Posts Tagged ‘ Dismal Niche

A look back at the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Composers Festival spotlight: Bels Lontano

For the tenth year of the Mizzou International Composers Festival, the Mizzou New Music Initiative has added a number of new events, including teaming up with Columbia-based experimental music organization Dismal Niche to present two free late-night concerts on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26 after the performances at the Missouri Theatre.

The performance at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25 at Cafe Berlin will feature Bels Lontano curating a program of electronic music including works from MICF resident composers and from current and former students at Mizzou, as well as his own music.

Influenced by “love, anxiety, beats and ambience,” Bels Lontano is an experimental electronic dance music project from composer/producer Bret Bohman (pictured).

Embracing the notion that “music is therapy in both the act of creation and the act of listening,” and drawing on the traditions of IDM, house, hip-hop, contemporary classical, and ambient, “the project explores concepts of liminal spaces, natural beauty, therapy, and personal growth.”

Bret Bohman teaches composition, electronic music, guitar and ear training at the University of Missouri School of Music. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan, and with his spouse, composer and Mizzou faculty member Carolina Heredia, is a co-founder of the new music group Khemia Ensemble.

You can hear samples of the music of Bels Lontano in the embedded players below.

Music video for “Hope,” made by Bret Bohman using footage he shot during his 2018 trip to Europe

Composers Festival spotlight: Eli Keszler

For this year’s expanded edition of the Mizzou International Composers Festival, the Mizzou New Music Initiative is teaming up with Columbia-based experimental music organization Dismal Niche to present two free late-night concerts on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26 after the performances at the Missouri Theatre.

Friday’s late-night concert will feature percussionist, composer, and artist Eli Keszler in a solo performance starting at 9:30 p.m. at the Firestone Baars Chapel on the campus of Stephens College.

Keszler (pictured), who’s based in New York City, earned his BA in music performance and composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, and has lectured as a visiting artist at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, New England Conservatory, Dartmouth University, Washington University, Mass Art, and UMass Boston.

His music, praised as “a unique combination of intense drumming and sparse, often dramatic sound design” which “occupies a unique but imaginative space on the experimental music landscape,” can be heard on solo recordings released by Shelter Press, Empty Editions, ESP-Disk’, PAN and his own label REL records.

Keszler’s two most recent releases are Stadium, which made several critics’ year-end “best of” lists in 2018 and was called “an isolationist avant-jazz masterpiece that’s both highly complex and entirely accessible,” and Empire, an EP that came out earlier this year.

As a composer, Keszler has received commissions from the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and So Percussion. He also has collaborated with Oneohtrix Point Never, Laurel Halo, Rashad Becker, and David Grubbs, and many others.

Keszler’s works frequently explore the relationship between sound and the environment, whether physical or virtual, in which it is heard, and his music, installations, and visual art have appeared at the Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sculpture Center, The Kitchen, South London Gallery, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Barbican at St. Luke’s, Walker Art Center, and numerous other institutions, galleries, and venues.

His awards include a Sound and Music Fellowship from the New York Foundation For The Arts, grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Creative Connections, the MATA Composers Prize, and the Gaudeamus Composer Award.

For more about Eli Keszler, read the interview with him published earlier this year on TinyMixTapes.com and his interview from October 2018 with Self-TitledMag.com. You can see and hear samples of some of his performances and compositions via the embedded players below.

“Stadium,” recorded October 2, 2018 at The Kitchen in New York City

Keszler performs live on October 24, 2018 at Zebulon in Los Angeles

Keszler improvises for Fact magazine’s video series “Against The Clock,” recorded in February 2019 at his home studio in NYC

2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival adding
more concerts, offering free admission to all events

Khemia Ensemble

For its tenth year, the Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) in 2019 is adding five more concerts and an audio installation, and is making all MICF events free and open to the public.

Presented by the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27 in Columbia, the MICF once again will feature three evening concerts at the Missouri Theatre.

Resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound will perform on Thursday, July 25, followed by “Mizzou New Music” on Friday, July 26 and “Eight World Premieres” on Saturday, July 27. All three of those concerts, which in past years have been ticketed events, will be free this year.

The new events for 2019, also all free and open to the public, will include post-concert performances at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at Cafe Berlin, 220 N. 10th St. (about eight blocks from the Missouri Theatre).

From left: Bels Lontano, Eli Keszler

Thursday’s performance will feature Bels Lontano playing electronic works by Mizzou student composers and MICF resident composers. On Friday, the MICF will team with Columbia community arts organization Dismal Niche to present a performance by percussionist and composer Eli Keszler.

The other three concerts added for the festival’s tenth year involve Khemia Ensemble, the group led by Mizzou assistant professor of composition Carolina Heredia and her husband Bret Bohman, who’s also a composer and adjunct faculty member.

Musicians from the ensemble will present informal “pop-up” concerts at 1:00 p.m. Thursday on 9th St. near Sparky’s Ice Cream, 21 S. 9th St, and at 1:00 p.m. Friday at Uprise Bakery, 10 Hitt St. The full Khemia Ensemble then will perform in a matinee concert at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus.

Lastly, a sound installation by Alarm Will Sound audio engineer and technical director Daniel Neumann and musician Kenneth Kirschner will be running in the second floor lobby of the Missouri Theatre throughout the festival. As yet untitled, the installation will feature eight channels of audio delivering algorithm-generated soundscapes based on samples of extended instrumental techniques performed by members of Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the festival’s website at http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

The culmination of the MICF is Saturday’s concert featuring world premieres of new works written by each of the festival’s eight resident composers and performed by Alarm Will Sound. The resident composers for 2019 are:

* Theophilus Chandler, Houston TX
* Inti Figgis-Vizueta, Brooklyn NY
* Charles Halka, Bellingham WA
* Chelsea Komschlies, Philadelphia PA
* Aaron Mencher, Columbia MO
* Nicole Murphy, Brisbane, Australia
* Peter Shin, New Haven CT
* Kristina Wolfe, Huddersfield, UK

In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten will return to the MICF to serve as the two distinguished guest composers for 2019, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble.

Dennehy is the founder of the Irish new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. He previously was a guest composer at the MICF in 2012. Kirsten is a member of the composition faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and was part of the festival’s first group of resident composers in 2010.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the festival’s website at http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.