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Various Artists | Seamus Electroacoustic Miniatures 2015: Sonic Haiku

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Seamus Electroacoustic Miniatures 2015: Sonic Haiku

by Various Artists

The SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures series is an annual album release of fixed-media works addressing a specific theme; the theme for 2015 is Sonic Haiku.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ambient-P
Jason Bolte
3:05 album only
2. Aurum
Cody Kauhl
1:08 album only
3. Beautiful Nikes
Brad Decker
3:00 album only
4. Broken Paper Responsibility
Larry Matthew Gaab
2:00 album only
5. In the midst of
Kyong Mee Choi
3:00 album only
6. Déjà-vu
Marco Ferrazza
3:03 album only
7. Doyôgumo (Dog Days Clouds)
John Nichols III
1:32 album only
8. Eaves
Benjamin O'Brien
2:48 album only
9. K-9Lives
Matthew Bryant
1:44 album only
10. Kulikama
Chris Lortie
1:40 album only
11. Lübeck Kireji
Simon Hutchinson
2:24 album only
12. Memory Series (2)
Sean Ellis Hussey
3:59 album only
13. Microbial Surfaces
Aaron Anderson
1:00 album only
14. Rice / Lightening
Daniel James Miller
1:10 album only
15. On a cup of tea
Konstantinos Karathanasis
2:05 album only
16. Picker
Nathan Anthony Corder
1:14 album only
17. Quilt
Sever Tipei
2:57 album only
18. Shaking Hands
Sean Peuquet
1:22 album only
19. Slamming, Stretching, Striking
Jonathan Wilson
2:22 album only
20. Tempus Agit
Sean Hallowell
2:09 album only
21. The First of May
Stephen F Lilly
2:59 album only
22. (The Sky is blue)
Niels Mestre
2:58 album only
23. Yūgen
J. Corey Knoll
1:53 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures series is an annual album release of fixed-media works addressing a specific theme. The theme for 2015 is Sonic Haiku.

The 2015 adjudication committee chose a theme meant to inspire a rich diversity of interpretations and approaches. The following descriptions was provided for reference:

Compact works, such as the miniature or the Haiku, afford a paradoxical potency and clarity, yet complete in their minuscule form. Featuring everyday moments of human experience, they reveal profound associations, flashes of whimsy, humor, and unexpected moods, transcending the ordinary. This year's theme, "Sonic Haikus," invites composers to broadly consider these moments.

The 2015 adjudication committee members were Konstantinos Karathanasis (chair), Kyong Mee Choi, and Jason Bolte. In addition to devising the theme, the members of the committee evaluated the submissions and each included their own realization of the theme. Submissions were evaluated based on the following criteria:

Adherence to the theme
Creative and coherent exploration of thematic possibilities
Technical quality

The following composers are included on SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures 2015: Sonic Haiku

Aaron Anderson
Jason Bolte
Matthew Bryant
Kyong Mee Choi
Nathan Anthony Corder
Brad Decker
Marco Ferrazza
Larry Matthew Gaab
Sean Hallowell
Sean Ellis Hussey
Simon Hutchinson
Cody Kauhl
J Corey Knoll
Kostantinos Karathanasis
Stephen F Lilly
Chris Lortie
Niels Mestre,
Daniel James Miller
John Nichols III
Benjamin O'Brien
Sean Peuquet
Jonathan Wilson
Sever Tipei


Ambient-P (2015)
duration: 3:00

Ambient-P was composed in response to David McIntire (friend) and Irritable Hedgehog's (label) Putney Project. Ambient-Pis a variable length work that juxtaposes contemporary audio processing with David's early exposure to the EMS VCS-3, also known as the "Putney." 
Jason Bolte is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. He currently resides in Bozeman (Montana) with his wonderful wife Barbara and their two beautiful daughters, Lila and Megan. Jason teaches music technology and composition at Montana State University where he also directs the Montana State Transmedia and Electroacoustic Realization (MonSTER) Studios.  Jason’s music is available on the ABLAZE, ELECTROACÚSTICO, SEAMUS, Irritable Hedgehog, Vox Novus, SoundWalk, and Miso Records labels.


Aurum (2015)
duration: 1:08

Aurum is a sonic miniature that compresses all personal semantic associations of "gold" into five short sections or syllables, with its central section being the longest and most introspective.
Cody Kauhl is a composer and multimedia artist investigating the hidden musical potential of urban noise pollution while utilizing new methods of human and computer interaction. His work has been performed at international and national festivals and conferences including the International Computer Music Conference and Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States. Cody graduated in 2011 with a B.M. in Music Theory/Composition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and received his M.M. in Music Composition at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2015.


Beautiful Nikes (2014)
duration: 3:00

Beautiful Nikes is a sonic haiku – a short composition that focuses on unexpected combinations. This work combines the essence of even, steady rainfall in the darkness with the kinetic machinery of worldwide industry. Its musical form is organized around the haiku’s 5/7/5 syllabic design, and is conceptually based on the following poem:

Rain drops fall at night
Assembly line production
Beautiful Nikes

Brad Decker is a composer, improviser, and educator in new music composition, multimedia, and sound art. He performs as a double-bassist and sound artist using structured improvisation and live computer processing in numerous capacities, namely solo works, group ensemble collaboration, video art installations, and film soundtracks. He completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts in composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Masters in Music composition and theory at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He currently teaches music composition and electronic music at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.


Broken Paper Responsibility (2015)
duration: 1:59

A lively piece melding discordant lines. The work aims to stir up rather than explain. The musical sequences form imaginary collocations. Reactive particles blend and repel as they attempt to merge. The act of joining beats back the opposing sounds.  
Natural affinities secure the chemistry. The apposition of opposites creates mutual identities defining the other. 
Larry Matthew Gaab is a native of the United States. His body of works are for tape alone and for mixed acoustic and electronic instruments.  The pieces utilize improvisation, composition, and computer generation.  


In the midst of (2015)
duration: 3:00

In the midst of portrays a moment of being in nature with what might go through someone’s mind at that time. The piece represents the composer’s interpretation of “Sonic Haikus”, the theme of the SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures Series in 2015.
Kyong Mee Choi, composer, organist, painter, and visual artist, received several prestigious awards and grants including John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Robert Helps Prize, Aaron Copland Award, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship among others.  Ravello records published her multimedia opera, THE ETERNAL TAO, which was supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and Roosevelt University. Aucourant Records published her CD, SORI, featuring her eight compositions for solo instrument and electronics. The project was supported by the IAS Artist Project Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. She is an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Roosevelt University in Chicago where she teaches composition and electro-acoustic music. Samples of her works are available at http://www.kyongmeechoi.com.


Déjà-vu (2015)
duration: 3:03

The track Déjà-vu is a reworking of previous longer compositions. The result of this condensation introduces at a new reality where all events, which follow each other and overlap continuously, allude to memories of past experiences put together in a surprising way, just like in the altered dimension of the dream.
Electroacoustic music composer and multimedia performer, Marco Ferrazza studied contemporary art and electronic music. His work, performed in several competitions and festivals, constantly looks into relationships between concrete sounds and computer music, electronic arts and field recording, improvisation and new technologies.


doyôgumo (Dog Days Clouds) (2015)
duration: 1:31

doyôgumo (Dog Days Clouds) refers to a Haiku written in 1814 by the esteemed Japanese poet, Kobayashi Issa: 


It becomes demon
and becomes Buddha
dog days clouds

(Translation by Kiyomitsu Odai and John Nichols III)

Reflecting the haiku's sense of transition, liquid motion combined with evolving sonorities allude to the powerful, building clouds common in the dog days of summer. The midsummer clouds inspired Issa to compose this witty and effective Haiku, suggesting that both evil and good can be found in the same thing. The sounds of water were recorded at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Fall 2014 with the special help of Brona Martin and Jonty Harrison. I am also thankful to Kiyomitsu Odai for his excellent rendering of Issa's haiku.
The electro-acoustic compositions of John Nichols III have been recognized by audiences and international juries around the world for their intensity, power, and emotion. Spanning the spectrum of human experience, listeners are confronted with a wide variety of sonic phenomena stretching the boundaries of chaos and organization.   


Eaves (2015)
duration: 2:48

eaves draws its name from a passage in Franz Kafka's "A Crossbreed" (1931, trans. 1933): "On the moonlight nights its favorite promenade is along the eaves." I processed water and string instrument recordings in different ways to explore how and when the two sound classes are alike. I hope the work challenges listeners to hear the musicality of water and the naturalness of string instruments.
Benjamin O’Brien composes, researches, and performs acoustic and electro-acoustic music that focuses on music similarity measures, translation, and machine listening. He holds degrees in music composition and mathematics from the University of Florida (PhD), Mills College (MA), and the University of Virginia (BA). Benjamin has studied computer music, improvisation, and theory with David Bernstein, Ted Coffey, Fred Frith, Paul Koonce, Roscoe Mitchell, and Paul Richards. His compositions have been performed at international conferences and festivals including ICMC, EMS, TIES, and SuperCollider Symposium. His honors include the Elizabeth Mills Crothers Award for Outstanding Musical Composition (Mills College), International Electroacoustic Music Young Composers Awards Finalist (WOCMAT), and Sound Art Performance Finalist (Radical dB Festival). His work is published by Oxford University Press, SEAMUS, Canadian Electroacoustic Community, and Taukay Edizioni Musicali. He currently lives in Marseille, France.


K-9Lives (2015)
duration: 1:43

K-9Lives explores the battle between a cat and a dog trying to occupy the same territory: your home. They start out enemies but soon learn to be harmonious with each other.
Matthew Bryant is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and multimedia artist. He is currently an adjunct professor of music technology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he directs the UAB Computer Music Ensemble. Bryant has had works presented at multiple conferences and festivals including ICMC, Root Signals, N_SEME, and ArtFields SC. Bryant received his M.M. in Music Technology at Georgia Southern University under Dr. John Thompson and Derek Larson.


Kulikama (2015)
duration: 1:39

"Kulikama" is a miniature fixed media work composed to serve as a commentary on the commercialization of Hawaiian culture as a result of mainland tourism. The piece is structured as a dichotomy between samples that evoke an untampered natural environment and samples with more abrasive, materialistic connotations. The title, "Kulikama," is a phoneticized version of the word "tourism" using only letters of the Hawaiian alphabet (much like the phonetization of "Merry Christmas" to become "Mele Kalikimaka"). All samples are used with permission, including brief excerpts of tracks produced by John Valentine, an award-winning musician based in Hawaii who has graciously allowed me to sample his works in this piece.
Chris Lortie, currently based in Toledo, OH, has composed for a wide range of ensembles and performers, including soprano Elizabeth Pearse, violist Kalindi Bellach, saxophonist Matthew Younglove, the BGSU Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, and principal tubist of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, David Saltzman. In 2014, Chris’s composition for orchestra, And death i think is no parenthesis, was selected to be read by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. Chris received his bachelor's degree in music composition from Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Drs. Marilyn Shrude, Elainie Lillios, Mikel Kuehn, and Christopher Dietz.


Lübeck Kireji (2015)
duration: 2:24

While haiku are most famous for their brevity and 5-7-5 syllabic pattern, two other elements are necessary for a traditional haiku: an evocation of the season and a juxtaposition of two distinct images. The two images are separated by a "kireji" (a "cutting word") which indicates a pause, creating a space between the two ideas and inviting the audience themselves to connect these independent thoughts.
Simon Hutchinson’s work incorporates his experience in diverse musical styles from across the world. Drawing especially from jazz, the avant-garde, the Baroque, and the traditions of Japan, Korea, and Indonesia, Hutchinson creates music and intermedia works that explore themes of modernity, technology, and global community.
Hutchinson holds a PhD in Composition with supporting coursework in Intermedia Music Technology from the University of Oregon, where he was named the Outstanding Graduate Scholar in Music. Notable composition teachers include Jeffrey Stolet, Robert Kyr, David Crumb, Hi Kyung Kim, David Cope, and Peter Elsea. Additionally, Hutchinson spent several years in Japan studying shamisen (three-stringed lute) and Japanese Folk Music with virtuoso Sato Chouei and shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute) with Master Sato Chikuen. Currently, he is Assistant Professor of Music and Sound Recording at the University of New Haven.


Memory Series (2) (2015)
duration: 3:58

Memory Series (2) is the second installation of Memory Series of succession of pieces intended to create an audible “map” of the progression of memory, and how it strays organically from its original iteration over time. Think of your most vivid memories, every detail you can recall. What if you were told that your playback of those memories is different than what happened in reality? When we relive or remember moments of our lives, certain aspects are reshaped without our awareness. The more a memory is replayed, the further the playback strays from what really happened. I am both inspired and challenged by these findings, and want to highlight the fallibility and creativity of our minds in this metaphoric representation of memory. For updates on Memory Series, and to learn more about Sean Ellis Hussey’s other music projects go to www.seanellishusseycomposer.weebly.com.
Sean Ellis Hussey (b.1991) has collaborated with a variety of professional artists, performers, and political activists. Sean currently resides in Chicago, IL where he experiments with food, reads, writes, and wishes his apartment allowed dogs.


Microbial Surfaces (2015)
duration: 1:00

Microbial Surfaces is primarily a short-form micromontage. However, the resulting sonic material was arrived at by means of both manual and algorithmic placement of brief sonorities, all of which emanated from a single source. The choice of micromontage was both a reflection of brevity and indicative of a larger telescoping structure. The whole of Microbial Surfaces exists as a singular entity and as a pillar of a larger work.
Aaron Andersron complete his bachelor degrees at Ball State University in Music Technology and Music Composition under the tutelage of Keith Kothman, Michael Pounds, and Michael Olson. Aaron has had works presented at ICMC (2015), Root Signals (2014, 2015), NYCEMF (2015), SEAMUS (2013, 2015), The Electroacoustic Barn Dance (2013, 2014, 2015), Ball State New Music Festival (2015), Electronic Music Midwest (2013), Threshold (2012, 2014), and N_SEME (2013, 2014). In the fall of 2014, he began his MM in Music Technology at Georgia Southern University under the direction of John Thompson.


Rice/Lightening (2015)
duration: 1:10

Rice/Lightning is a study on a single recording: a ceramic rice pot rattling and hissing in the kitchen of an old house in Maguro, Tokyo. The subtle buzzing of metal and steam, recorded on a hand-held digital-audio recorder, is clear and crisp in the silence of a winter evening, evoking the paradoxical quietude of this metropolis. The composition preserves the delicacy of the sound while building an expressive arc on a small scale. The title, Rice/Lightning, was inspired by a haiku by Kawahigashi Hekigotō (1873-1937). In the context of rice eaten after a fast, Hekigotō writes the word for a lightning flash (inabikari) with the character normally used for a rice plant (ine), evoking the contrast, sudden insight, and focal point symbolized by both experiences.[1]
A native of Seattle, Daniel Miller (b. 1989) has long been influenced by inanthropogenic sound. His works explore simple sonic processes that de-emphasize the human perspective and confront the listener with extremes of length and intensity, gradual transformation, and timbral complexity. Daniel (www.lontanomusic.com) is a masters candidate in the Digital Musics graduate program at Dartmouth College.
[1] Higginson, William J. The Haiku Seasons: Poetry of the Natural World. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2008.


On a cup of tea (2015)
duration: 2:05

The main inspiration and point of departure of this miniature is tea, which plays an important role in Japanese and British cultures. The form of this piece has been influenced by the three-versed structure of Haiku poems. In addition, the piece features two contrasting pictures/states of mind/moods, as haikus usually do, by moving between soundscape reality and acousmatic abstraction. All the sounds in the acousmatic section derive from porcelain cups and saucers processed in various degrees. Lastly, I would like to thank my good friend, Robin Noad, for lending me his beautiful voice.
Konstantinos Karathanasis as an electroacoustic composer draws inspiration from modern poetry, artistic cinema, abstract painting, mysticism, Greek mythology, and the writings of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. His compositions have been performed at numerous festivals and received awards in international competitions, including Bourges, Musica Nova, and SEAMUS/ASCAP. Recordings of his music are released by SEAMUS, ICMA, Musica Nova and HELMCA. Konstantinos holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University at Buffalo, and is currently an Associate Professor of Composition & Music Technology at the University of Oklahoma. More info at:


Picker (2015)
duration: 1:14

A slim woodpecker
scurries about in the bush...
no haiku for days 
5th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Collection, Chenou Liu

Nathan Corder is a composer and guitarist currently residing in Tampa, FL. Nathan's works ranging from orchestral works to computer music, are concerned with perception/space/time/


Quilt (2015)
duration: 2:56

Quilt, for fixed media, is a computer­assisted composition that explores ­ in order ­ three sound synthesis techniques: granular, additive, and FM ­ all realized with DISSCO, a Digital Instrument for Composition and Sound Synthesis developed at the Computer Music Project of the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios and Argonne National Laboratory. Similar to a Haiku, the first line contains five elements, the second seven, and the third again five, creating a quilt of seventeen juxtaposed textures.
Sever Tipei was born in Bucharest, Romania, and immigrated to the United States in 1972. He holds degrees in composition and piano performance from the University of Michigan and Bucharest Conservatory. Tipei has taught since 1978 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign School of Music where he also manages the Computer Music Project of the UIUC Experimental Music Studios. Most of his compositions were produced with software he designed: MP1 ­ a computer­assisted composition program first used in 1973, DIASS ­ for sound synthesis, and M4CAVE ­ for the visualization of music in an immersive virtual environment. More recently, Tipei and his collaborators have developed DISSCO, software that unifies computer­assisted composition and (additive) sound synthesis into a seamless process.


Shaking Hands (2011)
duration: 1:22
Shaking Hands sets the pristine character of algorithmically generated pitch material against the backdrop of a nature preserve soundscape. Each voice enters according to some temporal offset and independently explores a unique just-intoned scale built off of a harmonic of the given fundamental for the piece. Particular scale degrees and note durations are selected randomly, using statistical feedback to weight against direct repetitions. Rhythm is additive; individual note durations are selected from a set of proportional values until the sum fills a pre-determined block of time. Voices, once introduced, repeat for a while, and then stop. The number of repetitions is inversely correlated with the voice's temporal offset. This process results in the accumulation of material and its subsequent slow decay across the section. 
Sean Peuquet is a composer and artist based in Denver who has developed a music theory and practice to address how changes of appearance can result in retroactively reevaluating what a work is, given the limitations of momentary and situated perspective. He earned his PhD in Music Composition from the University of Florida and recently completed a two-year visiting professorship in Digital Arts at Stetson University. More information available at: http://ludicsound.com.


Slamming, Stretching, Striking (2015)
duration: 2:22

Slamming, Stretching, Striking is a sonic haiku on physical exertion, which can be divided into three parts.  It has a ternary form with the A sections related by the source material and the gestural relationships between slamming and striking.  The source material came from a recording session I did at an anechoic chamber back in February of 2015 when I was alone at the facility.  I extracted sounds of a large door to the anechoic chamber being closed and vocal sounds made close to three microphones.  I also focused on an economy of sounds while exploring sparseness and silence.
Jonathan Wilson is a candidate for the doctorate in music composition at the University of Iowa.  Receiving his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in music composition from Western Illinois University, Jonathan has studied composition with Josh Levine, David Gompper, Lawrence Fritts, James Romig, James Caldwell, Paul Paccione, and John Cooper.  He has studied conducting under Richard Hughey and Mike Fansler.  His compositional process is concept-oriented, and each concept, in turn, generates the structural ideas that unify his works. Jonathan is a member of the Society of Composers, Inc., SEAMUS, the Iowa Composers Forum, and the American Composers Forum.


Tempus Agit (2015)
duration: 2:09

From a motivational speech recorded by the director of a temporary agency onto a “Stenorette” dictation device found at a flea market is the audio material sampled as the foundation of “Tempus Agit” extracted. From the within the natural flow of this speech is a haiku of 17 syllables isolated for sustained consideration:
Where are you going
when you leave here?
Neither chance nor luck will decide.
This haiku is repeated 17 times, albeit fragmentarily in all statements but the last.
From Salem, Oregon, Sean Russell Hallowell is a musician and composer living in San Francisco. He holds a Ph.D. in music from Columbia University in New York where he wrote a dissertation on the metaphysics of composerly technique in Medieval European polyphony. Proceeding from the haecceity of its generative technologies, his work mines the nexus of linear and cyclical processes to forge singular experiences of musical time.


The First of May (2015)
duration: 2:58

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the original haiku was “restricted in subject matter to an objective description of nature suggestive of one of the seasons,” and Wikipedia claims it is “the juxtaposition of two images or ideas” that links modern haiku to its tradition. Through the “objective” means of field recording, The First of May honors both of these haiku concepts as it contrasts two associations with May 1st:  Spring and Labor.
Stephen Lilly (stephenlilly.net) is a DC-based composer, performer, audio engineer, and sound artist.  Theatricality, language, and abstraction are themes that continually resurface in his work, the majority of which is for chamber ensembles. Stephen has composed for CoMA Britsol, pianist Hayk Arsenyan, saxophonist Steven Leffue, and soprano Stacey Mastrian and works closely with a collective of composer-performers he helped found, the Bay Players Experimental Music Collective. Publications: Computer Music Journal, ink&coda, Organised Sound, Performance Research, and Perspectives of New Music. Additionally, Stephen runs his own media services company (www.audioinhouse.com) and has engineered recordings for Neuma, Navona, and Albany Records. 


青い空 (the sky is blue) (2015)
duration: 3:00

As a guitar player I have the chance to travel sometimes and that gives me the opportunity to record some sounds I meet. Here is the sound of the Tokyo underground. Moving under Earth is always a dreadful but magic event for me. And it makes me think of what would be our lives if we never could go back outside again. The thing I am sure is we’d still remember, even after centuries, that, like the woman and the child say “青い空” (Aoi sora) the sky is blue.
Since I have twelve years old, I record some “strange things”, just for “fun,” never letting someone hear it. But, few years ago, I’ve heard the term “Electro-Acoustic”. And I listened. And I discovered I wasn’t alone. I discovered that a lot of people record “strange things” and, more surprising, a lot of people listen to them! So, since then, beside my professional life, I record more and more of these experimental works, melting field recordings, electronic effects controlled in real time and editing, to compose a trip into imaginary landscapes. And for the first time, thanks to SEAMUS, I invite people all around the world to this inner journey.


Yūgen (幽玄)
duration: 1:53

A wild mountaintop,
Countless unseen lives below.
Somewhere, music sounds.
Yūgen (幽玄) is a Japanese aesthetic that evokes the depth of the world beyond our immediate senses. This work explores the richness of a musical instrument sounding a single pitch.
J. Corey Knoll (http://jcoreyknoll.com) is currently professor of composition and music theory at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. He recently completed a PhD in music composition at Louisiana State University and also has degrees from Bowling Green State University and Marshall University. His musical interests lie in pitch hierarchies, modern music notation, and digital performance.



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