Winter 2017 SEAMUS Newsletter
Kevork Andonian’s composition “Of the Dancing of the Spirits at Night” has been released on a CD album titled Aboriginal Inspirations. The instrumentation consists of Native American flute, frame drum, violin, and piano. The flutist is Ron Korb, who was Grammy-nominated in 2016. The other performers are percussionist Dominique Moreau, violinist Ralitsa Tcholakova, and pianist Benjamin Smith. “Of the Dancing of the Spirits at Night” is about the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis. The Canadian government provided funding for this project. All of the pieces on the CD are based on Aboriginal themes.
Brian Belet and Stephen Ruppenthal performed “Andromeda’s Dream,” the second movement from Belet’s System of Shadows (S. Ruppenthal, flugelhorn; B. Belet, Kyma processing), at Menlo Church in Menlo Park, CA, March 23, 2017.
Belet’s composition System of Shadows was published on Stephen Ruppenthal’s CD Flamethrower (Ravello Records, RR7954, March 2017). The CD contains five compositions for trumpet, flugelhorn, and interactive electronics. Belet also served as producer for the CD.
Belet’s composition Summer Phantoms: Nocturne (piano and electronics) was performed by Keith Kirchoff (“The Electroacoustic Piano” concert) at San Jose State University on February 14, 2017.
Julius Bucsis performed a set of original compositions for electric guitar and computer processing at the NSEME 2017, held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in March and at Oscillate: Pittsburg, held in Verona, Pennsylvania, also in March. His composition Stories from an Alien Pond (fixed media) was selected for the DIFFRAZIONI Multimedia Festival 2016, held in Florence, Italy in November, WOCMAT 2016, held in Tauyuan City, Taiwan in December, and the SEAMUS 2017 Conference, held in Saint Cloud, Minnesota in April. Won’t Let Them Keep Me Down (fixed media) was selected for the DIFFRAZIONI Multimedia Festival 2016, held in Florence, Italy in November. My Breath Swept Away by Katmai’s Skies (flute and piano) was selected for the SCI Student National Conference 2016, held in Muncie, Indiana in November. The Dawn of Memory – Awakening of the Ancients (fixed media) was selected for the NSEME 2017, held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in March and for the NYCEMF 2017, held in New York City in June.
Mike Boyd’s user-driven installation that premiered at the 2015 Electronic Music Midwest—Confessional—won the 2016 FETA Prize in Sound Art. Following is an image of the installation’s Max screen, and then description that was in the press release for the prize:
“We’ve all made poor decisions – had one too many drinks, dated the wrong person, overused a credit card, accepted employment at a toxic workplace, and so forth. Some such questionable decisions are artistic in nature. Indeed when looking back on one’s early work, it is easy to have tinges of embarrassment and regret. However, those emotions are often at least partially counterbalanced by feelings of warm nostalgia. I have love/hate feelings about my own early compositions and suspect that many artists have similar relationships with their early output. John Baldessari made this dynamic compellingly tangible in 1970 through his Cremation Project, an undertaking in which he burned all of his paintings, baked some of the resulting ashes into cookies, and publicly announced the act in a newspaper as a sort of obituary. Viewing some of these cookies/ex-paintings several years ago I felt that Baldessari’s approach to his previous work, simultaneously embracing, annihilating, and remaking, was a fitting way to let go of one’s artistic past.
“Confessional is a user-driven installation that provides the opportunity for composers to briefly take pleasure in and then (symbolically) destroy one of their dubious creations. This process is accomplished with a computer (running Max or Max Runtime) and a recording provided by the user that is processed live. The audio processing unfolds in stages and mirrors the phases of animal decomposition: fresh, bloat, active decay, advanced decay, and dry remains. Through this series of transformations, the user’s piece transitions from its original state to nearly imperceptible bits of noise. Users may also log this activity into an official registration book, and they may create and take home a frameable certificate commemorating the destruction. Any other way(s) that a user wishes to document the event are encouraged (“selfies,” social media announcements, etc.), and a Facebook page is provided to collect such documentation. For score-based works, implements will be provided to facilitate the physical destruction of scores: paper shredder or scissors for indoor venues, a fire pit or barbecue grill for outdoor venues (if allowed).”
For additional information about Confessional and Michael Boyd, please visit:
News from Kyong Mee Choi:
Water Bloom II for orchestra will be premiered by the Chicago Composers Orchestra conducted by Allen Tinkham on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
at St. James Episcopal Cathedral. For this concert, Chicago Composers Orchestra will be collaborating with the Chicago Composers’ Consortium (c3), a grass-roots organization of composers dedicated to creating new music in Chicago. The performance will feature a collection of works by c3 members expressing a wide range of representations, impressions, and responses to life in Chicago.
rare yet soft for electronics will be presented at the 2017 National Conference of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the Ritsche Auditorium at St. Cloud State University. rare yet soft explores the subtlety of quoted thematic material.
This piece also will be presented at the Chicago Electro-Acoustic Music Festival on April 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University. This festival features works by Chicago College of Performing Arts composition students, Elainie Lillios, featured guest composer, and the members of Chicago Composers Consortium, Beth Bradfish, Kyong Mee Choi, Timothy Edwards, Kathleen Ginther, Timothy Ernest Johnson and Elizabeth Start.
To Unformed for piano and electronics will be performed by Aitor Lasa in Musikene, San Sebastián, Spain on April 5, 2017 at 7 p.m. This piece is inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, No Death, No Fear. He describes life and death by saying, “When conditions are sufficient we manifest and when conditions are not sufficient we go into hiding.” To Unformed attempts to depict Thich Nhat Hanh’s idea musically by using the same musical material to express Hahn’s idea of “manifestation” and “hiding”.
Im Nebel for baritone and large ensemble was performed by the Illinois Modern Ensemble conducted by Stephen Taylor featuring soloist Ricardo Sepulveda at the UIUC New Music Ensemble concert on March 31, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. This piece uses the text by Hermann Hesse’s Im Nebel. The piece is dedicated to composer’s beloved father, Soon Bong Choi. This concert will also feature 30-minute opera by one of Illinois’ doctoral composition candidates, presenting a special collaboration between the Lyric Theatre and the Illinois Modern Ensemble.
rare yet soft for electronics was presented at the Rocky Mountain Chapter Conference of The College Music Society at ENMU Buchanan Hall, Eastern New Mexico University on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. The concert features works by Olga Harris, Mark Dal Porto, Gregory J. Mertl, Dominic Dousa and Kyong Mee Choi.
Im Nebel for baritone and large ensemble was premiered by the Illinois Modern Ensemble conducted by Carlos Carrillo featuring soloist Ricardo Sepulveda at the Faculty Composition Recital on March 15, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature works by Adam Nieman, Stacy Garrop, Stuart Folse, Teddy Niedermaier, Timothy Ernest Johnson and Kyong Mee Choi.
Slight Uncertainty is Very Attractive was performed by Jill DeGroot at the Symphony Center Buntrok Hall for a benefit concert on International Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 11 a.m. as well as at Narloch Piano Studios (4636 N Francisco Ave) on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 8:30 p.m.
Ferdinando DeSena is looking forward to the following performances:
April 6, 2017 – Lasting Virtue for flute and viola, at May 4, 2017 on a Chamber Cartel concert part of the Sound Now Festival in Atlanta GA
April 18, 2017 – Harp Dance for two harps by Duo Scorpio at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY
April 30, 2017 – Spalding’s Bounce for tenor sax, cell and piano, on Zimmermann’s Cafe at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, Lake Worth, FL
May 4, 2017 – Harp Dance for two harps, at Compositum Musicae Novae Transitions Event, Miami.
May 20 2017 – Secrets for Free for flute and electronic sound, on CMN Composers Forum, Miami Fl
The University of California, Irvine hosted another in its series of Saturday Academy educational outreach sessions on Digital Music Production for high school students. The theme of this session was “Making Beats” taught by guest artist Val Jeanty (a.k.a. Val-Inc.) with SEAMUS members Christopher Dobrian (Professor of Music), Josh Simmons and Alex Lough (Ph.D. students in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology)
Robert Fleisher (Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois University) continues to receive performances in the U.S. and abroad of several musique concrète experiments from his teens (c. 1970): Loretto Alfresco, Altro Alfresco, and Dans le piano (premiered respectively at NYCEMF 2009, SEAMUS 2011, and EMM 2012). In 2016, these three works received seven performances at four venues: ÆPEX (Ann Arbor, MI), Concrete Timbre (Brooklyn, NY), Cicada Consort (Tuscaloosa, AL), and Forum Wallis Swiss Contemporary Music Festival/Ars Electronica (Leuk, Switzerland). Altro Alfresco appears in the winter 2017 issue of the online journal of prose and music, ink&coda. Fleisher’s acoustic works also continue to receive performances, premieres (in the U.S. and Greece during 2016) and recordings, including Ma mère (Ovidiu Marinescu, cello) on Moto Continuo (Navona, 2015), and Beginning & Ending (Iwona Glinka, flute) on One Minute (Sarton, 2017). Other recent performance venues have included the Univ of Northern Colorado (Open Space festival), Univ of Puget Sound (CMS), Pearson Lakes Art Center/Okoboji, IA (Grit Collaborative), Northern Illinois Univ, West Chester Univ, and Weill Recital Hall (NYC). Fleisher’s 1971 interview with composer Cecil Effinger (1914-1990) appears in the winter issue of Sigma Alpha Iota’s quarterly journal, Pan Pipes.
Mike Frengel’s book The Unorthodox Guitar: A Guide to Alternative Performance Practice (Oxford University Press, 2017) was released on March 7. The book details extended performance techniques and instrumental preparations, along with practical strategies for incorporating a computer into a guitar rig while preserving the tone and innovative ideas about sound projection in live contexts.
Virtuoso trumpet player Andrew Kozar premiered Orlando Jacinto Garcia’s new work for trumpet and amplified resonant bodies (in this case grand piano) on April 6 as part of the New Music Miami Festival. The concert took place at FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios at 7:30 PM.
Guitarist Federico Bonacossa premiered his new work for classical guitar and fixed media, quasi chitarra on Sunday, February 26 as part of the Miami International Guitart Festival held at Florida International University and again on Wednesday April 5 as part of a concert of new works for guitar and electronics presented by the Subtropics Festival and held at the Audiotheque on Miami Beach.
Stadluft Macht Frei for video and electronics (with video images by Jacek Kolasinski) was presented on November 16 at 4:00 PM at the Casa de las Americas in Cuba as part of the Festival de Musica Contemporanea de la Habana a festival of new music from around the world.
Pianist/composer Keith Kirchoff has been touring his Electroacoustic Piano Program throughout the United States featuring the works of several SEAMUS members. Since January, he has been a guest artist at the University of North Carolina in Pembroke, University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, CCRMA at Stanford University, University of California in Santa Barbara, Cal State University in Northridge, West Virginia University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Florida, and the University of South Florida, and together with the SPLICE Ensemble, was a featured performer at the SCI National Conference at Western Michigan University. Featured on these recital programs have been works by Brian Belet, Christopher Biggs, Ryan Carter, Jon Fielder, Christopher Jette, Katharina Klement, Liviu Marinescu, Ryan McMasters, Caroline Louise Miller, Brian Riordan, Robert Seaback, Brian Sears, David Taddie, Dan Tramte, and Dan VanHassel.
Composer/performer Fernando Laub [Flaub] was recently interviewed by The Infidel Network. Access via the following link:
Robert Matheson recently formed and then led the Dixie Electro-Acoustic Performance (D.E.A.P.) ensemble in its first concert on Friday, 3/31 in the Eccles Mainstage theater at Dixie State University. The ensemble performed new works by DSU students and faculty.
Charles Nichols‘ piece Wunderkammer, for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and computer music was premiered by the PEN Trio, at Fairmont and West Virginia Universities, February 6 and 7. Nichols premiered his structured improvisations Eulogy (Risset), for controllers, computers, and video, and Anselmo, for electric violin, electronics, and computers, with video artist and computer musician Jay Bruns, at the Root Signals Festival at Georgia Southern University, February 10. His cowritten paper “Genesis of the Cube: The Design and Deployment of an HDLA-Based Performance and Research Facility”, edited by Eric Lyon and cowritten with Terence Caulkins, Denis Blount, Ico Bukvic, Michael Roan, and Tanner Upthegrove, was published in the Computer Music Journal, Volume 40, Issue 4. Nichols premiered his composition What Bends, for electric violin and interactive computer music, accompanying narrated poetry, motion capture dance, animation, and processed video, with poet and narrator Ericka Meitner, dancer Rachel Rugh, and video artist Zach Duer, in conjunction with the Extreme Appalachia: Annual Appalachian Studies Conference, in the 138 speaker spatial audio, 360º video projection, and motion capture systems of the Cube in the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, March 11. His piece Epimetheus Gift, for amplified bassoon. computer, and Ambisonics, will be performed by bassoonist Steve Vacchi, at the SEAMUS conference and Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre Festival (BEAST FEaST), April 20 and 29.
On March 20th, Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) held the Performing Media Festival [PMF~]. The festival welcomed guest artists the Mnemosyne Quartet and PhEAD (the Philadelphia Electro-Acoustic Duet) featuring SEAMUS members Ryan Olivier and Andrew Litts. The festival was a showcase of live multimedia art works by the guest artists and the faculty and students from IUSB’s Raclin School of the Arts.
Stephen Ruppenthal has a new CD out on Ravello Records titled “Flamethrower.” The CD includes premiere recordings of works written for him by
Allen Strange, Brian Belet, Elainie Lillios, and Bruno Liberda. Here’s the website for the release:
A recent podcast on Classical Music Discoveries dedicated an entire episode of their podcast to FLAMETHROWER.
Adam Vidiksis was recently named the American Composers Forum Steven R. Gerber Composer in Residence for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. He was also recognized as a Conwell Entrepreneurial Fellow for his work on the faculty of Temple University. Vidiksis joined his fellow performers in SPLICE Ensemble—Sam Wells and Keith Kirchoff—and his students from BEEP, Heather Mease, Michael Tan, and Skyler Hagner, in a performance headlining the Andy Warhol exhibition gala opening at the MWOODS contemporary art museum in Beijing, China this past August. This event was attended by over 3000 people, had a live-stream of over half a million viewers, and was the featured article in New York Times T Magazine. In the fall, Vidiksis was a featured performer at various festivals and concerts including, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Orchestra 2001, and in residence at Ryder Farm in New York with Renegade Theater Company. Other performances include Original Gravity in Boston, Davidovsky’s 10 Syncronisms in Philadelphia, and Rutgers University’s Electric Café in Camden, NJ. In December, Ensemble Mise-En premiered his new chamber work, Deep Inelastic Scattering, at a concert in Brooklyn featuring a solo set of music by Vidiksis for the first half of the concert.
Adam Vidiksis joins his trio, SPLICE Ensemble, members Sam Wells and Keith Kirchoff, and BEEP students, Heather Mease, Michael Tan, and Skyler Hagner in the gala opening of the Andy Warhol exhibition at the MWOODS contemporary art museum in Beijing, China.
John Villec presented a concert of Multimedia works by SEAMUS members in November as part of the 2016 CSU, Sacramento Festival of New American Music. Works presented were composed by Michael Rhoades, Kyong Mee Choi, Elainie Lillios, John Villec, Sylvia Pengilly, Charles Nichols, Jeffrey Hass, Jerod Sommerfeldt, and Dennis H. Miller.
Mart Gentilucci is currently completing a six-month artist residency at IRCAM where she is conducting research on the female singing voice, particularly the micro and macro evolution-in-time of vibrato, tremolo and their extended-techniques variations.
She presented her research on January 30, 2017. More information about her project is available at: