butch rovan

firefox-grayJoseph Butch Rovan is a composer, media artist, and performer on the faculty of the Music and Multimedia Composition (MMC) program at Brown University. From 2013-16 he was chair of Music and from 2016-19 he was the inaugural faculty director of the Brown Arts Initiative. Prior to his work at Brown, Rovan was a compositeur en recherche with the Real-Time Systems Team at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, as well as a faculty member at both Florida State University and the University of North Texas, where he directed CEMI, the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia. Rovan worked at Opcode Systems before leaving for Paris, serving as Product Manager for Max, OMS and MIDI hardware.

Rovan received his Ph.D. in Music from the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied with Richard Felciano, Olly Wilson, and Jorge Liderman. He has received prizes from the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition, first prize in the Berlin Transmediale International Media Arts Festival, and his work has been performed throughout Europe and the U.S. His interactive installation Let us imagine a straight line was featured in the 14th WRO International Media Art Biennale, Poland, and his work of the survival of images, for custom GLOBE controller, video and sound, is included on the Computer Music Journal DVD Sound and Video Anthology. His music appears on the Wergo, EMF, Circumvention, and SEAMUS labels.

Rovan's research includes new sensor hardware design and wireless microcontroller systems. His research into gestural control and interactivity has been featured in IRCAM's journal Resonance, Electronic Musician, the Computer Music Journal, the Japanese magazine SoundArts, the CDROM Trends in Gestural Control of Music (IRCAM 2000), and in the book Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research: Scholarly Acts and Creative Cartographies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). In 2019 he was awarded a patent with collaborator Peter Bussigel for a new electronic musical instrument design.