May 28, 2022 (11:00 EDT)
Burst-Reflection by Ryan Olivier
Squeakeasy by Jonathan Wilson
Cooking Fields by Minato Sakamoto
Bloch traeumt. by Karola Obermueller
Start With Two Points | And Draw A Line by Miles Jefferson Friday
Penumbra / Umbra / Void by Douglas McCausland
Bios and Program Notes:
Ryan Olivier (b. 1985), who grew up in the southern United States, is a composer and multimedia artist. Ryan continues to compose for both traditional concert ensembles and fixed media, but his current focus is the real-time incorporation of visualized electronic music with live performers. His evening-length show, Imaginary Music, with performing partner Andrew Litts was described by Deb Miller of DCMetroTheaterArts as, “a highly intelligent synthesis of the arts with science and technology, an equally lofty aesthetic of transcendent beauty; at once cerebral and emotive, intellectual and hypnotic.” Ryan is an Assistant Professor of Music at Indiana University South Bend where he teaches courses in music technology and interdisciplinary composition. Previously Ryan taught at St. Joseph’s University and Temple University where he earned a masters degree and a doctorate after completing his undergraduate studies at Loyola University New Orleans. www.ryanolivier.com
Life is a network of connections. Some are long-lasting, and some are temporary. Many are interconnected and cross paths at various junctures. In November of 2019 in a fleet of inspiration, I sketched out an idea for a piece I titled “Burst” for the Shea-Kim Duo. But in the spring of 2020 came the global pandemic and we all moved our in-person connections online, which is one of the key themes of the work, remote interactions. I was drawn to the temporal ideas surrounding our digital connections. Even synchronous connections can feature stark temporal differences such as a video call between the US and Korea, where it might be night for one and day for the other. I found this contrast between night and day a beautiful metaphor to explore. Thus a reflective play of light between two voices provides another metaphor for the work, that of bursts of energy and moments of reflection as seen through celestial bodies. Burst-Reflection is a work written for the temporal now, yet reflective of the past.
Jonathan Wilson‘s works have been performed at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, European Media Art Festival, the Experimental Superstars Film Festival, the Big Muddy Film Festival, ICMC, SEAMUS, NYCEMF, NSEME, the Iowa Music Teachers Association State Conference, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. He is the winner of the 2014 Iowa Music Teachers Association Composition Competition. Jonathan has studied composition with Lawrence Fritts, Josh Levine, David Gompper, James Romig, James Caldwell, Paul Paccione, and John Cooper. In addition, studies in conducting have been taken under Richard Hughey and Mike Fansler. Jonathan is a member of Society of Composers, Inc., SEAMUS, ICMA, Iowa Composers Forum, and American Composers Forum. His works have been published by Heartland Marimba Publications.
Squeakeasy evolved from the accidental discovery of a metallic chair that happened to be loosely bolted to a patio set and could pivot in such a way to create an ear-piercing, yet irresistible screech. Had its timbral properties (at least, to my perception) not induced considerable intrigue and screamed violin to my ears, this work itself would very likely never have come into existence. Other recordings of squeaky wooden surfaces, including a wooden chair, augment, at the very least, a peripheral relationship between violin and electronics.
Minato Sakamoto is a Japanese composer, pianist, and improviser from Osaka. Ranging from classical concert music to electronic music with heavy uses of computational technologies, his compositions practice the unserious seriously, fuse spontaneous and organic qualities, and demonstrate a clear connection to the past. His works have been featured across the United States, East Asia, and Europe in both traditional concert settings and internationally acclaimed conferences. Minato is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Duke University, where he is also completing the graduate certificate in Information Science + Studies. He previously studied at Amherst College and graduated summa cum laude in 2018. Minato has served as a guest artist at Boston New Music Initiative since 2020. Minato is a Japanese chess lover and an Accredited Meteorologist of Japan Meteorological Agency. As a railway addict, Minato constantly wastes his time to explore unique railways in the world.
For more info, please visit minatosakamoto.com.
Karola Obermueller‘s composing, described by the New York Times as “hyperkinetic music,” is constantly in search of the unknown. After obtaining composition degrees in Nuremberg, Saarbruecken, and the University Mozarteum Salzburg, her sense of rhythm and form was forever changed by studying Carnatic and Hindustani classical music in Chennai and Delhi, India. She has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fromm Music Foundation, Ensemble Modern, International Contemporary Ensemble, Theater Bielefeld, Theater Bonn, Theater und Orchester Heidelberg, Staatstheater Nuernberg, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Saarlaendischer Rundfunk, and the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. She has been a visiting artist at ZKM, Deutsche Akademie Rom, Centro Tedesco di studi Veneziani, Akademie Schloss Solitude, and IRCAM. Since receiving a doctorate from Harvard University, Obermueller has taught composition and co-directed the composition area at the University of New Mexico. Her music can be heard on CD (WERGO) and online at karolaobermueller.net.
During my afternoon naps, I often dream of “solutions” to compositional problems that concern me. With this in mind, I imagined Ernst Bloch dreaming of verbs, some of the central verbs in his philosophical work. And as is the case in dreams, the verbs take on a life of their own, they breathe and sound and sing…
Miles Jefferson Friday is currently a doctoral candidate in music composition at Cornell University where he studies primarily with Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri and Kevin Ernste. Miles holds a MA in composition from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Oliver Schneller and also holds a BM from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Miles works with a wide range of instrumental, electronic, installation, un/notated, and building-based compositional practices. Through his works, Miles aims to explore personal subjectivities of auditory reception, rethink instruments and/as objects, and propose ways in which sound-based performance practice can operate more dynamically. His works have been performed across the Unites States, Europe, Southeast Asia, China, and Russia.
In Start With Two Points | And Draw A Line, a feedback loop is established between a microphone (the sm57) and a loudspeaker (the loudspeaker driver on the short stand). Performers manipulate feedback by shifting the position of the microphone, moving a resonator on and off the loudspeaker, moving the bass clarinet on and off the loudspeaker while changing fingering, and playing acoustic instruments in close frequency proximity to the feedback loop. Through Start With Two Points | And Draw A Line, I hope to articulate instruments as variable resonators and use feedback as a platform to reflect on the social-architectural space of performance environments.
Devin Maxwell, microphone, vibraphone, & resonator
Katie Porter, bass clarinet
Video Editing, Wind-up Pictures
Audio Engineering, Miles Jefferson Friday
Douglas McCausland is a composer / performer who is fascinated with new aesthetic and technological domains, and whose chaotic and dense works explore the extremes of sound and the digital medium. Through his work, he investigates the various intersections of real-time electronic music performance with handmade interfaces / instruments, spatial audio, dynamic / interactive systems, the musical applications of machine-learning, experimental sound design, and DIY electronics. His works have been performed internationally at numerous festivals and symposiums including: Sonorities, SEAMUS, the San Francisco Tape Music Festival, MISE-EN Music Festival, Klingt Gut!, NYCEMF, and many more. Recent honors include winning the 1st-Prize for the 2021 ASCAP/SEAMUS commission competition, the gold-prize for contemporary computer music in the Verband Deutscher Tonmeister Student 3D Audio Production Competition, and an award of distinction in the 2021 Prix Ars Electronica. Douglas is currently a senior sound designer at Spatial and DMA candidate at Stanford University, working towards his doctorate in Composition while studying with Chris Chafe, Patricia Alessandrini, Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, and Mark Applebaum.
Penumbra / Umbra / Void is an entry in a diary; it’s about identity, finding catharsis through the artistic process, self-destruction, the search for meaning in minutiae, and self-inflicted isolation starting long before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Composed for cellist Seth Parker Woods in 2021, this work was supported by Music <541> and Experimental Sound Studio; cello materials were recorded with the assistance of Alex Inglizian and Ben Kolak.