Concert VI

For the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

The Center for New Music
presents a performance by the
Laptop Orchestra of the University of Iowa
Friday, November 07, 2014, 8:00pm
UCC Recital Hall (map)

 

Program

 Laptop Quartet No. 1 (2014)    Jonathan WILSON
   Paul Duffy, Jonah Elrod, Joe Norman and Jonathan Wilson

In this work I focus on spatiality, structure, and various degrees of indeterminacy, where the computer makes some decisions and the performer makes others.
 
 
PRESENTATION I
 
 
 Eco-Location (2014)    Jonah ELROD
  6 laptops
Justin Comer, Paul Duffy, Jonah Elrod,
Joseph Norman, Andy Thierauf, and Jonathan Wilson

This piece explores the spaces in which human generated sounds interact with those created by nature at different times of the day. Recordings were made by the composer in locations around Iowa City, from 1-2pm in the afternoon and from 2-3am in the morning. These recordings are then used as material to be manipulated and processed by the laptop orchestra. In particular, hidden elements of the soundscape are revealed that are otherwise masked or covered over by other frequencies.
 
 Fountains (2014)    Leo IOGANSEN
  2 laptops
Alex Spyrou, Jonathan Wilson
Paul Duffy, iPhone
Leonid Iogansen, violin

The piece is inspired by the concept and the images of fountains. There are many kinds of fountains, some are works of art, some serve a practical purpose of watering plants. Fountains’ spraying water in various directions and with various trajectories is an analogy to the glissandi used in this piece. The work strives to achieve complexity of textures with varying speed, trajectories and register of oscillating glissandi.
 
 Dresses (2014)    Paul DUFFY and Joseph NORMAN
   7 laptops
Paul Duffy, Jonah Elrod, Leo Iogansen, Joe Norman,
Jason Palamara, Andy Thierauf, and Jonathan Wilson

With text drawn from the Charles Bukowski poem Freedom, Dresses seeks to metaphorically represent the transfiguration of Bukowski's narrator. Recitation of text provided musical source material, which was then transformed in order to provide a sonic landscape that will interact with and prepare a live performance of the poem. Coupled with the sounds drawn from the text itself are altered samples taken from live instruments that provide another layer of complexity to the transformative nature of the poem. Form derives from the shape of the text, with elements of contemplation and ambiguity setting the foreground and accumulating changes until the poem's climax is reached. After the transfiguring event has occurred, we then explore the latency intrinsic to the shock of the trauma, which itself seems concurrent with the euphoria of disconnection.
 
 
PRESENTATION II
 
 
 Quirky-Quotidian (2014)    Andrew THIERAUF
   3 laptops and percussion
In this composition, we examine the contents of a letter written by Myron Underwood, assistant surgeon for the 12th Regiment of the Iowa Infantry, on October 19, 1862 to his wife during the Civil War. In his letter he expresses his thoughts of the politics of war and gives his prognostication of its outcome from a philosophical perspective, as a landscape of sadness emerges from the details. These sentiments and abstractions are represented through the interactions between actors and musicians, who will draw out those evocations in their respective roles.
 
 
— Short Intermission —
 
 
 
PRESENTATION III
 
 
 A Dram of War (2014)    Joseph NORMAN and Jonathan WILSON
   Joseph Norman and Jonathan Wilson, fixed media and live electronics
Jacoby Clingman and Jacob Hicks, actors

In this composition, we examine the contents of a letter written by Myron Underwood, assistant surgeon for the 12th Regiment of the Iowa Infantry, on October 19, 1862 to his wife during the Civil War. In his letter he expresses his thoughts of the politics of war and gives his prognostication of its outcome from a philosophical perspective, as a landscape of sadness emerges from the details. These sentiments and abstractions are represented through the interactions between actors and musicians, who will draw out those evocations in their respective roles.
 
 Kypris fragment (2014)    Alexandros SPYROU
  2 laptops
Alexandros Spyrou & Leonid Iogansen
Halle Siepman, narrator
Tallis Strub, dancer, choreographer
Xiaomei Zhu, guzheng

This piece is based on a fragment of poetry by the ancient Greek poetess Sappho (625 BC - 571 BC) which came to light in January 2014 when an anonymous private collector from London submitted a piece of papyrus to Oxford University. The content of the poem is an address to Cyprian Aphrodite to aid Sappho in the pursuit of a beloved.
 
 
PRESENTATION IV
 
 
 Past every exit… (2014)    Jason PALAMARA
   Justin Comer, Paul Duffy, Jonah Elrod,
Joseph Norman, and Jason Palamara

Imagine you are careening down a highway. Once you have passed every exit, is there any hope left to get back to where you began? This piece is played on a Max/MSP patch that I have developed to aid in improvisation with Professor Jennifer Kayle's dance improvisation classes. Jennifer’s knowledge and improvisatory experience has greatly influenced the composition of this piece. I would also like to thank my semester long collaborator, Justin Comer, with whom I have produced hours of unrecorded music while having immense amounts of fun. The patch itself directs the instrumentalists on what to play, and when to play it, and also records the performers and "improvises" along with them, making loops of the recorded material. The piece is globally determined but locally improvised.