Through the Square Window: An Online Festival

June 5–6, 2021

2021 marks the tenth anniversary of the Vocal Constructivists. We celebrate our journey with a series of events that encourage an online audience to listen, learn, share, and engage. The festival, through the square window (June 5–6), playfully sequences through these activities over two days. With no entrance fees, no mud, and enough space for all who want to pitch their virtual tents (for brief or longer stays), this festival offers opportunities for creativity, participation, reflection, Q&A, and lively engagement with music-making. There are three structured “events” each day: the first involves a choice of seminars, the second features guest speakers, and the third broadcasts performances. There are additional opportunities to raise glasses with the artists and other special events. This festival is offered in memory of Scratch Orchestra pioneer and broadcaster Carole Finer († March 2020).

June 5

Session I

7:30–8:30 PT / 10:30–11:30 ET / 15:30–16:30 BST and IST / 16:30–17:30 CEST

Learn how to (audience choice)

i. sing experimental music online (from Nature Study Notes, Scratch Anthology, and Scratch Music (45 mins) OR

ii. create DIY pieces with found sounds, learn how to listen deeply in the virtual realm (45 mins)

iii. take part in a sonic meditation (15 mins)

Session II

9:00–10:00 PT / 12:00–13:00 ET / 17:00–18:00 BST and IST / 18:00–19:00 CEST

Listen to spotlight talks on Women’s Work composers (including Pauline Oliveros, Annea Lockwood, Alison Knowles), text scores, and the past and future of Postcard Theatre

(Guest speakers: Kerry O’Brien, Adam Tinkle)

Session III

12:00–13:00 PT / 15:00–16:00 ET / 20:00–21:00 BST and IST / 21:00–22:00 CEST

Vocal Constructivists Festival Concert I (including festival visitors)

Pauline Oliveros, In Consideration of the Earth (1998, live); Robert Ashley She Was a Visitor (1967, live); Carole Finer, Magic Carpet (1971);Ron Kuivila, Twelve Sounds Heard (2017); Zeynep Bulut, Soul-mates revised (2016); Michael Parsons, Walk (1969, live), Parsons, Silence and Waiting (2019); Oliveros, Rock Piece (1979, live); Margrit Schenker, Birds on a Long Wire (world premiere)

Session IV

13:30–14:15 PT / 16:30–17:15 ET / 21:30–22:15 BST / 22:30–23:15 CEST

Sound bath with Laraaji

June 6

Session I

7:30–8:30 PT / 10:30–11:30 ET / 15:30–16:30 BST and IST / 16:30–17:30 CEST

Learn how to (audience choice)

i. explore your zoom window as a stage, engage in musical dialogue across screens, and extend your vocal techniques (45 mins)

ii. analyze and make your own graphic score (45 mins)

iii. showcase original works in a Micro Concert (15 mins)

(Seminar leaders: Linn D., Rebecca Hardwick, Lauren Redhead)

Session II

9:00–10:00 PT / 12:00–13:00 ET / 17:00–18:00 BST and IST / 18:00–19:00 CEST

Join a roundtable discussion on network music-making and acoustic ecology

(Guest speakers: Aki Pasoulas, Kerry Hagan, Jenn Kirby)

Session III

12:00–13:30 PT / 15:00–16:30 ET / 20:00–21:30 BST and IST / 21:00–22:30 CEST

Talk with Charles Hutchins, program designer and creator of the cyborg editor, and Jane Alden, director

Vocal Constructivists Deconstruct Infinity

The festival concludes with a film on the realizations of Mark Applebaum’s Metaphysics of Notation

Post-screening discussion with Mark Applebaum and singersMessage Boards open for audience questions