Matthew Ostrowski with Patrick McGraw

Matthew Ostrowski with Patrick McGraw

West Hall, Room 118

Developed with Patrick McGraw, a particle physicist, Ostrowski's software instrument features a cheap glove-shaped videogame controller. The elastic and somewhat unpredictable motions of the object, rather than of the glove itself, are used to control musical parameters.  This event made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.


Matthew Ostrowski spent most of the 1980s in a series of low-ceilinged venues in New York City, improvising with live electronics, amplified objects, and broken tape recorders in the days when it was still a novelty. performing with such downtown regulars as Anthony Coleman, Zeena Parkins, David Shea, and countless others, while also working on a series of practically unrealizable music-theater pieces, and playing with the critically-acclaimed avant-noise band Krackhouse. He was also one of the originators of the Surrealist-inspired Exquisite Corpses projects, which led to 2 recordings and several live performances, working with such artists as Ikue Mori, Catherine Jauniaux, and Anthony Coleman.

In 1993, he moved to the Netherlands, where he studied at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague for two years, and remained there until 2000. During this period, he focussed more on his compositions and installations, performing extensively throughout Europe. He was also working at this time as composer-in-residence for the Macarthur fellowship-winning choreographer Elizabeth Streb, using only sounds based on the amplified or detected movements of the dancers.

In 2000, Ostrowski returned to New York, where he took up with the Flying Karamazov Brothers, world-renowned masters of juggling and cheap theatrics. He served as their technology director, responsible for care and feeding of their sensor-based equipment, serving as project manager for new technology, developing video, and performing onstage, thankfully without having to juggle.

He presently develops custom software for musicians and installations, and spends most of his time in New York, counting his grammys, and coming up with new ways to annoy his neighbors with new pieces.

He has performed from Australia to California, including the Melbourne Festival, the Audio Art festival in Krakow, Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, New Music America, the Festival Musiques Innovatrices in France, Stroom in Switzerland, PS 1, Wien Modern, and many other venues worldwide. Ostrowski has received fellowships from STEIM in Amsterdam, the Media Alliance in New York, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and many others. He appears on over a dozen recordings.


PLEASE NOTE: A free MAX/MSP/Jitter workshop will be held Wednesday afternoon, February 28 from 1-4pm in West Hall room #118.  Enrollment is limited and registration is required.  For more info or to register for the workshop, contact Laura W. Andruski at (518) 276-4829 or email her at
About the Project
The Composer's Guide to Useful Technology is a two-year project of workshops, symposia, consultations, tutorials and problem-solving forums taught by the Harvestworks staff at art and music centers around New York State.
For the last thirty years Harvestworks has offered composers on-site recording studios, workshops and classes in emerging technologies supporting the pioneers of computer music with equipment and instruction. Harvestworks is now a leading center of music technology investigation and application. Our artist/engineers/instructors are experts in their practice— in many cases they developed and write the manuals for new software and hardware.
Our current services reflect the technological needs of composers. We offer classes in sensor building, interactive performance systems and programming environments, computer based recording programs, immersive performance and listening experiences, all of which have become significant tools for the creation, performance and distribution of music.
Workshop at RPI
RPI will host a free workshop that will take place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Wednesday February 28 from 1pm – 4pm.  In the first part of the session, Hans Tammen, composer and production manager from Harvestworks, and Matthew Ostrowski, composer and Harvestworks consultant will give a lecture about current and recent artistic projects at Harvestworks. In the second part of the workshop they would be available for individual Project Management consultations from workshop participants. Consultations will outline project resources, timelines, skill needs and financial estimates. We will also follow up with the workshop participants over the next year to monitor their progress.
About Hans Tammen: His music has been described as a journey through the land of unending sonic operations, his playing as reverse engineering of the guitar. He recorded with a wide range of artists such as Herb Robertson, Denman Maroney, Günther Müller, Keith Rowe, Alfred 23 Harth, or Dominic Duval. He works as a production manager at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center <> in New York, responsible for the oversight of all projects related to Max/MSP/Jitter and Physical Computing.

About Matthew Ostrowski:  A New York City native, he is a composer, performer, and installation artist working primarily with electronics and sound. He studied music at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, and the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. He has shared the stage with everyone from John Zorn and David Behrman to a trio of Elvis impersonators.
About Harvestworks
Founded in 1977 to cultivate artistic talent using electronic technologies, Harvestworks' mission is to encourage the creation and expand the dissemination of digital media artwork. From its central SOHO location and through its Internet presence Harvestworks provides accessible and coordinated digital media production, education, information and content distribution services to a diverse creative community that includes electronic music composers, interactive media designers, film and video makers, digital tool developers and computer programmers. By bringing together innovative practitioners from all branches of the digital arts, Harvestworks provides a vital context and catalyst for creativity in the digital arts.
About The New York State Music Fund
The New York State Music Fund is established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The Fund is a grant program that increases availability and accessibility of music by contemporary artists to diverse audiences and communities throughout New York State.

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