• Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

Steven Kemper Named Professor of Technologies In Music and Connected Arts at Oberlin Conservatory


Jun 3, 2023
Steven Kemper Named Professor of Technology In Music and Related Arts at Oberlin Conservatory

Steven Kemper, a inventive music technologist, instrument designer, and composer, has been appointed as the newest professor in the TIMARA (Technologies in Music and Connected Arts) division at Oberlin Conservatory. Kemper’s appointment starts in fall 2023. 

Kemper comes to Oberlin from a earlier part at Rutgers University exactly where he served as a professor of Music Technologies and Composition at the Mason Gross College of the Arts. With a background in establishing technologies that bridge the gap amongst pc-primarily based music and the physical globe, Kemper’s knowledge reflects the TIMARA department’s interdisciplinary and inventive approaches.

Kemper shares, “It is amazing that, for a lot more than 50 years, TIMARA has been at the forefront of technologically mediated musical expression inside a conservatory. Offered the eclectic nature of my personal profession, I am searching forward to functioning with students on a selection of distinct forms of projects.” 

Kemper’s function revolves about musical robotics, instrument design and style, human-pc interaction, gesture, and musical expression. He has gained recognition for an strategy that combines technical improvement, inventive output, and humanistic inquiry, exemplified by his creation of vibration-motor actuated efficiency systems which includes the Tremolo-Harp, Lux Tremens, Manus Tremens, and Tremolo-Chimes. 

Kemper is a cofounder of Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, a collective committed to making and composing music for robotic instruments. He also co-created the RAKS (Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing) Method, a wireless sensor interface made especially for belly dancers in collaboration with composer and dancer Aurie Hsu ’96, Oberlin Conservatory associate dean of academic affairs and a TIMARA professor.

Tremolo Harp Study 1 (2020)

Tremolo-Harp Study 1 represents the very first piece composed for the Tremolo-Harp. This study explores the instrument’s special timbral properties as nicely as its capabilities to produce extended, sustained textures and continuous dynamic modifications. The general musical notion for this piece is a single of gradually-evolving chords of differing durations that move across the variety of the instrument.

Kemper’s function also encompasses acoustic composition and study. He has a extended-operating series of compositions for acoustic instruments and fixed media electronics that discover the connection amongst sound and urban vibrancy, which have been played by groups which includes the American Modern day Ensemble, Boston Modern day Orchestra Project, NOW ensemble, and the Grupo Sax-Ensemble. Kemper draws from field recordings and information sonification to investigate the strategies that periodic sounds assistance kind a sense of spot. His study has been extensively recognized and presented at prestigious conferences such as the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, the International Laptop or computer Music Conference, and the International Conference on Movement and Computing, and been published in respected journals which includes Leonardo, Leonardo Music Journal, Organised Sound, and Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

Lux Tremens (2018)

Lux Tremens, Latin for “trembling light,” was made in 2018 for the Rutgers Interactive Music Ensemble (RIME). In this structured improvisation, which requires spot in the dark, performers use vibration motors to actuate modest percussion instruments or identified resonant objects. Custom-made hardware enables performers to manage the speed of the vibration motors by adjusting the quantity of light they shine on photoresistors, therefore altering the intensity of the motors’ vibration.

Kemper appears forward to returning to the atmosphere of a liberal arts college. He shares, “I am thrilled to join the artistic and intellectual neighborhood of Oberlin. Though I have appreciated functioning at huge public study universities, some of my most memorable educational experiences came by way of my close functioning relationships with faculty throughout my time as an undergraduate at Bowdoin College.” He plans to introduce new courses in sensor-primarily based instrument design and style, musical robotics, and information sonification, in addition to exploring the connection amongst music, myth, technologies, and futurism.

“I am searching forward to sharing my knowledge in these locations with the TIMARA neighborhood as nicely as mastering from TIMARA students and faculty,” Kemper continues. “What stands out to me the most about TIMARA is the passionate creativity of the students and the diversity of musical approaches that they bring.”  

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