Biographies and Program Notes
Sang Mi Ahn received her BM from Yonsei University in Korea and MM from Indiana University. She is now a doctoral student in composition at Indiana. She has studied with Claude Baker and Don Freund and is currently studying with P.Q. Phan.
Program Note: This piece sets up a contrast between the realms of tonal and atonal sonorities. The strings play the more lyrical and tonal layer while the woodwinds and brass play the layer made up of atonal sonorities and fast rhythmic gestures. At the climax, the lyrical and rhythmic realms converge. Both tonal and atonal layers are then played simultaneously. At the peak of the climax, the winds and brass vanish, leaving the strings to lead us back to the opening section. The winds color this return. The piano plays a diatonic fragment at the beginning of the piece. This fragment varies throughout the piece and becomes an ambiguous recall of the atonal section by the end.
The last two verses of Psalm 30 kept returning to my mind and gave me comfort when I went through a difficult time in the summer of 2007. Even though the piece does not directly depict the last two verses, I would not have composed it without them.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart my sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever. (Psalm 30: 11-12)
Elliott Bark's (b. 1980) music has been performed by many groups, including Indiana University Orchestra, Luna Nova Chamber Ensemble, Bloomington and Zzyxx Saxophone Quartets, Beautiful Mind Charity and Vox Nobus in many places in the United States as well as in Korea. He has received numerous prizes including the 2003 Korean Anglican Church Music Composition Competition and the 2007 Beethoven Club Composition Contest, and his music has been published by the Yesol Publishing Co., in South Korea. Recently, his Winter Sketches has been named winner of the 2008 Kuttner Quartet Composition Competition and will be performed during Spring 2009 by the Kuttner Quartet (the scholarship string quartet at IU). At Indiana University, Bark achieved his BM in Composition and currently pursuing MM in composition. He has studied composition with P.Q. Phan, Don Freund and Claude Baker, and instrumental conducting with David Effron.
Program Note: As the title says, this composition contains three different musical moments. Each movement expresses one musical moment, has a unique characteristic and is connected to each other by attacca. In the first movement, the violin line gradually ascends from lower register to higher and transforms to another figure at the end. The motive in the second movement is influenced by pop music. The violin, about 30 seconds after the movement started, introduces a motive. The motive, with many other elements, develops together using various violin techniques. Different from the first movement, in the third movement, there is a single line, which has many repeated notes. The line, as time goes by, is interrupted by strong triple or quadruple stops and drones. The stops become more important and the single line becomes background toward the end.
Program Note: 7 Breaths is a series based on seven haiku that I wrote during the fall of 2008. I quickly realized that all seven haiku had a common theme of breathing. While the piece explores many different topics, each topic is explored in reference to breath.
David Biedenbender (b. 1984) is currently working on his master's degree in music composition at the University of Michigan. His teachers have included Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, Erik Santos, Stephen Rush, David R. Gillingham, and Josuis-Maurta. David's most recent work for band (also for chamber ensemble), entitled Stomp, was awarded honorable mention in the 2008 ASCAP/College Band Director's Association Frederick Fennell Prize. Images for alto saxophone and piano was a finalist for a 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer's Award, and has been performed at the 2008 North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wyoming, and Malone University. Current commissions and projects include his master's thesis for orchestra to be premiered by the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, a piece for the 2009 Wisconsin Lutheran College National Honors Band Festival, and a piece for the Washington Kantorei.
Program Note: The title, Stomp, refers to a heavy, syncopated dance with some serious attitude. Picture a Saturday night jam session, in a barn, featuring a crazed country fiddle band and Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers.
Scott Boerma is Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Michigan Marching Band and the Donald R. Shepherd Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan. Prior to this appointment, Boerma was the Director of Bands at Eastern Michigan University. He began his career teaching music in the Michigan public schools at Lamphere and Novi High Schools, respectively.
Boerma earned his Master of Music degree in music education from the University of Michigan, where he also studied composition with William Bolcom. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Western Michigan University, where he also studied composition with Ramon Zupko. Boerma has also studied composition with Anthony Iannaccone at Eastern Michigan University.
An active composer, Boerma’s concert band works have been performed by many outstanding ensembles, including “The President’s Own” Marine Band, the Dallas Wind Symphony, the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the University of Illinois Wind Symphony, the University of Michigan Concert Band, the Interlochen Arts Camp High School Symphonic Band and the BOA Honor Band of America, to name just a few. His works have been heard in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Hill Auditorium, the Myerson Symphony Center, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and at the Chicago Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Boerma’s works have been featured in the popular series, “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band”. He is commissioned each year by high school, university and community bands to write new works for the repertoire.
Judy Bozone, a native Texan, received her undergraduate degree in composition from Baylor University where she studied with Scott McAllister. Having completed a Masters in composition at the University of Michigan under the direction of Michael Daugherty, she is now a DMA student studying with Evan Chambers.
Program Note: This piece is inspired by ceremonial musics from the past - specifically those found in Baroque dance, coronation and funeral music, as well as New Orleans' funeral processions. Though I make no specific reference to New Orleans jazz, I do use Baroque-inspired dance rhythms. Because these cultures and their musical practices are physically dead to me, I have imagined my own musical world, specifically Rock n' Roll in its future capacity, dead. Like its counterparts, rock music relies on pulse, ornamentation (in guitar solos), and a culturally derived sense of rhythm. Like all music, these nuances will eventually become archaic, never fully understood by a future audience, only re-imagined.
A native of Taipei, Taiwan, the young rising composer Hsin-Lei Chen received her Bachelor degree from National Taipei University of the Arts (NTUA) studying Composition with Prof. Hung, Chung-Kuen. She studied her Master’s in composition from College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati (CCM) with Prof. Michael Fiday, Prof. Mara Helmuth and Prof. Joel Hoffman. While still a student at NTUA and CCM, Chen has composed numerous instrumental and vocal works for various ensembles, among which Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Deep made finalist in the 2004 Formosa Comp! etition held by the Council of Cultural Affairs in Taiwan. In 2007, her orchestral work, Ebb and Flow, won ERM Media’s competition and recorded by Kiev Philharmonic. Her works have been widely performed in major concert halls including National Concert Hall and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, as well as Werner Hall in Cincinnati during MusicX, a prestigious new music festival. Chen is presently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts at CCM. In 2009, her violin concerto (complete four movements) , Deep will be performed on February 25thby CCM’s orchestra, her work, Cyber Dreams for double-choir and electronic media will be performed in Taiwan National Music Hall by Taipei Philha! rmonic on April 29th,?and she is invited by TNUA to give a lecture about her music. In the mean while, she is commissioned to compose a piece for percussion by the alumni’s organization of TNUA, and the piece will be performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on May 1st.
Program Note: In Rustling Leaves I am trying to depict the sound of leaves. The music is about the special experience of the great nature. These is a mandarin term that I could not understand, which is “山濤”. It means “mountain waves”. Until one day, I went to a park. I was surrounded by trees. While wind was blowing, the sound of leaves was almost like ocean’s waves. For a moment, I thought that I am by the beach. The only difference was that the “waves” actually go thought my body. I felt like that I am floating in the air with the ebb and flow. Up and down, up and down…
Brian Ciach (pronounced "SIGH-ack", born 1977) has premiered his music in Berlin, Pavia, Bloomington, and his hometown of Philadelphia. Brian is in his second year in the doctoral program for music composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he is also an Associate Instructor in music theory. He currently studies composition with Don Freund and has studied with Samuel Adler, Sven-David Sandström, Richard Wernick, and Maurice Wright, among other teachers. After his master's degree in piano performance from Temple University in 2004, he was a new music pianist in Philadelphia leading to the premiere of a work by Maurice Wright in Carnegie Hall.
Program Note: I originally recorded a large collection of cello excerpts, intending to use many of them for processing and synthesizing. I ended up making an entire 9-minute piece from just the tuning fifths that my cellist friend played to warm up, using none of the intended excerpts.
You will hear the cellist play these fifths at the opening. The electronic music follows like an echo with an elongated and distant version. These fifths repeat over and over, like a chaconne, and are transposed and then stacked to make harmonic swirls. Harmonies of minor and major seventh chords predominate the progressions. These falling fifths also occur at different rates of speed--some very slow, some quite fast--creating canons of augmentation and diminution. In short, the entire electronic portion of the piece is a grand mensuration canon built from the tuning fifths at the opening (though this is not necessarily intended to be audible).
The cello presents an antagonistic contrast to the harmonious electronic music. Gestures of aggression are subdued after a climax in the "golden section" of the work (at a point where the ratio is .618 in proportion to the whole), where both cello and electronics reach their loudest. The cello is left singing victoriously as the electronics drop out.
I used the Riverrun and eVerb plug ins via ProTools to create the electronic music.
Danny Clay is a composer and performer based in Ohio. Creating electronic music from an early age using old children’s instruments, tape recorders, radios, turntables and computer processing, his music is an assimilation of the rural soundscape, childhood nostalgia and the reinterpretation of various self-discovered concepts in world music.
His work includes music for a variety of fixed-media, live electronics, and acoustic instruments in various combinations. His work has been presented at art galleries and concert venues throughout Cincinnati and at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's Sonic Explorations series. He is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in composition.
Program Note: Three fourth graders describe their dream house. To me, these brief, surreal poems offer a look back at the creative elements of early childhood that are often lost when we grow up. I approached presenting these poems musically with a similarly childlike mentality, combining shameless banging on found objects with washes of electronic noise. It is my hope that the music reflects the nature of the "beginner's mind" that I found in these poems, and serves as an extension of the children’s imagination.
Seth Custer (b. 1980) is a native of East Grand Forks, MN, where he grew up studying the saxophone and piano. He received his B.M. (2004) in saxophone performance from the University of North Dakota, where he studied saxophone with Elizabeth Rheude and composition with Michael Wittgraf. He received his M.M. (2006) in composition from Central Michigan University, studying with composers David Gillingham and Jose Luis Maurtua. He is currently a Ph.D. student of composition at the University of Iowa, where he studies with composer David Gompper, and serves as a teaching assistant in composition, and research assistant for the University of Iowa Center for New Music.
Program Note: The term “capriccio” refers to a work of art that represents a fantasy or a mixture of real and imaginary features, and here serves as the vehicle whereby a variety of emotions are juxtaposed. In the first movement, contrasting motives are pitted against one another, signaled by alternating multiphonics. Movement two features a playful, virtuosic display of expanding and contracting intervals, which are highlighted by corresponding changes in dynamics. Movement three provides a short, peaceful repose before the aggressive, outspoken fourth movement, in which ascending glissandi are interrupted by a pointillistic sixteenth-note texture.
Michael Daugherty's music has entered the orchestral, band and chamber music repertory and made him, according to the League of American Orchestras, one of the ten most performed living American composers. Commissions for 2008-09 include new orchestral works for the National Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Alabama Symphony and a new work for baritone Thomas Hampson and the Spokane Symphony Orchestra commemorating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Recorded by the Nashville Symphony, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero with pianist Terrance Wilson, Daugherty's piano concerto Deus ex Machina and his Metropolis Symphony will be released on Cd in September 2009 on Naxos.
Born in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Daugherty is the son of a dance-band drummer and the oldest of five brothers, all professional musicians. He studied music composition at the University of North Texas (1972-76), the Manhattan School of Music (1976-78) , Boulez's IRCAM in Paris (1979) and Yale University (1980-82). During his studies at Yale, Daugherty also collaborated with jazz arranger Gil Evans in New York, and pursued further studies with composer Gyorgy Ligeti in Hamburg, Germany (1982-84). After teaching music composition from 1986-1990 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Daugherty joined the School of Music at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition.
Anthony Donofrio has studied composition with David Gompper, John Eaton, Frank Wiley, Paul Schoenfield, and Thomas Janson. He holds the Master of Arts in Composition, Master of Music in Percussion Performance, and Bachelor of Music Education from Kent State University and is currently a first-year Doctorate student at the University of Iowa. His compositions have been performed at colleges and universities throughout the United States and has been commissioned by the Prizm Duo, The Kent State University Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble, The University of South Dakota, and many solo performers as well. In April the Aeolian Art Ensemble will premiere “…And the Clocks Were Striking Thirteen”, a quintet based off of Orwell’s “1984” at their first New Music Day, where Mr. Donofrio will also be a guest speaker on the topic of composition for percussion. He currently resides in Iowa City, IA.
Program Note: Into the Mind II was composed in April of 2008 at the request of Sarah Holmes at the Hartt School of Music. The piece is second in a planned series of five works that are contemplations of the human mind. Into the Mind I, for solo marimba, was composed in January of 2005 and premiered in March of that year. What makes these pieces special to me as a composer is that they are completely “stream of consciousness” and contain no pre-compositional material. In short, they are immediate reflections of my current state of mind at the time of composing them.
Paul Dooley is a composer, pianist, and percussionist currently working on his Masters of Music at the University of Michigan. Paul's undergraduate work was completed at the University of Southern California where he earned degrees in music composition and mathematics. Paul grew up in the wine country just inland from the Pacific and began composing music at age 12. As a native Northern Californian whose explorations have taken him to Asia, Central America, Europe and native USA, Paul has enjoyed finding the beautiful secrets of different lands while making new friends. His music is often composed through the memory of a certain place or experience. His Pomo Canyon Air (2005); an homage to the Sonoma Coast, was recently performed by the Omaha Symphony in April 2008. His piano trio Dani's Dance (2007) received an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award in 2008. Paul is currently studying with Michael Daugherty.
Program Note: Encaenia was composed for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble in Summer 2008 and received its premiere on July 11, 2008 at the Aspen Music Festival, conducted by Syd Hodkinson. “Encaenia” is a Greek word for “festival.” It also means “commencement,” as in a graduation ceremony, or a “transformation.” One encaenia, the Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Initiates to the Eleusian Mysteries were guaranteed the favor of the goddess Demeter, promised an improved fate after death, and prosperity before death. Induction into the mysteries consisted of three stages: meusis (initiation), teleth (perfection), and epopteia (beholding). The two connected movements of “Encaenia” are depictions of the first two stages of the induction; they lead the listener to the third and final stage, reached symbolically by the end of the piece.
Matthew Dotson is currently pursuing a PhD in Composition at the University of Iowa where he studies with Lawrence Fritts, John Eaton, and David Gompper in addition to assisting in the operations of the Electronic Music Studios. Recent performances of his music include Muncie, Indiana (SCI Student Conference), Romeoville, Illinois (Electronic Music Midwest), Cleveland, Mississippi (Electroacoustic Juke Joint), Gainesville, Florida (Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival), Belgrade, Serbia (Art of Sounds Festival), and Santiago, Chile (Festival Ai-Maako).
Program Note: An exercise in taking motivic-development to its extremes, the majority of this piece was generated by a 10-second sound object comprised of an electric bass being played percussively. This source material was cut into very small fragments and manipulated in various ways in order to construct monophonic, gestural lines. These lines were then either cut-up and recombined (similarly to phonemes in language) or warped beyond recognition to facilitate the creation of a whole new sound-palette. This spurred the addition of contrasting sonic material consisting of bowed electric bass. The dialogue between these two elements (percussive and tonal) is the main dramatic focus of the work.
Natalie Draper (b. 1985) is from Bethesda, Maryland. She received her BA in music from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and is now completing her master's degree in composition at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. She has participated in several music festivals, including the Brevard Music Festival (2006, 2007), Music08 (2008), and the Upbeat International Music Festival (2008). Piano Trio: Dust, Cracks, Shards, and Stains has been chosen to be programmed during the Gamma UT "Music & Memory" conference at the University of Texas in Austin, in March of 2009. Natalie has studied with a diverse group of teachers, including Phillip Rhodes, Mary Ellen Childs, Robert Aldridge, and Michael Fiday. Natalie is currently a student of Joel Hoffman.
Program Note: Piano Trio: Dust, Cracks, Shards, and Stains is a piece about anger and disillusionment. The music juxtaposes two aesthetics—the lyricism, sadness, and uneasiness heard initially in the opening of the piece, along with the bitter and incisive nature of the music that follows. Formally, this piece also explores strata, both horizontally and vertically.
Zachary Fischer (b. 1978) has studied composition with David Gommper, Charles Wuorinen, John Eaton, and Stuart Saunders Smith. He is working towards his Ph.D at the University of Iowa, where he is the recipient of the 2008-2009 Henry and Parker Pelzer Prize in composition.
Program Note: Luna is a single-movement work for solo marimba, composed in 2008 at the University of Iowa for Chris Sande. The piece is conceptually simple, yet technically challenging; the straightforward formal design (characterized by motion to and from a central quote) underpins a network of complex rhythmic relationships. The quote, a reference to a popular Guatemalan waltz, is the focal point; the piece is essentially “about” the marimba itself, without actually resembling most standard marimba literature.
Christopher Gainey (b. 1981) did his undergraduate and Master’s level work at the Peabody Conservatory earning degrees in composition, guitar performance and music theory pedagogy. His music has been performed throughout the United States by The University of Iowa Center for New Music, The Affinity Chamber Players, Duo Transatlantique, and The San Francisco Guitar Quartet. His music has been published by Vogt&Fritz and the SCI Journal of Music Scores, and his music is included on recordings from SCI, Beauport Classical, ERM Media, and the San Francisco Guitar Quartet. He is currently the guitar instructor at Coe College and a doctoral student in composition at the University of Iowa, studying with David Gompper. For more information please visit www.christophergainey.com.
Program Note: The title of this piece, Through the Turmoil of Liquid Skies, is taken from The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco. In this book, a sailor finds himself stranded on an abandoned ship that is anchored on the international dateline. As he descends into madness, he continually contemplates the idea that he floats in a temporal limbo between yesterday and tomorrow. Of course, it is all a matter of perspective. The dateline does not define the border between past and future, but rather allows for the measurement of the passage of time according to set parameters. However, in his addled state, our hero finds this curious conceptual position a bit too hard to bear.
This piece uses differences in texture, density, and tempo to simulate the flexibility of our perception of time. However, the driving force behind this effect is the harmonic language. This piece is made entirely of harmonies derived through the frequency and ring modulation of a background two-voice framework. Differing levels of tension inherent in these harmonies create a continuum between spectrally-fused sonorities, and discrete harmonic and melodic figures.
Jonathan Graybill, a native of Pennsylvania, earned is B.M. in composition from the Eastman School of Music and presently is finishing his M.M. at Indiana University studying with Sven-David Sandstrom and Don Freund. In addition, he studied independently for a year with Frank Ticheli at the University of Southern California. Previous instructors have included David Liptak, Carlos Sanchez- Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and Robert Morris. In recent years, Graybill’s music has been gaining recognition throughout the U.S., due to several high profile performances. Recently, Nightscape, for string orchestra, was premièred by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra with subsequent performances by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Butler Symphony. His music has been commissioned and featured on venues and events by numerous ensembles, including: Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble, Eastman Musica Nova, ImageMovementSound Festival, SCI Region 5 Conference, Eastman Chorale, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Indiana University Concert Band, pLAy Ensemble, New York Miniaturist Ensemble, the Hammer and Nail Project, the Meridian Arts Ensemble and guest composers at the 28th New Music and Art Festival at Bowling Green State University.
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Recep Gul was born in 1982 in Samsun, Turkey. Throughout his university years he actively involved in various musical scenes of Turkey as a performer, composer and arranger. He conducted the Bogazici University Choir between 2002 and 2004. In 2004 he formed a jazz a capella group named A capella Bogazici and performed in various local and international festivals. The group released an album in 2005, which was the first, a capella jazz album in Turkey. After completing his undergraduate degree in business administration he completed his masters degree in composition in Istanbul Technical University – Institute for Advanced Studies In Music. (MIAM) There, he studied composition with Kamran Ince, Pieter Snapper and studied theory with Michael Ellison. His works have been performed in various concerts and festivals in Turkey. Recep Gul is currently pursuing a DMA degree in composition at the University of Michigan. And at UM he studied with Bright Sheng and Paul Schoenfield.
Program Note: I wrote this piece based on a poem written by 13th century Persian-Turkish poet Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi. This is from the set of poems, which he wrote after the unfortunate death (murder) of his beloved student Shems. In contrast to his other poems in which he are mostly talking about love –especially love for God-, in this poem his main ideas are circling around death and punishment. The piece starts with an instrumental prelude, which tries to convey the idea of grieving of a person who lost someone whom he loved. And the song, which is sung by three mezzo-sopranos, follows it. The text is mainly distributed among the singers in various textural ways. But my main focus was to have the verses intertwine into each other. And rather than overdramatizing some concepts like death, I tried to reflect the feeling of inner suffering.
The drum we hear inside us now
We may not hear tomorrow
We have such fears what comes next, Death
These loves are like pieces of cottons
Throw them in fire
Death will be a meeting like that flaring up
A presence you have always wanted to be with
This body and this universe
Keep us from being free
Those of you decorated your cells
So beautifully do you think they won’t be torn down?
The eventual demolishing of prisons is a given.
You can trust that those will come around to you
Daniel Houglum, currently in the Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa, received his B.A. degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and his M.Mus. degree from Northern Illinois University. His composition teachers include Kevin Waters (S.J.), Robert Fleisher, David Maki, John Eaton and David Gompper. My Guardian Dear (2008), Houglum’s recent work for women’s chorus, was premiered at Alverno College in Milwaukee this past December.
Program Note: Michelangelo Buonarroti created his first Pietà (pity) in 1499. The marble sculpture is on display in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. In his Pietà, Michelangelo depicts a youthful Mary holding Christ just after being taken down from the cross. In Roman religion, Pietàs is a virtue: a faithful devotion to gods, country, and relatives, especially parents.
Pietà(s) is a contemplation upon Michelangelo’s faith and his Platonic view of the artistic process. Michelangelo believed that each block of marble contained an Ideal figure within, one which could be freed with the aid of the “Master.” Just as carving stone is a subtractive action, musical composition may be considered a reductive art - with each decision, fewer and fewer choices remain until the work is completed. However, the final product, as Michelangelo realized, is only representative of the abstract Ideal as witnessed “through a glass, darkly.”
The text consists of poetry written by Michelangelo. Similar themes throughout varying sonnets have been spliced together. Foco al sommo is the only movement utilizing one complete sonnet, but the order of phrases has been altered. The words “fire” and “burning” bear structural significance in this movement. Michelangelo’s work had a profound impact upon me during my study abroad in Florence, Italy during the years 2003-04.
I. Il Concetto
Non ha l’ottimo artista alcun concetto
c’un marmo solo in se non circonscriva
col suo superchio, e solo a quello arriva
la man che ubbidisce all’intelleto.
Per fido esemplo alla mia vocazione
nel parto mi fu data la bellezza,
che d’ambo l’arti m’e lucerna e specchio.
II. Il Processo
Se ‘l mie rozzo martello I duri sassi
forma d’uman aspetto or questo or quello,
dal ministro che ‘l guida, iscorge e tiello,
prendendo il moto, va con gli altrui passi.
Si come per levar, donna, si pone
in pietra alpestra e dura
una viva figura,
che la piu cresce u piu la pietra scema;
tal alcun’ opre buone,
per l’alma che pur trema,
cela il superchio della propria carne
co’ l’inculta sua cruda e dura scorza.
tu pur dalle mie streme
parti puo’ sol levarne,
ch’in me non e di me voler ne forza.
III. Foco al sommo
Sol pur col foco il fabbro il ferro stende
al concetto suo caro e bel lavoro,
ne senza foco alcuno artista l’oro
al sommo grado suo raffina e rende;
Ne l’unica fenice se reprende
se non prim’ arsa.
O ver, s’al cielo ascende per natura,
al suo elemento, e ch’io converse in foco
sie, come fie che seco non mi porti?
Del foco, di ch’I parlo, ho gran ventura
c’ancor per rinnovarmi abbi in me loco,
sendo gia quasi nel numer de morti.
Ond’io, s’ardendo moro,
spero piu chiar resurger tra coloro
che morte accresce e ‘l tempo non offende.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, arr. Houglum
I. The Conception
Not even the best of artists has any conception
that a single marble block does not contain
within its excess, that that is only attained
by the hand that obeys the intellect.
As a trustworthy model for my vocation,
at birth I was given the ideal of beauty,
which is the lamp and mirror of both my arts.
II. The Process
If my crude hammer shapes the hard stones
Into one human appearance or another,
Deriving its motion from the master who guides it,
Watches it and holds it, it moves at another’s pace.
Just as, by taking away, lady, one puts
into hard and alpine stone
a figure that’s alive
and that grows larger wherever the stone decreases,
so too are any good deeds
of the soul that still trembles
concealed by the excess mass of its own flesh,
which forms a husk that’s coarse and crude and hard.
You alone can still take them out
from within my outer shell,
for I haven’t the will or strength within myself.
III. The Highest Fire
Only with fire can the smith shape iron
from his conception into fine, dear work;
neither, without fire, can any artist
refine and bring gold to its highest state,
nor can the unique phoenix be revived
unless first burned.
Or, since by its nature it ascends to heaven,
to its own element, if I should be transformed
into fire, how could it not bear me up with it?
I’m fortunate that the fire of which I speak
still finds a place within me, to renew me,
since already I’m almost numbered among the dead;
And so, if I die burning,
I hope to rise again brighter among those
whom death augments and time no longer hurts.
Translations by James M. Saslow
Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is from Southern California and currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music with a B.M in Music Composition. She is currently pursuing a M.M. in Music Composition at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she also teaches theory, aural skills and composition lessons. Her composition teachers include Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, Mara Helmuth, Joel Hoffman, and Michael Fiday. Her works have been performed at the University of Southern California, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the AccentX & MusicX festivals, the Midwest Composers Symposium, Bard College, and at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School. In March 2008, her piece Laments by the Sea for chamber ensemble and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor was commissioned and premiered at Bard College under the direction of Nathan Madsen in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. More information can be found at www.jenniferjolley.com.
Program Note: My end is my beginning is my beginning.
Or so it was, the composer thought, back when she started this piece. The trouble of course derives from the curse that experimental warlock Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300-1377) placed in his original work, as once the third pass through the refrain is taken in the three-voice rondeau, a small impish demon is summoned and quickly banished back to the darkness. Had the composer known this, she might not have endeavored to recreate the passage with flute, clarinet and bassoon, which are well known to be the devil's favored instruments in the underworld. Of course, this being the case, the demon that did get summoned was not small or impish, and utterly refused to be banished to the darkness. Unfortunately, because of the resulting catastrophe in the composer’s studio, and the squatting demon that now resides there, the piece may forever remain uncompleted. Let this stand as a warning to all audience and performers in advance, that your brave attempts to muddle through this will be met with disaster (compiled by Brandi Griffin).
Peter Juffernbruch was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. Studying violin and composition, he received a Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois State University in 1998. After taking some time off from school, he returned to earn his Masters degree from Norther Illinois University in 2005. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at the University of Iowa while studying composition with David Gompper. He also serves as a TA in the theory department.
Program Note: While first approaching the difficult medium of string quartet, I attempted to strive for textural variety--perhaps the most important element of the genre. Four instruments of the same timbre, but different register must balance between sounding together and individually. While usually writing works consisting of only one movement, I chose three contrasting movements to further enhance variety.
Timothy Krohn is currently pursuing a masters degree in conducting at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Michael Haithcock. Mr. Krohn is the Music Director for the Arbor Brass Choir and is also Director of Music at Lord of Light Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor. During his time in Ann Arbor, Timothy has taught private trumpet lessons in the Detroit metro area schools, been on faculty for the Michigan All-State program at Interlochen, and has directed the trumpet ensemble at the Rudolph Steiner High School in Ann Arbor. A former student of Marianne Ploger, Timothy is committed to music education, the study of musical perception, and inspiring meaningful relationships and expression of the soul through music. Timothy holds a BM in trumpet performance from the University of Michigan where he was a student of William Lucas of the Detroit Symphony.
Minpyo Kim (b. 1974, Korea) began to study music composition with Eunsook Kim and Kuetae Kim in Korea (1999-2002), Cindy McTee at North Texas (2003), and Jan Radzynski, Donald Harris, and Thomas Wells at the Ohio State University (2004-2005). Recently his Grace for flute duo, which is now being published by Carolyn Nussbaum Music Company, won the first prize in the 2008 Areon Flutes international competition. Minpyo has been also serving as a church music director in the Iowa City and Columbus areas, as well as in Korea. He is currently teaching theory and working toward his doctoral degree with David Gompper at the University of Iowa.
Program Note: One of the most famous folk tunes from the late 19th century, which is purely based on a pentatonic scale, is the main theme in the piece. Employment of some chromaticism into a pentatonic theme creates additional intervals, the most significant being the tritone and Major 7th. Therefore, the pitch content of the piece contains contrasts between Korean pentatonic sonorities and Western chromaticism. Also, the timbres produced by the various bowing techniques in the different settings of motives result in a sense of contrast throughout the composition. Since the text of the folk song is mournful and somewhat resistant to the circumstances of the historical period, the passages alternate sadness and resentment. The Blue Bird's Tale was originally dedicated to the violist Peter Calhoun, and is revised for Jessica Altfillisch.
Laura M. Kramer (b. 1984) recently completed a Master of Music in Composition at Indiana University, and graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in Saxophone Performance and Music Theory/Composition in 2006. Saxophone teachers include Anthony Kurdilla and Gregory Riley, and composition teachers include Claude Baker, Don Freund, Michael Gandolfi, Jeffrey Hass, Robert Maggio, Larry Nelson and Mark Rimple.
She has had performances at the Holywell Music Room in Oxford, England, North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, University of Louisville's Comstock Hall, and the Kimmel Center for the Arts. She has arranged music for Otis Murphy, the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus, the IU Kids Compose Project, and had readings with the Network for New Music and the IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. She was also selected as a finalist in the 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Laura served as assistant director of the IU New Music Ensemble, as well as guest production manager for Alarm Will Sound, and is currently writing music for the IU Theatre Department's production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, to be performed in February and March 2009. www.laurakramermusic.com
Program Note: Warped was designed from various saxophone tones that are “warped”. Sound effects were derived exclusively from saxophone samples: long tones, trills, and multiphonics. The work combines several genres including jazz harmonies, grooves characteristic of popular music, as well as motivic devices that can be found in the standard classical saxophone repertoire. Extended techniques are merely used to add accent, in the same way that a jazz performer may add growls or pitch bends.
While writing this work, I was trying to meld two extremes that are current trends in new saxophone music. There is music based purely on nuance, emphasizing the possibilities of extended techniques, as well as technical virtuosity. But there is another almost rebellious style, a turn to tonality, repetition, and heavy post-minimalist aspects. My quest was to find a happy medium, and to embrace the interesting qualities and colors of both ends.
Warped was premiered at Indiana University and was performed at the 2008 North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Biennial Conference at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Marc LeMay was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1982. At the age of seven, Marc won the premier prix pour l'imitation for his esteemed impersonation of Winston Churchill. At the awards ceremony, Marc witnessed a fellow awardee enrapturing a phalanx of belles filles by playing a Chopin Mazurka on a badly-tuned piano. This sparked Marc’s interest in music, and through a series of adventures led to his current appointment pursuing a Master’s degree in Composition at the University of Michigan.
• People want to sell you things.
• These people send you emails.
• They use certain words: “Enlarge,” “Buy,” “Click.”
• The warders of your email use Bayesian filters to quarantine these spam messages.
• The spammers circumvent (i.e., “poison”) Bayes filters by adding randomly-generated phrases to their pitches.
• Randomly-generated phrases, at times, take on a poetic tenor.
• Poetry lends itself to musical setting.
Ching-Mei Lin (b. 1980) is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at the University of Michigan, where she is studying composition and piano. Holding degrees from the National Taiwan Normal University and the Eastman School of Music, she was awarded a Taiwanese government sponsorship for overseas study. She has received numerous awards, among them, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2005); 1st Prize in the NACUSA Young Composers Competition (2002); 3rd Place in the Sun River Prize, China (2006); and, Government Literary and Artistic Creation Award, Taiwan (2005 and 2006). Lin’s compositions have been performed in the United States, Germany, China, and Taiwan. Her pieces have been played at the Bowdoin Music Festival, at the Aspen Music Festival, at the Society of Composers, Inc. Conference, and by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. Her most recent performance took place in the Illuminations and Reflections: First Annual Symposium on Music in the 21st Century, at San Francisco State University. She is a winner in the 2008 Block M Records "New Music on the Block" competition and her music will be recorded for release on the Block M Records label in the iTunes Music Store in 2009. Lin is also an active pianist, improviser, and collaborator. Her composition teachers include: Evan Chambers, William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and Gordon Chin.
Program Note: I wrote this two-movement piece for Alto Saxophone and Marimba during the harshest days of a Michigan winter. The movements contrast with each other severely, because my aim is to portray the violent and temperamental character of a blizzard juxtaposed against the sweet sparkling of the sun on snow. This subtle reprieve from the brutal elements of wintertime strikes me as a dream, an imaginary respite from the harsh reality of the bitter chill.
Nebojsa Macura was born in 1982 in Belgrade, Serbia, and immigrated to the United States in 1990. He holds a Master of Music from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ensembles that have performed his compositions include the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble, and CCM Chamber Players. Recently, his composition Reflections on Solitude received Honorable Mention in the 2008 Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Student Composition Contest at the University of Cincinnati.
Program Note: Initially known by the (rather uninspired) working title Chamber Music No. 5, this piece is intended as an addition to the chamber music repertoire for bass clarinet, at the request of clarinetist Rebecca Danard. After sketching the main thematic material, I discovered that the piece has the potential to conjure up a distinct programmatic idea, thereby leading to the addition of Insomniac Dreams to the final title. The agitated, repetitive rhythmic figures are suggestive of the anxiety and restlessness often associated with insomnia, while a preponderance of dark timbres creates a sense of gloom, perhaps similar to that experienced by people who have extensive experience with this malady.
Striking a unique balance between her creative outlets of performance and composition, marimba-focused percussionist and composer Carrie Magin has had successful performances in both the United States and Europe. Her recent compositions include Charrette for Duo46 (violin and guitar) and Špilberk (marimba duo). Špilberk was composed and performed under the guidance of world-renowned marimbist Keiko Abe in Villecroze, France. In Brno, Czech Republic, a year’s worth of practicing, composing, coaching, and organizing culminated in Magin’s Marimba & Music (2007), a unique multi-media concert experience comprised of twelve musicians, original compositions, video, self-created lighting, and an organized visual/temporal flow. Carrie Magin is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Composition from the University of Cincinnati and holds two Bachelor’s Degrees in Composition and Percussion from the University of Michigan. She has also obtained short-term study certificates in Composition and Marimba from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic. She had the honor of spending one year in Innsbruck, Austria on a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship and in 2008 was awarded a Strategic Opportunity Stipend from the New York Foundation for the Arts to work with Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon at the Eastman School of Music.
Program Note: The definition of Hegira is any flight or journey to a more desirable or congenial place.
Teddy Niedermaier, composer and pianist, has written for a wide variety of instruments and ensembles. He holds two degrees in composition from The Juilliard School, and his principal composition teachers have included John Corigliano, Samuel Adler, Robert Beaser, and Claude Baker. Currently he is a third-year doctoral student in composition at Indiana University studying with David Dzubay.
As a pianist Teddy has collaborated with several prominent musicians, notably Elaine Douvas (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) and Thomas Stacy (New York Philharmonic). In August 2008, Mr. Stacy premiered Teddy’s new Sonata for English Horn and Piano (2008), commissioned for Mr. Stacy by Hidden Valley Music Seminars (Carmel Valley, CA). Teddy has served on the counterpoint and ear training faculty of the European American Musical Alliance summer program in Paris since 2006.
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Elizabeth Ogonek was born in 1989 in Anoka, Minnesota and grew up in New York City. Between the ages of 5 and 16, she attended Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory. Currently, she is pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Composition from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Her primary teachers have included Matthew Van Brink, Don Freund, Claude Baker, Sam Adler and Michael Gandolfi. She is the winner of a 2007 Morton Gould Young Composers Award from the ASCAP Foundation and her music has been performed across the US and in France and Germany. For more information please visit www.elizabeth-ogonek.com
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A native of Hod Hasharon, Israel, composer Asaf Peres began playing guitar at the age of 15 and soon became an active guitarist in the Israeli jazz and popular music scene. While studying at Rimon, a jazz performance school affiliated with the Berklee College of Music, Asaf became increasingly interested in the art of music composition. After studying for a year with Avner Dorman, he decided to pursue a bachelor's degree at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, where he studied composition with Ruben Seroussi.
After completing his studies at the Rubin Academy, Asaf went on to earn his master's degree from Rice University in Houston, TX, where he studied with Richard Lavenda and Shih-Hui Chen. He is currently pursuing his DMA degree in Composition at the University of Michigan where he currently studies with Michael Daugherty, after a year with William Bolcom.
Asaf's works have been read and performed by ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, the Enso Quartet, and the Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, as well as by performance students at Rice University and the Rubin Academy. He is the 2006-07 recipient of the America Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) scholarship for studies abroad in Music Composition. The AICF also supported Asaf during his studies at the Rubin Academy. Asaf has also received fellowships from Rice University and the University of Michigan, as well as a fellowship to attend the Tanglewood Music Center in the summer of 2007.
Program Note: The Art of Primitive Frustration is the first piece composed for a yet-to-be-named band that I formed along with friends from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. This piece features two electric basses playing together, a combination that is usually avoided due to the resulting “muddy” sound. I decided to let the muddy sound be a motivic element in my piece. The basses in this piece represent a muddy but relaxed and almost meditative attitude, as opposed to the rest of the band, which represents a more hectic, machine-like feel. The interaction between these two attitudes is what this piece is all about.
Subaram Raman is a first year masters student at the University of Michigan, currently studying under Michael Daugherty. He formerly studied under Paul Chihara and Roger Bourland at the University of California at Los Angeles. He works have been performed by the Beethoven Academie Orchestra, the Louisiana State University Percussion Ensemble, University at Boulder Wind Ensemble and the UCLA Contemporary Jazz Band, among other groups. He has won awards like the Flatirons Wind Ensemble Competition, the LSU Percussion Ensemble contest, and was a quarterfinalist in the the international Coups de Vents Wind Ensemble Competition. In 2008 he attended the National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project where he studied under Mark Camphouse. His inspirations include Arabic poetry and Carnatic folk music to impressionism and minimalism. His work "Aria for Alto Saxophone and Strings" was recently recorded on Greg Banaszak's "Romances for Saxophone" and his work "Lament for" will also be recorded on an upcoming recording with Mr. Banaszak. An oboist and saxophonist, he has also taught music in the inner-city of Los Angeles.
Program Note: "Modathla" is the Telugu word for "first." I titled this work as such because not only is this my first piano quintet, it is also the first time I have attempted to deliberately compose in the rhythmic and melodic realm of the Indian aesthetic. In doing so I was greatly inspired by the Hindustani violin performance style, with its characteristic colors and ornamentation. The piece is thematically based around the raag "Malkauns," a North Indian melody popularized by the famous Indian Muslim shenai player Bismillah Khan.
Chris Shortway is a second year Ph.D. student in composition, specializing in electronic music at the University of Iowa, studying with Lawrence Fritts. He completed his B.A. at the University of Virginia and his M.M. at the University of Northern Iowa, where he studied composition with Jonathan Schwabe, Alan Schmitz, and Kui-Im Lee. Chris has also studied under John Eaton and is currently focusing on live instruments with interactive electronics using Max/MSP software. Recently, he participated in the “Voices of America” project; his contribution was broadcast on Election Day at the Sea and Space Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.
Program Note: Respiration is a work for flute and electronics. All of the electronic sounds were created from recordings of the flute so as to extend and complement the live flute. The melodic material for this piece began with a simple concept of successive half-steps, an idea which was heavily manipulated through a number of algorithmic processes. The fragments that resulted led to a cellular construction of the material for both the flute and the electronics.
Composer and Trombonist Jonathan Sokol is in his second year as a doctoral fellow and associate instructor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he has studied with Sven-David Sandström and Michael Gandolfi.
Sokol received his BM in Composition from Baldwin-Wallace College, studying with composer-in-residence Loris Chobanian, and his MM in Composition from New England Conservatory, where he studied with Michael Gandolfi and graduated with Honors and Distinction in Performance.
He has been the recipient of an ASCAP Honorable Mention; has received a Susan and Ford Schumann Scholarship for the Aspen Music Festival and School; has won the 8th annual NEC/BMOP ConNECtion competition; and has most recently won the 2008 Indiana University Kuttner String Quartet composition competition.
More information can be found on his website at http://www.jonathansokol.com
Program Note: Breath is the motivating force behind Inhalation Dance, specifically the act of breathing in and out and the ways in which larger and smaller breaths affect each other.
The trio begins loudly, an expulsion of breath without preparation, followed by a softer but slightly longer section, as if to fill the vacuum. This give-and-take process propels the form of the piece, with each subsequent section growing in size (as would the amount of air when breathed).
An amplified piano initiates the beginning of each discharge and is answered by the winds which, though shrill and relentless, nevertheless seem to dance throughout the chaos to the very end, a final release of breath that dissolves until spent.
Inhalation Dance was written in collaboration with the Indiana University Contemporary Dance Program and the Jacobs School of Music "Hammer and Nail" Project
Kyle Werner (b. 1987) is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is currently in his fourth year as an undergraduate composition student at CCM, where he has studied with Joel Hoffman and Michael Fiday. His works have been performed by the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Livingston Symphony Orchestra, CCM Chamber Players, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, and students of the Juilliard School, CCM, and the Musicx festival. In the summer of 2008, he studied composition, harmony, and counterpoint at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. Kyle has also participated in masterclasses with John Adams, Zygmunt Krauze, Martin Ellerby, and eighth blackbird. For further information about Kyle and his music, please visit www.kylewerner.com.
Program Note I: Blueprints (2007) represents some of my impressions of the Great Lakes. The opening of the piece evokes the sound of several boats sitting at anchor, with the rigging clattering against the masts. The solo cello line near the end of the first section reminds me of the expanse of water across the horizon. This melodic fragment generated many of the materials I used throughout the work – I drew from it a variety of scales, chords, and motives. The ethereal second section explores some of these elements, as the solo flute and piccolo float above the strings. The central portion of the piece is stormy and chaotic. The fourth section focuses on a series of descending clarinet solos surrounded by gradually changing colors. The panoramic final section begins with the song of the White-Throated Sparrow, a bird I often hear in Canada and northern Michigan. The rhythm of a ship’s bell beats time as previous elements return and wash together.
Program Note II: Forest Echoes was written in July, 2008, while I was studying at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. The initial inspiration for this work came when I was asked to write a short ‘birdsong’ piece for a soirée in celebration of Messiaen’s centennial. After hearing a few birdsongs in Paris and Fontainebleau, I began writing music inspired by the character of these songs. I did not attempt to scientifically transcribe the birdsongs, as Messiaen did, but rather to capture my own impression of their essence. This process produced the first movement, which was performed at the soirée. I then decided to add two additional movements in order to contrast and complement the first. While the first movement is ethereal and mysterious, the second movement is angular, rhythmic, and playful. The third movement is spacious and serene; it was inspired by sitting in a garden at night, as the moon rose, the stars appeared, and the underground sprinklers turned on. The complete premiere was given by Miran Kim (violin) and Stephanie Wu (piano) on July 30th, 2008, in the Salle des Colonnes at the Palais de Fontainebleau.
Born in Boston in 1988, William Zuckerman is pursuing a degree in music composition from the University of Michigan, studying with Bright Sheng and Michael Daugherty. In the summer of 2008, William studied composition at the Freie Universität of Berlin with Juilliard Professor Samuel Adler.
Recent performances include Tanglewood, Copley Plaza, the New Synagogue Concert Hall of Berlin, Germany, and the New England Conservatory, among many others. A recent University of Michigan performance saw Eighth Blackbird privately realize a work of Williams.
Recent commissions include works for the New Music Project ensemble of Kalamazoo, MI, San Francisco-based pianist Preben Antonsen, the DJ-EZ Saxophone Quartet, and Beverly Strassmann, who has commissioned William to write a film score to a documentary about a North African land area.
Recent awards and honors have come from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the New York Art Ensemble, ASCAP, and Block M Records, who will release his saxophone quartet "Current, Deep, and Cool" on the iTunes music store in the spring of 2009.
Program Note: This work for solo piano is an homage to the South Park television series. Calzoncillo Gnomo, translated into English as “Underpants Gnome,” is a reference to a famous second season episode where the character named “Tweak” claims to see underpants gnomes take his underwear, even though no one else sees them until the climax of the show.
The music was commissioned by San Francisco based composer/pianist Preben Antonsen for his senior recital. The world premiere of the work was given on January 26th of 2009, and Preben?s premiere of the work will be in May of 2009.
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