27 May | 21:00

Valery Vermeulen: lecture/performance #157

Picture by Gaia Bartolini
picture by Tom Van Laere

Doors: 20:00 / Start time: 21:00
Entrance: 5 euro

In this lecture/performance Dr. Valery Vermeulen will give an overview and insight in the different approaches he uses to integrate both mathematics and music in his various projects. Having worked in the fields of pure mathematics, algorithmic composition, electronic music production, procedural sound synthesis and sound design, cognitive musicology, creative evolutionary system design and data science he will also talk about his motivation, the pitfalls and the possible future evolutions of music and technology. 

Three projects currently elaborated by Vermeulen will play a guiding role in this lecture/performance: Mikromedas, Krystal Ball and EMO-Synth

Mikromedas is a data-driven project in which compositions are elaborated using data coming from our solar system and deep space. Data used in this project consists of sampled radio astronomical data coming from various sources e.g. data stemming from several spacecrafts such as Voyager1 and Voyager2 or data originating from various astrophysical objects such as pulsar stars (which might be up to 22000 years old). Other sources that are used in the composition process include synthesized sounds as well as live data feeds from satellites turned into sound and music using newly developed sonification techniques. 

Krystal Ball is an artistic, politically and economically inspired multimedia project focusing on our cyclically failing financial system, the misuse of scientific models and techniques in our globalized and neoliberal western society, interactive systems design and stochastic as well as algorithmic composition as initiated by I. Xenakis in the early sixties. 

EMO-Synth is a project in which an emotional intelligent multimedia system called EMO-Synth plays a central role. In short the EMO-Synth is a system capable of automatically generating personalized soundtracks with maximal emotional impact. To this end the project incorporates techniques from several disciplines such as biofeedback, artificial intelligence and the domain of affective computing.
- General paper on use of biofeedback in artistic context for Canadian journal eContact! 
- Paper on EMO-Synth for Canadian journal eContact! 


Dr. Valery Vermeulen is a Belgian mathematician, new media artist, composer, author and visiting professor at Erasmus University College in Brussels where he teaches on sound and music for multimedia art. In 2001 he obtained a Phd in pure mathematics at the Ghent University (Belgium) conducting ground breaking research in the field of algebraic group theory with relations to superstring theory. Between 2001 and 2005 Vermeulen worked as a researcher at the IPEM research centre of Ghent University on the topic of music and emotions. In 2013 he finished a masters study in Music Composition at the Royal Conservatory in Ghent in Belgium.

Since 2003 Vermeulen has been working on various (interactive) multimedia projects where the man machine interaction plays a central role. Topics in his work cover a broad range of disciplines including algorithmic composition, procedural sound synthesis and sound design, data sonification, artificial intelligence, affective computing, econometrics, astrophysics and mathematical modeling.

Vermeulen's installations and performances have been widely shown in Belgium as well as abroad. Locations and venues of where his work was shown include Slingshot Festival (Atlanta, US), TES (Wychwood Theatre, Toronto, CA), IMT (Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, IT), BEAF (BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival, Brussels, BE), DEAF Festival (Dutch Electronic Art Festival, Rotterdam, NL), GOGBOT Festival (Enschede, NL), Hacking Habitat Festival (Utrecht, NL), TEC ART (Rotterdam, NL), Atomium (Brussels, BE), Technical Museum Zagreb (Zagreb, HR), TEDxFlanders (TEDx, Antwerp, BE), Agora Collective (Berlin, DE), Liebig12 Gallery (Berlijn, DE), Korrekt Gelände (Frankfurt, DE), GRETA Gallery (Zagreb, HR), MHKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, BE), Beursschouwburg (Brussels, BE), Z33 (Hasselt, BE), STUK (Leuven, BE), Vooruit (Ghent, BE), Tour & Taxis (Brussel, BE), Pecha Kucha (Ghent & Brussels, BE) on Belgian national radio channels KLARA, Radio1, Radio2 and Studio Brussels and national television channels Ketnet and TV Brussels. Besides his artistic and educational activities, Vermeulen currently also works as a statistical expert and data scientist. http://www.valeryvermeulen.net/