Oddmusic Urbana-Champaign and the School for Designing a Society present
Tues. April 19 – Sat. April 23, 2011
at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, Illinois

Through a series of historical accidents, Western society’s music has come to be dominated by a single tuning system, often called “twelve tone equal temperament.”  In this climate of intonational monoculture, those who oppose the status quo with fresh and oddly-tuned musics need DESIGN.

Microtonality is a proposal to sing out of tune with conventional wisdom and offer a badly-needed alternative to what everyone already knows.  The Microtonal Design UnConference is a call to curious experimenters everywhere to collaborate on projects of Microtonal Design in good company, and show them.

The ‘un’ in ‘unconference’ refers to a non-hierarchical organization. It begins with a collaborative wiki; anyone – including you! – can edit the wiki page with plans and desires for the UnConference.  For our purposes, Microtonal Design includes (at least) composing new music, building instruments, performing in microtonal systems, recordings, research, brainstorming for the future — all determined by the desires of participants. We’ve designed an intensive filled to the brim, and there’s plenty of room for your desires and questions in there.


  • Now:
  • Tuesday April 19
    • 8 to 9 pm: Microtonal Meet and Greet with Jam – Come to get involved with Microtonal Design projects in the week ahead – bring your microtonal desires and an open mind – microtonal jam on odd instruments to follow – FREE
  • Wednesday April 20
    • TBD: Project Cloud – MD participants (having met at the Meet and Greet) will work together on projects connected with their desires, self-organized
    • 8 to 9:30 pm: Oddmusic Radio Shower – Microtonal Design UnConference Edition – special guest X. J. Scott – listen at 104.5 FM – MD participants invited to get involved with broadcast if interested – FREE
  • Thursday April 21
    • TBD: Project Cloud
    • 3:30 to 5:30: Microtonal Design Language Lab – a class in microtonal design, with guest presenters from MD participant pool – FREE
    • 7:30 to 9:30: Performatorium – an experimental concert format in the main space of the IMC – get in touch if you want to perform – $2 suggested donation for performers and audience
  • Friday April 22
    • TBD: Project Cloud
    • 6 pm to 6pm Saturday: IMC-OMNIA – a 24-hour making fest – we turn the IMC into a temporary artist colony – MD participants invited to work on projects throughout the night in the company of other projects – $6
  • Saturday April 23
    • 9 am: Udderbot-Making Workshop – learn to make the world’s only aquatic slide-woodwind instrument – no supplies or experience needed – $2 per udderbot
    • 10 am: Flash Udderbot Ensemble Rehearsal – Udderbot players at all levels (including those who just made one) are invited to work on an ensemble piece to perform later that day for the Odd Instrument Expo – bring an udderbot – FREE
    • 2 to 5 pm: Odd Instrument Expo – we turn the IMC into a gallery of Odd and Rare Instruments – come at 2:00 for the open house – learn to play odd instruments, and meet odd musicians – stay for an Odd Performance at 3:00 with Microtonal Design participants – $10 suggested donation

Contact us with questions or to get tickets ahead:

Jacob Barton: 281-755-2260, udderbot@gmail.com
Andrew Heathwaite: 217-365-0313, gtrpkt@yahoo.com

= = = = =

The School for Designing a Society, established in 1991, is a project of teachers, performers, artists, and activists. It is an ongoing experiment in making temporary living environments where the question “What would I consider a desirable society?” is given serious playful thoughtful discussion, and taken as an input to creative projects.


OddMusic Urbana-Champaign, a working group of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, is interested in sharing the awareness, the tools, and the passion needed for people to make awesome xenharmonic music. We invite you to join us as we design and build community oddmusic projects year-round.


2 responses »

  1. […] One-Off CollectionThe Vanilla CollectionThe Xenharmonic Praxis CollectionProgramsMicrotonal Design Unconference 2011Xenharmonic Praxis […]

  2. […] One-Off CollectionThe Vanilla CollectionThe Xenharmonic Praxis CollectionProgramsMicrotonal Design Unconference 2011Xenharmonic Praxis […]

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