Judith Shatin’s Black Moon


Composer Judith Shatin's Black Moon for orchestra and electronics will be performed by The American Composer's Orchestra on March 5 at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music.

When & where
Saturday, March 5, 2016, @ 2pm
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W 37th St.
New York

Tickets are free, but space is limited!
Composer Judith Shatin will be joined by George Manahan and members of the orchestra in a demonstration of Kinect, a motion sensing input device for computer controlled electronics. This will be demonstrated musically through a sketch titled Red Moon of how this technology will be used for her ACO commission Black Moon, to be premiered in our October 28, 2016 concert at Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall). Also, Judith’s For The Birds for amplified cello and electronics with birdsong from the Yellowstone region will be performed.
The workshop and performance will be followed by a hands-on demonstration for audience members
CoLABoratory, is the world’s only “R & D” lab for experimental new music. CoLABoratory is a high tech incubator where composers bring fantastic new ideas to ACO that are workshopped, refined and developed into new works over the course of a season, before they are premiered by ACO at Carnegie Hall.

A Note About Black Moon

As a composer who often integrates acoustic and digital media, I longed for a way to give a conductor more direct and subtle control over electronics elements. The answer came as I developed Being in Time (2015) for wind ensemble, conductor-controlled electronics and interactive video: specific conductor gestures directly trigger and move sounds in space by means of a Kinect controller. Black Moon builds on these innovations, developed with my team at the University of Virginia, and gives the conductor a freedom of interaction that treats the electronic component as an integral member of the ensemble.

    Certain left-hand conductor gestures are read by the Kinect controller. These gestures break out of the traditional conductor’s box, so they are easily distinguishable. And, we worked with UVA conductor William Pease to make sure that the gestures are both distinct and comfortable.This approach can also be easily adapted for performances by ensembles without access to this technology, using a variety of playback systems. It will also be adapted in the future as more and more devices can read our gestures. I will be demonstrating this technology on Saturday, March 5 at 2:00 p.m. at New York City's DiMenna Center for Classical Music, as well as trying out some sketches. In addition, Eugene Moye will perform my For the Birds, for amplified cello and electronics made from the myriad bird songs of the Yosemite region. At the close of the program, members of the audience will be invited to try out the Kinect controller, triggering sounds and moving them through space.

    The title, Black Moon, refers, in astronomy, to a second new moon in a month or an extra new moon in a season. Some Wicca followers believe a black moon is the most auspicious time for casting spells or holding rituals, as the black moon endows them with extra power. The mysteries of the moon have fascinated people since ancient times, and it still holds many secrets. I, too, am fascinated by the many effects of the moon on the earth, helping it stay in orbit, as well as acting on the ocean tides, to name just two. The moon's changing faces, from a glowing globe, to the barest hint of a crescent; from clearly present to completely hidden, all contribute to the captivating spell of the night sky.

    — Judith Shatin, February 2016

For more about Judith Shatin's work
click here!