Here and There 2016 Program Notes
Nov. 11-13, 2016
Tickets & Info
Heather Barringer and Patti Cudd, percussion; Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds; Nikki Melville, piano
No Exit New Music Ensemble
Nick Underhill, piano; Nick Diodore, cello; Cara Tweed, violin; Sean Gabriel, flute; Gunnar Hirthe, clarinet
Timothy Beyer, Artistic Director; James Praznik, Associate Director
Artist Statement Throughout our history, Zeitgeist has championed the work of composers in our community, commissioning, developing, and premiering hundreds of works by Minnesota composers. Cleveland based No Exit New Music Ensemble boasts a similar passion with regard to their local artists. Both groups recognize that while creating work with artists near at hand is essential to creating a vibrant musical community, our work also becomes richer when we welcome new ideas into our midst, and increases in its impact when we share it with audiences near and far. Here and There is part of an artistic partnership between Zeitgeist and No Exit through which we will engage in the import and export of musical ideas between our two communities. Both ensembles will present in both cities, performing and developing work by Minnesota and Ohio composers and introducing audiences and artists to new musical possibilities. Together, we’ll learn more about what makes each community unique, what we have in common, how we differ, what we can share, and what we might take away.
This World is Maya - Janika Vandervelde
Shtetl (World Premiere) - Timothy Beyer
Kite Sites - Gregory Theisen
NO EXIT SET
Spell - Per Nørgård
The Angels of Serenity (World Premiere) - Randy Bauer
Streams (World Premiere) - Ann Millikan
78 - Jefferson Friedman
COMBINED SET (SATURDAY ONLY)
Sound Town I - Carei Thomas
Snellie - Carei Thomas
Sound Town II - Carei Thomas
The Metaphysics of Notation - Mark Applebaum
SUNDAY CONCERT: SOLOS
The Secret Lives of Birds - Greg D’Allessio
for flute & electronics; Sean Gabriel, flute
Coreopsis - Nicholas Underhill
Nicholas Underhill, piano
Shadows of the Electric Moon - Per Bloland
Patti Cudd, snare drum
Perpetuity - Hong-Da Chin
Gunnar Hirthe, bass clarinet
Almost a New Man - James Praznik
Pat O’Keefe, bass clarinet; Heather Barringer, percussion
The music of Janika Vandervelde grows out of a vigorous dialogue between instinct and form. Her subtle, asymmetrical weave of pitches and rhythms has been described as "endlessly fascinating… ordered, yet timeless." A native of Wisconsin, Ms. Vandervelde has written more than 90 works for orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles, soloists, and the stage. This World is Maya arises out of the composer’s research into the nature of reality posed by near-death experiences. Maya is a spiritual term in Sanskrit that means 'illusion,' as well as 'wisdom'. It connotes extraordinary power and suggests that many things are not what they seem.
Timothy Beyer is active as both a composer and performer in an eclectic range of musical mediums. He has composed for a variety of concert music genres, has scored for film, dance, and has produced works in the electronic music idiom. Beyer’s music has been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe by artists such as clarinetist Pat O’Keefe, flutists Carlton Vickers and Sean Gabriel, cellists David Russell and Craig Hultgren, pianist Jenny Lin and chamber ensembles Zeitgeist, the Verge Ensemble, the Cleveland Chamber Collective and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. His works have also been featured at the Aki Festival and the Utah Arts Festival. Shtetl is the first of three works for Zeitgeist that are evocative of his family’s experiences in pre-World War II Europe prior to immigrating to the United States.
Gregory Theisen is a composer, pianist, arranger and educator. His original compositions have been performed in Walker Arts Center, the International New Music Festival n Zagreb, the Lisbon Contemporary Music Festival and concerts in Germany and Belgium. As a music director, he has directed musical productions including Ordway Music Theater (I Won’t Dance; Into The Woods), Nautilus Music-Theater (Rough Cuts), History Theatre (Cow Girls; Mesabi Red), Ritz Theater (Venus by Chan Poling) and An Evening of Tony Sandler; Porter and Berlin). He has also performed with MN Orchestra, Guthrie Theater, and played about 100 Broadway productions at the Orpheum Theater. Kite Sites is a celebration of sound—a landscape of colors and shapes—diving, tailspinning, rising.
Per Nørgård is the most significant Danish composer since Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielson. In the 1960s, Nørgård began exploring the modernist techniques of central Europe, eventually developing a serial compositional system based on the "infinity series", which he used in his Voyage into the Golden Screen, the Second and Third Symphonies, I Ching, and other works. Later he became interested in the Swiss artist Adolf Wölfli, who inspired many of Nørgård's works, including the 4th symphony, the opera Det Guddommelige Tivoli and Papalagi for solo guitar. Spell aims at “casting a spell” by “spelling, which – expressed in notes – means that small motifs of few notes gradually change in the course of numerous reappearances. When three instruments in this way separately “spell” their way through one motif after another, numerous harmonies and melodies appear.
Randy Bauer is a composer and jazz musician based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His works have been performed across a range of cities and venues, from Austin to Zagreb, including New York, Chicago, Washington (the Kennedy Center), Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Los Angeles, St. Petersburg (Russia), Uppsala (Sweden), Berlin, Paris, Weimar, and in many other smaller cities and at universities across the United States. Bauer is Associate Professor of Music at Macalester College, where he teaches composition, theory, and jazz topics. The Angels of Serenity is a metaphorical response to the incongruities of our world: amidst earthbound strife of war, poverty, and misery, there are also moments of optimism and hope, brought about through the spirit of those who care —- whom we might call earthbound angels.
Ann Millikan composes concert music for orchestra, chamber ensembles and choir, opera, experimental and interdisciplinary projects involving installation, theater, and dance. Rhythmic vitality is a powerful force in her music, stemming from previous years playing jazz, African, and Brazilian music. Her music is expressive and colorful, moving freely between atonal and tonal/modal languages. She creates rich orchestral textures that are characterized by layering, rhythmic, juxtaposition, and complex counterpoint. She says of Streams, “Streams was composed using a particular process, and one I haven't tried before. I wrote it in streams, in complete silence, with each instrument's music created independently from the others. Once I completed a solo I never looked at it again. I had no idea of the vertical relationships in the score, except for what I could hold in my memory, until I put the five voices together. In a way, this was a "chance" piece. I fully expected to edit like crazy once I integrated the whole, but to my surprise I needed to change very little.”
American composer Jefferson Friedman has been commissioned several times by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra. His work has been performed throughout the United States and Europe, most notably at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and the American Academy in Rome. With a sound world that vacillates between a hyper-kinetic blues riff and a constantly modulating atonal barrage, Friedman’s 78 uses the idea of a constant rhythmic pulse and infuses it with a unique emotional center and jazzy syncopation.
Carei Thomas has been associated for a number of years with the music, literary, visual arts, dance, recovery, neighborhood and Buddhist communities of the Twin Cities. His compositions exhibit a keen command of the western classical tradition and American jazz. He will bounce with ease from Coltrane to Satie, Prokofiev to Parker, utilizing all of music history to create his own unique creations. Almost without exception, his music is joyful, and often portrays people or tableaux he conjures from the communities in which he has lived or the people with whom he is playing. Sound Town I & II and Snellie are graphically notated improvisational works.
Mark Applebaum is Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego where he studied principally with Brian Ferneyhough. His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic, and electroacoustic work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia with notable premieres at the Darmstadt summer sessions. The Metaphysics of Notation is graphically notated. The original version is a series of 6’ high panels.
Greg D’Alessio is an assistant professor of composition at Cleveland State University, where he is also the coordinator of the electronic and computer music program. The Secret Lives of Birds features digitally manipulated flute and bird sounds and acoustic flute.
Pianist/composer Nicholas Underhill is well known in Boston, New York City and Cleveland as a champion of new music for the piano. He has performed solo recitals in Carnegie Recital Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall. He was featured in the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial concerts in Chicago in 1991. He has performed on numerous occasions with the Cleveland Ballet Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and the Cleveland Chamber Collective. Coreopsis is a Nocturne inspired by the unassuming yellow flower of the same name. It explores fourths and fifths, as well as unusually wide spread piano textures.
Per Bloland is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music whose works have been described as having an “incandescent effect” with “dangerous and luscious textures.” His compositions range from short intimate solo pieces to works for large orchestra, and incorporate video, dance, and custom built electronics. In Shadows of the Electric Moon, for snare drum and electronics, the timbral palette of the snare drum is altered in a number of ways.
Originally from Kajang, Malaysia, Hong-Da Chin’s music has been performed by Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Orkiestra muzyki Nowej, Bel Canto Trio, The Thompson Street Opera Company, and Karr and Mattingly Duo. Perpetuity is inspired by Mount Fuji.
James Praznik has composed music for concerts, stage productions, and commercial videogames. He has been a guest composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor for the “Monsterpianos!” concerts in Akron, Ohio. His music has been performed at E.J. Thomas Hall, Cleveland State University, The University of Akron, Brandeis University, and Wellesley College. Almost a New Man is written for percussion, bass clarinet, electronic score, and film.
Since it’s inception, No Exit’s mission has been to serve as an outlet for the commission and performance of contemporary avant-garde concert music. Now in their eighth season and with over fifty commissions to date, No Exit continues to promote the music of living composers and to be an impetus for the creation of new works. They create exciting, meaningful and thought-provoking programs with the philosophy of bringing the concert hall to the community, and by presenting programs in a manner which allows for audiences to connect with the experience.
The ensemble has presented music that represents the gamut of the avant-garde: from the impish and mirthful jazz stylings of Raymond Scott to the cerebral hypercomplexity of Brian Ferneyhough (and just about everything in between). They give voice to those composers who have something to say, whether they be young composers at the beginning of their journey, established composers at the height of their abilities, or venturing into the past by exploring new ways of sharing the unconventional and innovative music of the early twentieth century’s artistic vanguard, which led to the commission of exciting contemporary re-imaginings of music by Erik Satie and Eric Dolphy, to name a few.
While No Exit has brought their work to other national and international locales, their emphasis is on serving the community in Northeast Ohio. No Exit has formed many longstanding and fruitful partnerships with individuals and organizations in the Greater Cleveland area to bring unique programming to audiences in Northeast Ohio and to nurture the development of young composers and musicians from the area through workshops, student readings and master classes.
No Exit’s 2016-2017 concert season includes participation in the NeoSonicFest, a series of exchange concerts with the St.Paul, Minnesota based new music ensemble Zeitgeist, and the world premieres of several newly commissioned pieces.