32nd Bi-Annual Electroacoustic Concert Makes Waves

A performer from the electroacoustic festival./Samia Afsar

By Samia Afsar


   Sundays are for sleeping in, sunny-side-ups, relaxing, and finally getting to that homework you promised yourself you were going to do over the weekend. For the Brooklyn College Music Conservatory, however, Sundays are for performing. 

   This past Sunday, the conservatory hosted the 32nd Bi-annual International Electroacoustic Music Festival in the Don Buchwald Theater.

   Under the direction of Professor George Brunner, director of music technology, five BC students showcased their work for a night of cutting-edge pieces created by emerging composers. Among the performers were Jesse McFadden and Peter Gaveglia on live electronics; Gidong Kim on an amplified piano; Aubrey O S with a fixed media playback; and Darlane Litaay who played an electronic and live video performance. 

   Following a welcome address by Brunner, McFadden kicked off the event with his electronic set titled “Switched on Rhythm.” Dressed in a three-piece suit, McFadden treated being up first as no challenge, confidently presenting his set which could be described as an electronic urban cultural fusion. 

   Kim followed immediately after with a piece he called “Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously.” As Kim took the stage, he firmly yet gracefully repeatedly stepped on a piano pedal, which he recorded and played back on his iPad. His steps revealed a beat he continuously added piano notes to throughout his performance, creating an original piece constructed right in front of the audience. 

   Before Gaveglia presented his work, he took a second to thank the audience before announcing that his newest album, “Bloom,” was recently released on all streaming platforms under his stage name “Recede.” He performed his song, “Closer I Get,” off of his new album. Although the event’s total attendance was fairly low, Gaveglia’s friends filled the last row to support his first live performance, making his set one that projected much love and encouragement. 

   Aubrey O S was the only composer who did not take the stage. Instead, his work was presented through a fixed media playback, allowing patrons to sit back and truly enjoy his three compositions entitled “Lertcon Three,” “Dull Hair,” and “Liminal Transition.”

   Darlane Litaay was the last to perform, and perhaps the most intriguing. Litaay’s set started off with him leaving the theater, tending to the audience members through a Zoom call on a computer desktop on stage. During the call, Litaay walked around campus playing a small horn-like instrument while showcasing the autumn leaves before returning to the theater. Upon his return, Litaay dressed in a gas mask-like face cover, bright orange sunglasses, and on his right arm, he held a small red devilish sculpture. 

   Throughout his performance, Litaay voiced various sounds into a program he had on his phone. He then stood up with his phone still in hand, making quick and sudden movements that influenced the echoes of his voice through the mixing program that shifted as he did. Litaay’s presentation was perhaps less of a set and more of performance art. 

    There is no doubt that he left audience members with much to talk about on their way home, and might I say, he did beautifully so. 

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