April 16, 2019! 7:30PM EST! Your Jesse Stiles is thrilled to be performing in Night of 100 Solos, the largest Merce Cunningham “Event” ever staged, taking place in New York, Los Angeles and London on April 16, 2019. I’ll be in the Brooklyn Academy of Music orchestra pit with the incredible David Behrman, Gelsey Bell, John King, & Matana Roberts! Am honored to be celebrating the Merce Cunningham Centennial with such an amazing group of artists, dancers, and musicians. Tickets are sold the F out but you can watch the live streams at:
Your Jesse Stiles is very pleased to be joining the amazing line-up at the sixth iteration of DRONE NOT DRONES, a 28-hour concert of experimental music to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. Other performers include Laraaji, Carl Hultgren (Windy & Carl), Alan Sparhawk (Low), Gaelynn Lea Music, & Mary Lattimore. The event will be live-streamed at dronenotdrones.com.
A few weeks I co-produced/co-directed the second iteration of a mind-bindingly gigantic art/music experience titled Subsurface, Site-Specific Sight & Sound. Subsurface takes place in a 100-year old disused limestone mine that is twice the size of the largest building on Earth. The sprawling underground caverns and roadways that comprise the facility add up to 20 goddamn million square feet. If you’re having trouble visualizing that, it’s equivalent 347.2 football fields.
The music of Subsurface is performed by CMU’s Experimental Music Ensemble, Exploded Ensemble, which I co-direct with esteemed colleagues Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh and Lance LaDuke. Installations and performance pieces were created by CMU artists under the direction of Scott Andrew and Rich Pell.
There is a trove of insane images for our events in the Subsurface gallery, plus many slack-jawed reviews to enjoy in the Exploded Ensemble press area. Some feature videos/recordings of your very own Jesse Stiles attempting to explain this colossal undertaking.
See you at this next year maybe?
Here’s some work I made a couple years ago and am only now getting around to sharing with you, my beloved internet. Five deconstructions of Paul Hindemith's Theme and Variations, “die Vier Temperamente” (the Four Temperaments). Commissioned by Martha Friedman for her "Pore" performance featuring Silas Riener at Locus Projects, Miami.
Endless beginningless pieces for getting unstuck in time.
I was so thrilled to compose and perform the music for Dylan Crossman's debut evening-length dance at Abrons Arts Center just a few weeks ago. We had three nights of sold-out shows in their historic playhouse theater, and it was a great honor to be joined by such a fantastic group of dancers and designers. You can read about a thoughtful review of the piece on the great Gus Solomons' dance criticism site.
Photo by John Suhar.
Earlier this year I was thrilled to compose and perform the score for Stacy Matthew Spence's new dance work This Home is Us (in collaboration with the very talented Rourke Menzies). We premiered the piece at Danspace Project in NYC May 19 through 21. Stacy had me on-stage, with the dancers, doing 45 minutes of sound-making choreography and as such I now claim May 19, 2017 as my debut as a PROFESSIONAL DANCER #ACHIEVEMENTUNLOCKED.
Performing an electronic score while moving across a giant stage presented some interesting theoretical and practical challenges and so I teamed up with the brilliant Ali Momeni to design a fleet of mobile sound instruments. You can read a little about these wonderful devices in the review by the New York Times, and Ali and I are working on a paper that will explain the technical and theoretical underpinnings.
4/15/17 - 5/13/17. Paris, France.
From April 15 to May 12, 2017 the Paris Opera will be performing Merce Cunningham's 1972 dance Walkaround Time with an electronic score by David Behrman and decor by Jasper Johns. I'm thrilled to be joining David Behrman to perform the music live for the premiere.
In the original version of the score David used hand-built electronics to manipulate tape recorders and distributed sound through speaker arrays. David and I are creating a revived version of the original score employing gestural controllers and fancy spatial audio techniques.
10/14/15 - 10/28/15. NYC. Silas Riener will perform his evening-length solo dance work "Blue Name" featuring a reactive score by your Jesse Stiles. I'm so excited for this! Silas is an incredible thinker and mover and it's been joy working with him. We developed the score over the summer whilst Artists in residence at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. The score makes use of Kinect depth sensors to interpret Silas' movement and interpolates between various sound states using machine learning algorithms. That sounds pretty nerdy so please let your Jesse Stiles assure you it sounds awesome. There's also a section of the dance where Silas plays a bunch of old 78's I found in a junk shop, and the records skip in all kinds of amusing and beautiful ways, an account of strings and Silas jumping around on the floor. So it's a combination of maximally high and low tech. You can watch me and Silas talk about it here. More info on the performances here. NYTimes write-up here. Tickets here. I'll be there on 10/14 and 10/16, see you there maybe?
3/19/15. My army of robotic toy pianos will be on display in the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University through June.
8/1/14. Your Jesse Stiles is very pleased to be joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, where he now serves as Assistant Teaching Professor of Sound Media. Since joining the faculty I have constructed a large, windowless space, with many loudspeakers and blinking lights, and have established a new group of courses on emerging music technologies.
7/1/14. The 2014 Whitney Biennial will feature Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Room, a sound installation powered by her Expanded Instrument System (EIS). EIS has been in continuous development since 1965 - the current version exists as software created in the Max programming environment. I have been part of the programming team working on EIS since 2005 or so, and am thrilled to see this innovative sound processing system featured at the Whitney.