Pamela Z

MIDI Music

Pamela Z, a pioneer in solo vocal performance with electronics, uses gesture-recognition MIDI devices to control music and video during a show in UCI’s Winifred Smith Hall. Part of the Gassmann Electronic Music Series, the evening event included short pieces from her concert repertoire as well as excerpts from larger works such as “Baggage Allowance” and “This Impossible Building.”

The performance incorporated live webcam video “to create a cacophony of sounds to make music,” says Chris Dobrian, a professor of music and founder of the annual series. “It was strange and beautiful, and she did everything live. She created minisymphonies singing and speaking. It was a very experimental show – but spectacular.”

The Gassmann series comprises concerts and lectures focused on computers and music and is a component of the integrated composition, improvisation and technology graduate program. Says Dobrian: “As director of the computer music laboratories, I’ve thought it essential to be always bringing in ideas, scholars, researchers, composers and performers from outside the department.”

For more on the 2016-17 Gassmann Electronic Music Series, visit