This page contains additional program notes for select LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts events. These notes may include biographies, information about the works performed, or thematic context about a performance.
To view the programs themselves, please use this link.
CNME at Carnegie
April 8, 2022 // 8:00 p.m. EDT // Carnegie Hall, New York City
Presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) in cooperation with the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts.
Prog for Pierrot
Prog for Pierrot was inspired by Intronaut’s progressive heavy metal song “Fast Worms.” Prog mimics their song by fusing the traditional Pierrot ensemble with the metal genre through compositional techniques, including polyrhythmic breakdowns, minimal melodic material, riffs, “distortion” through overpressure and flutter tongue techniques, and quick metric and dynamic shifts.
The Maze presents vibrant development of thematic ideas as well as dynamic use of rhythm, register, and texture. Energetic consists of nine distinctive yet related sections inspired by the Phrygian mode, Lyrical is based on the octatonic collections, and Mysterious is an homage to Charles Ives' "Unanswered Question.
Pyramids is a set of flute and violin duet vignettes with piano accompaniment. It is based on the shape of a 4-sided equilateral pyramid where the notes metaphorically cover the surface of the shape. Originally, the instrumental parts were aleatoric, but in this version they have been realized.
Lanterns was inspired by a poem written by Stephen Crane entitled “Each Small Gleam was a Voice”. Throughout the poem Crane continuously creates a world in which sounds are only capable of being described using color. The way in which color and sound are intrinsically linked is reflected in Lanterns.
Stephen David Beck
These five short etudes were inspired by and derived from fragments of Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. They are a set of performance and compositional studies that explore the transformation of fleeting gestures from one work by developing melodic, rhythmic and timbral gestures as primary sources for another
Sextet tries to represent some of my favorite music genres: rock, classical music and Brazilian music. These influences can be heard through the whole duration of the piece, with intense interaction with each other, sometimes in a complementary sense, sometimes with sharp interruptions and new musical suggestions.
“Departure,” is inspired by Vladimir Kush’s Departure of The Winged Ship. (Oil on Canvas, 2000) It depicts a large ship going out to sea with three tall masts holding butterfly wings instead of sails. “Departure,” is meant to capture Kush’s surrealism, celebrating his synthesis of elements of fantasy and reality.
The Minotaur features the poems “The Bulldozer” and “The Bull Wakes” from Nicole Yackley’s Zoo-Keeping and Other Human-Bull Sh*t, which chronicles the life of the Greek mythical minotaur in his contemporary “post-labrynthine” life. This setting for chamber ensemble was premiered in 2019 at the Nief-Norf Summer Festival.
The Abduction of Persephone
The Abduction of Persephone is based on the ancient mythological Greek tale of Hades and Persephone. According to the legend, Hades, in search of a wife, captures the unwilling Persephone to be his queen of the Underworld for all of eternity. This piece tells the tale from Persephone's perspective.
Nothing Motorised turns the instruments into one vehicle, exploiting and blending their different resonances. The material that the piece develops is sparse but leads to many timbral combinations and incidental rhythms. The journey on which the vehicle takes the listener is one of slow exploration.
Blackbird, in two parts (I. Observation and II. Embodiment) is inspired by Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Themes in the piece are derived from ordinary and raw materials and is constructed like a Haiku with lightning flashes of imagery and color.
Destin in four movements (two of which you will hear) is a composition about my experience in Destin beach during the summer of 2019. As the rays of the sun blind the eyes, the Seahawk is flying over the horizon. Behind the Seahawk, the heavy clouds wrap the sky with the darkness. I was inspired by the natual phenomenon that reflects the obstacles in life that we need to overcome to live a hopeful life.
Fighting the Mischievous Imp
Thomas L. Wilson drew inspiration for Fighting the Mischievous Imp from video game music. The mid-game Imp boss may be defeated quickly, or more time may be necessary as the performance length is determined by the ensemble. Will they claim victory or defeat while Fighting the Mischievous Imp?
Beneath the Veil
Beneath the Veil is a musical journey that explores the juxtaposition between Art vs. Machine. Listen for transparent textures used to convey the veil, against the sounds of the machine, with its intricate rhythmic cells that combine to create patterns as the machine begins to work.
pierrot Microbusero is a composition written for an extended Pierrot ensemble, which aims to be a melting pot of multiple styles commonly associated with pop/jazz music, especially those that can be found in Latin America. The work explores different musical styles commonly associated with the public transportation called Microbus.