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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Salty Cricket Composers Collective Announces “Plethora of Pierrot” Concert (SLC: Dec 14)

Contact: Crystal Young-Otterstrom, marketing director
crystal@saltycricket.org | 801.652.0737

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Salty Cricket Composers Collective 
Announces “Plethora of Pierrot” Concert
SALT LAKE CITY –The Salty Cricket Composers Collective (SC3), a new music ensemble that solely performs the works of composers currently living in Utah, announced its “Plethora of Pierrot” Concert which will be Wednesday, December 14th at 7:30pm in Dumke Recital Hall at the University of Utah.

The concert is programed for Pierrot Ensemble, which is an eclectic grouping of instruments pioneered by Arnold Schoeberg in his landmark work, Pierrot Lunaire. The ensemble -- consisting of  violin, flute, clarinet, cello, and piano is now standard in the music composition world. Salty Cricket offered Utah composers the option to add voice and percussion to their instrument options.

“In a first for Salty Cricket, we received far more scores for submission than we could program into one concert,” said board president M. Ryan Taylor: “A wonderful problem to have! This concert represents the best that Utah has to offer. We are thrilled by the number of new compositional voices being represented by Salty Cricket as well.”

Performers include Alex Martin on violin (of Utah Symphony), Lisa Byrnes on flute (of Utah Symphony), Nick Morandi on clarinet, Walter Haman on cello (of Utah Symphony), Kristofer Michaels on piano, and Bailey Steward on percussion. The evening will be conducted by Stephen Voorhees and Crystal Young-Otterstrom will appear as soprano on two works. 

The concert will feature (in performance order):

            • John Newman: Caprice Atomique
            • Randin Graves: Big Brother
            • Joey Calkins: Three Emily Dickinson Pieces, Op. 3
            • George Marie: Recursions (Movement I: Upward Spirals)
            • Scott Wasilewski: we had no choice but to destroy
            • Christian Asplund: Extracts from The Fall of the House of Usher
            • Joseph Sowa: Clarinet Sonata
            • Michael Hicks: The Empress of Japan
            • Nicki Singleton: le sinistre manoir
            • Igor Iachimciuc: It Should Be

Rebeca Dawn, board treasurer and herself a composer, adds, “the pieces we’ve selected for the program are very diverse. There are two minimalistic works by John Newman and Scott Wasilewski. Scott’s work also involves electronics. There are a number of intense works that explore the psyche such as Christian Asplund’s The Fall of the House of Usher (based on the Poe short story), Michael Hick’s Empress of Japan (in which the piano and violin are thought of as one persona), and Calkins’s Three Emily Dickinson pieces. There are several tonal works that the audience will find accessible, as well as very experimental works. It is an exciting program!”

Tickets are $15. Student tickets are $10. Tickets can be purchased in person at the concert in advance by calling (801) 652-0737 or at www.saltycricket.org


Composer statements:

Christian Asplund | Extracts from Fall of the House of Usher
When asked to compose a piece based on Poe’s great short story, the precursor both of horror, and the French Symbolist movement, for the 2011 Love Feast in Norman Oklahoma, I was struck by lavish descriptions of things, descriptions so vivid as to suggest “the sentience of all vegetable things. But, in his disordered fancy, the idea had assumed a more daring character, and trespassed, under certain conditions, upon the kingdom of inorganization.”  In setting this text I eliminated action, dialogue, and description of human characters and left mostly description of the house itself, which is widely regarded as the central character.  Each number uses a different type of relationship between text and music, including speech, singing, chanting, recitation, and recitative, and rap.  Instrumental parts are organized in various modes of indeterminacy from the most fixed to the most open.

Joseph Calkins | Three Emily Dickinson Songs
Three Emily Dickinson Songs are about sound; manipulating it to shape the listener's imagination.  Hear the sound of the chariot, the bleak devastation of the narrator, and the all around discomfort.

Randin Graves | Big Brother
Big Brother was written in 1995 after someone close to me had a paranoid schizophrenic episode. The repetitive figures represent nagging thoughts and cyclical thinking that can drive all of us a little mad when we let them. These figures go through a few permutations throughout the piece, going through some ups and downs, becoming more and less regular. At the end things become more sedate (sedated?) though a few agitated ticks remain.

Michael Hicks | The Empress of Japan
The Empress of Japan arose from a dream in which I saw a Japanese woman whose self was divided into two parts, represented by a piano and a violin.  The first of these was a blank, neutral outer self, the second a passionate, colorful inner self.  As she plays out both selves, she hears constantly from a distance the voice of her inner self's invisible counterpart--the offstage cello--a male whose thoughts intertwine with her own. 

Igor Iachimciuc | It Should Be
 It Should Be is inspired by the poem of Romanian poetess Ana Blandiana. 

We should be born aged
Emerged prudent,
To be able to solve our fate in this world,
To know from the beginning the end of each way
And the only thing that is beyond our mind would be the urge to journey.
Then we would become younger and younger, growing
Mature and strong, we would reach the gates of creation,
Then going through them, and falling in love like youths,
We would be children at our children's birth.
They would be then older than we
And would teach as to speak, would lull us to sleep,
We would dissapear more and more, becoming smaller and smaller,
As a grape's berry, as a pea, as a wheat seed...

George Marie | Recursions
"The first movement of Recursions, "Upward Spirals," was written during the Spring 2011 semester at the University of Utah. It is an exercise in atonal counterpoint, as well as a means of influencing popular, jazz, and folk musical elements into the music. In the opening flute and clarinet lines, the influence of Andrew Imbrie's notion of the "long line" is evident. The material in the piano is generated from the transposition and alteration of chordal structures. The strings emulate a shadowing role, but the cello part where provides a reference to tonal stability."

BIO: George Marie (b. 1983) holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa and a bachelor's degree from Drake University. He has studied with Miguel Chuaqui, Steve Roens, Lawrence Fritts, and William P. Dougherty. His music and papers have been presented at SEAMUS (2010), , Prospectives '09 (2009), Midwest Composers' Symposium (2008), and Space Place (2008).

John Newman | Caprice Atomique
What would music be like if evil robot overlords invaded 17th century Europe? Hmmm...

Nicolet Singleton | le sinistre manoire
I tend to write my pieces along with a story line, making the piece come to life. This particular piece “le sinistre manoire” is written with the listener in mind.  I invite you to let your imagination create a story to this piece. Enjoy!

BIO: Nicolet Singleton studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She teaches fiddle lessons in her Sugarhouse Studio. www.nickisingletonmusic.com 

Joseph Sowa | Clarinet Sonata
I wrote my Clarinet Sonata from 2008 to 2009, and it was premiered piecemeal over that time until finally in October 2011, it received its premiere as a whole by Jaren Hinckley and Jed Moss. Tonight, we'll get to hear one of the movements. While the piece as a whole is entitled Clarinet Sonata, each of the movements has a programatic title. The final movement, “Trees of Life,” reflects the energy and excitement of racing cross-country through the woods. Between the sensation of my physical exertion and the tangible presence I felt from the forest, such  events for me seemed filled with life.

Scott Wasilewski | we had no choice but to destroy
This piece began as an attempt to use technology not only as a source of ornamentation in electro-acoustic music but as an instrument itself.  The technological aspects are not only supposed to colour the sound, they are supposed to harmonize with the instruments, drive the rhythm and add complexity to the melody without using generated sounds.  The impact of employing the computer in this way drastically changed the sound of the piece, influenced the economy of instrumentation and directed the piece's form over many iterations of editing.



Crystal Young-Otterstrom
Vice-president & Marketing Director

M: 801.652.0737

The Salty Cricket Composers Collective
450 E 100 S #29
SLC, UT 84111

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