Carnegie Mellon University
March 29, 2013

Press Release: Annual wats:ON? Festival Begins Thursday, April 4; Focus is on “the Realm of Noise” Via Enhanced Music

Contacts: Samantha Carter / 412-268-5551 /
Pam Wigley / 412-268-1047 /

watsonPITTSBURGH—The Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts, will open at 5 p.m., Thursday, April 4, in Kresge Theater in the College of Fine Arts building at Carnegie Mellon University. The festival features six events, ending April 6 with a physical electronic music performance.

Curated by Golan Levin, professor and director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and Spike Wolff, an adjunct assistant professor of architecture, the festival will explore the realm of noise through a variety of analog, digital and apparatus-enhanced sound music performances. The event is free and open to the public.

In the 1913 manifesto "L'arte dei rumori," Luigi Russolo states, "Ancient life was all silence ... with the invention of the machine, Noise was born." Inspired by Russolo's efforts on the new concept of noise art, the opening performance by the wats:ON Festival Noise Orchestra, constructed by nine noise-interested students from different departments at CMU, will present an original work of reconstructed Intonarumori Futurist noise machines, in celebration of the centennial of Russolo's work.

Other festival events also reflect the essence of noise, including a lecture on the history of electronic music; a workshop on making noise with pure data; an exploration of sound and music in film; and digital, robotic and electronically enhanced sound-music performances. The works of artists Geeta Dayal, Jeff Hinkelman, Dan Wilcox, Jeremy Boyle, Michael Johnsen, Eric Singer and Lesley Flanigan will be featured throughout the three-day festival.

The festival was created to honor the life of Watson, a Carnegie Mellon alumna, adjunct faculty member in the School of Architecture, and acclaimed Pittsburgh architect who died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996. Her interest in the arts inspired others through her work and her teaching. The festival celebrates Watson's commitment to an interdisciplinary philosophy as an artist, and her accomplishments and reputation as an architect.

The Jill Watson Family Foundation, CMU College of Fine Arts, Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, CMU School of Music, and CMU School of Architecture provide support for this festival. All events take place within the College of Fine Arts building.

For further information, please go to the website of the festival: