Ludimus by Kyle Shaw (University of Illinois)
Jitter by Lucas Baughman (Ball State)
Jitter is defined as the deviation from true periodicity of a presumed periodic signal in electronics and telecommunications, often in relation to a reference clock source. For my piece I interpreted jitter as an instance when two pulsing things do not quite match up. It is represented in my piece as two subsonic sawtooth waves that are detuned so that their pulses are slightly offset. These sawtooth waves create the main theme of the piece’s theme and variations form.
“Just Before” from Chiyogami by Stephanie R. Kisselbaugh (Ball State)
When I began writing Chiyogami Suite, I was struggling to find inspiration. Having studied voice as an undergraduate, I had written many vocal works using the text as the source of inspiration. When choosing to write for solo piano, I knew that I would need to find inspiration somewhere else. This time it came through the art of art of a friend of mine, Jerry Philips. Each movement of the suite is based on one of his pieces by the same title. The term “chiyogami” is used to describe a type of brightly colored, decorative Japanese paper.
ICC IFC-2012 408.2.2 by Nathan Daywalt (Ball State)
Super Ego: This is a fun piece. The text is inspired by the mandatory announcement that precedes many concerts, films, and other public events, instructing attendees to take note of the nearest emergency exit. This obligatory “pre-show” speech is required by International Fire Code law, from which the piece takes its name. By combining practicality with comedy and lush harmonies, this piece is (technically) an appropriate opening for any concert!
Ego: This is a challenging piece. The close-knit extended-tertian harmonies requires attentive listening, balance, and blend, which is compounded by complex rhythms. Although the individual vocal lines frequently align to create resplendent vertical sonorities, their horizontal aspect is often difficult to navigate, which necessitates that performers must be both aurally independent and conscientious.
Id: This is an aesthetically complicated piece. There is often a dark element to humor. This piece makes light of the mandatory emergency exit announcement – who actually benefits from it? Does it actually protect the audience, or is it merely a
waiver of liability to ensure no legal harm befalls the institution? Which society is more barbaric: one that does not tell patrons to leave a building on fire, or one that needs to do so?
“Gaiety and Bury” from Other Love Songs by Salvatore A. LoCascio (Ball State)
After writing quite a bit of instrumental music, I decided to make my master’s thesis one tackling many “firsts.” Being the first serious cycle I’ve tackled in over a year, my first cycle attacking something political/current trend, and first cycle discussing a topic regarding love, the Other Love Songs is a psychological study of love (particularly from a LGBT viewpoint) using poetry written by famous poets who happened to be Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual. Rather than focusing on sexuality, each point in the cycle focuses on emotions associated with the act of being in love/loved and can be interpreted as a simple collection of love poetry. Each poem views a different aspect of love, including love of oneself and how each person person perceives love from others and from “The Divine.”
The cycle also heavily reuses material and frequently quotes historical styles and other composers. For example: “Bury” is written in the style of a Renaissance Madrigal and later stylistically quotes Herbert Howells.
Fluidity as Riddle by Sam Krahn (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)
Green Fairy by John Horgeshimer (Ball State)
After my daughter passed away in 2010, I struggled with sleep. I couldn’t sleep restfully through the night, so I was prescribed sleeping pills. At first, the pills worked great (and I lovingly described them as “green fairies”), but soon after, I began to get trapped in my nightmares and couldn’t wake up. The sleeping pills turned into little green dragons, tormenting my sleep. I needed to sleep, but would not get any rest. It was a hopeless and helpless situation.
There are three characters in the piece: the male voice, the right hand representing the Green Fairy, and the left hand as the Green Dragon. They both torment the singer, in different ways. In the middle of the piece, there is a moment of anguish and after, the three come to the realization that they are part of each other. There is reconciliation at the end of the piece, and the singer drifts to sleep saying my daughter’s name.
Dancing Tree by Thomas Rex Beverly (Bowling Green State University)
Dancing Tree is product of my fascination with slow growth. The tree in this time-lapse video is about 300 years old, but is only 15 feet tall because of the desert environment where it grows. The music in this piece is a sonification of the subtle, but often frenetic movement of the dancing tree on one windy day in the desert of west Texas.
Tempus Imperfectum by Benjamin D. Whiting (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign)
Beneath the Wave by Luke Flynn (Butler University)
Having entered Japan to study composition only a few days after the massive earthquake and tsunami disaster that occurred in March of 2011, I was able to witness firsthand the indescribable amount of pain and suffering that so many were put through. However, it was not just waters of destruction and sadness that swept the country; a wave of strength, endurance, and love guided the people of Japan to remain focused on what was important: recovering and helping one another. Beneath the Wave’s title comes from Hokusai’s famous painting, The Great Wave. Next to Hokusai’s signature he has written three Japanese phrases, among them is “nami ura,” which translates to English as “beneath the wave.”
In Hokusai’s painting there are 30 fishermen in boats, rowing fearlessly toward their demise, unafraid of the titan that nature has sent toward them while Mt. Fuji (representing heaven), in the center of the painting, watches over them. When writing the text, I tried to relate the events of March 2011 to some of the symbolism that can be found in Hokusai’s painting in a series of four correlating, non-standardized, Japanese haiku, known as gendai.
May all of those who lost their lives on March 11, 2011 find eternal peace, and may all of their families and loved ones find solace in knowing that their loves ones sleep peacefully beneath the wave.