HEARding Cats Collective is pleased to announce the world premiere of Black Cats and Blues, a hypermedia concerto for cello and digital technologies by Craig Vear, featuring Craig Hultgren performing on cello. The piece is inspired by Boris Vian’s book ‘Blues for a Black Cat’.

Black Cats and Blues uses the human performer to initiate and interact with a vast multimedia system. Text, image, and sound interact with camera analysis tracking the performer’s motion and real-time sound (frequency) analysis from the performer’s instrument. These elements also facilitate a live, generative score.

With an emphasis on using technology to extend the capabilities of the performer, Black Cats and Blues carefully balances media and human interactions, maintaining a system of chance, control, and sonic extension that results in a unified, cohesive whole.

Craig Vear (born 1970) is a composer and musician working predominantly in contemporary, improvised and electroacoustic music for the concert hall, installation and theatre. In recent years his practice has moved increasingly into the realm of computer-based composition but continues to draw on his experience as a professional musician. He studied composition under Gavin Bryars, Dave Smith and Joe Duddell. He is Professor of Digital Performance (Music) at De Montfort University, UK.

Craig Hultgren is a fixture on the scenes for new music, the newly creative arts, and the avant-garde. Recently leaving Birmingham after more than 30 years as a member of the Alabama Symphony, he now resides outside of Decorah, Iowa as the farmer-cellist. He is a founding member and former President of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance and was on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Birmingham and their Scrollworks program. Currently, he is member of the Board of Directors for the Iowa Composers Forum and Vice President of the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra Board of Directors in Decorah.

The event takes place on May 3rd, 8:00 PM @ The Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand, St. Louis, MO 63103.