Collaboration with the Mexican Centre for Music and the Sonic Arts (CMMAS)
Throughout 2017-2018 Fulcrum Point New Music Project will collaborate with the Mexican Centre for Music and the Sonic Arts (CMASS) in Morelia Mexico and Chicago Tech Incubators. This program is made possible by the MacArthur International Connections Fund and allows us to explore the intersection of new art music and technology in the creation of a new electroacoustic piece of music by Mexican Composer Javier Álvarez. The world premiere will feature interactive technology developed by teams of young coders both in Chicago and Mexico.
The CMMAS has established itself as the main space in Latin America for the creation, reflection and learning of contemporary music, with and without new technologies. It is a unique and avant-garde center for research, experimentation and development of sonic projects, which places Mexico in a privileged place for linking the rest of the world.
Javier Álvarez Fuentes (born May 8, 1956, Mexico City) is a Mexican composer who is known for creating works that combine a variety of international muical styles and traditions that often utilize unusual instruments and new music technologies. According to composer John Adams, “The music of Javier Alvarez reveals influences of popular cultures that go beyond the borders of our own time and place.” Álvarez is one of the best-known Mexican composers of his generation.
His works have been performed throughout the world by such ensembles as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Mexico City Philharmonic, and the Orchestre National de France among others. He also notably composed the music for Guillermo del Toro’s acclaimed 1993 horror film Cronos. A graduate of the Royal College of Music and City University London, Álvarez has received numerous prizes and honors including a Mendelssohn Scholarship, the Lionel Robbins Award, a Gemini Fellowship, the ICEM Prize (1987), Austria’s Prix Ars Electronica (1993), and awards at the Bourges International Festival. From 1993 to 1999 he was a Fellow of the Mexican Endowment for the Arts and Culture. He was a founding member of Sonic Arts Network and served as the Artistic Director of the Society for the Promotion of New Music in 1993. He has been a member of the music faculties of the City University London, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Malmö Music Academy, the Royal College of Music, and the University of Hertfordshire.
A two-day Music Tech Jam with Javier Álvarez
October 20th & 21st, 2017, at Blue 1647 Tech Innovation Center, Fulcrum Point will organize students from Latina Girls Code in a music and technology event. This Music Tech Jam will empower Latino students to develop an interactive music tool that will be integral to a 2018 world premiere composition by renowned Mexican Composer Javier Álvarez. The participants will learn about Pure Data, a visual programming language for creating interactive computer music, as they explore a composer’s creative process and build upon an existing music app for audience interaction. At the end of the two day event, a panel of judges will determine from a specified rubric the winner of the Music Tech Jam. The winning collaboration may be incorporated into the final composition by Javier. This collaborative event is made possible by a MacArthur International Connections Grant and is the first of a series of workshops created by Fulcrum Point and the Mexican Centre for Music and the Sonic Arts (CMASS) in Morelia Mexico, in partnership with The People’s Music School and Chicago’s Latino and tech communities. Chicago-based composer and coder, Joel Corelitz, will be integral to the Music Tech Jam and final process which will be based on his interactive music app, Shortwave.
Fulcrum Point, Javier Álvarez and The People’s Music School go deeper
In preparation for the Music Tech Jam, Fulcrum Point Artistic Director Stephen Burns and Javier Álvarez will present their electroacoustic music and work with Latino students from The People’s Music School in the Albany Park and Back of the Yards neighborhoods. The artists will engage the Chicago Public School students in creating and editing digital field recordings to be designed, filtered, and sculpted for use during the Music Tech Jam.
After the Music Tech Jam, the public is invited to go deeper with a beta-phase Music Hackathon hosted by The People’s Music School on Saturday, November 11th, at 1871. All developers are invited to attend this full-day event, where they will be challenged to develop sounds from various cherished items brought by the students of The People’s Music School. Developers will engage in an artistic technical initiative, while competing for various prizes. Output from this Music Hackathon will also be curated for Javier Álvarez’s composition. Learn more here.