Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in a masterclass given by the Rome Prize winner, Ken Ueno. The masterclass was part of the two day Integrales New Music Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi. My flute work, Figment No. 3 “Euterpe”, was given a wonderful performance by the USM faculty member, Danilo Mezzadri.
Ueno had only encouraging words about my music. And later on. after his jet lag had waned and we feasted on good creole food/beer we hung out and talked music for much too long. I think he may have been surprised to find a group of die hard new music fans in south Mississippi, especially at a university where new music has been frowned on for much too long. That is starting to change though. I wouldhope so after hearing Ken Ueno perform a twenty minute piece for throat/overtone singer and MAX/MSP.
Ken Ueno – Kaze-no-Oka Beat Furrer – Fama Salvatore Sciarrino – Piano Sonati #2-5 Philippe Hurel – Pour Luigi Iannis Xenakis – Kuillenn Helmut Lachenmann – String Quartet #2 “Riegen seliger Geister” (Thanks, Jacob!) Bjork – Earth Invaders (in eager anticipation of her Volta.)
Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with one of the University of Southern Mississippi’s extremely talented dance students to produce a new work. I created the piece In Pursuit of Mythical Beasts which is based on my wind sextet, Hydra. The above performance was from the 2006 USM Integrales New Music Festival. I finally got the video formatted to the right size so it could fit on YouTube.
The performance was wonderful. I had never had so much fun in bringing a new work to fruition. Now I am planning a couple new collaborations because of this first experience.
This week is the 2007 USM Integrales New Music Festival and two of my works will be performed. My Figment No. 3 “Euterpe” for Flute Alone will be performed by USM flute professor Danilo Mezzadri and the music from my ballet In Pursuit will be performed. In Pursuit will be performed for a masterclass with this years composer in residence, Ken Ueno, and I am getting a little nervous. But I am really looking forward to it.
Sunday afternoon my wife and I went to our favorite Mardi Gras parade, which is the St. Pauls Carnival Association Mardi Gras Parade held in Pass Christian, MS. The entire town of Pass Christian was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Pre-Katrina population was just over 6,000 people and around 45,000 usually attended their annual Mardi Gras parade. This once gorgeous little coastal town is still in the terribly slow process of rebuilding. The parade and the crowds are smaller than before, but the carnival season spirit was still big as ever.
We managed to catch a ton of beads (without baring our chests or even seeing any bared chests) a moon pie or two and a few doubloons. Here are a few pics for those of you still digging your way out of snow and cannot make it south for the festivities.
one of the cooler floats. another cool float.
If you turn around you get this wonderful view of the beach and the Mississippi Sound. The beach is still closed due to Hurricane cleanup.
Clowns leaving after the parade.
Mardi Gras is more than just a day of frivolity and libations. Our carnival season begins about four weeks before Fat Tuesday. In larger cities like Mobile and New Orleans there are parades almost nightly up to the culmination of the celebration on Fat Tuesday.
I decided to look around for new recordings of music by Beat Furrer when I came across this. It isn’t as entertaining as this goof I found a year or so ago, but I would love to hear FAMA composer Beat Furrer’s take on Blue Suede Shoes.
People are already planning centenary events. Today the (great)grandfather figure of American music is 98, and he is still composing. I hope that if I reach that age I am still as physically and mentally agile.
I apologize for my unintended hiatus from S21. But I have had an extremely hot and busy summer here in Hattiesburg. Like Jerry, I also suffer from asthma and this conflagration known as summer is not so fun for us.
Anyway, a couple months ago I participated in the Integrales New Music Festival here in town. I had two works performed this year and a previous post mentions my solo flute work which was performed. The second piece was an electronic work, In Pursuit of Mythical Beasts. The work was created as an electronic ballet which was choreographed by USM student, Nicole Marquez. I think the work was one of the best pieces at the festival this year (of course my opinion is completely without bias).
This piece was the first collaborative effort I have worked on. It was very exciting to work with someone that shared such an enthusiasm for their art. Also it was thrilling to have someone else understand my work upon the first listening of the piece. With each rehearsal we had leading up to the performance that understanding seemed to increase by leaps and bounds. The collaboration was a big success and the ballet was the most satisfying performance I think I have had of one of my works. The success of this work has definitely made me want to work on a collaboration again in the future.
Composer Everette Minchew (born 1977) is consistently active in the creation, performance, and promotion of contemporary music. Moderately prolific, his catalogue includes small chamber pieces for violin, piano, various wind instruments, harpsichord and electronic music. Current commissions include a string trio and an opera based on an 11th-century crusades tale.
His earliest musical training came at the age of eleven when he began playing alto saxophone; it wasn?t long until he began his first attempts in composition.
He received a Bachelor?s Degree in Music History from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied saxophone under world-renowned soloist, Lawrence Gwozdz.
Fearing that traditional university training would hinder his development as a progressive composer, he abandoned the idea of formal lessons in favor of an intense private study of modern masterworks.
Minchew's works are characterized by their intense timbral explorations and brutal dissonance. That is not to say, however, that the compositions are devoid of beauty. In the first of the Two Brief Pieces, for example, the harpsichord chimes stringent yet haunting chords evoking a sense of loss.
Other pieces, like the Figment No. 2 "Juggler's Fancy" play upon the kaleidoscopic interaction between timbres and tones. The rapid alternation of pizzicato, arco bowing, and extreme glissandi remind the listener of Xenakis coupled with a Berio Sequenza. Minchew's Invention "Two-Part Contraption" for piano owes much to Ligeti's etudes and boogie-woogie jazz.
His music has been performed around the United States, and he was the featured composer at the 2005 Intégrales New Music Festival in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
He currently resides in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with his wife, Cheryl.
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