NACUSA 2010 National Festival
Hosted by Cascadia Composers
March 10-12, 2010, Portland, Oregon
A THREE DAY FESTIVAL OF MUSIC ON THE EDGE
Concerts of contemporary classical concert hall music by composers
from around the country and the Cascadia region with one of
Portland’s premiere contemporary music ensembles fEARnoMUSIC
and guest musicians plus FREE lecture-presentations
by featured composers.
Click composer/performer name for website link,
composition for program notes and biography.
8pm, Wednesday, March 10
Sherman Clay & Moe’s Pianos (map)
131 NW 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209
Bonnie Miksch – Man Dreaming Butterfly Dreaming Man for violin and piano (video)
Inés Voglar – violin, Jeff Payne – piano [fEARnoMUSIC]
Christopher Penrose – Sextuple Entendre (audio)
John G. Bilotta – Petroushka Dreams for clarinet, cello, and piano(video)
Barbara Heilmair – clarinet, Diane Chaplin – cello, Christopher Schindler – piano
8pm, Thursday, March 11
The Old Church (map)
1422 SW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97201
Elizabeth Blachly-Dyson – High Fructose Corn for mezzo-soprano and piano (video)
Sweet, Wii-Mote, Lend Me an Ear-bud, Dysfunctional, Recycle
Emily Zahniser – soprano, Jeff Payne – Piano [fEARnoMUSIC]
Trent Hanna – A Tiburon Panorama I, II, III and IV for piano (video)
Trent Hanna – piano
J.K. Chang – OM – video with stereo audio playback
8pm, Friday, March 12
The Old Church (map)
Ingrid Stölzel – The Road is All for violin, cello and piano (video)
Justin Mackewich – violin, Cary Lewis – piano, Diane Chaplin – cello
Andrew Seager Cole – Sound, Timbre and Density III for flute with stereo audio playback* (video)
Tessa Brinckman – flute
Douglas Ovens – Improvisation #6 for percussion with stereo audio playback (video)
Douglas Ovens – electronics
Dan Senn – Prague Songs – world premiere (video)
The Gathering, Lonely Child, The Chubby Little Czech, The Belle from Brno
Inés Voglar – violin, Joël Belgique – viola, Nancy ives – cello;
Joel Bluestone – marimba, Laura Wayte – soprano[fEARnoMUSIC]
* NACUSA Student Competition Winner
All sessons held at:
Sherman Clay & Moe’s Pianos (map)
131 NW 13th Avenue Portland, OR 97209
Day One: Wednesday, March 10
11:00 am-12 noon – Tomas Svoboda
Performs at the piano, selections from his soon-to-be-released CD: “Charms” for harp (video).
12:00 noon – lunch
1:30-3:30 pm – Gary Noland
Discusses his ninety-minute work in progress: “39 Variations on an Original Theme” for piano (Op. 96)
with pianist Kaori Katayama Noland performing selected variations (video) and pianist Ruta Kuzmickas
performs Noland’s “Etude” from his “Twenty Piano Pieces” Op. 1, a West Coast Premiere (video).
Lee Hopkins, lyric soprano,will sing “Verborgenheit,” a setting of a poem by Eduard Möricke
as accompanied at the piano by Josephine Pohl (video).
4:00-5:00 pm – Greg Steinke
A brief discussion of the images used in Santa Fe Trail Echoes and of other images used
in other compositions. Discussion will be illustrated with brief musical examples.
Day Two: Thursday, March 11
11:00 am-12 noon – Jack Gabel
THE FALL ’01 – video presentation & discussion about scoring dance-theatre
into film on the empire at the precipice of its fall.
12:00 noon – lunch
1:30-2:30 pm – Jeff Winslow
The Art Song Buzz – one view from Cascadia – What composer
can resist writing a song? There’s a new burst of creativity hidden well
away from the top of the charts. Come hear mine, in songs of love, loss, and liars.
Vocalists Darcy Du Ruz (video), Nancy Wood (video)(video)(video)(video)(video)
and Jeff Winslow perform (video).
3:00-4:00 pm – David Bernstein
Presentation of AS SNOW BEFORE A SUMMER SUN, a video from live performance
of oratorio inspired by Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.”
4:00-5:00 pm – Tan Hainu
“The Natural Sights and Sounds Flowing in Sound of Wind”
Tan uses Expressionist gesture and technique in this quintet to present the aesthetic
feelings of purity and beauty and to create music as a metaphor to depict human life.
Day Three: Friday, March 12
11:00 am-12 noon – Keith Clark
“Vienna’s Sacred Spring: The Path to Wozzeck” Keith Clark previews this summer’s Northwest
premiere of Wozzeck at the Astoria Music Festival and discuses aspects of Berg’s masterpiece:
Büchner’s remarkable play Woyzeck, the social milieu of Jugendstil Vienna, the classical forms,
Leitmotifs, and religious themes in Wozzeck, and a glance at “the other Wozzeck” by Manfred Gurlitt,
premiered just four months after Berg’s opera but now forgotten despite its high quality.
12:00 noon – lunch
1:30-2:00 pm – Steve Ettinger
Discusses The Art of Grace, a social services pomotional video
and exchange about scoring for short films.
The above lecture-presentations with performances by composers
are funded in part through Meet the Composer’s
MetLife Creative Connections program(more).
TICKETS AT THE DOOR
$20 general admission, $15 seniors, $10 working artists, $5 students
Children under 13 admitted free, students must show ID.
Senior series $40; working artist series $25; student series $10
Martin Blessinger – Duo for Saxophone and Piano*
This piece was composed for and is dedicated to saxophonist Jeff Heisler at Bowling Green
State University. The opening saxophone ostinato serves as a unifying element across the
duo, which unfolds in three large sections (Lively – Relaxed – Tempo Primo).
Martin Blessinger is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at
Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. He holds a D.M in music composition from the
Florida State University, where he studied with Ladislav Kubik and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, as well
as undergraduate and masters degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook,
studying with Sheila Silver and Perry Goldstein. Prior to TCU, he worked as a Lecturer in Music
Theory at the Ithaca College School of Music. His music has been performed throughout the United
States and abroad, and he has won several awards, most recently Second Prize
in the 2008 NACUSA Young Composers Competition.
David Cortello is a veteran of the New Orleans band scene, composer and choral
director. He is a graduate of the University of New Orleans, and an MM Composition candidate
at Louisiana State University. His compositions include Catholic liturgical music, contemporary
music for solo and small ensembles, orchestral music, rock and blues. More recent
performances include two electronic compositions, “Digital Quartet”, and “Digital Construction”,
and an orchestral work, “For Orchestra.”
Mark Vigil – Five Preludes for Violin and Piano
The seeds of design for all five of the preludes sprang from my “discovery” of the
existence of a theory book which briefly and beautifully presents the exciting topic of “20th century
harmony” and the use of hexatonic scales. The book, “Twentieth Century Harmony—Creative Aspects
and Practice,” was published by Vincent Persichetti in 1961. The chapter on scales was of particular
interest to me. In this chapter, Mr. Persichetti describes the three most common hexatonic scales
their theory and their use. The three hexatonic scales are the Six-Tone Symmetrical, the Prometheus
and the Prometheus Neapolitan. The best use of these scales is primarily for melodic writing. What’s
interesting is the harmonies need to be non-scaler and independent of the hexatonic pitch collection
(so, pretty much anything goes harmonically). The goal is to avoid monotony. The end
result is a unique sense or flavor of polytonality. The 1st, 3rd and 5th preludes are
designed to be fast. The 2nd and 4th preludes are slow and lyrical.
Mark Vigil (b. 1954) was born in Spokane, Washington and has long had a love for music.
In 1981 he received a Bachelor’s degree in piano and composition from The Cornish College
of the Arts in Seattle where he studied piano with Corri Celli and Jessie Parker and composition
with Janice Giteck. In 1996 he received a Master’s degree in composition from the University of
Oregon School of Music in Eugene where he studied with Robert Kyr and Hal Owen.
He currently studies with the Portland composer Tomas Svoboda.
Nick Sibicky – Fireflies for stereo audio playback alone
There are intimate worlds that can be found all around us if we only look for them.
When we were children, we giddily explored these fantastic worlds without thinking
or hesitating; only pausing in our explorations and imaginations when adults
called on us to go eat dinner or go to bed. I believe it to be very sad that these
worlds are gradually becoming more and more foreign to me as I mature.
Music should light up the air around you, fly around your head, and make you
chase it into deep the night. It should mimic the naive adventures of youth and allow
people to forget that they are adults.
Nick Sibicky (b. 1983) – Nick graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition
from the The Hartt School of Music at the age of 19 and completed a Master’s degree
there two years later. He has studied with composers Ingram Marshall, Donald Grantham,
Russell Pinkston, James Sellars, Joseph Turrn, Stephen Gryc, Ken Steen, Dan Welcher,
Robert Carl, and the Emmy-Award winning Jim Chapdelaine. He is currently a doctoral
candidate at the University of Texas at Austin.Nick has been commissioned for a wide
variety of music by performers including pianist Marcel Worms (Blues for Zephyr),
The Tipping Point Saxophone Quartet (Life and Afterlife), The Hartford Symphony Orchestra
(orchestration: Mountain Spring Road), The Goldspiel/Provost Guitar Duo (Fourteen) and
Spetrino Pictures (film score: Ringolivio). He has taught electronic music at the University
of Texas as an assistant instructor for three years. He currently holds a tenure-track
teaching position at Edmonds Community College near Seattle, WA.
Alden Jenks – Ghost Songs for soprano and piano
These songs were written between 2004 and 2007, using poems by a poet whose
work I have set several times over the years. His grave levity — or light gravity —
appeals to me enormously, although the first, “Night Picnic”, is indisputably creepy.
I hope the music speaks for itself. As usual I had no idea how to compose when
I began, and gradually discovered a way.
Alden Jenks is professor of composition and Director of the Electronic Music and
Recording Studios at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His music has been performed
in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world. He was born in Michigan, attended
Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley, from which he received BA and M.A.
degrees. He studied composition with Darius Milhaud, Ben Weber, Andrew Imbrie, and
Karlheinz Stockhausen; he studied piano with Robert Helps and Barbara Shearer; and
after his academic work was completed he worked closely with David Tudor and John Cage
in several workshop and performance presentations. He collaborated with the Canadian
composer Martin Bartlett in “Deus ex Machina” — a touring performance ensemble utilizing
home-made electronics in eccentric and sometimes noisy compositions. He was then hired
to develop the electronic music studio at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
(a position he continues to hold — he has also taught a wide variety of courses there in
music theory and history). Soon after joining the Conservatory he taught a summer course at
the Buddhist University, the Naropa Institute, in Boulder, Colorado. (At his invitation John Cage
appeared in a now notorious performance of his piece “Empty Words”, at which a riot broke out!).
Several of his own works were performed the same summer. Later he was invited to present
several performances in the Vancouver area with composer John Adams, with music by both
composers. He collaborated with Efrem Lipkin, well known systems designer, in
the creation of the “Grand Canonical Ensemble”, an ambitious digital synthesizer.
In 1989 he was invited as guest composer at the Vatinee School of Music in Bangkok,
Thailand; and in 2001 he was featured guest composer, lecturer and performer at the 7th Pusan
Electronic Music Association festival. His work includes electronic music for recorded
media alone and with live performers, and a significant body of music for live performers
alone as well. He has composed music for concert, theatre, dance, video and CD-ROM.
Among his theatre credits are music for “Femme Fatale”, “Mummermusic”, and
“Those Long Canadian Winters”. His work for video includes music for a play broadcast
on cable, “Houses of Mud and Rock”, and music for a prize-winning instructional video,
“West Meets East”. Works for dance include “And the Winner Is….” and “Ohio”. His electronic
work “Nagasaki” was awarded a prize at the Bourges Festival in 1983, and his work
for two pianos, “Marrying Music” was Winner of “Diploma and Medal” from the 3rd
Viotti-Valsesia International Music Competition in 1983. He has twice been recipient of
grants from the American Composers Forum, and has received support
as well from the American Music Center.
Bonnie Miksch – Man Dreaming Butterfly Dreaming Man for violin and piano
“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering higher and thither, to
all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware
that I was Chou. Soon I awoke and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know
whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am
now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
– Chuang Tzu, Chou Dynasty
Bonnie Miksch, a composer and performer whose music embraces multiple musical universes,
creates both acoustic and electroacoustic works. She is passionate about music which moves beyond
abstract relationships into the boundless realm of emotions and dreams. An avid consumer of musical
possibilities, she strives to create coherent musical environments where diverse musical elements can
coexist. Her computer music and vocal improvisations have been heard in Asia, Europe, Canada, and
throughout the United States. Lately, she has been busy creating collaborative video works with husband
Christopher Penrose. Every tendril, a wish, a recording of her electroacoustic music, will soon be released on
North Pacific Music. On most days she can be heard whistling or singing in the halls at Portland
State University where she teaches composition, theory, and computer music.
Eric Asimov on Sextuple Entendre: “Experiencing Sextuple Entendre is much akin to
visiting a thoroughly imaginary, decadent salon. Consider the following regimen: while hovering
in gently stirring air, you are smeared with luscious oil by way of silky sponges and ginger strokes.
You begin to drift and fall; soon you find that you are inside a vast porous maze with an enticing scent.
It is uncanny — you are inside a vast mountain of fine cheese. The maze walls begin to gently throb
and squirt in complex rhythm and you begin to glide and surge through these willing, undulating
pores — your body exquisitely massaged by your passage. Some pores fit your entire body contour
so tightly that you inch through them ever so slowly while experiencing the thrill of intense
viscous suction. You lunge, spin and turn until you are in a decadent trance.”
When Christopher was 17 years old, his high school marching band got to parade through
Disneyland’s Main Street USA in Anaheim, California. Christopher was out of step for only 3 or 4 bars
of the chosen march, National Emblem. His band director did not notice the temporary lapse, as he was
taken with his band’s unusually triumphant esprit de corps they delivered that beautiful day.
Christopher played an embellished version of the oboe part on his marching xylophone at his
usual fortissimo. His mother would have been rightfully proud should she been able to stand
with the others lining Disney’s 3/4 scale Main Street. As a reward, Christopher was hired
as a visiting professor at Brown University’s Music Department headquartered
in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
John G. Bilotta – Petroushka Dreams for clarinet, cello, and piano
Commissioned by the Chamber Mix ensemble for its May 2006 concert, Petroushka
Dreams is an homage to Stravinsky, whose 125th birthday occurred in May, 2007.
I imagine Petroushka, who was murdered at the end of Stravinsky’s ballet, existing
now in a timeless slumber. He dreams of dancing with the ballerina and of winning her
love. They are surrounded by the music of a Saraband, a slow, stately, and ancient dance.
He tries to coax her into dancing with him, but as the melody appears, we realize what
an awkward, jagged character it has—like Petroushka himself. The dance continues, shifting
in mood, often abruptly. Inexplicably, the ballerina disappears while the dance spins out
of control. Like his brief life as a man, Petroushka’s dream too is a failure.
John G. Bilotta was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, but has spent most his life in the
San Francisco Bay Area where he studied composition with Frederick Saunders. His works
have been performed by Rarescale, Earplay, Chamber Mix, Oakland Civic Orchestra,
Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, Talea Ensemble, Avenue Winds, San Francisco
Cabaret Opera Company, Kiev Philharmonic, Boston Metro Opera, San Francisco Composers’
Chamber Orchestra, Boston String Quartet, VocalWorks, and the Blue Grass Opera
Company. His short comic opera Quantum Mechanic won the 2007 Opera-in-a-Month
Competition and has received a dozen performances across the U.S. John is Music Director
of the San Francisco Chamber Wind Festival, and co-directs with Brian Bice the Festival
of Contemporary Music. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of
Composers, Inc., and is editor of SCION, the organization’s opportunities newsletter.
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Kristin Shafel – Caoineadh for flute
Caoineadh was composed in memory of my grandfather who passed away in April 2009.
My grandfather was of Irish descent, and the word I chose for the work’s title, caoineadh
(pronounced “queen-yah”), is the Irish Gaelic translation of “lament” or “elegy”, evolved
from the word caoin meaning “to weep or wail”. In traditional Irish legend, a woman
(or ghost, fairy, or banshee, depending on the folklore) would sing a caoineadh at the
wake or funeral of a recently departed soul. This piece represents my initial feelings
of sadness and loss, my version of a caoineadh.
Kristin Shafel (b. 1982, Madison, WI) recently earned a Master of Music in composition
from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also earned a Bachelor of Music in
composition in 2005. Her teachers include James Mobberley, Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Paul
Rudy. In addition to composition, Ms. Shafel also focused on double bass performance, arts
administration, and fine arts in her studies. At UMKC, Ms. Shafel held leadership positions
in Musica Nova, Composers’ Guild, Conservatory Student Association, and Composers
in the Schools. She also received several scholarships from UMKC, including two from
the Conservatory for composition and bass and a Talent Scholarship Award. Her works
have been performed in Missouri, Wisconsin, Texas, Oklahoma, New York, Iowa, at
several Society of Composers, Inc. regional conferences, and other various events.
As a performer, Ms. Shafel studied double bass with Sue Stubbs and was a member of
the UMKC Conservatory orchestras, bands, and other ensembles at UMKC. Since 2007,
Ms. Shafel has been a member and Concert Annotator of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra,
becoming Principal and Section Coordinator in 2009. She has also been a member of the
Kansas City Puccini Fest since 2008. Other current arts activities include volunteerism
for Charlotte Street Foundation and an internship for the Chamber
Music Society of Kansas City.
“High Fructose Corn” is based on the idea that the highly artificial commonplace items that
surround us in the 21st century can be used as metaphors for love, just as flowers and birds
were used in our agrarian past. I wrote these songs just for fun between two more serious
projects. I had rejected an idea I had for a flute duet, thinking “That would be sweeter than
high-fructose corn syrup”, and the songs grew out of the words. The Lyrics are below.
Elizabeth Blachly-Dyson is a molecular biologist who started writing music three years
ago after several years of accompanying her son to his composition lessons. She has written
a number of pieces for the Pacific Crest Youth Sinfonietta, and she plays the cello in that
ensemble. She is studying composition with Dr. Robert Priest, cello with John Hubbard and
piano with John Haek. She has a B.A. in Chemistry and English from Willamette
University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Oregon.
Sweeter than high-fructose corn syrup
Eyes like two shots of espresso
Melt me like cookie dough
On an August afternoon sidewalk.
You are my Wii-mote.
You are my Wii-mote.
You flick, I jump; you flick, I jump;
You flick, I jump.
You wave, I fly.
You bowl me over.
You blast me to bits.
You drop me into bottomless pits.
You bring me back to life.
Without you, my life stands still.
You are my Wii-mote.
You are my Wii-mote.
You flick, I jump; you flick, I jump;
You flick, I jump.
I talk, but you don’t listen.
I yell: you smile and nod.
You’re all plugged in, and I’m so lonely.
Why don’t you lend me an ear-bud?
Lend me an ear-bud,
Let me hear the music going on in your head.
Lend me an ear-bud,
One of your ear-buds.
I wanna hear the music going on in your head.
Let me in.
Let me hear the music,
Let me hear the music.
I wanna hear the music going on in your head.
Let me hear the music going on in your head.
I’m in a dysfunctional relationship.
Is it a relationship at all?
Your eyes still melt me like cookie dough ice cream.
But look! There’s a puddle of Cherry Garcia.**
And global warming wouldn’t melt you.
I’m not in a functional relationship.
Not in a relationship at all.
Not even a dysfunctional one.
You’ve pointed your Wii-mote* at somebody else.
Your ear-buds are playing a different tune.
And I’m a discarded ice cream cone
On an August afternoon.
I’m sittin’ here in the recycle bin,
Waiting for someone to haul me away.
Sittin’ here in the recycle bin,
Watching the days slip away.
Once I was happy.
Once I was loved.
Once I was part of an “us”.
But now I’m back in the recycle bin,
Watching my dreams gather dust.
I’m feeling grim in the recycle bin
And I think I’m starting to rust.
Because of sweet, sweet,
Eyes like two shots of espresso.
*The term “Wii-mote” refers to the remote control for the
Nintendo Wii gaming system, which is operated by motion sensors.
“Wii” is a trademark of the Nintendo Company.
**”Cherry Garcia” is a registered trademark of
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream company.
Trent Hanna – A Tiburon Panorama I, II, III and IV for piano
In May 2006, Trent Hanna performed one of his piano compositions (Dorland) at a music
festival is San Francisco. While in the Bay area, he was fortunate enough to stay at
a cottage in Tiburon that overlooked the San Francisco Bay. Each movement represents
a particular place visible from the cottage. The first movement, Mt. Tam (Mount Tamalpais),
recalls a hike the composer and a friend went on one afternoon. The next day, they rode
their bikes to Sausalito, a quaint little town right across the bay from Tiburon. The composer’s
depiction of Golden Gate is one in which the fog almost completely masks
the bridge. Finally, the city of San Francisco concludes the piece.
Trent Hanna has been awarded for his achievements both as a composer and performer.
His original works have been commissioned and performed throughout the United States,
Europe, and Asia. Dr. Hanna premiered his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Sam
Houston State University Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and later that year conducted his
Fanfare for Peace in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary. His composition Dorland
(for solo piano) won first prize in the Contemporary Japanese and American Music Composition
Competition resulting in a two performances by the composer in Japan. In 2009 he was
invited as keynote speaker to the International Crime and Pop Culture conference and
premiered his piece Quyannanana (for four percussionists), which was written for the
20-year anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. As a pianist, Dr. Hanna has performed
extensively as soloist with various symphony orchestras, including John Corigliano’s
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the San Angelo and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestras.
He is currently a member of the Society of Composers, and has been awarded artist residencies
at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony (California), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Villa
Montalvo (California), the Isle Royale Artists-in-Residence Program (Michigan), the Djerassi
Resident Artists Program (California), and most recently the Millay Colony for the Arts (New York).
His music can be heard on his full-length CD of original works for solo piano entitled
Sojournal and chroma:new music for piano (Capstone Records).
Nancy Bloomer Deussen – Solstice Circle for flute, cello and piano
“Solstice Circle”( a suite for flute, cello and piano) was commssioned by The Blackledge
Chamber Enesemble of New Britain, CT. and premiered by them in July, 2006. There is also
a version for flute, cello and harp. The suite pertains to the seasons but in a more
ancient concept than we usually associate with the seasons. Thus the titles:Yule(Winter),
Primavera (Spring), Litha( Summer) and Autumnal (Fall) which are ancient titles or references
to the change of seasons. Although at first only the summer and winter solstices were noted,
in time an awareness came of all four seasons. The music attempts to bring some of these
ancient rituals and celebrations to mind in the ever changing
but always predictable cycle of seasons.
Nancy Bloomer Deussen is a leader in the growing movement for more melodic, tonally
oriented contemporary music and is co-founder of the San Francisco chapter of the National
Association of Composers, USA. Her original works have been performed throughout the USA,
Canada and Europe and she has received many grants and commissions both locally and nationally
from numerous performers , ensembles and foundations. This past season has brought performances
of her works by The Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra (MD) (“Ascent to Victory”), the Hershey
Symphony Orchestra (PA) (“A Field in Pennsylvania”), the Blackledge Chamber Players (CT)
(“Music From the Heartland), The Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (SD) “Regalos”,the Alto Polis
Trio (LA)”Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano”, NACUSA LA “Trio for Violin,
Clarinet and Piano” and others.
Bob Priest – Cirque de Deux for bassoon/contra and cello
Cirque de Deux (2009) was commissioned by fEARnoMUSIC. “In your town for one
night only, a bassoonist and cellist from D-Bob’s sound circus come out to play . . .”
Originally from Los Angeles, Bob Priest (b. 1951) is the founder and artistic director of Marzena
and the Free Marz String Trio. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Victoria, where he
taught the world’s first college course on the music of Jimi Hendrix. Bob studied classical guitar
with Pepe Romero and composition with Olivier Messiaen, Robert Ward and Witold Lutoslawski.
He was a two-year Fulbright scholar in Poland and has received grants and fellowships from
the NEA and the MacDowell Colony, among others. Bob currently teaches at Marylhurst University
(reprising his Jimi Hendrix class this Spring) and is preparing the next Free Marz String Trio concert
for March 26th at the Community Music Center (works by Korngold, Britten,
Morricone, Gorecki, Paul and Schnittke).
David Lefkowitz – Eli, Eli for solo violin
Hannah Senesh was a Hungarian-born Jew who escaped to Palestine in 1939, at the dawn of
World War II. She was one of a handful trained by the British to parachute into Yugoslavia
in 1944 to try to proceed to Hungary to save some of the remaining Hungarian Jews.
At the border, however, she was caught, interrogated, and eventually executed.
Senesh was also a poet and a playwright, her most famous work being the following poem:
O Lord, My Lord, I pray that these things never end:
The sand and the sea,
The rush of the waters,
The crash of the Heavens,
The prayer of Man.
Resonating with the Psalms (several of which begin with the same words), Senesh has
created a poem which is at once new and yet conveying a sense of timelessness.
These words were set to music by the composer David Zehavi, and have become an Israeli
“folk-song.” Eli, Eli (O Lord, My Lord) for solo violin takes the passion and spirituality of
Hannah Senesh’s poem as the starting point, and drives towards and eventually arrives at a
presentation of Zehavi’s music.Yarlung Artists commissioned Eli, Eli for Petteri Iivonen, in
honor of Hagai Shaham. Petteri Iivonen premiered and recorded it in June, 2008.
DAVID S. LEFKOWITZ, a native of New York City, studied music composition at The
Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, and University of Pennsylvania, where his
principal teachers were Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler, George Crumb, and Karel
Husa. As a composer David S. Lefkowitz has won international acclaim, having works
performed in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Ukraine, Switzerland, the Netherlands,
Great Britain, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Israel, and Egypt. He has won national and international
competitions, including the Fukui Harp Music Awards Competition (twice), and the American
Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers (ASCAP) Grants to Young Composers Competition.
In addition, he has won prizes and recognition from the National Association of Composers, USA,
the Guild of Temple Musicians, Pacific Composers’ Forum, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Washington
International Competition, Society for New Music’s Brian M. Israel Prize, the ALEA III
International Competition, and the Gaudeamus Music Week. He has also been a Meet-The-Composer
Composer in Residence.Recent commissions include works for Melia Watras of the Corigliano Quartet,
’cellist Elinor Frey and pianist David Fung, violinist Petteri Iivonen, soprano Ursula Kleinecke and
Colloquy, harpist Grace Cloutier, quintets for Pacific Serenades and the Synergy Ensemble, the
Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Cantor Joseph Gole and the Cantor’s Assembly, the Harvard
Westlake Orchestra, and by the Beijing City Opera Company (China’s largest and best Beijing
Opera company) to write the music for a thirteen-minute solo dance-drama; the resulting
BIDGING OPERA for small chamber orchestra has been well received by audiences and artists
on both sides of the Pacific. He has music published by MMB Music, by Yelton Rhodes Music,
Zen-On Music, Whole>Sum Music, and Lawson-Gould/Warner-Chappell Music. He has
recordings available or soon to be available on Yarlung, Fatrock Ink, Japanese Victor,
Yamaha, and Albany record labels. As a theorist Lefkowitz has researched “meta-theoretical”
issues such as the process of segmentation (a component of post-tonal analysis) and the
internal structure of set-classes, he has written extensively on Schoenberg’s piano music,
and also has done work on music theory pedagogy, culminating with his textbook
Music Theory: Syntax, Function, and Form which is
expected to be published soon.
“OM,” an universal sacred syllable in various Eastern religions, is an audiovisual
work to reflect the process of manifestation of thoughts and visions connected
and evolved from this scared entity. Both sampled and computer-generated
sounds are incorporated in order to achieve the intended variety of sonic
landscapes to match the vivid, but delicate visualization. By presenting this
composition, the composer invites listener to tranquilly meditate the inner
progressions and revelations of Self and the vibrant connection between
Self and seemingly insignificant units or encounters.
Jen-Kuang Chang, a native of Taiwan, is working on the acoustic composition,
electro-acoustic, and audiovisual as expressive agents. Mr. Chang is the
recipient of the Music Omi International Musicians Residency Award, the Millay
Colony for the Arts Residency Award, and the CLIC Foundation Digital Art International
Contest Award. His “Chakra” was named the Second Prize winner of the JIMS
“Stadtpfeifer” International Composition Contest for Improvised Chamber Music in
Salzburg and was selected for the SCI Journal of Music Scores. His works have been
selected for inclusion in the International Computer Music Conference, SEAMUS National
Conference, Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, the Florida Electroacoustic
Music Festival, SCI National Conference, SCI Student National Conference, NACUSA
National Conference, the Summer Studies for Jazz & Improvised Music Salzburg, the
Sonoimágenes International Acousmatic and Multimedia Festival in Buenos Aires,
CYNETart Festival in Germany, FONLAD Digital Arts Festival in Portugal, the
ElectroMediaWorks Festival in Athens, the Expo Brighton 2008 in the United Kingdom,
the Signal and Noise Festival in Vancouver, the International Les Instants Vidéo Festival
in France, the Canariasmediafest in Spain, the FIAD Festival Internacional de Arte Digital in
El Salvador, the Australasian Computer Music Conference in Sydney, the FILE Electronic
Language International Festival in Sao Paulo, the ASTAS ROMAS 404 International
Electronic Art Festival, and Visionaria International Toscana
Videofestival 2008 in Italy.
Paul Safar – Five for Violin and Piano
Five was written for the Pittsburgh, PA violinist (and friend) Roy Sonne who was beginning
to get interested in playing jazz at the time. The clarinet and piano version of this piece has been
performed(with Ben Farrell) a number of times in the last few years. Tonight, however is it’s public
premiere with violin. This rather light and lively jazz tinged piece is a tribute to all things “five”.
I was interested at the time of composition in the abstract and historical references to the number five
(i.e. pentagrams, elements in nature, the directions, etc). In my piece the number crops up in the use
of pentatonic scales, the circle of fifths, five note phrases and of course meters in five. A little
friendly wager: Five dollars to the first person who guesses the jazz tune reference
(to another number) in the middle of the piece.
Paul Safar is a versatile composer/performer and music educator living and working in
Eugene, Oregon. Having received his B.Mus from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, OH,
he draws upon a classical music training while encorporating various popular styles. He has produced
six CD’s of original music, from folk to classical to jazz and children’s music. His choir pieces have been
performed in Seattle and Eugene and his chamber music in New York City’s CAMI Hall. In 1995, Paul had
an original folk opera, “Chenoa” performed by the Dark County Civic Theatre in Greenville, OH. He wrote
the music for the children’s theatre musical “Nisse’s Dream” premiered at the Lord Leebrick Theatre,
Eugene, OR in the summer 2005. Paul Safar and Nancy Wood, co-founders of Cherry Blossom Musical Arts,
have produced numerous theatrical works in the Eugene area. These performances emphasize collaboration
with dancers, poets, and circus artists to live, original music. Cherry Blossom strives to make modern art music
accessible to a wide audience. In 2009 Paul scored music for the independent film “Soul Snatchers” which was
shown at the Eugene International Film Festival. In addition, he has both collaborated with video artist Daniel Heila
and worked on music for a silent film screening of “Ed’s Coed” at the University of Oregon. Paul is in demand
as a freelance pianist and vocalist. As a chamber music performer he works both as accompanist to
soprano Nancy Wood and half of a piano duo with Ben Farrell. He enjoys a busy piano
teaching studio working with students of all ages.
David S. Bernstein – Winter Sunlight and Shadow for piano trio
The piano trio titled WINTER SUNLIGHT AND SHADOW was commissioned by the
White Oak Trio and was premiered by them this past January, 2010 in Houston, Texas. This second
performance represents the Oregon premiere. This is the second of two piano trios I have composed,
and like the first, titled LATE AUTUMN MOODS AND IMAGES, this work is in three movements and
about 12 minutes in length. I was aware that when this work was completed, it would
have a somewhat similar title to the first; thus the use of the seasons
of the year to headline both works: Autumn, now Winter.
Each movement uses adjectives that are somewhat descriptive of the moods expressed therein:
I. Whimsical, Dreamy
II. Somber, Reflective
III. Aggressive, Energetic
The title WINTER SUNLIGHT AND SHADOW should not necessarily connote any type of
programmatic content to an audience. Like the first trio, it simply speaks of moods, thoughts,
desires, etc. that one might feel during the winter months of the year, but in the end this is an
abstract work simply meant to communicate itself in any way to an audience. I regard the
combination of a violin, cello and piano as an extremely powerful ensemble,
and a very pleasurable group of instruments to write for.
The music of composer David S. Bernstein has seen its expression in a wide variety of genres.
His concert music ranges from compositions for the theatre and musical theatre to works for dance,
opera, orchestra, chorus, band and many varied chamber music ensembles. Besides the opera
trilogy entitled Poe 2, Hawthorne 1, his compositions include eight works for orchestra. One, As Snow
Before A Summer Sun, is a four-movement composition for soprano, tenor, baritone, narrator, and a
large orchestra that was adapted for television and shown on PBS stations in Ohio. The libretto for this
work was derived by the composer from Dee Brown’s book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, an historical
account of the subjugation of Native Americans during the nineteenth century. A lecture and viewing of
this work will occur on March 12, 2010 as part of this three-day festival of contemporary music.
David Bernstein’s many chamber music compositions include his Silhouette series for solo
instruments such as the flute, oboe, tuba, guitar, and violin; and duets for trombone and percussion
as well as flute and viola. His quartet compositions entitled Quadralogues combine the piano with
violin, viola, and cello; flute, oboe and percussion; and trumpet, clarinet and cello. Other chamber music
works include two piano trios, a string trio, a woodwind trio, an extensive work for piano with five multiple
percussionists, along with works for piano with French horn, clarinet, as well as a large chamber
composition entitled Two Tandems, a work featuring a trumpet with four instrumental trios.
His music has been performed in many areas of the United States, Canada, South America, and
Europe. He has traveled widely and given lectures on his music in Vienna, Paris, Warsaw, Posnan,
Crakow, The Eastman School of Music, The University of Alberta, The University of Southern California,
New York University, The University of Kentucky, and many others. His music has been published by
G. Schirmer, Acoma Productions, Ludwig Music Publications, Willis Music, Abingdon Press, Lawson-Gould,
Dorn Productions, Music for Percussion, Inc., and Clear Note Publications.
Bernstein earned a B.M. and M.M. from Florida State University and a doctorate in
music composition with distinction from Indiana University.
Dr. Bernstein moved to the Portland, Oregon area in 2006, a move that he describes as being
one of the best decisions of his life. Since coming to this region, he has joined a group called
CASCADIA COMPOSERS in which he is active as an organizer for new music concerts.
He continues his work as a free-lance composer.
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Greg Steinke – Santa Fe Trail Echoes for viola solo
Greg A Steinke (b. 1942) Former Chair, Departments of Art and Music, (The Joseph Naumes
Endowed Chair in Music), also Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Marylhurst University,
Marylhurst, Oregon (now retired, 6/15/01); Associate Director, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (‘93–97)
and Director, Composers Symposium (‘90–97) (Newport, OR); Former Dean, College of Fine Arts,
Professor of Music, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois; Director of School of Mu sic, Professor of
Music (composition/theory), former member of Musical Arts Quintet (oboe), Ball State University,
Muncie, Indiana; Professor of Music (composition/oboe), Assistant Director of School of Mu sic,
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; Professor of Music (composition/theory), Chairman of Music
Department, San Diego State University, San Diego, California; and Professor of Music
(oboe, the ory/composition), Director of School of Music, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.
Michigan born. B.M. ‘64, Oberlin Conservatory; M.M. ‘67, Michigan State University; M.F.A. ‘71,
University of Iowa; Ph.D. ‘76, Michigan State University. Composition study with Joseph Wood,
H. Owen Reed, Richard Hervig, Paul Harder and Lawrence Moss. Also former Professor of Music
and Chairman of Music Department, Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon, and former faculty
member at The Evergreen State College, California State University, Northridge, University
of Maryland. Former musical director of the 20th Century Chamber Ensemble at the
University of Maryland and the New Musical Arts Ensemble at Michigan State University; former
member of the Winnipeg Symphony (First Oboe), University of Iowa Wood wind Quintet,
Northwest Wind Quintet and New Art Players, University of Maryland Woodwind Quintet and
Maryland Chamber Ensemble, the National Gallery of Art Orchestra, Tacoma Symphony, Woodwind
Conspiracy of Portland, Arizona Opera (First Oboe), and Flagstaff Symphony. Currently active
as a composer of chamber and large ensemble music with many published works and as
an oboe soloist, specializing in contemporary music for oboe.
Andrew Sigler – Four Movements for Flute, Viola and Piano
The music in Four Movements is largely inspired by the individual titles. Humor was
written first and came about after a long period of writing orchestral music, after which
I felt the need to pare things down a bit. The middle movements Rumor and Sigh are t
aken from the title of the Richard Thompson album of the same name. The former actually
began as a commercial piece (the opening gesture was an idea for an ‘audio logo’) but I
liked it so much I decided to flesh it out, while the latter takes it’s opening gesture from
one hidden in another chamber piece of mine. Tremors was written last and doesn’t
really have a very exciting story to it. I needed a fast movement.
Andrew Sigler is a composer and guitarist. Since earning degrees in
Theory/Composition and Guitar Performance, he has pursued a multi-faceted career
in music. He has written and performed in pieces for dance, theater, and film, and has
done studio work as both a guitarist and vocalist. His work in the commercial field includes
music for video games, advertising, animation, and sound design for a number clients
including Microsoft. Positions held have included Music Director for the ONE Theater Company,
Staff Guitarist/Mandolinist for the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Head of Guitar for the
Acadiana Symphony Orchestra Conservatory, and founder of the Vincent Black Guitar
Quartet, and Board member of the Austin Classical Guitar Society. He is a member of
ASCAP, G.A.N.G, The Austin Film Society, The Film Music Network, The American
Music Center, and The American Composers Forum.
Andrew Seager Cole – Sound, Timbre and Density III for flute with stereo audio playback*
Sound, Timbre, and Density III focuses on the industrial and mechanical soundscape of
city environments. While the electronic component of the piece explores the aggressive,
metallic sounds of a city, the flute focuses on the human element, often rushing to the
next destination, and occasionally stopping to marvel at the beauty of this complex
machine… sometimes exploring the sounds in its environment, sometimes diverging into
its own romanticism of city life. Similarly, the video images of transportation and
manufacturing from the early and mid-20th Century remind us of the evolution and
growth of big cities.
Andrew Seager Cole (b. 1980) is a composer and media artist. His works have been
performed around the world at numerous festivals, including June in Buffalo, Music 08,
the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music United States Conference, The National Flute
Association Convention, the North American Saxophone Alliance, the Symposium on Art
and Technology, the Mehr!klang Festival Freiberg, the Florida Electronic Music Festival,
Electronic Music Midwest, Baltimore’s Artscape Festival, and the Smithsonian’s Yesterday’s
Tomorrow exhibition. He is a founding member of the After Now Ensemble and has collaborated
extensively with artist, filmmakers, choreographers, and directors. Awards include first place
in the 2008 NACUSA Young Composer’s Competition, first place in the 2006 Prix d’Ete, an ASCAP
Plus Award, the Robert Hall Lewis Award, and the Otto Ortman Award. Recent commissions
include pieces for the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, Michael Straus and Griffen Campbell,
the University of Nebraska Omaha’s A.M.I. ensemble, and KCema. He received a Bachelor’s
degrees from Goucher College in Philosophy and Music and Master’s degrees in Composition
and Computer Music from Peabody Conservatory. Until recently Andrew taught electronic music
at Loyola College of Maryland, Digital Media at Johns Hopkins University, and was the Digital
Audio Specialist at the Johns Hopkins University Digital Media Center. He is currently a
doctoral student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Ingrid Stölzel – The Road is All for violin, viola, cello
The Road is All (2007) takes its title and inspiration from a quote by nineteenth-century
French historian, Jules Michelet: “Le but n’est rien; le chemin, c’est tout.” (The end is nothing;
the road is all.) The Road is All embraces the journey, the twists and turns, the unpredictability
that is life, thelingering in the space between, and the simple
enjoyment of a moment in passing time.
Ingrid Stölzel (b.1971) is a composer whose music is being performed across the United States,
Canada and Europe. She has written for ensembles such as newEar, NOISE/ San Diego
New Music, California E.A.R. Unit, Adaskin String Trio, Erato Chamber Orchestra and
Synchronia, among others. Currently, she is composer-in-residence with the Allegresse Trio
and performances of her new work There are Things to be Said (2009) are supported by a
National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpieces, Chamber Music Grant. Recently,
Stölzel was a guest composer at the soundOn 2008 Festival of Modern Music and the 30th
Sacramento State Festival of New American Music. In addition, Stölzel was selected for the
National Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet reading and as a participant of the Sentieri
Selvaggi International Masterclass with James MacMillan in Milan, Italy. She is the 2009
Cheryl A. Spector Prize Winner, first-prize winner of the 2007 UMKC Chamber Music
Composition Competition and the recipient of the 2006 PatsyLu Prize awarded by the
International Alliance of Women in Music. Stölzel’s music has been heard at numerous music
festivals around the country including the Oregon Bach Festivals, Ernest Bloch Festivals,
2007 Women in New Music Festival, Chamber Music Conference of the East, Otterbein Contemporary
Music Festival, and Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival, among others. Stölzel received
her doctorate in composition at the University of Missouri, Conservatory of Music and Dance in
Kansas City, where she studied with Chen Yi, Zhou Long and James Mobberley.
She holds a Master of Music in Composition from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.
Stölzel is a member of the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble as well as the
President of the Board of Directors. She is a native of Germany and
has resided in the United States since 1991.
Bryce Cannell – Capital Vices for piano
Capital Vices is a set of short character pieces based on the seven deadly sins. The sins
(Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride) each utilize a particular style of writing
that emphasizes the essence of the sin itself as well as the punishment according to
Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy.
Bryce Cannell (b. 1982) was born in Visalia, CA and raised in Reedley, CA. In May of 2007,
he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition from California State University,
Fresno where he studied under the direction of Kenneth Froelich and Benjamin Boone. In addition
to composition, he has studied piano with Andreas Werz and Natalia Kislenko. Bryce is currently
pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition at Fresno State. In August 2007, he
was appointed a Teaching Associateship position at Fresno State and has taught music theory
and composition as a substitute. He is also the co-founder of the Composer’s Guild of California
State University, Fresno, an officially recognized student organization
that benefits young student composers.
Douglas Ovens – Improvisation #6 for percussion with stereo audio playback
Improvisation #6 continues a line of works begun with my Improvisation #1 for Solo
Marimba (1982). The first four of these works are solo pieces for various combinations
of traditional, acoustic percussion instruments. Improvisations #5 and #6 have added
electronic percussion controllers, synthesizers, and processors to the kit.
An active composer and percussionist, Douglas Ovens has performed his own works for
solo percussion at the Akiyoshidai International Arts Village in Yamaguchi, Japan, at the
Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Atlanta Arts Festival, the Black Mountain Festival, the Philadelphia
Fringe Festival and many others. Ovens has received commissions from the North/South Consonance
Ensemble (NYC), Allentown Symphony, the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, the Asheville Symphony,
as well as many theater and dance companies. International performances of his music have taken
place in Berlin, at the International Courses for Percussion in Bydgoszcz, Poland, the Edinburgh Festival
Fringe in Scotland, and in Hiroshima, Japan. Ovens’ most recent CD, Seven Improvisations, Music for Solo
Percussion, was released in 2004 on the North/South Recordings label. The American Record Guide praised
his “…formidable mallet technique…” and “…rich sense of phrasing and line…” The New York Times
described his piece, “Moving Image” for piano as a work “…of special appeal…that has an almost
conversational shape and pacing and some wonderful textural detail.” Dr. Ovens is Professor of
Music and chair of the Music Department at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
Dan Senn – Prague Songs for string trio, marimba, soprano
This collection of four songs was written in the Spring of 2009 in the countryside near Prague,
in Libušín, and then in Prague itself, in the Břevnov flat of the composer. The Songs are
based on texts by the composer and presented as four musical vignettes which are meant
to be humurous, and both socially and personally reflective.
Except for The Chubby Little Czech, which is more fictitious, the songs report on
things I observed while in the Czech Republic the Spring of 2009. The Gathering is
about an experience I had with artist friends at a villa just outside Prague. For hours we
discussed politics and art with great intensity and suddenly a cell phone rang and everyone
was out of there in a minute. Really very comical. One minute, we were ready to march on
Parliament and the next, buzz, and everyone left as if nothing meaningful had been discussed.
The Chubby Little Czech is about my experiences while riding the bus in Prague to get
groceries. Most of it is true, some of it invented. On one of these trips, I observed a man
who seemed to want the attention of all the sour faced Czech mums around him returning
from the market. The man could have stripped naked and they could have cared less, and
this indifference seemed to disturb him. He had something to say! And so I invented a
character on the spot, in my playful imagination, with symbolic ties to nationalism and,
perhaps, a WW2 consciousness. To me, this piece too is humorous but there are some
serious political-social inferences. The Lonely Child is not intended to be humorous. It evolved
from watching a mother and her three children interact in a public park, with the emotional dynamic
between them as presented. It was not a happy family… and then I interpreted these relationships
through those of my own upbringing. The piece remains a little mysterious to me now.
Perhaps a little dark. The Belle from Brno is about a student of mine (from the city of Brno,
the second largest city in The Czech Republic) who kept backing out of a project she
had proposed. She drove me nuts and the piece is meant to be humorous.
A light ending to the four songs. The texts follow:
They all gathered
on the porch
of this once elegant house
in a village near Prague
discussing the pros and the cons
of making art and faking art
in a world that does not care
if you are pros or cons.
a cell phone buzzed
and everyone left,
Only child, lonely child, homely child…
What will come of me,
living in this tree,
watching them below,
running to and fro,
crazy as it seems,
I’m a stranger on this team.
Here comes mother now.
…come here and sit!
into to my special needs,
How do you feel?
Show me where it hurts.
Kiss the pain away.
Singing softly to fill the air.
Do you need a band-aid?
Where frightening things
wriggle about like a worm.
Then walk with me up the hill
past the rhubarb patch.
Here, take my hand
to the cave
This place it frightens me.
It is so dark in here.
Is that my brother there?
What are they yackin’ about?
Come fly with me to the cave
under the road, in the dark
and tongue cluck the hollowness…
(This place it frightens me.
It is so dark in here.
Is that my brother there?
What are they screamin’ about?)
…with words unwhitened
by window pane waste,
and back scratching.
Not to be outdone nor outwitted.
Not to be outdone nor outwitted.
Not to be outdone nor outwitted.
Whittled down to nothing.
Not to be outdone nor outwitted
Not to be outdone
nor outwitted in any way,
the puckish little man
dressed so neatly
with a tiny mustache
on his puckish little face.
The tiny man fell slowly, holy,
to the floor
from his nagahide thrown
into a noble world
of great art and justice
and purity and peace and love
of war and rememberance
on his puckish little face.
The tiny little Czech man
slid slowly to the wobbily floor
on a bus packed tightly,
with chubby Czech ladies
clutching chubby Czech purses,
fresh groceries at their feet.
The chubby little Czech man
slid slowly from his seat.
The chubby little Czech man
slid slowly from his thrown
and sang four verses
of a Chubby Checker tune
in a voice so thin,
in a voice so soft and delicate,
only he knew
the power and the elegance,
yes, the wonder
of his gesture, avant garde.
Whittled down to nothing.
I do not.
Yes, I do.
Well, I do not.
Yes, I do.
but I shouldn’t
cause it’s too soon
and others would laugh
and I’m tired.
My judgement is impaired
and I’m dizzy.
I can’t see straight.
I need time.
Dan Senn is a composer of experimental classical music, electronic and acoustic, a
sculptor of kinetic instruments for exhibition and performance, an experimental video artist
for installation and proscenium play, and a documentary filmmaker. He performs and
exhibits world-wide and has produced ephemeral public art projects which bring experimental
work to alternative audiences. His work is greatly influenced by the “elegant awkwardness”
of the raku ceramic process.
Dan Senn came to contemporary music by way of the visual arts.
Trained since childhood as French horn player and vocalist, he began studying ceramics
and raku pottery in 1972, an ancient ceramic method which fundamentally shifted his aesthetic.
In 1977 he built his first sculptural instrument and soon after began developing computer
software to emulate the raku process in musical compositions which, like his instruments,
exhibit the peculiar paradox of raku–that is, highly considerate, non-linear systems which
exist, in part, to confound the will of the artist. Since 1974 he has kept personal journals, a
practice which has influenced his live performance and installation work. From 1994 to
2004 his instrument building centered on the development of pendulum-based instruments
which varied in size from 18″x18″x18″ to outdoor versions covering 600sf. These were often
integrated with his ethnographic and installation videos. More recently he has invented a method
for inflating objects using sub-audio frequencies, a focus of his current installation work.
Living a portion of each year in Prague, he regularly tours
Europe and the U.S. exhibiting and performing at festivals and experimental venues.
In 1995 he was awarded the McKnight Composer-in-Residence Award for the State of Minnesota
where, among other projects, he produced the Catacombs of Yucatan Sound and Video Installation
within a remote limestone cave located in the southeastern corner of that state. In 1997 he was
awarded the Artist Trust 10th Anniversary President’s Award (Seattle) for his influence on
the arts throughout the Pacific Northwest, and in 1998 became the first Artist-in-Residence at the
University of Washington at Tacoma. Later that year he won the sculpture prize at the Papier Bienale
at the Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren, Germany. In 2002 his documentary film, The Exquisite Risk of
Civil War Brass, won at the da Vinci Film Festival in Corvallis, Oregon. His scored music is published
by Smith Publications, Sonic Arts Editions, and AM Percussion Publications. His recorded music
is available from the artist direct, Experimental Musical
Instruments and Periplum Records.
Dan Senn has a doctorate in Music Compositon and Ceramic Sculpture from the
University of Illinois where his principal instructors were Salvatore Martirano, Ben Johnston,
and Herbert Brün. At the UW-LaCrosse he studied art with Leonard Stach and music composition
with Truman Daniel Hayes. He has been a Lecturer in Electronic Music at the Canberra School of Music in
Australia (’80-84), an Associate Professor of Composition at Ball State University in Indiana (’87-92),
and a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (’86).
In 1993 Dan Senn founded Newsense Intermedium, a non-profit presenting organization
specializing in experimental performing arts for which he was the Artistic Director. NI produced
numerous concert series and ephemeral public art events including the Six Exquisites International
Sound Art Festival (’85, ’97 and ’99), and The Municipal Dock Sound Installation (’93). Dan is a
co-founder of Roulette Intermedium of New York City and, in 2008, of Cascadia Composers in
Portland. His instruments, video and music, since 1997, are part of the Sylvia Smith Archive
at the University of Akron. His permanent sound installation work can be viewed in the main
foyer at the University of Washington-Tacoma, at the Volunteer Park Conservatory
in Seattle, and in the Sound Garden at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.
in June 2009. She holds an MFA in Piano Performance from Mills College and a BA in English
Literature from Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. She has taught music at the Yamaha
Music School, the Kyoto Conservatory, the University of Oregon, and Portland Community College.
Kaori has performed piano and organ recitals in both Japan and the US and has been a participant
in the Seventh Species Composers concert series. She has written papers on Schoenberg,
Debussy, Chopin and others, and given presentations at the International Chopin Conference in
Warsaw, the Sixth European Analysis Conference in Freiburg, Germany, as well as regional and
national CMS conferences. She lives in Portland with her husband Gary and
their two cats Pansy and Kiwi.Ruta Kuzmickas, pianistRuta Kuzmickas was born on February 25, 1996 in Park City, Utah. Ruta’s parents came from
Lithuania 14 years ago. From an early age she was introduced to music, art and nature which she
liked to explore during many trips that her family took. By the age of 3, Ruta was singing her own
melodies and improvising on the piano for her dolls and toy animals. When she was in the first grade,
she began taking piano lessons with Ekaterina Melkamini, a truly dedicated teacher and friend from
that day on. Recently she took the first prize at Bolognini and Silver State piano competitions.
Ruta has already decided to become a pianist and will follow her
dreams until she reaches her star.Lee Hopkins, lyric soprano
Lee Hopkins holds a B. Music from Boston University. She did graduate work at New
England Conservatory and was a recipient of the Canadian Banff Academy of Singing Full Vocal
Scholarship. At Banff, Lee met and performed for New York composer, John Cage. She continued her
education at Marylhurst University and joined Novem Chamber Singers, Dr. Thomas Miller, Director.
As Chorister in Jackie Gabel’s “Lamentatio” with the Laska Dancers, November 2009, she joined
fellow performers in an exciting, multi media event. Currently a member of Ralph Nelson’s Bach
Cantata Choir and Edith Minde’s Der Liederkreis, Lee continues to perform in the Portland area.
She owns and teaches Voice in her private studio, StarReach Academy. Lee’s all women ensemble
Mirabilis (Latin for miraculous) is recording the composition “Stabat Mater” by Pergolesi for a Spring
Josephine Pohl holds a B. Music from Marylhurst University, as well as graduate
degrees in Special Education and Library Science. She currently performs with Linda Rodgers as a
four hand piano duo in the Portland area and Newport’s arts festival, “Concerts By the Sea.”
Keith Clark conducts internationally and is featured on many recordings with European,
Asian and American ensembles. He received his PhD from UCLA and studied in Italy and
Vienna, where he lived for a decade before returning to the to found California’s Pacific
Symphony Orchestra. He conducted in Vienna’s Schoenberg Centennial, led the complete
works of Webern for the composer’s centenary, and introduced audiences to Schoenberg’s Die
Gurrelieder, Pelleas und Melisande, and other works. As composer, his theater music includes
Major Barbara with Blythe Danner in the Los Angeles Music Center, the “Electroper” NohThing
premiered in the Vienna Festival, and “I’m the Greatest” (10 Rounds with Mohamed Ali)
commissioned by USIS for premiere in Bucharest. He is currently active with
orchestras and theater in Russia, teaches in Salzburg, and
directs the Astoria Music Festival in Oregon.
Leadership support for Meet The Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program is
generously provided by MetLife Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Amphion Foundation,
Argosy FoundationContemporary Music Fund, BMI Foundation, Inc., Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust,
Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation,
Jerome Foundation, mediaThe foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
and Virgil Thomson Foundation, Ltd.