ElectroCognition: A Journey Through the Intersection of AI and Electronic Music
As improvisatory musicians we actively engage contingency plans in order to balance feedback loops between ourselves and our instruments. Douglas Osmun has taken this idea a step further by developing an AI hub that analyzes socially embodied cognition, creating a sort of symbiotic animism that unites participating improvisors and machines. The AI hub works as a mediator, helping to balance and control the interactions between the improvisers and their instruments. This has allowed for a new level of creativity and innovation, where the boundaries between performer and machine are blurred, resulting in a harmonious and captivating experience for both the musicians and the audience. This approach to improvisatory music has the potential to revolutionize the industry and open up new avenues for exploration. Joey Bourdeau, percussion - Berk Schneider, trombone & electronics. Debut album— ElectroCognition: A Journey Through the Intersection of AI and Electronic Music (release date, winter 2024).
"Frozen Grief" Premeire
Check out these recent rehearsal excerpts from Sang Song's "Frozen Grief" for trombone and orchestra. La Jolla Symphony sounds great! Hope to see you all at the premiere Saturday December 3-4 2022, 7:30pm @ Mandeville Auditorium in La Jolla. Tickets can be found here: https://www.ljsc.org/events/october-29-30-2022-powerful-nature-921/
"Night and Day" Solo Tour
Video extracts from "Night and Day", an International (USA/Mexico) solo tour with four premieres by Erin Graham, Sang Song, Nasim Khorassani, and Doug Osmun. Performances UC San Diego Conrad Prebys Music Center & Instalaciones de la Facultad de Artes de la UABC Ensenada during the Neofonía Festival. March and September, 2022.
Analysis, Creation, and Teaching of Orchestration Projects
Timbrenauts: creative explorations in timbre space
In this upcoming research-creation project (2023) we wish to use experimental designs from timbre perception research to generate data models that will inform the creation of new compositions for an atypical instrumental duo. We wish to test whether research methodologies can be adopted for use in perceptually informed orchestration/composition practice. The experimental portion will generate similarity spaces for each instrument alone as well as both together, using recordings of a variety of sound production approaches on each instrument as stimuli. We will hire an additional performer on an instrument which will combine with Berk Schneider’s trombone to make a unique duo, for which we will commission short pieces from members of the ACTOR community. We will ask that the composers make use of the structures of similarities and differences revealed in the experimentation phase to shape the pieces. E.g. creating sequential and concurrent auditory groupings via timbral similarities, exploring maximal timbral differences, or tracing trajectories through the timbre spaces as seed material. This project does not aim for generalizability; the sounds collected for the experiment will cover the timbral expressions and extended techniques possible on the instrumental pair as played by the specific performers chosen, and with the interests of collaborating composers taken into account. We will share both our data and work process in the resultant TOR module, allowing others to make use of either. Another potential outcome is a paper detailing the differences between the individual timbre spaces of each instrument as opposed to the one generated for both together. Which areas of the individual instrumental timbre spaces get compressed or expanded after their stimuli sets are used as one larger stimuli set for a third similarity judgment experiment could reveal what perceptual features are important to listeners in an instrumental solo as opposed to an ensemble situation.
Musician's Auditory Perspective Project
The purpose of the Musician’s Auditory Perception (MAP) project is to collect qualitative data via sonic ethnography in order to promote and analyze, both literally and metaphorically, (a) sonic collaboration between auditory learners, (b) modes of sound information gathering, and (c) the creative expression of musicians, while disrupting common pedagogic methods that reinforce hierarchical education practices. Auditory learning is not necessarily a linear process, but a dynamic one — a skillset synergistic and deeply connected with creation. Therefore, MAP will enable three student composer-performer duos from two Analysis, Creation, and Teaching of Orchestration (ACTOR) partner institutions, UC San Diego (UCSD) and McGill University (McGill), to document their creation processes with binaural recording devices and first-person vision — captured by earpiece microphones and wearable HD cameras — effectively mapping audiovisual boundary objects. The outcome being that these sonic and visual boundary objects promote skill sharing between all participants by bridging differences in perception during the creation and reproduction of musical timbres, allowing a digital transfer of tacit knowledge via an individual perspective in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
"A strong project [that] focuses on experimental composition and improvisation" while highlighting "interesting relations between musicology analysis and creative processes among musicians, composers and a wide range of media technologies."
A collaborative proposal — the Musician's Auditory Perception project — developed and promoted by Berk Schneider, Dr. Florian Grond, and Dr. Shahrokh Yadegari (PI) has been awarded a generous research-creation grant from the Analysis, Creation, and Teaching of Orchestration Institution. The international project involves four UC San Diego Music doctoral students, Peter Ko (D.M.A. cello, U.S.A.), Berk Schneider (D.M.A. trombone, U.S.A.), Sang Song (Ph.D. composition, Korean-born), Tiange Zhou (Ph.D. composition, Chinese-born) and two McGill graduates, Jeanne Côté (M.M. violin, Canada), Pedram Diba (M.M. composition, Iranian-American).
Broken Calligraphy is an improvisatory audiovisual duo featuring live electroacoustic with audio signal processed trombone as well as a projected live graphic composition using elements of Persian calligraphy. Berk Schneider (berkschneider.com) performs the trombone and electronics in this collaboration, while Nasim Khorassani (nkhorassani.com) creates the visuals.
(*working title) for trumpet and trombone was composed in collaboration with David Aguila and Berk Schneider during the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020-2021. The work explores the similar yet contrasting states of sonic character from the trumpet and trombone in tandem through various explorations of performance techniques. One unique element explored in this work is the ability to generate four-voice chorale-like textures through split-tone and multiphonic techniques. Though the music is not intended to directly emulate the venerable Bach chorale tradition, I do liken this effect to this sacred tradition of chorale, creating a hallowed aura."