Liam H

Youth Salon 2014 Media Lab videos

Three videos created by Phase 2 students were featured at this year’s Youth Salon. Liam and Jesse both shared photographs – Liam’s composited images featured his friends and family, and Jesse’s photographs highlighted scenes from the environments he finds most inspiring. Liam also recorded an original soundtrack for his piece!

Alex interviewed her sister, Natasha, a Community MusicWorks alum and current Brown University undergrad.

End of year recap

The 2012-2013 photo class was designed to be an intensive but gentle experience for new photographers as well as students with some prior interest and experience. The class spent the fall learning how to use DSLR and point and shoot digital cameras as well as thinking about subject matter and how to present one’s work. Students discussed the Latin root of the word document/documentary, docere, which means to show or teach, and looked at examples of projects such as

The Cut and Paste Project
See Potential
City of Champions 

Students took digital cameras home to take photographs of their lives and the world around them, and then learned how to use photo editing software to enhance and alter the images.

The class also participated in the participatory performance project The People to Come by submitting photos of patterns in CMW’s neighborhood, and visited the RISD Museum to look at and reflect on the America in View photography exhibit.

After a winter break hiatus, the class reconvened for an intensive week-long project in collaboration with SWAP. Community MusicWorks rented a SWAP storefront for several weeks in February 2012 through an ArtPlace grant and hosted various events in the space. CMW Media Lab students spent several days in the neighborhood with cameras, documenting what they saw. They were joined by young people who live in SWAP housing. Together this group produced a beautiful collection of images professionally printed by iolabs and displayed in the storefront space during CMW events. Also on display were manipulated images of textures from the neighborhood that students documented, hung in constellations around the space.

One student, Malachy Hopkins, brought along an audio recorder when the other students were photographing. He then created a remix audio track of these sounds and Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Major, Opus 135, a piece performed at the storefront by CMW professional musicians.

The final big class project was connected to another ArtPlace partnership, this time between CMW and CommunityWorks RI, a community development corporation in Providence, RI that “creates opportunities within the neighborhoods it serves for people to live in affordable and healthy homes, to improve their lives, and to strengthen their communities.” CMW and CommunityWorks RI produced a concert at Providence’s historic Tirocchi House, also called “The Wedding Cake House.” CMW Fellows performed Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Major, Opus 59, No. 1 amidst an immersive installation created by Zachary Barr, Cathering Murphy, and
Jonsara Ruth of Salty Labs. Media Lab students visited the house with cameras several weeks before the event, and photographed what they saw. At CMW, they spent time with the Opus 59 sheet music, and created visual patterns corresponding to sections of the music, first by hand and then on the computer. These images and students’ photographs were combined into a small book, printed on the off-set press at the AS220 Community Printshop and were hand-bound by volunteers and the students themselves. The books were made available to concert attendees.


Students creating patterns for the books










One of Indira’s pattens












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A pre-press page from the book layout







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The final book














Phase 2 perform Mozart G Major String Quartet

Heather, Angie, Liam and Karl (otherwise known as the Incredible H.A.L.K. Quartet) are in Phase 2 and have been working on the Allegro from Mozart’s String Quartet in G Major for a few months. Here they are giving a casual performance for their Phase 2 colleagues as a dress rehearsal for this year’s Youth Salon.

Youth Salon Brainstorm Questions

Hello Phase 2 folks!

Welcome to the very first Youth Salon 2013 prep post! Following on from last Thursday’s brainstorm discussion, students selected discussion topics that they found particularly interesting and we asked you guys to consider the following questions:

What is the issue?

What is the impact?

How might be change be effected? Are there people working for change?

Are there opposing views?

Does learning about this topic change your perspective?

As with all of these posts, we encourage you guys to leave comments and keep the discussion flowing all week long! : )

Fall Photo Class Update

This semester’s Media Lab photography class is working in the ArtPlace triangle to create images that will be used in one of the ArtPlace performance installations next semester. As an exercise to work on our photo skills and camera use, we most recently captured patterns from the neighborhood to contribute to The People to Come, a participatory performance project featuring music by Laura Cetilia and Production Managed by new CMW Managing Director Kimberly Young.

Learn more here:

And see some of our photos here:



















































Experimental Music Concert 2012 Documentation

The concert was a success! Despite having only a few short rehearsals, CMW students, alumni, teachers, and visiting musicians performed the four pieces beautifully to a sizable crowd. Listen/watch/read about them below.

PHOTOS (rehearsal and performance)



C.L. (Sakiko Mori, 2012)

This is music I wrote mostly in my head, hoping to make a scenery of sounds that’s there to live, being what they are and doing what they do, neither more nor less. Thank you to the performers for taking this music out of my head and giving it a life, helping it to grow.


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Shutter (Liam Hopkins, 2012)

This was a piece I originally composed mostly in the music program Logic. It was based on the idea of looping a recorded sound to create rhythmic texture. I recorded the sound of film camera’s shutter release and eventually added the violin/viola part you will hear.

In this live performance, the film camera is replaced by a digital camera, more capable of the fast shutter speeds used for this piece, and all the string parts are played by real performers and not looped by a computer.


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Scratch (Liam Hopkins, 2012)

Scratch is a composition for string orchestra and field recordings. The strings section is in C major and based on a melody first exposed in the viola section. Underlying the strings part, there is texture of sounds recorded at a string restoration workshop. The piece is largely in sonata form with an interlude in the middle that could most accurately be described as a solo by the operator of the cassette tape players, which contain the recorded sounds from the field recordings.

Big thanks to Gus from Zachary S. Martin, Luthier Contrabass & Cello workshop in Pawtucket, for having us record sounds in the workshop.


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Creatures of the Night, for string orchestra and recorded sound (Forrest Larson, 2012)

Creatures of the Night, was inspired by a life-long fascination with sounds of the night. Sometimes the source of the sounds are known, but others have mysterious origins. Surely the critters who lived under my childhood bed made sounds. Maybe a few of them are in this piece. Thanks to Sakiko Mori and Community Musicworks for commissioning this piece, and the opportunity to work with some of the students. It has also been a joy to have participants from Institute for Musicianship and Public Service filling out the orchestra.


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Rehearsal Recording:


About the composers

Forrest Larson

Composer, violist and electronic musician Forrest Larson has composed both

instrumental and electronic music. His work includes both strictly composed music and live improvised electronic music. Instrumental works include music for string orchestra, wind ensemble as well as pieces for unaccompanied violin, viola and cello.

He has had a life-long love of old pre-digital analog electronic instruments, and of collecting “found sounds” from both natural as well as urban landscapes. Analog devices such as oscillators, stomp box filters and shortwave radios are of particular interest.

Some of his works combine electronic sounds and live acoustic instruments. Other work includes electronic scores for abstract films and for solo dancer. His music has been performed locally at various venues in the Providence and Boston area such as the Pixilerations Festival, AS220, Firehouse 13, Mobius, Outpost 186, MIT, Brandeis University, and at the experimental music series CTRL+ALT+REPEAT in Providence, RI. Other performances have been at Carnegie-Mellon University, Washington and Jefferson University (PA), Mansfield University (PA), Southern Oregon University, in Ithaca NY and in Iceland. As a violist, he has played in the New England Philharmonic, Boston Chamber Ensemble, and other chamber groups. He also played violin in the Commonwealth Vintage Dance Orchestra, performed traditional Scottish fiddle music and was the musician for the Middlesex Morris Dancers.

Currently he plays analog electronic instruments with the quartet Sonic Sandbox.

Sakiko Mori 

Sakiko Mori is a musician and a piano tuner currently living in Providence. She mainly plays piano, keyboard instruments, and drums. Sakiko has collaborated with film makers, animation artists, and dancers, as well as performed and recorded music with many individuals and groups.  She co-runs the Experimental Music Lab at Community MusicWorks with Jori Ketten, CMW Media Lab Director.

Liam Hopkins

CMW student Liam Hopkins is a rising high school junior and enjoys playing the viola, composing music, and taking photographs.



Participants in the Institute for Musicianship and Public Service

Eve Boltax, Brianna DeWitt, Isabel Escalante, Joshua Burgos Gonzalez, Mari Lee, Taylor Morris, Lauren Nelson, Maggie Schenk, Jaunter Sears, Andrea Sisco, Jared Snyder, Bryan Susma

CMW Teachers and Mentors

Carole Bestvater, Jesse Holstein, Robin Gilbert, Laura Cetilia, David Lee, Sakiko Mori

CMW Alumni

Joshua Rodriguez, Sidney Argueta

CMW Phase II and Media Lab Students

Heather Argueta, AlexisMarie Nelson, Jose Baez, Angie Descollines, Liam Hopkins, Andrew Oung, August Packard, Paola Pena, Alana Perez, Matthew Ricci, Alondra Rivera, Ian Rosales, Natasha Rosario, Jaxine Wolfe, Jesse Woodbury, Emily Cabreja, Aiden Sullivan, Malachy Hopkins



Cage Centennial Concert

After many weeks of rehearsal, the Cage Centennial Concert at the Arsenal finally arrived.

In the words of one concert-goer:

“I’ve never attended a show of this type of music, or sound art, or whatever it is referred to as. It mostly had the same effect on me as meditating – forcing me to confront uncomfortable thoughts or acute self-consciousness. It was very different than listening to it recorded. I was really effected by the one with four or five percussionist around room, and the one with the guy reading cage writings and kids eating carrots and cereal and people playing checkers. Those kids were cool.”

Thanks to Laura and Mark Cetilia for organizing the show!

Preparing for Cage Concert Continued!

Today we ran through the Cage piece with the timings we set through a chance game last week.

We talked about stage presence, performing, meditation, and timing.

We noticed that it felt uncomortable or awkward or boring to sit in silence for some people, and felt nice, quiet, and relaxing to others.

The piece is 19 minutes, and we get to run it through one more time next week before the performance (at 8PM on the 23rd at the Arsenal on Benefit Street – hope to see you there!).




Performances, Events, Projects