The sonic world of Vincent Caers would be most aptly described as a unique universe mixing dense electronics with subtile acoustic sounds. His approach starts with a critical perspective on the medium of the musical score. Both conventional instrumental interpretations and radical electro-acoustic transmediations lead to surprising and unstable sonic environments balancing between transparency and obscurity. He thereby always aims at extending the playground of the sonic artist within interdisciplinary projects. Along the road, he develops new technological applications to transform classical concepts into driving forces of innovative — and often digital — processes. Through this artistic research he challenges both the audience and performers to reconsider what we are willing to accept as music and/or performance.

Vincent Caers started as a percussionist with special interest in contemporary repertoire, but soon became excited by live electronics. The knowledge that — since the first experiments of pioneers such as Schaeffer, Stockhausen and Spiegel — technology today is at everyone’s disposal, made him realize that this would become an indispensable element in his artistic practise. What started with developing tools to accelerate the learning curve of complex scores, evolved into a totally new set of instruments delivering a personal aesthetic fusing harmonic soundscapes with raw noise inspired by a mixture of Brian Eno and William Basinski with Ben Frost, Alva Noto and Ryoji Ikeda. Combining this with classical musical scores resulted in his performance format ‘Umbraphonics’.

Umbraphonics is a future inspired performance format presenting electro-acoustic mediations of classical and/or contemporary musical scores in unpredictable and unstable sonic environments. The format is optimized for embedding score-based performance in inter- or transdisciplinary collaborations because it invites allocating new musical variables to the symbolic notation of the musical score next to those implied by its conventional use. However, this requires from both the performer and the audience a willingness to challenge the borders of what might normally be expected of performing musical scores. Nevertheless, its openness towards the medium offers many opportunities for reconsidering the historical legacy of Western classical music.

Vincent Caers obtained master degrees in percussion, contemporary music and chamber music at LUCA School of Arts, Leuven. He continued with courses in electronic music at IRCAM, Paris and Berklee College of Music. He also obtained a degree in cultural management at the Antwerp Management School. After being a research assistant for two years at the Royal Brussels Conservatory, he started his PhD research at the LUCA School of Arts, KU Leuven. Next to his own projects as electronic musician and percussionist, he often performs as a freelance musician in ensembles and orchestras internationally. He was an Artist in Residence at the ICST (CH), Banff Center for Arts and Creativity (CA) and BAC Art Lab (BE), performed at festivals such as ManiFeste (FR) and the Darmstadt Ferienkürse (DE). He was also part of the Verbier Festival Orchestra (CH).

contact: info [ at ] vincentcaers [ dot ] be