[ISEA2011] Paper: Panayiotis Kokoras – Performer vs Electronics: performing music for instrument and electronics


More and more today performers are asked to perform compositions for instrument plus electronics. Are they ready to do so? A great deal of knowledge is required by a performer which at first looks like alien to what a performer is supposed to know. What a performer should know to accomplish such a project? How far a performer can go and how much a composer can ask for? How much a concert hall can offer? The focus of this research is on works for one instrument and electronics. They are not considered cases where the performer collaborates with the composer and researches in an institutional environment, or cases where ensembles or orchestras hire or have a person responsible for the electronic part. At the beginning of this research a large number of professional new music performers completed a questioner about their knowledge on computers, music technology, sound engineering , about the relative equipments they own like computer, keyboard, speakers, microphone and finally about their interest and will to program such a kind of works. Then, the paper investigates the challenges face a performer when he/she has to collaborate with a composer during the composition process, practice at home alone, and perform at concert hall. The analysis of the survey concludes to a mixture of high marks and the same time incapability to play a work with electronics. The second part of the paper takes as a case study my work ‘Hit the Beat’ for snaredrum and electronics (live and fixed). It explains shortly the way the piece uses the electronics and in more detail the way the score and the performance instructions provide enough information to a performer in order to practice and play the piece alone. As a result this analysis could work as guide for composer to illustrate and explain fully and simply the electronic part and the way the two can collaborate effectively. Finally, a number of ideas will be proposed to be considered in the music school curriculums in order to prepare future musicians to play properly and with no frustration works with instruments and electronics. Video: T-Totum for snare drum and electronics (2009)

  • Panayiotis KokorasPanayiotis Kokoras (Greece, 1974) studied composition with I.Ioannidi, K. Varotsi, A. Kergomard and classical guitar with E. Asimakopoulo in Athens, Greece. In 1999 he moved to England, for postgraduate studies where he completed his MA and PhD in composition with T. Myatt at the University of York with funds from Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) and Aleksandra Trianti Music Scholarships (Society Friends of Music) among others.   His works have been commissioned by institutes and festivals such as FROMM (Harvard University) IRCAM (France), MATA (New York), Spring Festival (The University of York), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), ZKM (Germany), IMEB (France), and regularly performed in over  400 concerts in 70 cities around the world. His compositions have received 40 distinctions and prizes in international competitions among others Prix Ars Electronica 2011 (Austria), Métamorphoses 2010 & 2000 (Belgium), Giga-Hertz Music Award 2009 (Germany), ECPNM 2009 (Sweden), Bourges 2009, 2008 and 2004 (France), Gianni Bergamo 2007 (Switzerland), Pierre Schaeffer 2005 (Italy), Musica Viva 2005 and 2002 (Portugal), Look and Listen Prize 2004 (New York), Gaudeamus 2004 and 2003 (Holland), Jurgenson Competition 2003 (Russia), Seoul international competition 2003 (Korea), Takemitsu Composition Award 2002 (Japan), Noroit Prize 2002 (France), CIMESP 2002 (Brazil). Moreover, they have been selected by juries at more than 100 international call for score opportunities. Panayiotis Kokoras’ sound compositions develop functional classification and matching sound systems written on what he calls Holophonic Musical Texture. His works include significant influences of the electroacoustic studio upon acoustic instrumental compositions and vice versa. Panayiotis Kokoras’ creative output consists of 50 works ranging from acoustic works to mixed media, improvisation and tape. He is founding member and President of the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association (HELMCA). He taught at the Technological and Educational Institute of Crete – Department of Music Technology and Acoustics. Since October 2005 he has been lecturing at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Music Studies, Greece. His music is published in 30 CD compilations by Spectrum Press, NOR, Miso Musica, SAN / CEC, Independent Opposition Records, ICMC2004 and distributed in limited editions by LOSS, Host Artists Group, Musica Nova, Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), Dissonance Records and others.  panayiotiskokoras.com

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