New Music Festival, Ball State Univeristy, March 17–19, 2016
Virtual Concert

Program Notes and Bios

Ashley Fu-T sun Wang

Antares Falling comes from ancient Chinese literature, the Book of Songs, in which one of the poets talked about
how people used the star Antares to tell the change of season. This phrase was later inkterpreted in two ways: becoming cold and becoming warm. This misinterpretation and the selection of words in the phrase contributed to a poetic image. The flute and piano lines are intertwined together to create the ambiguity of sound, and to bring out the musicality within it.

Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang is a Taiwanese composer whose work draws on her eclectic musical palette, ranging from Western and non-Western classics to jazz and pop. Ms. Wang’s music has been erformed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, Herz
Jesu-Kirche, and Hong Kong Arts Centre. She has collaborated with performers such as Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, MIVOS Quartet, conductors David Gilbert, Brad Lubman, and visual artists Alice Grassi. Recent honors include the Theodore Presser Award, Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, MACRO Competition, Look and Listen Festival Composition Prize, an Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum, a CAP Grant from New Music USA, among others. Her music can be heard on the ArpaViva Foundation Inc label, WQXR, and WNYC. Her scores are now available through Babel Scores.

Matthew C. Schildt

Ascendance was commissioned by Adams State University to commemorate the name change from College to University and was performed several times during the festivities for this change. The piece is written for septet and was composed during June and July of 2012. While talking with a poet at Adams State University who was also commissioned for this event, we both set out to create works that captured the open expanse of the San Luis Valley and the feeling of driving down into the valley from the Sangre de Cristo mountains east of Alamosa. I sought instrumentation that I thought could evoke this, and I also wanted an instrumentation that would bring together faculty and student musicians in our department. The piece aims to capture the sense of energy, unity, and reflection that I felt was present at our University during this change.

A native of Long Island, New York, Matthew Schildt teaches Music Theory, Composition, and Technology at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. Matthew did his undergraduate studies at Lebanon Valley College and received his Masters and Ph.D. in Music Theory/Composition from Kent State University. He has taught various courses at Kent State University (main campus and Stark campus), Hiram College, and the University of Akron. In addition, Matthew currently teaches as part of Kent State University’s online masters degree in Music Education. Matthew has presented on diverse topics at various music conferences, including the International Conference on Twentieth-Century Music in Brighton, UK.

As a composer, Matthew has written works for a variety of ensembles. His compositions have been performed at various conferences and festivals, including the University of Alabama Huntsville New Music Festival, Tutti New Music Festival, Colorado Composers Concerts, College Music Society conferences, and numerous Society of Composers, Inc. conferences. Matthew’s music has been heard in several films and theater productions, including the documentary A Shared Space: Learning from the Mustard Seed School. He has also performed piano on two PBS documentary soundtracks.

Chin Ting (Patrick) Chan

Rituals is inspired by various ritual processes of different cultures. Some rituals involve elaborate processes, while others are simply daily rituals inherited from the tradition. While most rituals are diversely different, they all engage a sequence of actions according to a prescribed order guided by a mythical belief. This piece takes inspirations and sonic elements reminiscent of the ritual processes and forms a sonic collage that alternates constantly between hyper-real and surreal soundscapes, and creates a multi-layered texture of timbral and rhythmic complexity. Some of the sound sources include air, wind chimes, metals, water, piano resonance and various drum patterns, processed almost exclusively with Cycling 74’s Max program.

Raised in Hong Kong, composer Chin Ting (Patrick) CHAN has held faculty positions at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and Kansas City Kansas Community College. He has been a fellow and guest composer at the International Computer Music Conference, the International Rostrum of Composers, IRCAM’s ManiFeste, June in Buffalo and the Wellesley Composers Conference. Awards and commissions include those from the Interdisciplinary Festival for Music and Sound Art, Semaine international de la musique électroacoustique, the Soli fan tutti Composition Prize, the American Prize, ArtsKC, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Association for the Promotion of New Music, the Charlotte Street Foundation, Foundation for Modern Music, the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, the Lin Yao Ji Music Foundation, MMTA/MTNA, newEar, the New-Music Consortium, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and others. His works are published with the ABLAZE Records, Darling’s Acoustical Delight, Melos Music, Music from SEAMUS, Navona Records/PARMA Recordings, the SCI Journal of Music Scores and Unfolding Music Publishing (ASCAP). He received his D.M.A. degree from the University of Missouri–Kansas City in 2014.

João Pedro Oliveira

Hydatos is a greek word that means “water”.

This piece is inspired on the first verses of the Old Testament (Genesis Chapter 1:2)

“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The audio part of this piece was commissioned by Gulbenkian Foundation, and was composed in the composer’s personal studio and at the NOVARS Center in Manchester. The video part was done at the composer’s personal studio.

João Pedro Oliveira completed a PhD in Music at the University of New York at Stony Brook. His music includes one chamber opera, several orchestral compositions, a Requiem, 3 string quartets, chamber music, solo instrumental music, electroacoustic music and experimental video. He has received over 40 international prizes and awards, including three Prizes at Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, the prestigious Magisterium Prize in the same competition, the Giga-Hertz Special Award, 1st Prize in Metamorphoses competition, 1st Prize in Yamaha-Visiones Sonoras Competition, and the 1st Prize in Musica Nova competition. He is Professor at Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and Aveiro University (Portugal), has published several articles in journals, and written a book about analysis and 20th century music theory.

Paul Richards

“Si Veriash a la Rana” (“If You Could Only See the Frog”) is the title of a children’s song from Bulgaria sung by exiled Jews in the Spanish-Jewish dialect of Ladino:

If you could only see the little frog sitting on the oven, frying her fritas and sharing with her sisters!
If you could only see the little mouse sitting in the corner, shelling walnuts and sharing with her sisters!
If you could only see the little camel sitting on the dough-board, rolling out filo thinner than hair!

The deceptively simple and playful tune stems from a wide range of cultural influences, combining typically Ladino melodic figurations with a traditional Bulgarian metric construction. This concert band piece is a percussion-driven exploration of this infectious and time-tested melody. It was commissioned by the Saint Mary’s University Concert Band, Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, director, with generous support from the Sam & Helen Kaplan Foundation.

Paul Richards is Professor and Head of Composition at the University of Florida. His works have been heard throughout the United States and internationally on six continents. Awards include Special Distinction in the ASCAP Rudolph Nissim Prize, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Fresh Ink composition prize, the New Music for Sligo/IMRO composition prize, and many others. Commissions have come from orchestras, wind ensembles, choirs, and chamber ensembles, and his works have been recorded by Richard Stoltzman, the Slovak Radio Orchestra, the Moravian Philharmonic, and numerous chamber groups. Music by Paul Richards is recorded on the Meyer Media, MMC, ERM, Capstone, Mark, and Summit labels, and is published by Carl Fischer Music, TrevCo Music, the International Horn Society Press, Jeanné, Inc., and Margalit Music.

Andrew Seager Cole

Aro Dreamscape was written during the Spring of 2013. The work is for saxophone quartet and multichannel live electronics, though this recording is a stereo reduction. The work is typically performed in the dark with saxes and speakers circling the audience. It is loosely inspired by recordings of birdsong made from my bedroom window in the Aro Valley suburb of Wellington, New Zealand. During the fall of 2013, I captured the songs of Bellbirds, whose singing has a chime like quality, large Parrots known as Kaka, small Riorio, and Tui which have extremely complex and diverse calls. While I borrowed general ideas in the work from real bird song, I did so in an abstracted way. Using a somewhat aleatory system make the number and overlap of the various calls unpredictable at times. The one exception to this is a particularly interesting recording of a Tui which I directly transcribed and gave to the Baritone as a solo. Formally, the work follows a progression more akin to how I might listen to bird calls while on a hike. Specifically I often focus on each type of bird individually, with one type grabbing my attention from another, before I finally shift my focus to put them together into a larger context of the entire soundscape. In this way I tried to navigate between an abstract musical usage of natural inspiration and an abstracted approach to the sounds as they could exist in a natural soundscape.

Andrew Seager Cole is a composer and media artist. His work explores the intersection of eco-acoustics, noise, and technology, and he regularly collaborates with artists, filmmakers, and choreographers. Andrew's music has been presented at festivals such as June in Buffalo, SoundSCAPE, SEAMUS, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, and the International Computer Music Conference. His compositions have been recorded on the OCD Media, Vox Novus, and Music from SEAMUS CD Series labels. Awards include a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand, a Lilburn Trust Student Composition Award, the 2008 National Association of Composers USA Young Composer's Competition, the 2006 Prix d'Ete Competition, the Robert Hall Lewis and Otto Ortman Awards, and a UMKC Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship. Andrew holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (DMA), Peabody Conservatory(MM), and Goucher College(BA), as well as a gradate diploma in music from the New Zealand School of Music. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Lawrence University where he teaches composition and electronic music.

Tyler Habig

Tyler Habig, from Avon, Indiana, is a sophomore undergraduate at the Jacobs School of Music. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in composition and is currently studying with Claude Baker. His previous professors include Sven-David Sandström, Don Freund, Dean Westman, and Jay Webb. He has also studied scoring for film and video games under Larry Groupé and Roger Neill. Habig's awards include the the University of Indianapolis Young Composers’ Contest, the IMEA Composition Competition, and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music High School Composition Competition. His pieces have been performed by groups such as the IPFW Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, the Zionsville Honor Orchestra, and the Avon Saxophone Ensemble at venues like the Grand Wayne Center, the Pike Performing Arts Center, and the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

Stephen Lilly

Edgeplay is a guided improvisation for saxophone and live signal processing (Max). As the title implies, the piece explores boundaries, thresholds, and extremes. The saxophonist is instructed to push technique beyond the limits of control and investigate timbre as a delineator of sound: differentiating registers, distinguishing tone from breath and focused pitch from bands of noise. The score is a hybrid of text and graphics, left intentionally vague to suggest rather than dictate the performer’s investigation. The electronics (primarily spectral manipulations of the live saxophone) react to extremes, dynamic and durational, and adjust to the performer over the course of the piece. The sonic result is a mapping, albeit partial, of the sonic transformations idiomatic to the saxophone when in the capable hands of a trained performer.

Stephen Lilly is a composer, performer, audio engineer, and sound artist. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Stephen ventured east to study composition at the University of Maryland. In addition to his graduate degrees from UMD, he also has composition and bass performance degrees from the University of Idaho and spent a year at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. Theatricality, language, and abstraction are themes that continually resurface in his creative work, the majority of which is scored for chamber ensembles, incorporating signal processing and computer generated sounds. Stephen has written works for CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) Britsol, pianist Hayk Arsenyan, saxophonist Steven Leffue, and soprano Stacey Mastrian and has worked closely with a collective of composer-performers he helped found, the Bay Players Experimental Music Collective. His writings on contemporary experimental music have been published in Organised Sound, Performance Research, Perspectives of New Music, and Computer Music Journal. Recordings of his compositions are available from ink&coda, the SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures Recording Series, and C7 Music and recordings he has engineered have been released on Neuma, Navona, and Albany Records. Stephen current lives in DC where teaches audio production, music theory, composition and plays with These Quiet Colours.

Joseph Koykkar

Inside Out was commissioned by the Chicago Saxophone Quartet and composed during the late spring and summer of 2009 for its premiere performances in Taiwan in August. It is a two-movement composition of slightly eight minutes duration.  Each movement focuses on its own unique collection of musical materials: the first movement is based on an 8-note  “blues”-tinged scale, and the second is built upon a 7-note scale emphasizing the interval of the major third, and hence, the augmented triad.  These pitch materials, in combination with rhythmic and structural processes that I have been utilizing in my music for the past two decades, create a distinct personality and mood for each movement.

Joseph Koykkar has had his music performed nationally and internationally for over the past 30 years. He has composed over 100 works of chamber music, orchestral scores, music for dance, film/video scores, and electronic/computer music. He holds degrees from Indiana University (M.Mus.) and the University of Miami (DMA). His music can be heard on 11 Cds. His latest CD released in February 2016 on the Ravello label, Double Takes and Triple Plays, features 7 compositions spanning a twenty-year time period. He has been a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1987.

Oliver Caplan

The ephemeral has many forms: two strangers passing in the night; sun-dappled Monarchs migrating south; and all too familiar to us artists, fleeting bursts oof inspiration evanescing like shooting stars into the darkness. This piece is an ode to moments of illumination. The title draws from a work of conceptual art by Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942). Weiner started as a sculptor, but in 1968 began to explore language as a new medium for presenting his ideas, creating installation art that consisted solely of words imprinted on white walls. Without binding his ideas to concrete physical form, much is left to the imagination of the beholder.

With memorable melodies and colorful interplay, composer Oliver Caplan’s music expresses a deeply felt romanticism. His compositions capture the ephemeral: in his music, the geographies of people, places, and ideas intertwine to become tales of transformation.

Caplan’s music has been presented in over 100 public performances in 12 states, including the Nebraska Chamber Players, North/South Consonance, Trio Veritas and Schola Cantorum of Boston. He has been commissioned by the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Bella Piano Trio, Columbia University Wind Ensemble, Brookline Symphony Orchestra, Juventas New Music Ensemble and El Sistema Somerville, among others. Accolades include a Special Citation for the American Prize in Orchestral Composition (2015), Veridian Symphony Composers Competition Winner (2014), Somerville Arts Council Grants (2014, 2013), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowships (2013, 2011) and Fifth House Ensemble Young Composer Competition Grand Prize (2010) and six ASCAP Plus Awards (2008-13).

Caplan (b. 1982) was raised in the Bronx, New York. He studied Music and Geography at Dartmouth College (B.A. 2004) and Composition at the Boston Conservatory (M.M. 2006). His composition teachers include Dalit Warshaw, Dana Brayton and Charles Dodge. Caplan currently resides in Medford, Massachusetts. An avid hiker, he finds inspiration through time outdoors.


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