TROY, NY — This summer the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will present a special season of programming to coincide with Rensselaer’s inaugural Summer Arch semester. In addition to the production residencies and research projects that are regularly conducted at the center throughout the summer, the season will be punctuated by a number of concerts, film screenings, theater performances, and workshops.
Electronic musician Elysia Crampton will perform in EMPAC Studio 1 to kick things off on May 26. Crampton’s music is celebrated for its experimental sonic palette, queer identity, and embrace of South American spirituality.
From May 31 to June 4, the Albany Symphony Orchestra takes over EMPAC for their annual American Music Festival, highlighting new works by living American composers. Summer Arch students are invited to attend the Saturday, June 3, marquee concert free of charge.
From July 10-14, EMPAC partners with the Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition (HUSEAC) and the Paris-based Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) for a first-of-its-kind intensive Spatial Audio Summer Workshop. Using EMPAC’s new 500-speaker wave field synthesis audio system, as well as Ambisonic technology, the weeklong workshop will offer in-depth training on emerging spatial audio platforms. IRCAM researcher Markus Noisternig will offer a performance using this technology on the opening night, followed by a performance by Harvard’s Hans Tutschku on the 13th.
On July 20, EMPAC will celebrate the release of a new book documenting the work of artist Lucy Raven. Low Relief chronicles Raven’s years-long work researching 3D film technology, culminating in her 2015 EMPAC commission Tales of Love and Fear. Following the book launch, Raven will join forces with Hollywood special effects legend Phil Tippett to present their collaborative project Coming Attraction, along with the cult-classic sci-fi film Starship Troopers, for which Tippett designed all the alien “bugs.”
On August 10, theater-maker Andrew Schneider will perform his Obie Award-winning experimental theater piece YOUARENOWHERE, inspired by quantum mechanics and parallel universes. Schneider is in residency at EMPAC to develop the follow-up to his blockbuster, which will premiere in the fall.
Finally, on August 16, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire will bring his quartet to the concert hall. Akinmusire is a rising star of the jazz world and records for the legendary Blue Note record label.
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities and technologies, and by breathing the same air. EMPAC hosts artists and researchers to produce and present new work in a building designed with sophisticated architectural and technical infrastructure. Four exceptional venues and studios enable audiences, artists, and researchers to inquire, experiment, develop, and experience the ever-changing relationship between ourselves, technology, and the worlds we create around us. EMPAC is an icon of the New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for cross-disciplinary research and learning at Rensselaer, the nation’s oldest technological research university.