1997 Conference, Concert 3Saturday, April 26, 1997, 10:00 p.m., First Unitarian Meeting House, Madison.
Notes on the Music and ComposersJeff Gibbens holds degrees in Composition and French Literature from Lawrence University and graduate degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His principal composition teachers were Ben Johnston and the late James Ming. A charter member of the Wisconsin Alliance of Composers, he has appeared as composer and/or pianist on programs throughout the state, most recently in a series of four concerts devoted to the work of Leo Ornstein, organized by Milton Peckarsky. His research interests include connections between Debussy and Ives, the music of American architect Bruce Goff, and Ben Johnston's work in extended just intonation.
"Rhapsody for piano (1993-1997) is the last movement of Second Piano Set, a work that I began in 1992, including Nocturne, Waltz-Variations, and Ballad-Variations. The link between the movements, which were conceived as independent works, is the idea of 'music at home,' and all four refer to nineteenth-century piano music and piano improvisation. In the Rhapsody, I combined my interests in Liszt, Bartok, and Klezmer music with the image of solo piano performance as the equivalent of epic poetry."
Tom Eisenhut is president of the Waukesha Musicians' Association, local 193 AFM. He holds a BS from UWM, an MMPD and an MST from UW-Whitewater, and an MA from Mount Mary College. He will be performing in Kewaskum for the Parade of Local Bands.
Josh Schmidt is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he is majoring in History and Music Composition and Technology. He studies composition with Yehuda Yannay and also serves as the assistant coordinator for the Music From Almost Yesterday concert series. As a pianist, he studies both classical and avant-garde performance with ellsworth snyder and performs with several student groups on campus. In addition to his studies, Josh maintains an active schedule in musical direction and composition for several of Milwaukee's prominent theatre companies.
Marie Mellot is a studio artist residing in Milwaukee. She has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has also studied with William Wegman. Her drawing have been shown in many galleries in the U.S. and in Germany. During the last ten years, she has done collaborative work with composers, actors, and video artists using Projection Theatre art form:artwork performed through the use of slide dissolve techniques. She is also the author of a number of performance pieces.
"She Couldn't Scream, for celesta, piano, and projections, is loosely based on an essay by Morton Feldman which details one of his excursions into film scoring. When the film's director asked for music for a scene involving the brutalization and rape of a woman walking through Central Park, Feldman composed celesta music. Furious with the result, the director dismissed him. He was expecting, as Feldman put it, Shostakovich's Fifth. To me, the director in this anecdote exhibits the insensitivity toward image/music relationships typical in Hollywood films. Why impose bombast over an already traumatic visual? With this piece, I attempt to reconcile Feldman's original intentions within a similar abstract context.
"After the first performance, I felt a need to expand the work's visual parameters. When I spoke of my intentions to Marie Mellot, whose work in projection theatre I know and admire greatly, she agreed to provide slide visuals for the work to be projected during performance. Today's performance is the second to feature both the projections and the music."
Born and raised in Madison, Ryan Conners is currently double-majoring in Electrical Engineering and Music Composition in his fifth year at the UW-Madison. He has received several engineering scholarships for academic excellence, and as a sophomore was elected president of Eta Kappa Nu, an Electrical Engineering Honor Society. As a musician, Ryan has performed Gershwin's Piano Concerto (first movement) with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Ryan has sung in numerous operas and musicals, played violin in the Madison Symphony Orchestra, performed on various percussion instruments, has absolute pitch, and is basically a complete musical genius. All kneel before Ryan! Ryan is currently the secretary/treasurer of the Madison Chapter of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers.
Ryan's compositions are worthless because they are unoriginal. Many of them sound like Prokofiev, Ryan's favorite composer. Written in 1994, Ryan's String Trio is very short, so your misery will be brief.
"Desert Dance is dedicated to Joelluin Masters, 1968-1996, dancer, choreographer, poet, collaborator, friend. Hair and heart to the wind. Willpower-to-body-weight ratio about fifty times normal. Inspiring as a pusher of limits, unique as a dancer, empathetic as a friend, witty, compassionate--all are understatements. Some artists make their statement with technique, some with imagination, some touch your heart. To watch her dance was to fall in love. She lives on in heaven, and in a thousand hearts. Au revoir, ma petite noisseuse.
"The location photography was done in Texas's Big Bend country, the northernmost tip of the Chihuahuan desert, in the spring of 1996. The models are Chicago dancers Karen Fisher and Jennifer Myers. Joelluin would have been the third model if she had lived to see her 28th birthday. The studio photography was done in Chicago after we got back, except for the opening shots, which are of Joelluin. The music was composed during the summer and fall of 1996 in Chicago and Kalamazoo, MI, where Jim Schwall is currently visiting professor of composition at Western Michigan University."
Christopher Frye, theory/composition professor and coordinator of the theory program at UW-La Crosse, received degrees in composition from Capital University and The College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where his principal teachers were Scott Huston and Jonathon Kramer. His music has been performed throughout the United States by ensembles such as the Milwaukee Symphony, and The Cincinnati Choral Society, The Music Fix of Madison and at national and regional festivals sponsored by organizations like The Society of Composers Inc., The Minnesota Composers Forum, Cincinnati Composer's Guild, Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Cleveland Composer's Guild, Memphis State University New Music Festival and The Wisconsin Music Teachers Association.
"Frequent visits to the beach front home of my parents in South Carolina inspired Oceanscapes. Each one depicts a particular mood/scene at the beach that might not be of the typical sort. The first movement, 'Mostly Gray and Calm,' is one that evokes a calm but more anxious mood than one might expect. The second, 'Rough Swells,' is a blustery and very emotional work. The third, 'A Distant Storm at Night,' has a distant and serene, yet unsettled quality. The last movement, 'Clear with Light Waves,' has a somewhat hypnotic rhythmic effect, similar to the effect of the effect of the waves encountered at the beach. These pieces are dedicated to my mother, who is a pianist."
Elliott Goldkind received his undergraduate education at Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied composition with Chester Biscardi and Meyer Kupferman, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. He received his MM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate, studying with Stephen Dembski and Joel Naumann. He has had his compositions performed in New York City, at the Aspen Music Festival, Berlin, Bern, Paris and Sienna. In addition to concert music, he has scored film and commercials and worked as a film sound editor.
Micro, for seven players, is an attempt to exploit many various instrumental, timbral, textural and harmonic combinations while staying within the temporal confines of a short (ca. 5 minutes) composition. This piece is sectionally delineated by various instrumental shifts, e.g., pizzicato episode in the strings, a duet in the brass, and also by the reiteration of the plucked and muted notes on the piano. There is no "development" of the musical materials, but rather a systematic presentation of various sonic fields which lead to what, hopefully, sounds like its logical conclusion.
[Concert 1] [Panel Discussion] [Concert 2] [Concert 3] [Concert 4]
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