Thursday, December 13, 2012

Much more to come in the Spring 2013 season at the Center!

We’re almost midway through the 2012-2013 season at the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music. We’ve already had two exciting Slee Sinfonietta concerts featuring Robert Treviño, Yuki Numata, Daniel Pesca, and Daniel Bassin, a visit by composer James Romig from Western Illinois University, a tribute to documentary filmmaker Bruce Jackson featuring original music by David Felder, a recent residency by new music ensemble Norbotten NEO, and a slew of other concerts, performances, and projects.

We’re really looking forward to the next half of the season, which will feature one of our largest Slee Sinfonietta concerts ever, including guest performances by some of contemporary music’s leading musicians, including Ensemble SIGNAL, conductor Brad Lubman, soprano Laura Aiken, bass-baritone Ethan Herschenfeld, and percussionist Tom Kolor. The Spring Slee Sinfonietta concert will feature the premiere of David Felder’s Les Quatres Temps Cardinaux, a large work for about thirty musicians and ten channels of electronics, and which is Felder’s second commission from the Koussevitsky Music Foundation. We asked Felder about the commission, and he was kind enough to let us in on some of the details, “An interesting aspect of the piece is that I have audio recordings of the poets reading their poems, and can use their voices as source material. Most of the readings will be substantially electronically transformed... Often the phonemes from the spoken poems will be translated into instrumental analogues, or processed into bell sounds or other timbres. The texts will also be carried, to a large degree, by the singers. It’s been a really big project – projecting to be about 40-45 minutes.”

Ensemble SIGNAL

Many other events will be happening in the spring: we’ll have a visit from French composer Phillipe Hurel, a brief cameo by composer Josh Levine, hailing from Oberlin, Ohio, a visit from University of North Carolina composer and UB alumn Alejandro Rutty, and a guest appearance from percussionist Patti Cudd from the University of Wisconsin. We’re also looking forward to a residency from the terrific French new music ensemble Court-circuit, who will offer a fresh concert of new music pieces as well as perform UB graduate composer works.

Most important, of course, will be June in Buffalo 2013, which will be the inaugural year of the June in Buffalo Performance Institute, and which will feature an exciting performance faculty comprised of cellist Jonathan Golove, pianist Eric Huebner, the virtuosic and tremendously popular JACK Quartet, percussionist Tom Kolor, and the incredible Talujon Percussion Ensemble. This will be the first year for young performers of new music to study, workshop, and collaborate with some of the leading interpreters of contemporary music at June in Buffalo.

A lot more will be happening in the upcoming months, and we'll be sure to keep you posted. Details on the University at Buffalo Spring Season, June in Buffalo 2013, and other information about the Center's events posted below:

Link to this post here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wooden Cities performs University at Buffalo composers!

We’re looking forward to the upcoming concert by Buffalo-based new music collective Wooden Cities, on Friday, December 14th, at 8:00 p.m., at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, where they will offer a program filled exclusively with University at Buffalo composers. According to their mission statement, Wooden Cities “is both an ensemble and a collective of performers and composers seeking to help increase the performance and awareness of contemporary music in the Western New York area through unique, educational presentations.”

Wooden Cities
photo by Megan Metté
Wooden Cities was founded in July of 2011 by artistic director and UB alumn Brendan Fitzgerald, and originally “served as a vehicle for director Brendan Fitzgerald to present John Zorn's game piece Cobra. Since that time the group has grown to include over a dozen performers and is constantly seeking new works by new composers while continuing to present works by some of the essential, yet underrepresented composers of the 20th Century.”

Friday night’s concert will feature 10 musicians, almost all of them veterans of the UB composition or performance programs:

Brendan Fitzgerald, conductor/artistic director/drumset
Lana Stafford, flutes
Christopher Culp, clarinets
Nathan Heidelberger, horn/piano
Evan Courtin, violin
TJ Borden, violoncello
Katie Weissman, electric 'cello
Zane Merritt, guitars
Ethan Hayden, vocals

Four pieces by UB graduate composers will lead the program: Jacob Gotlib’s Year without Summer (Daumenkino) (2011), Ethan Hayden’s Monte (2012), Nathan Heidelberger’s Halve Time (quartet after Zeno) (2012) and Zane Merritt’s 7 Broken Points (2012). An excerpt from the program notes offers some useful insight into the compositional framework behind Heidelberger’s Halve Time (quartet after Zeno), “Zeno, an ancient Greek philosopher, posed the paradox that one can never fully travel some fixed distance, since one must first travel half of that distance, and then half of the remaining distance, and so on, ad infinitum, with smaller and smaller remaining distances always getting segmented into smaller and smaller halves. Halve Time applies Zeno's logic to the durations of its five movements. The first movement is approximately a minute and a half long, and it lays out all the musical ideas contained within the work. The subsequent movements explore what happens to those ideas when they are forced into smaller and smaller containers.”

The concert will also feature works by UB undergraduate composers studying composition with composer and teacher Jacob Gotlib: Ashley Barnes, Chien-Han Hsao, Robert Naranjo, Vincent Parlato, West Richter, and Kevin Westerman.

Wooden Cities will be active this all winter long, and will give another concert on the following Friday, December 21, at the St. Joseph University Parish, when they will perform Olivier Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1941), in playful recognition of the last day of the Mayan calendar.

You can peruse performances and recordings of Wooden Cities on their soundcloud, where you can hear them perform Book, the doctoral dissertation by UB alumn composer Will Redman.

Hope to see you there!

December 14, 2012
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202
Wooden Cities Fall Concert I

$10 General
$7 Members/Students/Seniors
$12 For a Whole Family
$15 For Both This Concert AND 12/21/12 Concert at St. Joseph's University Parish, University Heights

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

June in Buffalo Performance Institute applications already rolling in

The Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music is pleased to report that the applications are already rolling in for the first ever June in Buffalo Performance Institute, at June in Buffalo 2013.  We have an absolutely all-star performance faculty line-up, including the JACK Quartet, Talujon Percussion, Eric Huebner, Jonathan Golove, and Tom Kolor. This will be a great opportunity for contemporary music percussionists, string quartets, ensembles, and other musicians to work with some of the most engaging, talented, and virtuosic musicians of our time. The Performance Institute enriches the entire June in Buffalo experience, and provides a network for composers and performers, young and old, emerging and veteran alike, to be able to meet, brainstorm, workshop, and collaborate together in a supportive and dynamic environment specifically designed to explore new musical frontiers.

For more information visit our website at or contact the June in Buffalo Performance Institute director Eric Huebner. The application deadline (postmarked) is February 15, 2013.

Link to this post here.