In 2006 Pauline Oliveros and Alex Chechile began collaborating on a neurobiofeedback system that Alex constructed as a graduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Although the system was primarily designed for realtime interactions, Alex and Pauline conducted several sessions recording their brainwave activity while listening, meditating, and performing music. In her early electronic music, Pauline would use signal generators tuned to frequencies above and below the human hearing range. The otherwise inaudible frequencies would produce perceivable tones when combined and amplified. Examples of work utilizing this technique include "Bye Bye Butterfly" (1965) and "I of IV" (1966). "Rides Again" (2017) revisits collaborations with Pauline and connects to the techniques Oliveros developed for her early electronic work. The recordings of both Pauline’s and Alex’s brainwaves are combined, amplified, and scaled to fill frequency regions above and below the threshold of hearing. Specific bands of brainwave activity are parsed and mixed independently to generate the sonic material of the piece. "Rides Again" is performed by Vodstrup who, along with Alex Chechile, was a student of Pauline at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Together they were founding members of Pauline’s improvisational troupe Tintinnabulate. For this performance vodstrup has designed a visual system that listens to Chechile’s music while also incorporating visuals used in performances with Pauline during 2006-08.
Alex Chechile is an artist and composer whose work develops in parallel with research in neuroscience, psychoacoustics, and the biomechanics of hearing. His electroacoustic compositions and installations bring transparency to otherwise invisible processes in biology and technology. His projects have been supported by The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Harvestworks (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), the Experimental Television Center (NY), the Deep Listening Institute (NY), and the American Embassy, and his work has been presented worldwide at venues including MoMA (NYC), IRCAM (Paris), and ICMC (Utrecht). Alex was a founding member of Pauline Oliveros' Tintinnabulate ensemble, collaborated with Mercury Rev, and opened for Primus. Chechile is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, holds an MFA in Electronic Art from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA in Music from Tufts University.
Performer Biographical Sketch
Bart Woodstrup (aka vodstrup) is an artist working in time-based, electronic media with particular emphasis in the integration of sound and visuals. He regularly performs under the moniker “vodstrup” and was a founding member of Pauline Oliveros’ telepresence ensemble Tintinnabulate. Beyond exploring synesthetic relationships, he works to parse issues of technology at the boundary between humanity and nature, with scrutiny for environmental concerns. This is exemplified by installation work, environmental data visualizations, and work that incorporates alternative energy as a power source. His work is routinely performed or exhibited at many recognized museums, film festivals, and conferences. When he is not teaching in the Time Arts department of Northern Illinois University, he can be found hacking solar powered LED lawn lamps, inventing ways to carbon-¬neutrally power his plethora of electronic gadgets, or taking long walks with his pet, Rutt Etra.