132 Eddy Street @ Mason
San Francisco, California 94103

Japan meets San Francisco: Akio Hizume and Max Mathews

Suggested donation $10
Sponsored by YLEM: Artists Using Science and Technology

YLEM hosts a multimedia event exploring the relationship of mathematics, sculpture, gesture, and sound, featuring Japan?s Akio Hizume in his first visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Francisco?s own Max Mathews, inventor of the Radio Baton electronic music controller.
Akio Hizume is a sculptor, an architect, and a music composer, generating all of his material using the Golden Mean. As he puts it, ?I built Mandara on a Rhyzome using a Pentapod Booth whose height was about 180cm tall all over the gallery. This arrangement was based on Penrose Tiling. I hung Bamboo Pleiades Lamps from the top of each booth, and controlled their blinking pattern by computer. The pattern was synchronized with the quasi-periodic back-ground music. The rhythm pattern changed little by little like waves lapping at a beach. It never repeated. In another room, the audience could play an interactive computer-music work called Real Kecak System. Three dimensions are integrated in the common space. These are: 3D (quasi-periodic geometric objects); 2D (quasi-periodic arrangement of the museum); 1D (quasi-periodic background music). These three kinds of designs are the shadow of a six-dimensional structure on lower-dimensional space. We can be aware of 6D geometry only by such a shadow, as Plato said. I have not known of any past example in that architecture has such accord with music as much as in my work. So to speak, I composed a canon of common subjects across several-dimension spaces. The music players play quasi-periodic rhythms on bamboo instruments. The players cannot see the other players. They play according to the air, like grasshoppers, frogs, or cicadas. Each player plays a different but self-similar rhythm. The audience walks around the Medina like free electrons. The Pentapod Booths make a special environment of sound. It is an effect of the Golden Mean, which makes the very matter reflect diffusely.?

AT Bell Labs in 1957, Max Mathews demonstrated synthesis of music on a digital computer with his Music I program. Music I was followed by Music II through Music V and GROOVE, all were involved in the composition and performance of music on and with computers. These programs have been influential in the development of computer music. For this pioneering work he has been called the "father of computer music," and most recently, "the great grandfather of techno!" In 1987 Mathews joined the Stanford University Music Department in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) as Professor of Music (Research) where he developed a new pickup for electronic violins and a real-time computer system for music performance called the Conductor and Improv Programs and a 3D MIDI Controller called the Radio Baton. As Max puts it, ?Computer performance of music was born in 1957 when an IBM 704 in NYC played a 17 second composition on the Music I program which I wrote. The timbres and notes were not inspiring, but the technical breakthrough is still reverberating. Music I led me to Music II through V. A host of others wrote Music 10, Music 360, Music 15, Csound, Cmix, and SuperCollider. Many exciting pieces are now performed digitally. Recently I have added improvizational options which make it easy to write compositional algorithms. These can involve precomposed sequences, random functions, and live performance gestures. The algorithms are written in the "C" language. We have taught a course in this area to Stanford undergraduates for two years. To our happy surprise, the students liked learning and using "C". Primarily I believe it gives them a feeling of complete power to command the computer to do anything it is capable of doing."
Akio Hizume and Max Mathews will explain and demonstrate their inventions and innovations and answer questions from the audience. This is a rare opportunity to experience these two fecund creative personalities in the festive atmosphere of RX Gallery.

Added by hellomynameis on March 17, 2006