Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble Performs Six New Works at Spring Concert

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On Thursday, April 21, 2011, the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble, under the direction of Assistant Professor Georg Essl, performed six original works at its spring concert. The performance took place in Stamps Auditorium at the Walgreen Drama Center on the U-M North Campus.

The ensemble was formed in the context of Prof. Essl’s multi-disciplinary course, “Building a Mobile Phone Ensemble,” which was first taught in Fall 2009. This class, believed to be the first formal course of its type in the world, merges engineering practices, mobile phone programming, and sound synthesis with new music performance, composition, and interactive media arts. Students in the class design and develop their own new mobile phone instruments and compose new electronic music works that explore the creative potential of their own technical creations.

This spring, the ensemble included student performers Robert Alexander, Michael Kim, Michael Main, Shaagnik Mukherji, Elizabeth Paris, Anton Pugh, Ricardo Rodriguez-Laureano, Paul Sokolik, Scott Wagner, and Yefei Wang.

Pieces performed by the ensemble were (links are to YouTube videos of performances):

There is No I in Guitar, by Elizabeth Paris, Ricardo Rodriguez-Laureano, and Scott Wagner
Pipeline, by Ricardo Rodriguez-Laureano, Paul Sokolik, Shaagnik Mukherji, and Michael Kim
Prosperity of Transcience, by Yefei Wang
Spatial Storm, by Paul Sokolik
Glow Music, by Robert Alexander, Anton Pugh, Elizabeth Paris, Scott Wagner, Michael Main, and Michael Kim
Spinning, by Robert Alexander and Anton Pugh

A scene from “Prosperity of Transcience,” in which a sonic battle is waged.


A scene from “Glow-Music,” in which colors of received light are transformed into different tones by the receiving mobile phones.


A scene from “Spinning,” in which a DJ interface and spinning iPhones form new grooves.