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Ex Machina

March 20-22, 2024

visually immersive program featuring five world premieres written for the piano and two genre-crossing new collaborative works

EX MACHINA is an interdisciplinary and multimedia project exploring the complex connections and relationship between technology and humanity through visual art and music. Evolving technology has been changing our lives, including how we experience arts and music. The title, Ex Machina, or From the Machine, reflects on humanity’s creativity and struggle of identity in this fast-changing world. This project brings together scholars and artists from different fields to contemplate the meanings of the “machine” and its role in our society.

Collage of Ex Machina performers and composer, with Dr. Clara Yang in the center. On the outside, clockwise from upper left: Lee Weisert, Xuan, Yvette Young, Suzi Analogue, Allen Anderson, Phil Young, Stephen Anderson, and Peter Askim


March 20, 2024

Academic Panel and Q&A
5:30 pm, Hyde Hall

Dr. Mark Katz (chair of the academic panel, Department of Music)
Dr. Stan Ahalt (Dean of the School of Data Science and Society)
Dr. Andrea Bohlman (Department of Music)
Dr. Hongbin Gu (Department of Psychiatry)
Dr. Thomas Hofweber (Department of Philosophy)
Daniel Jones (former UNC Kenan Music Scholar, Staff Software Engineer at Google)

March 21, 2024

A Conversation with Clara Yang and her collaborators – the Making of Ex Machina
5:30 pm, Moeser Auditorium


March 22, 2024

Ex Machina performance | William S. Newman Artists Series 23-24
7:30 pm, Moeser Auditorium

Clara Yang, pianist/composer
Xuan, new media artist

Commissioned Composers:
Dr. Allen Anderson (UNC)
Prof. Suzi Analogue (UNC)
Dr. Peter Askim (NC State)
Dr. Stephen Anderson (UNC)
Dr. Lee Weisert (UNC)
Phil Young
Yvette Young (electric guitarist, composer)

Act I, Atomic Pulse
Crystal Prelude No. 1 (solo piano), Cryoacoustic Orb Installation Video | Reena Esmail, composer; Lee Weisert and Jonathon Kirk, sound installation designers
Clinamina (piano and electronics) | Lee Weisert, composer
Prelude Feux d’artifice | Claude Debussy, composer

Act II, Organic Machines
Collaborative Composition | Suzi Analogue, beatmaker & Clara Yang, composer/piano
Improvisation (solo piano) | Clara Yang, composer/piano
Analogue Confession (solo piano) | Peter Askim, composer
Collaborative Composition | Yvette Young, composer/electric guitar & Clara Yang, composer/piano<

Act III, Synthetic Souls
RoboDream (solo piano) | Phil Young, composer
Think that’s you – a personality software recognition software toccata (solo piano) | Allen Anderson, composer
Drones (solo piano) | Stephen Anderson, composer

Hoyt-Schermerhorn (piano and electronics) | Christopher Cerrone, composer

The Festival on the Hill is a biennial music festival presented by the UNC Department of Music based around a given theme. Past festivals have included “Music, Science, and Nature,” “Music at Black Mountain,” “CHAT Festival,” “Revisions and Rethinkings,” “Videmus at 25,” “Music and the Congo,” and “A Century of Movement.” The 2024 Festival on the Hill is presented in collaboration with the Conversations in Modern Music Series and is supported by The Jaroslav F. and Barbara S. Hulka Fund for Music in the Community.