Audio Art / Modular Synthesis 04, performance and 3D spatialization

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Audio Art / Modular Synthesis 04, performance and 3D spatialization

Pedagogical Assistant: 

Workshops (intermediate-advanced)

Nov. 23-24 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Nov. 27 (5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), Nov.30, Dec. 1 and 7, 2019 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 

rom October 1 to November 22, 2019

Performance by Philippe-Aubert Gauthier during the workshop


Stemming from the workshop Audio Art/Modular Synthesis 03, Material and Spatial Sound Installation (October 2018), Modular Synthesis 04 is designed for intermediate to advanced practitioners. It will focus on exploring the possibilities for performing and improvising with these intruments while spatializing works of audio art using synthesis, transformation and modular control approaches. 

In this era of ubiquitous digital technology, a remarkable number of practices and techniques from the past have resurfaced in the form of software, plug-ins, and, especially, dedicated circuits designed for portable sound capture, generation and processing, allowing for a hands-on approach to sound material.This shift has brought with it a return to modularity, be it for sound design, studio composition, performance and, increasingly, sound installations. 

This shift has brought with it a return to modularity, be it for sound design, studio composition, performance and, increasingly, sound installations. 

Why become interested in modulars now? The answer is simple: modular philosophy implies a realignment and fusion between, on the one hand, sound and sound signals, and, on the other, control signals and modulation.

In this workshop, we will focus more specifically on the performative implications of improvisation, organic creation and an evolutionary structure of composition and spatialization for modular systems in audio art.

Emphasis will be placed on the following themes:

- Modulars as an encounter-based practice: systems combination, use of external data, sensors, online data, sonifying reality, etc.;
- Time effect processors, samplers and patches as supports for evolutive and interactive composition structures;
- Modular thought in general, with or without computers; its contact with external elements;

- Exploring and putting into practice sound installation concepts: control signals as related to material, sculptural elements, envelopes, actions, microscopic and macroscopic timescales;

- Integration of acoustic phenomena in order to sustain and embody the sense of a sound installation;

- Putting into practice : performing modularity, strategies to make a piece evolve, control combinations, generating complexity and subtlety;
- Preparing for a modular synthesis performance, building bridges between digital/computer-based creation and analogue/material-based creation;

*The workshop will conclude with group or solo performances by participants.

Guest artist: Philippe-Aubert Gauthier

Number of participants: Maximum 10 participants
Registration period:  From October 1 to November 22, 2019
Call or email the New Media Lab: 514-844-3250, ext. 230 or
Cost: $180 (taxes included)

* The workshop will be offered in French, both instructors are bilingual and will answer questions in English.


- Be a professional artist, creator or cultural worker; this workshop is designed specifically for sound artists, architects, scenographers, sculptors and electronic musicians;

- Attend every workshop session;
- Knowledge of the principles and hands-on composition experience of modular synthesis is an asset;

- Be a self-employed worker or a salaried employee in an enterprise not subject to 1 % Training Investment. Two spots available for employees of companies that are subject to the 1% Law. Please contact us for more details.

Reservation / Payment
Reservations can be done by phone or email. Full payment must be made for reservations to be valid. You can pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), cheque or in cash. Registration to a workshop is not transferable.

Cancellation / Refund
OBORO does not refund registration fees except in case of illness (with a medical note) or of absolute necessity. In such cases, registration fees are transferable to another workshop or service offered by the New Media Lab.

Workshop Cancellation
OBORO reserves the right to cancel workshops at any time and without advance notice. In this case, registration fees are completely refunded.

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Ismail Negm

Ismail Negm became interested in electronics in 2013 after becoming a member of Eastern Bloc. His first project was to build a MFOS Sound Lab mini-synth, and then he quickly followed up with CGS Serge modules. He has since built dozens of Eurorack modules, 4U modules, and a Buchla 208. He is one of the three cofounders of ModularMondays, a free weekly performance series that gives musicians a chance to perform in a safe environment among peers. He has performed and improvised live at several dozen events, often with multi-channel spatialization, has trained at EMPAC and SAT, and has given several modular synthesis workshops. His approach to composition and improvisation centers around three points: creating familiarity – and hence anticipation – through coherence over repetition; capturing the listener with sound objects on the uncanny border between the natural and the synthetic; and insisting on narrative as the purpose of form.

Philippe-Aubert Gauthier

Born in Chicoutimi (Canada), Philippe-Aubert Gauthier lives and works in Sherbrooke (Canada). He is a sound and digital artist, musician, junior mechanical engineer, M.Sc, Ph.D. in acoustics and professor at Université de Sherbrooke. The heart of his artist's statement is based on the interactions of arts, cultures, sciences, and technology. He evolves in an integrated research and creation agenda where each of these fields and related knowledge are used for the development of art and musical pieces that address the social constructions of technology and technologically-related culture. As a bass player, he first discovers and explores music through improvisation and experiments. His current music and noises are guided by improvisation, immediacy, risk, and sound discoveries using more or less stable generative systems. P.-A. Gauthier created more than 40 art pieces and published more than 60 scientific communications. He received grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada Council for the Arts, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Fonds de recherche Québec – Nature et technologie.

Stéphane Claude

Stéphane Claude is an electronic_acoustic composer and sound engineer. His research is based on integrating a conceptual and physiological framework of audio recording and sound installation for different diffusion contexts in the electronic arts. His interests gravitate around the communication of a formal aesthetics, as transductive experiences of the electronic medium, the exploration of digital signal processing, the parameters of acoustics and sound in spaces. His work has been published by ATAK(JP), LINE, DRAGON’S EYE RECORDINGS (US), ORAL (CA), among others. He is the co-founder of the art research unit Ælab with artist and professor Gisèle Trudel. The work of Ælab has been shown internationally.  As an audio consultant, he participates in the conception, production and integration of presentation spaces, of specialized analog and digital creation and production studios for artist run centers, institutions and independant sites.