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Release: Nov. 16, 2001

UI Electronic Music studios celebrate 'Electroacoustic Music Month' with Nov. 27 concert

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios will take part in "Electroacoustic Music Month" -- a project of the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) -- with a free concert of new works for digital sound, video and instruments at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

As used by composers, the term electroacoustic refers to music dependent on electronic technology for its creation and/or performance.

The Nov. 27 program was coordinated by Lawrence Fritts, director of the UI Electronic Music Studios, and will feature seven pieces:

-- Improvisation No. 1 for tape by UI doctoral student Tohm Judson;

-- "Aphoristic Fragment" for digital animation and music by Mark Applebaum, an assistant professor of composition and theory at Stanford and visiting artist with Electronic Music Midwest;

-- "Arturo" for tape by Elainie Lillios, who is an assistant professor of composition at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University;

-- "Heavy Metal" for video and music by Kristine H. Burns, director of the Electronic Music Studios at the Florida International University School of Music in Miami;

-- "Narcissus Remix" for tape by Applebaum;

-- "Mappaemundi" (World map) for digital animation and music by Fritts, Sue Hettmansperger from the studio faculty of the UI School of Art and Art History, and Walter Seaman from the faculty of the UI Department of Mathematics; and

-- "Life-Drawing" for flute and tape by Fritts, featuring flute soloist Tadeu Coelho from the School of Music faculty.

Fritts has written program notes for his works: "'Mappaemundi' is a 9-minute video for digital animation and computer-realized sound. The visual imagery is based on computer transformations of scanned photographs of Hettmansperger's paintings and drawings. Mathematical imagery was provided by Seaman. Fritts recorded sounds of a human body in the Wendell Johnson Anechoic Chamber and digitally transformed these sounds to create a musical score for the video. "Mappaemundi" was supported by an Arts and Humanities Initiative grant and was premiered in New York City on September 8, 2001."

"In 'Life-Drawing,' the compositional process originated with the physical sound of the flute. The instrument was digitally analyzed and various sonic features were extracted and compositionally manipulated. . . . As it interacts with the tape part, the live flute draws from the computer-generated material, creating a sound universe which acts to unify concept, process, and object." "Life-Drawing" was written for Tadeu Coelho, to whom the work is dedicated.

The Electronic Music Studios have been part of the composition program at the UI School of Music for more than 30 years. 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.

Coelho joined the UI music faculty in 1997. An international touring artist sponsored by the Miyazawa Flute Company, he has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the Americas. He has performed as first solo flutist with the Santa Fe Symphony, the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany and the Spoletto Festival Orchestra in Italy.

Coelho's performances have consistently earned high critical praise. Following a series of concerts in Brazil, one critic commented that he "played with musicality and beautiful sound. His virtuosity and clear performance are remarkable."

Coelho performs a wide range of repertoire. Many composers have written works for him, including UI faculty members Fritts and Michael Eckert. His CD recording of the music of Brazilian composers was released on Tempo Primo in 1995, and he also recorded works by Thomas Delio on 3D Classics. His new CD of 20th-century Mexican flute music was released in the spring of 1999 and is available, along with Coelho's other recordings, from Eble Music in downtown Iowa City.

SEAMUS is a non-profit national organization of composers, performers, and teachers of electro-acoustic music. SEAMUS seeks to provide a broad forum for those involved or interested in electronic music.

The Society's objectives include encouraging the composition and performance of electro- acoustic music; developing a network for technical information and support; promoting concerts and radio broadcasts of electro-acoustic music both in the US and abroad; and attracting a wide diversity of members and supporters from both in and outside of academic institutions.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. Visit the page of the Electronic Music Studios at http://theremin.music.uiowa.edu/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.