July 13, VIPA Concert 3: [Switch~ Ensemble]

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Auditorio del Conservatorio Superior “Joaquín Rodrigo” – 19.30h. (7:30 PM)

Light on Water (2012)** – Rand Steiger (1957)
for flute, piano, and electronics

From overhead the sweetness drives it crazy. (2016)* – Tyler Gilmore (1982)
for violin, cello, and electronics

Phanes II*** – Stefano Gervasoni (1962)
for soprano saxophone

INTERMISSION

Pictorial Fields: Traces in 1A (2016)* – Theocharis Papatrechas (1988)
for bass clarinet, violin, cello, and electronics

givenName (2016)* – James Bean (1989)
for flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello, and electronics

lamento (2016)* – Igor Santos (1985)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, piano, and electronics

karst survey (2016)* – Timothy McCormack (1984)
for piccolo, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, percussion, piano, violin, cello, and electronics

* World premiere
** European premiere
*** Spanish premiere

the [Switch~ Ensemble] switch-composite-mosh2-withtext
Zach Sheets, flutes
Madison Greenstone, clarinets
Phil Pierick, saxophones
Lauren Cauley, violin
T.J. Borden, cello
Wei-Han Wu, piano
Megan Arns, percussion
Jason Thorpe Buchanan, artistic director
Clay Mettens, audio engineer

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Light on Water (2012)** – Rand Steiger (1957)
for flute, piano, and electronics

I live near the Los Peñasquitos marsh in San Diego, and walking past it every day I have been struck by how many different ways light reflects off the surface of the water. Sometimes it mirrors dull morning grayness; at other times, when the sun is bright and the water high, it produces brilliant, sparkling flecks. These conditions can create a sense of disorienting beauty, and these feelings and images were on my mind as I developed the material for the piece.

rand_steigerRand Steiger’s music has been commissioned and performed by many ensembles, including the American Composers Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, Ensemble Intercontemporain, International Contemporary Ensemble, Lontano, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, NYNME, Prism Quartet, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Talea Ensemble, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as Composer Fellow. Soloists he has composed for include Matthew Barley, Maya Beiser, Claire Chase, Daniel Druckman, Peter Evans, Alan Feinberg, George Lewis, Mark Menzies, Susan Narucki, Vicki Ray, and Steven Schick.

Throughout his career, Steiger has been involved in computer music research, having held three residencies at IRCAM, and enjoying a long fruitful collaboration with Miller Puckette, the leading computer music researcher of his generation. He was Composer-in-Residence at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology from 2010 to 2013.

Many of Steiger’s works combine orchestral instruments with real-time digital audio signal processing. They also propose a hybrid approach to just and equal-tempered tuning, exploring the delicate perceptual cusp between a harmony and a timbre that occurs when tones are precisely tuned. Some examples of works deploying these techniques include: Ecosphere, developed during residencies at Ircam and premiered by the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris; Traversing, written for cellist Mathew Barley and premiered by the Southbank Sinfonia in London; Cryosphere, premiered by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, A Menacing Plume, premiered by the Talea Ensemble in New York, and the Coalescence Cycle, premiered on a portrait concert at Miller Theater in New York by the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2013. He is currently working on string quartets with electronics for the Flux and JACK quartets.

His compositions and performances are recorded on the Centaur, CRI, Crystal, Einstein, Koch, Mode, New Albion, New Dynamic, New World, Nonesuch, and Tzadik labels. Recent works for instruments and electronics are available on Ecosphere a portrait CD/DVD on EMF, and A Menacing Plume, a portrait CD on New World Records.

Steiger is a Distinguished Professor, and holder of the Conrad Prebys Presidential Chair in the Music Department at U.C. San Diego, and is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. In 2009 he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University.

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From overhead the sweetness drives it crazy. (2016)* – Tyler Gilmore (1982)
for violin, cello, and electronics

“From overhead the sweetness drives it crazy.” was inspired by Forever Overhead, David Foster Wallace’s brief coming­of­age story from the viewpoint of a thirteen year old boy on a very high diving board. The material is based upon one short motif, bent and refracted throughout. The piece integrates scored live electronics, via controlled microphone feedback and signal processing.

2Tyler Gilmore is a composer and electronic musician. He has worked with Cuong Vu, Jenny Hval, Matt Wilson, Ron Miles, Ken Filiano, and many others. Gilmore founded Brooklyn­based recording label Not Art Records. He has recorded two albums with his ensemble Ninth and Lincoln, including Static Line. In addition, he has composed for projects with WhoThroughThen, Small Dream Ada, and Raia Was co­produced by Autre Ne Veut. He won the 2009 ASCAP/Columbia College Commission in Honor of Hank Jones and won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Award in 2008, 2009, and 2010; and has been a fellow at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Henry Mancini Institute, Music OMI, and Brush Creek Arts. Tyler grew up in rural Wyoming, attended the University of Northern Colorado and the New England Conservatory, and is now based in Brooklyn, NY.

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Phanes II*** – Stefano Gervasoni (1962)
for soprano saxophone

╢╕Paride-Galeone_Milano_centro_san_fedele_27-11-10Born in Bergamo in 1962, Stefano Gervasoni began studying composition in 1980 on the advice of Luigi Nono: this encounter, as well as others with Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös and Helmut Lachenmann, turned out to be decisive for his career. After attending the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, Stefano Gervasoni studied with György Ligeti in Hungary in 1990, and then, in 1992, he attended the IRCAM Course in Composition and in Computer Music in Paris. The first three years in France launched Gervasoni’s international career that eventually led him to be artist-in-residence at Villa Medici in Rome for the biennium 1995-1996.

With commissions from prestigious institutions such the WDR, the SWR, the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, Radio France, IRCAM, the Casa da Musica in Porto, the Festival Archipel in Geneva, the Divertimento Ensemble in Milan, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Contrechamps in Geneva, the Maerzmusik festival in Berlin, the Ars Musica Bruxelles, the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, the French Ministry of Culture, Milan Teatro alla Scala and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Stefano Gervasoni has established himself as one of the most important Italian composers of his generation. His catalogue – which includes chamber and vocal music, concertos, works for orchestra, for ensemble and an opera (Limbus-Limbo), commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Percussions de Strasbourg (2012) – was first published by Ricordi, from 1987, and then, from 2000, by Suvini Zerboni.

Winner of numerous prizes, including the recent Premio della Critica Musicale “Franco Abbiati” (2010), his work has allowed him to be a grant-holder at the Fondation des Treilles in Paris (1994) and at the DAAD in Berlin (2006) and composer-in-residence at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec during the period 2008-2010. He has also been invited to teach at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, on the courses organised by the Fondation Royaumont (Paris), at Toho University in Tokyo, at the Festival International di Campos do Jordão in Brazil, at the Conservatory in Shanghai, at Columbia University (New York) and at Harvard University (Boston). He has been composer-in-residence at Lausanne Conservatoire (2005) and visiting professor at ESMUC in Barcelona for the 2012-13 academic year.

Since 2006 Stefano Gervasoni has held a regular teaching post as professor of composition at the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris.

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Pictorial Fields: Traces in 1A (2016)* – Theocharis Papatrechas (1988)
for bass clarinet, violin, cello, and electronics

Pictorial Fields: Traces in 1A is a piece written for three instrumentalists and signal processing. The piece has no score. The three parts were written independently. Each part moves through its own temporal stream. The three parts, sharing duration and sonic identity by being consistent on a dominant textural hue, were written to exist together by beginning and finishing together. The piece is an experiment. The main aspect of the composition, on which this experiment is focusing, is narrative. The composition seeks to destruct the conventional notion of narrative. Narrative exists in a two­dimensional domain composed by the horizontal and vertical axes. The destruction of the horizontal perspective seems limited of manipulation due to the natural left­to­right timeline. The composer seeks to destruct the vertical perspective of narrative by not being aware of it throughout the compositional process. In this way, the composition seeks to avoid and reject the following conventionalities: directionality, trajectory, expectation, instrumental dependence and awareness, orchestration, simultaneities, synchronization, formal consistencies, methodical continuities. The purpose of this work is the creation of a meta­narrative, of which both the composer and the listener are being aware throughout and after the performance.

papatrechas_photoTheocharis Papatrechas (1988) was born in Athens, Greece. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. program in composition at the University of California, San Diego under the supervision of Rand Steiger. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Ionian University, where he studied with Joseph Papadatos. He also attended the Sibelius Academy, as an exchange student, studying with Lauri Kilpio. Theocharis has received a Master’s degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Ricardo Zohn­Muldoon, Carlos Sanchez­Gutierrez and Allan Schindler. He also holds a diploma in guitar performance from the Municipal Conservatory of Corfu. For his studies at the Eastman School of Music, Theocharis received scholarships from the Onassis Foundation, the Lilian Voudouri Foundation, the Samuel Adler Foundation and the Gerondelis Foundation. The academic Year 2008­09, he was awarded the IKY Award for Academic Excellence. Theocharis has participated in several composition venues and master­classes around the globe studying with Philippe Leroux, Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, Beat Furrer, Mark André, Franck Bedrossian, Francesco Filidei, Raphael Cendo, Hans Abrahamsen, Hanspeter Kyburz, Philip Cashian. Theocharis’ works have been commissioned and performed by, among others, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (MCME), Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Multilatérale, Nyky Trio, OSSIA New Music Ensemble, East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), dissonArt Ensemble, Ensemble Suono Giallo, the [Switch~ Ensemble], Eastman Philharmonia & Chamber Orchestra, Eastman Sinfonietta, AltosVier Quartet and Greek Ensemble of Contemporary Music.

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givenName (2016)* – James Bean (1989)
for flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello, and electronics

I currently study composition with Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku at Harvard University. In the past, I’ve had the privilege to study with Rand Steiger at UC San Diego, and Robert Kyr at the University of Oregon.

I am momentarily devoted to authoring an automated music notation software called dn-m (dynamic notation for music) for iPads, which allows performers to interact dynamically with musical scores throughout their learning and performance processes.

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lamento (2016)* – Igor Santos (1985)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, piano, and electronics

lamento is a work immersed in musico-historical pianto and lament-like gestures and motifs (sighing figures, descending motion, Ligeti lament patterns, etc.) that are constantly reconfigured in color and in intervallic increments. The piece is currently a work in progress – I later intend to add a movement that references the vernacular music instrumental music from Brazil called chorinho, which literally translates to “little cry”, or “little lament”. The sextet is aided by electronics to create “prosthetics” for acoustic instruments (added to the piano and glockenspiel in this piece, and to the vibraphone in a later version), allowing for a flexible and precise approach to micro-intervals in situations where intonation is mostly fixed.

1Igor Santos is a Brazilian-American composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic concert music. His works have been performed by groups such as eighth blackbird, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Spektral Quartet and The Florida Orchestra. Igor is a current Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at the University of Chicago. He received his Master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon and Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez. At Eastman he was an active member of the Ossia New Music group, assisting in organizing and promoting concerts of contemporary music. He received his B.M. in composition from the University of South Florida, where he was also active as board member and pianist for the USF Composer’s Consortium. Additional studies include workshops and festivals such as IRCAM (ManiFeste), Synthetis, Fontainebleau, Brevard Music Center, Underwood New Music Readings, NUNC! 2.

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karst survey (2016)* – Timothy McCormack (1984)
for piccolo, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, percussion, piano, violin, cello, and electronics

An on-the-ground traversal through a weathered and disconnected terrain; a narrow passage suddenly opening up into a cavern; a disappearing river; a compulsive urge for movement; a pushing forward, even if that leads straight down the dark maw of a sinkhole.

903191_733297588634_2132608937_oTimothy McCormack‘s music centers on the idea that sound has mass, displaces air, and is experienced as a physical object. He has been commissioned by ensembles such as the ELISION Ensemble, the JACK Quartet, musikFabrik, ensemble et cetera, and Ensemblekollektiv Berlin. His music has also been performed by Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble SurPlus, the Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Nikel, and ensemble hand werk and programmed on the Wien Modern, Darmstadt, Huddersfield, Witten, TRANSIT, Tzlil Meudcan, and Weimar festivals.

McCormack is a PhD candidate at Harvard University, where he studies with Chaya Czernowin. He also studied at the University of Huddersfield with Aaron Cassidy and Liza Lim as well as at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Schloss Solitude Sommerakademie, and the Tzlil Meudcan Summer Courses. He has studied in masterclass or private lesson settings with Steven Takasugi, Hans Tutschku, Roger Reynolds, Mark André, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Amnon Wolman, Jason Eckardt, Olga Neuwirth and Philippe Manoury, and has lectured on his music at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg and at the Universität der Künste Berlin. In addition to music, McCormack has also studied contemporary dance with Jill Johnson and has worked in masterclass or choreographic settings with William Forsythe, John Jasperse, Christopher Roman and Riley Watts.