Performance at the Phillips Collection, Washington DC

March 1st, 2013

The Phillips Collection in Washington DC was the host site for a 2013 performance of Auksalaq, in collaboration with the Lu Magnus Gallery in New York City, and UVA OpenGrounds in Charlottesville Virginia on February 11. The performance featured the EcoSono Ensemble at the Phillips Collection, with performers online at Lu Magnus, and media participation at OpenGrounds, University of Virginia.

World Premiere

November 6th, 2012

The world premiere for the telematic opera Auksalaq occurred on October 29th, and was performed simultaneously between the University of Alaska Museum of the North, Tavel Center at IUPUI, CIRMMT at Schullich School of Music, McGill University in Montreal, Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen Norway, and the OpenGrounds Studio at the University of Virginia. Performance ensembles included Bit20 (Norway), BEK (Bergen Center Electronic Arts, Norway), Ensemble Knox (USA), McGill Percussion Ensemble (Canada), EcoSono Ensemble (USA), and Telematic Collective (USA). An interactive audience-participation software called NOMADS enabled engagement with the performance in real-time across all the stages. Audience members at the concert locations were able to use their laptop computers and mobile devices in order to participate in the performance in real time. Links to reviews of the premiere are in the “press” section of this website. For a full list of participants, see the blog posting of the premiere program.

Super Storm Pummels Climate Change Opera Premiere

October 29th, 2012

The Superstorm Sandy has forced 2 of the scheduled 7 world-wide venues to cancel the premier performance of Auksalaq, multi-site, interactive opera about climate-change by composer Matthew Burtner and media artist Scott Deal.
According to a news article on The Weather Channel, “Sandy strengthened before dawn and stayed on a predicted path toward Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York — putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. About 2 to 3 feet of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.” » Read the rest of this entry «

October 29 World Premiere Program

October 25th, 2012

Here is the program of performers, technicians, producers and artists involved in the world premiere of the full version of Auksalaq. » Read the rest of this entry «

Auksalaq World Premiere: October 29, 2012

May 18th, 2012

The world premiere for the award-winning telematic opera Auksalaq has been announced for October 29th at 5 pm EST, to be performed simultaneously between The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the University of Alaska Museum of the North, Lu Magnus Gallery in New York, Tavel Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, CIRMMT at McGill University in Montreal, Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen Norway, and the OpenGrounds Studio and Clemons Library at the University of Virginia.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Auksalaq Presented with Internet2 IDEA Award

October 6th, 2011

Internet2, the nation’s most advanced networking consortium, presented the Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) award  to Scott Deal and Matthew Burtner for their creation of Auksalaq. In presenting the award, they were commended for “innovation in advanced network applications for collaborative research and education” at the Internet2 Fall Member Meeting in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Writing in support for the award, Joel Chadabee, President of the Electronic Music Foundation wrote: “Auksalaq is the single best and most important realization of meaningful opera for today’s world.” Tom Knab, chair of the IDEA award judging committee and chief information officer, Case Western Reserve University’s College of Arts & Sciences wrote that “the winning submissions were from an exceptionally strong nominations pool and represent a cross-section of the wide-ranging innovation that is occurring within the Internet2 member community.” » Read the rest of this entry «

Article on Auksalaq in New 2011 Book

August 15th, 2011

Two articles dealing with Auksalaq will be part of the upcoming publication of North by 2020: Perspectives on Alaska’s Changing Social-Ecological  Systems, scheduled for release in the fall of 2011 by the University of Alaska Press. Climate Change as Telematic Art, written by S. Deal, gives treatment to the conception and construct of the opera. Syntax of Snow: Ecoacoustics of a Changing Arctic, written by M. Burtner, discusses philosophical, aesthetic and compositional concerns behind Auksalaq. The articles are reprinted in the “Writings” section of this website.

ICMC 2011 Presentation

August 15th, 2011

Auksalaq, a Telematic Opera was presented as a poster at the 2011 International Computer Music Conference in Huddersfield, United Kingdom and appears as a paper in the Conference Proceedings. Co-written by S. Deal and M. Burtner, the paper is available in the “Writings” section of this website.

Concert Version Performed at Ear to the Earth Festival in New York

November 23rd, 2010

A concert version of the Auksalaq was performed in New York on October 31 as part of the Electonic Music Foundation’s Ear to the Earth Festival.  Joan LABarbara was featured as the singer/narrator, with the NYU New Music Ensemble directed by Esther Lamneck, and the NYU Percussion Ensemble directed by Jonathan Haas.


September 4th, 2010

Auksalaq, the Inupiat word for “melting snow/ice”, is a telematic work that explores global climate change from a northern geographic and cultural perspective. Using networked technology, videography, music, voice, visual arts and interviews, Auksalaq integrates artistic expression, scientific information and social/political commentary to create an interactive, multi-dimensional experience. The narrative incorporates fragmented and conflicting perspectives about the state of climate change as experienced in Alaska and the Arctic. These accounts, portrayed in the form of a scientific commentary and interviews with people of the region, are woven into a story about change in the far north. The music expresses interlocking environmental forces as eco-musical forms, expressing the profound changes in the ice-flows of Arctic waters. A new interactive audience-participation software called NOMADS enables engagement with the performance in real-time. Audience members are encouraged to attend the concert with their laptops or PDAs. (more)