Archive for May, 2018

Tickets for 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival
go on sale Friday, May 25

Tickets for the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. CDT on Friday, May 25.

Recognized as an important regional showcase for new works by top young composers, the MICF will take place this year from Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 in Columbia, and will include three public concerts.

Returning for the ninth year as the festival’s resident ensemble, Alarm Will Sound will begin the weekend of shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in downtown Columbia.

They’ll perform music from the 2018 MICF’s distinguished guest composers, Chen Yi and Alex Mincek, as well as a work by Mizzou’s Stefan Freund and more.

The following evening, the “Mizzou New Music” concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre will feature the Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing works by Chen and Mincek, plus the Missouri Clarinet Quartet playing new music by Stefan Freund, Carolina Heredia, and Aaron Mencher.

The grand finale of the week will showcase the world premieres of seven new works written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by Alarm Will Sound at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre.

Festival VIP packages are $80, and include reserved premium seating at all three concerts; two drink tickets good at the Thursday and Friday performances; and admission to a VIP reception prior to the Saturday evening performance, featuring champagne and hors d’oeuvres with members of Alarm Will Sound and the composers.

Festival passes for all three concerts are $40 for an adult general admission pass, and $20 for a student general admission pass.

Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students, and are all general admission. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

The MICF also offers a special limited-time discount for early ticket buyers. If you purchase tickets before June 3 and use the promotional code, you can get single adult tickets for any MICF concert for just $10 each (regular price $18), while student tickets are discounted to $7 (from $10).

To get the discount, use “2018MICF” (without quotes) when prompted for a promotional code. This offer is good only on tickets purchased between May 25 and June 3, 2018.

In addition to these three concerts, the MICF also will feature several free events, including open rehearsals and presentations by the participating composers. A complete schedule of those events will be released at a later date.

The seven resident composers were chosen from among more than 240 applicants from 22 different countries to participate in the festival and create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Oren Boneh, Berkeley, CA
* Christine Burke, Iowa City, IA
* Viet Cuong, Philadelphia, PA
* Amanda Feery, Princeton, NJ
* Douglas Osmun, Columbia, MO
* Gemma Peacocke, Princeton, NJ
* Igor Santos, Chicago, IL

An eighth resident composer, Peter Shin, was announced as part of the group in December 2017, but had to postpone his participation due to scheduling conflicts. “At the same time that Peter was selected for the MICF, he also received a commission to write a new work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” said Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “When it became apparent that he could not complete both pieces in time, we extended an invitation to him to be part of our 2019 festival, and we look forward to working with him next year.”

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from distinguished guest composers Chen Yi, who is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Alex Mincek, an assistant professor, composition and music technology at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and a co-founder and artistic director of the Wet Ink Ensemble.

The resident composers also will take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

Mizzou New Music Initiative 2017-18 year in review

Stefan Freund’s “Unremixed” featured in new Alarm Will Sound music video

“Unremixed,” a composition by Mizzou’s Stefan Freund, is featured in a new music video from Alarm Will Sound.

Freund, who is professor of composition at Mizzou and the artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, also is a co-founder of and cellist for Alarm Will Sound, the new music group who since 2010 has served as resident ensemble for the Mizzou International Composers Festival. There’s another local connection, too, as the video was shot at Spectrum Studios in Columbia.

You can see the complete music video for “Unremixed” in the embedded window below, followed by the production notes from Alarm Will Sound.

“Unremixed” was written for Alarm Will Sound’s debut at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2005. The work was created as a finale for the concert, which was the complete presentation of “Acoustica,” Alarm Will Sound’s album of arrangements of Aphex Twin’s electronica. The work integrates several ideas from Aphex Twin’s music as well as instrumental techniques used in Acoustica arrangements to imitate electronic sounds.

“Unremixed” is divided into four sections. The first features the descent from “Gwely Mernans” presented in various ratios against a consistent quarter note pulse divided into sixteenths. A lick similar to the pentatonic figures found in “Cliffs” emerges, played in different meters against the pulse.

A bombastic percussion solo leads to the second section, which places a firm 5/4 pulse against a tune formed from two phrases of 10/16 that change their division of the meter. Though not directly taken from the music of Aphex Twin, the tune is reminiscent of many modal funky grooves found in electronic dance music. Eventually it is placed against the descent from the previous section.

The third section imitates the industrial sound of electronica. The tune from “Meltphace 6” emerges over a 7/8 groove whose working title was “Sick Machine.” Various layers are added to the texture to grow towards a giant climax.

The final section is a simple dance party featuring techno drum tracks that grow increasingly complex and a sped up presentation of the mixed meter dance tune from the second section. The performers are encouraged to get a little rowdy towards the end.

Composed by Stefan Freund
Performed by Alarm Will Sound
Shot by Four/Ten Media

Alarm Will Sound:
Erin Lesser, flute
Christa Robinson, oboe
Bill Kalinkos, clarinet and saxophone
Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet
Michael Harley, bassoon
Matt Marks, horn
Tim Leopold, trumpet
Michael Clayville, trombone
Chris Thompson, percussion
Matt Smallcomb, percussion
John Orfe, piano
Courtney Orlando, violin
Caleb Burhans, violin
Stefan Freund, cello
Miles Brown, bass
Alan Pierson, conductor and Artistic Director

Daniel Neumann, Audio Engineer
Gavin Chuck, Managing Director
Nigel Maister, Theatrical Director
Jason Varvaro, Production Manager
Peter Ferry, Production Assistant
Chihiro Shibayama, Librarian
Tracy Mendez, Development Manager

Special thanks to these musicians for their contribution to the video:
Andrew Nogal (oboe), Megan Arns (percussion), Ben Russell (violin), Karin Brown (viola)

Special thanks to these musicians who performed on the recording:
Jason Price (trumpet), Nadia Sirota (viola), Chihiro Shibayama (percussion), Juilia Gaines (percussion)

Filmed at Spectrum Studios during an Alarm Will Sound residency at the University of Missouri sponsored by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Funding for the video shoot came from the MU Research Council.