June 2nd Performance Recap

Scott Goodwin

After an intense 24 hour lead up to the show, attempting to secure 2 additional speakers for the Arun Chandra’s 8-channel piece, the evening began with gorgeous reddish-orange light from the sunset bleeding into Scott Goodwin’s polyrhythmic midi-driven modular set.  Einstein-on-the-beach sounding arpeggiations articulated with Goodwin’s techno sensibilities, were layered with lush pads and granular vocal samples. After a couple years of inactivity in the live domain, and possibly longer within a sit-down/listening  venue environment, it was a treat to really focus on listening to him perform live.

Arun Chandra

Arun Chandra presented three works including “Lament” for recorded voice and 2-channel output, “smear pulse no sneer” for 2-channel output and “A Refugee in the Mediterranean” for 8-channel output. Each work of ‘fixed media’ was presented in traditional academic fashion, with introductions informing the audience about the compositional ideas informing the pieces. A common thread between the works was how they related to his interest in the perception of time. Each piece was utterly engaging, with extreme dynamics and unusual timbres. One of my favorite aspects of the work presented was his use of very raw waveforms that would sounding fairly spare and harsh as individual waveforms, and but would become very full and pleasing to the ear as they multiplied. Two of his works also incorporated human voice, which, when paired with sounds of such abstract textures, there is a sort of jarring leap from one sound space to another, from alien to known/familiar – particularly when one’s ear becomes accustomed to the abstract sound space first. Chandra also explained some of his thinking with regard to the experience of time being different between one’s listening to voice versus music in “Lament”, with musical passages needing more time to seem equal to fragments of voice. I feel very fortunate to have been able to present Chandra’s work!!

Extra special thanks to my volunteers Robert [RM] Francis and Ian Halloran for helping me run the show. And special thanks to Steve Peters, Vance Galloway, Walter of Cafe Walter, Mita Mahato, David Golightly and Emily Pothast.

June 2: Arun Chandra & Scott Goodwin at The Chapel Performance Space

Gift Tapes/DRAFT presents the Arun Chandra and Scott Goodwin for its second installment of its 2018 program at the Chapel Performance Space, in association with the Wayward Music Series. The work of Arun Chandra is not often presented outside of academic circles, but offers an extremely unique perspective on composition and computer music, having studied under Herbert Brun and recorded and performed works by Brun, Barry Traux and Xenakis. He will present three works, including a recent composition for 32 channels, down-mixed for 8 channels. Scott Goodwin will perform live, drawing on his niche somewhere between new techno and experimental composition, employing his ever-rotating set of electronic instruments (currently Eurorack synthesizers, outboard effects, and computer) to craft a set specifically designed for the Chapel “inspired by rhythmic minimalism, club music, video game soundtracks and the science fiction works of Greg Egan and Liu Cixi”.



Arun Chandra

Arun Chandra is a composer and a conductor, teaching at The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington since 1998, working with undergraduate students interested in compositional experiments in music and theater, and the social context of contemporary artistic creation. His compositions have been performed at festivals and conferences in the United States, Europe and Asia.

He is a 2007–08 recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to India, where studied the combinatorial possibilities of North Indian melodic scales with the Indian mathematician Dr. Ashok Narayan.

In 2003, the Wesleyan University Press published his edition of When Music Resists Meaning the articles and lectures of Herbert Brun, his primary composition teacher.

He was the Music Director and Conductor of the Olympia Chamber Orchestra for four seasons (2000–2004), giving numerous premiers of new works for orchestra, along with works from the traditional orchestral repertory. With the orchestra, he recorded for publication Dominion for orchestra and two-channel tape by Barry Truax, and Infraudibles for quintet and two-channel tape by Herbert Brun.

During the 1990s, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan (1992–1994), Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the Parkland Community College (1997–98), and a developer for Wolfram Research Inc. (1989–92), At Wolfram Research, he wrote the Audio and Music packages for Mathematica. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1989.

He was a founding member of the Performers’ Workshop Ensemble, with whom he toured extensively in the United States from 1978–1991, giving yearly performances for the American Society of Cybernetics. With the Ensemble, he helped start the School for Designing a Society in 1991.

Chandra continues to compose for various media and instrumental compositions. For the past five years, he has led the Evergreen Experimental Music Ensemble, a group of student instrumentalists and singers from The Evergreen State College, performing contemporary experimental works at colleges and schools in the Northwest. The group has performed works composed by the students, as well as Maledetto by Kenneth Gaburo, Nuits by Iannis Xenakis, and other works by contemporary composers.

Scott Goodwin
Scott Goodwin started building DIY synthesizers in 2008 after returning from a short tour of the East Coast performing with three iPods, a microphone, and a crumpled brown paper bag. Over the years he’s played with the glacially static drone group Bonus, polyrhythmic house duo Polonaise, with “structural techno” band Operative, and with solo projects in both the techno and experimental music genres. Much of his work uses electronic instruments to explore the physicality of sounds, hearing, and perception. He’s also somewhat obsessed with applying concepts from the late 90s DIY hardcore punk scene to electronic art making. In 2017, Scott became a cofounder of Portland-based modular synthesizer company Plastic Ideas Electronics.