'True Control is Not a Game' - pushing boundaries and exploring new artistic ventures

Published on

At the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, students of the Master's Programme in Live Electronics (MLE) are constantly pushing boundaries and exploring new artistic ventures. Among them are Wytze Minne de Swart and Loïse Campagna, two talented MLE master's students who have delved into the world of combining traditional instruments with live electronic extensions. We talked to them to get a glimpse into their journeys and the upcoming 'True Control is Not a Game' concert at the Q-Factory on 25th April.

About the Master's Programme in Live Electronics (MLE)
The MLE master's programme is a high-level, cross-genre course designed for performers from any musical background who wish to specialise in blending their traditional instruments with live electronic elements. It provides profound education in combining instruments with live electronic extensions through balanced training in dedicated software, hardware, performance, composition, improvisation, multimedia, music technology, computer programming, and more.

Wytze's path to Live Electronic Music
Wytze's entry into Live Electronic music came from a desire to extend the sound possibilities of his saxophone playing. "I was curious to find an extension in the sound from the saxophone," he explains. "Aside from that, I was looking to make my sound and performances more personal."

Joining the MLE master's programme has been a transformative experience for Wytze. "Learning to work with both hardware and the software Max MSP gives me a skillset that I can use for composing, performing, and collaborating," he says. "The skillset functions almost like an instrument would for a regular master."

Loïse's journey to MLE
For Loïse Campagna, the path to MLE was a natural progression from her classical studies in France and a jazz double bass bachelor in Amsterdam. "I met Jos Zwaanenburg (Teacher in MLE) in the live electronic Max Class introduction. It opened my musical world of freedom and expressivity; to be more independent and to reach all my musical ideas and desires," she shares. After studying electroacoustics in France, Loïse returned to the Conservatorium van Amsterdam to pursue the MLE master's programme.

Studying at the MLE has opened up new perspectives for both Wytze and Loïse. "It has allowed me to get support and input from the teacher team, inspired me to think about sound in a different way, and to collaborate with others in a more creative way," Wytze shares.

Loïse echoes this sentiment, "The experience of being back here at the CvA and studying MLE is finally to take time to enjoy exploring sounds, colours, emotions, present time, exploring all the tools to have an infinitely flexible space to create our own interactive software (Maxmsp, Ableton, Arduino..)."

The 'True Control is Not a Game' concert at the Q-Factory
The upcoming 'True Control is Not a Game' concert at the Q-Factory on 25th April promises to showcase the creative efforts of the MLE master's students. Wytze explains, "All students of the MLE department prepare one or two pieces of music for the concert. From Monday until Wednesday, the students get coaching from the teachers for both the technical and artistic work that needs to be done."

Loïse adds, "Every Block Week we compose for different instrument formations and Live electronics. There is also a part of improvisation with the space, time, and electro. You can for sure expect a lot of different sounds explorations and inspirations." For this concert, Loïse will be playing double bass and inviting a jazz trumpet player to create texture and spatialisation improvisation.

One of the most exciting aspects of the MLE concert is the diversity of styles and approaches on display. "The great thing is that everyone has their own style and artistic approach," Wytze says enthusiastically. "All students have studied an instrument previously but are from all possible departments. You can expect all kinds of music - noise-based, beats, ambient, jazz influences."

Loïse is particularly excited about the surprises in store. "For the April concert, I am excited as always because it's the surprise of how each student will share their world and work, so a lot of inspiration and immersion. We all come from different backgrounds and aspirations, so it's always a nice time to discover how we interpret the Block Week theme."

Both Wytze and Loïse extend a warm invitation to fellow students and anyone interested in experiencing the boundless possibilities of Live Electronic music at the 'True Control is Not a Game' concert.
"Everyone should come because these concerts always showcase the versatile and broad possibilities that live electronic music creates," Wytze says. "Also, the vibe is always very good, friendly, and celebratory. The one thing I hear often from visitors is how it shows all the different possibilities of electronic music."

Loïse adds, "Of course, I encourage everyone to join this special experience of sounds that unfold to create new visions, sensation, and perceptions. Musicians from every department can have this little spark while coming there because it's not only an experience for us on stage but an immersion for the audience."

The 'True Control is Not a Game' concert at the Q-Factory on 25th April promises to be an inspiring and immersive experience, showcasing the work of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam's talented MLE master's students. We hope to see you there!

“True Control is Not a Game”
Time: 19:30 – 21:00
Location: Q-Factory
Free entrance