This summer, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) will present a special season of programming to coincide with Rensselaer’s inaugural Summer Arch semester. In addition to the production residencies and research projects that are regularly conducted at the center throughout the summer, the season will be punctuated by a number of concerts, film screenings, theater performances, and workshops.
Composer Kate Soper has been named a 2017 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Soper's work, Ipsa Dixit, was developed and premiered by the Wet Ink Ensemble at EMPAC on Dec. 9, 2016. Selected by a jury comprised of Harvard professor Carol J. Oja, New Yorker critic Alex Ross, Duke professor John V.
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, will take part in a conversation with Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson, a recent recipient of the National Medal of Science, on Tuesday, April 11. The event will be held in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center on the Rensselaer campus.
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More than a performing arts center, EMPAC is a busy project incubator for artworks traveling far beyond the Rensselaer campus; through the commissioning of new projects that go on to travel the international festival circuit, the center has become a major force in the world of experimental media.
As a result of President Trump’s executive order preventing travel to the US from a number of countries, we will not be able to obtain the necessary artist visas for either event.
The commissioning of new artworks has been central to the EMPAC program since even before the center opened in 2008.
Composer, musician, and Deep Listening pioneer Pauline Oliveros shared a very close collaborative relationship with EMPAC from the time she joined Rensselaer until she died at the age of 84 on November 24, 2016.
In 2012, avant-garde jazz saxophonist John Zorn performed a rare solo set in EMPAC's Studio 2. Zorn's label Tzadik Records has now released an album-length recording of the show, titled The Classic Guide to Strategy Vol. 4. This is the fourth and penultimate installation in a series of solo records that Zorn began in 1983. Filled with wit, drama, playfulness and intensity, the composer's legendary virtuosity and powerful improvisational logic is on full display.
In March of 2015, Italian artist Rosa Barba presented The Color Out of Space, a meditative science-fiction film, crafted from images taken through the telescope at Rensselaer's Hirsch Observatory, and projected on the facade of the EMPAC building.