The collaboration of SUNY Oswego faculty member Paul Leary and three Oswego students with experimental music group Ensemble Decipher will result in the debut of their new compositions in an admission-free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in Room 46 of Tyler Hall.

They sponsored a competition for student works for electronic music,” Leary said. “Three of my students -- Rebekah Frank, Evan Madison and Paul Raymond -- submitted a proposal which won a commission. They have also commissioned me for a new piece. My piece is written for four players using joysticks.”

Ensemble Decipher is a modular, experimental music group affiliated with Stony Brook University that performs with vintage, contemporary and emerging technologies. Founded in 2017 by Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Ensemble Decipher strives to redefine performer virtuosity by drawing on the contemporary technological advancements to highlight new voices and ways of listening. By re-examining new music and integrating technology into their performance practice, Ensemble Decipher seeks to reflect on and challenge the power structures that lace the field of electroacoustic music.

The Oswego concert will be what is known as a laptop ensemble, or “a collection of musicians playing electronics together,” Leary explained. He expects all the works to be commissioned pieces or music the ensemble composed.  

Recent works commissioned by the group have mobilized network technologies, accelerometers attached to rocks, boxes trained via machine learning to respond to touch, acoustic instruments and laptops. This has led Ensemble Decipher to collaborate with notable composers and technologists including Mara Helmuth, Margaret Schedel, Hannah Davis, Yaz Lancaster and Lainie Fefferman and premiere works by many others. Recent feature performances include concerts at the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, International Computer Music Conference, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Network Music Festival and an ensemble residency at EarFest. 

Current members include Joseph Bohigian, Robert Cosgrove, Eric Lemmon, Chelsea Loew, Taylor Long and Niloufar Nourbakhsh.

For this season, Ensemble Decipher received a SUNY PACC Prize and a USArtists International Grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Council to commission Leary and other composers for performances in Denmark and across New York state.

SUNY Oswego's new spectator policy requires those age 5 or over attending indoor events to be fully vaccinated or to have a recent negative COVID test. Read full policy for details.