Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CNM at the University of Northern Iowa
Friday, February 22, 2002



Movement for five instruments (1991) Michael Eckert
Ismael Reyes,  flute
Joan Blazich,  clarinet
Alla Cross,  violin
David Evenchick,  violoncello
Yun-Pai Hsu,  piano
Pre-Images, for bassoon and tape (2000) Lawrence Fritts
Benjamin Coelho,  bassoon
Alone (2001) John Allemeier
Charletta Taylor,  viola
Nuit (1999) Dimitri Papageorgiou
Joan Blazich,  clarinet
Charletta Taylor,  viola
Yun-Pai Hsu,  piano
Triptych for Cello & Piano (2002) Matthew Grusha
 III. this is the last thing i'll ever
        write about it.
David Evenchick,  violoncello
Yun-Pai Hsu,  piano
BLOW (2001) Amelia S. Kaplan
Benjamin Coelho,  bassoon
Two Songs Martin McGinn
 1. I Look at my Shadow
       and saw Starlight
 2. In the Rearview
words by
David Williamson
Rainer Weissenberger,  baritone
Martin McGinn,  piano
Yellow Pages (1985) Michael Torke
Ismael Reyes,  flute
Joan Blazich,  clarinet
Alla Cross,  violin
David Evenchick,  violoncello
Yun-Pai Hsu,  piano


Notes & Bios


Movement for five instruments (1991)

was composed in July-September 1991. It is about five minutes in duration, and will probably end up as a part of a projected three-movement piece. The emphasis on the interval of a sixth in the opening idea, particularly in the violin, led me to include a direct quotation (albeit slightly rescored) from the beginning of Anton Webern's String Quartet, op. 28 (1938) toward the end of the movement, since the initial two-note sonorities in the Webern are the major and the minor sixth.

Michael Eckert (b. 1950) has taught music theory and composition at the University of Iowa School of Music since 1985, and is currently Head of the Composition/Theory Area. He studied composition with John Richard Ronsheim at Antioch College, and with Ralph Shapey at the University of Chicago, receiving the M.A. in music history & theory in 1975 and the Ph.D. in composition in 1977. Before coming to Iowa he taught at Colorado State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University, and Antioch College. His awards for composition include the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, a Charles E. Ives Scholarship from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, an NEA fellowship, and the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award. He is also active as a scholar, having published articles on the music of Johnannes Ockeghem and Luigi Dallapiccola as well as editions of Renaissance music, and his research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Fulbright fellowship to Italy.


Pre-Images, for bassoon and tape (2000)

The conceptual notions of "image" and "pre-image" can arise in music in very provocative ways. A common example is formed by the relationship between pitch-class (a class of notes sharing the same note name but not register) and pitch (which is register-specific). Here, a pitch-class is said to be an image of a pitch; conversely, a pitch is a pre-image of a pitch-class. Compositional manipulations that act directly on pitch-classes also act indirectly on their pre-image pitches. This idea is extended in a number of ways in the work, Pre-images. Particularly notable is the dialogue between the digitally-processed image of a recorded bassoon and the live instrumental pre-image. Pre-images was written for Benjamin Coelho in early 2000.

Lawrence Fritts (b. 1952) is director of the Electronic Music Studios and assistant professor of composition and theory. He has composed for a wide variety of electronic and computer media, including concrete tape, instruments and tape, voltage-controlled and MIDI-controlled analog and digital synthesizers, and digitally processed instruments. His recent works for tape and instruments utilize real-time computer sound transformation technology. His music has been performed at festivals and conferences in the U.S. and broadcast in the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe.

His technological research focuses on performance aspects of real-time DSP transformations and spectral analysis/re-synthesis. Other interests include musical applications of mathematical group theory, on which he has presented papers at several conferences and seminars including a recent meeting of the American Mathematical Society. His review of the mathematics of Milton Babbitt's music appears in the spring 1997 issue of Music Theory Spectrum. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of Chicago in 1995, where he studied with Shulamit Ran, Ralph Shapey and John Eaton. He previously taught at DePaul University and Columbia College, and has been on the faculty at the University of Iowa since 1994.


Alone (2001)

is a cadenza without a concerto. The dramatic character of a composition for solo instrument is similar to that of a cadenza, both are dependent on the potential of a single performer. The soloist is responsible for sustaining the intensity and drama of the composition. The music is then an expression of the performer as well as the composer. This idea lead to the formation of gestures that the performer could shape into unique expressions. These gestures were inspired by the viola itself.

The pitch material of Alone is both modal and chromatic. The opening section is slow and lyrical and uses double stops to create counterpoint to the modal melody. The second section begins with pizzacati but then changes to a chromatic sequence with an irregular metric pattern. The section ends with a series of dramatic scale passages interrupted by double stops. This is the true cadenza.

John M. Allemeier (b. 1970) received his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Iowa, his Master of Music in Composition from Northwestern University and his Bachelor of Music in Performance from Augustana College. At the University of Iowa, Mr. Allemeier received the Henry and Parker Peltzer Fellowship Award for Excellence in Composition. He has studied composition with David K. Gompper, D. Martin Jenni, M. William Karlins and Michael Pisaro. Recently, he participated in the 6th International Composition Course in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.

Mr. Allemeier's music has been performed by the University of Iowa Graduate Chamber Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble, the Oberlin Percussion Group, the Texas Christian University Percussion Ensemble, the University of Illinois Contemporary Chamber Singers, the Nevelson Duo, the Marshall University Symphony Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet in a reading session. Mr. Allemeier's music has been programmed on national conferences of the Society of Composers and the Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States, the 7th Brazilian Symposium on Computer Music, and at regional conferences of the College Music Society and the Society of Composers. His music has been recognized by the Ibla Foundation European International Competition for Composers and by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers with Standard Awards and honorable mention in the ASCAP Foundation/Rudolf Nissim Composers Competition. He has received supporting grants from Marshall University and the University of Iowa Fine Arts Council. Mr. Allemeier's music is published by Carl Fischer Music Publishers, M. Baker Publications and European American Music. He has taught at Marshall University and the University of Iowa and currently lives in Mannheim, Germany.


Nuit (1999)

was composed as a musical diary, without any pre-compositional plan, in a period between April and October 1999. Since I work primarily with abstractions (colors), I had to wait until these abstractions assumed the role of an object, and then I assembled the form. The title is derived from the French word for the night -- since I was working on this piece almost exclusively at night. It is also a reference to Nuit the goddess of the "ever unknown" who bends over Hadit (the ever known, the winged globe):

Above, the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit.

and also:

Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.
(Aleister Crowley, The Book of Law)

Nuit was premiered in January 2000 at the California Institute of the Arts.

Dimitri Papageorgiou (1965) was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He holds a degree in composition from the University of Music and Dramatic at Graz, where he studied with A. Dobrowolski , who introduced him to the techniques of New Music, and H. M. Pressl who taught him aleatoric counterpoint and introduced him to the work of Hauer. He graduated in 1991 with special distinction and received the "Doris Wolf Prize" of the Ministry of Culture for outstanding academic and artistic achievement.

In 1991, Papageorgiou returned to Greece where he has taught composition and music theory until 1998. In 1998, he was awarded an Iowa Fellowship to attend the University of Iowa and decided to leave his teaching position in Greece and move to the United States. In Iowa, he studied composition with Martin Jenni, Jeremy Dale Roberts and, currently, David Gompper.

Papageorgiou's creative output includes works for chamber, choral and orchestral music. He also composed music for the theater in 1990 when he was commissioned by the Austrian National Radio and the Forum Stadtpark Graz to write music for the theater play "Mein Schrank riecht nach Tier," by W. Grond and L. Cejpec. His music has been performed in several public concerts in Austria, Greece and the United States. Several of his works have been recorded and broadcasted by the Austrian National Radio. In 1997,  Undr II for orchestra was recorded for the Third Program of the Greek National Radio. In 1998, Papageorgiou was invited by the Center for New Music to Iowa City to take part in the Festival of Contemporary Greek Composers. He has already been active in the Midwest Composers Symposium, where his compositions  Tasten for piano and  Kylang for contrabass and tape were performed in 1998 and 1999 respectively.


Triptych for Cello & Piano (2002)

is a collection of three small pieces written in the winter of 2001. These pieces are influenced by Schoenberg's ideas concerning dialecticism in music. A combination of personal experience and the poetry of Denver Butson provided the inspiration for this collection.

Matthew Grusha (b. 1981) is a composition student at the University of Iowa where he studies with David Gompper and Lawrence Fritts. He previously studied with Robert Rathmell and Craig Weston. Active as a violist in the University Symphony Orchestra, he is currently composing works for a range of media, including voice, piano, flute, strings, and electronics


BLOW (2001)

for solo bassoon, was commissioned by bassoonist Benjamin Coelho. Ben had discovered an extended technique which combines a multiphonic with a chromatic scale. He had wanted a composer to use this particular sonic figure in a piece, so I decided to take on the challenge. Motivically the piece is based on two ideas: something increasing, and a lyrical tune which shows up about a third of the way into the piece. The increasing idea is manifested as a crescendo (usually in combination with a portamento), an accelerando, and increase in registral span. Pitch-wise the piece works it's way through all twelve notes, spending time on each center in a sort of timbral variation, culminating on Ben's invention. Overall the piece moves from the lowest note of the instrument to the highest (although this note varies from player to player, Ben suggested high E as a safe note). The piece is to be played 'maniacally.'

Amelia Kaplan (b. 1963) is Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition & Theory at the University of Iowa. She completed her Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of Chicago as a Century Fellow, where her primary teachers were Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska, and Ralph Shapey. She was the recipient of a Whiting Dissertation Fellowship which she used to work with Azio Corghi at the Milan Conservatory. She also received a Diploma of Merit from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana while studying with Franco Donatoni, and Diploma from the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau. Her music has been performed around the U.S. and in Europe at contemporary music festivals, including Gaudeamus, Darmstadt, Klang, Festival at Sandpoint, and others.


Yellow Pages (1985)

"If one believes that not a viable aesthetic, then one must conclude that shopping in the pawnshop of tonality will yield musical pages that are yellowed and old. Yet if one believes in the possibility of ahistoricism and further is not bothered by notions of accessibility and the 'allographic', then the music could be compared to the yellow pages, published for A.T.&T., as that book finds a place in every home. And paging through the categories of telephone numbers inside, one notices that, alphabetically, they change slowly: 'Automobile Wrecking', 'Aviation Consultants', and 'Awnings and Canopies'. This gradual transition is reflected in the handling of a slow transpositional process in the piece. Finally, the key of G major, around which the piece is based, is the color of yellow, or at least a darkish burnt yellow."

The music of Michael Torke has been called " some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years" (Gramophone, August 1996). Hailed as a "vitally inventive composer" (Financial Times of London, February 25,1995) and "a master orchestrator whose shimmering timbral pallete makes him the Ravel of his generation" (New York Times, June 30, 1996), Michael Torke has created a substantial body of works in virtually every genre, each with a characteristic personal stamp that combines restless rhythmic energy with ravishingly beautiful melodies.

With two of his most widely-performed works,  Ecstatic Orange and  The Yellow Pages (both written in 1985 while Torke was a composition student at Yale), Torke practically defined post-minimalism, a music which utilizes the repetitive structures of a previous generation to incorporate musical techniques from both the classical tradition and the contemporary pop world. From these initial kinetic scores, Torke's music has developed toward larger, more expansive forms allowing for greater textural variation and longer, sweeping themes. Over the past decade, Torke's vibrant music has strongly appealed to choreographers including: Ulyssee's Dove (Alvin Ailey), James Kudelka (San Francisco Ballet), Jiri Killian (Netherlands Dance Theatre), Glen Tetley and Peter Martins (New York Ballet), who has choreographed seven of Torke's compositions to date (four of which were NYCB commissions). Many of these works can be heard on the five Decca/Argo CD's devoted to his music.