Composers' Workshop 3

the third concert in Season 52 of UI composers' recent works
adjudicated and chosen by their peers

Sunday, March 25, 2018, 7:30 p.m. at the Concert Hall



Tour en l’air 

David BEYER 

David Beyer, electronics
McKay Bram, dancer
In this piece, the movements of the dancer trigger the music. A video camera tracks the dancer's movements, mapping different areas of the stage to different pitches. As the dancer traverses the stage and escalates their physical energy, the music progresses in focus from melodic, to harmonic, to textural.
David Beyer's work integrates theater, dance, and mathematics to navigate music within a physical space. His compositions utilize reimagined acoustic instruments and digital instruments of his own design to construct harmonies that reside within the gaps of the conventional musical scale. The first movement of Eclipses, a string quartet using just intonation, was read by the JACK quartet.
    He graduated from Berklee College of Music summa cum laude in 2015. He is currently a teaching assistant in the MA degree program at the University of Iowa, and studies composition with Jean-François Charles.

The Brook 


Benjamin Wolfe, CounterTenor
Peter Naughton and Travis Newman, percussion, tubular bells, snare, crash
The feeling of loneliness can be amplified by juxtaposing nature's stark presence with a single individual. Even the most miniature details can lead to a sudden realization of the difference between the two and lead a person to desperately desire familiarity.
Andrew Novitskiy is an undergraduate composer in his Senior year. He has studied with Nima Hamidi and is currently studying with Jean-Francois Charles. He has has works premiered by The JACK quartet, The Laptop Orchestra of the University of Iowa. He has participated in various composer workshops, along with the 24 + 24 concert. He has written for a large variety of instruments and enjoys finding new timbres to express and create new musical ideas.

Neither Rhyme Nor Reason 

Rebecca PAPE 

  I. Paocket
 II. Canolo
III. Scherzuel
IV. Revelagments
Lydia Dempsey, oboe
Tyler Hendrickson viola
This is the first piece I have written that uses specific processes and contingencies both to generate materials - for example, pitches, harmonic structures, and rhythmic placement - and to provide form and order to them. The idea behind each of its four movements was to combine two techniques or forms. "Paocket" is the combination of "pass" (instruments "pass" off the melody line or motives) and "hocket" (one instrument plays while the other has rests). "Canolo" is the combination of "canon" (imitation of melodic material) and "solo" (when an instrument is featured with a unique melody). "Scherzuel" fuses a "scherzo" (an often light and playful musical movement) with a "duel" (a fight between two people). "Revelagments” combines "revelation" (dramatically revealing something that was previously unknown) and "fragments" (pieces of an object, in this case the previous movements). Overall the piece explores different types of interaction between the instruments, which seem sometimes to support or inspire, and at other times to sabotage one another.
Rebecca Pape is a first year graduate student at the University of Iowa pursuing the Master of Arts in Music Composition. She is originally from Illinois, but completed her undergraduate degree at Anderson University in SC with a major in Piano Performance and a minor in Composition. There she had multiple works performed by the various ensembles at Anderson University, including the Concert Choir, Piano Ensemble, and Woodwind Quintet. At the University of Iowa she has had pieces commissioned and performed by fellow students in the Composers Workshop Concert and the 24+24 Concert. She also had a piece selected for the Exchange of Midwestern Collegiate Composers (EMCC) conference. She has studied composition with Dr. Richard Williamson and currently is studying with Josh Levine.


Alexander SPENCERI 

Hongwei Cai, prepared piano
This is the first piece in a series of miniatures for prepared piano. These miniatures are intended to explore various levels of indeterminacy within the context of the timbral worlds produced by different piano preparations.
Alex Spenceri is a student of composition at the University of Iowa under the instruction of Jean-François Charles. His music attempts to explore themes such as media saturation and the tension between fixed aesthetic constructions and intuitive sonic manifestations.


why not 

Alexander TOTH 

Will Yager, Double Bass
As Timothy Leary lay on his deathbed, he would clench his fist and say, "Why," then unclench and say, "Why not?" He repeated this cycle for several minutes before passing away.
Alexander Toth is in his fourth year of undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa. He is pursuing an honors degree in vocal performance with licensure, focusing on composition as an independent study. His compositional interests are centered around the role of the body in music, preoccupied with tensional and nonconscious responses. As an aspiring composer, Alexander has had works performed by the Center for New Music and arranges music for the Iowa Hawkapellas. He studies voice with Dr. Katherine Eberle Fink and composition with Professor Jean-François Charles.


Tyler KATZ 

fixed media
WALLED IN (2016) was written in response to the results of the 2016 election. This very politically charged piece, written only a week after the election results, looks at the concept of Donald Trump’s wall and its inherent divisiveness. The piece represents a wall, a sense of divisiveness, and a future is giant, looming, and incredibly disturbing. It does so by creating a large, terrifying, impenetrable wall of sound that stretches for the entire length of the piece, which is a metaphor to the wall that stretches the entire border, as far as the eye can see. CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNING: THIS PIECE CONTAINS INCREDIBLY LOUD SOUNDS, AS WELL AS SENSITIVE SUBJECT MATERIAL. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Tyler Katz (b. 1995) is a composer and M.A. student at the University of Iowa. They have previously studied music composition at the University of Miami, where they received their B.M in Composition, as well as a B.S. in applied physics with minors in political science and mathematics. Raised in a musical family, they have been studying violin since 1999 and composition since 2010. Their music has been read by the JACK Quartet and performed by the Passepartout Duo. They are currently a teaching assistant in Music Theory and Aural Skills and are a violinist in the UI Chamber Orchestra.

Resolute, Razed, and Redeemed 

Rebecca PAPE 

Benjamin Wolfe, countertenor
I find that the most beautiful vocal pieces are the ones where the music enhances and embodies the literal meaning of the text, a technique known as “text painting.” Resolute, Razed, and Redeemed consists of three songs that, by using text painting, bring the stories of three significant biblical women to life. “Ruth” focuses on the power and resolve of Ruth’s words to Naomi. “Rachel” depicts the mourning of a mother who has tragically lost her children. “Rahab” is a heartfelt plea for mercy and a realization of faith.

Loud Soft Music / Soft Loud Music 


Justin Comer, saxophone
Carlos Cotallo Solares, electric guitar
Will Yager, double bass
    Record a very quiet improvisation. While you listen to the recording using headphones, perform and record a very loud improvisation that closely imitates the first one. Study and memorize the recording of the second improvisation. Load the recording of the second improvisation into the Max patch.
    Place one microphone in the middle of the stage. Route the microphone and the computer through a mixer to at least two speakers. Set the volume of the microphone as loud as possible without creating feedback, and the volume of the computer so that when the patch plays the recording at full volume, it is clearly audible, but very quiet.
    Position yourself very close to the microphone. Start the patch and begin performing a very soft improvisation that closely imitates the second recording. During most of the performance, the Max patch will silently play the recording of the loud improvisation, unveiling it through the speakers to the musicians and audience only at certain times. Because of the amplification of your live performance, the soft sounds you produce will be much louder (loud soft music), while the volume of the recorded improvisation will range from inaudible to very quiet (soft loud music).
Carlos Cotallo Solares (b. 1989) is a Spanish composer. His work deals with subjects such as the relationship between music and language, quotation, and poly-metric and poly-temporal structures. His pieces often focus on a single concept or technique that is interpreted in multiple ways.
    Cotallo Solares’ music has been performed internationally in festivals like the Summer Course for New Music (Darmstadt), NYCEMF (New York), SCI National Conference, Time of Music (Viitasaari), Crescendo Festival (Berlin), Ciclo de Música Actual (Badajoz), Blurred Edges Festival (Hamburg), Mehrklang Festival (Freiburg), and Blind Spot Festival (Berlin). He has work with ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, handwerk, Ensemble Chronophonie, POING, Ensemble Container, Ensemble Alarm, and Ensemble Kuraia.
    Carlos is currently pursuing a PhD in composition at the University of Iowa, completing previously a Master's degree at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and a Bachelor's degree at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. He works as a teaching assistant in music theory and composition and is one of the organizers of the concert series IHearIC.