SEAMUS CONFERENCE 2002
Clapp Recital Hall, Saturday, April 6, 2002, 8:00 pm
|| download program ||
|Mara Helmuth, Allen Otte
|Allen Otte, percussion
|so many days to be here
(piano and tape)
|Yun-Pai Hsu, piano
|Hard Weather Makes Good Wood
(string quartet and tape)
|Alla Cross, violin I
Julia Liao, violin II
Charletta Taylor, viola
David Evenchick, violoncello
(clarinet and tape)
|Joan Blazich, clarinet
|Absence of Joy
(piano 4-hands and computer)
|Ilka Vasconcelos Araujo, Jason Hibbard, piano
|Elegy and Honk
(English horn and tape)
|Megan Manning, English horn
(chamber ensemble and tape)
|Ismael Reyes, Adrienne Dieterich, flutes
Joan Blazich, Karen Kress, clarinets
Pat Anderson, Michael Pollock, percussion
Tim Shaw, MIDI percussion
Alla Cross, Julie Liao, violins
Charletta Taylor, viola
David Evenchick, violoncello
Moriah Neils, double bass
David Gompper, conductor
(with MIDI baton-- Buchla Lightning)
Notes & Bios
so many days to be here
The words in "so many days to be here" are all quotations from interviews conducted in shelters for families, teenagers, and children. Special thanks to Claudia Hampston Daly, executive producer of For Kids' Sake Radio, for permission to use excerpts from the radio program "Lives of the Children." Thanks also to Lesley A. Martin for permission to use a quotation from Mary Ellen Mark's book "A Cry for Help," published by Umbra Editions in 1996.
Kristi McGarity is a graduate student in music composition with a background in both acoustic and electronic media. She earned a degree in oboe performance at the University of Michigan, and has since returned to her hometown of Austin to seek a Master of Music degree from the University of Texas, where she studies composition with Russell Pinkston and Donald Grantham. Recent awards and honors include prizes in the 2001 ASCAP/SEAMUS Commission Competition and the Athena 2001 Festival Competition.
Church Keys (piano and tape)
I have long loved the simplicity and clarity of the four-part hymns I used to sing in church as a child. I view these hymns now as a foundation upon which highly complex structures can be build. I have often been perplexed, however, by the range of emotions expressed in many of these hymns. On the one hand, hymns like "Far Far Away From My Loving Father," portray a heartfelt loving and forgiving image based on the prodigal child story. On the other hand, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" contains violent war imagery and language. The opposed polarity of these two types of hymns can be striking when they appear side by side in a worship service. I have come to realize that both kindness and violence seem to be equal parts of our human nature. Church Keys is the ground on which these halves of myself, kindness and confrontation, struggle to coexist.
Paul Rudy (b. 1962 South Bend, Indiana) is Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of the Inter-media/Music Production and Computer Technology Center at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri, Kansas City. Since 1995 he has been the composition technologist at the Aspen Music Festival and School where he directs the Amplified Music Performance Series (AMPS) and created a program of contemporary electro-acoustic music for public radio called "The Virtual Concert Hall". He received awards and honors from the Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, the Fulbright Foundation, Meet the Composer, the National Music Teachers Association, and the Missouri Music Teachers Association, and was a finalist in the 1999 Hultgren Biennial Solo Cello Composition Competition. Commissions include Meet the Composer USA, Music From China, Kansas City Chorale, newEar, the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, and the Missouri Music Teachers Association. His electroacoustic and acoustic works, published by Twisted Trail Music, have been broadcast and performed worldwide (England, Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, Finland, Croatia, Canada, Korea, China, New Zealand, Australia, Cuba, and New York) and can be found on Living Artist, SCI (Capstone), and Centaur recordings. In addition to composing he has an avid interest in bicycling, hiking, camping, and mountaineering. In 1994 he completed the Colorado Grand Slam after climbing all 54 of Colorado's 14,000 ft peaks
Hard Weather Makes Good Wood (string quartet and tape)
This composition was composed during a time of intense personal struggle, and carries a complex set of relationships between recorded material and the string quartet. There is a simple side to the evolving relations, however: the string quartet is three times overwhelmed by the tape. Each massive area is approached differently, and each triggers a different reaction from the quartet. In the passages separating the assaultive sections, the tape carries a rich, undulating harmonic progression. That music serves to soothe and regenerate the spirit of the ensemble, which is in a long-range struggle to re-establish its initial laid-back-but-high-energy, groove-oriented identity. The more complex level of relationships has to do with affinities demonstrated both between instruments and between particular instruments and the taped sounds. The overall shape of the music should be easy to follow; investing attention toward the interaction of tape and quartet, both on a sonic (i.e., the way the sounds themselves blend) and kinetic (i.e., the manner of articulation and overall vigor) level will hopefully reward the listener with deeper understanding of the music. An important fact about the tape part is that every sound there was first produced on the violin.
The title refers to the fact that hard weather with scant rainfall produces wood with tight growth rings, wood which is resilient and can endure tough conditions. The emotional profile of the piece, then, is hopeful, a sort of seasoned optimism available to those who endure hardship. Since I got the advice (repeatedly!) from my father, Bill Morrison, and since I hope that my son, Ezra Morrison, will learn to survive through hard times, I dedicate the music to them.
John Morrison comes from rural North Carolina. A lifelong interest in sound has led to a compositional style in which sound itself is the focus. Influences ranging from the Grateful Dead to bluegrass to experimental twentieth-century music merge in varied ways, depending on the forces for which a particular piece is written.
John currently teaches at Cleveland State University, and has taught at Luther College, Tennessee State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Tennessee, and Case Western Reserve University. He has been commissioned to compose music by the Intergalactic (formerly Minnesota) Contemporary Ensemble, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Detroit Chamber Winds, Davidson College, and an assortment of individuals. Residencies have occurred at The MacDowell Colony, June in Buffalo, The Schweitzer Institute (Festival at Sandpoint), and the Ives Center for American Music.
Five Arabesques (clarinet and tape)
ar-a-besque (ar'e-besk"), n. [Fr.; It. arabesco -- Arabo, Arab: with reference to the designs in Moorish architecture], 1. a complex and elaborate design of intertwined flowers, foliage, geometrical patterns, etc. painted or carved in low relief. 2. in ballet dancing a position in which one leg is extended straight backward and the arms are extended, one forward and one backward. 3. in music, a short, brilliant composition in rondo form. 4. the name given to five curious little pieces by Barry Schrader for clarinet and electronic sounds.
Barry Schrader's compositions for studio media, dance, film, video, multimedia, live/electro-acoustic combinations, and real-time computer performance have been presented throughout the world. Schrader is the founder and the first president of SEAMUS. He has written for Grove's, Grollier's Encyclopedia, Contemporary Music Review, and Journal SEAMUS, and is the author of Introduction to Electro-Acoustic Music. He is currently on the Composition Faculty of the California Institute of the Arts, and has also taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and California State University at Los Angeles. His music is recorded on the Opus One, Laurel, CIRM, SEAMUS, and Centaur labels.
Absence of Joy (piano 4-hands and computer)
This composition, for piano four-hands and interactive computer, was composed in memory of my mother, Joy. She passed away in October 1999 from a lung disease called interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, which causes the lungs to harden until they can no longer function. Her loss leaves an irreparable hole in my life. Shortly after her death, her closest friend had a dream in which my mother told her, "The numbers are 18, 17, 1, and 9. Make sure my son gets them." As a result, the pitches Eb, D, Bb, and Gb form the foundation of this work. In addition to interactive processing of the piano, some of the sounds produced by the computer are derived from some of my mother's favorite music.
Samuel J. Hamm, Jr. (b. 1968) is a composer of electronic, acoustic, and mixed-media music within a variety of genres including concert music, theatre, and dance. His works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe and have been selected for radio broadcast in the United States and South America. Sam holds a B.M. in Composition from the University of Alabama (1991), and a M.M. in Composition from the University of Florida (1995). Sam has also studied composition with Cort Lippe at the University of Buffalo. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at the University Florida, where he studies composition with James Paul Sain. Sam also serves as Associate Director of the Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival.
Elegy and Honk (English horn and tape)
This composition, for English horn and electro-acoustic music, is (not surprisingly) a work in two highly contrasting movements. The entire accompaniment to the Elegy is derived from a few English horn sounds -- short notes in various registers, some "airy" key clicks, and a whoosh of air rushing through the instrument without the reed in place. The dense clouds in the background actually come from a single very short English horn "blip" subjected to a process called granular synthesis, through which the original audio is exploded into tiny fragments. Each fragment is then stretched nearly to the breaking point and recombined into several layers of overlapping texture. The second movement employs an expanded palette of source material including a menagerie of geese and duck sounds, joined by an old-fashioned bicycle horn -- HONK, indeed!
Mark Phillips won the 1988 Barlow International Competition. Leonard Slatkin has conducted his music with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Japan. Other significant performances of his music include the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Lark Quartet, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. His music has been performed throughout the US, and in Europe, South America, and China. Mr. Phillips has received awards from the Ohio Arts Council, the Indiana Arts Commission, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, Ohio University, Indiana University, the Delius Composition Competition, and the National Flute Society.
Phillips, a member of faculty at the Ohio University School of Music since 1984, is serving a five-year term as a Presidential Research Scholar. From 1982-84 he was a Visiting Instructor of composition at the Indiana University School of Music. Born in Philadelphia, he holds a B.M. degree from West Virginia University and both an M.M. degree and a D.M. degree from Indiana University.
Singing Hills (chamber ensemble and tape)
Singing Hills is a work for chamber ensemble and computer. The ensemble includes three percussionists, one of whom plays MIDI percussion (the MIDI percussionist triggers computer playback of sampled sounds). All of the instruments play into microphones, and their sound is thereby fed into a computer running MSP software. The computer modifies the sounds of the instruments in various ways. The conductor, in addition to his usual role of coordinating the ensemble, uses a MIDI baton (the Buchla Lightning) which the computer follows. By following the conductor, the computer can follow the score, and therefore the computer "knows" the appropriate time to apply various modulating processes to the live instruments.
The result is a mixture of traditional instrumental sounds, environmental sounds, electronic sounds, and sounds that are combinations of all of the above. There is often an intentional ambiguity among sounds.
Marc Ainger's works have been performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the Joyce Theater in New York City, the American Film Institute, the Janacek Hall in Prague, the Royal Theater in Copenhagen, and in many other venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His work for Up, for MIDI trampoline, a collaboration with Elizabeth Streb, was premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and has been performed throughout the world, including a performance on the David Letterman Show. Ainger has received awards from Musica Nova (the Czech Republic), Meet the Composer, the Irino International Chamber Music Competition (Tokyo), the Esperia Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Boulez Composition Fellowship. As a sound designer, Mr. Ainger has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Waveframe, and Pacific Coast Soundworks. Marc Ainger is currently head of the composition division at the Ohio State University, where he is also an adjunct professor at the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design.