Voice Sphere / Architecture and Desire

An evening of experimental music for voice, sensorglove, and live electronics with Franziska Baumann and Matthew Ostrowski


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Performance


Aaron Levy


Arts Council of Switzerland Pro Helvetia

Opens to public



4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19148


75% Formal - 25% Informal

Slought is pleased to present "Voice Sphere," a special concert with Swiss artist Franziska Baumann (for voice and sensorglove live electronics) and Matthew Ostrowski (laptop and P5 glove) on Friday, June 2, 2006 from 8-10pm. Baumann and Ostrowski will each play solo, and then in duo.

As a vocalist, Baumann explores the human voice as a multi-faceted instrument and has developed an extensive vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques such as multiphonics and glottal clicks, as well as a variety of unique microtonal, timbre-modifying, and percussive vocal techniques that have become her signature sounds. In her performances, Baumann often modulates and "electrifies" her voice through the use of a SensorLab based Cyberglove linked to her Mac. She sculpts her live voice in combination with pre-composed multitrack sound-maps. The interactive SensorLab based cyberglove enables her to control articulations of voice, sounds and space in real time via gesture and movement. Benders, accelerators and ultra sonic sensors connect the real world of physical phenomena and gestures via Midi interfaces to her computer.

Ostrowski has been using electronics since the early 1980s, working in improvised music, multimedia music- theater, and audio installations, with a continuing interest in density of microevents, rapid changes, and using technology to stretch the functions of human perception. In an attempt to bring a truly instrumental quality to live computer music practice, he has developed a system based around the P5 glove, a commercially available video game controller. This device is connected to a Max/MSP program of his own design, which uses principles of physical modeling to control musical parameters. By manipulating virtual objects in a multidimensional parameter space, his instrument brings some of the nonlinear behaviors of physical objects into the electronic domain.

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Franziska Baumann is a composer, vocalist, flutist, and sound artist. Part of the Swiss new music scene, she frequently performs improvised as well as composed music featuring experimental and extended vocal techniques. As a composer her repertoire is diverse and includes commissions for electroacoustic and improvised projects to experimental radioworks and large-scale site-specific sound environments and installations. As "artist in residence" in the STEIM "Studio for ElectroInstrumental Music", Amsterdam, she developed an interactive SensorLab based cyberglove that she uses for solo performances. This interactive glove allows her to control her articulations and acoustics via gestures and movement. Baumann has worked with various artists such as Hans Koch, Michel Wintsch, Matthias Ziegler, Fred Frith, Jacques Demierre, Peter A. Schmid, Lauren Newton, Cristin Wildbolz, Pierre Favre, Ninh Le Quan, Anne La Berge, Mick Harris, Uli Phillipp, Marc Sanders, Martin Speicher, Fritz Hauser, Andres Bosshard, Jürg Solothurnmann, Christoph Baumann, Jean Jacques Pedretti, Bernhard Trontin, Charlotte Hug, Peter Schärli, ErikM, Günter Müller, Michel Doneda, and Lukas Niggli.

Matthew Ostrowski is a composer, performer, and installation artist who has been working with live electronics for over twenty years. He was active on the free improvisation and noise-rock scene in New York in the 1980s, including a long stint as a regular in John Zorn's Cobra project, working with analog synthesizers, amplified objects, and modified tape recorders. He moved to the Netherlands in 1993, where he studied at the Institute of Sonology in the Hague, and finally bought a computer. Since 2000, he has been living in New York. He has worked with a broad range of artists, from classical composers to neo-vaudvillians. His work has been seen or performed on four continents, including the Wien Modern Festival, the Kraków Audio Art Festival, Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, PS 1 and The Kitchen in New York, the Melbourne Festival, and Unyazi, the first festival of electronic music in Africa. He has appeared on over a dozen recordings, and has received numerous grants and awards, including a fellowship from STEIM in Amsterdam, a 2001 NYFA fellowship in Computer Arts, and a nomination for the prestigious Alpert award in the Arts in 2005.