The Friday News Roundup 10/15

Chatting with the Auracle


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Today marks the official launch of Auracle, a networked sound instrument created this past year at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany by a group of artists led by Max Neuhaus. A live sonic tour through the site in planned for broadcast as part of the Donnaueschinger Musiktage, the annual new music festival sponsored by SWR radio in southern Germany.

Auracle is controlled by participant voices (though the sounds are glitchy computer tones) and is played and heard over the Internet. Players join “ensembles” for an interactive experience. A schedule for planned international meet ups is accessible on the site.

The Auracle team includes Max Neuhaus and Phil Burk (Technical Director) as well as fellows of Akademie Schloss Solitude Jason Freeman, C. Ramakrishnan, Kristjan Varnik, and David Birchfield (consulting fellow).

Reminder: The deadline to apply for a fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude is October 31st. Check their website for details.

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Maine Arts Commission Announces 2004 Fellowship Awards


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Tom Myron

Composer Tom Myron will be presented with a Maine Arts Commission’s 2004 Individual Artist Fellowship award at a reception this evening.

A total of three fellows have been awarded $13,000 for unrestricted use. Installation artist Amy Stacey Curtis won in the visual arts category. Author Maureen Stanton won in the literary arts category. The MAC Fellowship is the largest award given to an individual artist by a state arts agency in the U.S. The sole criterion for the fellowships is artistic excellence.

Tom Myron is a Portland-based composer who has written music for orchestras, instrumental soloists, filmmakers, and choreographers across the U.S., Great Britain, and Eastern Europe. Projects for 2005 include a new work for the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, a recording studio collaboration with saxophonist James Merenda, and the score for a film about the life of Henry David Thoreau from Films by Huey.

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Seven composers from across the country have been selected to participate in the fourth annual Minnesota Orchestra Reading Sessions and Composer Institute October 27-30, 2004.

Ranging in age from 20 to 36, the composers are:

  • Patrick Burke from Yale University
  • Fang Man from Cornell University
  • Andrew Norman from the University of Southern California
  • John Christian Orfe, formerly at Yale University
  • David Plylar, formerly from Duke University
  • Sheridan Seyfried from the Curtis Institute
  • Rob Smith from the University of Houston

The participants will have their works read and rehearsed by the Minnesota Orchestra and participate in workshops with orchestra musicians and industry professionals. They will also take part in pre-reading discussions and receive post-reading composition mentoring with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, who serves as the Minnesota Orchestra’s new music advisor and chairman of the Institute. The Composer Institute is presented in partnership with the American Composers Forum and in cooperation with the American Music Center.

A total of 131 scores were submitted. The works were selected by a panel that included composers Michael Daugherty and Kevin Puts, as well as Minnesota Orchestra Acting Associate Principal Bass William Schrickel. Additional help was received from David Wolff of the American Composers Forum.

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Edgemar at street level

John Cage would likely have been proud of “Listen Edgemar,” a sound installation that has been running since May in the underground parking lot of the Frank Gehry-designed Santa Monica shopping complex. Composers Hugh Livingston and Michael Zbyszynski are the masterminds behind the urban sound sculpture, which mixes various bits of found sound from the courtyard above with real instrumental sounds. Custom-programmed spatialization algorithms allow sound to follow curves through the space. A computer running Max/MSP routes sound to 16 speakers.

The instrument samples were performed by musicians including Pauline Oliveros (accordian), Philip Gelb (shakuhachi), Jessica Catron (cello), Jeremy Drake (guitar), Vinny Golia (single reeds and flute), and Paul Livingstone (sitar and Mexican guitar).

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Jon Faddis Accepts Chicago Jazz Ensemble Post


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Jon Faddis

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble has announced the appointment of trumpet virtuoso, composer, conductor, and educator Jon Faddis as its new artistic director.

Best known for his leadership of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Faddis, 51, spoke modestly of the appointment. “I was honored even to be considered, much less asked, to be [CJE's] Artistic Director,” said Faddis. “My goals are to help raise the profile of the CJE, to further develop its musical excellence, to introduce new music with the band, to provide more opportunities for audience involvement and understanding, and to increase educational outreach to students and Jazz fans of all ages.”

Faddis received the first-ever honorary doctorate in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music (May 2003) and the Milt Jackson Award for Excellence and Accessibility in Jazz (2001); Faddis is also artist-in-residence, professor, and Director of Jazz Performance at the Conservatory of Music, Purchase College, SUNY.

CJE also announced the appointment of David Levin as the new managing director. Levin is a former vice president of WFMT Radio Networks, Chicago, where he played a part in the creation of the first fully customized satellite-delivered jazz and classical music format services.

The appointments of Faddis and Levin represent the culmination of a year-long search by Columbia College Chicago and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble’s Board of Governors to find a successor for the CJE’s founder and conductor, William Russo, who passed away in January of 2003. Russo founded the CJE in 1965 as a professional jazz orchestra in residence at Columbia College Chicago.