Casper college| casper, wy
june 24, 2019 7:30pm

+ Book of Grooves, IV | Alejandro Viñao

"The 'groove' or 'feel' of a piece consists of a pattern or sequence that repeats periodically in such a way as to create in the listener a desire to move, dance, or foot-tap following the repeated rhythm. A groove is therefore a rhythm 'locked' into a pattern of repetition. To 'unlock' a groove risks threatening its very existence. In this work I asked myself the following question: to what extent could I unlock a groove without destroying it? How far could I go?"

"In the piece the various grooves are presented at first in their simple 'locked' form, so that the listener may swing with them unequivocally. But gradually, these grooves are 'unlocked', they are subjected to transformations that change the point at which they repeat, the point of inflection. In this way, the shape of each groove is changed and rhythmically developed. At this point the listener may stop feeling the 'desire to move' with the groove. If this happens, one could say that the groove has been 'killed'. It is a risky compositional strategy: new grooves must be created or 'cloned' from the original ones without disturbing the delicate balance that makes the music 'groove'. If the piece is successful, the listener should be able to follow the process of 'unlocking' or changing of the original grooves into new ones, without feeling that the grooves have been killed, and experience this as a voyage of transformation. But unlike what happens with grooves in popular music, in Book of Grooves the voyager never returns to the port of departure. The process is not cyclical but developmental."

"The challenge as I saw it, was to preserve the developmental nature of western classical music while at the same time make that process an incessantly grooving one." --Alejandro Viñao (2011)

+ Rhizosphere | Nate May

"The rhizosphere is the layer of soil where roots can be found. Thanks to these roots it is a site of constant interaction, evolved over millions of years to mutually benefit a diverse cast of organisms, from the plants themselves to the tiny strands of fungi that behave as a complex of nutrient processing and chemical communication. In this piece, each player has an exciter (contact-based speaker) attached to a cymbal, a microphone, and a pitched percussion instrument. The sounds made by one player’s instrument are picked up by that player’s microphone and delivered to the other player’s cymbal after a delay of slightly over one second. No effects are applied by the computer, but rich sonic phenomena arise from the interaction between sounds heard directly and those refracted through the cymbals. I am grateful to Evan Miller and Andrew Seivert of Neutrals Duo, who commissioned this piece and provided me with the resources to make it possible." - Nate May (2017)

+ Passacaglia | Anna Ignatowicz

“Passacaglia took me pretty close to Bach, but stylistically it is for me neither a late Baroque nor a neo-Barqoue work, i.e. there is no stylization.” -Anna Ignatowicz

Anna Ignatowicz-Glińska was born in Warsaw on 26 May 1968. She studied composition with Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, from which she graduated in 1996; she also studied piano improvisation with Szabolcs Esztenyi. Works by Ignatowicz-Glińska have been performed at the Warsaw Autumn and Musical Polonica Nova festivals, and have been recorded by Polish Radio, DUX, Acte Prealable, and AUDITE. She was the winner of the first prize of Critic's Chapter at the Young Composers Forum in Cracow, and is a scholar of the Union of Stage Authors and Composers.

--- intermission ---

+ Spoons | Juri Seo

In 2019, Jurio Seo set out to compose a piece for percussion duo with a highly portable set up. Spoons is the result of this challenge. While the instrumentation is light-hearted, the rhythmic material that Seo has composed is actually quite complex. The piece begins with one player maintaning two opposing ostinatos simultaneously, while the other player frenetically interjects over the top. While the roles of the two players shift throughout the piece, it maintains the fun and fast energy declared in the opening.

+ it's the rainbow hologram that gives this credit card it's marketing intrigue | Filament

With a title lifted from Don DeLillo's White Noise, this work for vibraphone, cymbals, and live electroacoustic processing was composed and premiered by DeLane Doyle and Aaron Gochberg in 2019.

A melodic idea, beautiful in it's simplicity, is slowly buried underneath a wash of digital noise. This slow process is meant to mirror the ways in which we allow digital media to be an escape from our daily realities. It is too a look at the role of advertisements in our culture, in this age of data brokerage and inescapable hyper-targeted ads.

+ Karakurenai | Andy Akiho

A post-minimalist meditation exploring rotating rhythmic cells.

Akiho sets up an ostinato in a 31/16 meter, the ostinato's odd meter is then paired with quarter-note patterns in the performer's right hands. These quarter-note cycles are gradually augmented from a 1-beat cycle, to a 20-beat cycle, creating an ever revolving metrical dissonance.

+ Verano Porteño | Astor Piazzola (arr. Pius Cheung)

"Verano Porteno (Buenos Aires Summer) is part of a set of four tangos compositions by Astor Piazzolla called Estaciones Portenas or The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. My arrangement for marimba originally began as a transcription of Piazzolla's own recording with his quintet. However, the deeper I delved into Piazzolla's recordings of his own music, the more I realized that being one person with limited experience with the tango genre, I will never be able to compare up to the original. Therefore, I decided to take more of an arrangement approach, taking the original theme of the piece and improvising with it on the marimba until I found something comfortable." - Pius Cheung