April 8, 2013
The title – Unruly Music – set the expectations for the three concert festival held over the weekend at Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall. Contemporary composition (or improvisation) that pushes the barriers of musical performance may be startling, even unpleasant to those unaccustomed. But these concerts are intended to explore new avenues.
This is particularly true when electronic tools replace or augment conventional instruments, as they did Friday evening, in a program featuring the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra and two new ensembles with some MILO members.
Many sounds are produced conventionally, others unconventionally on conventional instruments – as when an electric guitar was “played” by twisting the base of a glass Coke bottle against the strings. But the exploration begins with what is done with that initial sound. Electronic reshaping of the input can create vastly different outputs. When a computer is used to create the initial sound, the options open up further, creating a soundscape never heard before. Shaping that sound world in creative ways – beyond creating noise – is the challenge to the process.
Read the full article at ThirdCoast Digest.