Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brice Pauset

June in Buffalo always has a strong international flavor, drawing participants and faculty from around the globe.  French composer Brice Pauset travels from his home in Germany to join this year's Senior Faculty, bringing his unique musical and intellectual perspective to the festival. His background includes studies in piano, violin, electronic music at IRCAM, medieval philosophy (in which he holds a doctorate), along with Baroque musical practice and instrumental design.

Born in 1965, Pauset has studied with many of Europe's modernist heavyweights, including Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, GĂ©rand Grisey, Brian Ferneyhough, Franco Donatoni, Stefano Gervasoni, Klaus Huber, and Michael Jarrell, among others. Yet it's clear from interviews and writings that his Baroque forebears have had as profound an effect on his music as his contemporaries. A fascinating interview in Paris Transatlantic magazine illuminates his thinking. When writer Dan Warburton asked Pauset which century he would prefer to live in, given a choice, Pauset replied, "I think, of course, the fourteenth century. The Ars Subtilior. In the medieval epoch, there was no music as such--it was a part of a larger discipline including mathematics, philosophy, astronomy.. If you look around this room, we have mathematics--there are three computers (one of which doesn't work), and there is a philosophical dimension to this work.. (Pause.) Yes, I would go back to the fourteenth century. When music didn't exist." Pauset's moody, compelling Adagio Dialettico for piano and ensemble can be heard in this audio clip (with static image).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hilda Paredes at June in Buffalo

Continuing our alphabetical series of profiles of the Senior Faculty for June in Buffalo 2011, we encounter Hilda Paredes, who has achieved renown as one of Mexico's leading composers. Paredes was born in Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico, and has been a prominent music teacher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Firmly established as one of the leading Mexican composers of her generation, her music is now performed widely around the world.

As an active participant in master classes at Dartington Summer School, studied with Peter Maxwell Davies and Richard Rodney Bennett. After graduating at the Guildhall School of Music, she obtained her Master of Arts at City University in London and completed her PhD at Manchester University.

Her collaboration with choreographers led her to receive the Music for Dance Award from the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1988. After taking part at the Garden Venture Opera Project in Dartington, she completed her first chamber opera "The Seventh Seed," released by Mode Records.

She has continued to be involved in the musical life of her native country, teaching at the National University in Mexico City, as radio producer of new music, as well as collaborating with the Orchestra of Baja California arranging traditional Spanish and Mexican songs.
Hilda now lives in London as a freelance composer, and has taught composition and lectured at Manchester University, the University of San Diego California, Mills College in California, as well as in Mexico, Spain, and Centre Acanthes in France. Her recently completed second chamber opera El Palacio Imaginado, commissioned by Musik der Jahrhunderte, English National Opera and the Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, was premiered to much acclaim in both sides of the Atlantic.

Hilda Paredes has been commissioned by soloists, ensembles and orchestras around the world. Her music has been performed by internationally renowned ensembles such as Lontano, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Neue Vocalsolisten, Ensemble Sospeso and Arditti Quartet and has been widely performed at important international festivals, such as Huddersfield in the UK; Eclat in Germany; Musica and Octobre en Normandie, in France; Wien Modern, in Austria; Akiyoshidai Music Festival, in Japan; Archipel, in Geneva; De Ijsbreker Chamber Music Festival, in Amsterdam; Warsaw Autumn, in Poland; Ultima, in Oslo; Melbourne Festival, in Australia; Festival of Arts and Ideas in the USA, Ars Musica in Bruxelles; Festival de Alicante, in Spain; Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico, amongst others. 

Here's a clip of Misplaced Flowers, a ballet choreographed by Joel Valentin-Martinez in 2010 to Paredes's music, performed here by the noted Chicago-based ensemble Fulcrum Point

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

David Felder speaks for himself

No overview of June in Buffalo would be complete without a few words on David Felder, who is not only Artistic Director of JiB, but also the Slee Sinfonietta and the Center for 21st Century Music itself. David Felder has long been recognized as a leader in his generation of American composers. His works have been featured at many of the leading international festivals for new music, and he earns continuing recognition through performance and commissioning programs. Felder’s work has been broadly characterized by its highly energetic profile, through its frequent employment of technological extension and elaboration of musical materials (including his “Crossfire” video series), and its lyrical qualities. 

He has earned numerous honors for his composition, and is widely recognized as an important teacher and mentor as well. He has served as dissertation advisor for over forty composers at Buffalo, many of whom are actively teaching, composing and performing internationally at leading institutions. 

David Felder served as Master Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in February-March, 2010. During that time, the Atlantic Center created a series of video interviews with the composer, in which he speaks eloquently on various topics, including his thoughts on collaboration, working with visual elements, and the question of who he writes his music for. Three of these follow:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Eric Chasalow

Continuing our alphabetical look at the Senior Faculty of June in Buffalo 2011, we turn to composer Eric Chasalow, who has been described as "the rare composer who is as comfortable with electro-acoustic music as he is with music for traditional ensembles. ARRAY, the journal of the International Computer Music Association, wrote that his 2003 CD Left to His Own Devices "clearly establishes him as one of the leaders of our times...offering a wondrous fusion between distinct styles and mediums...." 

Chasalow's music has been embraced by performers throughout the world, with recent performances from Boston to Berlin and San Francisco to Seoul. 

A member of the Brandeis University faculty since 1990, Chasalow directs the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio. He produces the biennial BEAMS Electronic Music Marathon, on the Boston CyberArts Festival. Since 1996 he has curated The Video Archive of Electroacoustic Music, an oral history project chronicling the pioneer electronic music composers and engineers from 1950 to the present. 

A product of the famed Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, Chasalow studied composition with Mario Davidovsky and flute with Harvey Sollberger. He has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Says Chasalow, "Over the years, the technology available to me has changed dramatically, from the hand-made cutting and splicing of the analog studio, to MIDI automation and, currently, graphical computer-based sound editing environments. While the newer tools have made the process of realizing electronic music much easier, my fundamental musical approach to these pieces has not changed much. At the core is the tradition created by the work of Mario Davidovsky. In this tradition, one uses prerecorded sounds to expand upon the acoustical characteristics of the live instruments—the real origin of the 'hyperinstrument' concept. What may be obvious is that the timbre of a traditional instrument in performance may be changed by adding electronic components—a kind of heightened orchestration… While my studio technique derives from Davidovsky, the musical character is quite different. My instrumental writing is often at an energy level drawn from my experience with improvised jazz. My recent electronic music reflects this as well. By adding layers of manipulated recordings of spoken or sung text, the sound of the human voice often emerges in surprising ways." 

Friday, May 6, 2011

June in Buffalo 2011: schools of (compositional) thought

Further to our previous post announcing this year's participants in June in Buffalo 2011, here are some stats.
Some 80 composers applied to take part, from universities and colleges in Australia, Canada, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Turkey, the UK, and of course the USA. Approximately 25 of the applications came from outside the US. Some 43 schools were represented:

Bard College
Boston Conservatory
Bowling Green
Brandeis University
Brooklyn Conservatory
Carnegie Mellon University
City University of New York
Cole Conservatory
Columbia University
Depaul University
Hartt School of Music at Hartford
Indiana University
Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes
Juilliard School
Liszt Acadmy, Budapest
NEC/ Istanbul University
New England Conservatory
New York University (NYU)
Northwestern University
Oberlin Conservatory
Princeton University
San Francisco Conservatory
Stanford University
Tel Aviv University
University of British Columbia
University at Buffalo
University of California
University of California - Berkeley
University of Carolina
University of Chicago
University of Colorado
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Huddersfield
University of Illinois - Urbana
University of Iowa
University of Michigan
University of Montana
University of Northern Colorado
University of Pittsburgh
University of Sydney
University of Texas - Austin
University of Wisconsin
Yale University

From this deep and wide pool of applicants, 25 talented composers were chosen. Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Announcing June in Buffalo 2011 participants!

Now comes the moment you've all been waiting for: the lucky composers who will have the opportunity to take part in this year's June in Buffalo festival, June 6 - 11:

Mate Balogh             Liszt Acadmy, Budapest

Per Bloland             Stanford

David Carter            Northwestern University

Shiuan Chang            New England Conservatory

Chun Ting Pang          University at Buffalo

Paul Clift              Columbia University
Juan Colon-Hernandez    University at Buffalo

Hanna Eimermacher               

Sivan Eldar             UC Berkeley

Juan Escudero                  
Ray Evanoff          University of Huddersfield

Michael Foumai          University of Michigan
Matthew Goodheart         UC Berkeley
Ted Goldman             Juilliard School

Jacob Gotlib          University at Buffalo
Ethan Hayden            University at Buffalo

Nathan Heidelberger     University at Buffalo
Friedrich Kern          New York University

Cherise Leiter          University of Florida
Kerrith Livengood       University of Pittsburgh

Brian Mark              San Francisco Conservatory
Jeff Roberts            Brandeis University
Kenichi Saeki           University at Buffalo
Matt Sargent            Hartt School of Music at Hartford

Francisco Trigueros     University of Chicago

Each of the invited composers will have one of his/her pieces performed during the festival by one of the top-notch resident musicians or ensembles. As always, June in Buffalo offers an intensive schedule of seminars, lectures, workshops, professional presentations, participant forums and open rehearsals as well as afternoon and evening concerts open to the general public and critics.