Kari Besharse

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ICMC 2011, University of Huddersfield

Sunday, I returned home to Louisiana after traveling to England for the annual International Computer Music Conference. This year’s conference was very well organized by the conference committee and I felt very welcome as soon as I arrived. All events took place on the University of Huddersfield campus, and many of us even stayed in one of the student dormitories. This made for a very close-knit community of electroacoustic composers, researchers, and performers and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of new friends and colleagues. Special thanks to Michael Clarke, conference chair; Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, music chair and technical director, Monty Adkins, paper chair, and Alex Harker, the board operator and my mix assistant at St. Paul’s Hall.

I was privileged to have my piece Dissolution for trombone and Max/Msp performed at the conference by Andrew Digby, a fabulous trombonist and new music expert who lives in Germany. Andrew frequently performs new music all around Europe and is a member of Ensemble Ascolta and the Composers Slide Quartet.

View of St. Paul's Hall (where Dissolution was performed) from the Creative Arts Building (photo by Steve Benner)

The Creative Arts Building at University of Huddersfield

It was an extremely intense week of concerts (I saw 12/13 concerts plus some UnConference concerts) and paper sessions. There was so much to do that of course there was no way to go to everything, but I did hear a lot of new electroacoustic/computer music and learn about some of the research people are doing in the field. Wednesday, there was a special field trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for the ICMC banquet. I did not attend the banquet, but I did have some time to look around the park and at a fantastic Jaume Plensa exhibit. There was also a special “walk” organized by Michael Clarke on Saturday at the Mardsen Moor which I was able to attend part of before departing for Manchester.

Well, unfortunatly, my summer adventures are over. Classes at Southeastern Louisiana University start back up on August 17th. My next big adventure (to Africa) is about four months away.

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ICMC 2010 – New York, New York

Last week I took a short trip to New York City for the 2010 International Computer Music Conference hosted by SUNY Stony Brook (my husband’s alma mater). The first two days of the festival took place in various locations around Manhattan, and then the festival moved out to Long Island for the last three days. Unfortunately, I could only attend one day this year, so I registered for June 2, which was the day my piece Small Things was performed on one of the Ear to the Earth concerts. I am also a member of the Ear to the Earth organization, which seeks to raise concern and awareness to the environmental issues that we face through sound and artistic works. Nature and the environment are at the core of what drives me as an artist, so I was delighted that Small Things was chosen for one of the Ear to the Earth concerts. This concert took at the White Box gallery in Manhattan.

I tried to attend as much as possible in my one day at ICMC this year, but transportation between venues did take some time, so I missed out on the installations and performance events that took place in Brooklyn and Grand Central Station. I saw some interesting poster and paper sessions at Hotel Pennsylvania, and a fantastic evening concert at Miller Theater. It was a lot to pack into one day, but I do wish I could have stayed for more!