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Program for Ting Luo – Poetic Move

Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 4 pm

Download a copy of the program here.

Ting Luo, piano
Poetic Move

NAC Premiere Concert for Piano and Multimedia

Program

Brett Austin Eastman with visual artist Joshua Curry
How Deep is the Valley for piano and interactive electronics (2021)

Danny Clay
Six Threads for piano and multimedia (2021)
      (1) Prelude
      (2) Polyphony
      (3) Videogame
      (4) Garlic
      (5) Loops
      (6) Window

Julie Barwick
Around for piano and audio playback (2020) with The Corner (2021) by visual artist Nicki Davis

Valerio Sannicandro and visual artist Wioleta Kaminska
LE NUOVE FORME (2000) for piano and multimedia (2021)

Intermission

Christopher Cerrone
Cornkind for piano and tape (transcription in 2021)

Chatori Shimizu
Mu Absence (2020) for solo piano and multimedia (2021)

Jean Ahn and visual artist Jo Ho
FOOTSTEPS for solo piano and multimedia (2021)
      NO. 1 Snow
      NO. 2 Crossroad
      NO. 3 Sand
      NO. 4 Asphalt
      NO. 5 Mars

Ting Luo and visual artist Loraine Wible
Hypothesis for piano and multimedia (2021)
      I. Purified
      II. Breath
      III. Shudder

Belinda Reynolds and visual artist Charles Woodman
WORDS for piano and multimedia (2021)

About the music

While the traditional concert piano repertoires have developed for hundreds of years, the new piano music and interdisciplinary piano works are missing from the mainstream. The vision of the project is to present new and experimental piano works with extended technique and multimedia. As the piano acts as the main container for holding everything together, from various other perspectives, the sound and the visual, serve as a solid extension for expressions. Both sound and visual are valued as separate objects as well as be appreciated as a whole. Each discipline presents its unique voice.

The project relates to the aesthetics of space and the sound living in the space, with the use of extended piano technique, tape, and electronics, representative works including How Deep is the Valley, Hypothesis, and Cornkind. Artists explore the ongoing and continuous states and changes in everyday life and discover one’s awareness towards self-realization, imagination, and responses towards the surrounding, representative works including Around, LE NUOVE FORME and Six Threads. The program seeks to speak for the past and current in the contexts of culture, language, and history, representative works including WORDS, FOOTSTEPS, and Mu Absence.

The entire program is formed organically and freely from each individual artist’s inspiration and aesthetics.

Brett Austin Eastman & Joshua Curry How Deep is the Valley
How Deep is the Valley is a work for piano and electronics in which the performer interacts with a Max MSP patch to process the amplified piano. The piece is a brief meditation on insignificance and displacement, as if from the view of a nomad with no place to rest. It is also a reference to the troubled times we have all been facing since the start of the pandemic, not knowing how bad things will get, but hoping for an eventual way out. It is inspired by the poem Passing by Tangligou by Dang Huaiying, written during the Jin Dynasty, ‘’The land is remote with few people, heavy mountains and deep valleys. The slope goes down to Changban and the peaks are lost in beauty. Ask the vulgar about this land, listening to the song now that spring is coming. Outside a few thatched huts, the acres stretch from east to west.’’

Danny Clay Six Threads
Six Threads consists of six one-minute interdisciplinary bagatelles that explore several possible relationships between live musician, pre-recorded sound, spoken and printed text, projected visuals, and – of course – the piano.

Julie Barwick Around & Nicki Davis The Corner
Around is about the small things that surround us yet go mostly unnoticed. The piece was particularly inspired by the everyday sounds that I hear at home. Having to stay indoors far beyond normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to terrible California heatwaves and wildfires caused me to ponder and appreciate these small sounds and experiences in a new way. The piano part is based off a swirling and wide-reaching line that permeates the entire piece, even as the mood oscillates between feelings of calm and agitation. The audio playback is a mixture of recordings made from within my home, and other artificially created sounds.

The Corner was created as a collaboration with composer Julie Barwick’s sound piece Around. The pandemic brought many into their homes for extended periods of time, cornering each of us inside the same space day after day. External and internal spaces began to blend, allowing the mind to sink into the place where dreams, memories, and fragments of our previous selves were waiting to be unearthed and brought into the light.

Valerio Sannicandro & Wioleta Kaminska LE NUOVE FORME
LE NUOVE FORME is a long, continuous, but not linear process in which Valerio Sannicandro explored the potential of an object-oriented composition method, musically speaking a dialogue between evolution and motionlessness. Imitating the processes that he usually follows while composing an electro-acoustic piece, three raw materials (pre-composed objects) consisting of very different musical characters, ranges, timbres and harmonic qualities constitute the main skeleton of the work.

The meditative video landscapes by Wioleta Kaminska are both a study in perception and stillness and visual reflection on the intersection between nature, technology and culture. In her work she is interested in exploring a momentary nature of time and space, and the conflicting forces that shape land and humans. Her goal is to recreate spaces or rather capture those moments that intrigue and encourage a viewer to find some time for contemplation and reflection and to invite the audience to slow down, reflect and experience a sense of wonder and renewed appreciation for Nature.

Christopher Cerrone Cornkind
Cornkind was originally an improvisation inspired by the poem of the same name by Frank O’Hara. His easy yet profound prose, written during lunch breaks inspired a certain spontaneity. This piece is a melancholic exploration of everyday sounds (where sometimes musical instruments are treated as ‘found’ sounds), and as a new acoustic arrangement, retracing old steps and finding new ones.

Chatori Shimizu Mu Absence
Unlike European landscape paintings, Japanese landscape paintings consciously deny the depiction of a realistic sense of distance in the middle ground. By placing “ma” in the center of the painting, it expresses the distinctive spatio-temporal aesthetics found in Japanese expressions, while viewers are able to perceive the imperceptible. Mu Absence seeks to identify the imperceptible within the degrading reverberations between two notated sounds of the piano.

Jean Ahn & Jo Ho FOOTSTEPS
FOOTSTEPS is a collection of short pieces that explores the idea of traveling through the pianist’s hand. Visual artist Jo Ho used pianist Ting Luo’s hand as a starting point of the visual expression. The first three pieces have a straight forward title, exploring specific surfaces. In Crossroad the traveler feels lost and helpless. The final movement Mars is an open movement, suggesting the endless footsteps we can make through our imagination.

No.1 SnowThe visuals of multiplication overlay and follow in the footsteps of the pianists’ hands as her fingers move through the piece, transitions into visuals of a person walking through the snow as those steps also multiply.

No. 2 Crossroad Visuals of the pianist’s performance are cut swiftly to different angles of the pianist’s hands, matching the intensity of the piece. Audio-reactive dots are overlaid to the whole video and wash the visuals in three different colors of traffic lights: Red, Yellow, and Green.

No. 3 SandParticles react to the effects of the pianist’s hands, but we do not see them yet- we only see their presence through the movement of the particles that surround it.

No. 4 Asphalt – This video echoes a similar structure to cross roads using the audio-reactive dots, segmented gradients, but is still a counterpart to crossroads. Instead of being colorful, it is in black and white, and moving from bottom to top.

No. 5 Mars Using machine-learned visuals trained from data sets of images of other planets/dessert/extreme environments.

Ting Luo & Loraine Wible Hypothesis
Hypothesis refers to a proposed musical explanation for a phenomenon. Each piece projects an ongoing present, expressing moments with a particular shape and form, such as the simplicity and continuity in Purified, the concrete environment of sound in Breath, and the collapse and deconstruction in Shudder.

As a video maker Loraine Wible searches for worlds that have never existed before. Inspired by classical paintings, she considers the screen a portal towards allegorical places where architecture and natural landscapes form surreal narratives. She also often uses her own dreams as well, recreating them with the video or animation media, allowing for the screen to be an extension of her subconscious and its mysteries.

Belinda Reynolds & Charles Woodman WORDS
Words is a multimedia piano work with spoken words and visuals. The audio consists of an ‘aural collage’ of Ms. Luo speaking in Chinese Mandarin a poem written by herself about the story of her grandfather, a composer during the late 20th century in China. The interplay between the audio collage and the piano part will create a piece of music that enshrines the listener with a blanket of an enticing, reflective soundscape.

WORDS by Ting Luo, “What I experienced, have been reflected in my old age/The conflicts and contrasts that stored in my memory/Were melted into the gorgeous tranquility/In the fog of this early morning/I sat in front of the piano/The wooden door made of yarn was open/With the early morning mists/I placed the notes scatteredly on the pure white music sheets/It’s like having a contest over time/Or an unknown long-distance walk/I had been composing music with the errands in my life/And my wife/Has been dragged into her housework, through day and night/She has been no longer sing/She and I have been both partaken with the weight of twilight/Years climbed up our shoulders/They were spoken as the lightness.’’

In close collaboration with the composer, Charles Woodman put together a collage of images from many sources. These are designed to work, sometimes with and sometimes against, both words and music. Not so much illustrating them as playing off them in an associative, poetic, manner.

About the musicians

Brett Austin Eastman is a composer, producer, teacher, and performing musician, whose music has been performed by Yarn/Wire and Del Sol String Quartet. He has been commissioned by Tingyuan Luo, Slow Wave, Keyed Kontraptions and Siroko Duo. As concert curator, he is co-producing a concert series with Jessie Nucho featuring music for flute and electronics literally and conceptually inspired by different forms of feedback – In Response was presented January 2020 and Self vs. Other was presented in July 2021. In 2018, he produced a concert titled Punk in Times of War which featured Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du Temps, Nick Vasallo’s When the War Began, and Eastman’s MISMA, composed for the concert.

Danny Clay is a composer and teaching artist whose work is deeply rooted in curiosity, collaboration, and the sheer joy of making things with people of all ages and levels of artistic experience. ​Working closely with artists, students, and community members alike, he builds worlds of inquiry, play, and perpetual discovery that integrate elements of sound, movement, theater, and visual design. Games, speculative systems, cognitive puzzles, invented notation, found objects, imaginary archives, repurposed media, micro-improvisations, and happy accidents all make frequent appearances in his work.​

Julie Barwick is a composer and pianist based in San Francisco. Her music has been performed throughout the Bay Area and US. She was the 2017-18 Composer-in-Residence for Elevate Ensemble and a winner of the 2016 Areon International Composition Competition. Other recent commissions were from Brass Over Bridges, Hot Air Music Festival, Siroko Duo, Jill Morgan Brenner, and Ignition Duo/Guerrilla Composers Guild. She is a co-founder of Helia Music Collective, an organization that supports women in music through collaborations with ensembles and composers. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Nicki Davis is a Tennessee-based artist working with video and sound installations. She completed her M.F.A. degree at the University of Cincinnati in 2010. The relationship of humans with their environment is a central theme in her work, which she communicates by creating rich sensory.

Valerio Sannicandro is a composer, conductor, researcher, born in Italy in 1971. He studied in Germany (York Höller, Hans Zender, Peter Eötvös), France (Emmanuel Nunes) and obtained a PhD in Musicology in Berlin (Technische Universitaet). Deeply immersed into the idea of space, Sannicandro’s music output ranges from solo to large orchestral works, including voices, musical theatre with an extensive use of live-electronics. Affiliated Fellow (AAR 2013), Artist-in-Residence at Villa Kujoyama (Kyoto, Japan), Claudio-Abbado-Kompositionspreis (Berlin Philharmonie).

Wioleta Kaminska is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, linguist and educator based in Savannah, GA where she is a professor at The Savannah College of Art and Design. She has a varied studio practice focusing on video installation, sound, photography, digital collage and painting. Kaminska has shown her work internationally in gallery exhibitions, conferences, museums, new media biennale, music and art festivals including How We Hear Now: a participatory, collective artwork created by The ECOPOESIS Project installed at the San Francisco Ferry Building as a large-scale projection on view to the public in summer 2021.

Christopher Cerrone is internationally acclaimed for compositions characterized by a subtle handling of timbre and resonance, a deep literary fluency, and a flair for multimedia collaborations. Balancing lushness and austerity, immersive textures and telling details, dramatic impact, and interiority, Cerrone’s GRAMMY-nominated music is utterly compelling and uniquely his own.

Chatori Shimizu is a Dresden based composer. ​His award-winning works have been performed and exhibited throughout the world by acclaimed ensembles such Linea, Multilatérale, Mivos, mise-en, S.E.M, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Shimizu has degrees from Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo), Columbia University (New York), and Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber (Dresden), and serves as a co-founder of Composers Collective Tesselat, and a co-director of SEED 2021.

A native of Korea, composer Jean Ahn’s creative output includes works ranging from solo instruments and chamber music to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance, and electroacoustic music. Her works have been performed by the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Diablo Symphony, California Youth Symphony, Contemporaneous Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Earplay, Enhake, and Aspen New Music Ensemble. Commissions include works for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, New Arts Collaboration among others. Currently, she is the director of Ensemble ARI and is a Lecturer at UC Berkeley.

Jo Ho is an artist working with imaginations of digital and physical spaces that question the role of creativity and agency in our increasingly automated world where views of “machine as tool” and “machine as creator” are being challenged. Jo uses emerging digital technologies to practice a range of modes in space-making, some of which include speculative fiction and visuals using machine learning, virtual reality, and large-scale projections. Her work often reflects on the ways in which we perceive and learn from patterns from our surroundings and explores the persisting question of being human in an age of ubiquitous autonomous machines.

Loraine Wible was born in Paris in 1984. She is the daughter of a print making artist and a filmmaker. In 2009 she launched Museum Gallery/Gallery Museum, an experimental art space that playfully challenged art institutions. In 2014 she initiated a new curatorial collective called NEAR*BY that organized shows in local landmarks. Wible is also an assistant professor at The Art Academy of Cincinnati where she teaches video and motion media arts.

Belinda Reynolds’ music has been performed by a number of organizations throughout the Americas and Europe and has been featured in such festivals and venues as Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Reynolds is also Vice-President of the acclaimed composers’ cooperative, Common Sense. Her music is published by Dover, HeShe Music, Kithara Editions, and Les Productions d’OZ. Her recorded music can be found on the Albany, Innova, and Trance recording labels, among others.

Charles Woodman is an electronic artist working in video and expanded media. His recent projects have concentrated on the integration of video with live performance, often in collaboration with musicians or dancers. Exhibitions of his work include screenings at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art, the Black Maria Film and Video Festival, the American Dance Festival in Raleigh, NC and Roulette in Brooklyn. Woodman is a founding member of the video performance group viDEO sAVant and has been a pioneer in the development of Live Cinema – real time video editing as live performance.

Ting Luo, pianist and director of New Arts Collaboration, based in the Bay Area. She has performed and lectured in prestigious venues in China and U.S., advocating contemporary music. Ting Luo has curated a multimedia music and art project – NAC (NewArtsCollaboration.org) since 2020. She actively collaborates with artists from multiple disciplines including visual artists, composers, and sound artists. Works by NAC have been featured in The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s Digital Shorts Film Festival, Fresh Inc Festival and New Music Gathering Conference/Festival.

New Arts Collaboration is an interdisciplinary art project for sound and multimedia. NAC connects with artists from multi-disciplined fields, forming a strong bond for artists to collaborate with each other, including living composers, sound artists, visual artists and so on.

In our vision, sound as a human expression could be formed and interacted freely and experimentally with other mediums including electronics, tape, visuals, music, etc. With the mission, NAC collaborates with artists to create series of interdisciplinary artworks for showcases, concerts, and exhibitions.

NAC is curated by pianist Ting Luo in 2020, highlighting the project’s on-going premiere for piano and multimedia/extended piano technique.

NAC serves as a vessel for artists to be collaborative, be open-minded, and be creative through the partnership.

Works by NAC have been selected and featured in CAPMT-MTNA Artists Panel Webinar, The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s Digital Shorts Film Festival, Fresh Inc Festival, New Music Gathering Conference/Festival and will be presented in Old First Concerts, The Center for New Music, and Thailand New Music and Arts Symposium from September to December 2021.

*New Arts Collaboration is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of InterMusic SF, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to small ensemble music in the San Francisco Bay Area.