Continuum players from around the world descended on the city of Asheville, North Carolina, to participate in the 2nd Continuum Conference held at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, sponsored by the UNCA Music Department.
As they did last year, performers, composers, sound designers, music students, educators, and enthusiasts from near and far explored the Continuum through workshops, lectures, performances, and demonstrations.
Headlining the conference was University of Illinois professor Lippold Haken, who designed the Continuum, and composer Edmund Eagan, who co-developed the Continuum’s internal sound engine with Dr. Haken.
Performances from the ContinuuConcert
The Fall of The House of Usher – Silent film, 1928
Original soundtrack with live Continuum by Rob Schwimmer
Slow Waves – Benedict Slotte
Performed by Benedict Slotte on two Continuums
Three Pieces of Stretch String – Edmund Eagan
This piece uses a specialized performance style for the Continuum, called the Touche. The Touche first appeared as a performance device on the Ondes Martenot. It has been re-imagined for the Continuum and it used throughout this piece, Three Pieces of Stretch String. The sound used for this piece is based on a type of electronic synthesis which allows for dynamic resizing and stretching of a virtual violin string.
Air on the G String – JS Bach
Fratres – Arvo Pärt
Edmund Eagan, Rob Schwimmer , Sally Sparks
Sonata in G Minor – Largo – Henry Eccles
Performed by Dr. Wayne Kirby
Paterson – Dr. Wayne Kirby
Talks and Workshops
Lippold started working on the Continuum Fingerboard in the early 1980s when he was a student at the University of Illinois. He tried many different designs and many different finger detection technologies. It is challenging to polyphonically track the small finger movements involved in expressive playing, and at the same time have a good surface feel.
For the last 20 years he has had a design that is similar to the current Continuum, and has been making many small mechanical improvements, including improvements to the finger tracking algorithms.
The last decade has been especially exciting; he has been working with Edmund Eagan to develop built-in sounds that are specifically designed for the Continuum’s three-dimensional playing surface.