Posts Tagged ‘ Michael Strausbaugh

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to play final concert of the season Monday, April 16 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will play the final concert of their 2011-12 season at 8:00 p.m., Monday, April 16 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission to the concert is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

Continuing the Ensemble’s practice of performing new works by composers associated with the University, the concert will feature world premieres of three pieces written by Mizzou students who are earning master’s degrees in composition.

Grant Fonda’s SHARK! BLIMP! GERSHWIN! draws inspiration from the simplicity and joy of the composer’s young piano students, with influences from jazz and commercial music.

Joe HillsChildren with Smart Phones is a tongue-in-cheek piece about the negative effects of technology that includes syncopated rhythms contrasted with lyrical melodies and lush harmonies.

The third student piece, sifting through ashes,  is the master’s thesis for composer Michael Strausbaugh. It’s a 10-minute-long work with solemn, slow sections bracketing an expansive middle of shifting meters and tonalities that seemingly are inspired by a folk or rock dance.

Completing the concert program is Donnacha Dennehy’s “As An Nós,” an epic soundscape filled with rich colors and rhythmic energy that originally was written for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and featured in 2009 on WNYC’s “New Sounds Live.” For this piece, the Ensemble will be augmented by guest musicians Michael Strausbaugh, guitar; and Grant Bradshaw, viola.

Dennehy, considered one of the leading new music innovators in Ireland, will be one of the guest composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, to be held July 23-28 in Columbia. The Ensemble is preparing As An Nós for the Festival, and will be coached that week by Dennehy for their performance on Friday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

The six-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2011-12 season are Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Ryan Borden, percussion; Young Kim, flutes; Matthew Pierce, cello; David Snow, violin; and Renata Tavernard, piano.

They serve as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, working with faculty, students and visiting composers, and giving public performances on campus and in the community.

The Sound of Art documents collaboration between composers, visual artists

The Mizzou New Music Initiative has released online three episodes of The Sound of Art, a series of short films documenting collaborative efforts between composers and visual artists.

Now available for viewing on the Missouri New Music Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/moNEWmusic, the films cover the creation of three new compositions inspired by the summer 2010 exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and the premiere performances of those compositions at the Contemporary by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

Episode 1 features an interview with composer David Witter, who wrote “Failure to Communicate” in response to artist Martin Brief’s “Amazon God.” In episode 2, composer Michael Strausbaugh explains how he wrote “Crass Menagerie” after seeing artist Cameron Fuller’s “From The Collection Of The Institute for the Perpetuation of Imaginal Processes.” Episode 3 features composer Stephanie Berg talking about her piece “Paper Guns,” which was inspired by artist Sarah Frost’s “Arsenal.”

In addition to interviews with the composers, the episodes show the artworks as they were installed at the Contemporary, and include footage of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing the compositions.

“We thought it was important to support collaboration between local visual artists and local composers, giving them an opportunity interact and to support each other,” said Paul Ha, director of the Contemporary.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of cellist, composer and associate professor Stefan Freund, and serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative. At the time of these performances, the Ensemble’s members were Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Michael Strausbaugh, guitar; Matthew Pierce, cello; and Ian Derrickson, percussion, with violist Paul Seitz joining them as a guest performer.

The Sound of Art gave our composers an incredible opportunity to be inspired by living artists,” said Freund. “Through the concert at the Contemporary, they were able to share their musical vision of these artists’ works with an appreciative audience.”

The Sound of Art is underwritten by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation and produced by Randy Sinquefield of Spectrum Studios in Columbia, with Kevin Duggan serving as director of photography and Randy White as editor. Future episodes in the series will be produced to document similar collaborative efforts as they happen.

“The episodes consist of art, music and film. Combined, they provide a vivid sense though sound and imagery of the pieces of art. The result is more than the individual parts,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Foundation. “Some of the individual pieces of art or music might not inspire you, but the combined episodes will. Look, listen and let your imagination fly. Does the art, match the music and the film?”

To watch The Sound of Art online, please visit the Missouri New Music Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/moNEWmusic. (You need not have a Facebook account to view the videos.)