Viscid by Matthew Briggs
Matthew Briggs is currently a doctoral candidate in music composition at Florida State University. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University with a Master of Music in Composition, and has previously taught as an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Texas Christian University (TCU) and Music Theory Instructor at Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU). His compositional style is constantly evolving, and he has recently been making his first forays into the world of microtonality and electronic music. Some other interests include fishing, collecting old books, and language study. mhbriggs.com
The word “viscid” refers to the tight, squeezed feeling of hearing two notes very close to each other played at the same time. Even two notes side-by-side on the piano (a half-step, D and D# for instance) have a certain tension when played together. This piece explores and relishes in this tension, creating moments of even stronger compression via microtones; these intervals closer than a half-step create a sticky texture best described as viscous, or viscid. The flute player interacts with this tension, but never takes part in it, always staying above. However, the flutist fundamentally cannot escape the tension, as the accompanying material is all derived from recordings of the flute. This recording is of Kayla Hanvey, flute.
Metallic by Anruo Cheng
Anruo Cheng was born in China, and is currently a Miami based composer, music producer, and electronic musician. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts and a Master’s degree in Media Writing and Production from the University of Miami. The field of her music is various, including contemporary acoustic music, electroacoustic music, electronic instruments/installations design, popular music, and film music. Her diverse musical and cultural backgrounds are the creative sources that continually enable her to mix and match multiple genres and new ideas into her compositions. https://soundcloud.com/cheng-anruo
Kentucky Derby by Isaac Barzso
Isaac Barzso is a composer from St. Augustine, FL. He completed his BM in Composition in Summer 2019 at Florida State University, studying with Ladislav Kubík, Mark Wingate, Stephen Montague, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. At FSU, Isaac served as the intern composer at the FSU School of Dance, won the 2018-2019 David Ward-Steinman Award, and received the 2018 David. B Ford Undergraduate Research and Creativity Award.
Kentucky Derby is from a poem by Liz Robbins. In the fall of 2019, I will be moving to Louisville, KY and living about 30 minutes from Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby. In April of 2019 I had a conversation in with a friend about the upcoming Kentucky Derby and the somewhat strange spot it occupies in our society as perhaps the lone bastion of the formerly much more national interest in horse racing (framed by my impending move). While it was not the most involved of conversations, it did keep the topic on my mind until I came across Liz Robbins’ poem on the subject. While I still have yet to come up with any profound thoughts of my own, these thoughts are evocative enough to have given me something to ponder. I completed this piece on May 4th of that year, the day of the Kentucky Derby. Kentucky Derby was written for loadbang and premiered on June 25th, 2019.
Verily by Danier Karcher
Daniel Karcher is a composer originally from the Pacific Northwest who recently finished a master degree at the University of Miami and currently resides in Florida. Previously he earned his undergraduate degree at Oberlin Conservatory where he studied both acoustic and electronic composition. His composition teachers have included Charles Mason, Lansing Mcloskey, Stephen Hartke, Tom Lopez, Joo Won Park, Lewis Nielson, and Roger Briggs. Daniel has won an assortment of awards and accolades including the composition division of the 2018 Frost School of Music Concerto Competition, first place in the 2015 Third Annual Cleveland Composers Guild Collegiate Composition Contest, a finalist in the 2013 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Competition, and first place and second place in the high school division of The Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers in 2011 and 2012 respectfully. He treats each piece of music he writes as an opportunity for musical growth both for himself and the listener. Aside from composing, his musical interests include discussing aesthetics, playing viola among friends, and analyzing video game soundtracks, text scores, and indeterminate music.
Verily is a short fixed media piece built using two main ideas, a distorted attack and a faint ethereal texture. The two sounds exist almost entirely on different sides of the stereo field, with the center being used only for climatic moments. It was composed during the 2019 Longy Divergent Studio.
Art Miniatures by Ryne Siesky
Siesky’s work as a composer explores the intersections of art and music, bringing focus to the idiosyncrasies of music creation and sonic processes. Aestheticism, psychology, and modern Jazz are at the forefront of his compositional influences. His work has been performed by Hypercube, Phoenix Brass, Resonance A Cappella, Nathan Rhodes, Will Horner, and Laura Silva, among others. His music has been featured at the Charlotte New Music Festival, International Trumpet Guild, Diffrazioni – Firenze Multimedia Festival, Midwest Music Research Collective, Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, and the Society of Composers.
Recently, his work for solo piano, entitled “Art Miniatures” won the Hatz Special Recognition Award in the recent National Federation of Music Clubs Composition Competition (NFMC). The piece has been regularly performed by Laura Silva at venues and festivals including the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Conference (OFMC), SCI Invitational, and the West Fork New Music Festival. Additionally, his work for 8.1 channel fixed media entitled “…grind…” was selected for programming on the 2019 National Student Electroacoustic Music Event (NSEME) and the 2018 Festival DME – Culture and Sustainable Cities – International Symposium (Lisboa Incomum, Portugal).
Ryne earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and his Master of Music in Music Composition from Ohio University, studying under Robert McClure. He is currently a Doctoral student in Music Composition at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music.
The idea of the piece formed after observing a collection of art from the DeviantArt collective. One of the works listed was Natasha Levandoski’s Trust Me which triggered the concept of the work. The piece reflects on some of the artists that I have encountered over the last few years. The primary focus of the work is the exploration of artistic style and detail through rhythmic and harmonic densities. Each miniature selects specific aspects of each piece of art and explores it musically. This recording is of Laura Silva, piano.
Where Dreams Come True, III & IV by Ian Evans Guthrie
An eclectic composer, pianist, entertainer, and theorist, Ian Evans Guthrie recently won 1st prize in the Noosa-ISAM composition competition, 1st prize in the Arcady Composition Competition, 2nd place in the American Prize-Chamber Music Division, and 2nd prize in the Great Composers Competition, in addition to many other composition and performance prizes from ASCAP, SCI, MTNA, and other acclaimed organizations. His works have been performed worldwide by the Indaco String Quartet fEARnoMUSIC, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra Moore Philharmonic Orchestra, Eirene Duo, Erik Drescher, Sarah Dunham, and many more. He has also been the artist-in-residence at the Chinquapin Center for the Arts and Centrum, and Mauser EcoHouse, with an upcoming residency at Azule.
Guthrie is a doctoral student and instructor-of-record at Florida State University, where his teachers have included Ellen Zwilich, Stephen Montague, Clifton Callender, Mark Wingate, and Ladislav Kubik. He received his Master of Music in Composition at Texas Christian University, where he studied with Till Meyn and Martin Blessinger. He has also studied composition privately with Martin Kennedy (2014-17) and others. For more information about Ian Guthrie and his music, please visit ianguthriecomposer.com, or follow him at www.facebook.com/ianguthriecomposer.
My song cycle Dark Forest (2016) was not performed until November 2017 by Orion Canter. Sofia Scattarreggia, one of Orion’s friends, overheard his practice and performance of the work. Just under a year later, Sofia and I were both in the same class at Florida State University, when she commented on her liking for Dark Forest and then asked me to write her a song cycle. Thus the ideas for Where Dreams Come True were born. I became determined to compose a cycle evolving from what we think of metaphorical dreams (daydreams) to actual dreams, which are not always so idealistic. While I tried various poetry, much of it did not fit the overall storyline I envisioned. Finally, during my residency at Centrum (Port Townsend, WA) in December 2018, I finally decided on setting several public domain poems by Sara Teasdale. Although she wrote many poems dealing with dreams, the four I chose—April Song, Come, The Summer Storm, and Nightfall—never mention dreams verbatim; therefore, I routinely insert phrases such as “This is the place where dreams come true” throughout the cycle. This recording is of Sofia Scattarreggia, soprano and Ian Evans Guthrie, piano.
Transylvania by Santiago Diazgranados
Santiago Diazgranados was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1987. He studied music at Universidad El Bosque, specializing in electric guitar and composition. He graduated from that institution in 2014. He got his Master’s Degree in composition from the University of Miami in 2019. His interests lay in classical, experimental, and folk.
Transylvania (2014) is a study in stochastic deformations of thematic material. All instruments were performed and recorded by Santiago Diazgranados. The instruments are: diatonic accordion, harmonica, guitar, banjo, electric bass, darabouka, percussion set, and electric organ.
String Quartet No. 1 “Cobalt” by Wesley Thompson
Wesley Thompson was born into a household filled with music. With the sounds of pianist George Winston locked into his head from an early age, it was only natural that he would begin taking piano lessons at age eight. And, like George Winston, he was soon dabbling in composition by means of improvising and arranging. Of these, improvisation would grow to have the most dramatic impact on his style. The vast majority of his compositions begin as improvisations on the piano, and they often retain much of the free flowing quality of the composer’s piano playing after being transcribed through notation. Wesley considers himself a neo-impressionist, drawing a great deal of inspiration from early 20th century giants such as Debussy, Bartók, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Messiaen. However, his musical interests cover a vast array of other genres, including everything from jazz to metal to rap! Despite these myriad influences, Wesley’s compositional voice still shines through due to its emotional urgency, melodicism, and unique harmonic combinations. Wesley is a rising junior studying Music Theory and Composition at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
A love letter to heavy metal music, this piece attempts to combine the genre’s rhythms, timbres, and gestures with the composer’s neo-impressionist harmonies and improvisatory flair. The result is a collection of diverse sections featuring electric guitar-esque riffs and runs, extreme dynamic changes, and a healthy mix of both lyrical and screeching melodies. Extended techniques are utilized to mimic whammy bar dive bombs, death growls/shrieks, and amplifier feedback. Structurally, the work is organized in a pseudo-ternary form, with an extended coda at the end. However, each section was inspired by traditional metal songwriting ideas (intro, riff, verse, chorus, bridge, etc). The coda is a not-so-subtle attempt at a breakdown similar to something one might find in a metalcore song! This recording is of the Beo String Quartet.