Music for the Augmented Pipe Organ

George Rahi’s MFA Graduating Concert
November 23, 2018 | Doors 7pm | Show 8pm
Pacific Spirit United Church 
2195 West 45 Ave. Vancouver, BC (MAP)


Join us for a special presentation of music for the augmented pipe organ.

Using custom software to bring the organ’s pipes and stops under computer-control, composer and sound artist George Rahi presents a series of experimental works stemming from a long-term research project into the confluences between the vibrant materiality of the pipe organ, acoustic and digital synthesis, and post-digital new music practices. Following a year of collaborative development with interface designer Johnty Wang to augment a 74-rank Casavant organ with custom digital controls, the evening explores new sonic terrains that emerged through this unconventional approach to an immense acoustic instrument known for its many ethereal qualities. Site-specific elements such as the church’s architecture and interior acoustics are further incorporated into the work through the use of a controlled feedback system and projection mapping, considering the resonant relationships between the instrument and its surrounding space as a generative element interwoven into the compositions.

George Rahi is a composer, performer, and installation artist exploring new hybrids between the acoustic, electronic, mechanical, and sculptural realms. His work commonly draws from a diverse array of interests including electro-acoustics, organology, automatons, and the soundscape. He has produced performances, installations, and works for radio & theatre, notably for the Canadian Music Centre, Western Front, SPEKTRUM (Berlin), Vancouver New Music, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Vancouver Co-op Radio’s Media Arts Program. He is the recipient of the 2018 R. Murray Schafer Soundscape award for his work in sound installation and research awards from the Glenfraser Endowment for Acoustic Communication, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the British Columbia Arts Council. Currently he is an MFA candidate at Simon Fraser’s School for the Contemporary Arts.

Technical Support: Johnty Wang is a PhD Candidate in the Music Technology program at McGill University, supervised by Marcelo Wanderley. His research focuses on mapping tools for new digital musical instruments, and he develops hardware and software interfaces and applications for the design and construction of new instruments. His work on the augmented pipe organ is supported by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) at McGill.

Projection Mapping: Hfour is a Vancouver-based studio at the intersection of Art, Technology, & Experience. From interactive artworks to unique multi-media activations, their collaborative art investigates the concepts of time, the ephemerality of life, the interconnectedness of all things, and technology’s influence on humanity. Hfour has exhibited work throughout Canada and in Tokyo, Shanghai, New York, and Los Angeles.

This project takes place on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

This performance is co-presented by the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, and is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts.

November 23, 2018