© 2018 by Josef Kucera​

Major Concerts and Festivals

During my 33 year tenure at UCSD, I recorded, produced or supervised approximately 6500 live events and more than 3000 recording sessions.  The vast majority were first performances or contemporary classical works, the focus of the UCSD Department of Music.  I was often involved with the "sampling" of musical materials destined for computer processing in a  new work, solving an audio problem a professor had encountered in their quest for a new sonic experience and I recorded and mastered audio and video projects for publication.  

Below are a few of the larger projects for which there are free examples published on the web.  Most of the CD and DVD projects that are published are still available commercially.  I hope you enjoy the samples below.

This 1979 8-day Festival was my first involvement with large scale productions.  I performed in four concerts and was an assistant recording engineer for the other events.

The UCSD Pacific Ring Festival was notable for bringing together composers and artists for a series of lectures, discussions and concerts.  Participitants included John Cage, Nam June Paik, Harold Cohen, Gordon Mumma, Conlon Nancarrow, Morton Subotnick, Ed Emshwiller, Alan Rich, Margaret Leng Tan, Roger Reynolds, Robert Erickson and Jogi Yuasa to name a few.  I was responsible for the planning, technical support and audio documentation of all of the events.

The Erickson Celebration was a 7 day Festival in March of 1987 highlighting the work of one of the UCSD Department of Music's founding Faculty, Robert Erickson.   I was responsible for the planning, technical support and audio documentation of all of the events.

In 1988, 52 members of the UCSD Music Department traveled to the biennial contemporary music festival in Darmstadt Germany.  Approximately 60 events -  talks, lectures and 26 concerts - were presented in 14 days.   I was responsible for the planning and technical support for the festival.

Pictured are some members of the UCSD ensemble.

This art exhibition catalogue celebrating the work of Eleanor Antin was release by The Los Angeles County Museum of Art simultaneously with the exhibition of her Film The Last Night of Rasputin.  I created and recorded the soundtrack for this film.

AT THE EDGE: MUSIC/TECHNOLOGY/THEATER was a concert presented in Suizuoka, Japan on May 21 and 22, 1999.  The music was composed by Roger Reynolds and the Dance/staging was directed by Tadashi Suzuki.  Two pieces were presented: Music for Chekhov's Ivanov (1991) 50'
8-channel computer processed sound and JUSTICE (1999-2001) 48'
Actress, Soprano, Percussion, Multichannel computer sound,
Real-time spatialization, Staging.  I was the recording engineer for the prerecorded final masters, the live concert sound production, the recording of the concert and the post production documentation of the event.

This was the 2nd performance of JUSTICE (1999-2001) 48'
Actress, Soprano, Percussion, Multichannel computer sound,
Real-time spatialization, Staging.  This version was performed in the Great Hall at the Library of Congress.

 

I was the recording engineer for the prerecorded final masters, the live concert sound production, the recording of the concert and the post production documentation of the event.  An online version of the final video is below.

Justice Performance

This Performance of The Angel of Death by Roger Reynolds was presented at the MIller Theater on campus at Columbia University in New York City.  I recorded and edited the pre-recorded materials and was the audio engineer for the event.

This photo is a still from the 2008 DVD produced by Steven Schick and MODE Records on the Complete Early Percussion Works of Stockhausen.  I restored the original Kontake analog 4 channel master tape  and digitized it for the recording.  I was the recording and mastering engineer for this CD/DVD set.  A sample of the stereo reduction (from quad) is here.  Kontake

Sanctuary was composed by Roger Reynolds.  The first performance of the first movement was performed in honor of his 70th birthday.  The first performance of the complete work was given at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. on November 18th, 2007.  It was subsequently performed outdoors at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and a studio recording was done in the CALIT Black box theater.  All of these performances were meshed, with special features, into a DVD set.  The total duration of the project, from the early concept recordings, to the final publication of the DVD documentation of the project was approximately 10 years.  This was unusually long for one project, but it was not uncommon for complex musical compositions to cover 5-7 years from concept to completion of the documentation.

The first complete performance of Sanctuary was at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.  The performance area was on the third level down where the two sculptures are currently sitting and the audience seating started at the trees.  in addition, audience members were on the second and third levels overlooking the performance area.  The 12 channel audio surround system had 6 near-field speakers placed close to the seated audience on the lower level, and 6 larger speakers placed on the various levels around the space.  The piece has 20 microphones on the four percussionists for sample capture with 107 real-time computer processed cues, defused through the 12 speakers. The performance was captured with 48 channel multi-track audio recording and 10 video cameras.  This performance is shown in its entirety on the DVD.

A sample of the CALIT2 performance on this disc is here.

This photo of the Salk performance of Sanctuary was taken at sunset (yes, this effect was very carefully planned and the lighting was optimized).   The curved element in the center of the picture was one of hang gliders flying from the Torrey Pines Glider port which is located just to the North of the Salk Institute.

The georgeWASHINGTION project composed by Roger Reynolds was co-commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra through
a grant from the John and June Hechinger Commissioning Fund for 
New Orchestral Works, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, and the University of California.  It is large scale work for 
Orchestra, 3 Narrators, Video projection, 
Real-time sound processing and spatialization.  The proof of concept, mock-up of the video, audio, orchestral and narrators, the performance and post production mixing covered approximately 5 years.  

Shown here is the National Symphony Orchestra with the large projection screens taken from the mix position at the back of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C.   A sample of the work is here.