EMPAC presents EMPAC 360: On Site + Sound

An Evening of dazzling performance on the site of the EMPAC building

September 8, 2005

For Immediate Release

TROY, N.Y. — Marking the midpoint between groundbreaking and opening, Rensselaer's Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) presents "EMPAC 360: On Site + Sound" at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8th, 2005. Rensselaer President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson and EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel invite the Rensselaer and Capital Region communities to join them in celebrating the emergence of this unique cultural resource by walking the periphery of the site as the sun sets and performances happen on all sides.

Throw out your high heels and dress loafers, and don your walking shoes, to participate in an evening that you will not soon forget. The event will be an extraordinary guided walking tour around the edges of the EMPAC construction site while performances featuring aerial dance, music, live visuals, and pyrotechnics, dazzle along the way.

"EMPAC 360: On Site + Sound" will include local, national, and international performers.

San Francisco-based Flyaway Productions will create an aerial site-specific dance work that will range over the walls and empty spaces along the periphery of the building site. Founded in 1996, the company creates original works that integrate aerial skills and modern dance with a theatrical sensibility. Local residents might get a sneak preview as EMPAC's first artists-in-residence rehearse on the exterior wall of the Arts Center in downtown Troy in the two to three weeks prior to the event.

Ethel, a New York City-based string quartet, is known for stretching the limits of convention, genre, and style to embrace a music that arises from the contemporary context. Often described as having more in common with a rock band than with a conventional string quartet, Ethel will be playing amplified from several locations on the site. Since the group's founding in 1998, Ethel has brought to its music an exciting, beautiful, and rare combination of tastes and talents that has developed from each member's unique experiences in the music world. Members of Ethel have performed and/or recorded with Bang On A Can, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Steve Reich Ensemble, Sheryl Crow, and Yo-Yo Ma, among many others.

Long Island-based visual artist Benton-C Bainbridge and Troy composer, audio artist, and sound designer Stephan Moore will collaborate in a real-time creation of projected video and sound.Bainbridge, a recent Troy resident, has been pursuing moviemaking as a real-time, performable art form for over two decades. Moore, a graduate of Rensselaer, works with the collection and use of real-world sound, the creation and perception of sonic environments, and technological manifestations of improvisation and interactivity.

Pyrotechnics, designed by renowned French pyrotechnics designer Pierre-Alain Hubert, will illuminate the evening's events. Hubert's work, entitled "Dialectic of Duration," places fire and pyrotechnics within the volume of the future building, delineating the spaces with ephemeral light. For over 35 years he has enthralled the public the world over–from Athens to Zimbabwe–with his spectacular creations.

Hubert's design will be executed by the company Fireworks by Grucci, of Long Island, NY, one of the premier pyrotechnics firms of the world.

Admission to "EMPAC 360: On Site + Sound" is free and open to the public. The audience will assemble on the Rensselaer campus, Troy, NY, next to the library. Attendees are asked to arrive by 7 p.m. for the walking tour, and are advised to wear sensible footwear. Parking will be available in the RENSSELAER garage on College Avenue.

In case of inclement weather, the event will take place at 7 p.m. in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, 15th Street adjacent to College Ave.

ABOUT RENSSELAER

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of America's leading research universities, with a student body of 5,100 undergraduates, 1,800 graduate students in residential programs, and 2,800 students in distance programs and at Rensselaer at Hartford. Rensselaer is known for providing an undergraduate education of undisputed intellectual rigor based on exceptional pedagogical innovation and has earned distinction in interactive learning and the application of information technology to education. Faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research in fields ranging from microelectronics to computational modeling and simulation, mathematical finance, advanced materials, environmental studies, lighting, and electronic arts. Fostering technological entrepreneurship, Rensselaer operates three business incubators, with a technology park that is home to some fifty companies.

For more information on Rensselaer, the public may visit the university's web site at www.rpi.edu. For more information on EMPAC, the public may visit empac.rpi.edu