Research and Creation Seminar : Spinning in Infinity by Christopher Trapani

Technological Presentation of Spinning in Infinity


A look at the tools used for the creation of Spinning in Infinity (2015, RIM: Greg Beller). In this work, the capabilities of acoustic instruments are enhanced by a complementary microtonal backdrop that fuses with the onstage players. These kaleidoscopic orchestrations are developed using concatenative synthesis; samples are chosen and retuned in real-time to create a kind of sonic color wheel, with 2-dimensional spiral-shaped trips through timbre space in CataRT—between brass and winds, for example, or between bright and dull, pitch and noise... A spatialized array of 12 loudspeakers is embedded in the orchestra to produce a fusion between electronic and acoustic sounds. Longer passages are pre-recorded then aligned and retuned using an intuitive, notation-based Synchronizer in Max, combining elements of the bach library, MuBu, and SuperVP. These reworked excerpts are then synchronized with the orchestra using the adaptive tempo-tracking of Antescofo, creating a sort of augmented orchestra whose dimensions are in constant flux: a dozen microtonal flutes can appear from nowhere, replaced the next second by a brass choir shaded by an unreal arsenal of mutes, or a peal of chimes triggered by a single live percussionist—waves of color in constant motion…



A composer with a genuine international trajectory, Christopher Trapani maintains an active career in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Continental Europe. Commissions have come from the BBC, the JACK Quartet, and Radio France, and his works have been recently heard at Carnegie Hall, the Southbank Centre, IRCAM, and Wigmore Hall.

Christopher was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1980. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where he studied composition with Bernard Rands and poetry under Helen Vendler. He spent most of his twenties overseas: a year in London, working on a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson; a year in Istanbul, studying microtonality in Ottoman music on a Fulbright grant; and seven years in Paris, where he studied with Philippe Leroux and worked at IRCAM, both on the composition cursus and later on a musical research residency.

Christopher is currently based in New York City, where he has worked on a doctorate at Columbia University, studying with Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, and George Lewis.

Recent and upcoming projects include a commission for the Quatuor Béla and GRAME in Lyon, a new orchestral work for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a commission for orchestra and electronics (IRCAM) for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Festival Présences 2015, and a new work for Ensemble Modern for the 2015 cresc… Biennial for Modern Music in Frankfurt.


Monday October 17

12:00 - 13:00

IRCAM Salle Igor Stravinsky

Free entry

Seminar in English and French