Viagem | Ao Alcance de Todos

This Saturday the Serviço Educativo da Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal will present a premier performance of Rolf Gehlhaar‘s Viagem as part of their Ao Alcance de Todos (Within Everyone’s Reach) project. This project involves developing new musical instruments and interfaces tailored for the abilities and needs of differently-abled performers. The instrumentation for Viagem includes the robotic gamelan I mentioned last year, a large choir, and five soprano T-Sticks played primarily by blind performers. I have been in Porto observing some of the rehearsals — this is the first time the T-Sticks have been played by blind performers, and also the first time five have been used together at once. Mapping and synthesis for the T-Sticks for Viagem was created by Rui Penha.

Viagem | Ao Alcance de Todos
3 Abril 2010
21:00, Sala Suggia
Casa da Música, Porto

Inspirado no livro de José Saramago, A Viagem do Elefante, este espectáculo é um concerto encenado, com projecção de imagens e texto, que resulta do projecto Instrumentos para Todos, o qual visou a concepção de raiz de instrumentos musicais moldados às particularidades de cidadãos com necessidades especiais.

[…Google translated…] Inspired by the book by José Saramago, The Voyage of the Elephant, this show is a staged concert, with projected images and text, resulting from the project Instruments for All, which aimed to design the root of musical instruments tailored to the particularities of people with special needs.

The concert will be broadcast live at

Duo pour un violoncelle et un danseur


Duo pour un violoncelle et un danseur is an artistic collaboration between choreographer Isabelle Van Grimde and composer Sean Ferguson. Featuring cellist Chloé Dominguez and dancer Elijah Brown, this event is presented by CIRMMT and Van Grimde Corps Secrets Dance Company, in partnership with the Schulich School of Music, the McGill Digital Composition Studios and Agora de la danse.

The work is for cello with live electronics and a dancer who performs with a gestural controller called the T-Stick, developed as part of the McGill Digital Orchestra Project in the Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory. This presentation marks the initial stage of a planned long-term collaboration. The work will be preceded by a discussion of artistic and technological aspects of the work by Isabelle Van Grimde and Sean Ferguson.

October 21 at 1:00pm, and from October 22 to 24 at 7:30pm.

The performances will take place in the Multimedia Room (-2 level) at McGill’s Schulich School of Music, 527 Sherbrooke St. West.

Seating is limited.  Please reserve in advance by emailing:

This version of the T-Stick is wireless, transparent, and can sense direction in addition to touch, tilt and acceleration. The dancer uses the T-Stick to control processing and spatialization of the cellist’s sound. Here are some screenshots from tonight’s performance:

Live@CIRMMT – Steven Schick

Steven Schick performing Chatter/Clatter at UCSD

Last Wednesday I was involved with another concert: Pieces for solo percussion and live electronics performed by UCSD’s Steven Schick. This amazing performance was part of the Live@CIRMMT performance series, and also has another connection to the IDMIL and me. One of the pieces performed was Chatter/Clatter, part of composer Roger ReynoldsSanctuary Project, which was initially workshopped in the IDMIL as part of a project exploring gesture control of sound spatialization. We developed a sensing system using piezo-electric contact microphones on the percussionist’s fingertips, a technique which is now used in the piece.

I also drove the computer for this performance, which was running software in Pure Data (pd) which handled  processing of the live sound and 12-channel sound spatialization.

Lancement de Le Vivier

Le Vivier logo

I just got back from the “Ralliement festif de la rentrée” (re-launching party) for Montréal-based contemporary music superorganism Le Vivier. The event was held at the SAT, launching a new season of concerts featuring some of its 22 member ensembles.

There were seven billed performances, though two were actually short promo films; the last performance (representing Codes d’accés) was Andrew playing his new piece Tout le monde à la puissance un on a DMI I built: the soprano T-Stick.

In a previous blog entry, I mentioned Andrew’s continuing development of his fourth major mapping for the T-Stick, which he has dubbed the “sonar jo.” Judging by tonight’s performance, all his hard work is paying off – the performance rocked and the audience loved it! I shot some video using Andrew’s camera which I’ll try to post soon – hopefully we’ll be able to get a copy of the SAT’s video too, since they had audio feeds from the mixing desk and a steadycam for closeups.

The only downside to the night’s festivities was that I’m not mentioned in any of the programs or press info, despite the fact that a digital musical instrument I designed and built was featured in their event. This is not Andrew’s fault – he sent them a proper press blurb – sometimes these things just happen. We’ll just have to follow up with an even more high-profile gig and I’ll take all the credit 😉

FYI, here’s the proper press blurb:

The T-Stick is a digital musical instrument developed and built in the IDMIL by Joseph Malloch, in collaboration with composer D. Andrew Stewart and performers Fernando Rocha and Xenia Pestova. The physical input device can sense where and how much of its surface is touched by the performer, as well as tilting, shaking, squeezing and twisting gestures. Unlike most digital musical instruments, the T-Sticks exist as a family, with soprano, alto, tenor, and bass members. The T-Stick is intended to be an “expert” musical interface: engaging to new users, allowing virtuosic playing, and “worth practicing” in that practice time results in increased skill. The T-Stick has been performed and demonstrated many times in Canada, Brazil, Italy, and the USA.

The sonar jo could have a slightly different description, since it is really a combination of the T-Stick hardware and gesture extraction with mapping and synthesis designed by Andrew using Sculpture from Apple’s Logic Pro.