Douglas Geers
Research and Composition

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Objectives:

The underlying goal of all my work is to pursue investigations into methods for using traditional musical instruments and new technologies (both musical and of other media) to create interesting and thought-provoking experiences for audiences of concert music and experimental performance, with a particular interest in the thematic organization of timbre.  

Most often, my works combine live musicians with interactive electroacoustic instruments, although I also write completely acoustic works as well as totally computer-generated ones (both live and for fixed media.) In addition, I am quite interested in immersive sensory experiences, and as a result have created many works that integrate visual media (film, video, live visual processing, dance, sculpture, drama, installation, etc.), generally preferring to work in collaboration with skilled artists in the accompanying media.   However I do also perform, most often with a developing set of laptop-based instruments.

To realize my works, I have employed a range of computer-based methods, most often ones using probability-driven algorithms to shape musical material (such as stochastics, Markov chains, finite state automata, and generative grammars.) I have also explored genetic algorithms, iterative processes, fractals, set operations, and neural networks. For nearly all pieces, I design and create one or more computer programs or scripts to develop my ideas, and for this I generally use either Max/MSP, C or Java programming, RTCmix, Common Music and/or OpenMusic. Text explanations of a number of the resulting compositions are available below; others are available upon request.

I am also currently exploring physical control for live interactive performance, with a focus on use of wireless handheld objects, multitouch surfaces, sensors, and robotics.






Publications:
(Please note that listed publications do not include numerous reviews written 1994-present for a variety of publications, including Computer Music Journal, Electronic Musician Magazine, SEAMUS Journal, Array, New York Concert Review, and others.)

   
    The Brooklyn College Center for Computer Music, City University of New York. Studio report given at the 2010 ICMC.
        (Proceedings of the 2010 International Computer Music Conference.)

    
Proccedings of the 2007 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts.  Editor.
        (University of Minnesota.) Spark 2007 Proceedings (large PDF file)

    Development of a Versatile Interactive Performance System. Discussion of Geers' Max/MSP-based composition and improvisation instrument systems        
        (Proceedings of the 2006 International Computer Music Conference.)   GeersICMC2006.PDF

    Proccedings of the 2006 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts.  Editor.
        (University of Minnesota.) Spark 2006 Proceedings (six PDF files)

    ICMC 2004.  Review of the 2004 International Computer Music Conference.
        (SEAMUS Journal, Volume 18, No. 2, Spring 2006.) GeersSEAMUS.PDF

    Studios for Sound, Technology & Research, University of Minnesota.  Studio Report.
        (Proceedings of the 2005 International Computer Music Conference.) GeersICMC2005.PDF

    Proccedings of the 2005 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts.  Editor.
        (University of Minnesota.) 2005 Spark Festival Proceedings (five PDF files--scroll to bottom of page.)

    Oblique Strategies: Explication of works Ripples and Reality House for general music scholars.
        (Current Musicology
vol. 67-68.) GeersOblique.PDF
 



Presentations:

     Lifting the Ground: Using Technology to Color Musical Experience.
       
Lecture given to the composition seminar of the Atlantic Music Festival, Waterville, Maine, August 1, 2014.

     Drama, Data, Scores, and Circuits.
       
Lecture given to the New York University Department of Music Composition Seminar, New York, November 19, 2013.

    Are We Playing Yet? Cognitive Dissonances of Electroacoustic Ensemble Performance
       
Lecture given at the 2012 Symposium on Electroacoustic Music Performance, New York City, April 21, 2012.

    Performing with an Autonomous Musical Robot
       
Lecture given at the 2012 Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference, Appleton, Wisconsin, February 9, 2012.

     Composition of Tremor Transducer
       
Poster presented at the 2012 Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference, Appleton, Wisconsin, February 10, 2012.

     Building Open-Source Electronic Music Instruments
     
 Presentation as part of the panel Open to It: Teaching, Researching, and Creating the Open-Culture Environment,
       Faculty Day 2011, Brooklyn College, New York, May 25, 2011.

     No Mickey Mousing: Musical Lineage in a Technological Age
       
Presentation given as part of International Open Access Week 2010, Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College, CUNY, New York.

     The Brooklyn College Center for Computer Music, City University of New York
       
Studio report given at the 2010 International Computer Music Conference, June, New York City, 2010.

     Why All the Laptops?  The New Electroacoustic Ensemble Culture
       
Lecture given at the 2010 Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference, April 10, 2010.

     Aesthetic and Goals of the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts.
       
Lecture given at the Elektra Festival, Montreal, May 11, 2008.
     
     Building Audiences for Experimental New Media Performance.
       
Panel member. Experimenting with Art in Public Spaces Symposium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 11, 2008.

     Development of a Versatile Interactive Performance System.  
        Paper given at the 2006 International Computer Music Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Introduction to Acoustics, Digital Audio, and Recording Production Techniques.
        Lecture given to the students of the Loca Musica International Summer Music School, Skofia Loka, Slovenia, August 25, 2006.

    Copy this Music: A Creator’s Perspective on the Creative Commons Movement.
         Lecture given on October 28 at the Creative Commons License Launch ceremonies in Ljubljana, Slovenia, October 26, 2005.

    Studios for Sound Technology Research, University of Minnesota.
         Paper given at the 2005 International Computer Music Conference in Barcelona, Spain, September 8.

    Intuition vs. Algorithm.  
        Paper presented at the Electronic Music Midwest festival at Lewis University in Chicago, Illinois October 17, 2004.

    Globalization Roundtable.
        Participant in panel session presented at the Electronic Music Midwest festival at Lewis University in Chicago, Illinois October 17, 2004. Panel organized by
        Kevin Austin of Concordia University.

    Electroacoustic Music and Popular Electronica: Shared Tools, Diverse Musics.
        Paper co-authored with Michael Berkowski, given at the 2003 Electronic Music Midwest conference, University of Missouri Kansas City, October 30, 2004.

    Mad Love for New Performance Technologies.
        Paper given at the World Music Days festival, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 28. 

    EA-7: An Environment for Electroacoustic Performance.
         Paper given at the 2003 SEAMUS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States) conference, Arizona State University, March 14.

    Cross-Influences of Contemporary Electroacoustic Music with Popular Electronica.
        Organized/chaired panel session at the 2003 SEAMUS conference, Arizona State University, March 15. 

    EA-7: An Environment for Electroacoustic Performance.
        Paper given at the Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology, Connecticut College, February 27, 2003.




Older Projects:


Follow this link for information about and/or to download my live performance instrument Hop, in one incarnation from late 2005.

A page of older research (circa 1996-2001) may be found here.



Selected Compositions:

     Father's Dream Reliquary :Interactive Installation (vintage radio, electronics. 2014).
     video (brief demonstration)     MP3 (demonstration audio)     notes

    Mille Regretz (fache amoureuse):  Work for SATB choir and live electroacoustic music (6 minutes; 2011)
      MP3     PDF score     notes

    Inanna's Descent:  Work for violin and live electroacoustic music (11 minutes; 2010)
      MP3     PDF score     notes

    Stolen Blue:  Work for 8-channel electroacoustic fixed media playback (6 minutes; 2014)
      MP3     notes

    Sweep:  Work for violin, percussion, and laptop orchestra (12 minutes; 2008)
      Video Clip

    Laugh Perfumes: violin concerto with multimedia elements (20 minutes; 2006).
     MP3     PDF score     notes

    Tremor Transducer: chamber music with live electroacoustics (15 minutes; 2004).
     MP3     PDF score     notes

    Enkidu: violin and live electroacoustics (11 minutes; 2001-02).
     MP3     PDF score     notes
        This work is an excerpt from the composer's 70-minute multimedia Theatrical work Gilgamesh.
        A short Quicktime video excerpt of Gilgamesh may be found here.

    Memory Dust: big band and live electroacoustics (8 minutes; 2003)
     MP3     PDF score     notes

    Reality House: chamber ensemble (15 minutes; 1998)
     MP3     PDF score     notes

    Ripples: 2-channel electroacoustic music (7.5 minutes; 1997).
     MP3     PDF code     notes

    Twisted Pair: 8-channel electroacoustic music (2-channel mix; 6 minutes; 2003).
     MP3     notes

    Sønreel:
    www.sonreel.com



    Additional computer music and Sønreel recordings available on www.lastfm.com.