This performance marks the first collaboration between Laetitia Sonami and James Fei. While the materials and techniques used by the two musicians are distinctly different, both employ tactile interface coupled with electronic systems that exhibit complex behavioral response. Sonami will introduce her new spring-based instrument (un-named and still in progress). She constructed this new "instrument" around a web of springs whose vibrations are analyzed by neural networks (Rebecca Fiebrink's Wekinator). The results so far are particularly erratic…. Fei's setup consists of a mix of vintage and self-constructed analog modules. The instrument is driven by multiple feedback loops, often on the brink of instability. Signals are recursively routed through microphones, spring reverb, and between audio and control voltages. Circuit elements are also modified by touch, integrating the non-linearities and the immediacy of the body with the electronic processes.
James Fei (b. Taipei, Taiwan) moved to the US in 1992 to study electrical engineering. He has since been active as a composer and performer on saxophones and live electronics. Works by Fei have been performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, MATA Micro Orchestra and Noord-Hollands Philharmonisch Orkest. Recordings can be found on Leo Records, Improvised Music from Japan, CRI, Krabbesholm and Organized Sound. Compositions for Fei's own ensemble of four alto saxophones focus on physical processes of saliva, fatigue, reeds crippled by cuts and the threshold of audible sound production, while his sound installations and performance on live electronics often focus on electronic and acoustic feedback. Since 2006 Fei has taught at Mills College in Oakland, where he is Assistant Professor of Electronic Arts.
Laetitia Sonami is a sound artist and performer. Her sound performances, live-film collaborations and sound installations focus on issues of presence and participation. She has devised new gestural controllers (the lady’s glove) for performance and applies new technologies and appropriated media to achieve an expression of immediacy through sound, place and objects. Recent projects include Sound Gates (2011) a public sound installation on a 2.5 km pier in Rijeka, Croatia and Sheepwoman (2010-11), a live film in collaboration with SUE-C, based on a Murakami novel.Sonami performs worldwide and has received numerous awards among which the Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Awards. She currently teaches at the San Francisco Art Institute and Bard College.