Friday, June 12, 2015

Clapp Recital Hall

Sunday, April 10, 2005, 8:00 p.m.


...on my mind...   Ketty NEZ
  Kenneth Tse,  baritone saxophone
Margaret Soper Gutierrez,  violin
Elizabeth Oakes,  viola
Hannah Holman,  violoncello
Ketty Nez,  conductor
Music in the Glen   David GOMPPER
  Katie Wolfe,  violin
Ketty Nez,  piano
Heat Death   Evan KUCHAR
  Shivhan Dohse,   flute
Tom Yu,   clarinet
Andrew Brobson,   saxophone
Michele Bowen,   bassoon
Russell Lenth,   horn
Caster June Teoh,   trumpet
Matt Driscoll,   trombone
Chris Sande,   percussion 1
Mike Thursby,   percussion 2
Janani Sreenivasan,   violin 1
Alla Cross,   violin 2
Julia Immel,   viola
Ursula Dial,   violoncello
Kevin Franca,   double bass
David Gompper,   conductor
    Music of the German composer
Robert H. P. PLATZ
Up (Klavierstueck 4) for piano solo (1997/98)    
  Kazuo Murakami,  piano  
Danach I for flute (2003)    
  Bruno Faria,  flute  
Senko-hana-bi (In Yoshitake's garden) for cello (1997/2000)    
  Ken Ishii,  violoncello  
Ikar, for violin solo (2001)    
  Alla Cross,  violin  
Steine, for 2 pianos (1989/92-93)    
  David Gompper and Kazuo Murakami,  pianists  
Dense (Echo I) (1994/96)    
  Bruno Faria,  flute
Christine Bellomy,  clarinet
Alla Cross,  violin
Ken Ishii,  violoncello
Kazuo Murakami,  piano


Notes & Bios


...on my mind...

Written in the summer of 2004 for University of Iowa faculty Kenneth Tse, saxophonist, and members of the Maia String Quartet, ...on my mind... was inspired by the palpable rhythmic energy of James Brown (a couple of quotes surface), as well as bebop, blues, and other popular traditions. Such music can be heard to only begin with the notes, going on to everything else, both musical and otherwise: the expressive glissandi, traditional syncopations, heightened emotions, such as Brown's terse, taught singing. The overtones of funk reflect the unique charisma of my colleagues, including the theatrical and sartorial flair of the Maias' stage presence.

Composer/pianist Ketty Nez completed in 2002-3 a residence of several months at the École Nationale de Musique in Montbéliard, France, where she worked with faculty and students on projects of live electronics and improvisation. Her chamber opera An Opera in Devolution: Drama in 540 Seconds was premiered at the 2003 Festival A*Devantgarde in Munich. New projects include commissions for various ensembles in France and at the University of Iowa, where she currently teaches as Visiting Assistant Professor of composition and theory. This fall she joins the faculty at Boston University.

In 2001 she was a visiting composer at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), and in 1998, she participated in the computer music course at the Institute de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. Prior to her studies at IRCAM, she worked for two years with Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam, where she co-founded the international contemporary music series Concerten Tot and Met.

Her music has been played at festivals in the US as well as abroad, including Bulgaria, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, and Japan. She spent the year 1988 in Japan, studying with Michio Mamiya and writing for traditional Japanese instruments. She has participated as fellow in the Aspen Music Festival (in 2001, 1991, and 1989), the 1998 June in Buffalo Festival, the 1997 Britten-Pears School Composition Course (Aldeburgh, England), the 1996 California State University Summer Arts Composition Workshop, the 1995 Tanglewood Music Center, and the 1990 Pacific Composers Conference (in Sapporo, Japan).

Her education includes a doctorate in composition from the University of California at Berkeley, a master's degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music, a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the Curtis Institute of Music, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bryn Mawr College.


Music in the Glen

Music in the Glen (2004) serves as a companion piece to an earlier work for violin and piano called Finnegan's Wake, and is based on the Irish fiddle reel of the same name. In one movement, its four sections begin with a slow introduction leading to a lively statement of the main theme, and followed by a broader response as bells toll in the background, ending with coda in the choral style. Recently, I have been interested to combine abstract tonal relationships with music that is familiar. This work is a marriage between the opening hexachord found in Boulez's Sur Incise, which is based on perfect fourths, and the reel that is made up of major and minor thirds.

David Gompper (b. 1954) has lived and worked professionally as a pianist, a conductor, and a composer in New York, San Diego, London, Nigeria, Michigan, and Texas. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Jeremy Dale Roberts, Humphrey Searle and Phyllis Sellick. After teaching in Nigeria, he received his doctorate at the University of Michigan, taught at the University of Texas, Arlington, and since 1991 has been Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa. In 2002 - 2003 Gompper was in Russia as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching, performing and conducting at the Moscow Conservatory.

Gompper's compositions are heard throughout the United States and Europe. In 1999 his Transitus (for wind ensemble) premiered at Carnegie Hall, and a number of his works have premiered in London's Wigmore Hall, including: Hommage a W. A. (William Albright) for piano; and Shades of Love, a song cycle on the poetry of Constantin Cavafy. Gompper is in the process of completing a number of works: a song cycle on the poems of Emily Dickinson that will be heard in London this November, and a violin concerto, which will be performed by the Kiev Philharmonic in February of 2006.


Heat Death (2004)

Heat death is a term physicists use to describe the universe in a state of maximum entropy. Heat tends to move away from hot sources and is absorbed by colder objects. Thus, the imbalance between the two objects approaches a state of balanced energy. One possible fate of the universe is that all of the energy in the universe will eventually reach a state of maximal evenness. Thus, there will no longer be energy flow, and the universe will be dead. (See for more information.)

Heat Death, for chamber ensemble, depicts the flow of energy between objects. As one entity gives off energy, the other absorbs it. This interchange takes place over an eternally unchanging background that occurs at the beginning and ending with references to it made throughout. The high- and low-energy themes exchange energy until becoming maximally even. Instead of one dominating the other, which may be the case at the outset, both themes suffer transmogrification beyond recognition, and the sharp contrast between them is lost in the process.

Evan Kuchar (b. 1979) is finishing the M.A. degree in composition at the University of Iowa, where he studies with David Gompper and has studied electro-acoustic music with Lawrence Fritts. He also spends time improvising for dance classes and teaching.

Before coming to Iowa, Kuchar studied music and French at Augustana College and spent a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. He then served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Chicago organizing a tutoring program in a public elementary school. Plans for the future include travel, language acquisition, teaching, and the pursuit of further studies in music.



The compositional elements of up (Piano Piece 4) are simple: chord sequences, lines that unfold into polyphony, and slowly played scales are the whole material. Various developments from these three roots give rise to the musical form: Chords 1 - Arrow 1 (in the sketches, this is what I called the linear parts; this designation was not carried across into the final score) - Chords 2 - Arrow 2 - Chords 3 - Scale 1 - Arrow 3 - Scale 2 - Arrow 4. 'Up' means: creating developmental possibilities, allowing growth, climax, upwards. Up was written in 1996-97 on commission from the Schömerhaus Klosterneuburg (Karlheinz Essl) and was premiered by Kristi Becker, to whom the piece is dedicated, in1998 in Klosterneuburg, as part of the 'Wien Modern' festival.

senko-hana-bi (1997) night in Yoshitake's garden --- the idea was to have a few small fireworks... the most beautiful towards the end: small strips of rice-straw called "senko-hana-bi", impregnated by some powder that makes the most tiny and beautiful bonsai-fireworks.


Of course, the association of Ikarus has much to do with the piece, and even more so the Japanese word ikari for anger. If written with different kanji, ikari also means anchor, maybe a hint to Ikarus' destiny to be grounded?

Steine (Stones)

In the title of this short piece (written in connection with the orchestral score GRENZGÄNGE) several chains of associations come together: "Steine" is a tiny village where at the end a trail goes off into the fields to Schreyahn, where I had conceived SCHREYAHN, that belongs also to the context of GRENZGÄNGE STEINE.

I had just decided to fix this topographical and musical neighborhood in the title when we found the stone again that served us while in Schreyahn to keep the door open to the outside. The very same evening, reading in a book about the Japanese tea ceremony, I found the photograph of a stone, tied cross-wise with a chord, that shows the way in the Japanese tea-garden. It looked a bit like my stone from Schreyahn, which now lies in my room, lovingly tied cross-wise with a chord. The way it shows is leading outside towards the park, away, further and further.

Robert H.P. Platz (b. 1951, Baden-Baden) studied music theory, composition (Fortner), musicology (Budde) and piano in Freiburg, Germany from 1970-73. The following year he studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne. In 1977 he took examinations in conducting (Travis) in Freiburg, and completed a series of computer courses at IRCAM in 1980. Since 1990 he has been teaching composition at the conservatory in Maastricht, Netherlands. Platz gives workshops and masterclasses in Japan, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, and the USA on a regular basis, and he has taught repeatedly at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik. Platz has received numerous prizes and scholarships, including a Bellagio residency (1990), and an invitation by the Japanese government for a four-month residency (1992). He is published extensively in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, France, and the USA.

Since the early 1980s, a central idea in the work of Platz's music has been 'formal polyphony'. Initially it referred to several distinct musics existing concurrently in a single piece; subsequently it came to imply a piece consisting of several autonomous but overlapping sub-pieces. From 1990 onwards, Platz started to evolve the idea of a potentially infinite chain of works, both chamber and orchestral, each of which stands on its own, yet is ideally intended to overlap with the end of the previous piece in the chain, and the beginning of the next. The first major public presentation of this concept comprised a sequence of five works, performed at the Donaueschinger Musiktage in 1996. (Richard Toop, with permission and thanks)