Originally from Greece, Theocharis Papatrechas is a composer, music technologist, and sound & data artist based in San Diego, CA.
He is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at Qualcomm Institute, the UC San Diego division of California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CalIT2). Converging environmental and data sciences with audiovisual arts, his work utilizes and expands research on acoustics, audio engineering, sound synthesis, and spatial audio, and advances unconventional, multi-modal data rendering techniques with particular focus on sonification of extreme environmental events.
Running ALERTCalifornia, a public safety program that occupies over 100 cameras at both residential and remote locations across the state,
Theocharis's lab receives and stores terabytes of visual and raw data on a daily basis. His personal work and research concentrate on the interpretation of those datasets and, subsequently, the creation of a sonic dimension to accompany the visual layer. The production of the audio component occurs purely artificially through the use of vigorous sound synthesis and design techniques to replicate the spectral profiles of wind, rain, snowstorms, dust storms, bird songs, and wildfires. The research proposes to formulate a deeper understanding of the sound and acoustics of distinct terrestrial areas and investigates the impacts of extreme events on the environment.
In 2021, Theocharis was appointed Staff Research Associate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). During his time at SIO, he developed a method on assembling quantitative underwater 3D soundscapes using acoustic data recorded at the bottom of the Canadian Arctic. Lastly, Theocharis has been in residence at the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at UC Berkeley as Visiting Researcher and Composer.
Theocharis holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from University of California San Diego (UCSD) where he worked with Rand Steiger, Lei Liang, and Miller Puckette. Other leading institutions he studied at include the Eastman School of Music, IRCAM, and Sibelius Academy.
His artistic portfolio consists of instrumental, electroacoustic, acousmatic, sound art, and sound installation works that involve acoustic components, pre-recorded media, and generative and interactive processes. Of great interest is the implementation of novel strategies for spatializing sound in 3D, employing Dante networking systems and ambisonics in multichannel venues. Renowned groups that have commissioned and premiered his works include the Mivos Quartet, ensemble Intercontemporain, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Vertixe Sonora, Ensemble Schallfeld, East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), Divertimento Ensemble, Ensemble Multilatérale. Notable venues, at which works of his have been presented, include IRCAM, CCRMA at Stanford, SEAMUS at Berklee College, Anchorage Museum, SPLICE Institute, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), Vienna Konzerhaus, University of Montreal, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Since 2015, Theocharis serves as the Artistic Director of the ilSUONO Contemporary Music Week. The program's core mission is to diversify the practice by bringing together emerging music creators of diverse socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, gender orientations, and aesthetics to learn, share, and collaborate. ilSUONO is delighted to have invited exceptional senior composers, among others, Chaya Czernowin, Rand Steiger, Franck Bedrossian, Edmund Campion, Clara Iannotta, and performers such as the ensembles Schallfeld and Lemniscate. ilSUONO has had applicants from 37 countries. The team is immensely proud of their participants who leave the program to continue their endeavors at institutions like Harvard, UC Berkeley, IRCAM, and Conservatoire de Paris. Lastly, the 21' and 22' editions of ilSUONO received grants from the esteemed Ernst Von Siemens Music Foundation.