Creative Work with Tuning with Tashi Wada

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Workshop dates: 21/09/2022 - 26/09/2022

CAMP is a residential arts facility in the French Pyrenees. It's a place where great art is made, new movements are formed, new ideas are explored and groundbreaking people are nurtured. CAMP is located in Aulus les Bains, the last village before the France/Spain Pyrenean frontier chain. The location is spectacular - we are nestled at 750m above sea level, surrounded by snowcapped peaks over 3000m high, ancient forests and cascading waterfalls. There are eagles, lammergeiers, vultures, ibex and bears. Walk out of the residency, and within ten minutes you are completely alone in one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in Europe. Aulus les Bains is also a spa village - there are hot water springs, and a thermal spa in the village to take advantage of the healing and relaxing properties of the water.

The use of alternative tunings in music offers rich, often overlooked, worlds of harmony and ways into sound. Venturing beyond twelve-tone equal temperament allows us to explore new sounds and rehear familiar ones. In this workshop, we will survey a range of alternative tunings found in the work of composers of the last century, as well as historical tuning systems from cultures throughout the world, with attention given to how these systems have developed in relation to the musics they inform. Attendees will be encouraged to find and develop personal approaches to tuning to jumpstart new processes and work, to integrate into already existing practices, and simply to broaden their ears and awareness. Working in the classroom, in CAMP's various facilities, and outside in the mountain landscape, we will listen to, read, and discuss a selection of relevant source materials while focusing on the development of individual and group projects to explore and share ideas.

Subjects will include: just intonation (La Monte Young, James Tenney, among others); historical tunings and temperaments (Pythagorean tuning; meantone, well, and equal temperaments); non-Western tuning systems; phenomena-based approaches (Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Éliane Radigue, Giacinto Scelsi, Iannis Xenakis, among others); instruments (acoustic and electronic) and instrument and scale building (Harry Partch, Erv Wilson); and contemporary work with guest speakers from across the field. No prior knowledge of the subject is necessary; however, the ability to read music and a basic understanding of functional harmony is helpful. 

Tashi Wada is a composer and performer based in Los Angeles. Wada studied composition at CalArts with James Tenney and for many years performed alongside his father, Yoshi Wada. He has presented his music internationally and collaborated with a range of artists including Charles Curtis, Simone Forti, and Julia Holter. Wada founded and runs the label Saltern. His most recent album Nue was released by RVNG Intl.

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