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Lampo: Madalyn Merkey: Digital Concert Creatures

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The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

4 W Burton Pl

Chicago, IL 60610

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In her Lampo debut, Madalyn Merkey premieres the performance of Digital Concert Creatures, a quadraphonic work for synthetic computer sounds and voice. Here, she sets autonomous sonic characters, or “creatures,” in motion, building sound by layering frequencies. “The main idea is that each letter on the keyboard has a different personality defined by four columns of numbers on the computer screen,” she writes. “Each keystroke catches a snapshot of the ‘creature’ as it moves along a compositional path, which then becomes complicated or influenced by the other keys being pressed.” Through a mix of control and chaos—and informed by mathematics more than traditional musicianship—Merkey’s new work is as playful as it is dense.

Since 2010 the Graham Foundation has supported and partnered with Lampo to produce this performance series held at the Madlener House. Lampo, founded in 1997, is a non-profit organization for experimental music and intermedia projects.

Madalyn Merkey (b.1988, Oklahoma City, Okla.) is a composer and performer of live computer music based in Oakland, California. Her practice began as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she transitioned to sound and time-based art in 2010. Her recent work is concerned with using principles of logic to create computer programs that generate distinct sound surprises in a live setting. Merkey is also the English translator of Due scuole di musica elettronica in Italia, a pioneering electronic music text written by Enore Zaffiri in the 1960s. Her translation, Two Schools of Electronic Music, is forthcoming from Die Schachtel. Recordings of Merkey’s work Scent (2012) and Valley Girl (2014) are available on New Images Ltd.

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The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

4 W Burton Pl

Chicago, IL 60610

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