Composer-performers Lucie Vítková and David Kant look toward this dictum of cybernetics: that biological and mechanical systems both influence their being and organization through their operation.
Lucie Vítková’s Piece for Accordion and Tap Shoes explores the mechanics of the instrument in relation to the kinetics of her body, with the sound and movement influencing one another. David Kant’s Thresholds and Fragile States Revisited is a digital reconstruction of composer/sound-artist David Dunn’s seminal work for analog chaotic networked oscillators, reconstructed through digital modeling of the original circuits and presented in eight-channel surround sound.
Piece for Accordion and Tap Shoes explores the mechanics of the instrument in relation to the kinetics of my body. The physical movement is informed by the sound and the sound by the physical movement. The actions follow each other fluently, sometimes appearing in contrast and at other times stuck in a loop. In the recent versions of the piece, I examine the aesthetics of prosthetics and cybernetics. In the performance, I am transforming into a new being, analog cyborg, composed from flesh and sounding objects.
Ideas and Techniques is a solo accordion, harmonica, and voice piece which was released on the Chicago label pan y rosas (2014). It gathers some of the ideas and techniques I collected through my practice as an improviser. In every piece I try to portray certain phenomena in their pure, concentrated form to make their individual characters clear. Every song is like a mechanism with a specific kind of natural behavior, which determines its musical structure. —Lucie Vítková
Lucie Vítková is a composer, improviser and performer (accordion, harmonica, voice, and tap dance) from the Czech Republic. Her compositions focus on sonification (compositions based on abstract models derived from physical objects), while her improvisation practice explores characteristics of discrete spaces through the interaction between sound and movement. In her recent work, she is interested in the musical legacy of Morse Code and the social-political aspects of music and art in relation to everyday life. She is currently based in New York City and is enrolled at Columbia University as Visiting Scholar with Prof. George Lewis.
Thresholds and Fragile States Revisited is a digital reconstruction of composer/sound-artist David Dunn’s analog circuitry-based work Chaos and the Emergent Mind of the Pond. Based upon the theory of biological autonomy and principles in cognitive science and second-order cybernetics, these circuits represent an alternative design philosophy for the creation of electronic sound synthesis. The circuitry is one-of-a-kind set of non-linear chaotic oscillators capable of generating an infinite variety of auditory behaviors emergent from their status as autonomous electronic systems. David Kant revisits this work, modeling the systems in digital rather than analog form, in order to explore the nature of digital versus analog systems and their capacity for autonomous behavior.
David Kant is a composer and performer based in Santa Cruz, CA. His work focuses on the intersection of art, music, and computation, and currently explores the music of chaotic circuit networks, the soundscapes of bioluminescent phytoplankton, and machine deconstructions of his favorite pop songs. Kant is the bandleader of The Happy Valley Band as well as a co-organizer of Indexical, a composer-run record label and producing organization dedicated to supporting work outside of mainstream contemporary music institutions. His work has been presented in the United States and abroad by organizations such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), The Lab (San Francisco), Ostrava Days Festival (Czech Republic), S.E.M. Ensemble (New York), Dog Star Orchestra (Los Angeles), Electric Eclectics (Ontario, Canada), the Ontological-Hysteric Theater (New York), and MATA (New York). He holds degrees in Mathematics (BA, Yale University) and Digital Musics (MA, Dartmouth College), and is currently a DMA candidate in Music Composition at UC Santa Cruz where he studies with Larry Polansky and David Dunn.