Per Bloland et Richard Causton

Per Bloland is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music whose works have been praised by the New York Times as “lush, caustic,” and “irresistible.” His compositions range from intimate solo pieces to works for large orchestra, and incorporate video, dance, and custom-built electronics. He has received awards and recognition from organizations including IRCAM, ICMA, SEAMUS/ASCAP, the Ohio Arts Council, Digital Art Awards of Tokyo, ISCM, the Martirano Competition, and SCI/ASCAP. His first opera, Pedr Solis, commissioned and premiered by Guerilla Opera in 2015, received rave reviews from the Boston Globe and the Boston Classical Review. He has received commissions from loadbang, Keith Kirchoff, Wild Rumpus, the Ecce Ensemble, Ensemble Pi, the Callithumpian Consort, Stanford’s CCRMA, SEAMUS/ASCAP, the Kenners, Michael Straus and Patti Cudd. His music can be heard on the TauKay (Italy), Capstone, Spektral, and SEAMUS labels, and through the MIT Press. A portrait CD of his work, performed by Ecce Ensemble, is available on Tzadik.

Bloland is the co-creator of the Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano, about which he has given numerous lecture/demonstrations and published a paper. In 2013 he completed a five-month Musical Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris. He is currently an Associate Professor of Composition and Technology, and coordinator of the Composition area at Miami University, Ohio. He is also a founding composition faculty member at the SPLICE Institute, and recently established the Composition program at the Montecito International Music Festival. He received his D.M.A. in composition from Stanford University and his M.M. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Richard Causton has been described as 'one of the most courageous and uncompromising artists working today'. His music has been performed internationally at venues such as the Lincoln Center, the Concertgebouw and the South Bank Centre in London. He has worked with ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Nash Ensemble.

His work is recorded on Metier, Orchid and NMC, whose disc Millennium Scenes (NMC D192) was listed as 'Outstanding' in International Record Review and No.1 in the Sunday Times' 100 Best Records of the Year. Recent works include Ik zeg: NU (2019) premiered by Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre to critical acclaim. It was one of just two works selected by the BBC to represent the UK at the International Rostrum of Composers, and has now been broadcast worldwide. It also features on a forthcoming recording, La terra impareggiabile (NMC D273) due in October 2022.

In addition to composition, Richard occasionally broadcasts for Italian radio (RAI Radio 3). He is currently Professor of Composition at the University of Cambridge.

2022.23 Artistic Research Residency 


Research Theme:
Electromagnet active piano for network music performance
Research Area:

Active Control of Musical Instruments
In collaboration with IRCAM-STMS Sound Systems and Signals: Audio/Acoustics, InstruMents team.

This residency will mark the launch of the larger EVINCE project, which focuses on expanding the control structure and artistic possibilities of an existing augmented instrument: the Electro-Magnetically-Prepared Piano. In its current form this augmented acoustic piano is achieved by placing a group of electromagnets over the strings of a grand piano. An audio signal is sent to the electromagnets, causing the strings to vibrate in response. Our residency will focus on the addition of an active control feedback system, designed to vastly increase the sonic palate and offer the user a much greater degree of timbral control. As part of the feedback system, we will implement audio-generation software to actively listen to the response of the piano. Given a higher-level timbral goal, this software will adjust the audio signal in real time to achieve that goal.

Additional work will be done on the physical system, increasing the power of the electromagnets and experimenting with various sensor systems. The new system will be immediately tested in a musical context. As the composers involved with the project, Richard and Per will compose new pieces, exercising the system as it develops.


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