News + Events

March/April 2020
Due to the rapidly-evolving situation regarding COVID-19, the following planned events are CANCELLED.
March  13: Kathy Kennedy: The Oral Soundscape, lecture/workshop/performance
March 20: Alan Licht in conversation: Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories
March 29: the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra and York Wind Ensemble perform Eric Whitacre’s Deep Field
April 3: the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra perform two sets featuring interactive conducting and 28 channel spatialization
April 8: Liveware (Century/Lawson) accordion and live coded visuals
April 14: Students of the graduate course Vertical Studio/Lab present a concert/installation of works utilizing interactive machine learning

February 19th, 2020
Workshop + Dispersion Relation (#7) Performance feat. Diemo Schwarz

Please join us for this two-part event featuring IRCAM’s Diemo Schwarz!


Workshop with Schwarz: 1-3pm

Dispersion Relation #7: 4-5:30pm
Doug Van Nort welcomes special guests Diemo Schwarz (CataRT) + Glen Hall (Saxophone + Catoracle)

About the event(s):

From 1-3pm we will be in Workshop mode, with Diemo leading us through the use of the amazing sonic software tools that Dispersion is using heavily these days, and which he has created (CataRT) or had a major hand in creating (MUBU).

Then at 4pm is #7 in the Dispersion Relation series, where Diemo shall perform with Doug Van Nort and invited guest Glen Hall, highly-accomplished TO improviser and Catoracle user.

About the guests:

Diemo Schwarz, born in Germany in 1969, is a researcher at IRCAM, and a musician and creative programmer.

His scientific research on sound analysis/synthesis and gestural control of interaction with music is the basis of his artistic work, and allows to bring advanced and fun musical interaction to expert musicians and the general public via installations like the dirty tangible interfaces (DIRTI) and augmented reality (Topophonie mobile).
In 2017 he was DAAD Edgar-Varèse guest professor for computer music at TU Berlin.

He performs on his own digital musical instrument based on his CataRT open source software, exploring different collections of sound with the help of gestural controllers that reconquer musical expressiveness and physicality for the digital instrument, bringing back the immediacy of embodied musical interaction to the rich sound worlds of digital sound processing and synthesis.
He interprets and performs improvised electronic music as member of the 30-piece ONCEIM improvisers orchestra, or with musicians such as Frédéric Blondy, Richard Scott, Gael Mevel, Pascal Marzan, Massimo Carrozzo, Nicolas Souchal, Fred Marty, Hans Leeuw.
He composes for dance and performance (Sylvie Fleury, Frank Leibovici), video (Benoit Gehanne and Marion Delage de Luget), and installation (Christian Delecluse, Cecile Babiole),

Born in Winnipeg, saxophonist/flutist/composer Glen Hall has earned an international reputation for his creative approach to jazz and improvised music. He has performed and recorded with luminaries like legendary arranger Gil Evans, avant-garde trombonist Roswell Rudd and Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo. In the words of The Globe and Mail: “aggressively contemporary…Hall has all the marks of an original mind.”


February 15th, 2020

(doors at 5, playing starts at 5:30)

Telematic II
 The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave
DisPerSion Lab, 334 Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, YorkU

(audience welcome at both locations!)

The second of a three-part series of network-based musical performances, this concert links disparate parts of Toronto, bridging two very distinct and complementary performing arts spaces. The concert welcomes some of the strongest and longest-standing voices in Toronto’s improvisation scene. The performance invites the distributed quartet, with two performers per location, to freely improvise and explore their sense of collective presence in this unique conjoined venue, listening across spaces and to the virtual “space between” for dialogue and connection.

Array Performers:
Glen Hall (bass clarinet)
Casey Sokol (piano/prepared piano)

Dispersion Performers:
Sarah Peebles (sho)
Doug Van Nort (greis/electronics)

Array Network+Video Engineering/Technical Direction:
Michael Palumbo

Array Audio Engineering/Networking:Kieran Maraj

Dispersion A/V Engineering/Networking and Virtual Acoustics Research:
Rory Hoy

Special thanks for Pre-Concert Audio/Video Support:
Kelley Mitchell
Danny Sheahan

Array Streaming/Telematic Co-Conspirators past/present/future:
Ricks Sacks
David Schotzko
Anne Bourne

Part of the Doug Van Nort’s SSHRC Partnership Engage Project “Connecting Communities Through Telematic Music”, with Partner Arraymusic. Audience at both sites will also have the opportunity to provide feedback and contribute to the larger research-creation endeavour!

..and for those keeping track, this is also Dispersion Relation #6!

January 24th, 2020
Dispersion Relation #5: Doug Van Nort with guest Michael Palumbo
Dispersion Relations
(or, dvnt and friends)

In this semi-regular series, every other Friday (+/- 1 week) in the Dispersion Lab, Doug Van Nort performs with curated and invited guests.

All are welcome to come and listen in this immersive sonic space. The lab door will remain open, and people are welcome to come in late or leave early during the show. (Please remove shoes before entering!)

The fifth event welcomes Dispersion Lab researcher Palumbo, who has been delving deep into experiments in modular synthesis, developing a new and evolving performance practice on his custom rig.

December 21st, 2019
Music to Play in the Dark #1 

An immersive, spatial audio-haptic concert in total darkness for the Winter Solstice!

This concert will feature existing pieces by invited composer Darren Copeland and Doug Van Nort that are re-imagined for the 28.2 audio and 56-channel haptic floor of the DisPerSion Lab. It will also include a new piece by lab member Rory Hoy created for this event.

Copeland’s piece will feature a small amount of light in order to see his performative gesture-based spatializations sound. Van Nort’s piece, originally composed in 2012, will be the first full use of the haptic floor that he has created over the past few years. Hoy’s piece will be a new construction created in the space leading up to the event.

December 6th, 2019
Dispersion Relation #4: Doug Van Nort with the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra
Dispersion Relations
(or, dvnt and friends)

In this semi-regular series, every other Friday (+/- 1 week) in the Dispersion Lab, Doug Van Nort performs with curated and invited guests.

All are welcome to come and listen in this immersive sonic space.

The fourth event welcomes a special performance with the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra. Two pieces will explore new modes of composing for attentional strategies that blend Soundpainting conducting, cross-performer live processing, interactive spatialization and lighting.

November 15th, 2019
Dispersion Relation #3: Doug Van Nort with guests Brian Abbott and Lauren Wilson

Dispersion Relations
(or, dvnt and friends)

In this semi-regular series, every other Friday (+/- 1 week) in the Dispersion Lab, Doug Van Nort performs with curated and invited guests.

All are welcome to come and listen in this immersive sonic space.

The third event welcomes a pair of Dispersion Lab members who traverse electroacoustic and contemporary classical practices with focused and careful attention to the boundaries of sound, space, noise and silence.

November 9, 2019
The Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave
3pm | $30 or PWYW
Telematic #1 linking Arraymusic (Toronto) with NowNet Arts Conference (Stony Brook, New York)

Connected digitally across borders, Doug Van Nort presents his SSHRC Partnership Engage project with Arraymusic and cellist Anne Bourne in the first of three telematic concert events. Connecting with NowNet Arts Ensemble in New York (Sarah Weaver dir.), invited musicians at two sites join to explore senses of collective presence via the shared acoustics of a virtual performance space.

Note from Doug Van Nort: “This piece, Innerspace, is a structured improvisation wherein different virtual acoustic conditions/reverberations will envelop the two-location ensemble sound throughout, with dynamic changes over the course of the piece. Text-based structures of rolling duos/trios/quartets/whole group with varying shapes and qualities (e.g. conditions of noise, tone, pointillism, sustained sound, pitch ranges.) will help focus our inquiry into playing together in this shared real/virtual musical space.”

Array Space Performers:
Anne Bourne (cello)
Rick Sacks (percussion)
David Schotzko (percussion)
Doug Van Nort (greis/electronics)

Stony Brook Performers:
Ethan Cayko (percussion and electronics)
Taylor Long (percussion)
Kevin Kay (bass clarinet)

November 8th, 2019
Dispersion Relation #2: Doug Van Nort with guests Rory Hoy, Kieran Maraj, Danny Sheahan

Dispersion Relations
(or, dvnt and friends)

In this semi-regular series, every other Friday (+/- 1 week) in the Dispersion Lab, Doug Van Nort performs with curated and invited guests.

All are welcome to come and listen in this immersive sonic space.

The second event welcomes a trio of Dispersion Lab members who are pushing the envelopes of their improvised electroacoustic practice, taking this in new and interesting directions both in EAO and in their solo/ensemble projects.

October 25th, 2019
Dispersion Relation #1: Doug Van Nort with guest Anne Bourne

Dispersion Relations
(or, dvnt and friends)

In this semi-regular series, every other Friday (+/- 1 week) in the Dispersion Lab, Doug Van Nort performs with curated and invited guests.

All are welcome to come and listen in this immersive sonic space.

The first event features an electronics and cello duo with longtime friend and collaborator, Anne Bourne.

May 18th, 2019
Mycelia, Mi.Mu and the Future of Music: a keynote by Imogen Heap
Please join us for a keynote talk, followed by Q&A conversation, with internationally-acclaimed musician Imogen Heap. The talk will include Heap’s thoughts on the future of music, ranging from her new blockchain-based project Mycelia for artist/music rights to her Mi.Mu interactive glove-instrument.

Attendees are also strongly encouraged to attend a Creative Passport workshop hosted by Imogen and the Mycelia group from 2:00-4:30pm in the same room, focused on their new blockchain-based approach to digital rights management for artists. Snacks and coffee will be provided between the keynote and workshop. Please sign up for the workshop here:

Time/Date: May 18th
Keynote: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Workshop: 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Transmedia Lab, 103 Accolade West Building, York University

Presented by the DisPerSion Lab, Mycelia4Music and Patrick Twaddle

Special Thanks to the Departments of Music and Computational Arts

About the speaker: 

London based recording artist Imogen Heap blurs the boundaries between pure art form and creative entrepreneurship. Writing and producing 4 solo albums, one as Frou Frou (with Guy Sigsworth), and collaborating with Jeff Beck, Mika and Josh Groban amongst others, Heap has penned tracks for movies, TV shows and produced the score for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, winning the ‘Outstanding Music in a Play’ Drama Desk Award.

Counting 5 Grammy nominations, winning one for engineering and another for her contribution to Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’, Heap also received an Ivor Novello Award, The Artist and Manager Pioneer award, the MPG Inspiration Award and an honorary Doctorate of Technology for her MI.MU gloves work: a ground-breaking gestural music making system.

In 2014 she envisioned a flourishing music industry ecosystem through Mycelia and released ‘Tiny Human’, the first song to use smart contracts on a blockchain.

Creating an artist-led, fair and sustainable decentralized ecosystem, Mycelia’s ‘The Creative Passport’ provides an ID for music makers to connect digitally with the music industry.With three world tours, sold out Royal Albert Hall and Greek Theatre shows and thousands of 5* reviews, last September Heap embarked on a year-long music and technology world tour.

May 8-10, 2019
An Exhibition by MFA Designer and lab supervisee Sharon Reshef
VESSELS is an experimental meditation on the power of sound. Captured in five sculptural objects, binaural recordings, and documentary photography; resonance is enshrined in a gallery exhibition. Activating the ear as a portal, visitors are transported through sonic memories held sacred to the artist, the vessels, and the landscapes they originate from.
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April 18th, 2019

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (dir. Doug Van Nort)

Toronto Media Arts Center

Opening performance for the exhibition of curated YorkU Digital Media student projects

April 8th, 2019

DisPerSion Lab Open House/Vertical Studio-Lab Demos

Come to hear about and experience recent and in-progress lab projects

including the lab in it’s sound-responsive “listening room” state, our interactive lights, wearable haptics and the audio-haptic floor.

April 5th 2019

Doug Van Nort: “Soundpainting: More than Meets the Ear”

a presentation of the piece Intersubjective Soundings vol. 3, for the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra

featured performance of the of CBC-produced CRAM event

Vari Hall Rotunda, York University

January 27th, 2019

Doug Van Nort and the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra, with the Nilan Perrera Quartet

Synaptic Circus Series, Tranzac Club, Toronto

January-February 2019

Calling all sound/code artist-hackers!
This is a call for sound artists, digital musicians and composers to participate in a distributed, pro-hacking and open-source electronic music composition and instrument design experiment under development and direction by Michael Palumbo and Dr. Doug Van Nort of the Distributed Performance and Sensorial Immersion (DisPerSion) Lab. This research-creation project will comprise brief phases of programming and hacking of software-based digital musical instruments, composing etudes, and engaging in short group improvisations. Improv sessions will be held in January and February 2019, culminating in at least one public performance (participation in the public portion is optional).
Please use the contact form in order to express interest in taking part.