Since 2012, Spectrum has established itself as one of New York City's preeminent venues for innovative, experimental, and avant-garde music, presenting over 2,000 concerts on the Lower East Side and, since 2017, in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, across from the Navy Yard. Spectrum's principal emphasis is on concert music of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as improvised music, experimental jazz, and visual art. Above all, Spectrum advocates for and supports innovation and virtuosity in the arts.
We endeavor to give special consideration to music that we feel is under-represented in the United States, particularly academically-oriented music from Europe or influenced significantly by European developments, such as New Complexity and spectralism. We also with pleasure and gratitude present significant amounts of music by local (NYC area) and other US composers, particularly those still actively working.
Spectrum's current location near the Brooklyn Navy Yard provides comfortable, intimate seating (capacity 40-60) in a high-fidelity sound space with state-of-the-art hand-crafted speakers, a Steinway studio grand piano, and a large collection of high-end audio equipment. Please see our booking page for a full gear list.
Glenn Cornett, MD, PhD, is a biotech entrepreneur who has a passion for the arts. His office, in a former ball-bearing factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard neighborhood, becomes Spectrum on weekends (and occasionally weeknights). At its current and former NYC locations, Spectrum has presented over 2,000 events.
Glenn is a composer/performer on guitar, electronics, piano, synthesizer and voice. His recent compositions have involved:
1) Structures driven by tone rows (frequently generated from text)
2) Themes based on mathematical transformations of climate-change data
3) Use of electric guitar modified by / in conjunction with Max/MSP and Ableton Live
4) Indonesian gamelan samples and structures
5) Found vocals and rhythms from statements by prevaricating politicians
He has studied music in a number of settings, including theory, musicology and psychoacoustics courses at UCLA, composition at the Darmstadt IMD during the Summers of 2014, 2016 and 2018 as well as Indonesian gamelan composition / performance in Bali and Java during Summer 2015.
Glenn runs Pastorus, a firm focused on drugs for autism, schizophrenia and addiction. Previously, he founded Navitas Pharma in 2004 and led it through a favorable investor exit 3.5 years later in 2008. That firm is now active in developing a new class of drugs for cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Earlier work included positions at McKinsey, Eli Lilly and Los Alamos National Laboratory and Razorfish.
Glenn holds an MD with Distinction in Research from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. His dissertation was on human deep-brain responses to musical stimuli. He grudgingly admits that diet and exercise are more important than the pharmaceutical industry to the health of most individuals. He has a black belt in karate and has run 14 marathons, most recently Bangalore, India in December 2017.
Gabriel Zucker is a pianist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist from New York. Zucker combines maximalist compositions with the progressive improvisation of New York's creative music scene, as a soloist and with his ensembles The Delegation and underorder. His music has received two ASCAP composition awards and a JFund grant, and his debut record with The Delegation was released on ESP-Disk' to critical acclaim, including 4.5 stars in Downbeat magazine. A Yale graduate and Rhodes Scholar, Zucker has performed throughout New York at such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Jazz Gallery as well as in 18 countries around the world. His fourth studio record, Weighting, featuring Tyshawn Sorey, Adam O'Farrill, and Eric Trudel, was released in November 2018.
Lester St. Louis is a Cellist/Composer/Improviser and curator born and based in New York.
Lester's general activity focuses on developing models of thought and practice for exciting and provocative results in both creation and life. Research, performance [performance practice], praxis, and composition are his primary tools for investigation.
Weston Olencki is a trombonist/composer working at the boundaries of sound art, composition, improvisation, and electronic noise. His work is primarily concerned with material conditions of sound and its diffusion, emphasizing geometrical construction, unconventional sound design, and extended durational processes. He has presented work at the Borealis Festival [Bergen], ISSUE Project Room [NYC], Transparent Sound [Budapest], Time of Music [Viitasaari], REDCAT [LA], Blanton Museum of Art [Austin, TX], Squeaky Wheel [Buffalo], Mostly Mozart Festival [NYC], Weisslich [Manchester/London], Qubit [NYC], Constellation's Frequency Series [Chicago], Indexical [Santa Cruz], and OPTION [Chicago], and was awarded the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis for performance from the 2016 Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Various recording projects have been presented on HatHut, Not Two, Sound American, Parlour Tapes+, and Clean Feed, Anticausal Systems, Dinzu Artefacts, with forthcoming solo releases on Carrier Records and Astral Spirits. He is an active member of RAGE THORMBONES, Ensemble Pamplemousse, the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, tunnels, and performs regularly as a soloist and ensemble member on low brass, modular synthesizers, and electronics. He lives in New York City.
Caitlin Cawley is a NYC-based percussionist, improviser, and educator. She has performed with groups through Boston and New York, such as Talujon, Novus NY, Black Sheep Contemporary Ensemble, Amalgama Ensemble, Saman Samadi Quintet, Cawley/Kim Duo, Gamelan Galak Tika, Danse Theatre Surreality, and the Performance in Peace Initiative at the United Nations. She has also participated in improvisation residencies at Gallery 263 (Cambridge, MA) and The Cannery (Penobscot, MN). She is a teaching artist with Bash The Trash Environmental Arts, and has taught lessons and facilitated workshops through the Manhattan School of Music Outreach Department, Bridge Arts Ensemble, and Kadence Arts.
Lawrence de Martin, Chief Science Officer, Electro-Acoustic Luthier, Acoustician, Meta-Sound Designer and Recording Engineer. Designed the Spectrum space and a dozen custom speakers for integrated electro-acoustic performance and live recording, and recorded over 500 sets there. The unique system is based on three decades of experiments and surveys in psycho-acoustics and psycho-electro-acoustics.
He attended the first semester length class in loudspeaker design at University of Colorado in 1974 as part of his Electrical Engineering curriculum. In sidebars, Professor J. Robert Ashley explained why every knob and process in a recording studio generated temporal and spatial distortion. Obsessed by the feel of live albums and this knowledge, de Martin built a series of recording studios culminating in a 24 track mobile unit for Sanborn Productions in 1978. The truck achieved unequaled specifications: tuned flat from 50Hz-15KHz acoustically with no equalization; 25dB noise level with air conditioning running and five minute air exchange; total electro-galvanic isolation and Faraday cage that eliminated all radio signals; five years and 100,000 miles with zero failures - no connections nor piece of gear broke.
de Martin served as Technical Director and Recording Engineer for Sanborn, Back Door and Red Door studios, also technical consultant for Mountain Ears Studio, Winter Park Jazz Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, popular artists like Waylon Jennings, Lynn Anderson, Prince and Steven Stills, etc.
de Martin pursued other interests from 1985-1997 including designing water recycling systems for residences and greenhouses, building the world standard of water quality, designing carbon analyzers necessary to make every silicon chip, liquid crystal display and hard disk and developing the memory software technology that made Windows a real product.
In 1997 he discovered how bass speakers distort rhythm and pitch and started building experimental speakers optimized for specific signals: bass, speech, violin family, piano, percussion, etc. The criteria included temporal, dynamic, transient and spatial accuracy; and the visceral impact of the original source.
Further studies in spatial hearing including a seminar with Dr. Manfred Schroeder resulted in formulation of the OVOMOS principle: all audio chains should be comprised of one voice, one mic and one speaker, because MIXING IS DISTORTION. Multiple voices are handled by separate parallel channels, for example a string quartet is a cello speaker, viola speaker and two violin speakers. Every audio process is replaced by acoustic function so recording stereo is also one microphone per speaker. Spectrum includes facility for acoustic mixing, acoustic EQ, acoustic compression, acoustic reverb, transparent amplification, electro-acoustic voicing of electronic signals, seamless blending of acoustic sound and electronic signals, electro-acoustic balancing and electro-acoustic reverb.