Electronic Musician, Video Game Composer to Visit Here Tomorrow

Sound artist, electronic musician and video game composer Ben Houge will visit the St. Thomas campus on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to share and discuss his work in video game audio design and computer-manipulated sound and video. Houge will speak from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 250, Owens Science Hall.

Houge’s interests focus on how people make connections in the digital age, and finding points of convergence between different kinds of information, between disciplines and between people.

Ben Houge

Ben Houge

His latest project, Kaleidoscope Music, has been featured in museums in China and the United States, most recently at the Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media in Boston. Working with multiple channels of computer-manipulated audio and video, his algorithms create unique sound and imagery in real time using samples from the live environment. Click here for a sound sample.

Houge is assistant professor of music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he teaches video game music in the Film Scoring Department. He has been a video game audio designer and composer since 1996, including six years in China. With game companies Ubisoft , Microsoft and Sierra Entertainment he worked on titles such as Tom Clancy’s "End War," "King’s Quest," "Half Life," "Arcanum," and "Leisure Suit  Larry." He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music theory and composition from St. Olaf College and a Master of Music degree from the University of Washington.

Kaleidoscope Music: A six-channel, real time, algorithmic sound installation

Ben Houge art

The art of Ben Houge includes images such as this from the exhibit "29 Giraffes." Click for a larger view of this image.

A kaleidoscope is a device that refocuses attention on everyday surroundings, transforming them into something unexpected and beautiful. Kaleidoscope Music manipulates ambient sound from around the Green Street subway station into an ever-changing landscape of harmonies and rhythmic patterns. It ebbs and flows, never repeating, evoking the natural rhythms of rainfall, wind and tide.

A collection of stills from the dynamic images created by similar means have been assembled into an exhibition titled "29 Giraffes." Click here for more sample images.

Houge will present excerpts from Kaleidoscope Music and other recent installations in a concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Studio Z in downtown St. Paul. Visit his website  for details.

For more information about Houge's talk, contact Andrew Tubesing, School of Engineering, (651) 962-5437.