Living Sound Better with Digital Music Instruments – Sound Studies Institute Lecture Series, with D. Andrew Stewart

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

7:00 – 8:00pm MST

D. Andrew Stewart explores the concept of a Digital Sound Performer – a performer of sounds on digital musical instruments, also known as gestural controllers. Stewart suggests that the Sound Performer’s essential duty is to Live Sound Better; that is to say, the Sound Performer promotes respect for sound and all of its features and as a consequence, promotes respect for the recipients of sound: all hearing creatures on the Earth. Similar to society’s Keepers of the Peace, Sound Performers are the keepers and conveyors of healthy listening practices, creating an aural fascination in the world’s soundscapes which we all share. In addition, D. Andrew Stewart illustrates how digital lutherie offers unique opportunities to enhance the Sound Performer’s practice with sensor technology that captures and sonifies – gives sonic form to – movements (gestures and postures). In this way, the use of digital musical instruments makes the aural experience for the audience more palpable and visible – making the living sound better.

D. Andrew Stewart is a composer, pianist and digital musical instrumentalist. A convergence of acoustic and electroacoustic instrumental praxis is at the centre of Stewart’s oeuvre. His music is dedicated to exploring composition and performance for new interfaces for musical expression by adapting and evolving traditional praxis. Stewart’s work asks whether musical idea – concept, theory, material, technique and means – has kept pace with developments in digital lutherie; furthermore, what are the essential constituents for creating a viable digital instrument for the twenty-first century performer? 

Stewart has contributed to the field of music technology through his demonstrations at: the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, International Computer Music Conference / International Computer Music Association, Electroacoustic Music Studies Network, Electronic Music Foundation, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Society for Music Theory, and the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. Andrew Stewart’s music has been featured in countries such as: The UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, USA, Germany, France, Mexico, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Korea Republic and his home country of Canada.

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