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Release: Jan. 14, 2000

UI Electronic Music Studios presents new works by student composers Jan. 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Works by undergraduate and graduate student composers at the University of Iowa School of Music will be featured on a free concert presented by the UI Electronic Music Studios at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 in Clapp Recital Hall.

One work on the program will break new ground for the UI. The performance of "Slope-Cluster-Spira" for flute and computer by undergraduate John Ritz will mark the first time at the UI that a live computer has followed, accompanied and processed in real time the music of a performer on stage.

The composer -- a senior in music and media production, an audio engineer in the UI Recording Studios and a research assistant in the Electronic Music Studios -- explained: "Pitch, amplitude and duration are all aspects (of the live performance) that control the electronics, and all of these aspects are controlled by the performer. This gives the performer the ability to actually control the accompaniment, rather than simply playing along with it."

Four graduate students will have works that feature live performers accompanied by computer-generated, digitally processed music. Their part of the program also showcases the international nature of the composition program:

"Arte Combinada" for bass trombone and tape by Alexandre Lunsqui features a dialogue between the live performer and processed sounds that were generated by the bass trombone. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Lunsqui has had works performed in Brazil, Switzerland and the United States.

Composer Evangelia Kikou says that her "Antihisi" for piano and tape "reflects states of interaction among two levels of activity created by a real performer (piano) and an imaginary one (tape). The interaction moves gradually from a state of isolation, in which each builds its own individual world, to a state of identification, in which both coexist for a short time in harmony."

Kikou studied chemistry and classical guitar at the University of Ioannina in her native Greece, and later earned degrees in music theory, composition and musicology. She subsequently attended seminars in piano, composition and electronic music in Greece and Germany before coming to the UI as a doctoral student.

Edgar Crockett teaches composition, music theory and jazz studies at Black Hawk College in Moline, Ill., while he is completing a doctorate at the UI. His "Three Vignettes for trumpet and tape" was composed in the UI Electronic Music studios in the spring of 1999, using sound sources that originated with experiments with the composer's trumpet playing and voice.

Dimitri Papgeorgiou, a native of Thessaloniki, Greece, is an Iowa Fellow completing a doctorate in composition at the UI. He is a graduate of the University of Music and Drama in Graz, Austria, and has had works performed in Greece and Austria.

Papgeorgiou's "KYLANG" for bass and tape is dedicated to the performer, doctoral bass student Kyle Gassiot. The title is a compound derived from Kyle and the German word "klang," meaning "sound." According to the composer's description of the piece, "the sound of the bass acts as both collaborative partner and the initiative of sound throughout the work. Physical actions performed by the player result in sound 'reactions' echoed by the tape."

Two works by undergraduate students were composed directly on computer: "Voyager's Wake" for synthesized orchestra and tape by Michael Cash and "Sarah laughed" for tape by Evan Mazunik.

In addition to the student compositions, the program will include "Media Survival Kit," a tape piece by the highly regarded computer music pioneer James Dashow.

The Electronic Music Studios have been part of the composition program at the UI School of Music for more than 30 years. By offering a traditional emphasis on the compositional aspects of electronic media, the studios have helped prepare Iowa's graduates for composing, research and teaching careers at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Director Lawrence Fritts has brought the latest generation of technologies to the studios. Students and faculty now have access to three multiple-platform workstations that integrate SGI, Kyma, and Macintosh digital audio technology. Carefully maintained Moog, Arp and EMS analog synthesizers, along with other analog processing and control devices from the past 30 years, have also been integrated into the new systems to ensure that Iowa's composers have the broadest possible range of technologies available as compositional tools.

Fritts is a leading figure in electronic and acousmatic music. His works have been performed in Chicago by the Contemporary Chamber Players, the University of Chicago New Music Ensemble, New Music De Paul and New Music Chicago. His electronic works have also been featured in a series of concerts at Columbia College and have been broadcast in the United States and Europe. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Company about the history of electronic music.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. The web page of the Electronic Music Studios is located at http://theremin.music.uiowa.edu/~web/.