Installation or performance: The art of art making

with Brent Lee

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Brent Lee was traveling through Belgium in summer 2018 (from Germany to an art festival in Ostend) and he reached out to me and some colleagues, asking if it was possible to visit IPEM, the Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music in Ghent where I have been happy and pround to work for a couple of years now. I'm so glad Brent got in touch! In him, I immediately found an engaging conversation partner, very knowledgable and experienced in topics that have been giving me a headache in my own research during the past two years: installation art, interactive art, music compositions, multimedia performances - in short, all about art and technology. So I am very happy I got to talk to him on Technoculture. I find there's something unique - and very classy and charming - about his approach to art making.

Brent Lee (b. 1964, Wynyard, Saskatchewan) grew up in the Edmonton area, where he studied saxophone and guitar. He completed his Bachelor's (1986) and Master's (1990) degrees at McGill University. While still a student, he was awarded several composition prizes through CAPAC and SOCAN, as well as the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Festival. After extended residencies in the Netherlands, Bourges and at the Banff Centre, he settled in Calgary in 1990, where he taught at the Mount Royal College Conservatory, volunteered with New Works Calgary, and performed with the crossover ensembles Strictly Plutonic and Modus vivendi. In 1999 he completed a doctoral degree at the University of British Columbia, studying composition with Keith Hamel and orchestration with Nikolai Korndorf. After a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at UBC, he accepted a position at the University of Windsor in 2002. He served as composer-in-residence with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2006. In 2008 he co-founded the Noiseborder Ensemble, a group that specializes in multimedia performance. He has been an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre since 1991.
Brent Lee's compositions range from orchestral music to electroacoustic pieces, and include jazz and incidental music. He has received numerous commissions, largely through the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council. In addition to performances and broadcasts in many countries, several of his works have been commercially recorded. His compositions and improvisations often juxtapose acoustic instruments and electroacoustic sound, and reflect his interest in the exploration of musical colours and textures.

Brent Lee's website: