About BEAM


DonDon Buchla is widely regarded as one of the major pioneers in electronic musical instruments; Don constructed the first voltage-controlled synthesizer in 1964. Since then, he has produced a variety of conceptually and technically advanced instruments, many of which are in use in university and private studios around the world. He has consulted for several instrument manufacturers, including CBS, Kimball Piano, Zeta Music, Yamaha International, Gibson Guitars, and E-Mu Systems. He has served as technical director of California Institute of the Arts, technical director of the Electric Symphony, co-director of the Artists' Research Collective.Don has received grants from the Veterans' Administration (guidance devices for the blind), the Guggenheim Foundation (music languages), and the National Endowment for the Arts (composition). He recently received the prestigious 2002 SEAMUSLifetime Achievement Award "in recognition of his pioneering achievements and lifetime contribution to the art and craft of electro-acoustic music". Hundreds of his unique instruments continue to be in use and vintage Buchla synthesizers continue to be in strong demand. Don received a degree from UC Berkeley in Physics in 1960, and holds several patents in the fields of optics and musical instruments.

DaveDave Smith founded Sequential Circuits, the premier manufacturer of professional music synthesizers, in the mid-70s. In 1977, he designed the Prophet-5, the world's first microprocessor-based musical instrument. This revolutionary product was the world's first polyphonic and programmable synth, and set the standard for all synth designs that have followed. The Prophet instruments played a major part in the recordings of all popular music styles, and are still prized by musicians today. Dave is also generally known as the driving force behind the generation of the MIDI specification in 1981—in fact, he coined the acronym. In 1987 he was named a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) for his continuing work in the area of music synthesis. After Sequential, Dave was President of DSD, Inc, an R&D division of Yamaha, where he worked on physical modeling synthesis and software synthesizer concepts. He then started the Korg R&D group in California, which went on to produce the professional musician favorite Wavestation products and other technology. He then took over as President at Seer Systems and developed the world's first software based synthesizer running on a PC.

Tom OberheimTom Oberheim has been developing electronic products for musicians for over 35 years. He invented a number of innovative electronic music products, including: the first polyphonic music synthesizer, the first phase shifter and ring modulator for the performing musician, the first completely programmable music synthesizer, and the first electronic music system that incorporated a synchronized music synthesizer, digital sequencer and digital drum machine. He has founded and managed three electronic music product companies, and served as a CEO and CTO. He also participated in the development and implementation of the MIDI standard.

David WesselDavid Wessel In Memoriam is Professor of Music at the UC Berkeley where he is Director of CNMAT (Center for New Music and Audio Technology). In 1985 he established a new department under Pierre Boulez devoted to the development of interactive music software for personal computers. David founded the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) and is a highly regarded performer and composer.

Jay CloidtJay Cloidt is a composer and sound designer working in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College with Robert Ashley and David Behrman.  As a composer, he has collaborated with many groups, beginning with the late Ed Mock’s group and including the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, the Gary Palmer Dance Company, ODC/San Francisco, California EAR Unit and Kronos Quartet. Current projects include premiere performances of two new dance scores for ODC/SF: “Flight to Ixcan”, and “Noir”. Other notable recent projects include “Span”, a piece for solo piano commissioned by pianist Vicki Ray of the California EAR Unit; music for the feature film “Send Word”, directed by Lynn Feinerman; and “Eleven Windows”, his third commission for Kronos Quartet.  He produced a CD of Paul Dresher’s music theater works, “Anybody’s Land”, to be released in 2004.  A CD of electronic music, “Dark Matter” was released on Phthalo in 2002; and a CD of his chamber music and electronic works, “Kole Kat Krush”, is available on Starkland Records (ST-208). The San Francisco Chronicle has dubbed Cloidt “The Spike Jones of the Bay Area new music scene.”

PaulPaul Dresher is an internationally active composer noted for his ability to integrate diverse musical influences into his own coherent and unique personal style. He is pursuing many forms of musical expression including experimental opera and music theater, chamber and orchestral composition, live instrumental electro-acoustic chamber music performances, musical instrument invention and scores for theater, dance, and film. His most recent projects include a collaboration with former Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud on his cello concerto Unequal Distemperament and the music theater work Sound Stage, for which Dresher designed and constructed a stage full of large-scale invented musical instruments. In 1993, Dresher premiered his Electro-Acoustic Band on a five-city tour of Japan as part of Festival Interlink. This ensemble performs the works of a broad range of contemporary music and has also premiered the music for dance and theater collaborations with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, ODC San Francisco, and the John Adams/June Jordan/Peter Sellars production “I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky.” Born in Los Angeles in 1951, Dresher received his BA in Music from U.C. Berkeley and his M.A. in Composition from U.C. San Diego.

Chris Chris Muir has been embroiled in computers and music for over thirty years. He has been heavily involved with music software environments for much of this time. Previous employment includes Beatnik (nee Headspace) a company creating synthesis engines for industry, Gibson Western Innovation Zone (GWIZ), an R&D lab run by Gibson Guitar, Electronics For Imaging (EFI), Zeta Music, and Salamander Music Systems (SMS). Chris has also worked with CNMAT (Center for New Music and Audio Technology), and has contributed to Cycling 74's Max environment. An accomplished musician and composer, he has been involved with many projects, in many genres. He currently performs with "Lunar Asylum", "Yo Miles!" and "Zen Disaster". In his spare time he enjoys referring to himself in the third person.

AshleyAshley Adams received her Bachelor's in double bass performance at the University of Arizona School of Music, in 1996. She currently performs regularly in both classical and club venues and has appeared at numerous local and International New Music festivals.   In 1997, The Ashley Adams Trio put out, "Flowers for Ms. Dalloway", music based on the Virginia Wolfe novel on the Evander Label. Her performance credits also include Ted Saveres, Ralph Carney, Beth Custer, Eugene Chadborne, Tin Hat Trio, the Women's Philharmonic, Khadra International Dance Company, Bay Area Balalaika Ensemble, Trio Garufa (Tango), The Hulagains ( Hawaiian Trio),  Zmrzlina, Octomutt, BottomFeeders (electric cello/bass duo) , and the Bay Area Bass Band. Ashley has taught privately, for the SF symphony's youth outreach program, and as a clinician at the Golden Gate Bass Camp. In addition to her composition and bass playing, Ashley has immersed herself in music programming and audio processing. She has worked on MACAIS and performed with Keith since 1998.

MarielleDrawing from a childhood dissatisfied with classical music recitals, Marielle Jakobsons aims to rebuild musical performance as a breathing system of sound, people, and space. Born in Cleveland in 1982, she received her B.A. in Music Performance and Biology from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying contemporary piano performance with Anita Pontremoli. At the CCMIX in Paris, France, she studied computer music composition with Gerard Pape, Jean-Claude Risset, Trevor Wishart, and Curtis Roads. Completing her MFA in Electronic Music at Mills in May 2006, her thesis work deconstructs the violin as both performance interface and sound generator utilizing custom electronics and interactive computer programming. Recent solo work has been heard at Les Voutes (Paris) and the Luggage Store Gallery (SF), as well as performances with Agnes Szelag in the electro-acoustic pop duo myrmyr.

Meg Margaret Anne Schedel is a composer and cellist specializing in the creation and performance of ferociously interactive media. Her works have been performed throughout the United Stated and abroad. While working towards a DMA in music composition at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, her thesis, an interactive multimedia opera, A King Listens, premiered at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and was profiled by apple.com. She is working towards a certificate in Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros and has studied composition with Mara Helmuth and McGregor Boyle. She is a founding member of NeXT Ens, an ensemble with the unique mission to perform and support the creation and performance of interactive electro-acoustic works. She serves as the musical director for Kinesthetech Sense and sits on the boards of the BEAM Foundation, the Electronic Music Foundation Institute, the International Computer Music Association, the New West Electro Acoustic Music Organization, Organised Sound, and the Women’s Audio Mission. She can usually be found in the Bay Area where she runs workshops for Cycling‘74 & Making Things.

Richard BoulangerRichard Boulanger was born in 1956 and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Music from the University of California, San Diego where he worked at the Center for Music Experiment's Computer Audio Research Lab. He has continued his computer music research at Bell Labs, CCRMA, the MIT Media Lab, Interval Research, and IBM and worked closely for many years with Max Mathews and Barry Vercoe. Boulanger has premiered his original interactive works at the Kennedy Center, and appeared on stage performing his Radio Baton and MIDI PowerGlove Concerto with the Krakow and Moscow Symphonies. His music is recorded on the NEUMA label. Currently, Dr. Boulanger is a Professor of Music Synthesis at the Berklee College of Music where he has been honored with both the Faculty of the Year Award and the President's Award. He has published articles on computer music education and composition in all the major electronic music and music technology magazines. Most recently, Boulanger edited a definitive textbook on computer music that was published by The MIT Press entitled: The Csound Book.

Naut HumonNaut Humon has been staging underground events that have inverted and blurred the roles of audience and participant for over 40 years as STC creator, curator and conductor. He is the co-founder of Asphodel Records, and was the primary catalyst, producer, arranger and performer of Rhythm and Noise. He later founded Sound Traffic Control in 1991 with two intentions: first, to replace Rhythm and Noise's group form by a more flexible collective; and second, to focus on using an orchestral setting to explore three-dimensional space. More recently, he is the co-founder and curator of Recombinant Media Labs, and experimental new media facility in San Francisco that fosters radical methodologies for spatial media synthesis, and is the premiere institution presenting emerging surround cinema works.

Daniel KobialkaDaniel Kobialka has commissioned over 30 works from such composers as Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wuorinen, William Bolcom, and Wayne Peterson. Kobialka has premiered both solo works and concertos for violin, including Ben Weber's Violin Concerto, dedicated to him, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Shaw. With the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, he gave both the American premiere of Toru Takemitsu's "Far Calls, Coming Far," and the world premiere of Charles Wuorinine's "Rhapsody," a work written especially for Kobialka. Musical America wrote, "With de Waart conducting, Kobialka played the kind of heart-and-soul, totally secure performance composers dream about but all too rarely get to hear." He premiered Henry Brant's Litany of Tides with the San Jose Symphony and George Barati's Violin Concerto with the Santa Cruz Symphony. Other composers who have written and dedicated works for Kobialka include George Rochberg, Meyer Kupferman, Olou Harrison, Vivian Fine, Henry Brant, Fred Fox, Arthur Custer, Theodore Antoniou, Marta Ptaszynska, and Benjamin Lees. Kobialka served as concertmaster for the premier of Leonard Bernstein's Mass, which opened in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Prompting Bernstein to state, " Kobialka is a musician of unusual strength and devotion."

The Fat ManGeorge Alistair Sanger, a.k.a The Fat Man, is a well-respected leader in the field of game audio. He is the cofounder and host of Project Bar-B-Q, the premier interactive music conference, an annual event since 1996. He has worked for many years to improve, simplify, and promote interactivity in game audio. His recent efforts in this endeavor helped to form the IASIG's Interactive XMF working group, of which he is a member. He is the audio advisor for Game Developer Magazine and is responsible for that publication's audio column. He is also on the advisory boards for Full Sail, the Austin Community College game department, and the Game Audio Conference. He is a member of NARAS, the IGDA, the Kealing Middle School PTA, and the Rolls Royce Owners Club. The Fat Man's innovations include the first General MIDI score for a game, the first soundtrack CD that shipped with the game, the first game music considered a work of art, the first game featuring a live band recorded to MIDI, the first game music considered a selling point of the game, and the first context-sensitive soundtrack to attract industry attention.