Our thoughts go out to Puerto Rico during this difficult time.

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Our thoughts go out to Puerto Rico during this difficult time.

Matthew Ostrowski, Sounds & Systems

During his summer residency at The Clocktower, artist and composer Matthew Ostrowski created a new composition for computer-controlled rotary telephones. Developing robotic control over the bells, he created an environment based on swarm intelligence and small-world network algorithms, creating a carillon taking maximum advantage of the limited set of sonic options available to a traditional rotary phone. David Weinstein sat down with him in the studio to talk about this project and his many other endeavors including improvising with computer electronics (MAX/MSP), the hand glove he uses as a controller, his collaboration with bassist George Cremaschi, systems and phenomena useful in composition, the magical, and the practical.

The completed composition and installation remained on view throughout August 2012 in one of the Clocktower's Project Rooms. Visitors are invited to walk or sit among the phones. Recommended listening time is 20 minutes. Free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 12-5 p.m.


Experimental Composers


The object of this series is to invite emerging and established innovators to share their work. These programs are usually a combination of an interview with a far-reaching perspective on the artist's career, some recordings illustrating this history, and something new. Open territory. The unfortunate and unintended messages that come attached to a title like Experimental Composers are many. Still it is one of the few labels to come out of the world of music that has not been co-opted by promoters, corporations, journalists, or lawyers. This one just seems to have anti-market goo on it. Hooray. It's also just bad English (as if to imply that these poor souls are themselves, in their flesh and blood, some kind of experiment and, perhaps, even expendable). And then there is the spectre of defying the wisdom of the great Edgar Varèse who said something like, "I do not write experimental music. My experimenting is done before I make the music. Afterwards it is the listener who must experiment."