Friday, April 25, 2014

Composers Centennial Concert: Program Notes

The following are notes on some of the selections.

Crossing by Ryan MacEvoy-McCullough
Ryan MacEvoy-McCullough
A 4-channel piece utilizing sounds that are either pre-recorded samples from a piano (playing anything but the keys), a mason jar, a mason jar used on the piano, and a simulated analog synthesizer. All the material has been digitally edited as if I were writing this using tape reels.

Reflections in Time (2013/14) by Brian Post
performed by Elisabeth Harrington (voice) and John Chernoff (piano.)

 1. Trees - Poetry by Eric Barker
 2. Blue Heron - Poetry by Reg White
 3. Revenant – Poetry by Reg White
 4. A Firmer Grasp Of The Obvious - Poetry by Jim Dodge
 5. The Way Things Work - Poetry by Jorie Graham

Composed to commemorate the Humboldt State Centennial. The poems were chosen to reflect elements of Humboldt State University and Humboldt County that were important to many people who have lived here for the last century and will continue to be drawn here in the future.

Caged Bells #2 (2013/14) by J. Brian Post
performed by Daniela Mineva (carillon)
 Written specifically for a miniature carillon designed by John Cage and built by HSU music technicians, this piece is performed with an electronically enhanced recording of chanting Tibetan monks. The recordings represent the pursuit of enlightenment and the carillon represents the achievement of enlightenment.

Piano Rhubarb for violin, alto saxophone and piano by Halim Beere
Mr. Distinguished for violin, alto saxophone, piano and pre-recorded electronics by Dante De Silva
Nocturne by John Chernoff. 

Vipisa Trio
These three pieces will be performed by the Vipisa Trio: Cindy Moyers (violin), Virginia Ryder (saxophone and clarinet) and John Chernoff (piano.)

Halim Beere is an HSU graduate in violin performance and composition.  He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois.
John Chernoff is the staff accompanist at HSU.
Dante De Silva studied composition at HSU for his B.A., UC Santa Cruz for his M.A. and UCLA for his Ph.D. He was the composer-in-residence with the Definiens Project (2005-2007) and the Tonoi Ensemble (2006-2007).

Three Dot Flourish (2002) by Gil Cline
performed by members of the Humboldt Bay Brass Band.
 “Everyone knows the genre “fanfare” so I’ve had some fun devising my own “mini-genre,” the “Flourish.” Whereas a fanfare usually kicks off some event, a flourish has potential not only for that but also for ending some segment, or even as an encore. The short, snappy Three Dot Flourish was written and performed by Brass Consort von Humboldt in 2003 in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral for Herb Caen Days. BCvH specialized in the early brass, including the true natural trumpet of the baroque. We have acquired a set of copies of the 1667 London trumpet by Simon Beale, which we use tonight. Using modern quartal/quintal tones, the music includes a three-dot motif inspired by Caen’s musings in his weekly columns.

 Clok Tok (2007) by Gil Cline
 “Clok Tok” was written for The HSU Commencement Brass Choir, responding to the need for “stretch / filler” while waiting to play the processional Pomp & Circumstance. We accomplish that via improvised, jazz soloing over a straight-beat groove, while using the performance technique, so well-suited to brass, called “bell tones.” The clock reference is partly to passing the time, and also to the talking of the crowd; but mainly to the HSU Quad clock chimes. Everyone on campus knows the hourly clock bell tower theme, that of Big Ben, sounded throughout the day!

INTENTIONS for Percussion Trio (1983/1990) by Eugene Novotney
 Mvt. I. Assumption
 Mvt. II. Proposal
 Mvt. III. Function
Mvt. IV. Design
Performed by Neil Bost, Tyler Burkhart, Hector Diaz.

Composed in 1983 at the University of Illinois while I was a composition student of Ben Johnston, and dedicated to the Percussion Group of Cincinnati. The skills demanded by this composition require the performers to spend many hours expanding their technique on auxiliary percussion instruments that are often considered to be only instruments of coloration. The composition was intended to defy the pre-conceived limits and expose the extended techniques and timbral possibilities of three of my favorite instruments - the triangle, the tambourine, and the piatti.

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