Derek Charke

Director of AEMS and Principal Researcher

Derek Charke heads AEMS—the Acadia Electroacoustic Music Studio—which was created to explore spatalized sound, acousmatic music, and real-time processing. Derek is a professor of music at Acadia University where he teaches composition and music theory. He is a JUNO and four-time ECMA award-winning composer and flutist. He has a catalogue of over 100 works and has had many high profile commissions and performances by an impressive list of performers and organizations.

As a professional flutist he actively performs as a soloist, chamber and studio musician, and new music improviser. He is a member of the Charke ~ Cormier Duo, a flute and guitar duo, and an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

His interest in electroacoustic music has been ongoing since 2002 and is focused on an artistic use of sound; transforming found sounds, and often pairing these with acoustic instruments through the use of live processing. Some of his compositions include: Nine Lines, for two cellos and Max/MSP; Symphony No. 1, for orchestra and 6-channel electronic soundscape; Tangled in Plastic Currents, for cello and Max/MSP; Oikos/Ecos, for soprano and Max/MSP, and Disturbances of Circadian Rhythm, for flute and Max/MSP.

A number of his works explore environmental issues and phenomena, including: Water Flows Serpentine, for the ChengDuo—cellist Bryan Cheng and pianist Silvie Cheng; and Drift, a piano duo commissioned for the remarkable Duo Turgeon—Anne Louise-Turgeon and Edward Turgeon.

Derek received a PhD from SUNY Buffalo where he studied music composition with David Felder and Max/MSP with Cort Lippe.

Further information:


Projects using AEMS

Bathymetric Terrains (2019) by Derek Charke is a work for multiple flutes and guitars. Bathymetric Terrains muses on the ecology of oceans and tidal bays. This is an electroacoustic composition for live performance, computer processing using Max/MSP, and pre-composed soundscapes. The work includes multiple flute and guitar parts. Two of the parts are performed live. Additional pre-recorded parts are performed through a PA system or performed live with additional performers. The piece will be flexible to include playback options utilizing anywhere from 2 to 10 or more speaker playback.

Live performance, Charke~Cormier Duo at UPEI:

Nine Lines (2018) by Derek Charke is a work for two cellos and real time computer processing running Max/MSP. The work explores the counterpoint between the 8 strings of two cellos paired with live processing through Max/MSP. Commissioned for cellists Norman Adams and Nicola Baroni, Nine Lines utilizes a quadraphonic setup and was developed partly in AEMS during the fall of 2018.

Premiere performance, Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy: