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University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 4, 2003

UI Composers Workshop Presents Concert April 13

The Composers Workshop from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert of new works in a variety of media at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 13 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Eight composers will be represented on the program, ranging from undergraduates to doctoral students. The complete program will be:

-- "Klimmen," from Two Preludes for brass ensemble, and "Eadem Mutato Resurgo" for piano by Joseph Dangerfield, a doctoral candidate in composition;
-- "On 'Bohemiens en Voyage'" for voice, violin and viola, and "Genesis of a Memory" for hept-enneakaideka (a home-made metallic instrument similar to the xylophone) by undergraduate composition major Andrew Struck-Marcel;
-- "Nocturne" for piano by undergraduate Anne Guthrie;
-- "Black Maps," an electro-acoustic piece by graduate composition student Michael Cash;
-- "Winter Winds" for voice and piano by undergraduate composition major Stephen V. Gliske;
-- "Bric-aBrac" for voice and piano by musicology masters student Megan Jenkins;
-- "Reaching us by Light" for mixed chamber ensemble by undergraduate composition major Martin McGinn; and
-- "The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" for voice and piano by composition graduate student Jean-Paul Perrotte.

Dangerfield's "Two Preludes" is based on a famous M.C. Escher lithograph that shows a group of monks who appear to be ascending a perpetual staircase. "A copy of the work hangs over my work table where I composer and is a constant source of inspiration," the composer said. "As I observe the monks that are perpetually climbing stairs, I think to myself, 'I'm not working hard enough,' and push myself further."

Struck-Marcel explains that "'Hept-enneakaideka' is an amalgam of the Greek words for 17 and 19. The instrument, which I built myself, consists of seventeen pipes tuned to the 19-note equal-tempered alternate tuning scale. . . . In the piece I wanted to present altered familiar elements along with unfamiliar ones; I therefore selected the pitches with both recognizable tonal and unrecognizable microtonal qualities."

Guthrie's "Nocturne" is the first of a projected three-piece set for solo piano. The composer said the piece was influenced by the nocturnes of Debussy and Chopin, particularly in its use of a deliberate sense of ambiguity that is amplified by the constant slow pulse in the right hand.

Cash wrote his "Black Maps" for UI dance faculty member Jeffery Bullock, for his spring dance concert in March. The title for this dance concert was "Black," and "Black Maps" is a condensed version of the original hour-and-15-minute electronic ballet suite.

Gliske wrote "Winter Winds" for a senior voice recital of a friend at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., who specifically asked for a lullaby. "Above all, I wanted to create a song of beauty," Gliske said "Despite the apparent sadness, the lyrics reflect an underlying hope in the immortality of the soul and eventual peace -- although such peace may not come during this life."

McGlinn said "Reaching us by Light" takes its inspiration from two different sources: works from the "Meditation Series" by Mark Tobey, an Abstract Expressionist painter, and a Hubble telescope photograph of a star cluster in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The score was written in March 2003 for an Honors project.

The Composers Workshop is a collaborative project between composers and performers in the UI School of Music. It is devoted to the performance of music written at the UI and aims to foster greater co-operation and interplay between composers and performers in the Iowa City area. The workshop is currently directed by Amelia Kaplan, a visiting faculty member in the School of Music and interim director of the Center for New Music.

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/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <ur-acr@uiowa.edu>.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.

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