On December 9, the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble, led by Assistant Professor Georg Essl, performed its premier concert in front of a full crowd in the Britton Recital Hall at the E.V. Moore Building on North Campus. The performance showcased all new works composed by the students in the ensemble, and performed on virtual instruments that they have programmed on their iPhones.
The program included:
Shepard's Escher, by Colin Neville and Owen Campbell
Controlling the Conversation, by Matt Steele
Owen's Lament, by Owen Campbell and Colin Zyskowski
Feedback Etude, by Raphael Szymanski and Rishi Daftuar
The Infinitesimal Ballad of Roy G. Biv, by Devin Kerr and Eric Lapointe
Self-Spoken, by Justin Crowell
The ensemble was formed in the context of Prof. Essl's new multi-disciplinary course, "Building a Mobile Phone Ensemble," which has been taught during the Fall 2009 semester. This class, believed to be the first formal course of its type in the world, merges engineering practices, mobile phone programming, and sound synthesis with new music performance, composition, and interactive media arts.
The ensemble members are Owen Campbell, Justin Crowell, Rishi Daftuar, Sivan Jacobovitz, Devin Kerr, Eric Lapointe, Colin Neville, Matthew Steele, Raphael Szymanski, Nathan Zukoff, and Colin Zyskowski.
U-M News Service Press Release (includes video): "iPhones are musical instruments in new course and ensemble"
AnnArbor.com: "iPhone Ensemble Concert Shakes Up Concepts of Music"
Michigan Radio: "The Sound of (iPhone) Music"
Detroit Free Press: "U-M Students Merge Music with iPhone Technology"
BBC: "iPhone Orchestra Ready for Debut"
Wired: "Student Orchestra Performs Music with iPhones"
Communications of the ACM: "iPhones are Musical Instruments in New Course and Ensemble"
The Guardian: "Forget the iPod - the iPhone Orchestra Really Makes Mobile Music"
MacWorld: "University of Michigan Teaches How to Create iPhone Instruments"