Laptop Music Invades Santa Clara

ruviaro-newearLiving in San Jose, an hour’s drive from the music hubs of San Francisco and Oakland, I’ve often thought about looking into the music programs of San Jose State University and Santa Clara University, not as a student, but as a music fan. They’ve got to have some academic types who perform some interesting music, right? Even Stanford, home to CCRMA, doesn’t get only my radar often enough.

I’ve “thought about” it but never done much about it. Well, now’s my chance.

Bruno Ruviaro — who’s done work at CCRMA, it turns out — is now an assistant professor at Santa Clara and has organized a concert of laptop music (and more) this Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Titled “Happy New Ear,” it’s described as “an opera singer, three flutes of different sizes, seven laptops, several loudspeakers, and assorted sound objects.” Who could resist, right?

Ruviaro’s web site includes recordings of many of his works: It’s mostly electroacoustic stuff but includes some not-so-electroacoustic works, such as a piano sonata and a solo saxophone piece.

I streamed a trio for viola, cello, and percussion, and tried to follow along with the score provided on Ruviaro’s site. It was entertaining. (I can read music note by note, but when it comes to that modern classical stuff … to quote Keanu Reeves: “Whoa.”)