2015 Program Notes & Composer Bios – Concert #1: Nomos Group


Concert #1 – July 18, 2015: NOMOS Group – 22.00, El Carmen

Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (2014)* – Peter Dayton (1990)       9’
for violoncello and piano

Homoousios (2014) – Eric Evans (1982)       7’
for flute, violoncello and electronics

You, As You Were Before You Existed (2014) – Jessica Rudman (1982)       9’
for violin and violoncello

Sea Calls (2014) – Matthew Recio (1991)       5’
for clarinet solo

Klaviertrio (2011) – Filippo Santoro (1971)       10.5’
for violin, violoncello and piano

Koch-aine (2014) – Jonathan Russ (1985)       6’
for violin, violoncello and piano

The Fiction of Time Destroyed (2015)* – Louis Goldford (1983)       8.5’
for flute en Sol, bass clarinet, violoncello and electronics

* world premiere

Nomos Group
Javier Berbis, flutes
Ausiás Garrigós, clarinet
Jenny Guerra, violin
Mayte García, violoncello
Carlos Amat, piano and conductor

Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (2014) – Peter Dayton (1990)
for violoncello and piano

This Sonata was composed as part of an interdepartmental collaboration at the Peabody Institute in the fall of 2014. A work conceived to be performed either with bassoon or violoncello and piano, this Sonata explores extremes in emotional, and registral, territory in two movements. From catty, sarcastic repartees and high anxiety in the first movement, to the tragedy and introspective melancholy of the second, the work’s tenor came from a desire to compose a piece that explored emotional boundaries that I felt were underrepresented in the bassoon’s solo repertoire. The Sonata’s emotional geography also draws from my close contact with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata, Op. 147, which I performed in the role of accompanist in 2011; work on this piece brought back not only the difficult territory of the Viola Sonata itself but some of my own terror at the time as I grappled with a piece on the edge of my proficiency as a performer. I am very grateful to Alex Carlson and Sean Calhoun, who together premiered the bassoon version in the spring of 2015, and I am equally indebted to Ensemble NOMOS for presenting the world premiere of the version with violoncello here.

_JHU5156_bwComposer Peter Dayton writes music that appeals to diverse listeners through its remarkable combination of energy and intimacy. The Baltimore Sun has described Dayton’s music as having “a refined sense of melodic arcs and harmonic motion.” His compositions have been performed across the US and in Europe. His orchestral pieces have been recorded by the Brno Philharmonic for the Ablaze label on volumes 2 and 3 of their “Orchestral Masters” series; selections of his choral music are going to be released, also by Ablaze, in 2016. Dayton’s recent projects epitomize the diversity of his interests. He has created an electronic piece using audio from recent Supreme Court oral arguments, a Kickstarter to finance a concert of American choral music (including his own), and a piece for the Japanese 17-string koto. As a part of Dayton’s creative process, he often turns visual art or poetry to spark artistic responses. The works of Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo inspired one of Dayton’s best-received pieces, Mar de Lurín for oboe and guitar. The renowned painter has praised the composer for, “understanding what I search for in painting.” Dayton graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where he was the winner of the 2012 Blair Composition Competition. There, he studied composition with Michael Alec Rose, Michael Slayton, and Stan Link. He is currently enrolled in post-graduate studies in composition with Michael Hersch at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

Homoousios (2014) – Eric Evans (1982)
for flute, violoncello and electronics

“Homoousios,” literally translated in English as “of the same substance, or essence,” is the Greek word used at the Council of Nicea to describe the nature of Christ; that He was “of the same substance” as God. This council was called in 325 CE to develop clarity in relation to the views of the Arians, which thought of Christ as “like [as opposed to ‘same’] in substance” with God. This controversy – and the doctrine realized out of it, of which the word “Homoousios” represents – is best summed up in the idea that Christ was both fully God and fully human in nature. This piece explores this hypostasis of the Divine and the human – the “otherness” of two distinctly different natures becoming one (yet at the same time upholding the distinctiveness of divinity and humanity) – through multiple expressions. The words taken from the first epistle of John in the New Testament: “[This is] He-who-came- by-water-and-blood,” (speaking of Christ) are spoken by a two-year old in the electronics. Water and blood speak of the duality of Christ’s nature; water representing His Divinity, and blood representing His humanity. Thus the rest of the electronics in their entirety are taken only from sounds generated by water flowing or striking objects and sounds generated by a tree (representing blood due to its associations with a cross). So through the dual nature of sounds in the electronics, each instrument’s timbre, form, and the play of key motivic figures between two instruments, Homoousios unifies contrast, reflecting the hypostatization of the Divine and the human.

IMG_3049Eric Evans desires to be an artist who interprets the gift of existence through the creative act with authenticity and integrity. To him, the creative act is not a means to an end but is free, bearing no justification. Some of Eric’s compositional and research interests are the intersection of acoustic instrumentation and recorded sound, meaning and the semiotics of sound, ontologically transformative processes of ritual and ritual music, the implications of the aural experience of “otherness” on the sense of self, and the incorporation of the innovative and the sacred. Having studied under Dr. Scott McAllister at Baylor University, Eric has received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition as well as the 2006 Baylor University School of Music Outstanding Composer Award. He has received a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition from the University of North Texas while studying under Dr. Panayiotis Kokoras, Dr. Andrew May, and Dr. Kirsten Broberg. His works have been included in the proceedings of the 2015 Mise-En Festival, the 2015 National Student Electronic Music Event, the 2015 CEMI Circles Festival and the American Musicological Society Southwest Chapter and Society of Ethnomusicology Southern Plains Edition joint conference, 2014.

You, As You Were Before You Existed (2014) – Jessica Rudman (1982)
for violin and violoncello

This work was inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem “Every Day You Play” from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. The poem (one of the twenty concerning love) is filled with mysterious yet evocative phrases, and I was particularly fascinated with a line at the end of the second stanza: “Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed”. The words resonated with an idea for a piece that had been gestating in the back of my mind. My initial concept was of a melody that gradually emerged from chaos and was transformed over time, eventually reaching an emotional climax far removed from the tumult of the opening. In this duet for violin and cello, I have left the meaning of that transformation ambiguous, mirroring my own reading of Neruda’s text. Who is the “you” of whom Neruda writes, and how could he remember someone before they existed? Is his beloved’s true identity what she has become or the inherent potential she had before she “existed”?

IMG_3048Jessica Rudman is a Connecticut-based composer and teacher, who writes music that unifies extended techniques with clear melodic development and narrative structures to create a unique and personal emotional expression. Her works have been performed by groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Cadillac Moon Ensemble, The Omaha Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. She has received awards from SCI/ASCAP, Boston Metro Opera, the College Music Society, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and others. Dr. Rudman has served on the faculty at Baruch College, Central Connecticut State University, and the Hartt School. She is currently the Director of the Young Composers Program and the Chair of the Composition/Musicianship/Theory Department of the Hartt School Community Division. Dr. Rudman has also been highly involved in arts administration and is on the board of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. She holds degrees from the CUNY Graduate Center, The Hartt School, and the University of Virginia. More information about Dr. Rudman and her work can be found at her website www.jessicarudman.com.

Sea Calls (2014) – Matthew Recio (1991)
for clarinet solo

The clarinet’s timbres through the different registers remind me of the sounds of the harbor. Sea Calls is a soundscape depicting a harbor at dusk. Harbors have a sense of nostalgia and eeriness because you never quite know when the ships will be returning. In the piece there is a motive that is used to beckon to the ships, at points the conversation is reciprocated and others times it is an unanswered call. Right before the premiere of this work my grandmother had passed which gave the piece new meaning to me. It is a means of communicating with those who we cannot communicate with in the traditional sense. Listen deeply into the silences, for silence is not just a lack of sound but a response itself.

_DSC3603-Edit copyComposer and performer of various mediums, Matthew Recio’s evocative compositions generate a vivid imagistic experience for listeners. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate and Charles F. Hockett scholar of Ithaca College where he received his B.M. in composition and music education. While at Ithaca, he was awarded the Smedbeck composition prize for three consecutive years as well as the ACDA choral composition prize. His work has recently been selected for performance at the Midwest Composer Symposium, the UNK New Music Festival, Hammer and Nail Contemporary Dance Collaboration, and the New Voices Opera Exhibition. Matthew is the winner of the 2015 IMTA Opus young artist composition competition and will be programmed in the Indiana State Music Festival this coming Fall. In the past he has been chosen to participate in the Atlantic Music Festival as well as being selected as an emerging composer for the IMANI Winds chamber festival in New York City. His principal teachers include Dana Wilson, Eric Ewazen, Don Freund and Sven-David Sandström. He is currently pursuing his M.M in composition at Indiana University’s Jacobs School. (matthewrecio.com)

Klaviertrio (2011) – Filippo Santoro (1971)
for violin, violoncello and piano

This work for piano, violin and cello takes inspiration from a piece of poetry by the Italian poet and writer Sergio Solmi. It was conceived as a series of six consecutive panels, three for each of the two stanzas. The initial solo piano prologue is reintroduced later in the piece, reflecting the poetic structure of Solmi’s work. Klaviertrio relates to this piece of poetry like a chiasmus. It is a journey from the lowest register of the piano and the blonde angel to the highest harmonics of the violin and the black angel.

Filippo Santoro PictureFilippo Santoro is an Italian composer who studied with composers Luciano Pelosi, Boris Porena and Stephen Dembski and draws inspiration from the teaching of Franco Donatoni. Santoro was born in Rome and received a Master’s Degree in composition as well as diplomas in piano performance and chamber music from the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. He graduated from University of Bologna with a Master’s Degree in music and semiotics and from State University of New York, Binghamton with a Master’s Degree in composition. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in composition at the University of Wisconsin where he was the recipient of the UW-Madison University Fellowship. His work Arioso Mistico for soprano and orchestra was the winner of the 2010 UW-Madison Concerto Competition. His most recent music takes inspiration from nature and the way biological forms grow and develop. Recent commissions and premieres of his music include the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, Clocks in Motion percussion ensemble, UW-Madison Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Transient Canvas, solo virtuosos such as Marc Vallon, Kostas Tiliakos, Douglas Lindsey. He has been an artist in residence at the Kimmel Nelson Center for the Arts and Brush Creek Foundations for the Arts. Filippo continues to work with ensembles and performers who are engaged in his musical language and he is keen to explore and promote new avenues for composer and audience interaction through technology.

Koch-aine (2014) – Jonathan Russ (1985)
for violin, violoncello and piano

Koch-aine is about the Koch brothers, a pair of billionaire businessmen who contribute large sums of money towards climate change denial (amongst other causes). Their control of the American political system has made it very hard to pass meaningful climate change legislation. The first half of the piece depicts a grotesque cocktail party, as one might find in Washington. The second is a more personal response to the Koch brothers’ effect on the world.

IMG_0576Composer and songwriter Jonathan Russ is dedicated to exploring the space between contemporary classical music, indie rock, and musical theater. Jonathan was recently featured in a portrait concert by the American Chamber Ensemble, with whom he is currently Composer-In-Residence, and will be in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts this fall. He has worked with the Ludovico Ensemble, Quartetto Apeiron, and members of the JACK Quartet, Fifth House Ensemble, and ICE, as well as clarinetist Stanley Drucker, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Beattie, and pianists Amir Khosrowpour and Marilyn Lehman. Jonathan has participated in the New Music On The Point Festival, Cortona Sessions, fresh inc., soundSCAPE Festival, and highSCORE Festival. He is the 2014 winner of the MA-ASTA Composition Competition and a winner of the Boston Conservatory Choral Composers’ Competition. A Long Island native, Jonathan holds a master’s in composition from the Boston Conservatory, where he studied with Andy Vores and Curtis Hughes. He also holds a BA from Brown University in music and international relations and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in musical theater writing.

The Fiction of Time Destroyed (2015)* – Louis Goldford (1983)
for flute en Sol, bass clarinet, violoncello and electronics

The Fiction of Time Destroyed was written in homage to a dear friend, whose time came too soon. Despite having only known him in recent years, only meeting him on few but truly uplifting occasions, and despite his untimely death, I feel as though I must have known this person in a previous life — and can only hope we’ll meet again in some future existence. In the aftermath, therefore, I’m left with a feeling of sudden loss and with plenty of questions related to time. There are many unforgettable traits to remember him by, but my immediate feeling of urgency could only be absolved by taking seriously this question of time and its perceived linearity. This piece is simultaneously a remembrance, and for me, a way of finding resolution in the mystery.

The piece’s original Spanish title is a line from one of my favorite poems by Jorge Luis Borges, Amorosa anticipación, whose last few lines are as follows —

Arrojado a quietud,                           Cast up into silence
divisaré esa playa última de tu ser                 I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being
y te veré por vez primera, quizá,            and see you for the first time, perhaps,
como Dios ha de verte,                     as God must see you—
desbaratada la ficción del Tiempo,            the fiction of Time destroyed,
sin el amor, sin mí.                            free from love, from me.

This poem calls to mind my friend’s spouse, who is currently at the outset of mourning. The score reads, “for Tim.”

Goldford-headshot2Louis Goldford is an emerging composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music whose works have been presented at national and international new music festivals. Such engagements include Contemporary Encounters with the Meitar Ensemble (CEME), the Valencia International Performance Academy, June in Buffalo, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the 41st International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) National Conference, the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) at New England Conservatory, the Composit New Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. His Uncanny Valley (2014) for large orchestra was given Honorable Mention by the 2015 ACO / Underwood New Music Readings, and his Eric, Rising (2012) had been a finalist with the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Louis completed the Computer Music Workshop while studying at the IRCAM Académie and festival ManiFESTE in Paris. More at louisgoldford.com, soundcloud.com/louisgoldford, and issuu.com/louisgoldford