The Fourth Concert in the Festival of Contemporary Music

Concert IX
The University of Iowa CNM Ensemble

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
at Macbride Hall

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Songs and Dances of Macondo for woodwind quintet (2004)
        I. Song of the Birds (attacca)
        II. March of the Gypsies
        III. Song of the Francisco the Man
        IV. Waltz of the Clocks
        V. Pianola Dances
        VI. Sunset Hymns and Psalms
        VII. The Last Dawn of Macondo
Rolando Hernandez Gaitan, flute
Daniel Heintz, oboe
Jamie Cox, clarinet
Phil Runkel, horn
Jeffrey Tilghman, bassoon
Luna (2008) Zachary FISCHER
Chris Sande, marimba
Cantus Canti (1991) for six celli Bruno AMATO
Brett Alkire, Tony Arnone, Christina Craig,
Emmalee Hunnicutt, Sam Sidwell, Parker Stanley, celli
Through the Turmoil of Liquid Skies (2008) Christopher GAINEY
CNM ensemble
David Gompper, conductor





Songs and Dances of Macondo for woodwind quintet (2004)

The fictional town of Macondo is the setting of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude. This suite for woodwind quintet (here imagined as a band of street musicians) was conceived as a songbook of sorts, inspired by musical elements and episodes in the novel. For the most part, these songs and dances employ a shared melodic and rhythmic vocabulary; each develops through harmonic and timbral modulations, while collectively, their chronological sequence loosely traverses a broader narrative thread. Songs and Dances of Macondo was commissioned by the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Said to be "embarked on a promising career" (Washington Post), composer Judah E. Adashi has been honored with awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the ASCAP and BMI Foundations, and the Aspen Music Festival, as well as three artist residencies from the Corporation of Yaddo.

Mr. Adashi is on the composition and music theory faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He is also the founder and director of Baltimore's Evolution Contemporary Music Series, noted for having "added a welcome dose of newness to the local concert scene" (Baltimore Sun).

Mr. Adashi's principal composition teachers have been Nicholas Maw and JohnHarbison. He holds degrees from Yale University and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

For more information, please visit his website.
Luna (2008)

is a single-movement work for solo marimba, composed in 2008 at the University of Iowa for Chris Sande. The piece is conceptually simple, yet technically challenging; 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.
Cantus Canti (1991) for six celli

In making distinctions within its definition of cantus the Harvard Dictionary of Music lists among the four groups to which the cantus might belong, a group based upon "abstract subjects. To this group belong various compositions based upon the hexachord."

On the other hand the definition of canto (canti, pl.) is simply "song or melody."

Cantus/Canti combines both these elements. The cantus, unlike those using a diatonic hexachord, utilizes a chromatic hexachord containing all the pitch classes within the interval of a fourth (G-C). The canti which follow are based on that hexachord.

Formally the piece is a set of fourteen variations alternating the appearances of the various canti with the cantus, which is itself varied in each appearance. Additionally, the variations are ordered to form an "inverted arch form," a design in which the related variations use similar material but are presented in a contrasting manner (i.e., slow answered by fast, loud by soft, etc.). The composition is dedicated to the well-known conductor, Frederik Prausnitz (1920-2004).
Bruno Amato, a retired Professor of Composition from Peabody Conservatory, holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (1963), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome) and Princeton University (1973). He studied with Berio, Franchetti, Babbitt, and Schuller, and as a Fulbright scholar in Rome he was able to study with Petrassi. He has received many awards and honors, including an NEA, Meet the Composer Grants, a Sinfonia Foundation Award and the Koussevitsky Award. Amato's compositions, which have been performed both in the US and Europe, are published by Seesaw Music and recorded on Arizona University Recordings.
Christopher GAINEY
Through the Turmoil of Liquid Skies (2008)

The title of this piece is taken from The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco. In this book, a sailor finds himself stranded on an abandoned ship that is anchored on the international dateline. As he descends into madness, he continually contemplates the idea that he floats in a temporal limbo between yesterday and tomorrow. Of course, it is all a matter of perspective. The dateline does not define the border between past and future, but rather allows for the measurement of the passage of time according to set parameters. However, in his addled state, our hero finds this curious conceptual position a bit too hard to bear.

This piece uses differences in texture, density, and tempo to simulate the flexibility of our perception of time. However, the driving force behind this effect is the harmonic language. This piece is made entirely of harmonies derived through the frequency and ring modulation of a background two-voice framework. Differing levels of tension inherent in these harmonies create a continuum between spectrally-fused sonorities, and discrete harmonic and melodic figures.
Christopher Gainey (b. 1981) 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. 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.