Guest Artist Feature #1: Jakub Ciupinski
Jakub Ciupinski (b.1981) is Polish composer living in New York City. Although his music is often associated with electronics and interactive performances, he has written numerous pieces for traditional acoustic forces, varying in scope from solo miniatures to an hour long Oratorio for symphony orchestra and double choir.
At the age of 18, he signed a contract with Sony Music Poland and since then has been recording electronica-infused world music under the stage name Jakub Żak. The release of his third studio album is scheduled for 2011.
Jakub Ciupinski’s concert music has been commissioned by various institutions and ensembles including Metropolis Ensemble, The New Juilliard Ensemble, The New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, as well as the world-famous violinist Anne Akiko-Meyers. His works have been performed around the world, including prestigious venues such as Tonhalle in Zurich and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York.
Ciupinski is a co-founder of Blind Ear Music, New York based group of composers and instrumentalists performing improvised, real-time compositions, using wirelessly connected laptops as musical score displays. He has also designed his own instrument for performing electronic music using hand gestures. He has collaborated with a variety of artists, musicians, choreographers and film directors, including oscar winning director Andrzej Wajda, and scored the music for United Nations documentary “Opening Doors”.
Ciupinski studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse at The Juilliard School, Zbigniew Bujarski and Krzysztof Penderecki at the Cracow Academy of Music, and with Edwin Roxbrough and Joe Cutler at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
“I wrote Inkubator in 2006, inspired by the vision that randomly came to my mind. The incubator is surrounded by deamons dancing around, but unable to do any harm to the new born baby sleeping inside. I usually try to write more about my music, but this time, perhaps, it is bettter to stop right here.”
About Gesture Controlled Music…
“It is not easy to avoid an awkward situation when a purely electroacoustic music is premiered at a concert hall. If the music is played through a loudspeaker system, it doesn’t feel like a live concert. This problem can be partially solved by using a laptop or other audio equipment on stage to improvise. But still, something is missing when we see a person on a stage, sitting in front of a laptop. It is hard to see the difference between improvising truly live electronic music and playing back iTunes track while checking an e-mail account.
Therefore, I started looking for alternative solutions and it seemed natural to look for sensors. Very trendy subject by the way. In Birmingham Conservatoire I had access to a wide selection of sensors, but when I started experimenting with them, I quickly realized, that something was missing. It didn’t feel “organic” enough.
Four years ago I turned my attention to one of the oldest electronic instrument, Theremin. I have never been a big fan of Theremin sound, but I saw the possibility of using it as a very “organic” proximity sensor. Also, the idea of using such old device with the newest audio technology, was very inspiring.
Eventually I built the system out of two theremins and laptop with my own software, to perform a live electronic music. Without too too much technical information I will leave you with the examples below. Enjoy.”Music from Air, Part One* Music from Air, Part Two*
*courtesy of Metropolis Ensemble