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The Music of Now Marathon 2014
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.




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+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/01/2014 at Symphony Space.

Now in its fifth year, The Music of Now Marathon, “a massive gathering of adventurous musicmakers” (Time Out New York) continues to be a destination for the newest sounds on the musical landscape. This year, join us for a sonic dream journey with an electrifying range of soloists and ensembles.

 

Like the vivid dreams of REM sleep, Rapid Ear Movement explores varied musical scenarios, lucid–and irrational– interpretations, and unexpected and inexplicable events.

 

 

THE PROGRAM

 

Dreaming the Future

The music of now—and tomorrow—from the best young composers and musicians of today

 

From the InterSchool Orchestras of New York

John Mackey: The Soul has Many Motions (II. Night on Fire)

Michael Markowski: Camerado

ISO Symphonic Band, Brian P. Worsdale, conductor

 

Waddy Thompson: Winter Morning by a Lake (world premiere, chamber orchestra version)

ISO Symphony, Jeffrey Grogan, artistic director

 

-A conversation with Waddy Thompson and Robinson McClellan-

 

ComposerCraft with Metropolis Ensemble 

Works for solo instrument and electronics by nine composers, ages 10-13, in Robinson McClellan's ComposerCraft project at the Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School and Lucy Moses School, premiered by members of Metropolis Ensemble (Andrew Cyr, director). (Noah Chi, Abe Gold, Paris Lavidis, Howard Lin, Daniel Ma, Kyrie McIntosh, Luke Poeppel, Misha Swersey, Alice Volfson).

 

Electric Dreams

Digital dreamscapes by two plugged-in composer-performers

 

Du Yun: Slow Portraits (2) (world premiere)

with two short films from David Michalek's Portraits in the Dramatic Time

Du Yun, miscellaneous; Julien Labro, accordion; Zhou Yi, pipa

 

Angélica Negrón: La búsqueda (The Search) (world premiere)

I. Hasta mi (Towards me)

II. Invisible

III. Ella (Her)

Angélica Negrón, voice, small percussion, electronics

Enrique Bayoán Ríos Escribano: charango, zampoña (andean pan flute), voice

Shayna Dunkelman, xylosynth, small percussion

 

-A conversation with composer/performers Du Yun, Angélica Negrón, and Martha Mooke-

 

A Dream is a Solitary Journey

Individual stories weave through the collective unconscious, revealed in these solo works

 

Martha Mooke: REM: A Dream in Sound

Martha Mooke, electric viola

 

Eric Moe: Gong Tormented

Dominic Donato, percussion

 

Giuseppe Colombi: Ciaconna a basso solo

Kaija Saariaho: Dreaming Chaconne

Nicole Johnson, cello

 

Altered States

Abnormal sleep alters perceptions and impacts creative endeavor

 

-Film: Karlheinz Stockhausen on dreams as inspiration for composition-

 

Stockhausen: "Interval" from "For Times to Come"

Talujon

 

Dreaming Shakespeare***

Embedded in our psyches, Shakespeare inspires anew

 

Eugene Drucker: Madness and the Death of Ophelia (world premiere)

Deanne Meek (mezzo soprano), Escher Quartet

 

Mimi Jones: The Dream Catcher (world premiere)

I. Shadows II. Hallucination III. Intangible Delight 

Mimi Jones, voice and bass

Riza Printup, harp

Shirazette Tinnin, percussion

 

The Science of Sleep and Dreams

A talk by Markus H. Schmidt, M.D., Ph.D., president and medical director,

the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute

 

Korine Fujiwara: Morpheus Rides (world premiere)

Jonathan Leshnoff: String Quartet No. 4 (New York premiere)

Carpe Diem String Quartet

 

The Duo Dreams Together

A jazz folie á deux

 

Flow

Miles Okazaki (guitar), Dan Weiss (drums)

 

Memories and Visions

From collective, primeval energies to recent dreams and memories made

 

Kaija Saariaho: Terra Memoria

Cassatt String Quartet

 

-A conversation with Kaija Saariaho-

 

Meredith Monk: "Madwoman's Vision"

"Memory Song"

Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble

Katie Geissinger, voice

Allison Sniffin, voice and keyboard

Bohdan Hilash, woodwinds

 

-A conversation with Meredith Monk-

 

This concert is part of the citywide Composers Now Festival.

 

The Composers Now Festival celebrates living composers, the diversity of their voices and the significance of their musical contributions to our society. During the month of February, Composers Now brings together dozens of performances presented by venues, ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, dance companies and many other innovative events throughout New York City. Experience the sounds and get to know the creators behind the music. From jazz to indie, from classical to electronic and beyond, join us on a sonic journey through the landscape of the arts of our time. Composers will be in attendance at all events and will be interacting with audiences. Composers Now is a project partner of The Fund for the City of New York.

 

+ About the Artists

New York City-based bassoonist and composer Brad Balliett is gaining a reputation for unusual and thought-provoking programming, performance, and composition. The new principal bassoonist of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Brad performs regularly with Metropolis Ensemble, Signal, Decoda, and Ensemble ACJW. Brad is an alumnus of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, and is a founding member of Decoda, the Deviant Septet, and DZ4. Brad graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2005, and holds an MM from Rice University. Brad’s compositions have been performed by Decoda, Metropolis Ensemble, Cantori, Genghis Barbie, and ICE. He was composer-in-residence for the Chelsea Music Festival in 2011, and was a Spotlight Artist in composition at the Lucerne Festival the same year. Brad is a member of the band The Oracle Hysterical, and hosts a weekly new music radio show with his twin brother Doug on WQXR’s Q2, called The Brothers Balliett.

 

Enrique Bayoán Ríos Escribano is a Professor at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where he teaches in the Composition & Theory Department. He is also the orchestra conductor for the music program 100x35 (El Sistema) and a mentor for Despertar Musical. Since an early age he has been a member of folk music group Tepeu with which he obtained a Latin Grammy nomination in 2005 for his work in the production of Misa Criolla-Navidad Nuestra. In 2011 he wrote the score for the film I Am a Director (directed by Javier Colón) and in 2012 he received an award for Best Film Score for his work in the short film De camino a Europa (directed by Mailara Santana).

 

A native of South Carolina, cellist Claire Bryant enjoys an active and diverse career in New York City as a performer of chamber music, contemporary music, and solo cello repertoire. She is equally passionate and committed to her work as an educator and advocate for the inclusion of the arts in society. A founding member of the new chamber music society Decoda, Ms. Bryant has collaborated with world-class artists such as Daniel Hope, Anthony Marwood, Emanuel Ax, Sir Simon Rattle, Dawn Upshaw, the Weilerstein Trio, and members of the Peabody Trio, Saint Lawrence String Quartet, and Danish String Quartet. She regularly performs with acclaimed chamber ensembles in NYC such as Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Novus NY, and Ensemble ACJW.  She is a graduate of The Juilliard School and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where her primary teachers were Bonnie Hampton and Joel Krosnick. 

 

The Carpe Diem String Quartet is a boundary-breaking ensemble that defies easy classification with programming that reflects its passions for Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music, and has become one of America's premiere “indie” string quartets, without sacrificing its commitment to the traditional quartet repertoire. The Washington Post says, “Among these contemporary quartets who speak in different tongues, the Carpe Diem is the best one out there." Carpe Diem’s diverse musical partnerships include Willy Porter, Raul Juarena, David Krakauer, Jayme Stone, Tom Battenberg, Yihan Chen, and Dariush Saghafi. The quartet is the resident ensemble for Columbus Dance Theatre, and their joint project The String Machine was aired by WOSU-PBS television and nominated for an Emmy award. Carpe Diem champions the music of living composers, and has commissioned, premiered, and performed works from Lawrence Dillon, Danny Elfman, Ken Fuchs, Osvaldo Golijov, Donald Harris, Jennifer Higdon, Nicholas Maw, William Clancy Newman, Carter Pann, Kevin Puts, and Gunther Schuller, among others.

 

The members of ComposerCraft are students from Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School and Lucy Moses School. All are gifted composers who arrived with great experience already — having written klezmer tunes, electronic works, operas, symphonies, and a lot in between. Class time is devoted to listening, discussion, and score analysis of student works plus composers like Josquin, Beethoven, Lili Boulanger, and Bartók. Each academic year features visits from distinguished guest speakers, including well-known composers and prominent leaders in the NYC new music world, plus opportunities to compose for professional ensembles such as Yarn|Wire, soprano Emily Eagen, and pianist Dean Deng. In addition, Metropolis Ensemble has co-organized and funded ongoing mentorship for ComposerCrafters. ComposerCraft began in 2011 with six composers, and has grown to two sections and 17 composers in 2013-14. We are excited for more great things to come!

 

Dr. Dominic Donato enjoys being a percussion soloist, chamber musician, composer and teacher. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist and member of the Talujon Percussion Group, DoublePlay Percussion Duo and the Newband/Harry Partch Ensemble. In 2007 Dr. Donato was selected by Meet the Composer as one of eight "Soloist Champions" in honor of his continuing commitment to new music and the solo percussion repertoire. Dr. Donato directs the Percussion Department and Contemporary Ensemble at the Conservatory of Music, SUNY Purchase. 

 

Violinist Eugene Drucker, founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet, is also an active soloist. He has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Brussels, Antwerp, Hartford, Richmond, Memphis, and Jerusalem, as well as the American Symphony Orchestra and Aspen Chamber Symphony. A graduate of Columbia University and The Juilliard School, he made his New York debut as a Concert Artists Guild winner in 1976, after having won prizes at the Montreal Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Mr. Drucker has recorded the complete unaccompanied works of Bach, reissued by Parnassus Records, and the complete sonatas and duos of Bartók for Biddulph Recordings. His novel, The Savior, was published by Simon & Schuster. Mr. Drucker teaches at Stony Brook University. His compositional debut, a setting of Shakespeare sonnets, was premiered by baritone Andrew Nolen and the Escher Quartet in 2008; the songs have appeared as part of a 2-CD release called Stony Brook Soundings, issued by Bridge Records in 2010.

 

Shayna Dunkelman is a musician, improviser, and percussionist based in Brooklyn. Dunkelman is the founding member of the exotica inspired retro-future band Peptalk with Preshish Moments and Angélica Negrón. She is also a member of Xiu Xiu and Balún, and tours regularly with Glasser. She has performed classical and contemporary pieces with numerous contemporary music ensembles such as the William Winant Percussion Group and the Wordless Music Orchestra and recorded and performed with pioneers of avant-garde experimental musicians such as John Zorn, Yoko Ono, and Thurston Moore. Born and raised in Tokyo to an Indonesian mother and American father, Dunkelman learned to be a multi-instrumentalist in an international environment. She then moved to the US to attend Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she graduated with honors in both music and mathematics and worked with composers such as Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, and James Tenney. 

 

Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai, China, is a composer, performer and performance artist, who practices her works at an artistic crossroads of orchestral, chamber music, opera, theatre, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise. Selected commissions: Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Whitney Museum, Berkeley Symphony, Fromm Foundation, Chamber Music America, Festivals für Neue Musik & aktuelle Kultur (Switzerland), ICE. Selected venues: Festival d’Avignon, Ultima Norway, Salle Playel Paris, Darmstadt, Musica Nova Helsinki, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, RedCat, Kimmel Center, Shanghai Symphony, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Philharmonie Luxembourg. In art: Guangzhou Art Triennial, National Academy Museum (US), Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Auckland Triennial (New Zealand), Ullens Art Center (Beijing). Next season highlights: Istanbul Biennial, BAM NextWave, Shanghai Opera Orchestra, Prototype, Signature Theatre (NYC), Seattle Symphony.  

 

The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its individual sound, inspired artistic decisions and unique cohesiveness. Championed by members of the Emerson String Quartet, the group was proud to be BBC New Generation Artists for 2010-2012. Having completed a three-year residency as artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program, the ensemble has performed at Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Symphony Space, Kennedy Center, the Louvre, Ravinia and Caramoor Festivals, Music@Menlo, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Wigmore Hall, the City of London Festival, and a tour of China. Within months of its inception in 2005, the Escher String Quartet was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be the quartet-in-residence at each artist's summer festival. The Eschers have since collaborated with artists such as Andrés Diaz, Lawrence Dutton, Kurt Elling, Leon Fleisher, Vadim Gluzman, Benjamin Grosvenor, Joseph Kalichstein, David Shifrin, Joseph Silverstein, and Pinchas Zukerman. 

Korine Fujiwara is a composer, founding member, violist, and Co-Executive Director of Carpe Diem String Quartet. Named as one of String Magazine’s “25 Contemporary Composers to Watch,” critics say of her music, “The ear is forever tickled by beautifully judged music that manages to be sophisticated and accessible at the same time,” “Contains a very rare attribute in contemporary music: happiness” (Fanfare). A violinist and violist, Fujiwara holds degrees from Juilliard and Northwestern University, studied with Joseph Fuchs, Myron Kartman, Harvey Shapiro, Robert Mann, and Joel Krosnick, was a longtime faculty member of Ohio Wesleyan University, and is in great demand for master classes and clinics.

 

Jeffrey Grogan, ISO’s Artistic Director, has led the ISO Symphony since the 2010/2011 season. He also serves as conductor and artistic director of the Greater Newark Youth Orchestras and music director and conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. He is in his seventh season as the education and community engagement conductor for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, where he leads the NJSO in a variety of concerts each season. In addition, he works with school music programs, festivals, and conducting All State Orchestras throughout the country. Previously, Grogan was director of orchestras and associate professor at the Ithaca College School of Music and was on faculty at the University of Michigan and Baylor University. He is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of Michigan.

 

The InterSchool Orchestras of New York creates opportunities for school-aged children in New York City to make music together through a family of ensembles. These include seven orchestras and a band that provide progressively graded experiences for students at beginning through advanced levels. Instrumental coaches take part in all rehearsals and concerts, playing alongside their students offering assistance and encouragement in all ensembles except the ISO Symphony. ISO’s musicians share the music they make with the community in twenty concerts annually more than 7,200 people, including 1,500 public school children at assembly programs in their schools. More than half of ISO’s students receive scholarship or financial aid, insuring that family income is never an impediment to participation.

 

The ISO Symphonic Band, led by founder and conductor Brian P. Worsdale, consists of intermediate and advanced wind, brass, and percussion players. In addition to performing in New York City’s major concert halls, it presents many community concerts, including the annual Memorial Day Concert at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Last season it went on tour to Washington, D.C., where it spent a day in coaching and rehearsal with members of the U.S. Air Force Band.

 

The ISO Symphony is ISO’s top ensemble. Its alumni include musicians holding principal chairs in professional orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, and other cities. In recognition of its players’ accomplishments, all ISO Symphony members receive full tuition scholarships. The ISO Symphony performs two major concerts annually in venues such as Symphony Space, Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. It has undertaken international tours to Spain and Venezuela, and next summer will represent the U.S. at the Aberdeen (Scotland) International Youth Festival.

 

Nicole Johnson has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Germany. She has appeared in performances with the Vermeer Quartet on their series in Chicago, on the Composers' Guild concertsin New York City and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Most recently, she was the cellist of the Avanti Ensemble in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she also chaired the cello and chamber music departments at the Renaissance Music Academy. Ms. Johnson holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. Her teachers have included Andres Diaz, Alan Harris and Joel Krosnick.

 

New York native Mimi Jones (aka Miriam Jones) is a multi-talented bassist, vocalist, and composer whose elegant sound is an eclectic mix of genres based on a strong jazz foundation. In 2009, she released her debut CD, A New Day, which is bursting with original compositions seamlessly melting from one song to another and caressed by the warmth of Mimi’s sultry voice. As a “side man,” Mimi Jones has performed with such talents as the great Lionel Hampton, Roy Hargrove, Tia Fuller, Sean Jones, and Kenny Barron. A graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, she has also studied with Lisle Atkinson, Ron Carter, and Milton Hinton. She toured extensively throughout Europe, South America, the Caribbean Islands, Asia, Africa and she is a U.S. Jazz Ambassador touring thirteen countries throughout the world. Mimi Jones has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival and more.

 

Laura Kaminsky is a composer with “an ear for the new and interesting” (The New York Times). She has received commissions and awards from the Koussevitzky Mousic Foundation, NEA, Aaron Copland Fund, NYSCA, and Chamber Music America, among others. She has been a fellow at artists’ communities including the Hermitage Artist Retreat Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Centrum Foundation, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. A native New Yorker, Kaminsky graduated from LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts, received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Oberlin College, and her master’s degree from the City College of New York/CUNY, where she was a Tuch Foundation Fellow. She is on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase. A recording of Kaminsky’s recent chamber and solo music was released in February 2013 by Albany Records. She is currently writing an oboe concerto for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and a chamber opera on a transgender theme for Sasha Cooke and Kelly Markgraf.

 

Composer and pianist Jonathan Howard Katz is gaining increasing recognition for the unique immediacy and expressive depth of his music. The 2013-14 season will see performances of Dr. Katz's music by Iktus Percussion, the Glass Farm Ensemble, and others, and past performers include the Cygnus Ensemble, Ensemble Pi, Alia Musica Pittsburgh, pianist Daria Rabotkina, violinist Ari Streisfeld, flutist Linda Wetherill, and soprano Mary Mackenzie. He has been commissioned by Concert Artists Guild and awarded the Robert Helps Prize and a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. Through Periapsis Music and Dance, he has collaborated with numerous dance companies as composer and performer. Dr. Katz holds degrees in piano performance from Indiana University, New England Conservatory, and Northwestern University. He studied composition with Jason Eckardt and Tania León, and his principal piano teachers were Ursula Oppens, Gabriel Chodos, and Edward Auer. 

 

Recent First Prize winner of the 2013 Ima Hogg Competition, clarinetist Moran Katz also received the Audience Choice Prize as well as the Artistic Encouragement Prize voted on by the Houston Symphony musicians. A clarinetist for the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble Continuum, a member of the cutting edge classical chamber music collective Decoda, and a co-founder of the innovative "Shuffle Concert,” Katz performs extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Ms. Katz received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and an Artist Diploma as a student of Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima at The Juilliard School where she was admitted with presidential distinction and a full scholarship.

 

Tania León, Artistic Director of the Composers Now Festival, is highly regarded as a composer and conductor and recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. Commissions include works for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, NDR Sinfonie Orchester, American Composers Orchestra, The Library of Congress, Ensemble Modern, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, and The Kennedy Center. A founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, León instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series, co-founded the Sonidos de las Américas festivals with the American Composers Orchestra, and the Composers Now Festival. She also served as Latin American Advisor to the American Composers Orchestra and New Music Advisor to the New York Philharmonic. Her honors include the New York Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Fromm, Guggenheim Fellowships, and Symphony Space's Access to the Arts Award. A Professor at Brooklyn College since 1985, she was named Distinguished Professor of the City University of New York in 2006. In 2010 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

 

With performances of his music by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and a future performance by the Nashville Symphony, Jonathan Leshnoff has proven the Washington Post’s assessment that he is one of the most “gifted young composers around.” Leshnoff is a leader of contemporary American lyricism, in large ensemble works as well as in solo and chamber music. His compositions, which may be heard on Naxos CDs, have earned international acclaim for their accessible melodies, structural complexity, and weighty themes. He has composed for many soloists, such as Gil Shaham and Manuel Barrueco, and he is currently working on commissions for his second and third symphonies. He is a Professor of Music at Towson University.

 

Based in New York City, violinist Clara Lyon enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. She performs regularly with the Argento Chamber Ensemble, and has been a guest artist with the Momenta Quartet, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, and Ensemble 20-21. In addition to two performing residencies at Cornell University and a teaching residency at Ithaca College, Clara has recently participated in a performing arts residency with St. Joseph Family, a network of schools and orphanages in Haiti. Clara is the prizewinner of the 2012 Schadt International String Competition, NFAA ARTS award, and Irving M. Klein International String Competition. She earned a bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School, as well as a master’s degree from Stony Brook University, where she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree. 

 

John Mackey holds a M.M. from The Juilliard School and a B.F.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Donald Erb, respectively. His works have been performed at the Sydney Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Spoleto Festival, Alice Tully Hall, Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, and throughout Italy, Chile, Japan, China, Norway, Spain, Colombia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. He has received commissions from the Parsons Dance Company, Cleveland Youth Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Dallas Theater Center, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, New York Youth Symphony, Concert Artists Guild, Peridance Ensemble, and Jeanne Ruddy Dance, among many others. Recent commissions include works for the American Bandmasters Association, Dallas Wind Symphony, and a concerto for trombonist Joseph Alessi. 

 

Michael Markowski graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Film from Arizona State University. He has studied privately with Jon Gomez, Dr. Karl Schindler, and Steven Scott Smalley. His work for concert band, Shadow Rituals, was honored with first prize in the first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest. Notable performances have included The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, US Air Force Band of the Golden West, US Air Force Band of Mid-America, Arizona State University, California State University-Fullerton, Rutgers University, San Jose State University, University of North Texas, and Austin Symphonic Band. He has received commissions for new works from a number of organizations including CBDNA, The Consortium for the Advancement of Wind Band Literature, The Lesbian and Gay Band Association, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensembles, and others. For the last several years, he has arranged, co-composed, and been music director for Judy: The Musical.

 

Robinson McClellan is a composer, teacher, scholar, and concert presenter. His music has been commissioned by the Albany, Ft. Worth, and Knox-Galesburg Symphonies, the Museum of Biblical Art (NYC), Amsterdam’s Gaudeamus Competition, the Monteverdi Kamerkoor Utrecht, Macalester College, and many others. Robin has received residencies and awards from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, and Vassar College. His choral music is published by NCCO and in Music by Heart, a hymnal. Robin earned his DMA in composition at the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. In addition to ComposerCraft he teaches at Rutgers and the Lucy Moses School, and directs the composition department at the new Special Music School High School. He maintains a private composition studio and is a composer mentor for YCIW and Music-COMP. 

 

Deanne Meek has been lauded by Opera Magazine for a mezzo that “is smooth and velvety with a touch of resin in the tone.” She has sung in many of the world’s leading opera houses including Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Brussels’ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, Opera Ireland, Opera Vancouver, Minnesota Opera, Chicago Lyric, and the Metropolitan Opera. With New York City Opera she has sung Diana in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, and Harriet Mosher in the New York premiere of Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. With Boston Baroque she has sung Sesto in Giulio Cesare, Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and she created the role of Ma Joad in Minnesota Opera’s world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. She recently appeared with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and with the American Symphony Orchestra singing Guilhen in d’Indy’s Fervaal

 

Metropolis Ensemble is a New York–based chamber orchestra dedicated to making classical music in its most contemporary forms. Founded in 2006 by Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew Cyr, Metropolis Ensemble has commissioned 96 works of music from a dynamic mix of emerging composers. Metropolis Ensemble has been presented by Lincoln Center, BAM, Celebrate Brooklyn!, (le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie’s Weill Music Institute, New Victory Theater (in collaboration with ROH II and The Opera Group), Wordless Music, and in broadcasts on NPR and NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In 2013, Metropolis Ensemble’s recording of Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto (Kristin Lee, solo violin) was awarded Canada’s prestigious Juno Award for Best Classical Composition. The Ensemble’s debut album, featuring the music of Avner Dorman, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2010. Youthworks is the education wing of Metropolis Ensemble. It works to give the youngest generation of composers a voice in the New York new music landscape. 

 

Eric Moe, composer of what The New York Times calls "music of winning exuberance," has been commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, and Meet-the-Composer USA. Strange Exclaiming Music, a CD of Moe’s chamber music, was released in 2009 by Naxos. His sit-trag/one-woman opera Tri-Stan, available on a Koch International Classics CD, was greeted by The New York Times as “a tour de force” that “subversively inscribes classical music into pop culture.” Kick & Ride, on the bmop/sound label, was picked by WQXR for album of the week. Moe studied composition at Princeton University (B.A.) and at the University of California at Berkeley (M.A., Ph.D.). He is currently Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh and has held visiting professorships at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. 

 

Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, and creator of new opera and music-theater works. A pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique,” she has been hailed as a “magician of the voice” and “one of America’s coolest composers.” She was recently named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France and the 2012 Composer of the Year by Musical America. In 1965, Monk began her innovative exploration of the voice as a multifaceted instrument, composing pieces for unaccompanied voice and voice and keyboard. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to further expand her musical textures and forms. Monk has since created vital new repertoire for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments, with commissions from Michael Tilson Thomas, Kronos Quartet, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. She has made more than a dozen recordings, most of which are on the ECM New Series label, and her music has been featured in films by Jean-Luc Godard and the Coen Brothers, among others. Celebrated internationally, her work has been presented at major venues in countries from Brazil to Syria. In conjunction with her 50th holder of the 2014–2015 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall. 

 

Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble consists of some of the finest and most adventurous singer/instrumentalists active in new music. The recipient of multiple awards and critical acclaim including a 2008 GRAMMY nomination for impermanence, the ensemble appears in festivals, theaters and concert halls around the world. www.meredithmonk.org

 

Martha Mooke, composer/electro-acoustic violist, a pioneer in the field of electric five string viola, transcends musical boundaries by synthesizing her classical training with extended techniques, digital effects processing and improvisation. A Yamaha and Thomastik-Infeld Artist, she is a leading clinician on electric and progressive approaches to string playing including the use of electronics, extended techniques and improvisation. Founder and violist of the electro-acoustic Scorchio Quartet, Mooke has played with Elton John, David Bowie, Philip Glass, Trey Anastasio, Lou Reed, Bon Jovi, Enya, Tony Bennett and toured with Barbra Streisand, Peter Gabriel, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, and “Star Wars in Concert.”  She is featured in the award winning documentary, Inside the Perfect Circle. Mooke has received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and Arts International. She was honored with an ASCAP Concert Music Award for conceiving and producing the new music showcase THRU THE WALLS featuring boundary defying composer/performers.

 

Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring.” Her music has been performed by TRANSIT, janus Trio, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Cantori NY, Face the Music, Iktus Percussion Quartet, NYU Symphony Orchestra, and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with artists like So Percussion, Sxip Shirey, Jonny Rodgers, and the Puerto Rican experimental theater company "Y No Había Luz." She holds a master’s degree in music composition from New York University and is currently pursuing a doctorate at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where she studies with Tania León. Angélica has released several albums with indie electronic group Balún and ambient chamber ensemble Arturo en el Barco, and co-founded in 2011 the Spanish immersion music program for young children ¡Acopladitos!. She's currently a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Program and for Little Orchestra Society's School Partnership Program.

 

The work of New York guitarist Miles Okazaki as a composer and guitarist has brought him recognition as one of the most innovative musicians of his generation. Okazaki's compositions are focused on rhythm, and are known for a balance of technical intricacy and an ability to reach audiences on a visceral level. His second album, Generations, was called by pianist Vijay Iyer “the sonic equivalent of Escher or Borges, but with real emotional heft," and his third album, Figurations, was selected as one of The New York Times top ten albums of 2012, described as "slowly evolving puzzles of brilliant jazz logic." His most recent recordings and tours include Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Kenny Barron, Jonathan Finlayson, Ohad Talmor, and Dan Weiss. He is a graduate of Harvard University, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School, and teaches a large body of students, on a variety of instruments. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

 

Periapsis Music and Dance is an artist-run organization committed to creating powerful live performance experiences through new collaborations. A dance company, musical ensemble, and artistic presenter all at once, we create innovative, original work while sharing our programs with spectacular guest talent from NYC and beyond.  Founded in 2012 by composer/pianist Jonathan Howard Katz and dancer/choreographer Leigh Schanfein in response to the growing gap between dance performance and live musical performance in the NYC arts scene, we focus on emerging artists, creating and encouraging collaborations between composers and choreographers. Our first season saw performances at Roulette, the Queens New Music Festival, the Actors Fund Arts Center, and more, and our guest choreographers included Ian RT Colless (Untitled|Collective), Hee Ra Yoo (Yoo and Dancers), Sarah Mettin (Mettin Movement), and Lorena Egan (LorenaEganDance).  Programmed composers included Frederic Rzewski, Kati Agócs, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Haralabos Stafylakis.

 

Riza Printup began her studies as a classical harpist in Southern California with Dominique Piana and at the Indiana University School of Music with Susann McDonald. Ms. Printup later transferred to Columbia College in Chicago where she pursued her studies in Jazz. In 2002, she pursued her Master of Music from Georgia State University's School of Music under the tutelage of Elisabeth Remy-Johnson. Ms. Printup has recorded with jazz trumpeter Marcus Printup on four of his latest albums, Desire, A Time For Love, Ballads All Night, and Bird of Paradise on Steeplechase Records. She has worked and recorded with Kenny Werner and his wind ensemble, recording No Beginning, No End featuring Joe Lovano and Judi Silvano. In 2011, she performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Chick Corea. Ms. Printup had the honor of performing Saint-Saëns's classic Le Cygne for harp and cello with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at the opening concert for SummerStage held in Central Park.  

 

Kaija Saariaho is one of the world's most significant contemporary composers. She studied composition with Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy from 1976 to 1981 and continued with Brian Ferneyhough at the Freiburg Music Academy, completing her diploma in 1983.  In 2008, she was named 'Composer of the Year' by Musical America. In addition, she has received several internationally distinguished awards, including the Grawemeyer Composition Award for her opera L'Amour de loin in 2003. In 1997, she was awarded one of France's highest cultural honours, the title 'Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres'.  She has also been commissioned by the BBC, Ircam, the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center, the Salzburg Music Festival, the Théâtre de Châtelet in Paris, and the Finnish National Opera, among others.

 

Leigh Schanfein is a performer, choreographer, teacher, researcher, and writer. As a freelance dancer, she has worked with companies such as Indelible Dance, Untitled|Collective, Christopher Caines Dance Company, Gehring Dancetheatre, and Yoo and Dancers. Leigh made her professional New York choreographic debut in 2012 at The DiMenna Center, and she continues to develop new works for Periapsis Music and Dance. She has presented her choreography in California, Montana, Idaho, and Indiana, and in New York at Dance New Amsterdam, Roulette, Elebash Recital Hall, Peridance Capezio Center, Dixon Place, LeFrak Hall at Queens College, the Secret Theatre, and the Actors Fund Arts Center. An award-winning researcher in kinesiology and dance science, Leigh joined the staff of the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center, Hospital for Joint Diseases, as a research assistant in 2012.  She is a published author in the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science and has presented her research at annual conferences.   

 

Markus H. Schmidt, MD, PhD is president and medical director of the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute located near Columbus, OH. He is board certified in sleep medicine and neurology and has extensive clinical and research experience. He is the author of various chapters, reviews, and articles, including Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, Journal of Neuroscience, American Journal of Physiology, Sleep, Sleep Medicine, and Sleep Medicine Reviews. Dr. Schmidt evaluates and treats patients with all sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy, among others. His commitment to sleep medicine began early in life under the leadership of his father, Helmut Schmidt, MD, a pioneer in sleep medicine. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and completed an undergraduate thesis on “The evolution of sleep and its implication of function” under the direction of the world renowned Dr. Allan Rechtschaffen from the University of Chicago. He later carried out his doctoral research at the preeminent neurophysiology sleep laboratory in Lyon, France with Professor Michel Jouvet, considered one of the “fathers” of sleep who discovered many of the underlying neural mechanisms of REM sleep.

 

Karlheinz Stockhausen was among the leading avant-garde figures in German music from the 1950s onwards. In spite of material difficulties, he studied in Cologne with Frank Martin and was subsequently strongly influenced by attendance at Darmstadt, where summer sessions contributed largely to the development of new music. He went on to study with Olivier Messiaen in Paris. He was one of the earliest composers who used electronically created sounds to create works of music and definitely the person who changed the landscape of electronic music forever. Parallel to his work in electronic music, he explored the human element in performance, moving from total serialism, in which every aspect of a piece is controlled by a predetermined serial pattern, to a more flexible approach, making use of every device available.

 

American flutist Lance Suzuki has been lauded for his elegant and compelling performances. The New York Times has praised his "gorgeous flute tone," and the New York Concert Review has described him as "an unusually passionate flutist who captivates an audience." As a chamber musician and soloist, Lance Suzuki has appeared at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Marlboro Music Festival, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd St Y, Bargemusic, and live on NPR's Performance Today. Mr. Suzuki has premiered many new works with groups such as the Metropolis Ensemble, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, and in Carnegie Hall workshops led by Dawn Upshaw, John Harbison, Osvaldo Golijov, and Donnacha Dennehy. He performs regularly as principal flutist for the Mark Morris Dance Group, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy where he is also a faculty member.

 

Described by The New York Times as an ensemble possessing an "edgy, unflagging energy," Talujon has been mesmerizing audiences since 1990. Talujon is thoroughly committed to the expansion of the contemporary percussion repertoire as well as the education and diversification of percussion’s worldwide audience. Now in its third decade of operation, the ensemble (currently Ian Antonio, David Cossin, Matthew Gold, Tom Kolor, Michael Lipsey, and Matt Ward) has premiered hundreds of new works for percussion and collaborated with several generations of excited students, audiences, and artists. Talujon's 2013-2104 season is made possible with generous support from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

 

Waddy Thompson’s compositions have been performed by the Cassatt Quartet, Orfeo Duo, Windy City Gay Men’s Chorus, Nashville Brass Quintet, Encompass New Opera Theatre, and others at Symphony Space, Spoleto Festival U.S.A., St. Louis Spring Festival, Nicholas Roerich Museum, and Florida Festival of New Music, among many others. His music freely combines tonality and atonality but always contains a lyric element. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music (B.M.), where he was a student of Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner, and Florida State University (M.M., D.M.), where he studied with Carlisle Floyd and Allen Sapp. He has held day jobs as a fundraiser for the arts these last several decades, and he currently is Executive Director for the InterSchool Orchestras. 

 

Born and raised in North Carolina, drummer Shirazette Tinnin’s sound resonates with jazz, soul, and many other styles of music. An in demand drummer in New York City, she has recently performed with Alicia Keys on BET in Black Girl's Rock. She has been on tour with Tia Fuller at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival, and the Turkish Ambassadors, as well as leading her own group, The Shirazette Experiment Core-Tet. Shirazette is also collaborating with numerous other artists, and is the resident drummer for the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet. Besides performing, Shirazette is an active clinician, teacher, health coach and author, writing articles for Modern Drummer and Tom Tom Magazine. Shirazette is currently working on the release of her debut album as a bandleader, and is signed with the new record label Hot Tone Music. 

 

Dan Weiss began playing the drums at the age of 6. He received his bachelor's degree at Manhattan School of Music with a major in jazz percussion and minor in classical composition. Soon after getting his formal education, he began touring the world and recording with musicians such as David Binney, Lee Konitz, Rudresh Mahantthapa, Miguel Zenón, Kenny Werner, and many others. Weiss was named 'The Top Up and Coming Percussionist' 2 years in a row in the 60th and 61st annual Downbeat's Critic's Poll and was featured in The New York Times as 'One of the 5 Most Promising Drummers of the New Generation.'  He has led his trio, which includes Jacob Sacks on piano and Thomas Morgan on bass, for over a decade. Their two releases, Now Yes When and Timshel have been critically acclaimed for their unique approach to song structure and endlessly creative improvisation. Weiss' most ambitious work to date is a 14 piece ensemble composition that features a rhythm section, horns, voices, harp, percussion, and organ. This much anticipated album will be released in the spring of 2014.

 

Brian Worsdale, founder and conductor of the ISO Symphonic band, has been a member of ISO as a student or conductor since 1992. He is also the Artistic Director and Conductor at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. Educated at the Manhattan School of Music and St. John’s University (B.S., Ch. Ed.), he studied conducting with Jonathan Strasser and trombone with David Finlayson. He has continued his conducting studies with Anthony Maiello of George Mason University. As an educator he taught in public and private schools in NYC and maintains an active schedule as a conductor and clinician for district, county and state festivals. Other conducting engagements have included adjunct faculty at Wagner College Theater, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Symphony, and Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band.

 

+ About the Music

John Mackey: The Soul Has Many Motions

In physics a motion is a change; in geometry a motion is a transformation. These four songs, written on the occasion of Richard Floyd's retirement from the University Interscholastic League, celebrate that moment of change and transformation by evoking many kinds of motion, of bodies and of the soul. "Violet Crown Fanfare" captures the movement of the heavens and the optimism of the wide-open West; "Night on Fire" suggests the wild dancing of a nomadic camp; "Unquiet Spirits" is a waltz full of longing and an otherworldly sweetness. The final movement, "The Ringmaster's March," is a riotous Ivesian circus parade, a joyful noise in honor of a man who has always been at the center of the show.

 

Michael Markowski: Camerado 

The title comes from a Whitman poem that is quoted in his "Song of the Road":

Camerado, I give you my hand!

I give you my love more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law;

Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

The poem in its entirety deeply reminded me of the story Heath (the brother of the band director who commissioned the work) had shared with me, of the path Evan took in grade school and college journeying down the same road as his older brother, of Evan's "irresistible call" to escape Oklahoma for the Florida Keys and of his life in the Navy where he would undoubtedly sail literal "pathless and wild seas." I began to better understand how music had been omnipresent in Evan's life, and more importantly how it had also been (and continues to be) the binding element between himself and his brother. Finally I felt like I had found an honest sentiment for the piece — a piece that celebrates brotherhood, camaraderie, exploring new worlds and throwing one's self into the open arms of Adventure, "forever alive, forever forward."

 

Waddy Thompson: Winter Morning by a Lake

Since my student days, I have been captivated by Schoenberg’s “Colors: Summer Morning by a Lake” from his Five Pieces for Orchestra. He uses a huge orchestra playing, at first, slowly shifting chords to depict that scene. As the orchestration shifts, the work grows and grows. When I began to contemplate the stark yet beautiful winter landscape surrounding my home in Putnam County, I was reminded of those slowly shifting chords and decided to create a work that would depict an impression or dream of an ideal winter landscape of the imagination with flecks of color arising out of a sustained, nearly monochromatic background. Rather than using a large orchestra like Schoenberg, I initially limited myself to the string quartet, and that work was premiered by the excellent Cassatt String Quartet at the 2011 Music of Now Marathon. After listening to the recording of that performance several times, I decided it would be interesting to reset the work for a larger ensemble, dividing the many difficult double stops and adding a bit more color with winds and brass, thus creating the version you will hear today. 

 

Noah Chi: The Annoying Time Machine in C minor

This piece is about restless sleep. 

 

Paris Lavidis: For Kharms 

Daniil Kharms, born in Russia in 1905, was one of Russia’s most well-known absurdist authors in the first half of the twentieth century. In his twenties and thirties he wrote for small magazines, but his writing was so controversial and provoking, he was taken into imprisonment by the government and supposedly murdered in prison as a result of his work. One of his shorter short stories, A Meeting, is, in its entirety, as follows:

“There once was a man who was walking home, and bumped into another man who had gone out to buy a loaf of Polish bread. That’s about all.”

Like many of his larger and equally elaborate works, there are a series of non-sequitor characters to whom we cannot relate, and so each character is just another nonsensical voice in the very flat texture. That is what For Kharms capitalizes on. Every recorded element in this movement of For Kharms is made by manipulating and adding effects to human voices that I myself have recorded, as if each is a slightly different voice from the last, but you don’t feel particularly attracted to any one of them as you might a living person’s voice. Thanks to all of this piece’s voice donors! 

 

Alice Volfson: The Dream Child

"...The dream child moving through a land

Of wonder wild and new.

In friendly chat with bird or beast-

And half believe it true."

- Lewis Carroll 

What can illustrate a dreamlike state better than a book about dreaming? Alice in Wonderland is perfect example of escaping the world through fantasies and finding your imagination in order to find yourself. For this piece I chose the flute because when I think of a trancelike state, I think of a flowing, melodic, beautiful theme and the flute is all of those combined. This piece has a theme of finding yourself, and it uses excerpts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. In the book, Alice is continually confused about who she is. In the music, I wrote a theme for Alice when she is awake and knows she is a little girl, and I reversed the theme to make it the theme for Wonderland, where everything is backwards and confusing. The theme for real Alice is a sweet, lyrical, flowing melody that is sure of itself. The theme for Wonderland is a somewhat dissonant, minor, backwards, confusing melody which symbolizes what Alice is feeling. I chose this theme because Alice is dreaming throughout the book and dreaming helps escape reality and your subconscious pushes you to explore new territory while you are asleep. 

 

Daniel Ma: Floating Dreams

In my piece, the music is meant to represent a dream abruptly ended by an alarm and car horn. Before the dream ends, it gets progressively more and more active and finally opens up at the same time as the alarm. I got the recorded sounds by recording my own voice, trying to sound like what I wanted the effect of, and the background noise in my apartment. When the person wakes, there is a loud crash symbolizing the end. Afterwards, the person starts to talk to himself about what he has to do but his mind keeps straying back to the dream. At the end, he realizes that if he keeps thinking about the dream, he will be late, and another boom sounds, symbolizing the end of imagining the dream.

 

Kyrie McIntosh: Where the Moon Rises 

Close your eyes, and imagine yourself alone in the wilderness at night, as the moon gently rises from the mountains. The air is cool, and the ground is damp. Don’t open your eyes until the end of the performance — there are no stage lights in the forest. Journey through musical scenes as a fox prowls about, a loon calls, and the moon rises.  

 

Howard Lin: Night in the Forest

This piece tells of a night in a forest. The whole piece is basically showing the tasks of these small creatures of the night, who sneak out and perform each of their nightly jobs. This can be seen in the piece where each instrument is a single or group of small creatures. I wrote this piece using a notation program called Noteflight. I then transferred all the instruments, separately, onto a recording software called Audacity. From there, I edited / altered each of the instruments.

 

Mikhail Frank (Misha) Swersey: Phase for Contrabassoon

The piece is called Phase For Contrabassoon; it is out of phase. It relates to nighttime because it is written to describe the different phases of the moon.

 

Luke Poeppel: Vespers

Beginning last summer, I developed an interest in learning how to compose electronic music. Using the programs Super Collider and Reaper, Vespers is a piece that combines technology with the organic sound of the cello. The majority of the piece is coded in Super Collider, a programming language used for algorithmic composition, which allows for great flexibility and freedom in creating sounds. The last sound you hear - the slam of the piano lid - was recorded with Reaper. The cello was added after the electronics were written to add to the composition’s eerie and somber quality. Thank you to the Metropolis Ensemble and Symphony Space for making this possible.

 

Abe Gold: The Cellectral Unconscious 

The cello tells the story of a character who gets consumed by a nightmare. 

 

Du Yun: Slow Portraits (2)

In summer 2011, I made a sound design for visual artist David Michalek’s Portraits in Dramatic Time. It is a video installation that used ultra-high-speed, high-definition cameras to record several well-known theater and film performers in a scene. In other words, the visual sequences were not digitally altered. The project slows the frames to display each emotion in larger-than-life detail as it is projected onto a screen that’s 85 feet wide and 45 feet high. The work was presented as part of Lincoln Center Festival, utilizing the façade of the David H. Koch Theater as a media canvas.

The first installment of reworking the aural visage resulted in an orchestra piece, premiered in 2013 by the American Composers Orchestra. This is more intimate approach for a different set of shorts from this work of hyper stilled films. 

As the process goes along, I think they could take many enduring morphing forms. I become further interested in detailing the movement within a similar gestures and each of them embodies an underlying burst. It’s as if finding and locating a miniature painting. Looking at the forms and lines, and to see how the gestures each form and align and take a shift and turn. As in the visual, within constraints, dramatic narratives were condensed down to an essence.

 

Angélica Negrón: La Búsqueda (The Search) is a song cycle comprised of three new songs that explore the mysterious disappearance of a girl in an unknown town. Each one of the songs is written from the perspective of a different person witnessing and experiencing the situation. The first is from the point of view of someone who's driving a car and sees the girl for the last time before she disappears. In the second song we hear from the vanished girl herself and in the third song we hear from someone who lives alone in a log cabin in the forest in which the girl unexpectedly appears one night. Through the use of voice, electronics, found sounds, small percussion and Andean folk instruments these songs explore feelings of escapism, delusion, longing and melancholia.

 

Martha Mooke: REM: A Dream in Sound

REM: A Dream in Sound draws inspiration from the stage of sleep known as REM, characterized by the rapid and random movement of the eyes, the time when dreaming occurs. In this work, the E in REM may be “eye,” “ear,” or “extrasensory” and the dream may occur during the two phases of REM (tonic/phasic) or may, in fact, be a lucid dream, where the sleeper is consciously aware of dreaming while in the dream state.

 

Eric Moe: Gong Tormented

The title comes from the ending of Yeats’ mighty poem Byzantium: 

 "Those images that yet/Fresh images beget/That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea." 

I have been fascinated by gongs for as long as I can remember, and for over twenty years have kept at least one in my studio to whack for inspiration. Gong Tormented was commissioned by the extraordinary Dominic Donato, who is even more obsessed with gongs than I am. It was a pleasure to write this work for him, and it is thus to him that I gratefully dedicate the piece.

 

Kaija Saariaho: Dreaming Chaconne

Dreaming Chaconne was composed for the cellist Anssi Karttunen on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday on 30 September, 2010. The piece is part of the collection Mystery Variations on the Chiacona of Giuseppe Colombi.

This was a birthday offering by Anssi Karttunen’s composer friends and consists of 31 variations (www.karttunen.org/home.html/Mystery_Variations.html).

Knowing that very likely many of my colleges would compose more or less thematic variations, I wanted to do something different by composing a freely floating color etude based on Colombi's piece. 

 

Karlheinz Stockhausen: “Interval” from For Times to Come

Play single notes at irregular time-intervals, durations and intensities. Each time one of your attacks coincides with an attack of the other player add one note until you are playing a 10-note chord. Repeat the 10-note chord at irregular time-intervals, durations and intensities and each time one of your attacks coincides with an attack of the other player transpose it somewhat in the direction of the hands of the other until your hands are superimposed. Then, each time one of your attacks coincides with an attack of the other player, decrease your chord by one note until only one note remains. Repeat this not until you attack it exactly together with the single note of the other player. Then open your eyes and for some time play each attack together with the other player. Simultaneously with the attacks - sporadically, then more often until each time - hum the note of the other player and when you hum gradually leave out the piano attack. Leave the instrument, the room - not at the same time as the other player - continuing the synchronous humming of the interval at irregular time-intervals, durations and intensities. Color the whole sound of a performance uniquely.

 

Eugene Drucker: Madness and the Death of Ophelia

Sonnet 30 renders an accounting of life's losses and offers redemption through friendship. In #27, the poet wrestles with insomnia when far from his beloved; I have set this plaint to the lilt of a barcarolle, a frustrated lullaby. The violent staccato rhythms of #129 confront us with the ravages of lust. #81 warns of the death we all must face, but announces the poet's ambition to make his friend (or perhaps himself) immortal through the power of art. In all these settings, I've attempted to capture the meters of verse and intonations of speech.

In Act 2 scene 1 of Hamlet, Ophelia tells Polonius about a bizarre mute visitation from the troubled prince. In her mad scene, after her father's death, she sings of her grief and, indirectly, her confusion about sexual love. I have adopted a quasi-medieval style for these old songs, spiced with occasional dissonance but still contrasting with the more modern style in which I've accompanied the speaking lines of Ophelia, the Queen and Laertes. In the final scene, the Queen describes Ophelia's accidental drowning. Through a flowing 12-tone row, I've tried to evoke the current of the brook that pulls her down to "muddy death."

 

Mimi Jones: The Dream Catcher 

"Shadows" represents the fear and darkness that lies within the unknown in the depths of our imagination, and the emotion that must arise once they arrive to the Island...

"Hallucination" emulates the dream state not revealing what is real or imagination, dreaming while awake.

"Intangible Delight" represents the beauty that emerges from revelation of the truth, the light seen through the clouds.

 

Korine Fujiwara: Morpheus Rides

“Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.” ~ Heraclitus

Morpheus Rides is based on the sleep score generated by my own sleep study recorded at The Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute. Twenty-eight individual electrodes, sensors and wires (ten on my head) measured brain activity, eye movements, heart rate and rhythm, and blood oxygen and respiration during six hours of monitored sleep!

The structure of Morpheus Rides follows the pattern of sleep cycles recorded that evening. Melodic and rhythmic motifs were inspired by the contours and rhythms of various wave forms appearing in each stage of sleep - from vertex sharp waves, slow eye movements, and positive occipital sharp transients of Stage 1 to the hallmark K-complex waves and sleep spindles indicative of Stage 2, high amplitude slow waves generated during Stage 3, and the exciting activity of the brain waves which "bloom" during REM sleep, punctuated by brief episodes of wakefulness. 

Sleep is a very active process. While we sleep, the body busily repairs and rebuilds itself, while testing reflexes and consolidating memories. The music reflects this. 

Morpheus Rides was written for the Carpe Diem String Quartet and received its World Premiere at Symphony Space in New York City on February 1, 2014 for "The Music of Now Marathon: Rapid Ear Movement (REM)." Many thanks to Dr. Markus Schmidt and the staff of the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute for their willingness to coordinate my ride with Morpheus!

 

Jonathan Leshnoff: String Quartet No. 4

My 4th String Quartet, composed in 2011 and commissioned by the Carpe Diem String Quartet, was inspired by my daughter and commenced a new direction in my compositional writing: direct, powerful motion juxtaposed with tender lyricism. I was inspired by a recorder recital at my daughter’s school, of all things. My daughter and her friends played a single melody on their recorders. Immediately after the recital, I had successive daydreams each day where I heard the pure sound and spirit of the recital. This experience made its way into the third movement of the quartet. The quartet is cast in a five-movement arch form, with resemblance between movements 1/ 5, 2/ 4 and a central climactic movement. The first movement is brief and rhapsodic; the second movement has a tremendous drive and crescendos and ends abruptly without resolution. Following the slow third movement, inspired by the aforementioned event, the fourth movement drives forward relentlessly and unites all themes of the quartet. The fifth movement, also brief, brings the quartet to a contemplative and ethereal close. The dramatic moments were written with Carpe Diemʼs flair for dynamic energy and verve.

 

Miles Okazaki and Dan Weiss: Flow

Okazaki and Weiss have been performing together for over 15 years. Their performances are improvisations based on a flow of mutating material, based on a large body of previous composed themes. The order and assembly of these themes into a single work is always different and decided upon in the moment. The idea is to create a continuously weaving and shifting rhythmic exploration. This performance will present a set of themes that the duo wrote together during a Pocantico Artist Residency on the Rockefeller Estate. 

 

Kaija Saariaho: Terra Memoria

Terra Memoria is my second piece for string quartet, the first being Nymphea which was written in 1987. 

Twenty years have passed since Nymphea and my musical thinking has evolved much in that time, but my initial interest in string instruments has remained as vivid as ever. I love the richness and sensitivity of the string sound and, in spite of my spare contribution to the genre, I feel when writing for a string quartet that I'm entering into the intimate core of musical communication. 

The piece is dedicated "for those departed." Some thoughts about this: we continue remembering the people who are no longer with us; the material - their life - is "complete," nothing will be added to it. Those of us who are left behind are constantly reminded of our experiences together: our feelings continue to change about different aspects of their personality, certain memories keep on haunting us in our dreams. Even after many years, some of these memories change, some remain clear flashes which we can relive. 

These thoughts brought me to treat the musical material in a certain manner; some aspects of it go through several distinctive transformations, whereas some remain nearly unchanged, clearly recognizable. 

The title Terra Memoria refers to two words which are full of rich associations: to earth and memory. Here earth refers to my material, and memory to the way I'm working on it.


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