It’s a MacSymphony at the Brooklyn Lyceum

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Computers aren’t usually part of a classical music concert. But on Sept. 18 at the Brooklyn Lyceum, the highbrow show is all about the electronics.

Blind Ear, a Juilliard-trained group of composers, uses laptops and loops of digital music to create classical pieces in real time.

“This is the perfect venue for them,” said Lyceum booker Deb Klein. “We like experimental, and they are definitely experiment­al.”

Unlike most classical ensembles, which come to a performance space with their music ready to go, this group makes up the music on the spot. Here’s how it works: A composer stands before the ensemble with the master computer. The master machine is connected to computers in front of each musician. Each laptop displays the music that the composer wants the musician to play.

So the “master” is no mere conductor — he is actually composing the piece on the spot.

The composer’s most important job, said Jakub Ciupinski, one of the creators of Blind Ear, is telling the musician how quickly or slowly to play the music. “I think people will feel the timing of the piece in a much deeper sense because of the immediate feedback the composer gets,” said Ciupinski.

Blind Ear, Brooklyn Lyceum [227 Fourth Ave. at Union Street in Park Slope, (718) 857-4816], Sept. 18, 8 pm. Tickets, $10 (advance); $12 (door).

Updated 6:20 pm, September 10, 2009
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