Biography

Originally from Athens, Greece, Dr. Theocharis Papatrechas is a composer, music technologist, and sound artist based in San Diego, CA.  

 

In November 2021, he was appointed Research Associate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) where, collaborating with a team of scientists, he has been developing 3D soundscapes utilizing raw audio data from the Canadian Arctic. Prior to working at SIO, he completed a six-month appointment as Visiting Researcher and Composer at the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at UC Berkeley. 

 

Theocharis holds a PhD in Music Composition from the 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.

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He is the Artistic Director of the ilSUONO Contemporary Music Week, a composition and electronic music academy for emerging creators that takes place annually in Italy since 2016.

Creative Work

Theocharis has produced an extensive and colorful artistic portfolio. It consists of instrumental, electroacoustic, acousmatic, sound art, and sound installation works that involve acoustic components, pre-recorded media, and generative and interactive processes, being presented within immersive environments using multi-channel configuration setups and Ambisonics. During his residency at CNMAT, Theocharis developed an installation that proposes a platform of sonic interactivity between one percussionist, a computer, a number of sensors, the audience, and 32 3D-arranged loudspeakers.

Theocharis collaborates with numerous ensembles and institutions around the world. Notable 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. His music has been presented in the contexts of IRCAM, CCRMA at Stanford, SEAMUS at Berklee College, SPLICE Institute, Qualcomm Institute of Technology (Calit2), New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), University of Montreal, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

His compositions have been awarded in, among others, the 1st International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition (3rd Prize), Eastman Orchestral Composition Competition (1st Prize), and 9th International Foudoulis Composition Competition (2nd Prize). He has also been the finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize. For his academic work, he has been awarded fellowships and grants from the prestigious American Hellenic Educational Progress Association, and Onassis and Samuel Adler Foundations.

His music has been released by ArsPublica. His scores are published by Babel Scores.

 

Music Technology

Technology is integral to Theocharis's portfolio and its integration with his music is extensive and multifaceted. He is fascinated with recording and sculpting sound, developing audio design tools, experimenting with real-time processing engines, and binaural mixing. He is extremely interested in implementing novel strategies for spatializing sound in 3D.

As a music technologist, Theocharis is fluent in operating software and programming languages and platforms such as Max/MSP, PD, SPAT5, SuperCollider, AudioSculpt, OpenMusic, Pro Tools, Ableton, Abode Audition, Reaper, HTML/CSS. Additionally, he has sound engineered, audio/video recorded, and produced numerous concerts at IRCAM, UCSD, and during his 5-year service at ilSUONO. He has been lengthily utilizing music production hardware, Dante networking systems, and Ambisonics in multi-channel venues, such as UCSD’s Experimental Theater (Meyer Sound Constellation system with a 60.4 setup) and Qualcomm Institute’s Spatialization Lab (dome with a 32.2 system).

 

Research

In 2018, Theocharis along with Professor of Composition Lei Liang and scientist Dr. Joshua Jones from SIO began a collaborative endeavor on a sonic research project working at the Qualcomm Institute of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CalIT2). The team deals with raw acoustic data captured by hydrophones at the bottom of the Arctic ocean.

The team’s work involves the examination, analysis, and appreciation of the sonic behaviors incorporated in the data. Following a process of detailed and meticulous technical work, the sounds are compiled into an extensive collection and become available to be experienced binaurally by the general public. With the workspace being the Institute’s Spatialization Lab (Meyer Constellation Sound System, 32.2), the team focuses on the artistic potentialities of the sounds and lays them out into 3D immersive acousmatic experiences. 

Willing to honor the co-habitats on this planet, the team endeavors to bring those unseen elements of nature out to the broader community through immersive artistic experiences.

His work at CalIT2 lead to Theocharis's current appointment at SIO for the continuation of the work on the project. Following the completion of that residency, all products will be ready to be disseminated to the broader community. The individual sounds, products of the sound design process, would be compiled into a stereo version. The acousmatic project will be presented at the Spatialization Lab in January 2022. Subsequently, it will be mixed down to a binaural version to be experienced via headphones. All products will be featured on the internet sites cetus.ucsd.edu and voicesinthesea.org

Teaching

Theocharis has gained experience teaching a plethora of different subjects and mentoring a large number of students. During his years at Eastman and UCSD, he instructed Composition (in-class and privately), Music Theory, Contemporary Music, History of 20th Century Music, History of Electronic Music, Advanced Computer Music, Sound in Time, Counterpoint, and Orchestration. He is currently working at the Department of Recreation in the Fine Arts Division at UCSD instructing Music Theory, Music Appreciation, and Guitar, and at the San Diego Greek School teaching music and language to Adults, High School, and Kindergarten students.
Theocharis has given master-classes at the Ionian University as well as talks at Stanford University and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC). Since the summer of 2020, he is the composer-in-residence at the Paxos Festival in Greece. In 2021, Theocharis was the composer-in-residence of the Neofonia Festival de Musica Nueva Ensenada in Mexico.

Direction of Artistic Initiatives

Theocharis is 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. The 2020-21 edition of his festival ilSUONO Contemporary Music Week was supported by the esteemed Ernst Von Siemens Music Foundation.

 

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