The JACK Quartet

Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 7:30pm, Concert Hall

UI String Quartet Residency Program in collaboration with the Center for New Music

New Works by UI Composers


Portrait: Sister Corita Kent for string quartet and tape (2021)


        This piece relies on speech-melody, a technique popularized by Steve Reich in which the harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic content of a piece is solely derived from the natural patterns of the spoken word. The fixed media plays a 1982 interview between Tom Cottle and Sr. Corita Kent. Sr. Kent was a printmaker and teacher, perhaps best known for her artworks that mixed biblical text with pop art.

Mark Rheaume is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Music Composition program, where his research networks public memory, sound studies, and prosthetic media. Prior to his time in Iowa, Mark studied and worked in Illinois.

Polillas (2021)

Gregory Rowland EVANS

        Moth morning, maelstrom of mothwing at the window, fog-dulled sun trundled like a cart of moths across the aspirin sky. I stay in bed. Deer dance the bolero across the path. I used to count moths to sleep, each chewed-through cocoon an act not of transformation, but of violence against the past. The history of a moth is my history. Mesh-like, the world held me. I escaped. Or it did. (Excerpt from “Sancta” by Andrew Grace)

Gregory Rowland Evans is a composer, cellist, and technologist originally from Ohio. Evans is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa.


New Ghosts (2021)


        Our journeys in life tend toward instability. We might think we’ve found a place that’s stable, comfortable, or actualizing, only to have some new shadows creep in; new cracks forming in the foundations. This isn’t a bad thing, it can give us new perspectives, new insight, new language, but it is something that can be difficult to come to terms with.  In New Ghosts, I looked to explore this, setting a system with “standard” musical elements; melody, harmony, delineated parts; and then using the cello as an “outside” agent to the system, shaping it in new ways and reworking it into something new, something that, like the original system, is fleeting.

M Denney is a composition PhD student from either Washington D.C. or Los Angeles, depending on the conversation. They are a member of composer’s collective This Machine, a member of experimental guitar ensemble Trio Ampliphonic, and she releases ambient and noise music as Lithops.

Chain, for string quartet (2021)


        The vitality of life is analogous to the “Chain Effect”. All four voices organically connect using contrapuntal techniques in a variety of ways.

Sanggeun Choi is a Korean composer. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. degree in music composition at the University of Iowa with Jean-Francois Charles and David Gompper. He holds the Master of Music degree in composition from Mannes School of Music The New School in New York City where he studied with Paul Moravec.

Shadow, for string quartet (2021)


        Shadow is my inseparable friend. It faithfully accompanies me, guards me, and never leaves. Together with the shadow, I go forward, I go on adventures, I walk in the moonlight towards dawn.

Geng Zhang is a Chinese composer in her third year of the PhD in composition at the University of Iowa, studying with Jean-francois Charles. She received her master’s degree in composition from Manhattan School of Music, studied with Reiko Fueting, and received bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

With a Penchant for Harm (2021)


        This piece was composed using pitches overlayed on a map outlining my hometown of Lincoln, Illinois. Since leaving, I have viewed Lincoln as a solar body whose gravitational pull I have yet to fully escape. We develop a series of self-destructive habits in childhood, a genetic penchant for harm. The process of separating ourselves from these habits (and even the tree from which they grew) can be painful, like sawing a necrotic limb off the body.

Matt Mason is a composer and pianist from Lincoln, Illinois. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Composition at the University of Iowa.
JACK with composers 2022