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Chiyoko Szlavnics

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Biography

Chiyoko Szlavnics (born 1967, Toronto) has composed works ranging from solo instruments to chamber orchestra since 1993. She studied composition with James Tenney from 1994-7, was in residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude from 1997-8, and attended Walter Zimmermann′s seminars at the HdK (now the UdK) in Berlin.

Her recent body of compositions are based on drawings which are translated into musical notation using the Just Intonation ratio system as a harmonic and microtonal basis. The resulting acoustical phenomena are surprising: through her particular choice of pitch material and extended glissandi, a transparent (glassy) surface of pure intervals is often set into motion by rippling beating. Her compositions feature clusters, beating, unexpected harmonies, as well other auditory experiences, such as difference tones, and what Szlavnics likes to call ″audible harmonic nodes″. All of these phenomena are structured by the forms and dynamics inherent in the original drawings.

Szlavnics has also produced numerous multi-channel sound installations, created works for contemporary dance and theatre, as well as for video & film. In 1995 & 1997, she co-curated Art in Open Spaces, a Toronto performance series highlighting outdoor public art sites and spaces in the city′s downtown core, through the commissioning and production of new dance and music pieces.

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