Adam Vidiksis

Performing Technology: A Look at Electro-Acoustic Music Ensembles

Twenty-first-century music-making is permeated by newly emerging and recently developed technologies that are changing nearly every facet of how we perform, produce, and consume music. In this session, we will examine how the technologies of electronic music production are changing performance; in particular, we will take a close look at how a collection of these instruments function together in an electro-acoustic music ensemble. Along the way, we will learn about the shifting nature of performance itself as represented in a variety of styles and genres, including EDM, drum and bass, experimental, and the classical avant-garde.

This session will examine contemporary performance practices through the lens of Temple University’s electro-acoustic ensemble, BEEP: The Boyer College Electroacoustic Ensemble Project. Led by BEEP’s director, Dr. Adam Vidiksis, we will look at the types of instruments and approaches used in the ensemble, including laptops, tablets, phones and other mobile devices, software platforms including DAWs and audio programming environments, as well as various sensors, controllers, synths, hybrid digital-acoustic setups, and multi-channel speakers. We will examine how traditional studio production techniques are used for performance and in what ways these processes need to be adjusted for real-time electronic music on stage. We will explore various modalities for electro-acoustic ensemble performance, including the laptop orchestra, hybrid acoustic and electronic chamber ensemble, electro-acoustic improvisation ensemble, and electronic music band. We will hear examples of repertoire in in a variety of styles and genres, including EDM, drum and bass, experimental, and the classical avant-garde as performed by BEEP in China, South Korea, around the USA, and of course, in our own Philadelphia. We will also look at how COVID-19 is pushing these boundaries further through the need for telematic and remote music practices. Throughout, we will learn about how these technologies are not only revolutionizing a fundamental shift in how we make music, but also transforming how we consider the nature of music performance itself in the early decades of the 21st century.


Adam Vidiksis is a composer, conductor, percussionist, improviser, and technologist based in Philadelphia whose music often explores social structures, science, and the intersection of humankind with the machines we build. Critics have called his music “mesmerizing”, “dramatic”, “striking” (Philadelphia Weekly), “notable”, “catchy” (WQHS), “magical” (Local Arts Live), and “special” (Percussive Notes), and have noted that Vidiksis provides “an electronically produced frame giving each sound such a deep-colored radiance you could miss the piece’s shape for being caught up in each moment” (Philadelphia Inquirer). His work is frequently commissioned and performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia in recitals, festivals, and major academic conferences. Vidiksis’s music has won numerous awards and grants, including recognition from the Society of Composers, Incorporated, the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and ASCAP. His works are available through HoneyRock Publishing, EMPiRE, New Focus, PARMA, and SEAMUS Records. Vidiksis recently served as composer in residence for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and was selected by the NEA and Japan-US Friendship Commission to serve as Director of Arts Technology for a performance of a new work by Gene Coleman during the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Vidiksis is Assistant Professor of music technology at Temple University, President and founding member of SPLICE Music, which includes the annual Institute, Academy, and Festival, a Resident Artist at the Renegade Theater company, and a founding member of the Impermanent Society of Philadelphia, a group dedicated to promoting improvisation in the performing arts. He performs in SPLICE Ensemble and the Transonic Orchestra, conducts Ensemble N_JP, and directs the Temple Composers Orchestra and the Boyer College Electroacoustic Ensemble Project (BEEP). He produces real-time generative improvised electronic music (a.k.a 4EA and Circadia of Circadia & Currency). []