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Cellotronic Games

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April 30, 2015 8:00 pm


 Cellotronic Games

Kevin Davis: Cello, Juraj Kojs: Electronics

New works for cello and technologies
Jason Calloway, cello and Juraj Kojs, electronics paired in 2014 to build a program of works that engage music and technologies in game-inspired multimedia interactions. Tonight will feature Kevin Davis, cello.

In the past 50 years, gaming has become a multicultural phenomenon transforming the ways we play, work, and explore.  We learn, exercise, and entertain (exertain) ourselves and others via games.  The analog and digital platforms with their tools and controllers have been continuously expanded to facilitate access to novel stimulations and content.  New rules, challenges, and awards have tantalized growing generations of players, engaging them in competitive interactions.  Whether in the physical world or digital domain, gamers develop skills and strategies to master a labyrinth of difficulty and communication levels.  Completing the puzzle, addictions, violence, and escapist desires for a better existence have shadowed the gaming rapture.  The arts in their multitude of expressions have been at the axis of game design and practice.

Through the call for works, eight composers were selected and commissioned to compose pieces for cello and analog or digital technologies. The works offer a commentary on our game-involved culture, addressing its playfulness, drama, competitive nature and drive for success. The program includes works by Paul Turowski Adrian Democ, Ethan Greene, Lanier Sammons, Chuck Mason, Paul Turowski, Jorge Gomez and Patrick O’Malley. Jason Calloway and Juraj Kojs premiered the project on Sept 6, 2014 in Miami, FL.

Kevin Davis is an improviser, composer, and cellist. Originally from Appalachian Tennessee, he has at various times been based out of Memphis, Chicago, New York, and Istanbul, where he has played in and composed for a large variety of musical situations across a wide spectrum of contemporary music. He has recorded and performed in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has degrees in music composition from the University of Memphis (B. Music) and the Centre for Advanced Musical Studies (MIAM) in Istanbul, Turkey (MA). He is currently pursuing a PhD in Composition and Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia.

Kevin has performed, recorded, and improvised with many excellent musicians including Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, Ken Vandermark, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Tim Daisy, Nate Wooley, Ingebrigt H. Flaaten, Jim Baker, Robert Reigle, Tatsuya Nakatani, Guillermo Gregorio, Ben Vida (US Maple), Adam Vida, Josh Abrams (Town and Country), David Daniell, Glen Kochie (Wilco), Colin Stetson, Kyle Bruckmann, Olivia Block, Uncle Woody Sullender and Mike Pride among many others. His own projects include duo recordings with Dave Rempis, Woody Sullender, and Mike Pride, Jim Baker, Locksmith Isidore, and the İstanbul-based Islak Köpek, in addition to co-directing the MIAM Improvisation Ensemble and performing in and assistant directing the University of Virginia New Music Ensemble. His compositions have been performed by the Hezarfin Ensemble, Dither guitar quartet, Ekemeles, Never Enough Hope, Chicago Sound Map, and others. He currently plays in and is the assistant director of the University of Virginia New Music Ensemble, in addition to playing baroque cello, violone, and harpsichord in the University of Virginia Baroque Orchestra.

After many years of focusing his artistic practice on improvisation, Kevin has recently become re-engaged with more traditional forms of composition. His recent creative work deals with mediating the sometimes-problematic relationship between composition and improvisation by bringing differing types of structure into confrontation with the unstable properties present in motion, gesture, and sound.

Juraj Kojs is a Slovakian composer, performer, multimedia artist and producer permanently residing in the US. Juraj’s creative and research work reaches to the areas of music at the threshold of hearing, action-based acoustic and electroacoustic music, cyberinstruments created with physical modeling synthesis, tactile music, native instruments from central Europe, contemporary concert music, dance music, interactive audio-visual performance, muscle-powered multimedia, music with everyday objects and toys and graphic notation. Miami New Times described his muscle-powered multimedia Neraissance as “striking and unforgettable,” and MiamiArtzine called his Signals “enthralling and immersive.”

Juraj is a co-founder of Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts (FETA) based in Miami, FL.  He holds a PhD. in Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia, having taught at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Denmark, Yale University, University of Virginia and Miami International University. Kojs is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Music Theory and Composition at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. www.kojs.net


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