Mari Kimura to Perform ‘Eigenspace’ October 9, 2011 at Roulette

Violinist Mari Kimura wears a glove containing acceleromaters and gyroscopes to monitor the angle and speed of her bowing arm. It tracks her bowing motions and activates musical and visual interactions in the sound and projection systems of the concert space as she plays. Photo by Eva Ostrowska.

On October 9, 2011 for one night only, Mari Kimura, inventor of Subharmonics for the violin, will perform four new works for violin, electronics and interactive graphics in the culminating event of the New York Electronic Art Festival (NYEAF) at Roulette Performance Space, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn. Her concert is titled “Eigenspace” after its centerpiece composition, a work of that name for Augmented Violin and Interactive Graphics composed by Kimura. It was commissioned by Harvestworks and features interactive graphics by Tomoyuki Kato, a noted Japanese visual artist and film director.

The evening is presented by Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center in partnership with Roulette and is part of Harvestworks’ “WAVE(length)s: Electronic Music” series.

Ms. Kimura, wearing a custom fit sensor glove designed by Mark Salinas, will implement a new technology that was developed by the Real-time Musical Interaction Team at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. The glove contains a “mini-MO” developed at IRCAM, which is a small device containing accelerometers and gyroscopes to monitor the angle and speed of her bowing arm. It tracks her bowing motions and activates musical and visual interactions in the sound and projection systems of the concert space.

In addition to “Eigenspace,” Ms. Kimura will perform two more works of her own that use the IRCAM motion sensor, “Canon Elastique” for Augmented Violin (2009) and “Voyage Apollonian” for Augmented Violin (2010). She will also perform “Wrestling An Angel,” a work for violin and electronics (2011) that was written for her by British composer Andrew Lovett.


Tickets are $15 general admission; $10 members/students/seniors. Roulette Performance Space is located at 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn (corner of Third Avenue; 2, 3, 4, 5, C ,G, D, M, N, R, B & Q trains and LIRR to Atlantic Avenue). Please check nyeaf and and for more information.

The concert begins at 8:00 PM. Mari Kimura’s appearance will be followed by “Liminal” by Angie Eng. Total running time: 1:45 (with intermission).



This world premiere, composed by Mari Kimura with graphics by Tomoyuki Kato, was commissioned by Harvestworks. The name is taken from “eigenvalue,” a mathematical function used in analyzing the bowing movement. Ms. Kimura’s musical expression is extracted by IRCAM’s bowing motion sensor technology, interacting with image and sounds in real-time. Interactive graphics are created by Japan’s leading visual artist in new media, Tomoyuki Kato.


This “elastic canon” is a one-person canon with a simple delay, but stretched and shortened using a gesture analysis program in the “Augmented Violin” glove. This allows Ms. Kimura to manipulate the “leading” melody during its “follower.” So she can “change the past” by “doing something in the present.”


This is an interactive audio visual work using bowing motion sensor data. Ken Perlin, an Oscar-winning computer graphics artist and professor at NYU, designed its imaginative animation based on the fractal ideas called the “Apollonian Gasket.”


Premiere of the first version of a work for violin and electronics, written for Mari Kimura by British composer Andrew Lovett. Lovett recently moved from the UK to live in Princeton, joining the department of music at Princeton University as a Professional Specialist. He is known for small-scale operas, chamber music and electoacoustic works, performed in Germany, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Cuba, the USA and throughout the UK.



“Liminal” by Angie Eng, a series of live video/music cinepoems based on the concept of liminality. Eng combines inventive new tools like the VideoBass, French avant-garde experimental cinema tricks and customized music/video software (Max, Jitter, VDMX and Module 8) for a genre-crossing collaboration which fuses experimental jazz, contemporary electronic music, neo-abstract expressionism, puppetry and live experimental cinema. The piece is directed by Angie Eng with musicians Audrey Chen, Shoko Nagai, Satoshi Takeshi and special guest on live video: Nancy Meli Walker. (Follows Mari Kimura performance.)


Violinist Mari Kimura ( is a revolutionary musician, composer and 2010 Guggenheim winner who has invented new sonic worlds for the violin. The New York Times has written, “Ms. Kimura is a virtuoso playing at the edge” and All Music Guide has described her as “A plugged-in Paganini for the Digital Age.” New Music Connoisseur asserted, “Mari Kimura is to the violin what perhaps Henry Cowell and later John Cage were to the piano in the 1920’s and 30’s-taking it into the future with extended techniques and sounds.” Ms. Kimura is also well known for developing the extended technique of “Subharmonics.” This has put her at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. She is also a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music and has earned international acclaim as a soloist and recitalist in both standard and contemporary repertoire. In a New York Times review of an April 11, 2011 concert for Japan relief at the Japan Society, critic Zachary Woolfe attributed “ferociously guttural power” to Ms. Kimura’s Bach deconstructions.

Last year, Ms. Kimura was awarded a 2010 Music Composition Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and completed a three-month residency at IRCAM in Paris.

Mari Kimura’s recent CD, “The World Below G and Beyond: Works for Violin Subharmonics and Interactive Computer” (October, 2010 on Mutable Music) is devoted entirely to her own compositions. As the title suggests, it focuses primarily on works using Subharmonics, including the premiere recording of “ALT: Three Movements for violin solo,” the piece with which she introduced Subharmonics in concert halls for the first time at a New York solo debut recital in 1994. For a review of the album, see:


Subharmonics, a violin technique created by Mari Kimura, has drawn international attention from both the musical and scientific communities. It has been mentioned in Physics and Physics Today. Ms. Kimura has demonstrated the technique at a meeting of Acoustical Society of America and more than a dozen articles about Subharmonics have appeared in musical and scientific journals (including several authored by Kimura herself). The technique is used prominently in “Schemes,” a work for violin and orchestra composed for her by Jean-Claude Risset, which will be Ms. Kimura’s next worldwide touring project. The work was commissioned by the Suntory Music Foundation and debuted in 2007 in Tokyo.


Tomoyuki Kato, who most recently exhibited at 2010 Shanghai Expo, is a renowned Japanese visual artist/movie director who works in wide range of projects including advertisements, commercials, museums exhibitions and theme-parks. Kato’s work is known for the superb quality, high impact, originality and new technical methods. Recently, Kato has been active in creating corporate future vision, such as “concept car,” incorporating live action, computer graphics and animation on project bases. His highly acclaimed “Grand Odyssey,” created for 2005 Aichi Expo’s Toshiba/Mitsui pavilion, is now displayed at Nagasaki’s Huistenbosch theme-park. In 2010, Kato created “Better Life from Japan,” an exhibit for Otsuka Pharmaceutical company at Shanghai Expo, using a 360-degree display. Kato has received and nominated for numerous awards at international and national festivals, including Japan Ministry of Culture Media Arts Festival, Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, Montreal International Film Festival and London International Advertising Festival.


The New York Electronic Art Festival is being held at venues including several sites at Governors Island, St. Paul’s Chapel, Roulette, and Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center. This concert is the complement to WAVE(form)s: Electronic Art Exhibition on Governors island.

NYEAF presents artists who expand our perceptions with technology. This festival was created to provide a responsive public context for the appreciation of cutting-edge electronic artwork through concerts, workshops, and exhibitions of the highest quality across the arts and technology spectrum. Attendees will get an overview of how technology is being used in various artistic disciplines, and have the opportunity to take part in a discussion about how these technologies will continue to shape contemporary art practice. This year’s festival will be a showcase of exciting interdisciplinary work and serve as a catalyst for discussions and collaborations between artists, scientists, and the public.

The NYEAF will plug into a national and international network of electronic art festivals, bringing significant contemporary art and music to the city. NYEAF is produced by Harvestworks, an international digital media arts center with over 30 years of experience helping artists to get inside the electronics and to develop a hands-on, experimental and explorative approach to making art with technology.

NYEAF is produced by Harvestworks in partnership with River to River Festival, Trinity Wall Street, Governors Island National Monument, and Roulette with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, mediaThefoundation, the Jerome Foundation, the Edwards Foundation Arts Fund, the Experimental TV Center Presentation Funds, the David Bermant Foundation, California Nanosystems Institute and the Institute for Electronic Art. Corporate sponsorship is provided by Tekserve, New York’s Largest Independent Apple Store and Service Facility, Cycling74, US Optoma and Native Instruments. Special thanks to Performing Art Services and the David Tudor Trust. Video Projector Shutters Courtesy of’ Engineering Solutions Inc. www.responsive-box,com/gear


Founded in 1977, Harvestworks offers an environment where artists can make work inspired and achieved by electronic media. Harvestworks helps the community at large to understand, assimilate, and make creative use of new and evolving technologies. Harvestworks creates a context for the appreciation of new work, advances both the art community and the public’s agenda for the use of technology in art; and brings together innovative practitioners from all branches of the arts by fostering collaborations across electronic media.

Jonathan Slaff writes on cultural events from the brainy, the edgy and the good. He helps us keep ahead of the curve in the world of the arts and culture.