Composers Workshop
Concert IV

Composers' Workshop

the first concert in Season 51 of UI composers' recent works
adjudicated and chosen by their peers

Sunday, October 23, 2016, 7:30 p.m. at the Concert Hall
Read the concert preview

Program

Ys, for clarinet solo
Paul DUFFY [BIO]
Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet
Originally written for the University of Iowa’s 24+24 concert, Ys was guided structurally by a simple trajectory of pitch material expansion. The first passages are restricted to C4; contrast is provided only by dynamics, rests, and two eighth-tones. As the piece progresses, further microtonal deviations are combined with rhythmic agitation to create a drive outward from C4, eventually allowing pitch differentiation to become the primary source of contrast. As expanded pitch material becomes the norm, however, the contrasting role returns to dynamics, rests, and microtones; air noise also provides contrast as material that sounds but is nearly devoid of pitch.
Signals and Systems
Luke KOTTEMANN [BIO]
Amalia Helmkamp and Andrew Willette, violins
Gregory Bowen, viola
Doron Tsachor, violoncello
The inspiration for this piece came from a desire to incorporate concepts I learned in a Linear Systems course into a musical composition. Signals and Systems, for string quartet, is my attempt to accomplish this. Linear Systems is a field of study that influences things such as data processing and sampling theory, which makes many of the uses of computers possible. Signals and Systems explores the concepts taught in these courses.
Expanded Shapes, for alto sax, viola and piano
Carlos TORO-TOBÓN [BIO]
Jose Barrientos, alto saxophone
Leonardo Perez, viola
Alejandra Escobar, piano
Ho Yin Kwok, conductor
In this piece a distinctive envelope of each one of the instruments served as a model to establish rhythmic, dynamic and texture parameters. These sound shapes were segmented, reversed, and rearranged and their underlying characteristics were used in different sections of the work to create and transform the musical material.
Suspended Notions
Nima HAMIDI [BIO]
Jenna Ferdon, violin
Varinia Oyola Rebaza, viola
Elizabeth Fleissner, oboe
Concepts are instances of instability. Relativity of time might be a mean for expression or interpreted in a shape of visualized meaning. A musical gesture is an individual concept. However, it earns it’s meaning in relation to surroundings. Although abstract concepts can be presented in a variety of art forms, they may be identical. Suspended Notions is a sonic realization of visualized thoughts detached from time. Physical density forms musical expression, effecting dynamic, and orchestration, while time receives its essence from the realization of this density.
— Intermission —
go or cross over
Christine BURKE [BIO]
Christine Burke, piano
Elizabeth Fleissner, oboe
Keegan Hockett, bassoon
Carlos Cotallo Solares, amplification
In “go or cross over”, the piano becomes prepared throughout the piece in an effort to understand qualities of the double reed sound.The bassoonist and oboist play with their bells positioned towards the soundboard of the piano to create a more extended and homogenous sound world within the resonance of the piano.
    Because of the performer’s proximity to this resonance, their experience of the total sound world is significantly different than that of the audience. This adds an extra element to the existing performer-audience relationship, which I chose to examine by using microphones to occasionally reveal the performer’s sonic experience to the listener in the audience.
Ataktos Errimmena, for piano 6 hands
Alexandros SPYROU [BIO]
Hongwei Cai, Xuan Kuang and Peng Zhang, pianos
Ataktos Errimmena is a phrase found in Xenophon’s Memorabilia and roughly translates to “disorderly dropped”. In this piece each pianist performs six collections of fragments which are “disorderly dropped” in a series of metric taleas. In section A all three pianists are uncoordinated and play in fluctuating tempo. In section B there are three formations each one consisting of a pair of coordinated pianists and a pianist playing in fluctuating tempo. In part C all three pianists are fully coordinated.
The Burning Babe
Jared HEDGES [BIO]
Christopher Nakielski, tenor
Darron Carr, percussion
As a 16th century English Jesuit, the Metaphysical poet Robert Southwell led a life of intense and persecuted devotion. In his sonnet “The Burning Babe,” Southwell contrasts extremes of high allegory, violent imagery, and great reverence, all to create a very unusual Christmas poem. I have tried to honor these jagged contradictions in my setting for the unfamiliar pairing of tenor and percussion.
As I in hoary Winters night stoode shyveringe in the snowe
Surpris’d I was with sodayne heat, which made my hart to glowe
And lifting upp a fearefull eye to vewe what fire was nere
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the ayre appeare
Who scorched with excessive heate such floodes of teares did shedd
As though his floodes should quench his flames, which with his tears were fedd.
Alas, quoth he, but newly borne in fiery heates I frye
Yet none approach to warme their hartes or feele my fire but I.
My faultles brest the furnace is, the fuell woundinge thornes
Love is the fire and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scornes;
The fewell Justice layeth on and Mercy blowes the coales,
The metall in this furnace wrought are mens defiled soules
For which as nowe on fire I am to worke them to their good
So will I melt into a bathe to wash them in my bloode.

With this he vanisht out of sight and swiftly shronke awaye
And straight I called unto mynde, that it was Christmas daye.