Nicolas Collins

Concert by Nic Collins

Friday, September 15, 2023 at 8:00pm
World Music Hall


Nicolas Collins ’76, MA ’79 presents a concert of recent live electronic music works, including several Connecticut premieres, performed by various instrumentalists.  

The first half of the concert will feature a set of three pieces: “Down on the Roof” (2021–2023) combines an edited recording of a woodpecker combined with a performer engaged in a parallel activation of the performance space with a solenoid (electromagnet). “Long Fetch” (2022) features a multiplicity of microphones and loudspeakers producing rhythmically gated feedback interacting with the sounds of a hammered dulcimer and a santur (Iraqi percussion-stringed instrument). And “Still Lives” (1993/2019)—the only work on the program previously performed in Connecticut (at Wesleyan)—slowly scans through a recording of ten measures of an Italian canzona (song) by Giuseppe Guami paralleled by a string bass and juxtaposed with a reading of writings by Vladimir Nabakov on memory and mortality. 

The second half of the concert is a set of three solos for live electronics. “!trumpet” (‘not a trumpet’ in C syntax, 2021) features a trumpet reconfigured as a combined loudspeaker and controller. “Roll, Pitch, and Yaw” (2022) explores electromagnetic feedback interacting with high voltage static fields. And “In Memorium Michel Waisvisz” (2009) converts the flickering of a candle into the tuning of a cluster of four oscillators.

Nicolas Collins ’76, MA ’79 studied with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan in the 1970s, and subsequently has collaborated with numerous musicians in the experimental and improvised music scenes. He was Artistic Director of STEIM (Amsterdam, Netherlands) in the 1990s, and is currently a Professor in the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute (Ghent, Belgium). An early adopter of microcomputers for live performance, he also makes use of homemade electronic circuitry and more-or-less conventional acoustic instruments. His book Handmade Electronic Music—The Art of Hardware Hacking, now in its third edition, has influenced emerging electronic music worldwide. Collins has the dubious distinction of having played at both CBGB and the Concertgebouw. For more information about Collins, please visit

Read more about other events that are part of Nicolas Collins’ Residency at Wesleyan.