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assistant - Fri, Nov 11, 2011, 12:46 P
Smith College: Festival of Sound & Space presents sum and difference: Sam Pluta (laptop) + Jim Altieri (violin)
Publicity Manager: Nancy Lautenbach
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When: December 1, 2011, 9:00 pm Where: Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Smith College, Northampton, MA. Tickets: Free and open to the public.

The Smith College Festival of Sound and Space focuses on improvisation through the fusion of live electronics and violin to create a new and unique “sonic stew” in the work of Sam Pluta and Jim Altieri’s “sum and difference”.

Northampton, MA. The Smith College Festival of Sound and Space presents an evening of improvised music with Sam Pluta and Jim Altieri. "Sum and Difference" fuses live electronics and violin into an hour-long performance featuring microtonal drones, noise, custom electronic interfaces, and more.

Sam Pluta and Jim Altieri have been improvising together in various formations for the past six years. As founding members of the improv quintet GBL, Pluta and Altieri merged microtonal violin drones with electronic noise to create a new and unique sonic stew. In 2011 they combined with trumpeter Peter Evans to create the album sum and difference, released on Carrier Records.

Sam Pluta is a New York City-based composer and improviser working in the fields of acoustic and electronic music. He is Technical Director for the Wet Ink Ensemble, a new music group dedicated to the performance of new works by young composers as well as the best works of the American and European avant-garde. He has been commissioned and premiered by Wet Ink Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, ICE, Timetable Percussion, RIOT Trio, So Percussion, Dave Eggar, and Prism Saxophone Quartet and has performed internationally as a laptop soloist and chamber musician. As a founding member of the improvising quartet GBL and performing with groups like the Peter Evans Quintet, he has focused in recent years on fusing the worlds of acoustic and electronic instruments through improvisation. A devoted pedagogue, aside from his teaching duties as faculty fellow at Columbia University, he holds the John Plude Faculty Chair in Computer Musicianship at the Walden School. His music is released on quiet design and Carrier Records, a label he runs with Jeff Snyder and David Franzson.

Jim Altieri loves listening. Through his music and software, he tries to share this love with other listeners. Based in New York City, Jim is an active composer, violinist, and accordionist. His own music often uses the harmonies and rhythms of the harmonic series and explores the relationship between attention and awareness. He is a founding member of GBL and plays violin and accordion in the folk-rock band Tatters and Rags.

The Smith College Festival of Sound & Space: four shows featuring artists who explore space and sound through their innovative performances. The concerts will all take place in Helen Hills Hills Chapel on the campus of Smith College.

The 2011–12 series has a special focus on improvisation, the practice of which — particularly when presented within a space designed for liturgy and ritual — speaks directly to our notions of space in a figurative sense through our perception of emotional space, metaphorical space, and musical/dramatic structure. The process of creating music in real time creates an experience of exploration that is shared by the performers and the audience, with the physical space acting as an additional collaborator.

The artists on this series approach concepts of space and collaboration in a variety of ways, with two shows dedicated entirely to improvisatory practices (sum and difference & Curiosity is Gravity), and with aspects of the other two shows ( (( ( PHONATION ) )) and Greg Brown) incorporating improvistory practices as well.

Greg Brown of the Smith College Music Dept. serves as founding artistic director and organizer. This festival is produced in collaboration with the Smith College Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Jennifer Walters, Dean.
For more information on the Smith College Festival of Sound and Space got to: or like on Facebook.
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Sep 25, 2023