Dispersionology (2023)

A piece combining text/graphic scores and gesture language, for large-scale ensemble in the telematic medium, created to mark my 20 year anniversary of telematic musicking.

The Original Program Notes:
In the world of physics, dispersion describes a phenomenon in which the rate of propagation of a wave in a medium, its phase velocity, is dependent on its frequency. This can be seen in light, sound, gravity waves, etc. Its a property of telecommunications signals, including the pulses of light in optical fibre cables, describing how the signal broadens and spreads out as it moves across the channel. Dispersion therefore is inherent in the medium that more-and-more binds us these days, in the movements of light pulses that transports our attention, and our listening, around the globe. A beautiful consequence of dispersion is a change in the angle of refraction of different frequencies, leading to a prismatic opening up of a full colour spectrum from incoming light. This ability to broaden out as signals propagate through the network reflects a much wider expansion of distributed listening and sounding that is made possible in the context of telematic musicking. It occurred to me recently that, as of early 2023 I’ve engaged this medium now for 20 years, with an ear towards exploring the myriad ways that the shared real/virtual and nowhere/everywhere site of performance can act as both a point of convergence towards a singular locus of performative attention — yet also a dispersive prism, reflecting individual voices and the preservation of creative agencies of every performer.

I call this current exploration of this phenomenom, at this current milestone moment, “Dispersionology”…. I’ve invited a wide array of past telematic collaborators (spanning this entire 20 years) to explore this and other related tales with me on May 10th. I hope you can join us!

-Doug Van Nort

The concert took place on May 10th as Dispersionology and Other Tales with the following program:

Tuning Meditation
: Pauline Oliveros
Performers: All Sites

: Doug Van Nort
Performers: All Sites

Other Tales: Algorithmic-chance-structured improvisation
: Doug Van Nort
Performers: All Sites

The immersive multi-channel performance – placing the performers at distinct points in the Dispersion Lab space – was recorded with a Zylia 6DOF ambisonic microphone array and is being prepared for future release as a virtual/immersive realization of the piece.


Composition and Direction:
Doug Van Nort

Performers – Dispersed/Various Locations:

Chris Anderson-Lundy, Saxophone, Toronto, ON
Tom Bickley, EWI + Max processing, Berkeley, CA
Anne Bourne, cello, Toronto, ON
Cássia Carrascoza Bomfim, flute, Brazil
Chris Chafe, celletto, CCRMA/Palo Alto, CA
Viv Corringham, voice, electronics, New York, NY
Bjorn Eriksson, analog electronics (feedback boxes), Solleftjea, Sweden
Colin James Gibson, guitar, Toronto, ON
Bill Gilliam, piano + electronics, Toronto, ON
Scot Gresham-Lancaster, electronics, Maine
Theodore Haber, violin, Montreal, QC
Glen Hall, Soprano saxophone, contrabass clarinet, Brampton, ON
Holland Hopson, banjo, Tuscaloosa, AL
Rory Hoy, bass + electronics, Brampton, ON
Kai Kubota-Enright, piano (+/- preparation), electronics, Montreal, QC
Al Margolis, violin/contact mic(s)/objects, Chester, NY
Scott L. Miller, Kyma, Minneapolis, MN
Emma Pope, piano, Montreal, QC
Ambrose Pottie, percussion and electronics, Castleton, ON
Dana Reason, piano/inside piano, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Omar Shabbar, guitar + electronics, Toronto, ON
Kathy Kennedy, voice + electronics, Montreal, QC
Doug Van Nort, soundpainting, greis/electronics, voice, Toronto, ON
Zovi, Theremin, Albany, NY

Performers – Performance Nodes:

Chicago (School of the Art Institute of Chicago):

Eric Leonardson, springboard + electronics
Garrett Johnson, electronics
Gordon Fung, electronics

Oslo (Universitetet i Oslo):

Krisin Norderval, voice
Fabian Stordalen, Bass guitar, Guitar, No-input mixing
Kristian Eicke, Guitar (percussive) on lap
Nino Jakeli, Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard
Aysima Baba, Accordion
Alexander Wastnidge, Guitars, Live Electronics
Emin Memis, Ney Flute, Drums

Also Broadcasting from Chicago on Free Radio SAIC
In-person audience at Universitetet i Oslo (IMV Salen)