[ pianist | electronics performer | composer | improviser ]

[ researcher | software developer | teacher ]

[ contemporary | experimental | electronic | cinematic | choreo ]

[ Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel | ChampdAction | Matrix | KunstAcademie Zaventem]

Benjamin Van Esser is a live electronics specialist, pianist, composer and improviser, focusing on contemporary and experimental music. Apart from artistic activities, he is professor Live Electronics and Spearhead of the research group Musical Language at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Benjamin currently focusses on computer-based performance and composition, working with hyper-extended instruments and using minimalist interfaces such as ‘monome grids’ to control extensive electro-acoustic setups. In this regard, he obtained a PhD in the Arts, researching artistic performance strategies for live electronics performers. The hypothesis of this research states that an electronics performer is a multi-threaded performer by default, creating artistic micro-universes in which performance, composition and digital lutherie are inextricably linked. This research project resulted in the composition, performance and release of ‘Coalesce’, a cycle of compositions which investigates this phenomenon, as well as several applications such as ‘Control’ and ‘MGCVM’, which are well-known in the worldwide monome community. As a follow-up, Benjamin released several applications, a.o. the application ‘Ultomaton’, a generative effects processor, built to eliminate the presence of a live electronics performer all together, using John Conway’s ‘Game of Life’ algorithm to calculate ‘electronic interventions’.

As a composer Benjamin is commissioned by organisations such as Transit Festival, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Theatre Ainsi Maastricht, ensembles such as Nadar Ensemble, ChampdAction, Spectra Ensemble and choreographers such as Michael Lazic and Federico Ordoñez. His works are often heard on international stages, performed by prominent soloists and ensembles. Although stylistically diverse, ranging from children’s pieces for piano to glitch/noise/drone and multimedia, there's a clear 'leitmotiv' present throughout his creative work: metrical ambiguity. Benjamin’s ongoing research on computer-based performance and composition incorporates this phenomenon and focusses on the communication model these processes create between performer and audience.