Composers Workshop II

Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 7:30p in the Concert Hall





Craig Jordan, piano

Three Fables


Maddy Yankell, soprano
Lucy Shirley, piano

Aves volantes, for clarinet (with timpani)


Angela Heyward, clarinet


Jason WISE

Maria Torres Melgares, soprano saxophone
Lingxiao Li, alto saxophone
Chris Hunley, tenor saxophone
Eugene Ryoo baritone saxophone

Sonata for Flute and Piano

Jason WISE

Joshua Stine, flute
Timothy Berry, piano

Program Notes

scriptedDialogues builds on my previous work using the Yamaha Disklavier pianos. In this piece, the Disklavier serves as a medium through which a human performer and computer communicate. At times the human performer leads, and the computer responds with materials based on the input of the performer. At other times, the computer generates score materials that the human performer must sight-read in real time! Thus, there is an equalization between the two performing forces – the human performer and the computer become an ensemble. (Kevin Swenson)

Three Fables sets an original text to explore ideas about fate, about choice, and about whether one can discern the difference. In exploring three fables, each centered around water—the brook where Ophelia drowns, the river Styx of the Underworld, and the storm the speaker herself encounters at the end of the poem—mutability and inevitability become one and the same.

I don’t think Ophelia was depressed—
She was just a prisoner to whim.
When a writer and his pen
send you to a sorry end,
You bend and you learn to love the swim.
You bend till you learn to love the swim.
And I don’t think that Orpheus was a fool—
He decided love was not his goal.
He slowly turned his head
and sent his lover to the dead,
Instead, he wanted memories to hold.
Instead, he chose a memory to hold.
And I don’t think I’m actually a mess.
Each time that I feel down,
it makes my life seem that much more profound.
I’ll drown because I’m staring at the rain,
Turn ’round to keep a memory of pain.
(Lucy Shirley)

Aves volantes pictures birds flying in various ways. Sometimes flight is graceful; sometimes mechanical. Flight can be fast, agitated, and fluttering, or gentle and soaring. At times you can hear the birds calling out in short chirps and trills. As they travel, they find new places that may be similar to old haunts they have visited before, but they never travel the same ground twice. Aves volantes ends gently, then with a final cry of triumph as the birds reach their destination. (Jeff Martin)

Citrus refers to a specific genus of flowering trees and shrubs. These trees and shrubs produce fruits like lemons and oranges (which can also be described as tasting citrusy). This composition which is filled with clashing harmonies and janky rhythms mimics the taste sensation of citrus fruits. For example, the feeling you get when biting into a lemon. These harsher sections are tied together by more pleasant renditions of the themes in the piece. For example, the sweeter sections might be a cold glass of orange juice. Always toe the line, you never know what taste might be next! (Jason Wise)

Sonata for Flute and Piano is my first time intentionally using sonata-form for one of my compositions. Although sonata-form has an established route, the longer it has existed the more it has been modified and elaborated on. It was interesting to see how working with a set form dictated how the music was composed, and how much wiggle room I could create for myself within its boundaries. The result is a folk-inspired dance. (Jason Wise)