavier Research Project concert on September 9, 2015 in the Gaudeamus Music Week (http://www.muziekweek.nl) in Utrecht in the Netherlands. 



Posted on July 24, 2015


The Conlon Foundation Residency Project 2015

 

The Conlon Foundation Residencies's started this week in the Muziekhuis Utrecht in the Netherlands in collaboration with the Gaudeamus Foundation.

 

Four composers were selected from a large group of international applications:

 

Leo Grant (United Kingdom)

Kosmas Giannoutakis (Austria)                                                                                                           

who are sharing the first period in the Disklavier studio from May 25 - June 5

 

Farshid Samandari (Canada)                                                                                                             

Boris Bezemer (Netherlands)                                                                                                                

who will be sharing the second period spread over three weeks from June 15 - July 3rd.

 

Conlon board members Robert van Heumen, Wouter Snoei, Luc Houtkamp and Christina Viola Oorebeek are giving feedback to the composers during these weeks.

 

During the Gaudeamus Musicweek from September 9-13, the compositions for Disklavier and electronics resulting from the residencies of these four composers will be presented in The Disklavier Research Project concert.   Also, in this concert the composition of the winner of the 3rd Disklavier Plus Competition 2015 will be performed, as well as a student work chosen from a workshop given by Robert van Heumen in collaboration with the Conservatory of the Hague.



Posted on May 31, 2015


Workshop in collaboration with the Royal Conservatory of The Hague

This spring Conlon will organize a workshop for students of Martijn Padding at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. The workshop consists of 2 days with introduction and tutoring by Robert van Heumen. Those two days are a few weeks apart; in the time between the students will have access to the Disklavier to experiment and construct a composition for Disklavier Plus (Disklavier with the addition of electonics, preparation, extra players, etc). This workshop is on invitation only: current selected participants are Andrius Arutiunian, Eirik Brandal, Yvonne Freckman and Anna Mikhailova.



Posted on March 7, 2015


3rd Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus 2015

The Conlon Foundation is happy to announce the 3rd Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus 2015. The Conlon Foundation is seeking adventurous new works for the electronic reproducing piano, generically known as the Disklavier. For this competition, the focus is on works for (Yamaha) Disklavier, electronics and visuals, with the option of using a pianist. Works not employing visuals are also welcome, as the most important criterium for winning the competition will always be artistic quality. Using alternative controllers (for example, joysticks, Wiiremotes, sensor suits, wireless controllable toys) video, live sampling or the "preparation" of the Disklavier are among the possible techniques to be utilized in the realization of the composer's artistic ideas. 

 

The prize of the competition will consist of a performance in the prestigious 2015 Gaudeamus Muziekweek in the Netherlands. The jury will consist of a panel of experts in the field of electro-acoustic new music and visuals, and will judge the submissions for the prize on originality, musicality and performance feasibility. One work will be selected as the winner. The decision of the jury will be made public no later than July 20, 2015. The Conlon Foundation as well as the Gaudeamus Muziekweek will use their national and international networks to generate more performances of the winning work. 

 

Guidelines for the competition:

The deadline for submissions is June 21st, 2015 and should include:

Submissions can only be done by sending an email to info.at.conlon.dot.nl. The score/description of the work and the biography of the composer must be sent in PDF format. The audio/video preview can be send as attachment if it is less than 10MB. Otherwise is has to be available for download. Composers can apply to use the Disklavier to prepare for a submission. The Disklavier is permanently housed in the Utrecht Music House with whom Conlon has a permanent collaboration. 

 

For more information about the Gaudeamus Muziekweek: http://www.muziekweek.nl



Posted on December 18, 2014


Open Call for the Conlon Foundation Composer-in-residence program

In 2015 the Conlon Foundation is starting up a residency program for composers interested in working with the foundation's Yamaha Disklavier to create an imaginative composition for Disklavier solo with electronics, and/or for combinations with other media, with the option of using a pianist. Using alternative controllers, video, live sampling or the 'preparation' of the Disklavier are among the possible techniques to be utilized in the realization of the composer's artistic ideas.

 

In collaboration with Gaudeamus, the Conlon Foundation offers a two week residency in one of the studios in the Muziekhuis Utrecht, The Netherlands. Aside from the Disklavier, these studios are equipped with a (possibly multichannel) sound system, various microphones and other equipment. The intention is to host two residents in the same period sharing the studio, to encourage crossfertilisation. The residency should eventually result in a composition to be performed at a concert organized by Gaudeamus.

 

The residency entails the use of a studio and the Disklavier free of charge, as well as an introduction into a broad network of composers, performers and organizers within the Dutch music scene. If residents wish to include a pianist or another instrumentalist, the Conlon Foundation can suggest possible players. The residencies do not include costs for travel, lodging or food, nor costs involved with an optional performer. Conlon can assist in looking for affordable lodging.

 

To apply, please send an email to info-at-conlon-dot-nl, including a project description and a CV, as well as links to works, samples and other supporting materials. Do not send materials over 10 MB by email. The deadline for applications is February 27, 2015. A total of four (4) composers can be invited to take part in a residency for 2015. Conlon aims to schedule the residencies in the spring of 2015. Exact dates can be negotiated, depending on availability of the studios and the composers' schedules.



Posted on November 26, 2014


Pre Dinner Concert: Disklavier Plus

Come one, come all!

a very interesting new program of works for Disklavier & Harp, harp solo

 

Pre Dinner Concert: Disklavier Plus


Aanvang: 17:00 Locatie: KuuB Prijs: online: €10,-/€8,- kassa: €12,-/€10,- ▸ tickets
Componisten: Lucas Wiegerink, Ji Youn Kang, Ben Wallet, Simon Burgers


Het Disklavier is voor componisten immer een uitdagend instrument. Het zelfspelende klavier behoeft namelijk geen pianist waardoor de mogelijkheden immens zijn. Gaudeamus gaf een drietal componisten de opdracht een nieuw werk te schrijven voor Disklavier en live elektronica. Eén van die werken was in de Muziekweek 2013 al te beluisteren. Machi-nory van Ji Youn Kang maakte toen veel indruk en beleeft nu een terechte reprise. Lucas Wiegerink voegt de harp toe aan zijn werk voor Disklavier en fixeert zich in het bijzonder op de mogelijkheden van de pedalen van zowel harp als Disklavier. Ben Wallet schreef een Sonate voor Disklavier waarin de gehele muziekgeschiedenis in raptempo voorbij komt. Het concert vangt aan met een solo harpwerk van Simon Burgers

Lucas Wiegerink (NL 1985) Sonata for 10 Pedals (in samenwerking met Robert van Heumen, geluidsontwerp)
Ji Youn Kang (KR 1977) machi-nory
Ben Wallet (NL 1985) Bolus de Beer (Sonata voor Disklavier)
Simon Burgers (NL 1958) Senza Pedale



Posted on September 9, 2014


'Sonate for 10 pedals'

 

'Sonate for 10 pedals'

Music and concept by Lucas Wiegerink, electronic design by Robert van Heumen
Performers: Anneleen Schuitemaker (Utrecht), Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir (Darmstadt)

Machine versus human, pedals versus strings, emotional versus mechanical


The premiere is in Darmstadt during the 47th International Summer Course for New Music on

August 14 at 16:00h

From the flyer: " 'Sonate for 10 pedals' is what it suggests: a composition based around the

3 pedals of a Disklavier and the 7 pedals of a harp."

The Dutch premiere will be in Utrecht at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek on September 13 at 17:00h


More info on this Ulysses Network Project



Posted on August 13, 2014


Conlon Music Prize 2013 for Disklavier Plus

The Stichting Conlon has chosen the composition by John Nichols III:

 

The Pillar for amplified prepared Disklavier electronic sounds (2013)

as the winning work of the second international Conlon Music Prize 2013 for Disklavier Plus.

As stated in our announcement, John Nichols, the winner of the competition, will be invited to perform and present his work in the 2013 Gaudeamus Music Week (see information below + link).

 

We had seventeen entries of diverse styles and characters in this edition of the Conlon Music Prize, sent to us from Norway, Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, Canada, UK and the United States. 

 

The jury consisting of Henk Heuvelmans, Luc Houtkamp, Wouter Snoei, Robert van Heumen en Christina V. Oorebeek also awarded two honorable mentions - to Lawrence Dunn, for "Fast music for automatic piano with prerecorded sounds (2103)" and to Bryan Jacobs for "DIS UN IL IM IR".

 

automatic piano + electronics · european exchange · world premieres

Disklavier Plus Start: 5 PM Location: Museum Speelklok Entry: e-tickets: €5 | box office: €7 ▸ tickets
Composers: Ji Youn Kang, Vito Žuraj, Ville Raasakka, John Nichols

Ulysses is the renowned European network for the promotion and support of emerging contemporary music talents. Gaudeamus Muziekweek showcases the fruits of this European collaboration on organ and Disklavier, as well as during the pre-dinner concerts by the Curious Chamber Players from Sweden in a series entitled Discover Europe.

To further European musical collaboration, young composers Ji Youn Kang, Vito Žuraj, and Ville Raasakka have been commissioned to create new work for Disklavier and (live) electronics. In March, they met in Utrecht for a two-day workshop under the tutelage of Dutch composers who have a lot of experience in working with Disklavier plus electronics and who trained the aspiring composers in the art of creating a work from scratch. This workshop resulted in the following pieces:

Ji Youn Kang - machi-nory
Vito Žuraj - Matrix
Ville Raasakka - White as Winter's Threads

These works will be premiered during Gaudeamus Muziekweek alongside The Pillar by John Nichols, the winning piece of the 2nd Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus for Yamaha Disklavier.

 

 



Posted on August 15, 2013


'Circulus' for Disklavier feeding live video

   

Cultural Sunday: Utrecht Uitfeest Start: 1 PM - 5.30 PM Location: Museum Speelklok Entry: free entrance
Composers: Thomas Bensdorp, Christina Viola Oorebeek, Karl Klomp

The Utrecht Uitfeest is the festive opening of the cultural season. Gaudeamus Muziekweek takes part with two afternoon concerts in the festival hub at Museum Speelklok. Both concerts are a perfect match for Speelklok, with its fine collection of mechanical instruments. Composer Christina Oorebeek and VJ Karl Klomp present Circulus, a new work for Disklavier – a piano that plays without a human operator – and live video. Thomas Bensdorp, who will return later in the week with a new piece for the Curious Chamber Players, stages a powerful family portrait through his composition Family Plot for automated music boxes, voice-over, electronics, and video.

Schedule:
1.00, 2.30 and 4.00 PM: Christina Oorebeek & Karl Klomp - Circulus
1.45, 3.15 and 4:45 PM: Thomas Bensdorp - Family Plot



Posted on August 15, 2013


Disklavier Plus Workshop

ULYSSES network PROJECT

Disklavier plus is a Ulysses Network Project initiated by the Gaudeamus Music Week.  Four young European composers have been commissioned to write a new work for disklavier and (live-) electronics:

Ji Youn Kang, Steffen Krebber, Ville Raasakka, Lukas Wiegerink and Vito Zuraj

 

The works will be premiered in September 2013 during the Gaudeamus Music Week and at a later date in Finland, France and Germany.

 

Disklavier Plus Workshop March 18 and 19, 2013 Utrechtse Muziekhuis

Monday, March 18

Four members of the Conlon foundation led the two day workshop as an introduction to the uses and eccentricities of the Yamaha MarkIII Disklavier, owned by the Conlon Foundation, and housed in the Utrechtse Muziekhuis. Henk Heuvelmans, director of Gaudeamus gave an introduction to the Ulysses project and workshop and sketched the opportunities offered to the participants.

 

Robert van Heumen, composer, gave the first presentation and lecture about his own work and his position at STEIM (2001-2011) doing project co-ordinating and leading workshops. He showed some images of his perfoming setup for the various collaborations and ensembles he plays in, oa with Anne La Berge in Shackle.

 

In his composition for Disklavier, "The Sound of the Machine" A composition for Disklavier, laptop-instrument and flute with electronics, he explores extended techniques to make the movements of the mechanisms of the Disklavier audible. These sounds form structural elements of the sound pallette of the piece.  He utilized the Yamaha Silent mode for the non-pitched sounds of the piano mechanics and also amplified the amplified the metal bar underneath the instrument containing the mechanism, producing interesting timbres. 

Robert also demonstrated the basic settings of the instrument, which can be programmed in the unit attached to the instrument.

 

Christina Viola Oorebeek, composer, presented a series of images of the history of the pianola and re-producing piano, leading up to the development of the electronically driven instrument we have come to know generically as the Disklavier.  A crucial figure in this development was highlighted, the brilliant American engineer, Wayne Stahnke, who designed the first solenoid based player system in the 1970s. He developed this into a more sophisticated version in the 1980s. He is also the inventor of the Live Performance Model LX player system which combines techniques developed and refined over the past 30 years in combination with new technology developed by Zenph Studios in the United States.

 

Oorebeek also discussed the composing processes of her two works for Disklavier, which include combining audio and midi material and exploring solutions for the limitations of the Disklavier.   For 'Tuning Studies' versions I and II, she was confronted with an early model of the Yamaha Disklavier, which had limititions with touch sensitivity and the speed of repeating notes.  In 'Chromotoy II', she combined 'live prepared piano sounds' with live sampling and processing of six regions of midi notes that were controlled with a midi interface.

 

Round table discussion:

Ji Youn Kang, Steffen Krebber, Ville Raasakka, Lukas Wiegerink and Vito Zuraj introduced themselves and their work and gave a preliminary concept of the direction they want to explore in composing for Disklavier.

 

Ji Youn Kang

Idea for the Ulysses Disklavier Plus Project

One of the most interesting aspects on the Disklavier is that it is a communicable instrument: it not only receives MIDI signal from a medium, in this case from a computer, but also sends its information. This feature inspires me to think deeply on the possibility how it can be self-feeding and can continuously play itself. Such a situation is different from receiving all the data from a pre-made program in computer in order to be performed. 

When it comes to composing for Live Electronics especially, this can be the point where one can start building a whole musical form and structure using computer. The feedback, both of the necessary data to play and of the sound it can produce such as the familiar piano sound and the machinery sound it generates, is searchable. As any other feedback phenomenon, the MIDI signal feedback together with the audio feedback from microphones and speakers that will be attached to the strings and the body of Disklavier can be chaotic. Accordingly, to produce a stabilized, controllable system for the instrument to play will be a big part of the process of the composition. Such an idea, I believe, can be the point to empower its characteristics as a 'self-playable' instrument.

 

Steffen Krebber

In my series confusions -  the piece for disklavier will be part of - i try to find music in music. Ethnographical recordings of solo flute music from Papua New Guinea inside of early renaissance vocal music from Italy. Bird songs in spectralism. Yodeling pygmies in serialism. Machine sounds in frogs. And the history of electronic dance music in Wagner. 

For the disklavier piece i will confront additively synthesized environmental, nature imitating sounds played by a mono speaker into the piano with coalesced music from different genres seen through the eyes of a machine: piano.

 

Ville Raasakka

A piece for an extended piano. The focus is the piano-sound, which is extended from it's natural qualities and possibilites. No other sound-material than piano is used as raw material for the electronics. The instrument is extended on the keyboard with the disklavier-mechanics. The disklavier mechanics are then extended with a soundfile presenting the disklavier in a quartertone-setting and extended piano-techniques not possible for a human-player to perform. The soundfile is in it's part extended with electronics that expand a keyboard-like orientation on sound (isolated hammer-sound, attack-envelope, resonance, overtones, humming,interference, decay) further than possible with normal, real-life and real-time acoustics.

 

Vitoj Zuraj

My idea for the Disklavier-piece is to combine the Disklavier with a high-quality piano sampler, sounding from the speakers below the Disklavier. That piano sampler is to resemble different piano tunings: quarter-tone complementary to the Disklavier tuning as well as mean-tone or Kirnberger temperaments. Concerning the Disklavier technique I am particularly interested in exploring of the lowest key velocity values and tone repetition limitations. Over last three years I was developing an Max/MSP based algorithmic environment called M-Matrix which works like an assistant for calculation of complex rhythms and pitch combinations. I am going to modify that patch in order to work with it directly on Disklavier.

 

 

Tuesday March 19

Luc Houtkamp, composer and improvisor, has worked extensively with the Disklavier, but has been involved with other instruments and projects in the last years, among which founding and directing the POW Ensemble.

 

Luc suggested having a discussion of what the motivation could be for using a midi-driven acoustic instrument in a time when contemporary media offer such seemingly limitless possibilities for electronic music.  Some of the comments and arguments reached:

 

__the Disklavier is by definition, an acoustic instrument with its specific spatial sound production. Each Disklavier has its own 'individuality' in tone color, as every acoustic instrument does.

__it can play musical material that one, and often, two pianists could not perform.  This can involve very fast notes but, also, highly polyphonic music.

__it is possible to explore the sounds of the tone production of the Disklavier in ways impossible with an acoustic piano

__by utilizing the option of midi-out, it can be used as a controller of video, for example, or other interfaces receiving midi messages.

__the instrument can receive midi messages through video tracking or the use of sensors

 

Luc's work has been centered on creating 'improvisation robots', to combine through-composed music with improvisation.  He has performed many pieces, having his own saxophone improvisations interact with the Disklavier, via the 'improvisation robots' he designed in Max/Msp. He wrote the software to provide the robot its own performance directions, its 'own mind', in the sense of algorhythmic organisation and choice of the variables fed into the program.

 

Wouter Snoei, composer, spoke over his piece "The Game" (2011), an interactive work in the form of a computer game, in which the keys of the piano are the game buttons and triggers.  Simple instructions are projected on a laptop screen or Ipad on the piano desk and/or a standing screen. By achieving the progressive levels of the game, the player is, in fact, performing the piece.  No experience as a musician is required!

 

Wouter explained in detail the settings and use of midi-out which is crucial to the performance of 'The Game'.  Also, he spoke of his own testing of the instrument and his conclusions.

 

Brainstorming sessions:

On Monday and Tuesday afternoons there was a lively exchange between all the participants of the workshop, testing various parameters of the instrument and comparing results. The contacts between the composers and Conlon members promise a continuing and valuable collaboration.  All in all, these two days formed an auspicious start to the Ulysses Project. Gaudeamus and Conlon look forward to the premieres of the new works at the Gaudeamus Music Week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Posted on April 22, 2013


Disklavier Seminar at Muziekhuis Utrecht

In collaboration with Gaudeamus Muziekweek and Muziekhuis Utrecht, the Conlon Foundation is organizing a 2-day seminar concerning the use of the Disklavier. This will take place at Muziekhuis Utrecht on March 18 and 19, 2013. The seminar will be lead by several composers/performers who have been active with this instrument in many different projects in the recent past: Robert van Heumen, Wouter Snoei, Luc Houtkamp, Wim de Ruiter and Christina Oorebeek. Each of these experts will show examples of very different ways of working with the instrument. There will be discussions on what to do and what not to do with this very specific instrument, both on a technical and a conceptual level. On the second day there will also be some time for hands-on experience with the instrument, depending on the number of participants.

 

This seminar is held in the context of the The Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus and can be attended free of charge.

 

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to info(at)conlon.nl including a bit of info about yourself, and the reason why you'd like to join us for this seminar. The space can only hold a limited number of participants.

 

http://www.muziekweek.nl/

http://www.muziekhuisutrecht.nl/



Posted on January 9, 2013


Conlon`s Disklavier moved permanently to Muziekhuis Utrecht

As of January 1 of this year, Conlon's Disklavier is permanentely moved to Muziekhuis Utrecht.

 

The Conlon Foundation offers the use of its Disklavier to composers, musicians, venues and conservatoriums for professional performances of existing literature for the instument and to stimulate the creation of new works. Composers can work with the instruments for a modest fee. For use by venues and conservatoriums and other institutions and for concerts in venues in the Netherlands special financial arrangements are made. Independant composers can apply for a try-out session with the instrument for one time. Technical assistence from Conlon is not available in situ. If a longer period of use is desired, a fee will be determined.

 

Conservatoriums, schools and studio's can apply to use the Disklavier for projects or workshops with students. Conlon can offer introductory sessions for this purpose and provide artistic advice and coaching, as well as assisting with presentations and concerts, for example, in collaboration with new music venues in the Netherlands.



Posted on January 8, 2013


Interactive Keyboard Symposium, London

 

Conlon Board members Robert van Heumen and Christina Oorebeek will be attending the Interactive Keyboard Symposium in London this weekend.

 

Robert's piece "The Sound of the Machine" (2011) for Disklavier, tape, laptop-instrument and flute with electronics has been selected for performance in Concert III of the Symposium (Sunday 11 November, 14:00-15:30, Great Hall at Goldsmiths College). Anne La Berge will perform on flute.

 

For a full schedule of the symposium: schedule.pdf



Posted on November 5, 2012


2nd Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus

The Conlon Foundation is announcing the second Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus for a new work for Yamaha Disklavier.

 

Details on submissions can be found here.



Posted on November 5, 2012


November Music

zondag 13 november

Grafisch Atelier

Disklavier Plus Concert

 

Disklavier Plus

Werk van Chad Langford / Gert-Jan Prins / Daniel Schorno / Danny de Graan / Robert van Heumen / Wouter Snoei

Programma

14.00 uur:

Chad Langford: YAMAHA / ENIGMA

Gert-Jan Prins: Cavity; the Player Piano Version

15.00 uur:

Daniel Schorno: MI(C)RACLE

Danny de Graan: Face it (met Stephanie Pan: zang)

16.00 uur:

Robert van Heumen: Het geluid van de machine

Wouter Snoei: The Game

 

De Amerikaans/Mexicaanse componist Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997) had een muzikaal visioen. Composities die zo complex waren dat mensenhanden ze niet konden uitvoeren. Uiteindelijk realiseerde hij veel van zijn duizelingwekkende, baanbrekende muziek op de mechanische player piano. Op mechanische en computergestuurde muziekinstrumenten openen zich geheel nieuwe klankwerelden voor jonge componisten. Sinds kort heeft Nederland een stichting ter ere van de pioniersgeest van Conlon Nancarrow. Stichting Conlon wil het gebruik van nieuwe en bestaande gemidificeerde akoestische instrumenten, zoals de disklavier, stimuleren en de ontwikkeling van nieuw werk voor deze instrumenten aanmoedigen. In samenwerking met de Gaudeamus Muziekweek presenteert November Music nieuwe werken voor disklavier en live electronics die in opdracht van Stichting Conlon zijn geschreven. Zo componeert Wouter Snoei een interactief werk voor disklavier, computer en publieksparticipant (‘The Game’) en duikt Amerikaan Chad Langford in de complexe, muzikale mathematica van de Enigma code uit de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Daniel Schorno wil op zijn beurt het ‘eeuwig doorgaande trappenhuis’ van Escher verklanken in zijn ‘The-never-ending-cycle’ en schrijft een werk voor disklavier, ipod en de befaamde Crackle Box van Michel Waisvisz uit de Steim studios.



Posted on January 8, 2012


Disklavier Plus

Disklavier Plus

During the Gaudeamus Music Week in Utrecht in the Netherlands,

Conlon presents two concerts in Museum Speelklok with new works and the winner of the first Conlon Music Award for Disklavier Plus, Julian Scordato!

 

for more information and tickets:

 

http://www.muziekweek.nl

 

Thursday  September 8, 2011

 

Start: 12:30 & 17:00
 Location: Museum Speelklok

Artists: Sarah Nicolls, Stephanie Pan, Robert van Heumen, Anne LaBerge                                

Composers: Wouter Snoei, Chad Langford, Gert-Jan Prins, Hugo Morales, Daniel Schorno, Danny de Graan, Robert van Heumen, Julian Scordato

 

Stichting Conlon was set up to stimulate the use of novel and existing midified acoustic instruments (for example the Disklavier) and to encourage the development of new works for such instruments. Last year Conlon and STEIM created the first Conlon Music Award for Disklavier Plus. In addition to work by the winner of the award, [today] the compositions that Conlon has commissioned will be performed in – where else! – Museum Speelklok. 

The program consists of two parts. At 12:30 a concert starts with works by Wouter Snoei, Chad Langford, Hugo Morales, and Gert-Jan Prins. From 5 o’clock the programme features compositions by Daniel Schorno, Robert van Heumen, Danny de Graan, and the winner of the International Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus 2011.

 

Entry: €7,50
  a combination ticket that gives access to both concerts or

Entry: €5,- for each concert

 

Concert I

Start: 12:30 Location: Museum Speelklok

Entry: €5,-

Artists: Sarah Nicolls

Composers: Wouter Snoei, Chad Langford, Gert-Jan Prins, Hugo Morales

 

Concert II

Start: 17:00 Location: Museum Speelklok

Entry: €5,-

Artists: Stephanie Pan, Robert van Heumen, Anne LaBerge

Composers: Danny de Graan, Daniel Schorno, Robert van Heumen, Julian Scordato



Posted on September 4, 2011


Julian Scordato wins International Conlon Prize

The Italian composer, Julian Scordato has been chosen as the winner of the first edition of the composition competition "Disklavier Plus".  His work "Axon" (for disklavier and live-electronics, 2011) was selected from fourteen entries from nine countries by a jury was comprised of Christina Viola Oorebeek, Wim de Ruiter, Robert van Heumen, Wouter Snoei en Henk Heuvelmans.

 

Julian Scordato wil be present at the performance of his prize-winning work, "Axon"  on September 8th in the Museum Speelklok in Utrecht as part of the Gaudeamus Music Week 2011. 



Posted on July 20, 2011


Presentations of works in progress for Disklavier Plus by Danny de Graan, Chad Langford, Robert van Heumen, Daniel Schorno, Gert-Jan Prins and Wouter Snoei

Date: Monday April 11

Time: 20:30

Location: STEIM, Utrechtsedwarsstraat 134, Amsterdam

 

This year Conlon has two important projects to encourage and facilitate new works for the Disklavier. The sounding results of these projects will be presented in a concert during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2011 in Utrecht.  

 

The first project is the first Conlon International Music Prize for Disklavier Plus.  The submitted works for the competition may be composed for Disklavier solo with electronics, for Disklavier with one acoustic instrument, and/or for combinations with other media. Using alternative controllers (for example, joysticks, Wiiremotes, sensor suits, wireless controllable toys), live sampling or the "preparation" of the Disklavier are among the possible techniques to be utilized in the realization of the composer's artistic ideas.  The winner of the Conlon International Music Prize for Disklavier Plus will be announced at the latest on July 20, 2011

 

.Secondly, Conlon has an ongoing project to create varied and adventurous works for Disklavier. In the context of that project, six composers were invited by Conlon to write a new work: Danny de Graan, Chad Langford, Robert van Heumen, Daniel Schorno, Gert-Jan Prins and Wouter Snoei.In the two weeks preceeding April 11 the invited composers have had the opportunity to work in STEIM's studio 3 with the Disklavier to experiment with the possibilities of the instrument. On this evening some of them will present their work in progress. There will be a combination of discussion, concepts, and short musical previews.

 

More information on the Prize: http://www.conlon.nl.



Posted on March 16, 2011


Presentations by Christina Oorebeek and Frank Baldé

Both presentations were held on the kick-off presentation of the Conlon Competition for Disklavier Plus.

 

 



Posted on January 4, 2011


Performances by Sarah Nicolls and Luc Houtkamp

The composition Valves by Hugo Morales was performed by Sarah Nicolls on the kick-off presentation of the Conlon Competition for Disklavier Plus.

 

 

Luc Houtkamp performed his piece for saxophone and Disklavier.

 



Posted on December 29, 2010


Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus: Kickoff concert and presentation at STEIM

The Conlon Foundation is announcing the first Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus for a new work for Yamaha Disklavier. The prize of the competition will consist of a performance in the prestigious 2011 Gaudeamus Music Week in the Netherlands.

 

The kickoff of the Competition will take place at STEIM as a part  part of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2010. During this event a new work by Hugo Morales Murguía for Disklavier, pianist and electronics will be performed by Sarah Nicolls and the composer. There will be presentations by Christina Oorebeek on the history of the player piano and her own work for the Disklavier, by Frank Baldé (software programmer STEIM) on using alternative controllers with STEIM's junXion software in combination with the Disklavier, and by Luc Houtkamp on pitch recognition and its use with the Disklavier. Afterwards there will be drinks and opportunities to talk about the competition in an informal fashion.

 

Date: September 7, 2010

Time: 14:30 – 16:30

Entrance: free

Location: STEIM, Utrechtsedwarsstraat 134, Amsterdam



Posted on July 7, 2010


Conlon Muziekprijs voor Disklavier Plus: competition details now online

The Conlon Foundation is announcing the first Conlon Music Prize for Disklavier Plus for a new work for Yamaha Disklavier.  Details on submissions can be found here.



Posted on July 7, 2010


Website online!

The official Conlon Foundation website is online.



Posted on May 14, 2010