Mechanical Music – October 13-15, 2016

Mechanical Music - Oct 13-15
Vancouver New Music 2016 Festival


13 – 15 October 2016; 8PM each night
Free pre-show chat at 7:15PM each night
The Annex (823 Seymour Street, 2nd Floor, Vancouver, Canada)
Tickets $15/$25; 3-night passes $59

Mechanical Music creates a sonic universe in which mechanical and electro-mechanical movements and sounds are vital components of the artworks. This year’s festival presents a variety of musicians and sound artists who are developing both mechanical and algorithmic systems to generate sound works, compositions and installations.

Featured performers include Lucas Abela (Australia), Adam Basanta (Montreal), Peter Hannan and Camille Hesketh (Vancouver), Anne-F Jacques (Montreal), Koka Nikoladze (Georgia/Norway), Tristan Perich (US), George Rahi (Vancouver), Jocelyn Robert (Quebec City), Kelly Ruth (Winnipeg), and Sabrina Schroeder (Canada/UK).



[accordion-item title=”Adam Basanta (Montreal)” tag=”h1″]
In Adam Basanta’s small movements, sounds are created through the placement and hand manipulation of microphones, a collection of small speaker cones, small kinetic objects, and custom control software. The sound performance allows a meditation on the instabilities of sound production; the quiet, fragile and delicate phenomena resulting from the intertwining of sonic technologies.

A Room Listening to Itself by Adam Basanta.


[accordion-item title=”Sabrina Schroeder (UK/Canada)” tag=”h1″]
Sabrina Schroeder builds live performance systems using tactile transducers to make heavy sound spaces that are as much about body-feel as they are about audible sound. The transducers create a kind of ‘tectonic underbelly’ in a space – something akin to Temple Grandin’s hug machine – an alone-body experience of variable fibrillation, hammer and flutter. Playing through layers that run a continuum between industrial noise and enveloping pools, this solo set digs into these visceral aspects of sound that have a permeating intensity.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Lucas Abela (Australia)” tag=”h1″]
Lucas Abela debuts Bass Balls (2016), a bass orientated pinball machine / sub noise instrument that interweaves bass strings to create a mesh-like play surface. Ramps made up of individual sets of strings jut from the surface to channel the balls throughout the game. Sounds are harnessed via various pick-ups connected to effects pedals controlled by pinball targets creating a rich, responsive subsonic audio through gameplay.

Lucas Abela’s performance is presented in partnership the Contemporary Art Gallery. The project is assisted by the Australian Government through The Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Australia Council for the Arts   CAG[/accordion-item]


[accordion-item title=”Jocelyn Robert (Quebec City” tag=”h1″]
Long intrigued by the concept of mistakes, Jocelyn Robert presents a series of live improvisations, in which specially developed software keeps the notes played and forces him to take them as the basis for the next ones – whether he likes them or not, whether they are right or wrong. No forgetting, no forgiving. The music continuously comes back onto itself, reaffirming its instant past.
Jocelyn Robert – Piano Seul, Pt. 1 (excerpt)[audioplayer file=”″ titles=”Jocelyn Robert – Piano Seul, Pt. 1 (excerpt)”]


[accordion-item title=”Anne-F Jacques (Montreal)” tag=”h1″]
Continuous sliding is an installation sound performance featuring a small population of contraptions and devices, in which mundane found objects and tired motors interact with each other. The fragility of these constructions and the inconsistency of the electronics used generate irregular musical and mechanical fluctuations and accidents that reveal the idiosyncratic stubbornness of these devices, and their reluctance to fully comply with human expectations. Anne-F on Soundcloud[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Tristan Perich (US)” tag=”h1″]
Tristan Perich presents Noise Patterns, a visceral electronic performance of material from his latest circuit album. Perich is inspired by the aesthetic simplicity of math, physics and code, which the Wire calls “an austere meeting of electronic and organic.” 1-Bit Music, his 2005 release, was the first album ever released as an electronic circuit, programmed to synthesize its music when switched on. His award winning work coupling 1-bit electronics with traditional forms in both music and visual art has been presented around the world, from MoMA to MUTEK. With Noise Patterns, he embeds randomness into the heart of his code, its music flowing from white noise to crackling kicks and hypnotizing bass pulses, growing with a tactile density that the New York Times called “techno for silicon-based life forms.”[/accordion-item]


[accordion-item title=”Peter Hannan and Camille Hesketh (Vancouver)” tag=”h1″]
Created by Peter Hannan (composer, electronics) and Camille Hesketh (singer), We need to talk is a monodrama in 50 very short scenes that tells the story of a modern relationship in text messages. Is communication different than it ever was? Do our current ways of communicating simplify or complicate understanding? Can love be a binary system? Or is it really more like hexadecimal? Are these the four most dreaded words in the English language? |[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”George Rahi (Vancouver)” tag=”h1″]
Pulsars utilizes an assemblage of organ technology from various eras, re-purposing their mechanical components to pursue new sonic possibilities. Pulsars’ primary fixture is a series of early 20th century “Leslie” rotary speakers – speakers designed to mimic the sonic quality of large, spatially dispersed pipe organs. Stripping their enclosures and adding micro-controllers to alter the speed of their rotation, pulsations of various speeds shape the sounds as they reflect off walls and surfaces.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Kelly Ruth (Winnipeg)” tag=”h1″]
Manufacturing Voices is an improvised sound composition created while Kelly Ruth weaves a cloth on a floor loom fitted with contact microphones and effect pedals. The act of weaving symbolically counters the drive-through pace of contemporary society. The sounds created by the loom give the object a voice, which echoes the inventions of transportation, the militaristic organization of workers in large-scale industry, and mechanized industrial practices.

Solo Intro by Kelly Ruth.


[accordion-item title=”Koka Nikoladze (Georgia/Norway)” tag=”h1″]
Violinist, composer, and inventor Koka Nikoladze finds musical inspiration in making new instruments or tools. Handmade boxes of springs, coils, wood and metal become electromechanical beatboxes, or electromagnetic devices that extend the sounds of string instruments. The music he creates with these imaginative, invented instruments becomes a natural consequence of a process of ‘play’, and a way of reconnecting with music as one of the most ancient forms of human entertainment.

Koka’s Soundtrack Box No. 1 by Koka Nikoladze.



Single tickets
$25 regular, $15 students
Festival Pass
$59 for all three concerts (save 20% off of single ticket prices)

Tickets and passes available at / 1.800.838.3006
(Prices include taxes and venue surcharges; ticket vendor surcharge not included.)


Soundwalk – Automation: Trains and Blades

Led by Roxanne Nesbitt
Sunday, September 25, 2016; 2–3:30PM
Meeting location: Oustide entrance, Britannia Library (1661 Napier Street)
[more info…]

Vancouver Electronic Ensemble

Saturday, October 8, 2016; 8PM
Vancouver Community College Atrium (1155 East Broadway – enter from East 7th Ave. SE corner of Glen Drive)

Members of the Vancouver Electronic Ensemble showcase personal projects inspired by this year’s festival theme, Mechanical Music – from musical bike spoke contraptions, to custom electronics, come out and feed your curiosity! Please bring your own music boxes for a participatory sound-making jam at the end of the concert.

VEE performances will include:
Zach Bergman, • 5-HTP
A “mechanically driven” exploration of algorithms and loops composed in the Live Coding language Tidal Cycles.

Scott Gubbels • Fight The Sky
Intonarumori demonstration and performance.

Peki Hajdukovic • TrigBlok
A selection of samples controlled/performed with a variety of materials, and a wooden box.

Lee Hutzulak • Poking Holes In Paper Walls
A “write your own music” music box meets a choice selection of electronic FX.

Julian La Brooy • Futurism At Present
The sampled sounds of an early 20th century futurist mechanical instrument (Intonarumori) are manipulated, processed, and sequenced in real time.

Dave Leith • Toys

Giorgio Magnanensi • Twitching speaker and radio

Matt O’Donnell • Wind-Up Orchestra
Wind-up toys amplified and processed (samples and live capture), clocks, ticking clocks, mic’ed and looped, processed by synched/un laptops. 60/120 BPM.

Presented in association with Vancouver Community College.

Vancouver Community College

Visual Art Forums | Koka Nikoladze – CANCELLED

Wednesday, October 12, 2016; 6PM
Emily Carr University of Art and Design
MoCap studio I 285e, North Building

Co-presented with Emily Carr University.