MATA Interval 7.1
MATA's Interval 7.1, co-curated by composer Ray Evanoff and pianist Mabel Kwan, presents a concert of adventurous solo works exploring the keyboardist's tactile engagement with a wide range of instruments and compositions, negotiating the quirks, challenges, and limitations of each.
Eliza Brown (b. 1985): Barely III: Between Clouds (2012)
Aaron Cassidy (b. 1976): Ten Monophonic Miniatures for Solo Pianist (2002-3)
Ray Evanoff (b. 1984): A Series of Postures (Piano) (2011)
Evan Johnson (b. 1980): Positioning in Radiography (2007)
for three toy pianos (one player)
Stefan Prins (b. 1979): Piano Hero #1&2 (2011/13)
for piano, midi-keyboard, live electronics, & video
Ramteen Sazegari (b. 1983): new work for solo clavichord
Eliza Brown's Barely III: Between Clouds explores the threshold of audibility, requiring the performer to navigate their instrument on the edge. Aaron Cassidy's Ten Monophonic Miniatures for Solo Pianist requires the performer to attack the piano in a variety of novel ways, striking with the fingers, knuckles, and fingernails in a choreography that is both aural and visual. Ray Evanoff's A Series of Postures (Piano) situates numerous detailed microcosms across the entire program. Positioning in Radiography by Evan Johnson is an almost absurd study in score realization: its obsessively detailed filigree purposefully conflicts with the expressive limitations of the toy piano. Stefan Prins' Piano Hero cycle updates the piano's 19th century mechanism to the present day, augmenting the instrument with video and electronics to recontextualize both the pianist's experience of playing and the audience's experience of watching and listening. And the twitchy angularity of Ramteen Sazegari's music requires utmost certainty of placement and assertion on the part of the performer. Together, these works chart a diverse course through the possibilities and pitfalls of keyboard history and performance.
Composer Eliza Brown (b. 1985) writes music that explores the interaction between natural acoustic properties, the physical construction of instruments, and culturally defined elements of musical meaning and syntax. Eliza's music, described as "delicate, haunting, [and] introspective" by Symphony Magazine, has been performed and/or commissioned by Ensemble Dal Niente, Network for New Music, Spektral Quartet, Wet Ink Ensemble, members of the Anubis Quartet, and others. Deeply committed to teaching, Eliza is currently a lecturer in Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music; she has also served on the faculty of the Walden School Young Musicians Program. Eliza is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at Northwestern University and holds a bachelors degree in composition summa cum laude from University of Michigan.
Aaron Cassidy is an American composer and conductor based in England since 2007. His work has been programmed by leading international contemporary music specialists including ELISION, Ensemble SurPlus, musikFabrik, EXAUDI, Ictus Ensemble, ensemble recherche, Talea Ensemble, the Diotima and JACK string quartets, and soloists including Garth Knox, Ian Pace, Mieko Kanno, Ryan Muncy, and Christopher Redgate, at festivals including Donaueschingen, Huddersfield, Darmstadt, Gaudeamus (Jurors Prize nominee, 2002 & 2004), Bludenz, and the ISCM World Music Days, and has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3, Radio France, Deutschlandradio Kultur, and Polish National Radio. He has received grants, stipends, and commissions from Südwestrundfunk, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, ASCAP, British Council, and PRSF 20x12/London Cultural Olympiad 2012. Recordings of his work are available on NEOS, NMC, HCR, and New Focus Records.
Cassidy joined the staff of the University of Huddersfield in 2007 and currently serves as Reader in Composition, Research Coordinator for Music and Music Technology, Coordinator of the MA by Research, and part of the Directorate of the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM). He previously served as Lecturer of Composition at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Buffalo State College. He holds a Ph. D. in Composition from the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where he studied principally with David Felder as a recipient of a Presidential Fellowship.
Evan Johnson (b. 1980) is an American composer whose music focuses on the physical underpinnings of instrumental performance, extreme notational situations, and the structural potential of conflicting repetitive and canonic structures. His music has been performed throughout North America, Europe, and beyond by many prominent ensembles and soloists, and programmed at American and international festivals of contemporary music at Darmstadt, Witten, Huddersfield, Leuven (TRANSIT), Berline (Klangwerkstatt), Bludenz, Los Angeles (the Monday Evening Concerts series), Buffalo, San Diego, and others. Recordings are available or forthcoming on the HCR, Metier, Mode, and New Focus labels. The recipient of a Fellowship Prize at the 2012 Darmstadt Summer Courses and a 2011 Meet the Composer commission, Johnson has received commissions and awards from BMI/Concert Artists Guild, ASCAP, Columbia University (Bearns Prize), the Rhode Island Foundation, the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, the Society for New Music, and Yale University, among others. He has held residencies at the Copland House and the Millay Colony. He received his Ph. D. in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he studied with David Felder as a Presidential Fellow, and his B.A. from Yale.
After graduating as an engineer at the age of 23, Stefan Prins (Belgium, 1979) started to study fulltime piano and composition at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium, where he obtained his Masters degree in Composition with Luc Van Hove magna cum laude. Concurrently, he studied Technology in Music at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Peter Swinnen and Sonology at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (2004-2005; The Netherlands). Additionally he studied "Philosophy of Culture" and "Philosophy of Technology" at the University of Antwerp. Since September 2011 Stefan divides his time between Europe and the USA (Cambridge, MA), where he started a PhD in composition at Harvard University under the guidance of Chaya Czernowin and additionally receives private guidance from Steven Takasugi. As a composer he has received several important awards in Belgium and abroad, such as the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis 2010 for composition (Darmstadt), a Staubach Honorarium (2009, Darmstadt), the International Impuls Composition Award (Graz, 2009), and "KBC Aquarius Composition Award for Young Composers" (Brussels, 2001), while several of his compositions have been selected by ISCM-Flanders for the ISCM World Music Days. His compositions have been played in Europe, the USA, Russia, South America, and the Middle East by Klangforum Wein, Nadar Ensemble, Champ d'Action, Nikel Ensemble, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Dal Niente, Mark Knoop, Sebastian Berweck on festivals such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Ars Musica, Novembermusic, Transit Festival, Luzerne Festival, Tzlil Meudcan Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Music Viva Festival.
Ramteen Sazegari's primary composition teachers have been Kurt Rohde, Martha Horst, Carl Schimmel, Amy Williams and Eric Moe. Additionally, he has attended masterclasses with Lee Hyla, Gabriella Lena Frank, Stevan Tickmayer and Erik Oña. In part, his music is informed by a synthesis of perspectives; the gestural and architectural framework shared by both concert and electronic music has lead him to create narratives that explore the juxtaposition of ambiance against modernist structures. The aforementioned influences have also urged him to work towards a reconciliation between the unrefined cultural expression of non-concert music and concert music's faceless aesthetic complexity. Honors include the 2006-07 UC Davis Olga Brose Valente Memorial Prize for excellence in Music Composition, and being named finalist in the 2010 DuoSolo Emerging Composer Competition. He was given a scholarship to attend the 2010 Madness and Music festival in Davis, CA, and won the Iron Composer Competition of the 2011 Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy. Other notable events include the performance of his Overture for Chamber Orchestra by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra in 2008, the recording of his String Quartet Tough Breaks by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in 2011, the performance of his duo A Quiet Breakfast at the 2012 Oklahoma State University Festival of Contemporary Music and the premiere of the duo Lattice by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in 2013. In the fall of 2012, he began the Ph.D. program in Music Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh on full scholarship.
Ray Evanoff (Curator, b. 1984) is an American composer whose work explores a uniquely personal aesthetic, emphasizing extremes of touch, scale, and form while creating an interwoven musical body. His activity as a composer includes collaborations with and performances by Ensemble Dal Niente, Distractfold, Ensemble SurPlus, Seth Josel, Mabel Kwan, Xenia Pestova, and Samuel Stoll, among others, as part of conferences and festivals such as June in Buffalo, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, and Neuköllner Originaltöne. He studied at the College of Charleston and the University of Huddersfield, where he received his PhD in Music Composition in 2012. He lives in New Orleans.
As a pianist for Ensemble Dal Niente, Mabel Kwan (Curator) is active in performances and education workshops throughout their concert season. As a soloist she champions the music of living composers, and has given premieres of acoustic, electronic and performance art pieces at home and abroad. She has been a featured performer at the Sonic Fusion Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, Intermedia Festival at IUPUI, Boston New Music Initiative, The Flea Theater, Links Hall, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Experimental Piano Series, and Pianoforte Chicago. Some of her favorite collaborations have included projects with the Poetry Foundation, Liminal Performance Group, Parlour Tapes+ and Fonema Consort. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Mabel received performance degrees from Rice University and Northern Illinois University.
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