2018-19 MIT Sounding

Spider’s Canvas / Arachnodrone

September 23, 2020 / 7:30pm
Starlight Square
Presented by Catalyst Collaborative@MIT

Free and open to the public
Register in advance

After the performance stay for a conversation with Markus J. Buehler, McAfee Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering.



June 5, 2019 / 5:30pm and 6:45pm
Reception with the artists between the two performances.
MIT.nano, MIT Building 12-3207
The Immersion Lab
60 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Free and open to the public, no registration necessary

February 16, 2019 / 9:00pm
February 17, 2019 / 3:00pm
February 18, 2019 / 7:00pm
MIT Building W97
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

February 26-June 2019
Live Demonstration: April 16, 2019 / 11:00am – 3:00pm
Live Demonstration: June 5, 2019 / 5:00pm-7:30pm
MIT.nano, MIT Building 12-3207
The Immersion Lab
60 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

The live concert of Spider’s Canvas / Arachnodrone is a co-creation of composer and MIT CAST Faculty Director Evan Ziporyn, composer/visual artist Christine Southworth ’02, sound artist Ian Hattwick, spider researcher Isabelle Su, in collaboration with artist Tomás Saraceno, whose originating idea provides the basis of the concert, and MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department Head and McAfee Professor Markus Buehler.

The concert premiered in November 2018 as part of Saraceno’s acclaimed carte blanche exhibition ON AIR at Palais de Tokyo in Paris curated by Rebecca Lamarche Vadel, with the programme supported by Festival d’Automne, Paris.

This project emerged from myriad interactions between different disciplines, in an effort to work together—and extend the boundaries of disciplinary knowledge and practices—toward new understandings of emergent human and non-human entanglements. The technical development of this musical instrument was inspired and made possible by the Spider Web Scan—a novel scientific apparatus and technique for generating precise 3D scans and digital models of complex spider webs—first created by Saraceno in 2009/2010 in collaboration with the TU Darmstadt, and more recently refined in Saraceno’s ongoing collaboration with the MIT Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (led by Markus Buehler). Based closely on a tent-web made by a semi-social South American Cyrtophora citricola spider, the work is not simply interdisciplinary, but quite literally an interspecies collaboration.

Spider’s Canvas is a co-production of MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, MIT Music & Theater Arts, MIT Civil & Environmental Engineering.

To see excerpts of the Paris performances, please visit arachnodrone.com.

MIT News:
Spider web music: An inspiring harmony of art and science

The Washington Post:
‘Spider’s Canvas/Arachnodrone’: A web of otherworldly music

CAST Blog:
A Three-Dimensional Spider Web Soundscape Comes to Life

WGBH Radio Interview:
Spiders Are the Partners in this ‘Inter-Species Collaboration’

Photos of Spider’s Canvas / Arachnodrone on flickr

Image: Spider’s Canvas performance during Tomas Saraceno’s exhibition ON AIR at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France on November 23, 2018. Photo courtesy of Aurelie Cenno/Palais de Tokyo.

Jacob Collier at MIT

Special Orchestral Concert Celebrating the release of Collier’s “Djesse Vol. 1” and his return to MIT

December 8, 2018 / 7:00pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, Building W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

2018-19 Rick and Terry Stone Concert 

Celebrating the December 7th worldwide release of  “Djesse Vol.1”—the follow-up recording to the 2017 double Grammy-winning “In My Room”—Jacob Collier preempts his “Djesse” world tour with a one-of-a-kind performance on December 8 at MIT, an artistic home-away-from-home for him over the past several years.

This unique concert features the MIT JC Orchestra (comprised of MIT and Berklee College musicians), MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble, MIT Concert Choir and Chamber Chorus, Rambax MIT (Senegalese drumming ensemble), Suzie Collier (Jacob’s Mom), and other special guest musicians from Boston and Los Angeles.

Jacob Collier’s new album is the first of four volumes being released throughout 2019. The December 8th concert features most of “Djesse Vol. 1” including the first live performance of “With The Love In My Heart,” adapted by Jamshied Sharifi, plus rarely heard orchestral arrangements along with musical surprises.

Jacob’s return to MIT follows the success of his 2016 large-scale concert and subsequent New England Emmy-winning documentary about that event, “Imagination Off The Charts: Jacob Collier Comes to MIT.

Co-produced by MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and MIT Music and Theater Arts, Music Director Frederick Harris, Jr. collaborates with MIT’s master audio technologist and key Collier associate Ben Bloomberg, media experience artist Peter Torpey, and other MIT artists including Laura Grill Jaye (MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble director), William Cutter (MIT Choirs conductor), and Senegalese drumming master Lamine Touré (Rambax MIT director).

Reaching Tech’s Limit, YouTube Phenom Jacob Collier Seeks A Human Touch

More about Jacob Collier at MIT

Image: Jacob Collier, Djesse Vol. 1 album cover, courtesy of the artist.

BIC in Concert, Featuring Jean Appolon Expressions

Friday, April 5, 2019 / 8:00pm
Lobdell, MIT Building W20
84 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

CAST Visiting Artist BIC is a Haitian rapper, poet, and singer whose prior work with Professor of Digital Media Nick Montfort and Professor of Linguistics Michel DeGraff helped create digital literary art in Kreyòl.

The cross-pollination of Kreyòl linguistics, poetry, computer science, and music continues at MIT for one week in April 2019. As part of MIT Sounding, BIC performs his work in collaboration with musicians, dancers, and performers from MIT and the greater Cambridge area.



Additional Events

“Tout Istwa Se Istwa: Cultural Story Machines” Digital Story-Telling Workshop
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 / 5:00-7:00pm / MIT Building 66-154

Karaoke Kreyòl, followed by an appearance by BIC
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 / 8:00pm / Brothers’ Kafe Kreyòl, 299 Main Street, Everett, MA

“Vwayaj” Movement Workshop with Jean Appolon
Friday, April 5, 2019 / 1:00-3:00pm / MIT Building W97-162

Read an article: Performer BIC Shares the Joy of Music and Poetry to Promote Social Equity.

Photos of BIC’s residence at MIT on flickr.


More about BIC at MIT.


This concert was supported by the MIT Center for Art, Science, & Technology (CAST), MIT Comparative Media Studies, MIT Linguistics, and the MIT Music and Theater Arts (MTA)

Image: BIC. Courtesy of the artist.

Harbison’s 80th at Jordan Hall

Sunday, April 7, 2019 / 3:00pm
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory
30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA

Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) performs works by Institute Professor John Harbison in honor of his 80th birthday. Featuring Remembering Gatsby (Foxtrot for Orchestra), Dawn Upshaw performing Harbison’s Milosz Songs, Symphony No. 6, and the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with MIT Institute Professor Marcus Thompson.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer: A Rewarding Harbison Tribute

Photos of the performance on flickr

This concert was supported by the MIT Center for Art, Science, & Technology (CAST), MIT Music and Theater Arts (MTA), and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP).

Image: Jordan Hall. Credit New England Conservatory.

Joel Fan, solo piano

Featuring works by MIT Faculty Composers

April 18, 2019 / 8:00pm
MIT Killian Hall, 14W-111
160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA


Program includes:

Keeril Makan Afterglow (2007)
John Harbison Three Montale Sketches (1999, 2004)
Bernard Rands Four Impromptus (2018) [Boston Premiere]
Gyorgy Ligeti Etudes Book III (1995 – 2001)
Evan Ziporyn & Christine Southworth Don’t Want to Wait (2018)  [Boston Premiere]
Bernard Rands & Augusta Read Thomas Two Thoughts About The Piano (2018) [Boston Premiere]
Charles Shadle A Tale of My Native Land (Ballade after Hawthorne) (2016)
Elena Ruehr Preludes (2002)


Celebrated for his exuberant virtuosity and a bold repertoire that embraces piano classics and inspired discoveries of contemporary and world music, Joel Fan reinvents the piano recital by illuminating the rare and unexpected—creating, in the words of the Baltimore Sun’s critic Tim Smith, “one of the most satisfying piano performances I’ve heard.”

Fan performs a bold selection of works by MIT composers as part of MIT Sounding, and collaborates with MIT composition students as they develop their own new works in April 2019.


CAST Blog: Pianist Joel Fan Brings an Adventurous Mix of New Music to MIT

Photos of Joel’s residency at MIT on flickr

More about Joel Fan at MIT.

Image: Joel Fan. Courtesy of the artist.