Marc Ainger

Associate Professor
Department of Music — ACCAD Faculty


I have written for orchestra and wind symphony and chamber music, but I am especially interested in electronic and computer music. And my work in electronic music influences my music that does not use electricity. I have also worked as a musician with film and video, dance, and VR/AR. Some recent performances have included the New York Philharmonic Biennial; the GRM (Paris); The Aspen Music Festival; the Royal Danish Ballet; CBGB; Late Night with David Letterman; the Goethe Institute; the American Film Institute; Guangdong Modern Dance; the Palais de Tokyo (Paris); Gaggego (Gothenburg); the Joyce Theater (New York); and New Circus artists.

Josef Woodward (LA Times) wrote: "Closing the program with an invigorating coda, Ainger's Spoonbenders was at once a compelling curiosity and a medium-oriented send-up (it's helpful to note that Ainger is, amongst other things, an audio engineer - a timbre editor). Flutist Stimson once again provided the live sound source. Sultry, smart-alecky flute and voice parts were refried by Ainger's machinery - but with a refreshingly rough-hewn quality. Disjointed shifts in the sound spectrum were reminiscent of Godard's jerky jump-cut approach to film editing - viewing events from different angles and different temporal attitudes. Pregnant pauses spilled into sudden densities, and the jumbled whole was graced with a sort of ironic suspense factor..."

Q & A

What makes more livable futures for you?   

Creativity. It is the key to so many things. Creativity is an illuminating and integrative force. Creation is an act of renewal.

What are you reading, viewing, listening to right now?    

We live in a golden age of creative music. There are great composers/performers living and working everywhere, the music is more diverse than at any time in history, the level of performance is high and lively, and music is as great as or greater than at any time in history. I am especially interested in hearing and performing music in spaces that are especially designed for spatial music, or that have in some way been retro-fitted for spatial music. Great music needs a great space to bring it to life. And I listen to the world around me. One of the best ways to become present in the world is to learn to listen to your environment. The OSU campus is a noisy sound environment. We tend to cope with it by tuning it out. Sometime when you are walking around the campus, stop and write down what you are hearing. It will help you to understand a lot about where you live.

What practices are sustaining you?  

I am currently creating a couple of pieces that play with the idea of re-embodied sound - once you capture the sound of an instrument electronically, you can re-embody it in a loudspeaker, which is the usual practice, but you can also re-embody it in other resonating objects. Then, of course, the re-embodied sound can resonate with the original resonating object, and with the original performer. An so on. It becomes an interesting question of just how you would like to activate the environment, and it plays with an expanded notion of immersive sound. How do the vibrations that you initiate play with the vibrations in which you are already immersed? What kind of dialogue/conversation would you like to have with your environment?