News + Events Archive

December 7th @ 6:00pm

Gayle Young: The Frequency of Soundscape

We are pleased to welcome distinguished DisPerSion visiting artist/scholar Gayle Young!

An internationally-recognized Canadian composer, performer, author and instrument-builder, Young will introduce instruments she has designed, built, and found, playing them in combination with tuned audio recordings.

Part talk and part performance, guests will also be invited into her sound world by having a chance to play the instruments!

December 1st @ 7:30pm

The DisPerSion Lab, The Music Gallery, Arraymusic and the York U. Music Department Present:

Malcolm Goldstein
Doug Van Nort
Electro-Acoustic Orchestra

Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave, Toronto

November 30th @ 6:00pm

11/30: Malcolm Goldstein Workshop

The DisPerSion Lab is pleased to welcome our distinguished visiting artist Malcolm Goldstein, who willl lead us in the workshop “The gesture of improvisation”.

This event will focus on the integration of breath/body gesture/sound, and improvisation as a process of discovery.

November 23rd @ 6:00pm

Colloquium Series: Christine Bellerose 

Dance Studies PhD student and DisPerSion affiliate, Bellerose will present “Reconciling the body with technology <- from the somatic grounds.”

November 9th @ 6:00pm

Colloquium Series: Esmé Hogeveen

Visual Cultures PhD student and DisPerSion Research Assitant, Hogeveen will present work on the SSHRC-funded lab project “A systematic review of computational creativity practices across disciplines”

November 2nd @ 6:00pm

Deep Listening Session #3

Deep Listening is practice that is intended to heighten and expand consciousness of sound in as many dimensions of awareness and attentional dynamics as humanly possible. It includes bodywork, listening meditations, movement and sound-making exercises. It cultivates a full-bodied  and heightened awareness of the sonic environment, both external awareness of the sonic environment, both external and internal, and promotes experimentation, improvisation, collaboration and play. Sessions facilitated by the certified Deep Listening Instructor Doug Van Nort.

All welcome, no experience necessary.

October 28th @ 5:30pm

Real Virtuality

Telematic performance connecting the DisPerSion Lab’s Electro-Acoustic Orchestra with the Stream Ensemble in Potsdam, DE. Part of the Brandenburg New Music Festival. Featuring new works by Thomas Gerwin (DE), John Rausek (DE), Doug Van Nort (CA). Sabine Vogel (DE) and Brian Abott (CA).

October 26th @ 6:00pm

Colloquium Series: Ian Macchiusi

Musicology PhD student and DisPerSion affiliate, Macchiusi will present “instrumentality and visual representation in the digital audio workstation.”

October 19th @ 6:00pm

Deep Listening Session #2

Deep Listening is practice that is intended to heighten and expand consciousness of sound in as many dimensions of awareness and attentional dynamics as humanly possible. It includes bodywork, listening meditations, movement and sound-making exercises. It cultivates a full-bodied  and heightened awareness of the sonic environment, both external awareness of the sonic environment, both external and internal, and promotes experimentation, improvisation, collaboration and play. Sessions facilitated by the certified Deep Listening Instructor Doug Van Nort.

All welcome, no experience necessary.

October 12th @ 6:00pm

Colloquium Series: Ian Jarvis

Performance Studies PhD student and DisPerSion researcher, Jarvis will present “human-machine agency in digital music performance.”

October 5th @ 6:00pm

Deep Listening Session #1

Deep Listening is practice that is intended to heighten and expand consciousness of sound in as many dimensions of awareness and attentional dynamics as humanly possible. It includes bodywork, listening meditations, movement and sound-making exercises. It cultivates a full-bodied  and heightened awareness of the sonic environment, both external awareness of the sonic environment, both external and internal, and promotes experimentation, improvisation, collaboration and play. Sessions facilitated by the certified Deep Listening Instructor Doug Van Nort.

All welcome, no experience necessary.

September 28th @ 6:00pm

Colloquium Series: Intro by Lab Director Doug Van Nort

A bi-weekly series of talks featuring a mixture of lab-community graduate students and distinguished invited guests.

Topic is DisPerSion, past/present/near-future.

June 29th @ 8:00pm UK / 3:00pm Canada

2017 International Conference on Movement and Computing (MOCO)
Intersubjective Soundings (for MYO armbands, Soundpainting Conducting and Telematic Ensemble)

Doug Van Nort (Soundpainting, MYO-based Transformation) – Deptford Town Hall, Goldsmiths, London, UK
Electro-Acoustic Orchestra – DisPerSion Lab, Toronto

EAO For this performance is:
Dave Bandi (guitar), Chris Cerpnjak (cymbals, glockenspiel) , Glen Hall (saxophone), Ian Jarvis (catRT+supercollider) , Ian Macchiusi (Moog mother), Mackenzie Perrault (guitar), Danny Sheahan (keys, samples), Fae Sirois (violin), Lauren Wilson (flute)

June 3rd @ 4:00pm

Doug Van Nort Talk: Tuning Presents/Turing Presence

Part of “Improvisation and Listening: a Series of Events in Memory of Pauline Oliveros”

​La Vitrola
4602 Boul St-Laurent

June 1st @ 5:00pm

Exhibition launch for Still Listening
87 Commissioned Scores in Honor of Pauline Oliveros

featuring Doug Van Nort’s piece “The Turing Meditation”

Marvin Duchow Music Library
​527 sherbrooke st west

June 1st @ 3:45pm

Anne Bourne (cello, voice) /Elysha Poirier (water/light projections)/ Doug Van Nort (greis/electronics)

Tanna Schulich Hall
527 Sherbrooke st west

May – October 2017

Genetically Sonified Organisms
an Environmental Sonic Installation by Doug Van Nort

This piece creates an evolving interplay, in sound, between various agents that include humans and non-humans, both computational and biological. The physical GSO artifacts are a set of solar-powered ‘creatures’, designed to interact with one another and the larger sonic field in which they are immersed. The means of communication begins as a call/response from a set of simple tones/noises that introduce this new species into the sonic environment. Each creature will respond to sounds that are similar to their known vocabulary, evolving their call over the course of months based on the difference found between their own lexicon of calls and those that they hear around them. These artifacts, though, are merely vessels: rather than meditating on the technological objects themselves, through this piece I invite you to listen to this new sonic presence as it is woven into the fabric of an existing, dynamic and diverse acoustic ecology. Many thanks to Kieran Maraj of the DisPerSion Lab for designing the solar Raspberry Pi and enclosure prototypes.

May 13th Opening, featuring Listening Workshop by Van Nort

Soundwork @ Fieldwork
Maberley, ON

May 5th @  7:30pm / May 6th @ 1:30pm

Origin8: An exploration in movement, light and sound

Created for the the National Ballet School of Canada’s quadrennial event, Assemblée Internationale

Movement and muscle tension from 21 dancers drive interactive music and visuals.
Featuring dancers from 21 different countries, coming to Toronto for AI17.

Choreography: Shaun Amyot
Interactive Music Composition: Doug Van Nort
Interactive Visuals: Don Sinclair

April 12th, 7:30-9:00pm

DisPerSion Lab members take their Electroacoustic Music to Buffalo!

Collaborative Electro-Acoustic Music Series: Concert II

The second edition of the Collaborative Electroacoustic Music Concert Series will bring together faculty and student composers from the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design of York University, Toronto (CA) and the program in Digital Music from SUNY Buffalo State.

The concert will feature fixed media works by Evan Courtin, Ian Jarvis, Ian Macchiusi and Doug Van Nort, as well as live music performances by Michael Palumbo, Ethan Hayden and Tomás Henriques.

The Collaborative Electroacoustic Music Concert Series is hosted once a year, during the spring semester, by the program in Digital Music at Buffalo State. The series aims to foster inter-institution artistic partnerships around the subject of composition and performance of contemporary electronic music. Besides a concert, the collaboration includes parallel activities of pedagogical and research nature on electronic music theory and practice, discussed in lectures and/or workshops.

Special thanks to Tomás Henriques for this invitation.

April 6th, 9am-7pm

Multiple opportunities on York’s campus to experience ideas and work from lab members!

The Sensorium Grad Student Symposium 
(9am-6pm, Nat Taylor Cinema) 

​will feature presentations by
Christine Bellerose – “On the Lived Imagined Body” and “Unplugged”
 Ian Jarvis – “Creating Fire: An overview of implementing concatenative synthesis and machine learning in digital instrument design”
Ian Macchiusi – “‘Totemic Power’: Arrangement, Analysis and Performance in the Digital Audio Workstation”
Michael Palumbo – “Data Issues: Please see Attachment”
as well as comrades-of-the-lab
Signy Lynch – “The ‘Trumpian Performative’: Social Media Performance, Immediacy, and Authenticity in the 2016 Election”
Daniel Smith 
 “Mapping Meaning: The Collective Cartography of Everyday Life”

This will then converge to the
Digital Media Showcase (103 Accolade West) from 6-7pm
which will feature projects by two lab members:

i. Akeem Glasgow – Circles of life
“Circles of life is an interesting way of layering concepts to create a self-sustaining environment. These concepts revolve around autonomous agents, the game of life and genome generation. The sustained environment is run by Circular agents who search the world collecting and dropping life. This virtual environment shows how systems can cooperate to predict real behaviors and randomness.”

ii. Kieran Maraj, in collaboration with Alexandra Martens, Amir Rostami and Samina Shroff – The Cloud
“The Cloud is a physical representation of various weather systems occurring in the world around it. Through hue, brightness and strobing The Cloud is able to display aspects of the weather including precipitation and temperature, among others. The fluffy lamp is able to automatically update based on its location, or the user can choose to display the weather from other cities around the world, or simply set it to ‘furniture mode’ for a stunning centrepiece.”

March 23, 24, 8:00 and 9:00pm, March 25, 1:30 and 2:30pm

Elemental Agency

Doug Van Nort: conception, direction, system composition, void state sound/interaction design
Vanessa Boutin, Holly Buckridge, Shaelynn Lobbezoo, Joshua Murphy, Paige Sayles, Marie-Victoria de Vera: emergent and collective choreography, dance
Yirui Fu: spotlight visual/behaviour design
Akeem Glasgow: kinect tracking and mapping to visuals
Rory Hoy: earth state sound/interaction design
Ian Jarvis: fire state sound/interaction design
Kieran Maraj: water, wind states sound/interaction design
Michael Palumbo: mobile audience interaction,network architecture programming
Mingxin Zhang: spotlight visual/behaviour design

Elemental Agency is a piece concerned with an emergent gestural language that manifests across movement, sound and light. Rather than sound/light articulating movement, or movement driving media, the approach builds outward from gestural metaphors as a point of shared intersection for these phenomena. The work draws upon the metaphorical constructs of Japanese Godai and Indian Vaastu Shastra theories of five elements: earth, water, wind, fire and void/space. Working with conceptual metaphors drawn from these traditions, constraints are provided to the dancers of embodying a given element as a collective – a texture of movement, rather than a singular human entity, that manifests the non-human agency of a given element. Motivations related to world, body, motion, emotion and enaction are given: earth as stubbornness and resistance to change, wind as expansive, elusive and compassionate, fire as energetic and forceful, etc. Using machine learning methods, the sonic interaction designers seek to capture moments of gestural expression and fuse this with sounds that similarly embody a given elemental quality/profile. Negotiation between art forms leads to a collective choreography and sound design that emerges from the embodiment of the nonhuman elements and the mediation of the machine agents. Visual projection functions as both lighting and enhancement of embodied experience in space, rather than screen-oriented media experience. Spotlights both enhance elemental qualities as well as embodying behaviours that align with the constraints of the element metaphors: rigid tracking of movement within earth state, amorphous following within water state, tendency towards consumption in fire state, etc.

Studio A, Accolade East
York University
​Toronto, ON

Saturday, February 25th 2017, 7:00-9:00pm

Voorhees Theater, 186 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY

Presented by the Entertainment Technology department of the New York City College of Technology (CUNY City Tech)
Concert featuring:Thomas Ciufo and Curtis Bahn, Sonic Constructions (hybird acoustic/electronic instruments)
Nick Demopoulos, Archeon Eon (“Smomid” and “Pyramidi” invented electronic instruments)
Adam James Wilson, Skronkbot (fretless electric guitar and automatic improvisation system)
Doug Van Nort, Solo Improvisation with GREIS (surface controllers and GREIS improvisation system)
Jeff Kaiser, ZEITNOT (Bb trumpet, quartertone trumpet, flugelhorn, interactive audio software)Panel discussion to follow performance, with the framing question:
“For centuries notions of musicality have centered on the execution of the musical performer and the performer’s ability to imbue an instrument with ‘spirit’ while demonstrating virtuosity (Kramer). Where is the end of your instrument? Do you see music-making agency within the computational systems you perform with? Does your machine/software/instruments ever surprise you?”

Saturday, February 18th 2017, 8:30-10:30pm

Improvised Electro-Acoustic Quintet featuring:
Viv Corringham (vocals), Glen Hall (sax/flutes, catRT), John Oswald (saxophone), Doug Van Nort (greis/electronics), Mia Zabelka (violin, pedals)Tranzac Club
292 Brunswick Ave.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017
4:00-6:00 pm local time in Toronto
8:30-11 pm local time in Berlin
FREE ​Sensorium Centre and DisPerSion Lab, in Partnership with New Adventures in Sound Art’s Deep Wireless Festival, Present:Tele-Conduction
by Doug Van Nort, Thomas Gerwin, Sarah Weaver and Glen HallToronto: DisPerSion Lab, Room 334, Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, York University
Berlin: Exploratorium Berlin, Mehringdamm 55, 10961 Kreuzberg (Sarottihoefe, Entrance C)
Audio Broadcast via naisa radio:
Video Broadcast via:  This event features performances occurring across two continents, and overlapping through a telematic connection. The Toronto performance serves as the culmination of a sister event happening at the Exploratorium Berlin. The concert opens with guest artist Thomas Gerwin, who will conduct from the Exploratorium Berlin with a structured improvisation entitled “EAOIU” written for and featuring the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (EAO), performing at the DisPerSion Lab in Toronto along with his Berlin ensemble.Following that performance, the collective cross-atlantic ensemble will continue performing newly-commissioned pieces by New York-based guest artist Sarah Weaver and EAO director Doug Van Nort, before finishing with a local performance of a new work by EAO member and active Toronto improviser Glen Hall.

November 26th @ 8:00pm

Games In Sound, a Performance

​Game creation like most media arts is a trans-disciplinary practice. This performance will cross many artistic and stylistic boundaries to reveal the many overlaps with other art forms and genres. Performing will be Dispersion Lab, Luis Hernandez and Andrew Shenkman. This performance is part of a weekend-long Soundhackers meetup that also includes artist panels in the afternoon of Saturday November 26
Performances are co-curated for this meetup event with Daniele Hopkins of Electric Perfume.

I. Myo Improv by Dispersion Lab
Doug Van Nort, the Canada Research Chair at York University and distinguished electroacoustic sound artist, has started the Dispersion Lab, which is a studio and a live ensemble comprised of graduate and undergraduate students as well as artists from the local community. They explore telematic performance, improvisation, laptop performance and gestural conducting among their prolific artistic activities. Include in this performance are Ian Jarvis and Michael Palumbo.

II. EngineBaroque by Luis Hernandez
EngineBaroque is a live electro-acoustic performance. Luis controls a custom-made 3d environment –a digital extrapolation of Kurt Schwitter’s Merzbau, imbued with locative sounds. As he navigates this artificial architecture, he samples sounds in the environment, manipulating them in real-time with tape machines and samplers, creating a live electro-acoustic space located somewhere between the physical and digital world.

III. Hypergame by Andrew Shenkman
Prepare your body for the game-story-musical event of a lifetime! Inspired by tabletop RPGs, improv comedy and rock & roll, Hypergame Storytime: The Musical invites the audience to take their rightful place as the star of an intergalactic, time travelling, life afirming odyssey about the power of the human spirit and butts probably, whatever, just trust us. What is it? What isn’t it! It’s all your favourite activities and interests smushed together with healthy dose of awkwardness, imagination and friendship.

Electric Perfume
805 Danforth Avenue, Toronto

Tuesday November 22nd @ 5:00-7:00pm

​Please join us for a very special concert by John Driscoll, founding member of Composers Inside Electronics
with an opening set by the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (dir. Doug Van Nort) – Conducted Improvisation
 Chris Anderson-Lundy, Robert Appleton, David Bandi, Aaron Corbett, Carlos De Leon, Marcello Fiorini, Glen Hall, Ian Macchiusi, Sabatino                  Muccilli, Mark McGugan, William Osmon, Mackenzie Perrault, Liz Petzold, Ted Phillips, Danny Sheahan, Fae Sirois and Lauren Wilson.       

Impulsions – Phil Edelstein (2015)
Performer: John Driscoll

Speaking in Tongues – John Driscoll (2012)
Performers: John Driscoll, Doug Van Nort

Microphone – David Tudor (1970)
Performer: John Driscoll

JOHN DRISCOLL is a composer/sound artist who is a founding member of Composers Inside Electronics (CIE) and collaborated on David Tudor’s Rainforest IV project since its inception in 1973.  He has toured extensively in the US and Europe with: CIE, David Tudor, Douglas Dunn & Dancers, Maida Withers Dance Construction Co., Stephen Petronio Company, and as a solo performer.

For over 40 years his work has focused on robotic instruments, compositions and sound installations for unique architectural spaces, rotating loudspeakers, and music for dance.  He is a pioneer in performance of live electronic music and is know for his innovative electro-acoustical instruments. His work spans many disciplines and has included performances/collaborations with artists: David Tudor, Ralph Jones, Paul DeMarinis, Linda Fisher, Ron Kuivila, Phil Edelstein, Bill Viola, Tom Hamilton, David Moss, Matt Rogalsky, Richard Lerman, Doug Van Nort and many others. He has created music for the Merce Cunningham Dance Co., Douglas Dunn & Dancers, and Maida Withers Dance Construction Co.

His work has been presented at the Kitchen (NYC), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), MoMA (NYC), Museum der Moderne (Salzburg) and others. He has received numerous awards including a Berlin Residency from the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogram in 1985/86.

In 2014, he was artist-in-residence at Harvestworks (NYC) developing a work for robotic highly focused speakers, and recently completed new works for ultrasonic instruments.  He is reviving Tudor’s Pavilion works in conjunction with CIE, E.A.T. and the David Tudor Project.  He was recently the David Tudor Composer-In-Residence at Mills College and has been working on Phil Edelstein’s Impulsions work and on a series of performance works with ultrasonic instruments under the title of Speaking in Tongues and sound installations using ultrasound Slight Perturbations.

In 2015, he and Phil Edelstein collaborated on the sound installation Rainforest V. Rainforest V (variation 1) has been acquired by MoMA (NYC) in 2016 as part of their collection and Rainforest V (variation 2) was acquired in 2015 as part of the collection of Museum der Moderne (Salzburg).

His recent album Fishing for Sound (Berlin) is available on iTunes and other works are on Edition Block, Orange Mountain Music, New World Records and Edition RZ and others.

The Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (dir. Doug Van Nort) is an ensemble comprised of a mixture of acoustic and electronic performers. It is an emergent sonic organism that evolves through collective attention to all facets of sound, soundpainting-inspired conducting, commissioned pieces and improvisational practice. The ensemble functions both as a music course during the Fall semester, as well as the year-round resident ensemble for the DisPerSion Lab where it integrates members of the larger Toronto improvising community.

Members for this performance are Chris Anderson-Lundy, Robert Appleton, David Bandi, Aaron Corbett, Carlos De Leon, Marcello Fiorini, Glen Hall, Ian Macchiusi, Sabatino Muccilli, Mark McGugan, William Osmon, Mackenzie Perrault, Liz Petzold, Ted Philips, Danny Sheahan, Fae Sirois and Lauren Wilson.

Thursday November 10th @ 4:00pm

Please join us for this special lecture by Ann Warde, a long time associate of Cornell University’s Bioacoustics Research Program!

Scientific Listening
Science embraces acoustics as a way to understand the behavior and communication strategies of animals. However, because of differences between the perceptual scales of human observers and very large, or very small, animal species (whales and crickets, for instance), even the seemingly simple act of determining the source of a sound can be daunting. Our direct perception of the sound (as an alternative to acoustic measurement) can facilitate its translation from a much larger or smaller scale of perception into our own. Can a musical listening also enlighten usscientifically?

There will be time for Q&A and discussion following the lecture.

About the presenter:
Ann Warde is a composer and researcher, currently exploring ways to listen for spatial patterns and sonic characteristics in animal sound recordings. Formerly an analyst and computer programmer at Cornell University’s Bioacoustics Research Program, she was recently a Fulbright Scholar at the Contemporary Music Research Centre, University of York, England. Her study and practice of electro-acoustic music composition and ethnomusicology has led to performances and presentations throughout North America, and most recently in Britain and Belgium.

Wednesday November 2nd, 10:00pm

Tranzac Club
292 Brunswick Ave., Toronto

416 Creative Improvisers Festival Presents:

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (dir. Doug Van Nort), feat. Chris Anderson-Lundy, Robert Appleton, David Bandi, Aaron Corbett, Marcello Fiorini, Glen Hall, Mackenzie Perrault, Ted Philips, Danny Sheahan, Fae Sirois and Lauren Wilson

in Partnership with the Music Gallery and the X-Avant Festival:

An Electro-Acoustic Quartet Improvisation Featuring

Pauline Oliveros (v-accordion) / Ione (spoken word) / Anne Bourne (cello) / Doug Van Nort (electronics)Friday, October 14
 7pm | Concert: 8pm
The Music Gallery, 197 John St.
Tickets: $20 Regular | $10 Members/Students |$15 Advance at

Friday’s performance is a multichannel, improvisational performance in a rich yet spacious combination of the newest directions of each contributor’s artistry. In recent years, Oliveros has taken to performing with a Roland digital accordion that has extended her sonic range. Her partner Ione improvises text/sound art, while Anne Bourne, herself a crucial contributor to the Music Gallery over several decades, deploys her sublime experiments in cello. Doug Van Nort captures and transforms acoustic signals from his collaborators and own voice, improvising beautiful electronics diffused over 8 speakers.

2016 Wendy Michener Lecture: Pauline Oliveros & Ione

Friday October 14th
Tribute Communities Recital Hall
York University

For the 2016 Wendy Michener Lecture, the Sensorium Centre, the DisPerSion Lab and the Music Gallery are pleased to present two legendary mavericks of the experimental music and arts scene. The lecture begins with PAULINE OLIVEROS, a senior figure in contemporary American music whose career spans fifty years of boundary dissolving music making. Pauline will discuss her life practice of Deep Listening, which has blossomed into an international community of certified practitioners, artists and scholars. She will discuss a recent project, Sensational Sounds for hearing and non-hearing performers, which brings together hearing and nonhearing performers in ensemble performance, utilizing new instruments built for this context. Pauline will then be joined by IONE, a noted author, playwright/director and poet whose works include the critically acclaimed memoir, Pride of Family Four Generations of American Women of Color, Listening in Dreams and This is a Dream! Pauline and Ione will discuss their current work in progress, The Nubian Word for Flowers, a mixed reality opera. This major work involves an international team of collaborators, cutting edge technology, and immerses the audience in a mythology that spans from Lord Kitchener and his Ontario town namesake to the Nubian people of the Nile River.

A Question and Answer period will follow the lecture.

This lecture is part of the programming for the Music Gallery’s X-Avant Festival. As a sister event, at 8pm at their St. George the Martyr Church venue, the festival will also feature an improvised quartet performance featuring Pauline Oliveros (v-accordion), Ione (spoken word), Anne Bourne (cello) and Doug Van Nort (electronics).

May 19th @ 7:30pm

Tout Croche
York Electro-Acoustic Orchestra

Final public event until the Fall!

Montreal-based Tout Croche is Stephen Harvey & Dominic Thibault. a haven of post-genre sonic experimentation and music making that marvels at noise from beautiful ambience to digital distortion.

This performance is a stop on Tout Croche’s Quebec-Ontario tour, and also features a performance of EAO’s soundpainting-based piece, recently played at ISIM.

May 12th @ 2:00pm

York Electro-Acoustic Orchestra at the 2016 International Society of Improvised Music (ISIM) Festival and Conference

The EAO performs an hour-long set at ISIM. This will be a structured improvisation featuring soundpainting-based conducting.

Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave W, Waterloo, ON

March 29th @ 6:00pm

Uncanny: A Telematic nO(t)pera is a semi-structured, semi-improvised performance linking six performers and their audience across one virtual and five real sites of performance. The musicians utilize their deep listening skills as they listen across networks, across N. America, and across radically different acoustic spaces and instrumentations, in order to find convergence through musical dialogue.

Performers from Stanford (California), RPI (New York) and York Student Projects Gallery will be projected onto materials within the DisPerSion Lab, forming an uncanny trace of their bodily presence, embedded on a blended “stage” with a live electronics performer. Public activity from the Accolade West hallway, leading up to the Student Projects gallery, will be mapped into visual and sonic art and projected within DisPerSion Lab, creating a texturized doppelganger of the activity just outside the Gallery site of performance. The website will provide another realization of the performance, allowing audience to chat, interact via twitter, and alter the outcome by conducting the musicians during one section of the piece. The York-based audience is invited to wander between the differing performative realities of the public spaces, the virutal online platform, the live performance within the gallery, and the live performance within DisPerSion lab.

featuring performances by:
Anne Bourne (cello) – York Special Projects Gallery, York University Toronto, ON
Chris Chafe (celletto) – CCRMA, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
Pauline Oliveros (V-Accordion), Jonas Braasch (Soprano Saxophone) – CRAIVE Lab, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Doug Van Nort (electronics) – DisPerSion Lab, York University, Toronto, ON

featuring Digital Media art and design work by:
Gale Cabiles – promotional video and graphics
Kevin Feliciano – audio networking and DisPerSion Lab sound engineering
Akeem Glasgow – public, interactive sonic instrument
Radi Hilaneh – video processing and in-York networking
Justin Hsieh – Gallery design and layout
Raechel Kula – DisPerSion Lab projection surfaces and visual design
Rory Hoy – network mapping design
Candy Hua – interactive lighting control, DisPerSion Lab
Tony Liu – remote conducting of performance sites
Sam Noto – visual streaming to virtual performance site
Sarah Siddiqui – website audio remixing/streaming
Keren Xu – promotional video and graphics
Yirui Fu- network lighting control, sound-to-light mapping, DisPerSion Lab
Mingxin Zhang – lighting effects, DisPerSion Lab
Cary Zheng – video networking between sites, documentation
​Keke Zhou – public, interactive visual instrument

March 18th @ 12:00-1:00pm

Accolade West Room 103 
Michael Century: Diagramming Intensities: Instrument, Score, and Code in Experimental Music and Sound Art
Prof. Century will discuss the performative processes of five sound art works and experimental music compositions, proposing a way to define, diagram, and compare the interconnected roles of instrument, score, and code against each ensemble’s temporal intensity and capacity for generating novel, unpremeditated events. Two have either a textual score only (John Cage’s Inlets/Improvisaton II, (1977)), or none at all (Pauline Oliveros’s I of IV [1966], a recording of an improvisation represented notationally only by a circuit flowchart). Two are sound art pieces defined by a classical score experienced variably by listeners offered choices within the arrangement itself (Janet Cardiff and George Miller’s 40 Part Motet [2001] and Michael Century’s Interactive GoldbergVariations [2012]). The fifth piece, (n)Chant (2001), a sound installation by David Rokeby, consists of a network of seven software agents imbued with a listening and associative language capacity and which intone separately or in unison according to stimuli received by human speakers.
About the speaker:
MICHAEL CENTURY is Professor of New Media and Music in the Arts Department at Rensselaer, which he joined in 2002. Long associated with The Banff Centre for the Arts, he directed the Centre’s Inter-arts program during the 1980s and was the founding director of the Centre’s Media Arts programs in 1988. As a producer in the field of new media art, he initiated The Art and Virtual Environments project (1991-94), one of the first large-scale and sustained investigations of virtual reality technologies as a new medium for artists. He was program director for cultural research at the Montreal Centre d’innovation en technologies de l’information, served as senior policy advisor for art and new technologies to the federal Department of Canadian Heritage, and taught in the Graduate Program in Communications at McGill University before joining Rensselaer. Century authored the study Pathways to Innovation in Digital Culture for the Rockefeller Foundation, and was panelist and co-author for the U.S. National Academy of Science 2003 report on information technologies and creative practices, Beyond Productivity. A pianist, and of late, accordionist, Century’s scholarly interests are in software cultures and theories of socio-technical innovation.

March 16th @ 4:30-6:00pm

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra Session!  RSVP to come and try out as a member of EAO for Winter/Spring 2016.

March 9th @ 4:30-6:00pm

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra Session!  RSVP to come and try out as a member of EAO for Winter/Spring 2016.

March 7th @ 7:30pm

DisPerSion Lab presents Judy Dunaway in concert 
We are pleased to present this special solo balloon performance by one of the
masters of this object-turned-instrument!

Judy Dunaway performs avant-garde compositions and free improvisations on
amplified latex balloons played as musical instruments.  She is known
internationally as a  “virtuoso of the balloon.”  She plays a variety of
shapes and sizes of balloon instruments, each with it’s own special
qualities, pushing the extremes of both pitch range and artistic limits.
Her large rubbed “tenor” balloon gives Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar a run for
the money and her giant balloon pulsates into the depths of the subaudio.
Her abstract music and sounds are difficult to equate with other forms,
depending upon the perception of the individual like the images seen in
fire or clouds.

Dunaway has presented her works for balloons at many major venues and
festivals throughout North America and Europe, including Academy of Media
Arts Cologne (Cologne), Avant-Garde Schwaz Festival (Austria), Alternative
Museum (NYC), Bang on a Can Festival (NYC), Everson Art Museum (Syracuse),
Fylkingen (Stockholm), Frau Musica Nova Festival (Cologne), Guelph Jazz
Festival (Canada), Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (NYC), New Museum of
Contemporary Art (NYC), Performance Space 122 (NYC), Podewil (Berlin),
Roulette (NYC), CEAIT Festival (Los Angeles), Seltsame Musik Festival
(Krems, Austria), SoHo Arts Festival (NYC), STEIM (Amsterdam) and Zentrum
fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe).   She has also performed on
balloons with many outstanding musicians including Roscoe Mitchell,
Jennifer Walshe, John Hollenbeck, Yasunao Tone, and the FLUX Quartet.  CDs
of her works for balloons have been released on the CRI (Composers
Recordings Inc) and Innova labels, among others.

March 2nd @ 6:00pm

​Bring-your-own-sounds cataRT Play Session featuring talk by Ted Phillips

Corpus-based Concatenative Synthesis is a method of sound synthesis in which a large collection of real-world sounds, ranging from musical instruments to environmental recordings, are analyzed and re-combined in order to generate new musical textures. This event provides a unique opportunity to learn the basics of this technique through exploration of cataRT, the most popular software for concatenative synthesis (created at IRCAM in Paris), from Toronto-based cataRT expert Ted Phillips.

Guests are encouraged to bring a usb drive with their favourite sound recordings (.wav or .aif format). After the introductory talk, we will pool these together and interactively explore the corpus of sounds that are created using the cataRT system, in order to discover new recombinations of sonic textures that are made possible by this technique.

6:00-7:00pm introduction to cataRT by Ted Phillips
7:00-8:00pm bring-your-own-sounds play session

March 2nd @ 4:30-6:00pm

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra Session!  RSVP to come and try out as a member of EAO for Winter/Spring 2016.

February 25th @ 4:30-6:00pm

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra Session!  RSVP to come and try out as a member of EAO for Winter/Spring 2016.

​​February 20th @ 8:00pm

SLM Ensemble: TransForm
An Evening of Experimental Music Works

Jane Ira Bloom, soprano saxophone
David Morales Boroff, violin
Min Xiao-Fen, pipa
Ned Rothenberg, alto saxophone, bass clarinet
David Taylor, bass trombone
Denman Maroney, piano
Mark Helias, bass
Gerry Hemingway, drumset
Sam Pluta, computer, electronics
Doug Van Nort, computer, electronics, sonifications
Sarah Weaver, conductor, composer

Leonard Nimoy Thalia
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
New York, NY

February 9th @ 3:30 – 5:30 pm


William Denton
(York University Libraries)
Doug Van Nort
(School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design)
and the
Students of DATT 3200 Performing Telepresence

Re-imagine the real-time streams emanating from, to and about York University Libraries  in their physical and virtual homes.


STAPLR – William Denton’s sonification of YUL reference desks
(listen remotely at
Sound, Light and Text Instruments – created by Van Nort and students, that react to YUL reference data and to Twitter feeds
(@yorkulibraries, @FrostLibrary, @Bronfmanlibrary, @ScottLibrary, @SteacieLibrary, @dispersion_lab)

Performed between all branches of York University Libraries (Bronfman, Maps, Scott, SMIL, Steacie) and the DisPerSion Lab by DATT students,
using Twitter as their interface.

Experience the immersive version at the DisPerSion Lab (334 Centre for Fine Arts),

​Watch/Listen/tweet to the virtual feed (video, audio, Twitter)
Participate and help perform the piece by tweeting @dispersion_lab

​February 4th @ 8:00pm

Game of Drones

An evening of distributed performances, live coding and laptop orchestras linking DisPerSion to Montreal and Palo Alto.

More info here.

​January 28th @ 6:00pm

Presentation: Shadowpox, by Alison Humphrey

Alison Humphrey will talk about her research-creation dissertation synthesizing sci-fi drama, interactive special effects, and collaborative online culture to build a new framework for young adult learning and civic engagement on the topic of vaccination.

More info here.

​December 10th @ 8:00pm

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra + Anne Bourne/Rick Sacks/Doug Van Nort

Set 1: York EAO
Set 2: Bourne/Sacks/Van Nort trio
…morphs into
Set 3: EAO + trio improv set

The York Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (dir. Doug Van Nort) is an ensemble comprised of a mixture of acoustic and electronic performers. It is an emergent sonic organism that evolves through collective attention to all facets of sound, and improvisational practice. Based at York University, the YEAO performs a range of pieces by its members, invited guest artists and from the experimental music repertoire. Current members are David Bandi, Christopher Cerpnjak, Carlos De Leon, Peter
Ellman, Rory Hoy, Ian Jarvis, Alexander Laurie, Kieran Maraj, Caleb Martin, Mark Mcgugan and Michael Palumbo.

Array Space
155 Walnut Street, Toronto, ON


December 7th + 8th @ 8:00pm

Electric Messiah

A stripped down, surround-sound, electo-improv Messiah for Today’s Toronto

Is it possible to become re-sensitized to this ubiquitous musical masterpiece by taking it apart and putting it back together again? Stripping Handel’s music back down to its barest essentials, Electric Messiah enables four singers, accompanied by guitar and electronics, to explore a selection of the work’s most popular movements through the lens of their own unique styles and cultural backgrounds.

Staged in the intimate, cabaret-style undergound of Toronto’s iconic Drake Hotel, in collaboration with curator Kyle Brenders, dramaturg Ashlie Corcoran and lighting designer Patrick Lavender, Soundstreams’ Electric Messiah will reconnect you to the music of the holiday season in a way that is surprising, fresh, and above all, FUN.

Featured artists:
Christine Duncan, vocals
Carla Huhtanen, vocals
Gabriel Dharmoo, vocals
Jeremy Dutcher, vocals
John Gzowski, guitar
Doug Van Nort, electronics
Electroacoustic Orchestra of York University

TICKETS: $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Available online

November 19th @ 5:00-7:00pm

Deep Listening Session
Deep Listening is a practice focused on experiencing heightened awareness of sound, silence and sounding through meditation, body-work and collective listening-sounding exercises. This session will be presented by certified instructor Doug Van Nort.

November 17th @ 5pm

Lab Meeting
This week we will hear about the project areas that the lab will focus on for the remainder of the academic year, and the focus areas that will define the Thursday play sessions for the coming weeks/months.

November 12th @ 5:00-6:00pm

DisPerSion Lab visiting scholar Margaret Schedel

“The Data Sensorium: Multimodal Exploration of Scientific Data Sets”

Big data is one of the defining problems of our time: we are immersed in a torrent of information from scientific discoveries, news, social circles, and the devices we carry.  The challenge is to distill all this abstract data into userful conclusions.  The Data Sensorium was launched in 2011 to foster novel kinds of collaborations to yield new insights.  Collaborations are not merely fashionable: they are critical to tackling modern scientific and engineering challenges.  However collaborations are typically thought of in terms of bleeding across conventional discipline boundaries.  While these ‘nearby’ interactions (e.g. between physicists and chemists) are undoubtedly valuable, the Data Sensorium instead explores how seemingly disparate disciplines such as the arts and the sciences can interact to mutual benefit.

Margaret Anne Schedel is a composer and cellist specializing in the creation and performance of ferociously interactive media whose works have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. While working towards a DMA in music composition at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, her interactive multimedia opera, A King Listens, premiered at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and was profiled by Her research focuses on gesture in music, the sustainability of technology in art, and sonification of data.In 2010 she co-chaired the International Computer Music Conference, and in 2011 she co-chaired the Electro-Acoustic Music Studies Network Conference. She ran SUNY’s first Coursera Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), an introduction to computational arts. As an Associate Professor of Music at Stony Brook University, she serves as Co-Director of Computer Music and is the Director of cDACT, the consortium for digital art, culture and technology.

November 12th @ 1:30-2:30pm

York Electroacoustic Orchestra in concert

featuring guest composer Margaret Schedel

An emergent sonic organism that evolves through collective attention to all facets of sound, and improvisational practice. Based at York University,  the YEAO (dir. Doug Van Nort) performs a range of pieces by its members, invited guest artists and from the experimental music repertoire. Current members are David Bandi, Christopher Cerpnjak, Carlos De Leon, Peter Ellman, Rory Hoy, Ian Jarvis, Alexander Laurie, Kieran Maraj, Caleb Martin, Mark Mcgugan and Michael Palumbo.

Tribute Communities Recital Hall
Accolade East​ Building
​York University

​November 6th @ 10:00pm – 1:00am

​416 Creative Improvisers Festival

Come hear a solo improvisation by lab director Doug Van Nort (voice, electronics)

10pm Hans Tammen
11pm CCMC
12am Doug Van Nort

Tranzac Club
292 Brunswick Ave
Toronto, ON

Play Session:
​November 5th @ 5:00pm
Come in and play.  Audio system is ready for connections, floor is open for movement, if you need projection please contact in advance.

November 4th @ 7:30-9:30pm

Lab members Michael Palumbo and Ian Jarvis perform two solo improvisations (electronics) and then a duo collaboration

Part of Troubleshooting~, an outlet for emerging and established artists in electroacoustic improvisation. The series has featured work with Max/MSP, PD, SuperCollider, cataRT, max for Live, tidal, and diy electonics.

Tranzac Club
292 Brunswick Ave
Toronto, ON

Lab Meeting:
​November 3rd @ 5:00pm
Drop in and say hi / members bring projects for show and tell

October 31st @ 7:00pm

DisPerSion takes AES by storm!

Telematic Concert linking DisPerSion, NYU, Stanford and Argentina
with main audience at NYU’s  Frederick Loewe Theater

Performing in the lab will be lab members Ian Jarvis and Doug Van Nort on electronics, along with Maneli Jamal on guitar.

The event is co-produced by lab member Michael Palumbo.

Part of the 139th convention of the Audio Engineering Society_

October 30th
Readings days, no play session

Lab Meeting:
​October 28 @ 5:00pm
Drop in and say hi / members bring projects for show and tell

October 23rd @ 3:00pm
Presentation on DisPerSion Lab research and cultureMiss the presentation at the lab meeting last Tuesday?Come hear Doug Van Nort speak on”DisPerSion of/and Creativity”Propriomedia Colloquium Series
OCAD, Friday October 23rd, 3-5pm

Play Session:
​October 22nd 
This week, interested members are encouraged to take their improvisational spirit to Professor Casey Sokol’s famous Soirees in ACE 235 @ 8:00pm.DisPerSion members will bring electronic music improv to this event – please contact in order to coordinate and to take part.

Lab Meeting:
​Tuesday October 20th @ 5:00pm
The inaugural meeting was a great success – lab introduction, and even a project idea!​This week will be more informal, likely within an hour, and will focus on hearing about people’s interests relative to the lab theme.

October 15th @ 5:00pm
DisPerSion Lab Inaugural Play Session
Weekly play sessions in a variety of media, drawing heavily on improvisation and experimentation.A time to develop a practice, test ideas, etc.

Come by and play!

October 13th @ 5:00pm
DisPerSion Lab Inaugural Meeting  
​Come and find out who/what we are and how you might become involved, now or in the future!Lab Director Doug Van Nort will give a brief 15-30 minute overview of research interests and lab focus.Discussion and meet/greet will follow.(+ every following Tuesday at 5:00pm unless otherwise noted on website/door)

September 22nd @  2:30pm

Workshop by  Artist/Scholar in Residence, Dr. Cornelius Pöpel

“Using Audio Signal-Driven Sound Synthesis”
Following up on the conceptual ideas presented in the talk, this hands-on workshop invites participants to explore the integration of the vibratory potential of physical objects with the transformative potential of a well-composed algorithmic structures.

Seating is limited for the workshop. Please RSVP to secure a place.

September 17th @  2:30pm

Lecture by  Artist/Scholar in Residence, Dr. Cornelius Pöpel

“On openness, formalization and resulting questions in the design of computer-based musical instruments”

This talk gives a brief introduction to my research work in the design of computer-based musical instruments (CMI). The focus will lie on the questions what a CMI built for traditional instrumentalists (e.g. string players) should be open for and what constraints come with the process of formalization necessary to be done when developing CMIs. Based on my conclusions I will present an alternating approach to sound synthesis which I call Audio Signal-Driven Sound Synthesis  and I will talk about possibilities how basic aspects of the signal-driven approach can be mapped onto other systems/fields in music and what questions may evolve when doing this. I will then set the frame for a bigger NIME view.