Montana State University

MSU to feature collaborative computer music and film projects during August symposium

August 5, 2015 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

More than 50 pioneers in electronic and computer music will visit Montana State University in early August to showcase summer collaborations with local filmmakers as part of the 2015 Kyma International Sound Symposium, or KISS, conference. The collaborative project, called “Arranged Marriages,” will feature nine separate pieces, each featuring the work of a Montana-based filmmaker paired with a composer of similar sensibilities and interests.

Using Kyma, a computer sound design language, to create their compositions, the musicians may play traditional instruments, sing, speak or even use random sounds, which are then run through the system and electronically processed. Kyma uses specific hardware and software to process the live sounds, which can then be altered in different ways as the sound happens. The instant processing makes it particularly suited to this type of project, where the pre-recorded visual images and the sounds are both “performed” live, creating a unique and different piece each time it is performed.

“Arranged Marriages” is part of a four-day symposium, “KISS2015: Picturing Sound.” Live performances open to the public will be held in the Black Box Theatre on the MSU campus Aug. 9-12. Performances are free and start at 5 p.m.

MSU’s Theo Lipfert, an associate professor in the School of Film and Photography in the College of Arts and Architecture, acted as official matchmaker for the “Arranged Marriages” project. Lipfert said he was very excited to pair up some of the best local filmmakers with some of the most well-known and respected Kyma-based composers in the world to create what is, essentially, a new form of visual-sound art.

Unlike traditional composer/filmmaker collaborations, where one partner is asked to create a kind of accompaniment for an existing film or musical composition, these collaborations start from scratch, building on a general idea, theme, sound or image. Lipfert said the result is an entirely unique piece of performance art, which will likely change each time it is performed.

For more information contact Lipfert at

To register for the full conference and for information on the symposium go to:

Contact: Theo Lipfert, (406) 994-7588 or