Peter Beyls

Peter Beyls is a Belgian born artist/composer. Beyls initially studied electronic engineering and music at the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels. During the early Seventies he teached at the Academy of Fine Arts in Den Haag, Holland where various intermedia projects follow in collaboration with experimental filmmaker Hero Wouters. During the same period he was assistant at the IPEM studio in Gent. He worked with Karel Goeyvaerts and Lucien Goethals and learned a great deal from both. Beyls realised many electro-acoustic pieces for tape at IPEM. In collaboration with Michel Waisvisz, he designed and built a series of prototypes of the cracklebox sythesiser at STEIM, Amsterdam. In 1974 he studied computer music with Tamas Ungvary at EMS, Stockholm and explores the Buchla synth at Fylkingen. In 1975 Beyls visits both the (other) EMS Putney studio and meets Edward Ihnatowics at UC London. The intermedia work ‘SEA/AIR’ for soprano voice, slides and live audio processing using the custom built hybrid signal processor is premiered at ARC2, the Musee d’Art Moderme de la Ville de Paris. The score of that piece grew from experiments on the DEC PDP-15 computer at the Hybrid Computation Center of Ghent University UGent. In 1977 Beyls becomes a visiting scholar at the Electronics Experimental Department of the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. A fellow student, Paul Brown wrote a fine text documenting the atmosphere at the time. In 1979 Beyls travels to Canada to lecture on computer art at various universities and works at the Structured Sound Synthesis Project headed by Bill Buxton at the University of Toronto. In 1980 Beyls is a guest lecturer at the School of Music of CalArts and produces a series of radio shows on new music in the USA for BRT3 Radio (now Klara). In 1981 Beyls teaches a course on experimental music at the Osaka Arts University, Japan. In 1982 Beyls develops PICPAC, an image processing package for the Hewlett-Packard HP 9000 series of computers. Beyls embarks on an intensive collaborationship with composer/electronics wizard Rudi Blondia. They design and build a hybrid 8-channel performance synthesizer controlled by two Apple II- boards. Software is written in 6502 assembler until one day Martin Bartlett suggests looking at Forth insisting that he would love it. And he did. Beyls joins the VUB Artificial Intelligence Lab AI-lab in 1986. It marks the explosive development of a graphic expert system using Symbolics Lisp machines and real-time interactive pieces implemented on small personal systems. A wonderful music oriented Forth is soon discovered; the HMSL environment developed at Mills College. The ideas in HMSL survive today in a new Java based incarnation known as JMSL. Beyls served on the board of directors of ISEA for many years. He currently teaches aesthetics of new media at the St Lukas Hogeschool, Brussels, teaches theory of new media at University College Ghent and coordinates research at the Interaction Lab of KASK, Faculty of Fine Arts, University College Ghent. Beyls also pursues research in real-time evolutionary computing at the Interdisciplicary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) of the University of Plymouth, UK.