Aiyun Huang



The ever-evolving Aiyun Huang enjoys a musical life as soloist, chamber musician, researcher, teacher, and producer. She was the First Prize and the Audience Award winner at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2002. Recent performance highlights include engagements with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, St. Lawrence String Quartet, and Aventa Ensemble; new collaborations for new works include Roland Auzet, David Bithell, Vivian Fung and Nicole Lizee. An expert in Percussion Theater, her work on the subject has been published in Cambridge Companion to Percussion (2016) and Save Percussion Theater (Mode 242). She currently holds the position of Associate Professor and is the Head of Percussion Program at the University of Toronto. Aiyun is committed to creating a vibrant new music community for the next generation and is the Artistic Director for soundSCAPE, an annual festival for contemporary music and performance exchange in Italy.


Remote Percussion Training Yields Effective Improvement and Student Satisfaction

This study compared the effectiveness of in-person and remote (virtual) musical training in percussion by measuring motor output, performance quality, and student satisfaction. Using videoconference technologies such as Zoom may help reduce accessibility barriers to in-person music training (Biasutti et al., 2021, Lancaster, 2007). The inherent visual expressivity of percussion performance is ideal to study the effectiveness of remote musical training (Hartenberger, 2016, Schutz & Lipscomb, 2007)
Poster from The Space Between Conference at McMaster University, April 29-30 2022


Aiyun performed two pieces in Mari Kimura’s guest recital. First was “Iron Bird”, composed by Mari for Aiyun in 2021. This piece is scored for one suspended cymbal and MUGIC, using hands, mallets, bows, and other tools to create sound on the cymbal, while gestures resembling the flight of wings are tracked by the MUGIC and manipulate the sound. Next, Mari and Aiyun performed Aiyun’s new composition “Octavia” for violin, water themed percussion, and electronics. This piece uses water as a sound source and modifier for the percussionist and her instruments; while the violinist plays the role of performer and technologist, supplying melodic material with her instrument and controlling the flow of sample playback with MUGIC.


Aiyun chose to program fixed material on her Arduino. By pressing a single button, she triggered a pre-programmed sequence of tones that lasted the entire performance. The main point of interest for her were the two speakers that came with the Arduino kit. Taking the cue from the limited dynamic control of the Arduino, she used half of a squash and the space surrounding them to amplify and mute speaker’s output. Aiyun simultaneously utilized throat singing as a way to amplify and merge with the Arduino tones, additionally noting that subsequent performers of their étude need to “find a way to engage and blend with electronic sounds.”