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Concert 3

  • Kobacker Hall Moore Musical Arts Center (map)

Concert 3 Program

Roger Reynolds : Sketchbook for the Unbearable Lightness of Being
Liz Pearse, voice & piano

Dennis Sullivan : Uncreation
Anne Dearth, flute

Ed Martin : Break
Drew Whiting, baritone saxophone

Drew Smith : Repressed Memory
Henry Fernandez, tenor saxophone
Alexis Mitrushi, double bass Elliot Shaull-Thompson, baritone saxophone
Drew Smith, conductor

Eric Lagergren : Rain, Steam, and Speed
Lara Mitofsky Neuss, clarinet

Bahar Royaee : Kücha-lar
SPLICE Ensemble

Chirstopher Biggs : Decoherence
Sam Wells, trumpet

Notes

Roger Reynolds : Sketchbook for the Unbearable Lightness of Being
Sketchbook explores three of twelve texts which I drew from Milan Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The themes treated are: I, The idea of eternal return; II, Seeing ones own I; and III, The unbearable lightness of being. Kunderas tone, his mode of address, is inventively varied. At certain times he gives the reader dialogue alone, at others narrative commentary, even informal philosophical discourse. These may alternate with surprising rapidity. Reflecting on Kundera's craft, it seemed to me that his ability to operate on several levels almost simultaneously (and to do so with such fluidity) would present a intriguing task for a vocalist. It suggested the sort of performance a gifted nightclub entertainer might achieve towards the close of an evening, when defenses are down, formalisms in retreat. What I have done is to conceive a framework within which something this flexible, but perhaps more dimensional, could take place. There is no conscious reference to balladry beyond the convention of the amplified vocalists and a piano at which she can accompany herself.
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Dennis Sullivan : Uncreation Uncreation is concerned with mapping unusual timbral qualities onto the flute that we otherwise don’t hear, zooming way in on small actions and innards of producing music. It focuses on the sounds of little mechanisms at work and the sounds our mouths make before, in-between, and after our words - small, sometimes uncomfortable little sounds.
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Ed Martin : Break
Break explores the harmonic series of the baritone saxophone’s low A. At times, the harmonic series is attacked and violently smashed into bits, while in other moments, it is meticulously pried open layer by layer. Saxophonist Drew Whiting, who commissioned the piece, recorded all of the sounds heard in the electronics.
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Drew Smith : Repressed Memory
Repressed Memory is a piece that explores the process of remembering forgotten trauma using interactions between acoustic instruments and fixed media.
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Eric Lagergren : Rain, Steam, and Speed
Rain, Steam, and Speed serves as a musical representation of JMW Turner's famous work by the same name. This piece is divided into 5 very short movements. The first section constitute the main theme for the entire composition. The music present within this movement is a summation of many of the broad elements present throughout JMW Turner's. The second, third, and fourth movements take a more detailed look at JMW Turner's painting by audibly representing Rain, Steam, and Speed as individual components. The piece ends by taking a step back and returning to the broad strokes of the main theme.
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Christopher Biggs : Decoherence
Decoherence is dedicated to Samuel Wells and was commissioned by a consortium consisting of Samuel Wells, Aaron Hodgson, Scott Thornburg, and the UMKC Trumpet Studio. The work abstractly reflects on a phenomenon in quantum physics and a possible explanation for the phenomenon. Decoherence is a phenomenon whereby particles that have probable locations always take on a specific location when observed by a human. This is represented through the presentations of hundreds of possible ways to a play a single pitch on the trumpet followed by the performer’s decision to play the pitch in a specific manner. Also, when the performer is making a decision about what to play, he or she becomes part of the video. One possible explanation for how probable locations collapse into a specific location is that all probable locations come to exist in their own parallel universe upon observation. As the work progresses the trumpet player has less and less freedom as the specific universe he or she inhabits is increasingly defined by past decisions.
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Bios

"Finding joy in variety, Liz Pearse is a musician of many pursuits. After a childhood spent playing any instrument she could lay hands upon, Liz began exploring the endless possibilities of the voice. Hers is an instrument possessing an unusual range, color, and versatility, which has led to performances of music from medieval to modern on operatic, orchestra, chamber, and recital stages around the world. Liz has sung with the Lucerne Festival Academy, soundSCAPE, Omaha Under the Radar, newEar, KcEMA, BGSU New Music Festival, as well as Michigan and Toledo Opera Theatres. She studies at Bowling Green State University under the guidance of Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers. Liz is also one quarter of Quince Ensemble, a Midwestern vocal quartet dedicated to challenging and changing concepts of choral singing. Quince has commissioned and premiered dozens of works for unaccompanied singers, and are dedicated to building a diverse repertoire of 21st century vocal music. More information about Liz can be found at lizpearse.com.
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Anne Dearth is a flutist and music teacher in Northwest Ohio. She is the co-founder and artistic director of N/A Ensemble, a new chamber music group dedicated to performing experimental and adventurous works. Previously residing in New York City, she has performed with Contemporaneous, the W4 New Music Collective, and has participated in the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Tribeca New Music Festival, Iota Festival, and the Lower East Side Music Festival. Anne particularly enjoys working closely with composers and has premiered multiple works written expressly for her, most recently Shame for speaking alto flutist by Jesse Diener-Bennett and Uncreation by Dennis Sullivan. Originally from Dearborn, MI, Anne studied with Amy Porter at the University of Michigan before coming to New York to study at NYU with Robert Dick.
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Dennis Sullivan is as well very active as a solo artist in the US and Europe, commissioning new works for his unique hybrid of percussion, theater, and electronics as well as actively performing his own compositions. As a composer, Dennis’s work has been heard in the US, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. His music explores cross-genre coalescence between acoustic, electronic and timbral based noise music. His compositions examine sounds through a very small aperture, zooming in to focus on the unheard sounds within a sounds, drawing attention to the sonic consequences that are always present but not always heard. He crawls inside of each instrument to find every pitch in the spectrum and every small consequence of the physical action that goes into producing sound. By connecting and combining often discordant states, he attempts to create a feel of interconnectivity that divulges underlying qualities of continuity and unity.
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Ed Martin, D.M.A., Associate Professor of Music, teaches composition, music theory, and aural skills. His compositions have been performed throughout the world at events such as the ISCM World New Music Days in Sydney, World Saxophone Congresses in Scotland and Bangkok, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, and numerous regional and national music festivals. His music is recorded on the Mark, Centaur, Parma, innova, Emeritus, and SEAMUS labels, and has received first prize awards in international contests from the Percussive Arts Society, the Electro-Acoustic Miniatures International Contest, and the Craig and Janet Swan Composer Prize for orchestral music. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Florida. Prior to joining the UW Oshkosh faculty in 2007, he taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois Wesleyan University.
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Saxophonist Drew Whiting has established himself as a champion of new and experimental music, regularly performing works from the 20th and 21st centuries in solo, chamber, and electroacoustic settings. He recently performed at the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, Ball State University Festival of New Music, Third Practice Festival, and the Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, and presented the first ever Performer-Curated Concert at the 2017 SEAMUS Conference. He has worked closely with composers such as Betsy Jolas, Erik Lund, Ed Martin, and John Mayrose and has premiered over thirty works by established and emerging composers. Drew currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He received Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from the Michigan State University College of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Drew is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a Vandoren Regional Artist.
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Drew Smith (b. 1999) is an American electroacoustic composer, musician, multimedia artist and engineer. From an early age, Smith taught himself to play instruments and began working with experimental music. In recent years, his musical work has revolved around explorations of the possibilities of combining analog synthesizers, digital processing, and acoustic instruments through recording and performance. He has begun to expand into multimedia work and instillation, incorporating circuit/instrument building, video, dance, and sculpture into his composition practice. As a musician, Smith prominently plays prepared electric guitar, modular synthesizer and various live electronics in his own pieces and with various ensembles. Smith is currently attending Oberlin Conservatory, working towards a BM in Technology in Music and Related Arts, where he studies with Tom Lopez, Peter Swendsen, and Aurie Hsu.
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Elliot Shaull-Thompson (b. 1999) is a sophomore at Oberlin Conservatory, where he studies double bass performance. He has spent many years playing and collaborating with musicians in the classical, jazz, and contemporary scene on the East coast.
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Henry Fernandez (b. 1999) is a Saxophonist and Composer from Upstate New York. Henry currently attends Oberlin College and Conservatory where he is pursuing a BA in Jazz Studies, studying under the tutelage of Master Saxophonist Gary Bartz, and a BA in the Liberal Arts. While he is not at Oberlin, Henry is an active performer in the Capital Region of New York State. His musical accomplishments include a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2016.
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Alexis Mitrushi (b. 2000) is a freshman at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studies viola performance. She is 18 years old and loves to perform and play in orchestras, quartets, chamber groups, as well as soloistic pieces.
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SPLICE Ensemble is a trumpet, piano, and percussion trio focussed on cultivating a canon of the most important works composed for instruments and electronics. Called a “sonic foodfight” by Jazz Weekly, SPLICE Ensemble works with composers and performers on performance practice techniques for collaboration and integrating electronics into a traditional performance space, and they were recently awarded a Chamber Music America grant for a commission of a new 25-minute work with composer Caroline Miller. The resident ensemble of both SPLICE Institute and SPLICE Festival, SPLICE Ensemble has been a featured ensemble at M Woods in Beijing, SEAMUS, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, SCI National, Electronic Music Midwest, and New Music Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music 10. They have recorded on both the SEAMUS and Parma Labels.
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Christopher Biggs is a composer and multimedia artist residing in Kalamazoo, MI, where he is Associate Professor of Music Composition and Technology at Western Michigan University. Biggs’ recent projects focus on integrating live instrumental performance with interactive audiovisual media. Biggs is a co-founder and the director of SPLICE Institute, which is a weeklong intensive summer program for performers and composers to experience, explore, create, discuss, and learn techniques related to music for instruments and electronics. SPLICE takes place each June in Kalamazoo, MI.
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Sam Wells is a composer, performer, and music technologist based in New York City. As an advocate for new and exciting music, he actively commissions and performs contemporary works. Sam has performed throughout the North America, as well as in China and France. He has also been a guest artist/composer at universities throughout North America, including Western Michigan University, Western University of Ontario, and Northern Arizona University. He is a recipient of a 2016 Jerome Fund for New Music award, and his work, stringstrung, is the winner of the 2016 Miami International Guitar Festival Composition Competition. He has performed electroacoustic works for trumpet and presented his own music at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar, Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, NYCEMF, N_SEME, and SEAMUS festivals. Sam and his music have also been featured by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance (KcEMA) and Fulcrum Point Discoveries. Sam is a member of Arcus Collective, Kludge, and SPLICE Ensemble. Sam has performed with Contemporaneous, Metropolis Ensemble, TILT Brass, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, and the Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra. Sam has degrees in both performance and composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and graduate degrees in Trumpet Performance and Computer Music Composition at Indiana University. He is on faculty at SPLICE Institute and Molloy College.
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Earlier Event: November 9
Workshops 1
Later Event: November 10
Concert 4