Not to Scale: New Music to Join Acoustically Distinct Spaces Over the Network

April 05, 2010

April 5, 2010 — On April 7, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., composer and University of Virginia Ph.D. student Peter Traub and recent U.Va. graduate Eric Montgomery will premiere two new pieces that acoustically connect two distinct spaces on Grounds with the architectural heart of U.Va., the Dome Room of the Rotunda.

Pieces will be performed in two spaces – the inner stairwell of Old Cabell Hall and the Main Lounge of Newcomb Hall, with audio projected into the Dome Room of the Rotunda. People can listen in any of the three locations.

As each piece is played, the sound will be fed to the Rotunda where it will pick up the acoustic qualities of the space and be fed back to the performance space. The sound travels back and forth during the performance, picking up sound at each space creating a rich, layered sound.

"The composition picks up the acoustic qualities of both spaces to create a synthesis of the two spaces. It's a special synthesis, a hybrid sound space," Traub said.

Traub's piece, "Passages and Recesses: for solo flute and hybrid space," will be performed by flutist Wayla Chambo from the resonant space of the inner stairwell of Old Cabell Hall. This performance is scheduled to begin at 12:45.

Montgomery's piece, "Sound Across Grounds," will be performed on piano by Benjamin Yobp in the reverberant Main Lounge of Newcomb Hall. This piece will begin about 1:20 p.m. A 15-minute break between pieces will allow listeners in any of the locations to move to another one if they choose.

The event is the culmination of a collaboration between Traub and Montgomery funded by a Double 'Hoo Grant. The grants are awarded annually by the Center for Undergraduate Excellence to encourage collaborations between graduate and undergraduate students.

Traub is a composer, installation and network artist currently completing his dissertation in the Composition Ph.D. program at the McIntire Department of Music in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He received his master's in electro acoustic music from Dartmouth College in 1999.

He has composed numerous works of electronic music and several Internet-based and physical sound installations. His dissertation is a series of performances and installations exploring sound in physical and imaginary space. His first piece in the dissertation series, the online installation ItSpace, was featured on NPR's "Day to Day" in 2008, and his second piece in the series, "Solera," was featured in C-ville Weekly. "Passages and Recesses" is the fourth piece in the series.

Montgomery graduated from U.Va. in December 2009 with a double major in music and computer science. After years of piano and guitar lessons, his musical interests have expanded to include dabbling in various instruments as well as incorporating computers and technology into music. His computer science background made him well-suited for handling some of the technical requirements of this project with Traub. He plans to continue pursuing various musical opportunities, combining them with his interest in computers whenever possible.

For information contact Traub at ptraub@virginia.edu, 650-918-7463 or visit his Web site.

— By Jane Ford