Off-Center — A Collaborative Concert
Featuring works by
Allison Ogden and Eun-Young Lee, from the University of Chicago
Lisa Bost-Sandberg and George Hufnagl, University of Iowa Alumni and
Zachary Fischer, Matthew Dotson, and Christopher Gainey, current UI graduate composers
Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 8:00 pm
|| download program ||
|Lisa Bost-Sandberg, flute|
|The Night, Nothingness, and Life||Zach FISCHER|
|Chris Sande, drum set|
|Prairie Spring||George HUFNAGL|
|Michelle Crouch, soprano
Kristin Naragon, piano
|Lisa Bost-Sandberg, alto flute|
|Left Unsaid||Matthew DOTSON|
|Sonata Vitae||Christopher GAINEY|
|Lisa Bost-Sandberg, flute|
|Chris Sande, marimba|
|Emily Rolka, violin
Chris Sande, percussion
Ginny Armstrong, percussion
Notes & Bios
Fluxion was written for and premiered at PKN Productions's "UnTapped @ the Tank" 2008 Concert Series in New York. The title refers to the state of the melodic and timbral materials used in the piece.
Flutist, composer, and improviser Lisa Bost-Sandberg is currently the Adjunct Instructor of Flute and World Music at Clarke College, flutist with the Wild Prairie Wind Quintet, principal flute of the Ottumwa Symphony, and substitute flute/piccolo with the Dubuque and Cedar Rapids Symphonies. Recent guest appearances include the University of North Texas, Delta State University, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Vassar College, Iowa State University, and the University of Evansville. She received her Bachelor of Music degree with Highest Distinction and Honors from the University of Iowa and her Master of Arts degree from New York University. Her principal teachers include Robert Dick, Tadeu Coelho, and Lawrence Fritts. www.lisabost.com.
The Night, Nothingness, and Life
I composed these two short single-movement works in 2008 at the University of Iowa for Chris Sande. Both pieces are conceptually simple, yet technically challenging. The Night, Nothingness, and Life is a drum set solo; its rhythms and associated timbres become progressively faster, more complex, and varied as the piece moves along. In Luna for solo marimba, 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.
Zachary Fischer (b. 1978) has studied composition with David Gompper, 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.
Prairie Spring is my first experience with setting music to text. My aim was to create a musical environment with which the imagery and meaning of the words could be expressed. I chose this poem by Willa Cather due to its simplicity in language and the clear imagery presented by the text. After having read the poem, I focused on the duality between the energy and work of the first section and the presence of vital youth against it in the second section. To clearly demonstrate the duality, this effort required a harmonic language that was flexible enough to invoke both dissonance and sweetness and could also be adapted to differing musical sections. It was through this harmonic language that continuity could also be drawn as well.
The piece is divided into two large sections. Accompanied by a steady pulse representative of the labor and effort from those around, the first section focuses primarily on the outlook of the land and its surroundings. The second section concentrates on youth and its illustrative qualities, characterized by both vibrant and reserved music. These two sections are brought together through smaller, transitional sections and oftentimes share melodic and harmonic content, represented in different guises. The piece ends similarly to the poem, with a return of the opening material, yet initiated under different circumstances.
Evening and the flat land,
Rich and sombre and always silent;
The miles of fresh-plowed soil,
Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness;
The growing wheat, the growing weeds,
The toiling horses, the tired men;
The long empty roads,
Sullen fires of sunset, fading,
The eternal, unresponsive sky.
Against all this, Youth,
Flaming like the wild roses,
Singing like the larks over the plowed fields,
Flashing like a star out of the twilight;
Youth with its insupportable sweetness,
Its fierce necessity,
Its sharps desire,
Singing and singing,
Out of the lips of silence,
Out of the earthy dusk.
- Willa Cather
George Hufnagl received his M.A. for composition in 2007 from the University of Iowa and his B.A. in 2005 from Western Illinois University, magna cum laude. His past instructors include David Gompper, Larry Fritts, James Caldwell, Paul Paccione and Bruce Briney, for trumpet. Until late 2008, George worked in Iowa City as a Band Sales Manager at West Music and taught theory and musicianship at the Preucil School of Music. Currently, he works for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. While here, he is enrolled in coursework to supplement his latest musical interests including sound design, interactive music and collaborative projects that reach across disciplines.
Although alto flute is a Western instrument, I hear deep and spiritual sound of Korea through this instrument. Therefore, alto flute became one of very unique Western instruments and has given me a special and intimate feeling. Wandering is about my feeling that I had to go through in my first year living in Chicago: "I was wandering...".
Native Korean Eun Young Lee received the first prize at Tsang-Houei Hsu International Music Composition Award; the 2008 Max Di Julio Prize at the Nevada Encounters of New Music (N.E.O.N.) Festival; Honorable Mention in Great Wall International Competition; won the first regional award in the SCI/ASCAP composition commission (2006). Her music is chosen for broadcasts through Art of the States, EBU and KBS and is featured in the SCI Journal of Music Scores (Vol. 41) as well as CD series (No. 23). Prominent ensembles - New York New Music Ensemble, eighth blackbird, Pacifica String Quartet, Dal Niente, and Percu Benu Ensemble, Geumpa Flute Ensemble in Seoul, Korea - have performed her music. Her instrumental pieces, computer music, multimedia pieces, and film music were featured in festivals/concerts in many countries. She is a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, where her teachers include Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska, Jan Radzynski, Bernard Rands, and computer music with Howard Sandroff. She has participated in ACA (Atlantic Center for the Arts) as an Associate Artist-in-Residence to Master Artist, Augusta Read Thomas in 2008.
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.
Matthew Dotson is currently pursuing a PhD in Composition at the University of Iowa where he has studied 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), and Santiago, Chile (Festival Ai-Maako). More info at his website.
Sonata Vitae was written for Anastasia Petanova. It takes its formal inspiration and the cyclical relations of its pitch material from a poetic form known as "Pantoum." The notation allows for considerable freedom concerning the temporal spacing of specific gestures; however, the notation of articulation and timbre are meticulous. This combination of interpretive flexibility with rigid control is meant to facilitate the collaboration between performer and composer.
Christopher Gainey 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. In January of 2010, he will be completing a residency with the Yaddo Corporation. 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 his website.
surface.horizon, for violin, percussion and Max/MSP was written in Louisville, Kentucky in the fall of 2008 and winter of 2009. While working on surface.horizon, I became very fascinated by how acutely aware I was of the functioning of both my body and mind during long distance runs, and how such awareness is akin to meditation. Indeed, I came to see that distance running a meditation. It was out of such thoughts and the many hours spent alone, hitting the pavement on cold Sunday mornings that this piece came into being.
An advocate for pioneering art and music, multi-media collaborations and cross-cultural partnerships, electro-acoustic composer Allison Ogden began studying composition at age 13 with Andrew Waggoner of Syracuse University. In 1997 she entered the Eastman School of Music as a double major, where she studied clarinet with Kenneth Grant and composition with Augusta Read Thomas, Joseph Schwantner, Christopher Rouse and David Liptak. It was during her time at Eastman that she became passionate about computer/electro-acoustic/multi-media works, after studying computer music with Alan Schindler at the Eastman Computer Music Center. In 2001 she moved to Chicago and entered the University of Chicago's PhD program in music composition, where she studied computer music with Howard Sandroff and composition with Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska, Elzbieta Sikora, Bernard Rands and Kotoka Suzuki. She is the cofounder of the Chicago-based new music group the Fire Wire Ensemble, which is dedicated to presenting acoustic, electro-acoustic and multi-media works by young and contemporary composers. Her music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe, most recently with the Polish Society for Electro-Acoustic Music, the Silesian Dance Theater, Contempo, at the International Computer Music Conference in Belfast, the 2009 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. She received a PhD in Music Composition and Computer Music from the University of Chicago in June, 2008. An outdoor sports enthusiast and preservation and conservation advocate, she spends what small amount of free time she has running, hiking, doing yoga, meditating, cooking or reading. She lives in Louisville with her long-time boyfriend, fellow University of Chicago electro-acoustic/multi-media composer Krzysztof Wolek and her cat Arya, devourer of tuna, bane of all things stringy.