Thursday January 31, 2013

TROY, N.Y. -- The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announces a rare live U.S. performance by experimental composer Ben Frost. The concert will take place in EMPAC’s Studio 1--Goodman on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Ben Frost’s music is not just heard; it’s felt. Influenced by classical minimalism as well as punk rock and metal, he creates monolithic sounds that command attention through their visceral intensity. Frost exploits every extreme of pitch and volume as he pushes the sound of electric guitars, drums, and laptops out from a wall of speakers and amps. As the music unfolds, overlapping layers and elongated structural forms emerge from within the encompassing sonic space.

For this performance, Frost will perform recent material never before heard in the U.S.

The music of Ben Frost is about contrast; influenced as much by classical minimalism as by punk rock and metal, Frost’s throbbing guitar-based textures emerge from nothing and slowly coalesce into huge, forbidding forms that often eschew conventional structures in favor of the inevitable unfoldings of vast mechanical systems.

On albums like Steel Wound, released on the Room40 label in 2003 (Pitchfork: "An exemplary ambient experience"), Theory of Machines on Bedroom Community in 2007 (Boomkat: "The Future of electronic musicŠ") and 2009’s BY THE THROAT (NME: "a hollow, unforgiving, brutal yet utterly beautiful record, full of deep intricacies that won’t let you go."), Frost’s music is more than a cerebral exercise and has an undeniable visceral presence, felt as much as heard. His compositions are created with an acute awareness of the listener and their comfort thresholds, exploiting every extreme of pitch and volume. His notorious, building-shaking performances at international festivals including Montreal’s famed MUTEK combine amplified electronics with the furious thrashing of live guitars. Frost himself has been described as "one of the most interesting and groundbreaking producers in the world today" (Boomkat). His music’s intense physicality has filled gallery spaces and driven contemporary dance productions by Chunky Move, the Icelandic Dance Company, and the acclaimed choreographers Erna Ómarsdottír and Wayne McGregor.

Tickets are $18 general admission; $13 non-Rensselaer students, seniors, and Rensselaer faculty and staff; and $6 Rensselaer students (must provide ID for discounted tickets).

More information can be found on the EMPAC website: empac.rpi.edu. Questions? Call the EMPAC Box Office: 518-276-3921. Vectors of Research--circles of Art

EMPAC--The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center--is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities, technologies, and by breathing the same air.

Situated on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC is dedicated to building bridges between our human senses, to modes of perception and experience, to creating meaning in a physical environment, and to the intangible world of digital technology.

Four discrete venues are designed with unique technical infrastructure to enable audiences to see, hear, and move in space in endlessly different ways. EMPAC hosts artists and researchers to create new work and presents events which ask audiences to join the quest for new perspectives.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The school offers degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the social sciences and humanities. For over 30 years, the Institute has been a leader in interdisciplinary creative research, especially in the electronic arts. In addition to its MFA and PhD programs in electronic arts, Rensselaer offers bachelor degrees in electronic arts, and in electronic media, arts, and communication -- one of the first undergraduate programs of its kind in the United States. The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies and EMPAC are two major research platforms that Rensselaer established at the beginning of the 21st century.

EMPAC 2012-2013 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by continuous support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. Additional project support by the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the New York State Council for the Arts; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Arts Council Norway, Fond for Lyd og Bilde, and Fond for Utøvende Kunstner.