2011 Emerging Artists Commission recipient Ben Vida, premieres Piece for Difference Tones (interrupted) & (computer controlled) Analog Sound Objects. The new work focuses on the intersections between analog and digital sound synthesis systems. These systems produce what Vida calls “non-representational sound objects,” which are generated in the inner ear rather than from an outside source. It is in these moments, when the inner ear-activating difference tones are punctured by analog exclamations, that a deeper spatialization is revealed and the listener’s aural perception is expanded.

Ben Vida (b. 1974) is a composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist who for the past thirteen years worked in many different musical styles, inter-disciplinary collaborations and bands. As a composer his works include pieces for analog/digital hybrid synthesizing systems, acoustic compositions written for his group Town and Country and multi-channel sound/video installations.

Ben has worked in collaboration with artists Siebren Versteeg, Deborah Johnson, Hisham Bharoocha, Nadia Hironaka and Mathew Suib and with filmmaker Tim Kinsella.  As an improviser he has performed with Milo Fine, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Taku Sugimoto, Kevin Drumm, Yamatsuka Eye, Jim O’Rourke, Michael Zerang, Josh Abrams, and Jeb Bishop as well as playing in ensembles led by Tony Conrad, Rhys Chattam, and Werner Dafeldecker.  Ben has released over twenty records on such labels as Thrill Jockey, Drag City, Amish, Bottrop-Boy, Hapna and Kranky. Recent forays into electronic composition have seen the release of a series of automatic self-generating compositions utilizing a modular analog synthesizer. In collaboration with Keith Fullerton Whitman and Greg Davis, Ben has begun to explore cross control voltage integrated improvisation and real time automatic group composition.

Awards include an Illinois Arts Council Grant for composition (2006), a travel grant from The Swedish Arts Grants Committee (2011) and an ISSUE Project Room Emerging Artists Commission (2011). This year he will be a Composer in residency at Diapason Space on New York and at EMS Studios, Stockholm, Sweden. He was an artist in residency at the Electronic Television Center (Owega, NY) in 2008. Ben has a Bachelor in Music from Webster University (St. Louis, MO) and is currently an MFA candidate in Sound at Bard College in New York State.

As both a solo artist and in collaboration Ben has toured in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea and Japan. Notable shows include ICA, London, England, Moonji Cultural Institute Seoul, South Korea, All Tomorrows Parties, England, X-Initiative, New York, Shinagawa Gloria Chapel, Tokyo, Festival Soy, Planètarium à Nantes, France, Gallery Ze Dos Bois, Lisbon, Portugal, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Podewil, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Photo: Ben Vida

Ben Vida's new work is commissioned as part of ISSUE Project Room’s Emerging Artists Commission and is made possible, in part, through generous support from: the Greenwall Foundation; the Suzanne Fiol Memorial Fund; with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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