2008 MidWest Composers Symposium
featuring composers from the Universities of
Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan
Symposium Concert IV
4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, 2008
Clapp Recital Hall
University of Iowa, School of Music
for horn and tape
|Israel NEUMAN (1966) (IA)|
|Jeffrey Agrell, horn|
|Danie's Dance (2007)||Paul DOOLEY (1983) (MI)|
|Jean-Hee Lee, violin
Jeremy Crosmer, violoncello
Ayako Hattori, piano
for flute and non-pitched percussion
|Seth CUSTER (1980) (IA)|
|Cecilia Taher, flute
Megan Aube, percussion
|Song Cycle for Haruki Murakami (2007)||Matt DOTSON (1981) (IA)|
|DVD with 2-channel playback|
|Four Sculptures (2007) for two trumpets
I. Fifteen Feet Closer to the Sky
II. Submarine Egg
III. In Memoriam
IV. Going Up the Down Side
|Eric NATHAN (1983) (IN)|
|Alex Noppe & Nick Volz, trumpets|
|Until the Sea (2007)
for cello and electronic media
|Iddo AHARONY (1978) (IN)|
|Sophie Webber, violoncello|
Notes & Bios
The premises of Turnarounds are rooted in the perception of music as transformation of energy. Potential energy is transformed to kinetic energy with the release of the first statement and with any following event. The ratio between repetition and change determine the effectiveness of energy utilization. Change creates a forward motion; repetition creates only the illusion of motion.
Systematic organization of extended techniques, which are manipulated through various matrix operations, forms fundamental structure of the piece. Both the horn part and the tape part are products of this system. The sound source of the tape is audio recordings of the horn's extended techniques. In two sections of the piece the performer is asked to choose a path within an array of elements presented to him in a cyclic notation. These unpredictable repeated cycles are the inspiration for the title of the piece.
Israel Neuman is a PhD student in composition at the University of Iowa. He received a BMus degree from the University of Hartford, CT, and a MA degree from the University of Iowa. He studies composition with Lawrence Fritts, and he is a former student of David Gompper and John Rapson. He studied bass with Gary Karr, Michael Klinghoffer (Israel), Diana Gannett, Volkan Orhon, and Anthony Cox. He performed and recorded with Robert Paredes, John Rapson, Brent Sandy, Jimmy Green, Wayne Escoffery, and Steve Davis. In 2001 Neuman was commissioned to score music for the documentary film Class 2000 (by Yuval Cohen and Tammy Grosse), which was broadcasted by the Israeli First TV Channel.
Jeffrey Agrell has taught horn at the University of Iowa School of Music since 2000 after a twenty-five year career as Associate Principal Horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra. He has won awards as both a composer and a writer, with some ninety published articles to his credit and many compositions published, recorded, and performed worldwide on concert stages, at festivals and competitions. His research interest is creativity in music, and he teaches a unique course at the university entitled Improvisation for Classical Musicians. He performs and records improvised chamber music; his latest CD is "Mosaic" (MSR Classics). His book "Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians" was just published by GIA Publications.
My mother, Danielle Dugre, often goes by Dani. With encouragement from a friend to compose a piano trio, I decided to write a virtuosic and dance-like one movement piece about my mother's character. A sense of adventure in the development and variations on the opening motive reflects her love for travel and interest in foreign places. Having the opening motive in solo violin seemed fitting given the analog to the image of the perpetually traveling fiddler. Melodic doublings at the 5th in the slow section create a medieval sound, representing her interest in ancient customs and cultures. I picture her enjoying the company of, and feasting with, new friends in foreign lands.
Paul Dooley has been recipient of academic scholarships at the University of Southern California where he earned degrees in composition and mathematics, and at the University of Michigan where he is currently completing his M.M. in composition. He has been performed by the New West Guitar Quartet, The Eclipse String Quartet, and the USC Thornton Symphony. His composition teachers include Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, and Michael Daugherty.
Colloquy, composed in the fall of 2007, was my exploration into the musical elements that could unify this eclectic instrumentation. The form is that of a loose arch, in which the beginning and ending sections feature imitative conversation between the instruments. The main goal of the middle section was to accentuate in the flute the qualities of the percussion instruments, and to find ways to make the percussion more lyrical (like the flute).
Seth Custer (East Grand Forks, MN) grew up studying the saxophone and piano. He received his BM (2004) in saxophone performance from the University of North Dakota, where he studied with Elizabeth Rheude and composition with Michael Wittgraf. He received his MM (2006) in composition from Central Michigan University, studying with composers David Gillingham and Jose Luis Maurtua. He is currently a PhD student of composition and theory at the University of Iowa, where he studies with David Gompper and serves as a teaching assistant in theory and aural skills. Recent commissions include works for saxophone/string quartet, youth orchestra, and flute/harp duet.
Song Cycle for Haruki Murakami
The impetus of this work was four quotes out of Haruki Murakami's novel "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles." The intention was to create a kind of pseudo-narrative out of just these four quotes; creating a new story out of fragments of the original. But beyond this, I wanted each movement of the work to be markedly different, thus depending on the visual presence of the quotes for coherency. Sonically, Murakami's work made it very evident to me that, in the words of his main character, it should be "something concrete" (a phrase he often used to try and make sense out of the baffling world that surrounded him). Thus, the foundation material was derived from several ambient recordings that took place both inside and outside of my apartment in Chicago. These recordings were used to symbolize the "inner" and "outer" worlds; the interactions and tensions between which served to be the conceptual focus of my piece as it likewise was with Murakami. Soloists (cello, drum set, flute, and clarinet respectfully) were added in order to comment on these sonic environments and lend a sense of humanity and drama to the work.
Matthew Dotson is currently pursuing a PhD in Composition at the University of Iowa where he studies with Lawrence Fritts. He has had works performed in Kansas City (Electronic Music Midwest), Mississippi (Electroacoustic Juke Joint), San Diego (NWEAMO), Vancouver (Signal and Noise), Florida (Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival), and Syracuse, New York (Urban Video Project). Internationally, he has had works performed in Poland, Argentina, Brazil and Italy (SoundLAB IV).
Four Sculptures is inspired by four sculptures by Derek Parker.
I. Fifteen Feet Closer to the Sky represents two ascending metal wires that begin conjoined and gradually separate. At the tip of each wire is a metal "paper airplane." The intertwining lines of the two trumpets culminate at the top of the sculpture where a flurry of activity sends the paper airplanes shooting off into the sky until all we can see are receding specks disappearing into the distance.
II. Submarine Egg depicts a submarine in a bird's nest. In conversations with the artist, I learned that the sculpture represents Parker's six years of service in the United States Navy and how the military became his home away from home. The movement references The Star Spangled Banner through fragmentation of the lines "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" and "and the home of the brave."
III. In Memoriam - The movement is loosely inspired by Parker's sculpture, Precipice, which consists of a lone metal chair fastened to a long wooden plank. The minimalist design of the sculpture and isolation of the chair evoke a sense of deep contemplation.
IV. Going Up the Down Side depicts a small boat traveling up the "down side" of a tall metal ramp. The work represents the upward struggle of the tiny boat against the downward force of the metal ramp. Will the boat ever reach the top?
Eric Nathan is currently pursuing a Master of Music in composition at Indiana University where he studies with Claude Baker, Jeffrey Hass, and Sven-David Sandstroem. He received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in music from Yale College where he studied with Kathryn Alexander and John Halle. His music has been performed at the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, as well as by ensembles including the Daejeon Philharmonic of South Korea, Indiana University Symphonic Band and the Syracuse Society for New Music.
Until the Sea The only sound source material used in the electronic portion of the piece is recordings of the cello, played by cellist Sophie Webber. These recordings have been subjected to various computer-generated processes. When starting to compose this piece my initial idea was to have the live cello play simple and somewhat folk-like melodies, while the tape portion (made of processed cello sounds) paints an abstract and other-worldly soundscape. This idea later evolved in diverse ways, yet exploring the relationship between the cello and this tape soundscape remained a central element of the compositional process: how can the cello be reflected upon itself, how can it be set against its own sonorous sub-conscious, what kind of metaphors might be evoked by such a relationship?
Until the Sea is dedicated to the memory of Joseph Dorfman (1940-2006), my first composition teacher. I feel that I will never stop being deeply inspired by his guidance, music and spirit.
Iddo Aharony is a native of Tel Aviv, Israel. His diverse body of work includes pieces for different ensembles and solo instruments, with an emphasis on examining the possibilities presented by the electronic medium. He has also composed for contemporary dance and various theater and multimedia projects. Mr. Aharony's music has been presented and performed by different ensembles, including string orchestras and choirs, in the United States, England and Israel. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he also teaches as a Music Theory Associate Instructor. At Indiana University he had studied with Don Freund, Sven-David Sandstrom and Jeffrey Hass.