Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Concert VIII

Composers Workshop
Sunday, November 09, 2014, 7:30pm
Riverside Recital Hall (map)

on Tour at the Midwest Composers Symposium
Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
Friday and Saturday, November 14 and 15

|| download program ||


Train on the Crandic (2014)
      for string quartet
  Andrew Gentzsch, violin
Rebecca Bressanelli, violin
Elizabeth Upson, viola
Matthew Laughlin, violoncello
Thravsmata (2014)
     for solo clarinet
   Alexandros SPYROU
   Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet  
Permutation (2014)
     for voices, clarinet and piano
   Nima HAMIDI
  Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet
Hanna Green, soprano
Stephen Smite, tenor
Korak Lertpibulchai, piano
Drumming on Ursonate (2013)   Andrew THIERAUF
  Andrew Thierauf, percussion  
 Sinews (2014)    Barry SHARP
  Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, B-flat clarinet  
Music For the Rain and Time (2014)
     for violin, horn, trombone, piano and percussion
  Leo Iogansen, violin
Jonathan Payne, horn
Gavin Carney, trombone
Korak Lertpibulchai, piano
Andrew Thierauf, percussion
Jimmy Chen, conductor
— Intermission —
Stranded, Bewildered, and Forgotten (2014)
     for solo violin
  Tim Cuffman, violin  
 Gap fill (2014)    Jonathan WILSON
  Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, B-flat clarinet  
Unequal Means (2014)
      for oboe, clarinet and bassoon
   Christine BURKE
  Allison Offerman, oboe
Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet
Alex Widstrand, bassoon
Matingkad (2014)
     for flute, oboe, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and violoncello
  Ensemble 319
Emily Duncan, flute
Allison Offerman, oboe
Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet
Wannapha Yannavut, percussion
Christine Tithecott, piano
Tim Cuffman, violin
Matthew Laughlin, violoncello
Joshua Marquez, conductor
 past every exit... (2014)    Jason PALAMARA
  LOUi, the Laptop Orchestra at the University of Iowa
Joseph Norman, electric guitar and laptop
Paul Duffy, piano and laptop
Justin Comer, saxophone and laptop
Nima Hamidi, setar and laptop
Jason Palamara, conductor, violin and laptop




Train on the Crandic, for string quartet
If one were to walk through my hometown of Iowa City, IA, they would see a heterogeneous mixture of old buildings and new buildings. Growing up, this uneven assortment of buildings really sparked my interest in history and how it connects to the modern world. One landmark in Iowa City that really speaks to me as a symbol for the history of the town is the Crandic railway. At one time, the Crandic was the main passageway between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, but now it is just a relic of this time gone by, as trains only travel on the Iowa City Crandic line about once a year. I was inspired to write Train on the Crandic when one day I saw that very rare sight, a train on the Crandic. This was a modern train on an old railroad, so I thought that this would be a perfect way to illustrate the combination of the old and the new that is so prevalent in Iowa City. I begin and end the piece with this train and the middle section is inspired by American folk music that I attempted to have sound as old as the Crandic railroad itself.

Stranded, Bewildered, and Forgotten
This piece is intended to invoke an intense feeling of loneliness, a loneliness similar to the loneliness felt by someone who is stranded, without the hope of rescue. There are many different ways that one could become stranded. Perhaps they are lost in the desert, stranded at sea, or floating through space in a ship doomed to run out of oxygen. Whatever the landscape, the idea of being stranded denotes a bleak and empty world. This is conveyed in the piece, with long drawn-out phrases and the use of the pentatonic scale to paint a primitive picture, one devoid of the complexity of modern life. The use of quarter tones in this piece causes a sort of “bewilderment” and confusion that would add to the stranded person’s hopelessness. The title Stranded, Bewildered, and Forgotten implies just this: You are alone, you don’t know where you are, and no one is looking for you.

Luke Kottemann is a composer at the University of Iowa pursuing a BM in Music Composition and a BSE in Electrical Engineering. An Iowa native, Luke’s music is often inspired by the many beauties of Iowa. Kottemann is currently studying composition with Joshua Marquez in addition to private studies with David Gompper and Lawrence Fritts.

Alexandros SPYROU

Thravsmata (greek θραύσματα) [those which are broken, fragments, wrecks, pieces].
       How can you collect
       all the thousands pieces
       of every human being.
        — Giorgos Seferis: Haiku XI, from Sixteen Haiku.

Thravsmata was created through a process of disintegration, fragmentation and rearrangement. Fractures of the initial material have been disseminated through the time span of the work to create a mosaic-like texture. This procedure is an attempt to create a form, which may be perceived as unary by a distant observer.

Alexandros Spyrou is a Greek composer. His music has been performed in Greece, the United Kingdom and the United States by such ensembles as the London Sinfonietta, the JACK Quartet, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, Musica Nova Ensemble and DissonArt ensemble. He studied music theory and composition in Greece and the United Kingdom with Michael Finnissy, Evangelia Kikou, Georges Papoutsis and Athanasios Zervas. He is presently a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa studying composition with David Gompper.

Visit his website at


is based on text written by Sam Collier set for Male and Female voices, arguing about unclear topic that could be realized differently according to the context of the music, from listener to listener. Whole piece is based on a hexachord set and permutation of a pentachord subset that avoids any possible repetition except the first statement of the subset, which is repeated in an exact order. The pitch material is kept the same for whole piece without any transposition.

The rhythmic formation of the piece is based on a probability function, which also generates the formal structure. The golden ratio proportion was considered in designing the function but in backward order. The idea of starting an argument in the text is source of this formal design.

In another level piece is trying to discover some timbral features of clarinet and voice, effected by some Iranian traditional music elements. The piece reaches the climax at two points. The first climax is the formal climax that happens in 1/3 of the piece but the more important climax is an anticlimax that includes a clarinet solo section stating the original idea of music behind the piece.

Nima Hamidi (b.1984) is a Persian composer and currently pursuing the PhD in Music Composition at the University of Iowa. He studied the setar, an Iranian traditional instrument, as well as the guitar before moving beginning his terminal degree in 2011. His music attempts to bring together aspects of Iranian traditional folk music with Western contemporary techniques. He is currently a Teaching Assistant in music theory and studies composition with David Gompper.


Drumming on Ursonate
is a setting of Kurt Schwitter’s poetic work Ursonate. As part of the Dadaist movement in Germany during the 1900s, Schwitters worked in several different media including music, poetry, sculpture, and painting. The poem is composed of nonsensical German syllables meant to suggest a speech-like cadence but never actually saying anything; possibly a satire on public orators of the time. He leaves interpretation up to the performer saying, “As with any printed music, many interpretations are possible. As with any other reading, correct reading requires the use of imagination.” In this piece I’ve taken motives from the original poem and expressed them rhythmically on the drums. There are moments where the drums directly mimic the voice and at other times provide counterpoint.

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 and was recently featured as the dancing percussion soloist for a commemorative video recording of Paul Elwood’s Edgard Varése in the Gobi Desert. His collaborative work, Growing Fast in Sawdust, was featured at the 2013 PASIC Technology Day in Indianapolis, IN. He continues to produce collaborative performances with various choreographers, and he also organizes and directs iHearIC, a concert series in Iowa City that features local performance artists. He has premiered many new works for percussion and has worked with composers such as Zach Zubow, David Gompper, and Paul Elwood.

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. He has performed with the Dan Moore Percussion Group in the US and at the 2012 Patagonia International Percussion Festival in Argentina. He is a private percussion teacher and a clinician/performer for the Yamaha Sounds of Summer Percussion Camp at The University of Iowa. In addition, he is adjunct professor of percussion at St. Ambrose University.

Andy received his B.M. from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and M.M. from The Ohio State University. He has studied percussion with Rusty Burge, Dr. Susan Powell and Joe Krygier, and composition with Tom Wells, Marc Ainger, Larry Fritts, and David Gompper.


​By definition, a sinew is simply a piece of tough fibrous tissue that connects a bone to a bone or a muscle to a muscle. In Sinews (2014), I wanted to create a piece that is reminiscent of this concept; creating a motive that connects very different ideas throughout the piece but is not necessarily related to the traditional rondo form (ABACABA, et cetera). The “connective tissue” is presented at the beginning of the piece where it morphs and weaves in and out of the primary musical ideas. Each iteration contains three elements: a short sound, a long sound, and a tremolo. Over time, they change and become ambiguous in the musical context and but they also remain much the same in concept. Each element provides an entrance and exit for new sections and at times becomes the primary force. Perhaps, it may be equated further to the very tendons that connect our bones and muscles: they are not, per se, the center of attention but they are necessary for survival.

American composer Barry Sharp received his B.M. in Composition from Murray State University, and is currently pursuing his M.A. at the University of Iowa. His current compositions exploit the idea of gravity as it pertains to music and strives to bring about expressive textures and atmospheres from which episodic and narrative developments arise. Recent performances of Barry's work include the premiere of Raw (String Quartet No. 2) by the JACK Quartet and of his electroacoustic work, Sonance and Excursus (2013), at the 2014 National Student Electronic Music Event, the 2014 New York Electroacoustic Festival, and the 2014 Circuit Bridges Concert in New York. His composition teachers have included David Gompper, Lawrence Fritts, Mike D'Ambrosio, and Brian Ciach.

More of his work can be found at .


Music For the Rain and Time
is inspired by my childhood memories of growing up in Russia. The opening melody of the violin, employing microtones and the mouthpiece of Horn are reminiscent of folk singing, distorted in memory by time. As Violin develops the material, it presents a series of new techniques via reversed hand. That is, a player is asked to reverse the left hand and place it on the left side of the fingerboard to produce one-octave harmonics (which otherwise would be impossible to play) as well as sounds that imitate a bamboo flute. Sounds of falling water droplets inspired the second, a more rhythmic idea, for the piece- the “rain” theme. Although the idea is introduced in the opening, it only becomes prominent after the climax of the piece. The secondary melodic themes are also derived from the “rain” idea.

Born in St. Petersburg Russia in 1981, Leonid Iogansen started playing violin at age seven and started composing his first works shortly after. He has performed at numerous venues in the United States (where he moved at age twelve), as well as abroad and has won several competitions, including Young Virtuosos International Competition in 1999. As a composer, Leonid has received various commissions. In 2006, Shuang Yin International Music Festival has commissioned him to compose a number of humorous pieces for various chamber ensembles as well as for the Festival Orchestra, adding up in length to an hour of music.

As a teacher, Leonid taught at various music schools such as the Music Conservatory of Westchester in NY and at Biryukov Academy of Art and Music in NJ.

Leonid holds a Summa cum laude Bachelors of Music in violin performance and composition from Boston University, where he was a Trustee Scholar in 2001-2003, and a Masters degree with the same majors from Peabody Conservatory. Leonid currently is currently pursuing PhD in Composition at the University of Iowa as a student of David Gompper.

Leonid Iogansen is also an artist and has won many competitions for painting, local and national, both in Russia and the United States. In 1997, he received the Gold Key Award at the Boston Globe competition. Fifty of Leonid’s works were accepted to the fund of the National Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, some of which were exhibited in the U.S.

Jonathan WILSON

Gap fill
explores register in terms of large leaps; and line by a pervasion of chromatic lines moving at variable rates.

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., the Iowa Composers Forum, and the American Composers Forum.

Christine BURKE

Unequal Means
is a vehicle for exploring slow growth and expansion of ideas. The ensemble is divided into teams; the bassoon on one side, and oboe/clarinet on the other. Each works with certain musical materials that, despite a short moment of unity, end up being disproportionate in nature.

Christine Burke recently graduated with a B.M. in Clarinet Performance from Duquesne University. While in Pittsburgh, she frequently performed with the city’s chamber ensembles, most notably appearing with Alia Musica as the soloist for Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio”. A composer as well, her music has been performed by the NOW Ensemble, Reed III Trio, the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra, and at the New Music on the Point and soundSCAPE festivals.


Tagalog for "bright," Matingkad explores slight changes in color and texture through the expansion and collapse of the harmonic spectrum. The piece unfolds in three, contrasting sections based, proportionally, on the Fibonacci series.

Joshua Marquez (b. 1990) is a Filipino-American composer currently pursuing a PhD in composition at the University of Iowa. Joshua holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MM '13), and Campbell University (BA ‘11). Marquez's music has been performed by ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Akropolis Reed Quintet, Quintet Sirocco, and the Cape Fear Wind Symphony along with performances at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF 2014), the National Student Electronic Music Event, Birmingham New Music Festival, Circuit Bridges, and Vox Novus at venues such as Symphony Space, Abron Arts Center, Gallery MC, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Hulsey Recital Hall, Georgia Southern University and other universities and institutions. Joshua's music for film has also been featured at the Canada International Film Festival and the Utopia Film Festival.

He has studied with David Gompper, Mark Engebretson, Alejandro Rutty, and Milen Parashkevov in addition to private studies Samuel Adler, Derek Bermel, Anthony Cheung, Michael Harrison, Laura Kaminsky, Kristin Kuster, Zae Munn, Michael Schelle, and Marilyn Shrude.

Visit his website at


past every exit...
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.

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 was/is a founding member of the Bonecrusher Ensemble of Louisville, the newly constructed Laptop Orchestra at the University of Iowa (LOUI) and the 24+24 Hour Composition Project in Iowa City, IA. Jason currently works as the in-house composer and audio engineer for the University Of Iowa Department Of Dance. 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