2008 MidWest Composers Symposium
featuring composers from the Universities of
Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan
Symposium Concert III
2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, 2008
Clapp Recital Hall
University of Iowa, School of Music
|Southern Songs (2008)
III. Koh Samui
IV. Diamonds are Forever
VI. Sir Humphrey Gilbert
|Ian DICKE (1982) (MI)|
|Joshua Bornfield, guitar|
|Any Questions (2007)
|George MARIE (1983) (IA)|
|Lucie McGee, clarinet
Lembit Beecher, piano
|Violin Sonata No.1 (2007)
|Jeremy SMENT (1976) (IN)|
|Sarah Wangberg, violin
Alexandra Gorlin-Crenshaw, piano
|A la Luz de los Oropesantes-Luceros (2006-7)||Zachary FISCHER (1978) (IA)|
|Jonathon Struve, baritone
Christopher Gainey, guitar
|His Branches Run Over the Wall (2007)||David DeVASTO (1979) (IA)|
|Sam Stapleton, violin
Emmalee Hunnicutt, violoncello
Seong-sil Kim, piano
|Quartet for Four Xylophones (2007)||Max THOLENAAR-MAPLES (1986) (IN)|
|Timothy Crockett, Daniel Morris, Claire Walker and Max Tholenaar-Maples
for woodwind quintet and percussion
|Minpyo KIM (1974) (IA)|
|Hannah Weiss, flute
Stuart Breczinski, oboe
Jen Augello, clarinet
Natalie Adams, horn
Kevin Judge, bassoon
Ginny Armstrong, percussion
Notes & Bios
Southern Songs is a set of six short caricatures for solo guitar. Each movement is loosely based around either the political or musical culture of places below the equator. Throughout the work, I freely interject the rhythms and melodic contours of music from South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The bluesy final movement depicts the fate of Sir Humphrey Gilbert whose ship capsized in 1583 while aimlessly drifting south of Newfoundland.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert (lines 37-44)
Southward through day and dark,
They drift in cold embrace,
With mist and rain, o'er the open main;
Yet there seems no change of place.
Southward, forever southward,
They drift through dark and day;
And like a dream, in the Gulf-Stream
Sinking, vanish all away.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
Ian Dicke creates music that is uniquely representative of today's overlapping musical cultures. His compositional voice emerges from a range of influences including electronica, math-core rock, pop music from Southeastern Asia, and contemporary concert music. The subject matter of Ian's music is often inspired by his passion for environmental issues and politics. His work has received many awards and distinctions including the Jim Highsmith Orchestral Award and a MetLife Creative Connections grant from the Meet the Composer foundation. His music has been presented around the world by a variety of ensembles and festivals including the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop, Capital M, the University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra, 16mm Orchestra, Gamma-UT, 60x60, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. Ian currently studies composition with Michael Daugherty at the University of Michigan.
Sound poet Chris Mann's work explores the texts and gestures of Australian speech, a unique essence that is captured in this work. The resulting material is rich in rhythm and qualities of color, pitch, intonation and emphasis. Any Questions uses snippets of these gestures and elaborates upon them by using various reverberation, pitch-shift, delay, and other transformations available through digital processing.
George Marie has studied composition with Lawrence Fritts, Scott Wyatt, Luke Dahn, and William P. Dougherty. He holds a BMus degree from Drake University and will graduate with an MA degree in composition from Iowa in May 2008. Commissions include projects for voice and percussion, bassoon and tape, and a work for SATB choir to be premiered in Europe this summer.
Violin Sonata, Tango
The third movement of the Violin Sonata entitled "Tango" is the composer's sentimental response to the simultaneous joy and anguish he feels for the tango social scene - a place where people make love at one moment and betray each other the next, where marital affairs are enacted on the dance floor as wives dance cheek to cheek with her husband's mistress in bitter embrace. With red wine and high heels people laugh and love and hate ecstatically in the boughs of passionate tension, legs intertwined with their lovers and bitter rivals.
Jeremy Sment, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Composition at Indiana University under the tutelage of P.Q. Phan. He has studied with David Stock of Duquesne University, and Claude Baker of Indiana University Bloomington, Narcis Bonet, and Michel Merlet of L'Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris along with Philip Lasser of the Juliard School at the European American Musical Alliance. He completed his undergraduate studies in music composition at New Mexico State University. Sment became director of bands in his hometown of Santa Fe before attending Duquesne University where he earned a Master's Degree in 2005.
Sment has enjoyed numerous opportunities to compose. Recently, his works were performed by Eighth Blackbird. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra read Sment's orchestral work entitled Moment 1. His work El Ciclo del Presentimiento was selected for use in an art exhibition in Buenos Aires with the works of Luis Philipe Noe, a renowned Argentinean painter. Sment has received commissions from Pittsburgh Symphony principal bassist, Jeff Turner, IonSound Project, and the Pittsburgh Live Orchestra.
A la Luz de los Oropesantes-Luceros
The text for A la Luz de los Oropesantes-Luceros is a passage from Guatemalan Nobel Laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias' poem Clarivigilia Primaveral, first published in 1965. A surreal evocation of the creation, destruction, and subsequent rebirth of artists by the Mayan gods, the text deals with the perpetual struggle to express the sublime, and reminds us that art is wrought from our humanity - and is likewise wounded, imperfect, profound, and infinite.
Zachary Fischer has studied composition with Stuart Saunders Smith, Gerald Chenoweth, and Charles Wuorinen, and is working towards his Ph.D as a student of David Gompper. He has recently completed a guitar transcription of Robert Erickson's Postcards for Smith Publications in Baltimore.
His Branches Run Over the Wall
I composed this piece after reading the heart-throbbing account of Joseph, the son of Jacob and ancient ruler of Egypt before the time of Moses. Joseph was given the gift of dream interpretation, a gift that not only drove his envious brothers to sell him into slavery, but also led to his inheriting of vast fertile lands in Egypt. The gift was a curse and a blessing all at once. It divided him and prospered him. The title of the piece is taken from Genesis 49:22, where Jacob invokes a blessing for Joseph from his death-bed after being reunited with his long lost son. With this story in mind, it was my aim to create a musical "dreamscape" by using the piano as a resonator box, and create an entanglement of "branches" through both linear and harmonic development. Timbral and textural choices are also given priority at times to aid in this realization of the ideas aforementioned.
David DeVasto is a teaching assistant in the theory and composition area at the University of Iowa where he is studying for his PhD of composition and theory under the guidance of David Gompper. David received his BM at Webster University in St. Louis under the direction of Dr. Kendall Stallings, and his MM at the University of Louisville under the direction of Steven Rouse. David also enjoys performing regularly with various jazz ensembles as a pianist composer and arranger in Iowa, Missouri and Kentucky.
Quartet for Four Xylophones
Max Tholenaar-Maples is currently in the third year of his undergraduate studies in music composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has studied composition with professors P.Q. Phan, Don Freund, Claude Baker, and Jeff Hass. In addition to composing, he has extensive experience as a performing percussionist, playing for countless premieres of IU composers, as well as for the IU New Music Ensemble.
There are many precipitous valleys and ravines in Korea, and often whirlpools occur further upstream. Yeo-Wool-Mok can be translated as "rapids," but it contains a poetic meaning referring to the visual images. In his poem "Yeo-Wool-Mok," Dol Han, a Korean lyric poet, describes the rapids as the point at which the stream of water loses its dream. In the sentimentalism found in the poem, mankind seems to experience unavoidable turning points in their lives. Before the transition, we might feel that our dreams are clearer and more feasible; however, through many unexpected events, our lives can be modified, changed, or matured. The piece starts with very calm introduction and develops more actively to describe the water of a brook. Fast rhythmic gestures in the high register create the sounds of birds that can be heard near the bank of the stream. To express the water of a wider stream, like a tributary to river, wider and deeper, radical musical gestures are employed in the middle. Finally, a slow and peaceful section closes the piece as the stream flows into a deep river.
Minpyo Kim is a native of South Korea. Before coming to Iowa City, he studied with Eunsook Kim and Kuetae Kim at the Mokwon University in South Korea, with Cindy McTee at the University of North Texas, and Jan Radzynski, Donald Harris, and Thomas Wells at Ohio State University. Now he is a pupil of David Gompper in the PhD program and a teaching assistant in Theory in the University of Iowa.