ICA New Music Weekend 2021: Improvising and Composing Together in Real Time, Yet Apart

Improvising and Composing Together in Real Time, Yet Apart

Andrea Vos-Rochefort


Andrea Vos-Rochefort is honored to have collaborated with Mara Helmuth, an American composer whose work has been pivotal in the development of electroacoustic music, creating multimedia and software for composition and improvisation, and composing for various configurations. Waterbirds was their first collaboration and it was almost disconcerting to be granted the artistic freedom to write notes as a performer and to unmoor from the written page but very freeing and satisfying to drift towards prompts and slightly-rehearsed improvisation.

The original version of Waterbirds involved various stations on stage that interacted with the performer but the latest version incorporates movement into the various melodic fragments and allows for an easier setup that can facilitate more performance spaces. Furthermore, a recorded accompaniment allowed for us to be together while apart and to share the piece with an even wider audience.

The second collaboration, Cold Brew, involved alto flute, bass clarinet, and electronics and was put together while mostly apart until we all came together for the International Clarinet Association premiere at Clarinetfest 2019 and the subsequent recording sessions. The limited rehearsals did not take away from the performance but instead added to the freshness of the interactive parts.

The next and upcoming project involves adding flute to the Waterbirds composition to diversify the sound palette. Given the obstacles posed by COVID-19, the questions posed by this performer/composer collaboration are as follows:

  • Can interactive electroacoustic performance find meaning in separately recorded building blocks?
  • How important is same-ness in written music and how important is different-ness in improvised music?
  • How can we make electroacoustic music more accessible?
  • What do you need to get started in electroacoustic music?
  • How do we engage audiences in interactive electroacoustic music?

When: 10/16/2021 | 2:00 pm

Featuring: Andrea Vos-Rochefort, clarinet

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