Thursday, October 24, 2019

Welcoming New Students

The University at Buffalo doctoral program in music composition is delighted to welcome four very talented composers, with unique aesthetic backgrounds and diverse geographical origins. We’ll take this opportunity to get to know them and their work, as we look forward to the music they will create in the coming years.

Tyler Adamthwaite is a composer and performer who writes music which seeks to explore the existential and affective aspects of space through sound. This has led him to study linguistics, social theory, and architecture to write pieces that draw on the concept of being. Some of his biggest sources of inspiration come from the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of spacial design which give his music a shadowed quality. He has studied composition with Erin Gee and David Rakowski at Brandeis University, where her received his MFA. While there, he participated in numerous festivals as a composer fellow and has garnered attention for his sound design, resulting in being a collaborator in “White Rush,” an opera in one act by the creative team of John Aylward and Laine Rettmer. As a performer, Tyler has studied violin and stage movement. He has crafted multiple works that include the affective use of space including his solo set Interior||Exterior for solo man, organ, and electronics. His movement works have been hailed as being “haunting, and cleverly developed” by his movement mentor Susan Dibble. He is currently pursuing his PhD in music composition and theory from the University at Buffalo under the instruction of David Felder.

Below is a video of Tyler’s composition InteriorExterior for organ.

Colorado born composer Alex Buehler (b. 1991), earned a Bachelor’s of Music Education and a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition and a minor in trombone performance during his time at Colorado State University where he studied composition with Dr. James David, jazz composition with Mr. Will Swindler, and trombone with Colorado Symphony Orchestra Principal Bass Trombonist Mr. Gregory Harper. Alex taught k-5 general music and beginning band for 3 years in southern Colorado while continuing to composer for chamber ensembles and educational materials for his students. In 2017 Alex enrolled in the Music Composition program at the University of North Texas and studied primarily with Dr. Kirsten Broberg and Dr. Joseph Klein. He earned his Master’s of Arts in Music Composition in 2019 and enrolled in the PhD. program at the University of Buffalo where he continues his studies with Dr. David Felder.

Alex has had his works performed by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, CSU Percussion Ensemble, CSU Concert Band, Webber Middle School, The Ralston Valley High School Chamber Orchestra, Harpist Rachel Ellins, Oboist Elizabeth Sullivan, the NewEar Ensemble, Violist Michael Hall, soloists and chamber ensembles at UNT, and the UNT Lab Bands. Alex’s Music has also been performed at the Electric LaTex Festival, Charlotte New Music Festival, International Trombone Festival, and CEMIcircles International Festival of Experimental Music and Intermedia.

Sunrise: Mind-Numbing Day of Noise (2017) draws significant influence from the Hindustani raag Bhairav, a traditionally morning raag. For me, the morning is not a gentle waking experience; it is an abrupt slap in the face ripping you from a blissful state of non-existence into a mind-numbing day of noise. The music reflects this, as it slowly transitions from soft noise-textures to frantic melodic trading between the two voices. Eventually, the shock of waking is passed and a return to bliss is achieved. This piece was written for Violist Kathleen Crabtree and Clarinetist Dr. Aileen Razey.

Joel Kirk (b. 1996) is a musician currently studying for a PhD in composition at SUNY Buffalo under the tuition of David Felder. He previously studied at the University of Huddersfield under Aaron Cassidy, attending masterclasses with composers such as Bryn Harrison, Liza Lim, Rebecca Saunders and Evan Johnson. He has had his pieces workshopped and performed by ensembles such as ELISION, loadbang, line upon line percussion and the SEM Ensemble, and soloists such as Roberta Michel (flute) and Joshua Hyde (saxophone). He was one of seven composers selected for the SEM Ensemble’s 2018 “Emerging Composers Workshop” with Petr Kótik and has had a paper published in the Fields 2018 issue.

[internal resistance to flow is named viscosity] was Written for loadbang in the Summer of 2017, [internal resistance to flow is named viscosity] evokes the image of a thick, churning, viscous liquid evaporating into a gaseous imprint of itself. The piece has a strong mechanical grounding that is manifested in the process through which pitch, rhythm, and tempo in particular unfold in the score; layers of process are superimposed and encrusted into each-other, forming a dense, grotesque body of interference through which the limbs of its constituent parts poke out. The text for the work is taken from Guillaume Apollinaire’s series of six poems collectively entitled À La Santé, making use of poems I-IV of said six. The poems were published as part of the Alcools collection in 1913, written after Apollinaire’s short tenure at La Santé Prison (Paris) in 1911. À La Santé contains running themes of both physical and mental imprisonment, vividly capturing both the literal and metaphorical effects of incarceration on the mind of the poet

“[Viscosity is] a measure of the flow transport behaviour of a fluid. It is the phenomenon
in which a fluid will withstand a slight amount of molecular tension between particles,
which will cause an apparent shear resistance between two adjacent layers.
The term ‘viscosity’ is used to describe the fact that certain fluids flow easily,
such as gases, water, and mercury, while others do not, such as tar, treacle, and glycerine.
These fluids are broadly classified as thin and thick fluids.”

- Carl Schaschke, 2014

Ruixing Wang (Xia fu yu xiang, the meaning is summer’s fragrant), born in Ningxia, Yinchuan in 1994. Richard completed his undergraduate studies at the Xi'an Conservatory of Music, majoring in solfeggio and composition theories (2012-2016) and Master’s at SUNY - Fredonia.  Now he studies at SUNY - Buffalo in the Music Composition PhD program.  He started Learning the piano at the age of 6, began to self-study classical composition at the age of 8. From 2015 - 16 Richard followed the composer Dr. Wang Lu (Guggenheim Award winner, graduated from Columbia University, now teach at Brown University) to learn modern composition, and received rigorous and standardized training. Since the age of eight, he has composed nearly 150 art music works and more than 150 pop songs. His primary works are: Salon Symphony 1-3, symphonic chorus Mass in D minor, symphonic sound painting Van Gogh Suite, Pioneer Symphony Overture Sunset • Particle(PM2.5) and Viaduct, Chinese national orchestra concerto Praise The West Lake, and Piano Sonata 1-10.  In 2016, he successfully held a concert of personal works at the Concert Hall of the Xi'an Conservatory of Music, the first undergraduate student to organize his own works concert in this conservatory.  In December the same year he held a personal pop concert at the Xi'an University of Electronic Science and Technology. His most successful works are The moon and shadow, and Praise The West Lake, which was played by China Central Television.

The Kyrie from Richards Mass in d Minor can be heard below.

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