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Stony Brook students awarded USArtists International Grant |

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Modular and technology-focused experimental music group Deciphering the ensemble it wasawarded a USArtists International grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation to perform at the New Strings Music Festival in Denmark in August 2021.New string music is co-founded and directed by Anne Sophie Anderson, a Department of Music alum.

Decipher the Ensemble after performing at the NowNet Arts Conference on November 4, 2020.
Decipher the Ensemble after performing at the NowNet Arts Conference on November 4, 2020.

Current members of the Decipher Ensemble include students from the College of Arts and Sciences of the Department of Music Joseph Bohigian PhD 20, Robert Cosgrove DMA 20, Taylor Long DMA 22, Eric Lemmon PhD 21, Chelsea Loew PhD 21 and Niloufar Nourbakhsh PhD 21.

Since its founding in 2017, Ensemble Decipher has evolved into a flexible, adventurous ensemble dedicated to advancing the work of composers and sound artists experimenting with vivid, contemporary and evolving technologies. Through the grant, Ensemble Decipher will commission a new work by composer / violinist Mari Kimura that will premiere at the New Music Festival for Strings along with works from the ensemble repertoire.

This is a project we have been working on together for several months in order to expand our technology-focused repertoire beyond our home in the New York area, Bohigian said. We were extremely grateful to the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for giving us the opportunity to see our project and look forward to bringing our recently commissioned music to new audiences in Denmark.

This commitment is supported by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ensemble Decipher members share the desire to introduce their community to a sound enhancement of musical performance through their unconventional instrument, an assembly of laptops, speakers, and human performers. The Decipher Ensemble was started in 2017 by current PhD candidate for Stony Brook Niloufar Nourbakhsh, but progressively grew beyond the middle into a modular experimental ensemble, focused on technology using everything from laptops to accelerators attached to rocks, trained boxes through machine learning to respond to touch acoustic instruments, and everything in between. The ensemble seeks to spread the notion that new music requires performer virtuosity by embracing the technological advances of our time to create complex and unique sound worlds that redefine the capabilities of new music while also reflecting on the power structures that bind them.

Ensemble Decipher has worked with prominent US-based composers and technologists, including Associate Professor of Music Margaret Schedel, Mara Helmuth, Hannah Davis and Lainie Fefferman, and has premiered works by many others. Recent performances include concerts at the Electro-Acoustic Music Society, the International Computer Music Conference, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Network Music Festival, and an ensemble residence at EarFest. In December 2020, the group was awarded a SUNY PACC Award for Performing Arts, Creation and Curation.

Look for a pronounced wrapof recent performances by Ensemble Decipher, including works in:toy_3by Eric Lemmon,Excessive rewardby Lainie Fefferman,HOLDING_SPACEby Yaz Lancaster andStone Dreamsby Joseph Bohigian.

USArtists International supports performances by American artists at internationally influential festivals and performing arts markets outside the United States and its territories. The program supports the engagements of exemplary solo artists and ensembles in all disciplines of performing arts including dance, music, theater, multidisciplinary work and folk / traditional arts.

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