graphic notation residency

In the late 1970s, composer Iannis Xenakis developed UPIC (Unité Polyagogique Informatique de CEMAMu, Centre d'Études de Mathématique et Automatique Musicales), a computer program that digitally translates graphic notation into sound. Using the tablet interface, composers can draw the waveforms and envelopes directly on an electronic tablet and let the computer convert them into sound in real time. The revolution in graphic composition triggered by Xenakis and supported by other established computer musicians such as Jean-Claude Risset or Curtis Roads continued forty years later thanks to modern computer programs, such as the graphic open source sequencer Iannix.

From April 23 to July 1st, 2018 the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe released an open call for artists for new composition ideas and proposals for electroacoustic compositions resulting from the digital real-time interpretation of graphics and graphic notation. The artists applied for a one-month residency at the ZKM with the composition proposals.

Read more about the open call here.

Selected artists in residency:
Marcin Pietruszewski
Julia Rommel
Kosmas Giannoutakis
Lukas Nowok

Presentations of work: 

09/11/2019, 17.30 | ZKM Cube | Free admission
Kosmas Giannoutakis
"Bursty Exorbitance" (2018/2019, world premiere), electroacoustic composition

“Bursty Exorbitance” is an eight-channel computer generated composition developed at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany as part of the graphic notation residency. It explores the eruptive sonic qualities which emerge from a far-from-equilibrium drive of a Generative Feedback Network, implemented with the Pure Data programming environment. Eight nodes with self-modulating mechanisms were soft-coupled as non-linear oscillators, which produced continuous sonic streams of explosive and recalcitrant character. Some crucial parameters of the self-modulating mechanisms were controlled by a four-dimensional chaotic attractor discovered in 2017 by M. Ababneh at the Department of Mechatronics Engineering of the Hashemite University in Zarqa Jordan. The visualizations of the attractor served as the “score”, providing proper parameter mappings for the macro development of the composition. Other important sets of parameters were randomized within composed limits while other parameters were manually adjusted during the unfolding of the composition.

Visit the event page here.

17/04/2020| live-streamed Electronic Concert
Julia Jasmin Rommel
“Zwischenraum – Akustische Kartographie”, interspace - Acoustic Cartography

Pandemic version of an 8-channel audiovisual installation for the ZKM Sound Dome
• Bridge and tunnel map / Brücken und Tunnel Karte 03:20
• Flight booking map / Flugbuchungskarte 03:36
• Curve map / Kurvenkarte 02:50
• Oncoming traffic map / Gegenverkehrskarte 02:00

This audiovisual installation is based on several cartographic documents in which Julia Jasmin Rommel has visualized different aspects of the interspace – the mental state we are in during the routine crossing of distance between places A and B. They address, among other things, transitions, restlessness and continuity, sense of orientation and change of direction, and are each documented by experimental but context-related criteria and methods. Space structuring elements such as tunnel and bridge crossings, counter-trains, flight booking data, curve angles of certain railway lines form the parameters of these movement protocols. Using the Graphic Sequencer “IanniX” these protocols are translated into sound. In a sort of sonification the attempt is made to do justice both to the linearity of documented paths and to the map as a medium of overview. Rommel's interest lies in the interface between reading signs and interpreting images, which is made possible by the transformation into sound.

Visit the event page here.

17/04/2020 | book release: from xenakis’s upic to graphic notation today
Lukas Nowok
"From the symbolic to the real: Graphic notation as a symbolic and technological medium"

Lukas Nowok's essay is devoted to the role of notation, which he develops as a reduction or quantization of the concrete. He endeavors to break up the rigid relationship between idea, translation into notation, and transformation into sound, which is functionally encoded in the notation.

10/11/2019, 19.00 | Lilla salen - Klangkupolen | concert
Marcin Pietruszewski
"Pulsar Sieve", electroacoustic composition

A 24-minutes electroacoustic composition which premiered late 2019 on 45.4 channel Klangkupolen system of The Royal College of Music in Stockholm as part of the festival "Between 2019 – Festival for Art, Science & Technology"
click here to read the programme booklet of the festival

17/04/2020 | part of the book "from xenakis’s upic to graphic notation today"
"The digital instrument as an artifact"

Marcin Pietruszewski highlights the relationships between the synthesis possibilities of the UPIC system and the pulsar synthesis developed from it giving concrete examples. Pulsar synthesis is also used by the pioneer of granular synthesis, Curtis Roads, who owes his main impulse for this to his work with the UPIC. Pietruszewski adds another option to pulsar synthesis with its proprietary granular synthesis software New Pulsar Generator. But he also points out that the tools used influence both the composers and the compositions.
click here to download the book for free

organised by:
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie