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Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Campus Center Ballroom
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, MA


Cellular Dance - a multimedia ballet illuminating the motion of living cells through science, music and movement

CHOREOGRAPHY by Meg Anderson

DANCE by Meg Anderson, Haley Day, and Jacob Regan Video by Jeremy Stewart

MUSIC composed by David Ibbett

PIANO performed by Sophia Subbayya Vastek

POETRY by Sabrina Sadique

LECTURES by Dr. Alexey Veraksa of UMass Boston, whose research into the molecular signaling processes of gastrulation is crucial for understanding diseases such as spina bifida, but also for shedding light on the fascinating world of cells and their ‘concerted’ movement – how millions of separate entities can move and live as one.

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PERFORMERS: Olivia J. P. Harris, cellist and Jeremy Stewart, livecoder


Friday, December 7, 2018
First Parish Church
1466 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA


memoryofamomentcertain – Mira Calix

memoryofamomentlost – Mira Calix

Shapeshifter (The Angry Bluesman) – Trevor Weston

Livecoded set by Jeremy Stewart

LECTURES: Chris Rycroft, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, with Jordan Hoffmann, Seth Donoughe, and Nicholas Derr.

Is our universe a ticking clock, its movements waiting to be predicted? Or, can the wings of a butterfly give rise to an unknowable future? Chris Rycroft and his lab use mathematical modeling techniques to simulate a diverse array of real world phenomena, from the motion of solids and liquids in space, to the growth and behavior of living creatures.


Friday, October 12, 2018
Morse Auditorium
Boston University
602 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA


Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) - George Crumb

Black Anemones – Joseph Schwantner

30% Elegy – David Ibbett (world premiere)

Pathways – Norah Lorway (world premiere)

Hydrophone Reef Recordings - sampled from Curaçao’s reef, prepared by Ashlee Lillis of the Woods Hole Institute


Cry of the Coral - Sabrina Sadique read here

LECTURE: “Coral Reefs in a Changing World” Marine Biologist Sarah Davies of Boston University explores the beauty and importance of coral reefs around the world, and how climate change is driving their extinction and evolution.

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PERFORMERS: Duo Marvento (flutist Weronika Balewski and pianist Elizabeth Chladil) with cellist Olivia J. P. Harris, pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek, composer David Ibbett, and poet Sabrina Sadique

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PERFORMERS: Ledah Finck, violin/viola | Irene Han, cello | Jennifer Hughson, clarinet | Sean McFarland, guitar | Adam Rosenblatt, vibraphone | Nonoka Mizukami, drum set | Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano | Melissa Wimbish, voice | David Ibbett, electronics


Friday, May 4, 2018
Music on the Square
Baltimore, MD


Mortuos plango, vivos voco (1980) — Jonathan Harvey

My House, from Peter Pan (1950) — Leonard Bernstein
The Snow Thawed and So Did We (2017)* — David Ibbett

Lecture: “Through the Eyes of a Child, part 1”

So Pretty (1968) — Leonard Bernstein, words by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Children of Conflict: A Boy and a Makeshift Toy (2015) — Mary Kouyoumdjian

Lecture: “Through the Eyes of a Child, part 2”

I Go On, from Mass  (1971) — Leonard Bernstein, words by Stephen Schwartz and Leonard Bernstein
In Spite of All This (2005) — Missy Mazzoli

*World premiere

LECTURERS: Dr. Clara Han of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Andrew Brandel of Harvard University.  Together, they are collaborating on a book that will explore how families inherit the catastrophic loss of a world through war, genocide, and displacement.  In this event, they discussed these issues through the lens of their own familial histories – the Korean War and the Holocaust.  They explored how the familial memory of violence is inherited by future generations, with particular attention to scenes of domestic life, and they also reflected on the nature of collaboration between individuals who bear different, but related, histories of loss and displacement, and whose biographies are marked by immigration, inequality, and racialization. 


April 5, 2018
Yamaha Artists Services
New York, NY

Co-Presented by the Yamaha Music School of Boston


CMB Sonifications — David Ibbett and Matthew Kleban
Web of Life (2016) — David Ibbett

Lecture: Matthew Kleban — “Cosmic Bubble Collisions”
Radiant Sky (2016) — Robert Honstein

Phenomena of Growth (2017) — David Ibbett
Lecture: Irmgard Bischofberger — “Flowing Through a World of Patterns”

Old Wave, from The Expanding Universe (1980) — Laurie Spiegel
Lecture: Ché Pérez — “Nothing is
                                        But what is not”
Floods and Tears (2018) — David Ibbett

LECTURERS:  Dr. Irmgard Bischofberger of the MIT Fluids Lab, Dr. Matthew Kleban of the NYU Physics Department (Dir. Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics), and Ché Pérez, architect and poet.

PERFORMERS: Sophia Subbayya Vastek, pianist
David Ibbett, electronics

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NOTES: This special event brought together the fields of fluid dynamics, cosmology, and oceanography in an exploration of wave phenomena from all corners of the universe.

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LECTURER: Dr. Paola Rizzoli, Professor of Physical Oceanography at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

PERFORMERS: Camila Parias, soprano | Agnes Coakley Cox, soprano | Nathaniel Cox, theorbo | Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano | David Ibbett, electronics


Friday, March 9, 2018
Killian Hall at MIT
Cambridge, MA


Amanti io vi so dire — Benedetto Ferrari

Lecture, Part I: Paola Rizzoli — “The History of Venice and its Lagoon”

Che si puo fare — Barbara Strozzi
Piangono al pianger mio — Sigismondo D’india
Alla Guerra — Sigismondo D’india

Lecture, Part II: Paola Rizzoli — “Why Does Venice Flood?”

Passacaglia — Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger
Lamento d’Arianna — Claudio Monteverdi
What the Waves Brought — Tigran Hamasyan (arr. Sophia Vastek)

Lecture, Part III: Paola Rizzoli — “Protection Barriers: MOSE Project”

Floods and Tears (world premiere) — David Ibbett


Dr. Paola Rizzoli presented lectures on the "Venice problem", with implications of climate change, the human and ecological impact, and the nature of the sea.  This event was produced in support of Green Cambridge and their carbon-offsetting programs.  This event was generously supported in part by The Council for the Arts at MIT. 

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Friday, November 17, 2017
Killian Hall at MIT
Cambridge, MA


Phenomena of Growth* (2017) – David Ibbett
Lecture, part I: Irmgard Bischofberger – “Types of Growth”

Stainless Staining (2007) – Donnacha Dennehy
Lecture, part II: Irmgard Bischofberger – “Proportionate Growth”

The Currents (2012) – Sarah Kirkland Snider
Ondes Croisées (1975) – Bernard Parmegiani
Lecture, part III: Irmgard Bischofberger – “Splashing”

Canticle – Sam Torres

*world premiere

LECTURER: Dr. Irmgard Bischofberger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT

NOTES: Dr. Bischofberger presented her work on the growth patterns of fluids - the fractal and crystalline patterns that govern the behavior of liquids, and the larger implications of these formations throughout nature. Her talks were be interwoven with projections and music for piano, saxophone, and electronics.

PERFORMERS: Sam Torres, saxophone | Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano | David Ibbett, electronics


This event explored the beautiful questions in cosmology through music and lecture, as well as celebrated the release of Music of Reality's debut EP ‘Beauty from Nothing’.

Cosmologist Dr. Cora Dvorkin of Harvard presented talks that explored the big, open questions: studying the cosmic microwave background to uncover the physics of inflation, dark matter, and primordial gravitational waves.  The talks were interwoven with performances by acoustic and electronic musicians - each inspired by different questions and exploring different implications for our place in the universe.

Preceding the event, there was a pre-concert discussion on the intersections of the arts and sciences with Dr. Dvorkin and Robert Kirzinger of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Arts at the Armory
Somerville, MA


Beauty from Nothing (2016) – David Ibbett

Lecture, part I: Cora Dvorkin – Beautiful Questions in Cosmology
The Botany of Desire (2008) – Mischa Salkind-Pearl
Heat Death* (2017) – Jason Charney
CMB 52121* (2017) – Stefanie Lubkowski

Lecture, part II: Cora Dvorkin – The CMB and the Early Universe
Surfing Cosmic Radio Waves* (2017) – Mary Kouyoumdjian
Mythic Birds of Saugerties (1985) – Lee Hyla
fzzl (2011) – Dan VanHassel
wave figment 1a* (2017) – Mischa Salkind-Pearl

Lecture, part III: Cora Dvorkin – Gravitational Waves
Radiant Sky* (2017) – Robert Honstein

Table Manners DJs

* Music of Reality commission and world premiere


Cora Dvorkin – Beautiful Questions in Cosmology


Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano
Transient Canvas
Table Manners DJs

IMPULSE + After Party

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016
Arts at the Armory
Somerville, MA


Drosophila (Fruit Fly) Sonifications – David Ibbett
Drones and Piano – Nico Muhly
Cellogram – James Tenney
Ai Limiti Della Notte – Salvatore Sciarrino
Music of Reality I & II – David Ibbett

Miniatures by Emily Koh, Sam Torres, Clifton Ingram, Curtis K. Hughes, and Giovanni Piacentini.


Paul Garrity – “The Evolution of Sensation"


Stephen Marotto, cello
Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano
David Ibbett, electronics


In collaboration with biologist and researcher Paul Garrity of Brandeis University, this multi-disciplinary concert showcased Garrity's research into the molecular mechanics of sensation, and its global implications, surrounded by music that delved into the themes of sense, mechanization, and impulse. 

The miniatures by Emily Koh, Sam Torres, Clifton Ingram, Curtis K. Hughes, and Giovanni Piacentini were written in direct response to a sonification that Paul Garrity made in his lab of a neuron firing in a fruit fly.  These works are part of our ongoing mission of commissioning new music that is in direct dialogue with our collaborating scientist, in the hope that new ideas will emerge from this interpretative act.

NoiseGate Festival 2016
Universal Noise

Friday, Sept 23, 2016
New York University, Steinhardt, NYC


Cosmic Microwave Background Sonifications - David Ibbett
Talk - Dr. Tae Hong Park: Urban Noise Pollution
Nunataks - John Luther Adams
Omniscience is a Collective - Jaime Reis
Night Music - Stephan Cabell
Talk - Matthew Kleban: "Pure Noise: Discoveries from the Cosmic Microwave Background"
Music of Reality I & II - David Ibbett


Prof. Matthew Kleban - "Pure Noise: Discoveries from the Cosmic Microwave Background"


Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano
David Ibbett, electronics


The inaugural NoiseGate Festival was a collaboration between The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN) Global Arts Initiative, Citygram, Harvestworks, Monthly Music Hackathon, Music of Reality, Kadenze, ThinkCoffee, University of Redlands.  

The theme of the festival centered on the environment in a broad sense, while also aiming to bring awareness to spatial noise, with a particular focus on urban noise pollution.  More information:


This program is rooted in our relationship with the physical world.  Man-made noise, as with any other kind of pollution, masks parts of our world and renders it different from before.  As a word in our cultural language, noise is often associated with “non-music” and the ugly, but noise is everywhere on this earth, and is part of its sheer beauty, when one listens.  

It is easy to forget that both human noise and earth noise have arisen through the same logical progression of the universe.  Humans are not separate from the earth, just as the earth is not separate from the universe, and vice versa.  We have arrived at this point in time together, and though we have progressed to a point where listening intently to our physical world is an almost archaic act, our earth is still one of beauty. A deep and quiet reverence towards it can still be found in all corners of the globe. 

The Cosmic Microwave Background is the most perfect noise source ever observed in nature, and exists as a faint microwave signal observable by radio telescope.  Professor Matthew Kleban will present a talk on some of the incredible discoveries that have come from analyzing this signal.  It is our strongest evidence for the big bang, and may hide traces of dark energy, multiple universes, and cosmic bubble collisions.


May 16, 2016
Spectrum, NYC


Our earliest origins are still a source of mystery and endless fascination for scientists and laymen alike.  Equally mysterious is that somewhere along the way came beauty.  Pairing a talk on cosmic bubble collisions in the early universe with theoretical physicist Matthew Kleban and music about scientific and cultural evolution, we explored these ideas of beauty, discovery, and our natural world.  


Confound Atlas - Sam Torres
Manucodiata - Elijah Shiffer* **
Hazel Colored Nebula - Austin O'Rourke
Music of Reality I & II - David Ibbett* **


Professor Matthew Kleban "Cosmic Bubble Collisions"

* World Premiere
** MoR Commission