Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Concert X

The Center for New Music
presents a performance by the
Laptop Orchestra of the University of Iowa

Saturday, December 13, 2014, 7:30pm
Riverside Recital Hall (map)

|| download program ||


 Quirky-Quotidian (2014)    Andy THIERAUF
   Jonah Elrod, Joseph Norman, Jason Palamara, Andy Thierauf
Quirky-Quotidian, scored for found percussion instruments and three laptops, explores the nuanced and oft-overlooked sounds of everyday objects like bottles and cardboard boxes. The laptop performers use Max/MSP to record, manipulate, and play back sound in real-time expanding the timbres of the instruments. (Duration 7 min.)
 Cocci II (2014)    Alexandros SPYROU
   Jonah Elrod, Jonathan Wilson, Paul Duffy,
Joseph Norman, Justin Comer, Andrew Thierauf

Eco-Location explores the spaces in which human generated sounds interact with those created by nature at different times of the day. Recordings were made by the composer in locations around Iowa City from 1-2 PM in the afternoon and from 2-3 AM in the morning. These recordings are then used as material to be manipulated and processed by the laptop orchestra. In particular, hidden elements of the soundscape that are otherwise masked or covered over by other frequencies are revealed. (Duration 7 min.)
 Laptop Quartet No. 1 (2014)    Jonathan WILSON
   Jonah Elrod, Jonathan Wilson, Paul Duffy, Joseph Norman
In this work I focus on controlling the spatiality of sounds and micro-managing gestures into structural elements, while maintaining firm control over time and simultaneously allowing for some degree of indeterminacy to exist through randomization of pitch, reverb, and panning. Many times, the computer makes these decisions, but I also provide an opportunity for the performers to make those decisions. (Duration 5:15 min.) Antietam’s waves... (2014)    Taylor GILLHOUSE and Jason PALAMARA
   Taylor Gillhouse, dance and voice
Jason Palamara, laptop

The inspiration for this piece began with the ritual of Civil War reenactments. Retellings from the war itself led to the movement generation and structural concept. The music utilizes recordings of the Civil War era song The Battle of Antietam Creek, written by Warde H. Ford, processed by custom built musical software developed by Jason Palamara. The title of this piece is taken from the last line of the song “...and with many a tear and sad farewell, I scooped a narrow grave, And there he sleeps beneath the sod by Antietam’s rippling wave.” (Duration 9 min.)
— Intermission —
 Dresses (2014)    Paul DUFFY and Joseph NORMAN
   Paul Duffy, Jonah Elrod, Leo Iogansen, Joe Norman,
Jason Palamara, Andy Thierauf, and Jonathan Wilson

With text drawn from the Charles Bukowski poem Freedom, Dresses seeks to metaphorically represent the transfiguration of Bukowski's narrator. Recitation of text provided musical source material, which was then transformed in order to provide a sonic landscape that will interact with and prepare a live performance of the poem. Coupled with the sounds drawn from the text itself are altered samples taken from live instruments that provide another layer of complexity to the transformative nature of the poem. Form derives from the shape of the text, with elements of contemplation and ambiguity setting the foreground and accumulating changes until the poem's climax is reached. After the transfiguring event has occurred, we then explore the latency intrinsic to the shock of the trauma, which itself seems concurrent with the euphoria of disconnection.
 Quartet for LOUi (2014)    Justin COMER
  Jonah Elrod, Andrew Thierauf, Jonathan Wilson, Justin Comer, Jason Palamara
Quartet for LOUi is a showcase for two of my Max/MSP patches: the Multi-Xenharmonic Randomized Laptop Synthesizer (MXRLS) and the Violator. The MXRLS employs the keyboard and mouse to control synthesized sound. Intervals are drawn from a large list of non-equal tempered scales and a random function applies intervals to the home row of the keyboard. On the other hand, the Violator uses existing sound recordings to create new sounds. The performer is asked to supply a sound file (preferably a pop song or similar music) and the patch then cuts the file into thousands of tiny files, which are used to create loops, streams, and ambient background sounds. (Duration 5 min.)
 Past every exit… (2014)    Jason PALAMARA
Jonah Elrod, trombone and laptop
Jonathan Wilson, saxophone and laptop
Joseph Norman, electric guitar and laptop
Paul Duffy, piano and laptop
Justin Comer, saxophone and laptop
Andrew Thierauf, percussion and laptop
Jason Palamara,violin and laptop
The Maestro, sentient autonomous conductor software, conductor

Imagine you are careening down a highway. Once you have passed every exit, is there any hope left to get back to where you began?
This piece is played on a Max/MSP patch that I have developed to aid in improvisation with Professor Jennifer Kayle’s dance improvisation classes. Jennifer’s knowledge and improvisatory experience has greatly influenced the composition of this piece. I would also like to thank my semester long collaborator, Justin Comer, with whom I have produced hours of unrecorded music while having immense amounts of fun. The patch itself directs the instrumentalists on what to play, and when to play it, and also records the performers and “improvises” along with them, making loops of the recorded material. The piece is globally determined but locally improvised. (Duration 8-10 min.)




Andy Thierauf is a percussionist and composer who specializes in the creation and performance of contemporary music. He is particularly interested in the commingling of percussion with theater and dance producing collaborative performances with various choreographers and directors. He also organizes and directs iHearIC, a concert series in Iowa City that features local performance artists. Andy is currently pursuing the D.M.A. in percussion performance and pedagogy at The University of Iowa under the direction of Dr. Dan Moore.
Jonah Elrod is a PhD student studying music composition at the University of Iowa. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Arizona, and a Master of Music degree in theory and composition from the University of New Mexico. Jonah is currently a teaching assistant for music theory, and is an associate director of the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios. Recently, Jonah has been using algorithmic techniques to generate musical material, which he then manipulates to create his works. He is currently studying composition with David Gompper and Lawrence Fritts.
Jonathan Wilson is a second-year doctoral student studying music composition with David Gompper at the University of Iowa. Jonathan received his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in music composition from Western Illinois University. He has also studied with Lawrence Fritts, James Romig, James Caldwell, Paul Paccione, and John Cooper. Jonathan is a member of the Society of Composers, Inc., SEAMUS, the Iowa Composers Forum, and the American Composers Forum.
Taylor Gillhouse, Quad City area native, is currently pursuing a BFA in Dance and minor in Theatre Arts at the University of Iowa. Professionally, she danced in Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s “The Merry Widow” and Circa 21’s productions of “The Sound of Music” and “Home for the Holidays.” Choreographic credits include Belmond-Klemme’s show choir “New Group” and Davenport Central’s production of “In the Heights.” In addition to the faculty at The University of Iowa, she has studied with the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Quad Cities and the Imani Dancers.
Justin Comer completed his MA in composition at the University of Iowa in 2014. He has studied with David Gompper and Joseph Dangerfield. In addition to his work in composition, he also performs frequently with ensembles like the Comprovisers and LOUi on saxophone and laptop.
Jason Palamara is a fourth year PhD candidate in music composition at the University of Iowa. He is an active performer on the violin, guitar and laptop and is a founding member of the Bonecrusher Ensemble of Louisville, KY, the 24+24 Hour Composition Project in Iowa City, IA and the newly constructed Laptop Orchestra at the University of Iowa (LOUi). Jason currently works as the in-house composer and audio engineer for the University Of Iowa Department Of Dance and as the Research Assistant for LOUi. Jason composes music for many dance department projects, specializing in electroacoustic music, collaboration and improvisation. In his spare time, he teaches songwriting and musicianship to the inmates at Oakdale Community Prison. You can find links to his music, events and more info at