Archive for July 18th, 2012

Summer Festival Spotlight: Patrick Harlin

Resident composer Patrick Harlin comes to the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival from Ann Arbor, where he currently is working toward a doctoral degree in music composition from the University of Michigan.

Born in Salt Lake City and raised in Seattle, Harlin (pictured) has been composing and playing piano since age 8. He earned his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University, where he received the Ford Hill Piano Scholarship, the Western Washington Piano Department scholarship, and many other awards. Harlin then moved to Ann Arbor to study for his Master’s degree, which he completed last year.

Though classically trained, Harlin considers his love of jazz, electronic and modern music to be integral to his output as a composer. He also has a keen interest in acoustic ecology – the effect sound has on the environment – which has led to works that reflect natural processes and landscapes, formally and sonically.  He also recently guest lectured on acoustic ecology and the natural world at the University of Iowa.

In addition to his work as a composer and pianist, Harlin taught advanced aural skills to second year music majors at WWU, and has worked as a copyist and/or engraver for Samuel Adler, Michael Daugherty and Roger Briggs, including the engraving the piano reduction of Daugherty’s recent Grammy Award winning composition Deus ex Machina. He also maintains a private studio in Ann Arbor where he teaches music composition and piano to students of all ages and experience levels.

Also in Ann Arbor, Harlin recently won the Lightworks Film Festival award for best original score, and was featured in June on the news site In the embedded players below, you can hear some samples of Patrick Harlin’s music, and there’s more audio of his work available on his SoundCloud page.

Patrick Harlin’s Landscapes, Movement Two

Harlin performs the third part of his piece Three American Sketches in May 2008 at Western Washington University.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Brian Ciach

A skilled pianist as well as a composer, Brian Ciach has created a wide variety of original music, from solo piano pieces to orchestral works to electronic music. As one of the resident composers for the 2102 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, Ciach (pronounced “SIGH-ack”) has written a new piece for Alarm Will Sound called The Einstein Slide.

Inspired by a slice of Albert Einstein’s brain displayed in the Mütter Museum in Ciach’s home town of Philadelphia, the new work is puckishly termed “an appendix” to Collective Uncommon: Seven Orchestral Studies on Medical Oddities, which Ciach wrote in 2011 for his doctoral dissertation in music composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Ciach’s sly sensibilities also are on display in Blank Slate, another new work composed for the percussion quartet Square Peg Round Hole that is played entirely on “found” instruments and includes a movement called Vegetable Requiem.

An assistant professor of music theory and composition at Murray State University in Kentucky, Ciach (pictured) was selected earlier this year to be the first participant in the Subito Composer Fellowship program, developed in partnership with the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute.

His music has been performed across the United States and in Germany and Italy by ensembles including The Minnesota Orchestra, the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the Percussion Ensembles of Indiana University and the University of Buffalo, and others.

Before receiving his doctorate from Indiana in May of this year, Ciach earned his Master’s degrees in composition and piano performance at Temple University. He previously has taught music at West Chester University, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Ball State University.

In the embedded video windows below, you can see and hear some examples of Brian Ciach’s music and watch do a presentation about Collective Uncommon.

Ciach performs his Two Berlin Preludes

Ciach’s A Quite Dream of a Place/Un posto da sogno (Venice), the first movement of his extended 2010 composition Road Trip. Recorded April 21, 2011 in Auer Hall at Indiana University by the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, directed by David Dzubay, and soprano Sharon Harms.

Ciach discusses Collective Uncommon