In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zeitgeist has created a new commissioning project in effort to adapt to the new realities of social distancing, virtual programming, and alternative concert presentation. Sounding Ground commissions will engage artists and audiences alike through the creation of new musical works designed to be presented in a non-live or outdoor setting. New works created for Sounding Ground will be composed by Queen Drea, Jonathan Posthuma, Michelle Kinney, Douglas Ewart, Yan Pang, and Shruthi Rajasekar.
About the Composers
Yan Pang is a composer, performer, and scholar. She is currently an adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota where she received her Ph.D. in Music with a minor in Theater Arts & Dance. Her work focuses on inter-cultural music composition and performance. As part of this interest, she has been commissioned to compose and invited to perform in music festivals throughout the world. A selection of her varied publications includes album Glory Times by the China Scientific & Cultural Audio-Video Publishing Company; scores “For Archie”, “Nowhere Home”, and “The Others” by UCLA; peer-reviewed journal article “Field to Media: Applied Ecomusicology in the Anthropocene” (co-authored with Pedelty et al) by Cambridge University Press. “Scene of Sichuan Opera” (co-authored with Mingzhu Song), and the books Cool Math for Hot Music, All About Music, and Basic Music Technology, and The Future of Music (co-authored with Mazzola et al) by Springer. For more, please visit: www.yanpangcreate.com
Jonathan Posthuma (b. 1989) is a freelance composer and musician living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His largest work to date is an ongoing collection of chamber music called Paul Klee: Painted Songs, which currently has over 40 completed titles of the planned 165 pieces. Many excerpts from this collection have been performed locally at Studio Z but also nationally and internationally. Jonathan currently resides in Newport, MN and works in the development department of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. When not composing, Jonathan finds inspiration in gardening, cooking, visual art, and the beauty of the natural world.
Notes on Jonathan's new work for Zeitgeist:
"In my first conversation with Heather about this commission, she asked if I would think about gardening, nature, or something related to my other creative passions. At the moment, the working title of the piece is "Driftless: A Pastorale," partly in reference to the Driftless Area of the Upper Midwest, a place I've always called home, but also the concept of drift in general. When we call something "driftless," it means it has no aim or direction. But when talking about the glacial definition of "driftless," it means quite the opposite. It characterizes a place with a more rooted history, more definition, and clearly eroded paths and channels that support more biodiverse ecosystems. So, what is better, to be slowly eroded through history in a single place but rich in life? Or, to be irrevocably changed by crushing forces that leave behind fresh new deposits? To put down roots or to wander? To cultivate or to explore? To be driftless with purpose, or to find purpose in what is left behind?"