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Press Release

Cal Poly Music Department to Present Electronic Music Concert on Feb. 8

Electronic music performers Anne Hege and Julie Herndon

Contact: Michele Abba

805-756-2406; [email protected]

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Guest artist Anne Hege and Cal Poly Music Department faculty member Julie Herndon will present an electronic music concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center (No. 45).

Hege, in her “Divining Wisdom Part II,” will weave together works for her analog live-looping recorder with compositions for live voice, electronics and video. Herndon will perform a selection from new works for extended keyboard instruments augmented with electronics.

Performer-composer Anne Hege
Anne Hege will perform using her bespoke tape machine. “It’s basically an analog, live-looping machine from which the listener, by sound alone, can identify the process and the technology,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Anne Hege

Hege’s tape machine, which she constructed in 2009, is a portable instrument with three hacked cassette players — one recording tape head and two playback points running a handmade tape loop. “It’s basically an analog, live-looping machine from which the listener, by sound alone, can identify the process and the technology,” said Hege. “There are no hidden effects, but rather, the instrument is completely transparent supporting active listening and collaboration with the instrument as a muse.”

The works will be juxtaposed with pieces from her New Prosthetics project from 2006-20, in which live vocal processing and electronics extend and expand the power of the voice in an augmentation of the human body. The set explores the creation of balance between these very different worlds.

Herndon will perform a selection from her “Electronic Etudes,” a collection that seamlessly integrates acoustic keyboard instruments and live electronics, ranging from the intricate world of recording and audio effects to the realms of analog and digital synthesis. “These pieces for extended keyboard instruments explore the body’s relationship to the piano, the keyboard, the synthesizer and other forms of tempered technology,” she said. Each piece explores the nature of touch and gesture relating to the piano and its performance practice.

Hege and Herndon met in 2015 through the Mills College community in Oakland, California. They have been collaborating ever since, including choral concerts with the Peninsula Women's Chorus and shows at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.

Born in Oakland, Hege began her musical studies singing with the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir and the Oakland Youth Chorus. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music (with honors) from Wesleyan University country in Connecticut and a master’s in music composition in Oakland from Mills College. In 2014, she completed her doctorate in music composition at Princeton University, where she studied embodied cognition theory and musical meaning.

She has composed for film, installation art, and dance and concert settings. Since 2008, Hege has composed musical scores for choreographer Carrie Ahern. The New York Times praised her score for Ahern’s dance installation “SeNSATE,” as “convincing” and “strangely environmental.” Influenced by Hege’s deep-listening practice, her latest compositions range between ritual, music and theater with some homemade instruments thrown in for good measure.

Performer and faculty member Julie Herndon
Performer Julie Herndon also serves as the Music Department’s director of the music technology program.

Photo courtesy of Julie Herndon

Herndon began serving as the Music Department’s director of the music technology program in 2022. She taught composition and electronic music production techniques at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. She holds a doctorate in musical arts from Stanford, a master’s in music composition from Mills College and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

A composer, performer and sound artist, she explores the body’s relationship to sound. Her compositions and installations have been presented at the MATA Festival: National Sawdust in New York, Artistry Space in Singapore, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca in Mexico, Music Biennale Zagreb in Croatia, Sogar Theater in Zurich and by Forest Collective in Australia. Recent collaborations include the Decoder Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente and Kukuruz Quartet.

The concert is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Music Department and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, visit the Music Department’s calendar website or call 805-756-2406.