Music and Math | Dennis Miller and Hubert Ho
December 8, 2016, 7-8pm
MIT List Visual Arts Center
What is the nature of knowledge? Where does music lead the mind? Dennis Miller and Hubert Ho think about these big questions through the particular lens of music. Music relates to many other fields – to visual art, moving images, to mathematics. In a formal sense they both embrace music composition as a problem solving challenge – aiming to create a unified whole which communicates to the audience. On the one hand a composition defines its own authority. But broader concepts, spanning disciplines, such as form, pattern-recognition, symmetry, and recursion can be identified through music.
Both Miller and Ho address the relationship between mathematics and music, looking at their art form through the lens of another discipline. Incorporating mathematical insights, however, does not preclude the necessity, possibility, or desirability of a spiritual or emotional connection to music. Does mathematics have a role in what they experience internally as composers, and in listeners’ experiences of resulting musical compositions?
Dennis Miller received his Doctorate in Music Composition from Columbia University and is currently is on the faculty on the Music faculty of Northeastern University. His mixed media artworks, which combine his own imagery and music, have been screened around the world, most recently at the 2016 Punta y Raya Festival in Karlsruhe, Germany; the 2016 Madatac Festival, Madrid; and the 2016 London Experimental Film Festival. They were also an Official Selection of the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival 2016, Fall edition.
Hubert Ho’s music has been performed in Carnegie Hall under the Pro Musicis Foundation series and at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. A former Fulbright Student Scholar and United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts, he is a recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music has also been performed in many festivals including: Music and Sound Art (Karlsruhe, Germany), the “Other Voices” Festival (Prague, CZ), the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference, Aspen School of Music Advanced Master Class Program, Ernest Bloch Festival, Arcosanti New Music Workshop, and New Music North. His music has been performed by Prague Modern, the New York New Music Ensemble, EarUnit, Konvergence, and pianist Barbara Lieurance. He also presents work in music theory, psychoacoustics, and music pedagogy at international and national conferences. Dr. Ho received his degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard College. He is currently on the Music faculty of Northeastern University, where he is currently a Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research Faculty Scholar.
This program is organized in conjunction with the Suffolk University Gallery current exhibit, Mathematics and Art: Searching For Pattern, co-curated by Deborah Davidson and George Fifield.
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