New Music + Technology Festival 2022
August 5, 2022
Institute of Creativity, Arts and Technology, School of Performing Arts, and Creativity + Innovation present
Virginia Tech New Music + Technology Festival 2022
Monday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.
Cube, Moss Arts Center
Monday, Dec 5, 6pm, Cube
Unseen, Unbodièd, Unknown: The William Blake Cycle (World Premiere) by Tiffany M. Skidmore
The Book of Ahania for bass flute and baritone saxophone
The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy for tenor saxophone, flute, and electronics
Vala/Luvah for saxophone trio and electronics
Tharmas the Father/Enion the Mother for solo sopranino saxophone
The Specter of Urthona for two soprano saxophones, cello, piano, percussion, and electronics
The Book of Ahania for bass flute and baritone saxophone
The Book of Urizen for alto saxophone and piano
Soloist Kyle Hutchins, saxophone
Dalia Chin, flute
Rebeccah Parker Downs, cello
Sheldon Johnston, saxophone
Derek Shapiro, conductor
Jeffrey Siegfried, saxophone
Annie Stevens, percussion
Shannon Wettstein, piano
Ted Moore, technical director
Amanda Nelson, director
About Unseen, Unbodièd, Unknown: The William Blake Cycle:
Since 2015, composer Tiffany M. Skidmore and saxophonist Kyle Hutchins have been collaborating on a cycle of electroacoustic instrumental chamber pieces centered around the saxophone that considers text and characters created by William Blake. Each movement explores relationships between mythological characters in the Blake universe, nonbinary gender identity, sexual politics, and gender stereotypes.
The Book of Ahania acts as a refrain throughout the cycle. Ahania, the female emanation of Urizen, is his soul. Urizen becomes jealous and ashamed of his own feminine emanation–he sees her as “sinful” and hides her away until she becomes an unembodied shadow that wanders the earth, becoming “the mother of Pestilence.”
The focus of Blake’s characterization of the first female, Enitharmon, represents “female domination and sexual restraints that limit the artistic imagination.” The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy reinterprets Blake’s poem, conceiving of it as a commentary on sexual oppression/suppression using restrictive pitch/rhythmic materials. Musically, the foundational vocal melody can never develop. Live instrumental lines begin to sprout from above and below the foundation, always forced to loop back due to musical constraints. Electronic snippets of a romantic underlying melody and poetic text emerge periodically from the textures, while a prolonged electronic whisper eventually envelops all other musical elements.
In Vala/Luvah, Vala and Luvah are feminine and masculine emanations of a single entity. Vala/Luvah loves and hates him/her/themself with a fiery, apocalyptic intensity.
Tharmas the father/Enion the mother explores Tharmas’s masculine persona at multiple simultaneous “ages” — he is both a bearded old man and a young man with wings. At the same time, the ecstatic, wailing music of Enion, this being’s feminine persona, gradually fades away, disappearing over the course of the piece.
The Spectre of Urthona depicts the erotic encounter that gives birth to a world full of lush flowers and poisonous fruit.
The Book of Urizen is focused on the character Urizen, who features prominently in Blake’s Europe: A Prophecy. In Blake’s universe, Urizen represents the first living entity. He is intensely destructive, yet simultaneously “the embodiment of conventional reason and law." This piece explores Urizen’s multifaceted character and story through a complex, wordless setting of passages from Blake’s poem.
Tiffany Skidmore bio
Tiffany M. Skidmore (b. 1980) is an American composer and performer based in Minneapolis. Her chamber, choral, and orchestral work has been interpreted by acclaimed experimental music specialists throughout the United States and Europe. She is a Schubert Club Award Winner, a 2018 McKnight Composer Fellow, and the 2018-19 Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble Composer-in-Residence. She is Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Co-Artistic Director of the Twin Cities-based 113 Composers Collective, an organization that produces concerts, festivals, and guest artist residencies throughout the world.
Soprano Nina Dante writes that “Tiffany Skidmore’s music brings to mind Sciarrino’s description of his own music: hearing it is like watching a volcano erupt from afar. While Skidmore’s music burns it’s own path outside of Sciarrino’s aesthetic, the description holds true. Her music often features slow moving textures dotted with energetic events (imagine a constellation moving across the sky over the course of the year, and interjecting shooting stars), a starry sound world, coldly emotional content, and a mix of musical abstraction with direct theatrical/conceptual content. For these reasons, like reading a myth of ancient times, we experience the drama of her works from a distance.”
As a performer, Skidmore has sung professionally with the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene Opera companies, Spokane Symphony Chorale, the Minnesota Chorale, the Contemporary Music Workshop, Hymnos Vocal Ensemble, the Gregorian Singers, the 113 Composers Collective, and as a free-lance soloist throughout Washington and Minnesota, primarily performing early and experimental music. She holds degrees in Music Composition and Vocal Performance from Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and the University of Minnesota.
Kyle Hutchins bio
Hailed as “epic” (Jazz Times), "formidable" (The Saxophone Symposium), and "gripping" (Star Tribune), Kyle Hutchins is an internationally acclaimed saxophonist, improviser, and educator. He has appeared across five continents at major festival and venues in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Scotland, South Korea, and across the United States including Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, The Walker Art Center, World Saxophone Congress, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, International Computer Music Conference, among many others. He has recorded over two dozen albums on labels Carrier, Noise Pelican, Klavier, GIA, farpoint, Avid Sound, and Emeritus, and his work has been recognized by awards and grants from DOWNBEAT, New Music USA, American Protégé International Competition, Music Teachers National Association, Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation, and others.
Kyle has presented over 200 premiere performances of new works by emerging and established composers and sound artists. He is a founding member of 113 (One Thirteen), a collective of composers and performers of experimental new music who curate concerts, educational programs, festivals, seminars, and masterclasses around the world. He is one half of Binary Canary, a woodwind-laptop improvisation duo alongside electronicist Ted Moore.
Kyle has served as Artist/Teacher of Saxophone at Virginia Tech since 2016 where he teaches classical and jazz saxophone, directs the Jazz Lab Band and New Music Ensemble, and is the Artistic Director of the Spatial Music Workshop and New Music + Technology Festival at the Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology.
Kyle has a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota, and Bachelors of Music in performance and Bachelors of Music Education degrees from the University of North Texas. His teachers include Eugene Rousseau, Eric Nestler, Marcus Weiss, and James Dillon.
Kyle is a Yamaha, Légère, and E. Rousseau Mouthpiece Performing Artist.
Tuesday, Dec 6, 6pm, Cube
Transcontinental Grapevine (World Premiere). A telematic performance between L2Ork and students from Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero UNTREF Buenos Aires, Argentina.
still motion by Ted Moore, performed by Ted Moore
A Man With a Gun Lives Here by Steven Snowden, performed by VT Percussion Ensemble
Grief by Juhi Bansal, performed by VT Faculty Chamber Players (World Premiere)
*Grief was commissioned with the first annual Jessie S. Yee Memorial Commission.
VT Faculty Chamber Players:
Ariana Wyatt, voice
Elizabeth Lantz Crone, flute
Yevgeny Dokshansky, clarinet
Kyle Hutchins, saxophone
John Irrera, violin
Molly Wilkens-Reed, viola
Alan Weinstein, cello
Annie Stevens, percussion
Charles Nichols, computer
Derek Shapiro, director
Juhi Bansal bio
“Radiant and transcendent”, the music of Juhi Bansal weaves together themes celebrating musical and cultural diversity, nature and the environment, and strong female role models. Her music draws upon elements as disparate as Hindustani music, the spectralists, progressive metal, musical theatre and choral traditions to create deeply expressive, evocative sound-worlds. As an Indian composer brought up in Hong Kong, her work draws subtly upon both those traditions, entwining them closely and intricately with the gestures of western classical music.
Current projects include Waves of Change, a digital experience on womanhood, identity and clash of cultures inspired by the story of the Bangladesh Girls Surf Club; and Edge of a Dream, an opera about Ada Lovelace, daughter of infamous poet Lord Byron and a 19th Century pioneer in computing commissioned by Los Angeles Opera. Recent seasons have included commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Beth Morrison Projects, New York Virtuoso Singers, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, AIDS Quilt Songbook 20th Anniversary project and more. Her music is regularly performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia and available on the Naxos, Albany and Roven Records labels. Awards received for her work include prizes from the Five Colleges New Music Festival Competition, ASCAP Lotte Lehman Foundation Art song Competition, Boston Metro Opera International Composers Competition, and multiple ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer awards.
She is a staunch proponent of bringing new audiences into contemporary music and of helping musicians of all ages take ownership of music creation. She was co-founder of the New Lens Concert series, engaging audiences into contemporary music by highlighting thematic connections between repertoire new and old, and using redacted programs to create a sense of surprise around expectations of “new music”. Her teaching work focuses heavily on demystifying composition and helping musicians of all ages build ownership of the fact that they too can improvise, experiment, create and write music, no matter their prior training or background.
Wednesday, Dec 7, 6pm, Cube
Soloist Sarah Plum, violin
Personal Noise by Eric Lyon
LUNE by Sidney Richardson
Flowering Dandelion by Kyong Mee Choi
New Work by Randall West
Il Prete Rosso by Charles Nichols
Two Birds by Eric Lyon
New Work by Joo Won Park
Full Moon by Mari Takano
Sarah Plum bio
Praised as “both an intrepid new music champion and a violin virtuoso” (textura music magazine), Sarah Plum has had a prolific career advocating for new music, commissioning composers and bringing contemporary music to a wider audience. Personal Noise, Plum’s recent CD release of new music for violin and electronics, has been lauded as “a fantastic new release - a must have for everyone who loves meaningful sonic adventures” (Whole Note Magazine) and as “beguilingly imaginative with an engagingly adventurous sensibility” (Gramophone Magazine) As a soloist Plum’s "consistently stunning” playing (Third Coast Digest) has been featured at festivals and venues worldwide, including Ankunft:Neue Musik Festival at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Quiet Cue Intermedia in Berlin, Center for New Music San Francisco, Spectrum NYC, Unruly Music at the Marcus Center (Milwaukee), Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics as well as at residencies at Universities such as UC Davis, Duke, University of Iowa, Cal State Fullerton, James Madison University and others and as the featured guest soloist at conferences such as Third Practice and Electronic Music Midwest. Recent concerts include a solo CD release concert on Constellation’s Frequency Series in Chicago, solo performances at the Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago, SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the US), Chimefest at the University of Chicago, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival and chamber music performances with the Fulcrum Point Ensemble, Zodiac Festival Ensemble in France and at the University of Oklahoma’s String Academy. Sarah’s performance of Kyong Mee Choi’s Flowering Dandelion, a piece that was written for her, was chosen by popular vote for the SEAMUS archival recording of 2022. Sarah Plum moved to Chicago in 2018 and since then has been active in local new music, playing with groups such as Dal Niente Ensemble, Fulcrum Point Ensemble and Access Contemporary Music as well as collaborations with numerous Chicago composers and performers. She is on the faculty at both the Music Institute of Chicago and their elite Academy program. Plum was Professor of Violin and Viola at Drake University from 2007-2018. Sarah Plum earned a DMA at SUNY Stony Brook, after graduate and undergraduate studies at Juilliard. Her gold medal at the International Stulberg Competition in 1983 launched her performance career.
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