jef chippewa (Canadian, living in Berlin) is a composer of electroacoustic and instrumental works, specialist in the notation of New Music, arts administrator and project manager, not to mention a fantastic cook. In 17 miniatures (flute, extended piano, drumset and dozens of sound-producing objects) and in his footscapes (electroacoustic) and postcards (toy piano and sound objects) series, he explored the potential of the miniature as a way of problematizing musical form. Sound objects and funky performance techniques have long played an important role in his work, while theatricality and gestural choreography are integral components of such instrumental pieces as the concert-theatre-fluxus work cabinet de curiosités (2015), the live-notated something like this but not this and not that either (2017) and the single-upbow string trio al tallone (2018). He is currently collaborating on an ambitious project with improvising saxophonist Yves Charuest that explores the encounter between composed (fully notated) music and free improvisation, with “adaptive notational strategies” bridging the practices.

chippewa’s work has been presented on stage and in art galleries, jukeboxes and the Wrocław-Berlin “Culture Train”, as well as in more traditional venues during Ai-Maako (Santiago), EuCuE (Montréal), Darmstadt Ferienkurse, FUTURA (France), Infektion! (Berlin), Inventionen (Berlin), ISCM (Stuttgart, 2006) MANTIS (Manchester UK) Mixtur (Barcelona), Punto de Encuentro (Madrid), Sonorities (Dublin), Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium and Visiones Sonores (Morelia, Mexico). Ensembles such as LUX:NM, Trio Nexus, CrossingLines and ensemble recherche have commissioned works from him. For his second collaboration with the ensemble, LUX:NM commissioned cabinet de curiosités, a 35-minute, concert-theatre-fluxus work in nine parts, for performance during the 2015 Infektion! festival of new and experimental music theatre produced by Berlin’s Staatsoper im Schiller Theater.

In 1999, jef chippewa founded shirling & neueweise, a company specialized in New Music notation that collaborates with composers, ensembles and publishers (mathias spahlinger, Bernhard Lang, Sebastian Claren, ensemble recherche, PEER Music-Classical, Breitkopf & Härtel). The quality of his work is recognized by his international peers, notably by Breitkopf, who in 2010 invited him to prepare the first digital edition of Helmut Lachenmann’s pivotal work, Pression. Further examples of his notation work are published in Theresa Tisano’s Notations 21. Since 2010, drawing on his experiences as both a copyist and a composer, he has led various versions of his module-based seminar, “New Music Notation: Score design, function and role.” Aiming to encourage better mastery and understanding of the notation of contemporary works in the instrumental and electroacoustic milieux, he has led the seminar in various  forms in Canada, Germany, Israel, Mexico, UK and the USA.

Working as Project Manager, chippewa has coordinated several tours and events for the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (notably their 25th Anniversary Tour), Gilles Gobeil and the laptop trio Endphase, among others. Since 2005, he has acted as Administrative co-Director of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC), Canada’s national association for electroacoustic practices, and is the Coordinating Editor of their electronic journal, eContact! His efforts in this position have contributed greatly to establishing the CEC’s highly respected international presence and to making it the most active and progressive of the national EA associations.

[last updated may 2021]


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