Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

1750 Arch Street
Berkeley CA 94709  
(510) 643-9990

The UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) was conceived and established by composer and Professor Emeritus Richard Felciano in the late 1980s — the operating budget officially commenced on July 1, 1989. CNMAT houses a dynamic group of educational, performance and research programs focused on the creative interaction between music and technology. CNMAT’s research program is highly interdisciplinary, linking all of UC Berkeley’s disciplines dedicated to the study or creative use of sound (such as music, architecture, mathematics, statistics, mechanical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, psychology, physics, space sciences, the Center for New Media, and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies). CNMAT’s educational program integrates a Music and Technology component into the Department of Music’s graduate program in music composition - it also supports the undergraduate curriculum in music/technology for music majors and non-music majors.

CNMAT’s events program offers a range of concerts, lectures and other events informed by our research and pedagogy efforts. In our Sound Spatialization Theater, we present concerts that cross cultural and musical barriers and provide a forum for diverse lectures and demonstrations for students, faculty and the community.

Upcoming Events:
Thursday, October 4 2018 8:00 PM
Since 2011, Reidemeister Move has explored and expanded the possibilities of sustained-tone music in just intonation for their instruments. Hayward's selfdesigned microtonal tuba, and Williams' previous work with Charles Curtis and LaMonte Young's legendary Theatre of Eternal Music, provide the backbone for a sound based on purely tuned intervals, noise, corporeal rhythms, and spatial resonance.

“Incredibly interesting and precise work which puts listeners into a state of deep, emotionally charged calm. Wholehearted recommendation from me, not to mention the cats!” - Freistil, June 2016

Appearances at Fylkingen (Stockholm), Q-02 (Brussels), The Western Front (Vancouver), Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), ausland (Berlin), University of Victoria (Canada), Open Space (Victoria, Canada), Uncommon Ground (Regina, Canada), Tour de Bras (Rimouski, Canada), Suddenly Listen (Halifax, Canada), broadcast on Deutschlandradio Kultur.  More...

Monday, October 8 2018 8:00 PM

SUBTLE DEGREES is a two-musician ensemble consisting of Travis Laplante (tenor saxophone) and Gerald Cleaver (drums).

A Dance That Empties is the culmination of a very long musical relationship. In 2001, when he was only 18 years old, Travis Laplante played a concert at New York’s Knitting Factory, then a pre-eminent mecca for adventurous music of all kinds. Gerald Cleaver was in the audience, and came up to Laplante afterwards, handed him his phone number and said they should play together sometime. They soon did, “and I felt a very intimate and spiritual connection with Gerald that feels more alive than ever today,” Laplante says. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Gerald and have long considered him one of my favorite living improvisers.”

The two have performed together various times over the ensuing 17 years, but Laplante never felt he was quite ready to record with Cleaver. “It got to the point where I took a multiple-year break from playing with him because I felt like I didn’t have enough to bring to the table,” says Laplante. “I needed to practice so I could have more to give to our musical relationship.” Then, in the fall of 2016, Laplante received a commission to compose a piece to be performed at Roulette in Brooklyn the following spring. “I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to return to this relationship with Gerald.” And so Laplante began composing an epic-scale work with Cleaver’s rhythmic virtuosity in mind.

Inspired by the longer durational forms of spiritual ceremonies, A Dance That Empties is a continuous journey that unfolds over 43 minutes, with musical motifs that foreshadow, recur, and evolve. The piece refines sonic territory that Laplante has pioneered in his celebrated saxophone quartet Battle Trance, as well as his solo saxophone work, utilizing long passages of circular breathing and other extended techniques to create specific and yet ineffable emotional and sonic resonances. A Dance That Empties, as the title implies, adds the distinctly new element of complex rhythmic pulses precisely and expressively executed by Cleaver, that compel listeners to lose themselves in the hypnotically repetitive yet subtly shifting grooves.

With A Dance That Empties, Laplante and Cleaver throw themselves into unknown territory, delving further into the devotional intensity that has long distinguished both their work.

Travis Laplante on Subtle Degrees:
"Playing in this duo with Gerald is by far the most exposing musical experience I've ever had. I think it feels so raw and vulnerable because it has a similar nakedness to playing solo, while at the same time I'm completely relying on and needing to stay connected with Gerald, no matter what. It requires 100% trust in another person, as well as myself. Our respective parts in A Dance That Empties are so meticulously interwoven that it can potentially be disastrous if one of us makes even a tiny mistake. It feels like the riskiest piece I've ever written in terms of the psychological, emotional, physical and sensory demands."  More...

Saturday, October 27 2018 8:00 PM

Sideband is an electroacoustic ensemble, comprised of composer-performers dedicated to exploring the potential of the laptop orchestra. Praised by the New York Times for offering “a paradoxically visceral, endlessly engaging program of inventive pieces,” Sideband strives to inspire composers, performers and audience members to reevaluate the role of computers in music by designing instruments and compositions which utilize the unique capacities of networked electronic ensembles. Through the use of individual speakers, Sideband turns each member into a discrete sound source, recovering the acoustic presence of multiple instruments from the normally flattened world of electronic music. Ranging from solos and duos to sextets and beyond, Sideband is an evolving project that inspires composers, performers and audience members to reevaluate the role of computers in music.

As the sibling ensemble to the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (formed in 2005 as a test lab for new methods of electronic and ensemble music-making), Sideband grew from PLOrk as an ensemble with a sustained membership and repertoire. Sideband members’ skills range from orchestral percussion to installation art, research in machine-learning algorithms, traditional Norwegian folk music, solo performance, electroacoustic music, software design, and scored composition.

In 2014, Sideband released their first album, the Sideband Chronicles, which showcases a diversity and breadth of possibility in music for laptop orchestra. The Sideband Chronicles was conceived as an ongoing presentation of works written and performed by Sideband. In the fall of 2018, Sideband’s Bay Area tour will feature existing repertoire pieces alongside premieres of new works, using nontraditional controllers, wireless networking, graphic and text scores, video, and more.  More...

Saturday, November 10 2018 10:00 AM
Crossroads: Sonification Art and Science

A day of discussions, presentations, and performances around data sonification

Organized by Scot Gresham-Lancaster, CNMAT Visiting Researcher and Research Scientist at the ArtSciLab at UT Dallas

Data Sonification sits at a crossroads. How do we begin to understand the separation of the act of sonification as sound art and the use of sonification techniques as functional scientific tools?

Saturday, November 10, 10-4 p.m.
Discussions, presentations, and demos with Scot Gresham-Lancaster and guest speakers to include: Ed Campion (Director, CNMAT), Jeff Lubow (Musical Systems Designer, CNMAT), Andrew Blanton (visiting researcher, CNMAT), Chris Chafe (Stanford University, CCRMA), Roger Malina (Distinguished Professor of Physics and Art/Technology at UT Dallas), Sharath Chandra Ram (Ph.D. candidate, UT Dallas), Sinduja Rangarajan and Jim Briggs (Reveal News) and Bert Barten (Independent Music and Theater producer, Amsterdam).

Saturday, November 10, 8-10 p.m.
Concert featuring participants and special guests TBA

The term sonification was first coined around 1996, but the actual practice of data sonification had been emerging as a new area of performance and art research for decades before that. Only with the advent of microcomputer data visualisation did a distinct linkage called sonification emerge. In her recent keynote at the ICAD conference in 2017, composer and instrument designer Carla Scaletti described sonification as “the unseen third leg of the audio technology stool.” One leg is the music leg, the other leg is the spoken word … and then this mysterious new leg where data is converted to sound. The history of sonification has many singular projects proposing techniques for using microcomputers to augment data exploration and the boundary between Art and Science. It is very hard to find cases where these efforts have really scaled up. One of the objectives of these discussions is to share information and pinpoint new strategies for moving forward.

This Event is Free and Open to the Public  More...

Sunday, November 11 2018 8:00 PM
Tana String Quartet

CNMAT presents the Tana String Quartet in concert. The program (TBA) features new works by UC Berkeley student composers.

The Tana String Quartet was formed to promote contemporary repertoire and enhance the relationship between composer and performer; they place no boundaries when selecting style or genre and often present classical repertoire alongside contemporary works.

Tana invent the quartet of the twenty-first century. The are audacious, pioneers and precursors. Tana foresee the new sounds of the modern string quartet.

Recognised by The Guardian as “impeccable players”, the quartet is recipient of an array of international awards, from the Pro Quartet – CEMC foundation in Paris, the Verbier Festival Academy and the Union of Belgian Composers (Fuga Prize), they also received the Octave for best exponents of contemporary music. In 2013, they were honoured at the HSBC EMA Awards and received an invitation to premiere Oracion; a major cross-over project featuring both world and contemporary music, produced by the Abbaye de Royaumont and premiered as part of the Aix-en-Provence festival.

The Tana String Quartet has appeared at prestigious festivals and concert series worldwide including Aix-en-Provence, Berlioz, MUSICA à Strasbourg, La Folle Journée, Saint-Denis, Albi, IRCAM/Manifeste, Musiques du GMEM, Controtempo, Verbier, Ars Musica, Klara, Darmstadt, Faithful in Berlin, Vale of Glamorgan, Girona, San Sebastian, Mostra Sonora/Valencia, Auditorium du Louvre, Cent-Quatre/Radio-France, Villa Medici in Rome, Pharos Foundation in Cyprus, Wigmore Hall, Conway Hall, BOZAR and Auditorium de Dijon. Last season saw them premiere a number of major new works composed for them, including Aracne, by Spanish composer Hector Parra, premiered in Paris (Louvre), and repeated at the Girona Festival and Wigmore Hall in London, and later in 2016 at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona.

In 2015/2016 the Quartet will make their debut appearances at the Philharmonie de Paris and Concertgebouw in Bruges with the premiere of Yann Robin’s Quartet No 3, which they will also perform at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, together with Hector Parra’s new piece.

Tana is the only European ensemble to have discarded conventional scores to perform from iPads, which they also use to accompany their educational work. A privileged partner with Music Research Centres including: Centre Henri Pousseur in Liège, Belgium; GMEM in Marseille and ArtZoyd in Valenciennes, France, the quartet gave the first ever concert on hybrid instruments, premiering a piece by Peruvian composer Juan Gonzalo Arroyo. The new system is a major contribution to electronic music.

Following the success of their debut recording, the complete string quartet music of French composer Jacques Lenot for the Intrada label, the Quartet continued their eclectic discography with an album devoted to saturated music by Bedrossian, Cendo and Robin, Shadows, released in January 2016, which precedes a second volume for Paraty dedicated to electronic music "VOLTS" available on the 09/09/2017. In the meantime, the quartet has released the complete works for string quartet by Steve Reich for the MegaDisc Classic label, acclaimed by press, receiving CHOC Classica september 2016.

This Event is Free and Open to the Public  More...