LAETITIA SONAMI & JOEL RYAN at Killian Hall (MIT)
Saturday, April 21, 2007

Non-Event, InventMusic, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts present
A Concert of Innovative Electro-Instrumental Performance from STEIM and Beyond

LAETITIA SONAMI
JOEL RYAN
with INVENTMUSIC

Killian Hall at MIT
Rm. 14W-111, MIT Hayden Library Bldg
160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge
9pm/$10

A podcast featuring music by the artists is available here:
Laetitia Sonami/Joel Ryan Podcast

About the artists:

LAETITIA SONAMI was born in France and settled in the United States in 1975 to pursue her interest in the emerging field of electronic music. Her work combines text, music and “found sound” from the world, in compositions which have been descibed as “performance novels”. She is creating and utilizing some of the most sophisticated technologies in order to create an intimate, spontaneous art form which transcends technology.

Since 1991 she has developed and adapted new gestural controllers to musical performance and composed works with these materials. Her unique instrument, the lady’s glove, is made out of black lycra and is embedded with sensors which track the slightest motion of each finger, the hand, and the arm. The performance thus becomes a small dance where the movements shape the music. She lives in Oakland, California and is currently guest lecturer at the San Francisco Art Institute, and Milton Avery Summer program at Bard college.

JOEL RYAN studied Physics and Music in California during the 60s and 70s. With the birth of personal computing, he began carve out a place for live digital signal processing in Electronic Music. At the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music he met David Behrman, the first composer with a micro in his luggage, and at Stanford University Andy Moorer, a mathematician with a knack for signal processing who was creating the basic tools of digital audio. These and many others in the emerging culture of Silicon Valley helped propel him into a new kind of electronic music, one that was live.

Due to early exposure to concerts by John Coltrane and John Cage and encounters with musical characters as diverse as Harry Partch, Ravi Shankar and Pauline Oliveros, he was convinced that what electronic music badly needed was a performance practice. “As much as technology is the raw material, the stage is still more essential.” This was not the practice at IRCAM where he spent a year in the mid 80’s so a desertion to Amsterdam at the invitation of George Lewis and STEIM’s Michel Waisvisz proved irresistible. At STEIM performance was the focus and Ryan has remained there writing music, software and designing instruments as well as teaching at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. He performs his music with a wide range of acoustic players including Joelle Leandre, F.M. Uitti, Sainkho Namtchylak and Mazen Kerbaj. He collaborates extensively with William Forsythe (Ballet Frankfurt) and Evan Parker. Recordings are on Leo, Psi and ECM.

Based at MIT, INVENTMUSIC is a collaborative group of musician-technologists who share a love of creating new musical instruments and experiences. Founded by Ben Vigoda and Dave Merrill at the MIT Media Lab in 2003, this collection of Boston-area musicians and inventors regularly meet to build, discuss, rehearse, and perform with their newly-created devices. InventMusic has worked with and learned from John Zorn and Tan Dun, and has performed at Boston ArtRages and SIGGRAPH 2006.

This concert presented in conjunction with the Boston CyberArts Festival and is supported in part by a grant from the LEF Foundation.