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Contemporary Music Festival

Contemporary Music Festival 2020

March 4 - 6, 2020

Program Notes

Aaron Hunt | Rhythmic Hypnosis: A Theory of Rhythm and Meter in the Music of Tool | 9:05am

Abstract: The beginning of the 1980’s saw the rise of progressive metal, a genre which combined the complex time signatures, disjunct melodies, and rhythmic and harmonic structures often associated with contemporary classical music with the aggressive stylizations of the metal and hard rock genres. Bands such as Queensrÿche, Dream Theater, and Tool quickly became some of the leading names in defining this genre. Tool furthers the musical complexity of the genre by including many elements of psychedelic rock and avant-garde art rock, resulting in what many refer to as a spiritual or hypnotic sound. This musical aesthetic is further aided through the band’s usage of mathematics in their songwriting, disturbing and psychedelic imagery, and themes surrounding religion and sacred geometry. Ultimately, the band achieves this aesthetic with complex time signatures, fragmented polyrhythms, and extended usage of the tonic chord, but the band also relies heavily on groove as a key part of their sound.

In this paper I aim to show how the American prog rock band Tool creates auditory simplicity though its inherent complexity. I will display examples of this through various lenses of analysis as well as comparing the band’s music to that of other progressive metal bands such as Meshuggah and Dream Theater. The first directly deals with our ability as listeners to cognitively comprehend rhythmic structures. The second involves an analysis of polymetric patterns present in Tool’s Music. The final method will analyze the the band’s use of text painting and imagery to further this effect.

Bio: Aaron Hunt, originally from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has had his music performed throughout the United States and Eastern Europe, with his international premiere in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2016. Aaron has written works for VolOpera, The University of Tennessee Graduate String Quartet, The Dolce String Quartet, Corey Martin, Samvel Perikhanian, The Tennessee Tech Percussion Ensemble, and various university ensembles at Tennessee Tech University and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His works have been performed at various conferences and festivals, such as College Music Society, Society for Music Theory, and The University of Tennessee Contemporary Music Festival. Aaron holds a BM in Performance with an emphasis in Music Composition from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee. He is currently pursuing his MM in Music Composition and a certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he holds a graduate teaching assistantship with the Theory/Composition department. Aaron has studied with composers Dr. Andrew Sigler, Dr. Yoomi Paick, and Dr. Greg Danner.


Fabio Fabbri | Techniques and Terminology for the Analysis of Electroacoustic Music and More | 9:30am

Abstract: The author will illustrate how to analyze an electro-acoustic piece, in total conviction that techniques and terminology involved in the analysis of electroacoustic music can be applied to any type of music. First of all we will focus on the meaning of the word "Analysis", to then consider together the various stages in which it is articulated, starting from the historical and aesthetic framework, aimed at the production of a synthetic and introductory outline of the artistic work under analysis and to the collection of the first information really useful for the understanding of the same. Then we will consider the aims and methods of construction of a score of the sound text (be it symphony, opera, sonata, fugue, acousmatic or ensemble and live electronics) and the operative procedures to be implemented in the process of score realization: description of the sound objects, their behavior, the links between the sound sources (source bonding and relative surrogation orders), spatialization of the piece. Finally, the work will be placed in Emmerson's Grid. Before arriving at the conclusions, further types of listening will be taken into consideration. The presentation will be accompanied by a hypertextual glossary of the technical terms used therein.

Bio: Fabio Fabbri gained the second level academic qualification cum laude with highest marks and mention of honor at Conservatorio “G.Puccini” in La Spezia, and at the Hodgson School in Athens (Atlanta), after which he broadened his competences in music therapy, in jazz, and in electronic music. He works also with La Case del Suono of Parma and Ischia Musica in the analytic field of electroacoustic music, as well as at the Autonomous University of Madrid. His works have been executed at the Festivals “Intorno al ‘900”, “Nuovi orizzonti sonori”, “New York Electroacoustic Music Festival 2018”, "Barcelona Flexus Project 2019”, NACUSA Mid-South composers concert at the University of North Georgia and Monterrey “Ecos urbanos Festival de arte sonoro y transmedia 2019”. He has recently recorded the soundtracks of the film Tutti i rumori del mare and of the Sit-com Impazienti broadcast on the Italian second TV channel Raidue. He is currently responsible for the Liceo Musicale Statale Sandro Pertini di Genova, and he is a member of the Academic Committee of the Stresa International Competition and has won the Teaching Prize at the IV Competition of musical interpretation Clara Wieck Schumann.


Ian Evans Guthrie | Rhythm as a Function | 10:10am

Abstract: Recent scholarship has explored the role of rhythmic “cells” that complement or replace the standard harmonic phrase models in modal, tonal, and post-tonal Western music. The most effective systems for rhythmic analysis thus far include those by Donald Wilson (“Metric Modulation,” 1965), Christopher Hasty (Meter as Rhythm, 1997), and Joseph Swain (Harmonic Rhythm, 2002). Wilson adopts Cowell's divisive notation to represent borrowed rhythms, and although the system primarily represents vertical and horizontal proportions within music, it is perhaps the best source from which to adapt for post-tonal rhythmic analysis. While Hasty's accessible symbology distinguishes rhythmic “beginning” and “continuing” rhythmic perceptions in periodicity, it does not delineate specific rhythmic cells nor how they may specifically relate to particular harmonic functions. Conversely, Swain’s system addresses contextual harmonic progressions and rhythms in tandem, but fails to assign independent functional roles to the rhythmic cells. The new system proposed in this paper synthesizes these models to provide a workable analytical system that identifies and categorizes harmonic function, exemplified through analyses of Chopin, Ravel, Berg, and Lassus. Categorizing rhythmic cells according to their contextual metrical dissonance and harmonic association reveals fascinating correlations between harmony, rhythm, and meter. This approach also suggests how certain composers of different periods chose rhythmic variety based on their use of chromaticism within any given work, how functional rhythmic cells can shape our impression of non-functional and post-tonal repertoire, and how this approach can illuminate supportive areas such as performance practice and composition.

Bio: Ian Evans Guthrie blends Western concert music with various world musics and is quickly emerging as a tour-de-force composer, pianist, and collaborator. He has recently received 1st prize for the Arcady Composition Competition, 2nd prize for the American Prize and a 2nd prize in the Great Composers Competition, in addition to his many other composition and performance prizes and recognition from ASCAP, SCI, MTNA, and other music organizations and clubs worldwide. In addition, many of his works have been performed publicly around the nation from groups such as fEARnoMUSIC, Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, the Moore Philharmonic Orchestra, March Music Moderne, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Charlotte New Music Festival, the Clear Creek Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the 2014 Pierrot Lunaire Project. He has served on various committees, including the Society of Composers, Inc., where he has served as the Region VI Student Representative from 2015 to 2017 before serving as Associate Marketer. His most recent works include Voices of the Earth for wind orchestra, a track for the permanent collection at the Venvi Art Gallery, and the score for the story ballet The Warrior Queen of Nori.


Robert Strobel | The Dangers of Excessive Conceptuality in Theory and Composition | 10:35am

Abstract: My paper will briefly summarize the possibly “excessive” emphasis on concepts in modern music theory and composition. A concept will only be free from error only if it is absolutely true. Are there absolutes in music, beyond pitch and rhythm? To begin, problematic absolutes commonly taught to students in music theory and their implications on model composition will be covered. There is also the issue of emphasising concepts, even extra-musical ones, over the composition’s outcome. Finally, I will discuss how excessive conceptuality affects the composition scene. Concluding questions to be possibly asked are: “Does emphasizing concepts or absolutes heavily lead to ‘perfection’ or could they lead to being out of touch with empirical evidence?” “What is the relationship between details and the big picture?” “How do composers or performers judge quality in a piece of music?” and “How does one reconcile the ends and means of composition?”

Bio: Robert Strobel composes art music in a variety of mediums. Recently, he undertook an artist residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. In 2018, he won third place in the Bruno Maderna International Composers Competition. The same year, his music was also played at Art Song Lab, Aspen Composers Conference, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and the SCI National Conference. In 2017, his music was played or performed at the Source Song Festival, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the New Music Festival and University of Nebraska-Kearney, the TUTTI Festival, and the SCI Region VI conference. His work Prairie Dog Rhapsody received a special mention at the Alfred Schnittke Composer's Forum and Competition and as a result was published by Aldebaran Editions. His music has been broadcast on WPRB Princeton in Marvin Rosen’s 25-hour new music marathon, and on Hawaii Public Radio, in the program “Singing and Other Sins.” The commissions he has received include the LDS Barlow Commission and Mizzou New Music Initiative-funded work for some string players of the St. Louis Symphony, among others. His symphonic work From the Book of the Dead was a winner in the Missouri Orchestra Composer's project.


 FEATURED COMPOSER PRESENTATIONS | 2:00 - 4:00 | HMC 110 | Emily Koh and Travis Alford

Mark Engebretson | The Outside

Program Notes: - .-. ..- -- .--. / .. ... / - .... . / . -. . -- -.-- / --- ..-. / - .... . / .--. . --- .--. .-.. . .-.-.-

Bio: Twice the recipient of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network's Music Award (2013 & 2016), Craig Peaslee's music has been described as bold, brash and unapologetic. Coming to the contemporary composing scene as a jazz performer and arranger, Craig’s compositions have a strong foundation in jazz music and continually find him searching for new ways to incorporate jazz into works for the classical concert music stage.


Chin Ting Chan | postcards
Yu-Fang Chen, violin

Program Notes: Postcards is commissioned by violinist Yu-Fang Chen for performance in the 2017 Thailand International Composition Festival (TICF). It consists of six miniatures (musical gifts), each with different characteristics, but are also inter-connected. The miniatures can be played together, or separately as standalone pieces. Each “postcard” depicts a personality or an impression of a scene sonically, like what one expects from a photographic postcard.

Bio: Hong Kong-American composer Chin Ting CHAN has been a fellow and guest composer at festivals such as IRCAM's ManiFeste (Paris, 2013/2018), the ISCM World Music Days Festival (Tongyeong, 2016; Tallinn, 2019), and UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (Tallinn, 2015). He has worked with ensembles such as Ensemble intercontemporain, ensemble mise-en, Ensemble Signal, eighth blackbird, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, and Mivos Quartet, with performances in more than twenty countries. His works are published with ABLAZE Records, Darling's Acoustical Delight, New Focus Recordings, PARMA Recordings, RMN Classical, SCI Journal of Music Scores, and Unfolding Music Publishing (ASCAP). He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Composition at Ball State University. He holds a D.M.A. degree from the University of Missouri–Kansas City, as well as degrees from Bowling Green State University and San José State University. www.chintingchan.com

Performer Bio: A native of Taiwan, Yu-Fang Chen is currently the Assistant Professor of Music Performance – Violin at Ball State University. Chen received her Doctoral of Musical Arts degrees on both violin and viola performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2013. As a sought-after performer and pedagogy, Chen has been invited to teach and perform at various music institutions and festivals in United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia, including the Sunflower Music Festival and the Heartland Chamber Music Academy in U.S.A, the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy, and Thailand International Composition Festival in Salaya, Thailand. 

Chen has won many awards and competitions and her career as a performing artist is extensive. Her international performing career has taken her to more than fifteen countries on five continents, and she continues to perform as a guest musician nationally and internationally with various concert artists, chamber ensembles, and orchestras. 

Chen served as an Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas from 2015-2017. She was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of Taiwan. http://yufangchen.weebly.com


Aaron Hunt | Finding the Right Words
Vicki Leona, percussion

Program Notes: “Finding the Right Words” depicts the feeling when one understands an intense emotion or a strong intent, but lacks the ability to express that idea through language. The person attempting to speak falls into a middle-ground between their thoughts and the inability to express them. As someone who has always found it easier to express myself through my compositions rather than language, this piece comes from a very personal place.

Using only samples from the human voice in the fixed media, “Finding the Right Words” seeks to create an audio “uncanny valley.” This is achieved through two different means. The first can be heard in the fixed media. While comprised of only sounds produced by the human voice, the audio itself has been stretched and warped to make the sounds fall somewhere in the middle between the voice and a synthesizer. The second comes from the electronic effects applied to the marimba. Significant amounts of delay and reverb create a blur between the percussive sounds of the marimba and the softer timbres in the fixed media.

Bio: Aaron Hunt, originally from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has had his music performed throughout the United States and Eastern Europe, with his international premiere in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2016. Aaron has written works for VolOpera, The University of Tennessee Graduate String Quartet, The Dolce String Quartet, Corey Martin, Samvel Perikhanian, The Tennessee Tech Percussion Ensemble, and various university ensembles at Tennessee Tech University and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His works have been performed at various conferences and festivals, such as College Music Society, Society for Music Theory, and The University of Tennessee Contemporary Music Festival. Aaron holds a BM in Performance with an emphasis in Music Composition from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee. He is currently pursuing his MM in Music Composition and a certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he holds a graduate teaching assistantship with the Theory/Composition department. Aaron has studied with composers Dr. Andrew Sigler, Dr. Yoomi Paick, and Dr. Greg Danner.


Gabriel Brady | Lemoncholy

Program Notes: DC high schooler Gabriel Brady has played the piano since he was six, and has composed music for as long as he can remember. His composition, Lemoncholy, is charming in its simplicity and is sustained by multiple beautiful melodies. The piece switches between the motif in 4/4 time and the two bridges in 3/4 time, which provide for a satisfying return to the main theme. The climax of the piece comes after the second bridge, returning to the motif with emphatic and uplifting chords. Lemoncholy, the name, signifies the medium between melancholy and cheerfulness that the composition exhibits. Bookending the piece, an alteration of the melody in the higher keys switches between major and minor, embodying the name of the piece.

Bio: James Gabriel Brady is a 16-year-old composer from Alexandria, Virginia, USA. He has been playing piano since he was six. An accomplished classical and jazz pianist and a member of the select Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, Gabriel has been composing music for as long as he can remember. He teaches piano lessons locally, has taught at music camps like Sound Impact, and teaches piano at Washington Jesuit Academy. He attends Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, as a junior, as a John Philip Sousa Scholar for piano.


Alissa Voth | LIGO
Bethany Padgett, flute

Program Notes: The sounds you are hearing consist of sonified data from The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The Observatory successfully detected gravitational waves from an event that occured billions of years ago where two black holes were pulled into each others’ orbit, which secured the researchers a Nobel Prize in physics. The relationship between the audio and the performer is meant to represent these two black holes and their interactions - the inspiral, where the two are pulled into each others orbit, the merger, where they collide, and the ringdown, where they unify. Through this tension, I also mean to demonstrate two ways we can experience cosmic phenomena: scientifically, through observation, and expressively, through the imagination.

Bio: Alissa Voth composes experimental music within the classical music tradition. Her music explores the narrative and informative capabilities of composition through the intersections of music, data, and language. She is interested in the vast spectrums between performer and character, singer and speaker, and activity and stasis. She mostly composes for soloists and small ensembles, working closely and collaboratively with performers.

Alissa graduated from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2019 and received the Roger Sessions Memorial Award for composition. Her music has been performed at the Cortona Sessions for New Music and Longy’s Divergent Studio, and she has received commissions from the Rivers School Conservatory and pianist Lucy Yao. She currently has commissions from flutist Sarah Brady and the Nightingale Vocal Ensemble, and will premiere a full theatrical production of the play/musical/drag show Nosferatu, the Vampyr in collaboration with playwright Sloth Levine.

Alissa is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and currently resides in Boston.

Performer Bio: Dr. Bethany Padgett is an active teacher and freelancer in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.  She has been Professor of Flute at Navarro College since fall, 2017. In fall 2014 she served as Visiting Professor of Flute at Illinois State University and has been an adjudicator for numerous competitions including for the Texas Community College Band Directors Association, Floot Fire Solo Competition, and the Texas Music Teachers Association Performance Competition.  Dr. Padgett has served on the board of several organizations including Music Teachers National Association, Louisiana Flute Society, and currently, Texas Flute Society.
As a freelancer, she has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, South Arkansas Symphony, Las Colinas Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestras.  She has also performed as a member of the Dauphine Street Duo at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, the National Flute Association Convention and the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia Flute Fair. As a solo artist, Dr. Padgett has won numerous competitions including the NFA Masterclass Performer Competition, NFA Piccolo Masterclass Competition, and NFA Convention Performers Competition, and was a finalist for the San Diego Guild Young Artist competition.

She received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance with a Theory minor from Louisiana State University in 2013, her Master of Music from Illinois State University and her Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University. Her primary teachers include Katherine Kemler, Kimberly Risinger and Christine Smith.


Vicki Leona | Kae So Wae Train

Program Notes: This piece came from my curiosity about what people must be thinking during New Music-type shows. The two percussionists are representative of two actual performers, while the voices (perspectives) are characters of possible audience members. Their tangential arguments are improvised streams of thoughts said out loud that could possibly be representative of what the current, actual audience could be thinking at the moment. The piece is intended to be humorous but introspection may occur, as it is natural to think if one fits one (or all) of these types of personas.

Bio: Vicki Leona (b. 1997) is a Vietnamese-American composer of programmatic music exploring the human psyche/psycho-social phenomena. Her catalog includes works for solo percussion, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and video games. A native of Murfreesboro, she is currently studying Music Composition and Pre-Medicine at the University of Tennessee.
As an active percussionist, Vicki has performed with several ensembles at UT, including the Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble, and at festivals such as the UT Contemporary Music Festival and Big Ears Festival. Vicki is an active member of the local Knoxville music community, through teaching, tutoring, event coordination, and running the student composer organization (SCOUT).


Alex Burtzos | one final gyre
Allison Adams & Corey Martin, saxophone

Program Notes:

where do pigeons go to die
do they flit off to the suburbs
away from the honking and rush
to leave life behind
as their ancestors did
quietly, amid trees and stumps
on a soft bed of leaves
or perhaps
they stretch their ancient wings
one last time
to perch on the highest rooftop
and die like they lived
with the best views
of the city they love
or
does death steal them away
in the night
unwitting
like a black shadow
robbing them
of any such dignity

Bio: As a composer, Alex is committed to pursuing artistic expression unconstrained by boundaries of school or style.  His "riveting" work often incorporates elements of the 20th Century avant-garde, jazz, rock, metal, and hip-hop alongside or against classical/preclassical structures and sounds, justifying these juxtapositions with a great depth of musical ideas and extra-musical knowledge.  Alex’s music takes as its basis and provides commentary on a diverse array of subject matter, from early colonial history to recent events, from Shakespeare’s tragedies to naughty text messages.  His unique approach has earned him accolades and awards from organizations around the world.

Alex exclusively conducts contemporary repertoire, and has given over 40 world and regional premieres by emerging and established composers.  As conductor of ShoutHouse, he blends elements of jazz and classical conducting styles to cultivate a unified, engaging sound that's "incomparable to anything existing."  Watch a video here.

Alex holds a DMA from Manhattan School of Music, where his primary teachers were Reiko Fueting and Mark Stambaugh.  He serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Central Florida. 

Performer Bio: Dr. Allison Dromgold Adams holds a B.M. in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College, a M.M. in Music Performance from the University of Minnesota, and a D.M.A. from Arizona State University. She has taught saxophone at both Ithaca College and Cornell University. In addition, she has also served on the faculty of Ithaca College's Summer Music Academy, teaching Yoga for Musicians in addition to studio saxophone. Her non-college teaching experience includes directing elementary and middle school band, and teaching private woodwind and piano lessons.

Dr. Adams has recently been featured in recitals at Ithaca College, Western Carolina University, Cornell University, the Northeast Regional Tuba/Euphonium Conference, the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, and the Syracuse, NY recital series, "Civic Morning Musicals." An avid proponent of new music for the saxophone, Dr. Adams actively commissions composers to write for the instrument. Works she has commissioned include Flames will Grow by Dominick DiOrio and Rumination and Manifestation by Keane Southard.
In addition to her solo work, Dr. Adams is a member of the Estrella Consort, a saxophone quartet based in Phoenix, AZ. With this group she has performed and presented master classes domestically and abroad. Outside of her role as a performer, her research has focused on the integration of body awareness techniques and music pedagogy.

Her main saxophone teachers have included Steven Mauk, Eugene Rousseau, and Timothy McAllister

Ian Evans Guthrie | A Farewell Elegy

Program Notes: Like many of my works, I intend the title “A Farewell Elegy” to stimulate people's imagination, rather than refer to anything specific. However, it is worth mentioning that I did write this work during a period when I had no commissions; I therefore had no audience in mind besides myself. This was also a time when I struggled to find enough gigs and other jobs as a composer-performer. It was one of those times where I had something to say that could not be explained through words—only music.

Bio: Ian Evans Guthrie blends Western concert music with various world musics and is quickly emerging as a tour-de-force composer, pianist, and collaborator. He has recently received 1st prize for the Arcady Composition Competition, 2nd prize for the American Prize and a 2nd prize in the Great Composers Competition, in addition to his many other composition and performance prizes and recognition from ASCAP, SCI, MTNA, and other music organizations and clubs worldwide. In addition, many of his works have been performed publicly around the nation from groups such as fEARnoMUSIC, Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, the Moore Philharmonic Orchestra, March Music Moderne, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Charlotte New Music Festival, the Clear Creek Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the 2014 Pierrot Lunaire Project. He has served on various committees, including the Society of Composers, Inc., where he has served as the Region VI Student Representative from 2015 to 2017 before serving as Associate Marketer. His most recent works include Voices of the Earth for wind orchestra, a track for the permanent collection at the Venvi Art Gallery, and the score for the story ballet The Warrior Queen of Nori.


Ed Martin | Breathe Slow, Breathe Deep
Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi, piano

Program Notes: Breathe Slow, Breathe Deep (2019) for piano and computer invites the listener to pause, reflect, and enjoy a brief moment of repose from a hectic life in turbulent times.

Bio: Ed Martin (b. 1976) is an award-winning composer whose music has been performed worldwide at events such as the ISCM World New Music Days, International Computer Music Conferences, World Saxophone Congresses, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, Confluences – Art and Technology at the Edge of the Millennium in Spain, and the International Electroacoustic Music Festival Santiago de Chile. His works have been heard at numerous venues throughout U.S. by ensembles such as the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Ear Play, the Empyrean Ensemble, the Synchromy Ensemble, Musical Amoeba, the Bells of the Cascades, and duoARtia. His album of piano music "Journeys" performed by Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi is available from Ravello Records, and other works are released on the Mark, Centaur, innova, Emeritus, and SEAMUS labels. His music has received national awards from the Percussive Arts Society, Musical Amoeba, the Electro-- Acoustic Miniatures International Contest, the Craig and Janet Swan Composer Prize for orchestral music, and the Tampa Bay Composers’ Forum. Martin is a passionate educator who teaches composition and music theory at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He is Vice-President of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers and co-hosted SEAMUS 2012. Visit www.edmartincomposer.com for more information.

Performer Bio: Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi is a Canadian-born pianist whose playing has been lauded as “brilliant” (New Music Connoisseur), “persuasive” (Sequenza21), and “beautiful” (American Record Guide). Her repertoire, ranging from the Renaissance era through the present, clearly affirms her keen interest in new music, which has led her to commission and premiere many new solo and collaborative works—music that has been featured on live radio broadcasts and released by Albany Records, Innova Recordings, Ravello Records, Ravello Records’ Capstone Collection, and the Society of Composers Inc. Performers Recording Series. Astolfi's passion for new music has been recognized by invitations to many national and international music festivals and forums. An enthusiastic educator, she also frequently serves as an adjudicator, clinician, coach, and masterclass instructor. As a chamber musician, Dr. Astolfi is a founding member of duoARtia with pianist Holly Roadfeldt, and of Piedmont Camerata, the resident chamber ensemble of Piedmont College, where she is an Artist-in-Residence. Her advanced studies in piano performance were with pianists Helmut Brauss (University of Alberta), Tom Plaunt (McGill University), and Lydia Artymiw (University of Minnesota), with whom she completed doctoral studies.


Adam Stanovic | Ctrl C

Program Notes: In 2016, I was asked by Ben Gaunt to produce an acousmatic re-mix of his existing instrumental piece 16th Century Horror, for flute, oboe, and piano, and was provided with pristine recordings of the work’s three movements along with stem recordings of the individual instruments.

I began by lightly processing and developing these recordings in ways that would maintain clear and unambiguous references to Gaunt’s original piece. In this way, I hoped to remain true to the idea of a remix. As I worked, however, I increasingly found myself nudging materials in directions that I wanted to explore, and this started to force a separation between Gaunt’s music and my own. As I struggled on, the constant nudging gave way to more extreme acts — pushing and pulling, bending and breaking — until all references to 16th Century Horror were, unfortunately, severed. A few, brief hints of the instrumental origins lurk throughout, but ultimately there is little that connects Ctrl c with Gaunt’s work. As is often the case, things apparently ‘copied’ are all-too-often unique. Ctrl c was awarded a Nomination at the 9th Destellos Electroacoustic Composition Competition (Mar del Plata, Argentina, 2016).

Bio: Adam Stanović started composing electronic music some twenty years ago. At that time, early experiments with tape machines and a four-track mini-disc recorder led him to discover the potential of recorded sounds, and he quickly started using computers as a tool for music-making. Ever since, Adam has considered the fixed medium as a canvass for his works which, although mostly acousmatic, are sometimes accompanied by instruments, electronics, film, and animation. In all cases, his music explores ways in which both pitch and noise coexist within recorded sound, with musical form often delivering one from the other. Adam’s music has been heard in over 400 festivals and concerts around the world. His works are available on 12 different CDs, with his first solo empreintes DIGITALes CD released in late 2018, and most have featured in composition competitions around the globe, including: IMEB (France); Metamophoses (Belgium); Destellos (Argentina); Contemporanea (Italy); SYNC (Russia); Musica Viva (Portugal); Musica Nova (Czech Republic); KEAR (USA). Further to this, Adam has worked in studios at the IMEB (France); Musiques et Recherches (Belgium); VICC (Sweden); EMS (Sweden); LCM (UK); CMMAS (Mexico); Holst House (UK), Mise En Place (USA), Bowling Green (USA); Sydney Conservatorium (Australia).


Filipe Leitao | Isaac's World

Program Notes: Isaac’s World is an electronic piece featuring audio samples of my son, Isaac, a three-year old, Brazilian and American citizen who speaks both Portuguese and English. Through this composition, I attempted to capture and musically evoke a child’s sense of personal experience, growth, and development, using Isaac’s diverse vocal sounds, including English and Portuguese words spoken by Isaac. Much like a timeline, the composition unfolds chronologically, with each of its three sections, representing individual stages of Isaac’s life. The first represents his life in the womb (from the beginning to 2’26”); the second represents the time from birth to the time his first words were spoken (2’26” to 5’42”); the third and final section (starting at 5’42”) is focused on the time from when Isaac learned to speak to the present.

Compositional matter consists of extant audio recordings and recent recordings of Isaac. The composition’s source material was manipulated in Logic Pro X to create varied pitches, articulations, rhythms, textures, and timbres that were used as my palette of musical elements. These elements were further developed, in order to produce both vertical and horizontal sonorities in a multidimensional space.

Bio: Filipe Leitão is an award-winning Brazilian-born composer, music producer, and sound designer with 10+ years of music creation experience. He is Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, teaching and developing a new collaborative curriculum in Composition and Sound Design for Cinema, Games, and Motion Media. He recently served as an Instructor of Composition at The University of Alabama, where he received his doctorate in Composition. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Music Production and Sound Design for Visual Media at the Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA), and a Bachelor in Art Education in Brazil.

Dr. Leitão has collaborated with many artists, creating original compositions and sound design for films and video games, as well as has written concert pieces for varied ensembles. Dr. Leitão’s works reflect his unique voice originated from a mix of classical music, popular music, Brazilian music, and film music, and has been recognized at both national and international levels, and obtained prizes and performances on renowned film and music festivals. Additional background can be found at his website: www.filipeleitao.com


John Baxter | Missing Memories 

Program Notes: A piece about taking back time you've lost.

Bio: A young composer whose compositional work has been described as “a great spiritual experience,” John Baxter seeks to explore the tense and mercurial chasm between musician and listener. John was born and raised in the southern part of the southern state of Mississippi.

After graduating from Yale University, John received acceptance into New York University’s Film Scoring program in Fall 2017. Since then he has worked on more than 40 films, commercials, television programs, and video games with directors from around the world such as Greece, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain. Also active as a concert composer, John Baxter is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Frost School of Music in Classical Composition. He is an active composer, media collaborator, piano-er, arranger, conductor, and producer.


Hunter Prueger | London 2012

Program Notes: Nur Tatar was 19 in 2012, and despite her impressive winning streak at the European Junior Championships, the odds favored the defending olympic champion Hwang Kyung-seon. The match started fairly evenly, but Tatar visibly struggled as Kyung-seon continued to score headshots. During the final round Tatar stood almost no chance of making up the point gap, and Hwang Kyung-seon won an olympic gold medal.

London 2012 captures various aspects of a Taekwondo sparring match. At the professional level, the majority of a sparring match is spent waiting for the opponent to strike. The first strike is followed by a rapid-fire flurry of blocks and kicks before reverting back to a tense stillness. While this piece is about a sparring match, it is also meant to create a sparring match between the player and the instrument by focusing on the manipulation of the throat and embouchure to achieve specific multiphonics and partials. Above all, it is a tribute to a sport I once loved.

Bio: Hunter Prueger (b. 1996) is an Austin-based composer and saxophonist. His music is often characterized by a unique approach to color and texture while utilizing unique instrumentations. Hunter is fascinated by unconventional instruments and musical toys. His compositional approach is rooted in instrumental exploration and discovery, and as a result his music often implements new playing techniques. Hunter likes to split his time somewhat evenly between electronic music and purely acoustic music.

Hunter has worked with ensembles such as So Percussion, Hub New Music, and the Luther College Concert Band. In 2016 he scored four short films for the Minneapolis film studio Motionpoems and received a grant to score the indie game "Aila.” In addition, he has collaborated with rock musicians and produced beats for hip-hop artists.

A native of Iowa, Hunter received his B.A. in music with focuses in composition and saxophone performance from Luther College, and he is currently working towards an M.M. in composition at the University of Texas at Austin. He has studied privately with Annie Gosfield, Nina C. Young, Yevgeniy Sharlat, and Brooke Joyce. Hunter also enjoying running, crocheting, and playing accordion in the UT Conjunto Ensemble.


Andrew Hannon | Confab
Joseph Brown, trombone

Program Notes: Confab explores the intersection between live and recorded music. Modern culture is changing at a rapid pace and the way in which we consume music and experience life has changed. In this piece, the solo trombonist performs with an audio track of previously recorded samples as a means of unity, as well as contrast between the live and recorded sounds. The interaction between the two sound sources can be heard as a conversation between the past and future in a complex relationship.

Bio: Andrew Hannon’s musical life is a combination of diverse influences. He composes for the concert stage and has performed in metal core bands. His music alternates between moments of violence and serenity creating an element of tension. In addition to musical tension, he incorporates technology as an aesthetic statement. For example, Two Lost Loves draws its material from anonymous voicemails, Night Watch transmits audio through audience’s smart devices, and News Flash uses a YouTube video as source material for audio and video.

His compositions are performed throughout the United States at SEAMUS, North American Saxophone Alliance national conference, College Music Society’s national conferences, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and USF New Music Festival. His compositions are published by Warwick Music and Potenza Music. He strives to foster creative community by collaborating with performers and mentoring students.

Andrew earned his DMA in music composition from the University of South Carolina. His research focuses on composition pedagogy, fear and aural skills, and the music of Ligeti. He is Assistant Professor of Music Composition at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

Performer Bio: Dr. Joseph Brown is Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone at Appalachian State University, where he teaches lessons, trombone choir, trombone pedagogy/literature, and chamber music.  He is an advocate for chamber music, and is active in several chamber groups

including the low brass trio 3Basso as well as Ohio Trombone Quartet, both of which have recently been participants in commissions. 3Basso will be performing at the International Trombone Festival in Osaka, Japan in July 2020. Dr. Brown was proud to be selected as part of the Fellow class at the 2013 Alessi Seminar, and recent performances include both the 2019 International Trombone Festival and International Tuba-Euphonium Conference. He has performed with orchestras in North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia. He is a member of the International Trombone Association and a honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Rho Tau Chapter. He began his career as a middle school band teacher in North Carolina, and is an advocate for music education. Joe received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, Master's Degrees in Trombone Performance and Music Education as well as his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Appalachian State University.

Featuring Carolina Heredia and Alex Burtzos

Amy Advocat, bass clarinet | Matt Sharrock, marimba

Boston-based contemporary duo Transient Canvas is on a mission to revolutionize the modern concert experience. Since 2011, their innovative performances have been praised as “superb” by the Boston Globe and “disarming” by Cleveland Classical, with the San Francisco Chronicle lauding “the versatile imagination they both display and inspire in others.” Bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and marimbist Matt Sharrock relish the creative potential of working with living composers, having amassed a varied repertoire of over 80 commissioned works in addition to working with hundreds of student composers from all over the world. They have released two albums on New Focus Recordings: Wired, “a must-add to any new music lover’s library” according to I Care If You Listen, and Sift, which KLANG New Music called “one of the more refreshing things I’ve heard in recent years.”

Highlights of their 2019-20 season include the world premiere of Exposure, a new chamber opera by Bea Goodwin and Daniel Felsenfeld; concerts with the RED NOTE New Music Festival (Illinois), Tetractys New Music (Texas), the Hammert Series (Kansas), Ethos New Music Society (New York), Nextet (Nevada), and New Music at the Short North Stage (Ohio); residencies at Brigham Young, Temple, Lawrence, and Buffalo State Universities and the University of Missouri Kansas City; and collaborations with Semiosis String Quartet and the Peridot Duo. Past seasons include featured performances at the Alba Music Festival, Music on the Edge, Composers, Inc., Charlotte New Music Festival, North Carolina NewMusic Initiative, SoundNOW Festival, Music at the Forefront, Outpost Concert Series, New Music Nights at Spectrum, the Corwin Chair Concert Series, First Fridays, Mizzou New Music, New Hampshire Music Festival, Re:Sound, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and the Guerrilla Composers Guild, among others. They have performed and presented at several professional conferences including PASIC, SEAMUS, SCI Region 1, and two New Music Gatherings. In Boston, they have been featured on the Equilibrium, Original Gravity, Opensound, New Gallery, Lowell Lecture, and Times Two concert series.

Equally dedicated to educating the next generation of performers and composers, Transient Canvas has presented masterclasses and composition workshops at colleges, universities, and conservatories around the U.S. including the University of Southern California, Oberlin Conservatory, Baldwin Wallace, Chapman, Cleveland State, Franklin Pierce, Fresno Pacific, James Madison, Kennesaw State, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein, Rutgers, St. Lawrence, and San Jose State Universities, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, University of Maine, Cal Poly Pomona, UNC Pembroke, University of the Pacific, University of Southern Maine, UW Green Bay, and UW Madison. They have also held residencies with the composition departments at Harvard, Northeastern, Brandeis, East Carolina, and Tufts Universities, the University of Georgia, the University of Missouri Columbia, the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Divergent Studio at Longy School of Music, and the Alba Music Festival Composition Program. Since 2017, they have hosted their annual paid Composer Fellowship Program that is free and open to composers of all ages.
Transient Canvas proudly endorses Henri Selmer Paris clarinets and Marimba One marimbas and mallets.


resonance imaging | Crystal Pascucci
resonance imaging for bass clarinet and marimba, is a piece of reflection. Timbres and rhythms within the piece mimic those heard while undergoing an MRI test. The phrases unfold as a testimony to claustrophobia; claustrophobia caused by being held in that type of medical machine, and the captive feeling caused by illness. Illness is unyielding; it has no sense of reasoning or rationality. Illness is something I've struggled with all my life. I was diagnosed with Lupus sixteen years ago and it has profoundly shaped my life, personality and perspective. My experiences in MRI machines have been musical ones. I wanted to share some of the many complex rhythms, sounds, feelings and parallels inspired by those experiences. "resonance imaging" was written for Transient Canvas and premiered on January 29, 2016 in San Francisco, CA.


\very/ specifically vague | Emily Koh

Program Notes: “very specifically vague” was an observation describing the usage of Singlish in an r/Singapore discussion. In the work, I had the two protagonists (bass clarinet and
marimba) “speak” in a roundabout, specifically-vague way similar to that in Singlish.
Here’s a sample of Singlish’s very specifically-vagueness:
A: “Eh, lunch eat where ah?”
B: “Why not go to that place… the one behind the building…”
A: “Oh… The one next to the big tree, left hand side is alley one ah?”
B: “Think so lah. Opposite is the small park one correct?”

Bio: Emily Koh (b.1986) is a Singaporean composer and double bassist based in Atlanta.  Her music reimagines everyday experiences by sonically expounding tiny oft-forgotten details. In addition to writing acoustic and electronic concert music, she enjoys collaborating with other creatives in projects where sound plays an important role in the creative process.

Described as ‘the future of composing’ (The Straits Times, Singapore), she is the recipient of awards such as the Copland House Residency Award, Young Artist Award, Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Prix D’Ete, and PARMA competitions; commissions from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Composers Conference at Wellesley College, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble; and grants from New Music USA, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy and Paul Abisheganaden Grant for Artistic Excellence. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Avaloch Farm Music Institute.

Emily’s works have been described as “beautifully eerie” (New York Times), and “subtley spicy” (Baltimore Sun), and have been performed at various venues around the world in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, Finland, Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States by acclaimed ensembles and performers such as Talea Ensemble (USA), Ensemble Dal Niente (USA), New York New Music Ensemble (USA), Signal Ensemble (USA), Boston New Music Initiative (USA), New Thread Quartet (USA), Acoustic Uproar (USA), LUNAR Ensemble (USA), East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (USA/Europe), Avanti! (Finland), Israel Contemporary Players (Israel), Sentieri Selvaggi (Italy), the Next Mushroom Promotion (Japan), Chroma Ensemble (UK), The Philharmonic Orchestra (Singapore), Dingyi Music Company (Singapore) and Chamber Sounds (Singapore) among others.

Emily graduated from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore (BM Music Composition), the Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University (MM Music Composition and Music Theory Pedagogy), and Brandeis University (Ph.D. graduate in Music Composition and Theory). She is currently Assistant Professor of Composition at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Prior to teaching at UGA, she taught at Brandeis and Harvard Universities, MIT, Longy School of Music (Bard College) and Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She is a member of ASCAP, SCI, and is an honorary member on the executive committee of the Composers Society of Singapore. Her music is published by Babel Scores and Poco Piu Publishing.

Emily lives in Atlanta, GA (USA) with her husband, Jason. Besides composing and performing, Emily enjoys eating, cooking (but not baking), gardening, traveling and home DIY projects.

Two Children's Portraits | Jason Bahr (call for scores winner)

Program Notes: I wrote Little Landon in May of 2008 for Jason Baker to honor the birth of his son. I wanted to write something appropriately reflective and peaceful, but I also wanted to make the work specific to Landon. I carved out a theme that uses the ‘Landini’ decoration from Renaissance music (basically a line that descends stepwise two notes, and then leaps up a third) and notes drawn from Jason and Landon’s last name (B-flat, A and E). This motive is presented at the beginning in the top voice, and the rest of the piece develops this idea.

Jaunty Julia was added to the Little Landon in 2018. The style here is more aggressive, reflecting her precocious energy.

Bio: Jason Bahr is a composer living in southwest Florida. He has received over 400 performances of his works, including performances in 35 states and over a dozen foreign countries. He is a recipient of a MacDowell Colony Residency, a Fromm Foundation commission, has won the Northridge Prize for Orchestral Composition for Golgotha, and the Cambridge Madrigal Singers Choral Composition Competition with Psaume 1. Bahr is an active performer and is the bass section leader for the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers and the Chancel Choir at the First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs, FL. A Kansas City native, Bahr is an avid of the Kansas City Royals. He makes his home with his wife Rebecca and their two cats, Cho-Cho and Ray. Soli Deo Gloria


Vanishing | Carolina Heredia

Bio: By exploring the merging of music and visuals, Argentinian composer Carolina Heredia’s current research is focused on the production of interactive audiovisual works. A 2015 Fromm Commission recipient, her compositions have been commissioned and performed in the United States and South America by several esteemed musicians and ensembles, including JACK Quartet, Derek Bermel, Alarm Will Sound, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Duo Cortona, Alex Fiterstein, Tesla Quartet, Chiara Quartet, and Khemia Ensemble. Her music has been featured at the SONIC Festival NYC, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowling Green New Music Festival, the Mizzou International Composers Festival, SEAMUS, Strange Beautiful Music, New Music Gathering, Crested Butte Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, and the TIES Toronto International Electroacoustic Festival, among others. Her work Virginia (2015), for solo alto and mixed choir, was awarded the Brehm Prize in choral composition, premiered by the University of Michigan Chamber Choir under the baton of Jerry Blackstone, and is currently published by the Hal Leonard company. Ius in Bello (2014), for clarinet and string quartet, will be released this year on a record by Alexander Fiterstein and the Tesla Quartet on Orchid Classics. In 2018 she became the recipient of the inaugural International New Music Competition John Corigliano Grand Prize for her work Ausencias. In 2019, she was selected as a winner of the Lake George Music Festival Composition Competition for Ausencias. Carolina Heredia moved to the United States in 2009 at 28 years old to pursue graduate education in music composition. She had received a Licenciature in Music Composition from the National University of Villa Maria (Córdoba, Argentina) and graduated from the Violin program at the Córdoba State Conservatory of Music. Before coming to the States, she had also worked as a violinist, arranger, producer, and composer for the Metropolitan Orchestra of Córdoba and was an active part of the popular music scene, performing violin with and recording for several traditional and progressive tango, folk, and rock bands. In 2017, Carolina completed her Doctorate in Music Composition at the University of Michigan, studying with Michael Daugherty, Evan Chambers, Erik Santos, and Kristin Kuster. She was then a 2017-18 postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri School of Music. Currently, she is Assistant Professor in Music Composition and Assistant Director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Heredia’s 2015 Harvard University Fromm Music Foundation Commission supported the creation of her work Ausencias/Ausências/Absences, for string quartet and fixed media, which was premiered by the JACK Quartet in March, 2016. Later that year, she was awarded a one-year fellowship at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities to further develop and extend the work into an intermedia collaboration by adding dance and interactive video, and extending its length from seventeen to thirty minutes. Heredia collaborated with Costa Rican choreographer Sandra Torijano and Interactive Video Engineer Carlos Garcia, as well as the technical team at the Duderstadt Center, including staging, lighting, and sound. The artistic impetus for this work were the final writings of Violeta Parra, Alfonsina Storni, and Ana C. Cesar, three South American poets who took their own lives. In this work, she explores the concept of suicide as an attempt to exercise a capacity for empathy and compassion as well as to destigmatize mental illness.
Heredia founded Khemia Ensemble in 2015 as a contemporary music ensemble that strives to create innovative audiovisual concert experiences involving interactive technology. The ensemble has presented at several venues across the Americas, including National Sawdust (NYC), Trinosophes (Detroit), Radio Nacional and Facultad de Música (Argentina), and Facultad de Artes (Colombia). Khemia has received support from the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, the Eastman School of Music Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research, the University of Michigan, and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.


...like cancer...like fire... | Travis Alford

Bio: Travis Alford (b. 1983) is a composer, trumpeter, improviser, educator, amateur woodworker, dog owner, husband, and father (not exactly in that order). He has worked with a number of ensembles and musicians, including the Meridian Arts Ensemble, the Lorelei Ensemble, Talujon Percussion, ECCE, the Boston New Music Initiative, the North Carolina NewMusic Initiative, Christopher Grymes (clarinetist), Sharon Harms (Soprano), and Benjamin Herrington (trombonist), on the creation and performance of his music, which has been described as "graceful" (NY Times), "truly sublime" (Boston Classical Review), and "overwhelming and other-worldly" (Boston Music Intelligencer). Travis was recently awarded the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2019). Past recognition for his work includes the American Prize in Music Composition (2015), the Sandra Shea Fisher Prize for Exceptional Achievement in the Creative Arts (2014), the League of Composers/ISCM Composers' Prize (2012), and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award (2010).

In addition to his formal studies, Travis has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, New Music on the Point, June in Buffalo, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. He has been a Composer-in-Residence at the North Carolina NewMusic Initiative, the Nief-Norf Summer Festival, the SCI National Conference, and the FSU Festival of New Music.

As a performer (trumpet), Travis is committed to the promotion and conservation of music both old and new, and has performed with the New England Philharmonic, the Boston New Music Initiative, the Equilibrium Concert Series, New Music Brandeis (co-director, 2011-13), The Gentlemen's Very (Very) High Art Society of South Waltham composer/performer/improv ensemble, co-founder and director, 2011-2015), both the brass ensemble and orchestra at Boston's historic Park Street Church (co-founder/director, 2008-2015), the Northeast Italian Band, the Triangle Brass Band, the Tar River Symphonic Band, and the ska/reggae band The Allstonians. As a North Carolina native, Travis can also be found blowing on the harmonica from time to time.

Travis is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory at East Carolina University, where he is also a member of the Faculty Brass Ensemble. Prior to ECU, he held positions at MIT, Brandeis University, and Gordon College. He holds degrees from Brandeis (PhD, Music Composition and Theory, '14), the New England Conservatory (MM '08), and East Carolina University (BM '05), having studied with Yu-Hui Chang, Eric Chasalow, Lee Hyla, Edward Jacobs, David Rakowski, Mark Richardson, Britt Theurer, and Melinda Wagner. Travis and his wife, Lauren, live in Clayton, NC with their son, Owen, and their dog, Toby.


Angel Rock | João Oliveira (call for scores winner)

Program Notes: This piece gets its sound influences in “hard rock” and “progressive rock” music of the eighties. The explosive gestures, contrasting with high pitched sustained notes, try to emulate in my own personal language, some memories I still have in my mind, from those times.

The electronics are used as an expansion of the instruments, acting like a “ghost” of the instrumental gestures. Those “ghost” sounds somehow “distort” the pure instrumental sounds, in the same way my recollections of the rock sounds from the eighties are “distorted” in my memory, because of thirty years of distance.

Angel Rock was commissioned by the Giga-Hertz Award and composed at the SWR studio in Freiburg.

Bio: Composer João Pedro Oliveira holds the Corwin Endowed Chair in Composition for the University of California at Santa Barbara. He studied organ performance, composition and architecture in Lisbon. He completed a PhD in Music at the University of New York at Stony Brook. His music includes opera, orchestral compositions, chamber music, electroacoustic music and experimental video. He has received over 50 international prizes and awards for his works, including three Prizes at Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, the prestigious Magisterium Prize and Giga-Hertz Special Award, 1st Prize in Metamorphoses competition, 1st Prize in Yamaha-Visiones Sonoras Competition, 1st Prize in Musica Nova competition. He taught at Aveiro University (Portugal) and Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). His publications include several articles in journals and a book on 20th century music theory.

www.jpoliveira.com

Mark Vaughan | Private and Public: Political Power in Contemporary Composition | 9:30am

Abstract: The assumption, negotiation, and delegation of power is found in all human relationships from the personal to the global. As a communal and cultural activity, music is not exempt from issues of power. Questions of genre, technique, aesthetic affiliation, extra-musicality, audience interpretation, and institutional support are just a few of the areas where these issues are negotiated. In this paper, I identify three areas of political power in music; the music itself, the institutions that produce the music, and the audience that interprets the music. I divide each of these areas into two dimensions, the private and the public, illustrating that political power in music functions in both an official and unofficial capacity. Following the elaboration of these relationships, I show that the three main areas of the music, the institutions, and the audience form a network of political relationships that shape aesthetic practice and form notions of artistic legitimacy. Following this exposition, I discuss the culture of contemporary classical music composition in the context of these relationships, arguing that the political function of composed music is a compositional parameter that requires the acknowledgement and focused attention of all composers

Bio: Mark Vaughn is a doctoral student in music composition at the University of North Texas. He received his Bachelor's degree in music technology from Montana State University and his Masters degree from UNT. His music has been performed throughout the United States at venues including, ICMC, SEAMUS, NYCEMF, and Electronic Music Midwest.


Joungmin Lee | A Study of Contemporary Music Composition | 10:10am
Technique using Natural Science Data

Abstract: The relationship of music and mathematics are well documented since the time of ancient Greece, and this relationship is evidenced in the mathematical or quasimathematical nature of compositional approaches by composers such as Xenakis, Schoenberg, Charles Dodge, and composers who employ computer-assisted-composition techniques in their work. This study is an attempt to create a composition with data collected over the course 32 years from melting glaciers in seven areas in Greenland, and at the same time produce a work that is expressive and expands my compositional palette. To begin with, numeric values from data were rounded to four-digits and converted into frequencies in Hz. Moreover, the other data are rounded to two-digit values that determine note durations. Using these transformations, a prototype composition was developed, with data from each of the seven Greenland-glacier areas used to compose individual instrument parts in a septet. The composition Contrast and Conflict is a pilot study based on 20 data sets. Serves as a practical example of the methods the author used to develop and transform data. One of the author’s significant findings is that data analysis, albeit sometimes painful and time-consuming, reduced his overall composing time. The variety and richness of data that exists from all academic areas and disciplines conceivably provide a rich reservoir of material from which to fashion compositions. As more composers explore this avenue of work, different methodologies will develop, and the value of works produced by this method will be evaluated.

Bio: Joungmin Lee is a composer, choral conductor, and digital artist. Recently he made two new contracts. One for 'ABANDONED' to be included Pierrot Ensemble Series Vol. 4 discs. in Brno, the Czech Republic with the brilliant Brno Philharmonic. And another one for orchestra work, Sanctuary Tree, with the Czech Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic. Lee’s music has been performed in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and his works have been recognized by the Best Experimental Classical Recording of Clouzine International Music Awards, Gold & Silver Medal-winning composer of Global Music Awards, IBLA grand prize, American Prize, Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award, Prague CD project Award, June in Buffalo, MAR12 Concierto1 Festival Ex Nihilo/Sonosíntesis, NYCEMF, SEAMUS, Keep Composers Weird in Melbourne, Florence String Quartet Competition, Chang-Ak Competition, SIME International Electroacoustic Music Competition, Musinfo Opus-centrum, Connecticut Summerfest, Composer workshop at the Albany Symphony's American Music Festival, AMF, Alba Music Festival Composition Program, RED NOTE, Valencia International Performance Academy & Festival, SPLICE, Florida Contemporary Music Festival, IV Rieti Elettroacustica Festival, Bateau-Lavoir Electroacoustics, Cicada Consort, N_SEME, Radio Transmission Art Pieces, SCI Region Conference. He holds DMA from The Ohio State University, M.M in Music Technology from New York University.


Cullen Burke | Analyzing and Reproducing the Internet Genre Hyperpop | 10:35am

Abstract: Hyperpop is a new and obtuse genre, emerging from the intersection of pitched-up nightcore Youtube videos and surreal dream-like vaporwave satire. Hyperpop’s aesthetic is informed by trans and/or nonbinary artists and themes, and its sound is molded by internet culture of the 2010s. The hallmarks of the genre, including exaggerated production, heavy distortion, and bubbly melodies present unique challenges for creating a novel musical album. The aims of this analysis will be sound and timbre replication, with a focus on genre contextualization within the scope of the internet, meme culture, and the LGBTQ+ community.

Partita in A minor BWV 1013 | J.S. Bach

*Romanze | J. Russo

Il Carnevale di Venezia | L. De Lorenzo

The Gift | Frederic Glesser (call for scores winner)

*Tizzy op. 22 | Roberto Prandin

*L ́Alouette | Glinka/Balakirev/Brailovsky

*Wind Lark | Martin Hebel (call for scores winner)

Yer | John M. Kennedy (call for scores winner)

* dedicated to Rita D'Arcangelo

Bio: Rita D'Arcangelo graduated in flute, with honors, at the Conservatory of Music "L. D'Annunzio " in Pescara (Italy), she then graduated also at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, the International Academy of Music in Milan and the Hochschule fuer Musik in Mannheim. Rita studied with Sir James Galway for many years, following the masterclasses of the Weggis Flute Festival in Switzerland, where she won the gold Nagahara 14K flute headjoint in 2008 and was invited as Guest Artist in 2016.

First prize in numerous international competitions, she made her debut as soloist in 2011 at the Carnegie Hall in New York. She's one of the few flautists to have in repertoire the Concierto Pastoral by J. Rodrigo.  She recorded for the German radios SR2, SWR and WDR, the Japanese National Television NHK and for the Vatican Radio. As a first flute she worked at the "HPAC Orchestra" and the Osaka Philarmonic Orchestra in Japan; Filharmonia Gorzowska, the United Chamber Orchestra and the Kammersolisten der Deutschen Oper Berlin. She's flute teacher at the Department of Music of the German State University BTU – Cottbus, guest lecturer at the "Kansai International Music Academy-KIMA" in Japan and regularly teaches in masterclasses in Japan, Europe and U.S.A.

Rita D'Arcangelo is a Nagahara Flutes Artist and plays on a beautiful instrument crafted expressly for her by Kanichi Nagahara.

Call for Scores Winners Composer Program Notes and Bios


The Gift | Frederic Glesser (call for scores winner)

Program Notes: In late September of 2007 my beloved wife Elizabeth very suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. This tragedy could have happened at any time that day, but it was late afternoon and I was with her at the time of her passing. I have always considered this to be her final gift to me. Mine was the last face she saw, the last voice she heard, and the last touch she felt.

Bio: Frederic Glesser grew up near Toledo, Ohio, where his early musical influences were rock, jazz, and music of the Baroque era. He studied jazz with Gene Parker and had flute studies with Kay Hartsfeld. He was later educated at Kent State University (BMus) in Ohio where he studied composition with James Waters and David Stewart, and studied flute with Raymond DeMattia and Maurice Sharp (former principal flutist, Cleveland Orchestra). His graduate studies where undertaken at the University of Miami (MMus) in Florida where he studied composition with Dennis Kam. Glesser has also been artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Martino. Glesser’s music has been presented at festivals, conferences, broadcasts, and other concert events throughout the U.S., Canada, Eastern Europe, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Argentina, and Brazil. His compositions include works for small to medium ensemble, solo instrumental, and orchestra. Select works are recorded on Albany, ERM Media, North/ South, Zimbel Press, and Phasma (Greece).


Wind Lark | Martin Hebel (call for scores winner)

Program Notes: Wind Lark offers a flourish of intense colors in succinct motives, expressed through a fully chromatic language engaging the entire range of the solo flute. A foray into a smaller world, Wind Lark makes a concise study of intuitive motivic development, detailed voice leading, and elided phrase structures, fitting the expressive potential of a much larger piece into a smaller, more efficient musical envelope.

Bio: Two-time American Prize winner, Martin Hebel composes expressive, emotionally direct music to engage contemporary audiences in exploring shared human experiences like introspection, perception, and the impact of violence through evocative representation.

With discography published by Ablaze Records and Centaur Records, Martin Hebel has collaborated with ensembles across the U.S. and Europe. His catalog includes instrumental and vocal chamber works, orchestral works, and multi-media compositions involving video projection and electronics, combining traditional symphonic forms with his contemporary harmonic language.

Winner of the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music, Martin Hebel’s Symphony No.3 in E Minor: Concert in Three Acts was recorded by Mikel Toms and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, and released internationally by ABLAZE Records.

Martin Hebel received his M.M. in composition from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2018. He graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut in 2015.


Yer | John M. Kennedy (call for scores winner)

Program Notes: “Yer-“ is based on an earlier work of mine called “Lamentations: Hayasdan” originally for sax and marimba. The works are based on the music of Armenia, specifically a recording of Djivan Gasparyan’s duduk performances given to me by an Armenian composer in 1989. The solo work takes fragments of the duo and creates the same mystical and dreamlike intensity that is inherent in Armenian song (called “yerk”). The title comes from a shared prefix for the Armenian words for song, to sing (yerkel), music (yerazhshtut’yun), and dream (yeraz). "Yer-" is dedicated to Rita D'Arcangelo, who premiered it in 2012 in Valletta, Malta, and was recorded on her 2019 CD, "Inspired by Rita D'Arcangelo".

Bio: John M. Kennedy produces an eclectic range of compositions reflecting his early background as a Rock and Jazz bassist. In 2019 “Chaconne-Part 1” was premiered by the French ensemble TM+ and “Meditation and Fury” for solo ‘cello by Maksim Velichkin; and in July 2018 “Breath, Smoke, Crystals” for solo alto saxophone, and “Lamentations: Hayasdan” for alto sax and piano were performed at the 18th World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. His recent publications include “Yer-“ for solo flute on a CD by Rita D’Arcangelo (2019) and “Syrinx: Requies I, D.M.” (2018) in a volume of solo double bass pieces by Recital Music (UK). As a 2017 Fulbright Scholar he taught music composition and seminars on American music at the University of Malta. Since 1994 he has taught at California State University, Los Angeles, where he was honored with an Outstanding Professor Award in 2013. For more information on his work, please visit www.johnmkennedy.net.

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