Swedish Composer Ellen Arkbro Performs New Work at EMPAC

Troy, NY — On Thursday, March 8, at 7:30 PM, Swedish composer Ellen Arkbro will perform at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteThe concert will feature the premiere of a new piece written for electric guitar and algorithmic synthesis that Arkbro has developed over a two-week residency at the center.

Ellen Arkbro is a Stockholm-based musical alchemist whose work oscillates between the pop music of the ’90s and the American minimalism of the ’60s, while exploring microtonal realms that blur the standard tunings and harmonies of Western music. Her practice takes the form of compositions for early-music ensembles as well as long-duration performances of synthesized dream music, including one piece composed to last 26 days. Her sound work is heavily informed by her studies in “just intonation” tuning with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in New York and with Marc Sabat in Berlin. She describes her 2017 album for organ and brass as “a very slow and reduced blues music” written for the 17th-century Sherer-Orgel organ in Tangermünde, Germany, paired with microtonal arrangements for horn, tuba, and trombone.

Arkbro’s performance comes at the outset of a series of EMPAC residencies during which she will develop a new composition for EMPAC’s Wave Field Synthesis 3D audio speaker system. The piece will premiere at EMPAC’s 10 Year Celebration in October of 2018.

For more information, please visit empac.rpi.edu.

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.

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