2017 Session Details

10:30-11:30 Workshop

New Music Speed Dating

(Poncho Hall)

Adopted from the brilliant folks at the New Music Gathering, “New Music Speed Dating” is an age-old strategy to meet & greet fellow lovers of new music. While the original speed-dating format pairs composers with performers, we have tweaked this format to our needs here at NUMUS. We invite performers, composers, music critics, historians, music theorists, new-music aficionados, venue owners, event promoters, and anyone else attending NUMUS; come one, come all. Be ready for an hour of talking (1 minute for each pairing) and making dozens of new friends here in Seattle.


12:00-1:00 Workshops (simultaneous)

What’s Your Story? Strategies for Publicizing a New Music Event – Room 205
Aaron Grad
This workshop explores how to publicize an event by emphasizing a compelling message or story. We will focus on two key skills: identifying a resonant message, and capturing it in a memorable summary. A mix of group discussion and hands-on practice will be led by Aaron Grad, a composer and consultant who writes program notes and marketing materials for the Seattle Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Town Hall Seattle, and other purveyors of new and old music.

Group Improvisation Session – Room 119
Steve Treseler & Kaley Eaton
Bring your instruments and voices to this hands-on workshop. Saxophonist Steve Treseler and composer Kaley Lane Eaton will lead games and exercises that emphasize spontaneity, listening, and ensemble interaction. Steve and Kaley direct the Game Symphony Workshop at SPU.

9 Things to Facilitate Collaborative Composition – Room 223
Jessi Harvey & Lena Console
Learn more about facilitating a collaborative composition project for groups ranging in size, age, and background using strategies and expectations developed by a duo who has experienced the gamut. Realizing a final composition that represents a collective of diverse members can be daunting; amass your skills under categories including, “You are not the most important voice: Letting go of the composer ego,” “Do the (not so) obvious,” and “Reflect, reflect, reflect.” As a final culmination, attendees will create their own miniature group composition using their newly found tools. Tiny instruments will be provided.


2:30-3:30 Concert

(PONCHO Hall)

Elliot Cole – Flowerpot Music No. 1 (5′)

Melanie Voytovich and Storm Benjamin, percussion

Flowerpot Music No. 1 was commissioned by the New Works for Percussion Project in 2016. Led by Melanie and Storm, the NWfPP’s goal is to make commissions an accessible, community experience, and strives for 50 performances of the work within its first year. With this commission, Cole challenged himself to write a piece that is agnostic about pitch, allowing for melodic variation between performances.

Christopher Cerrone – Hoyt-Schermerhorn (8′)

Jesse Myers, piano & live electronics

Hoyt-Schermerhorn is a slow and contemplative work for amplified solo piano and electronics. This piece uses both traditional and non-traditional notation to guide the free-metered melodies that overlap one another independently. The music climaxes at the point where the electronics shatter the melancholic haze. Christopher Cerrone says, “Hoyt-Schermerhorn is a tribute to the New York nightscape. Named after a subway station in Brooklyn where I have spent many a night waiting for the train, the piece explores the myriad and contradictory feelings that often come to me late at night in my city of choice — nostalgia, anxiety, joy, panic.”

John Cage – Four^6 (30′)

Inverted Space Ensemble

Inverted Space Ensemble will perform John Cage’s open instrumentation work Four^6 (1992), featuring violin, electric guitar, live electronics, and piano. This piece allows each performer to pick 12 sounds and use them in his number bracket system developed at the end of his life. It was also dedicated and first performed by Pauline Oliveros (for her sixtieth birthday), Joan La Barbara, William Winant, and Leonard Stein.


 4:00-5:00 Workshops, talks, & demos (simultaneous)

Fundraising & Cultivating the Medicis of Today – Room 119
Jeremy Jolley & Rose Bellini
The relationship between musicians and patrons of the arts has always been a reality of the artist’s life, yet not included or discussed in the music schools of today. Composer and co-Artistic Director of Seattle Modern Orchestra Jeremy Jolley, and cellist and professional fundraiser Rose Bellini will try to demystify the relationship between the creation of the art and the funding of it. After the presentation, Jolley and Bellini will answer questions and guide a conversation around the topic.

Defying Boundaries – Room 223
Lori Goldston
A look at past and present examples of practices that aim at leveraging experimental, improvised and/or composed musics as tools for community-building, social and political subversion and awareness, and collective psychic nourishment. Source materials include live and recorded music, text, and traditional and graphic musical scores.

Making Room for the Muse – Room 205
David Schneider
Let’s face it, it can be really challenging to integrate creative work into our modern, busy lives. This interactive session aims to foster an open discussion about the various obstacles to artistic pursuits that we deal with (like work, family, and other commitments), strategies and mindsets that have helped us (and might help others too!) balance these competing priorities, and ways in which we still manage to find inspiration amid a culture of frenetic activity that constantly threatens to break our focus.


8:00-10:00 Concert

(PONCHO Hall)

Pauline Oliveros – Greeting Meditation & Single Stroke Roll Meditation (20′ + 10′)

University of Washington Percussion Ensemble – Bonnie Whiting, director

* Note: Greeting Meditation begins at 7:45, welcoming the audience into the hall.

In Greeting Meditation (1974) from Pauline Oliveros’ landmark Sonic Meditations, each performer concentrates on the sound that she or he wants to make when an audience member crosses the threshold into the performance space. Tonight, the University of Washington Percussion Ensemble connects this piece to her Single Stroke Roll Meditation (1973), in which a percussion instrument is to be played either with alternating hands, mallets, sticks, or brushes for the duration of the performance. She asks musicians to first imagine all the possible sounds to be made using only a continuous single stroke roll and then imagine the physical movements that are necessary to make this sound, allowing the roll to begin involuntarily as a result of the strength of their imaginations. The roll seeks out new sounds involuntarily as each musician imagines the sound, its tempo and the corresponding physical movements necessary to make it, but the performance is over if the musician’s mind wanders. The resulting piece will feature organic shifts in tempo and gradual timbral transformations from rolling on different parts of the drum and from the accumulation of standing waves.

Pēteris Vasks – Sonata for Solo Flute (Night/Flight/Night) (13′)

Paul Taub, flute

Flutist Paul Taub has been a champion of the music of Latvian composer Pëteris Vasks since Seattle’s 1990 Goodwill Arts Festival, where he gave the US premiere of Vasks’ first solo flute work, Landscape With Birds, playing from a collection of solo flute works published by VAAP in the USSR. The next year, Paul met the composer at the top of the Space Needle during Vasks’ first visit to the United States during the early post-Soviet years. Tonight’s Sonata was in the repertoire of a 2008 tour with the Seattle Chamber Players that included a memorable performance of the work in Riga, Vasks’ hometown, with the composer present. It is featured on Paul’s CD, Edge: Music from the Periphery of Europe along with pieces by other former Soviet composers.

Ivan Arteaga – Despierte; Descargue; Descanse (20′)

Ivan Arteaga, alto saxophone
Marcin Pączkowski, electronics
Allison Burke, dance
Greg Sinibaldi, baritone saxophone
Chris Icasiano, percussion

Computers, Music, and Dance presents a composition of music and dance enhanced by technology. Accelerometer information is used to digitally shape and alter acoustic music. Movement, Electronics, Acoustics and improvisation blend together in both subtle and obvious ways in this work seeking to define it’s own poetics and artistic statement. It’s an attempt to present interdisciplinary work beyond the novelty of what the technology offers while simultaneously geeking out on the tech!

Luigi Nono – Djamila Boupacha from Canti di vita e d’amore: sul ponte di Hiroshima (5′)

Stacey Mastrian, soprano

Luigi Nono said that his compositions were “always born from a human stimulus: a happening, an experience, a text of our life strikes my instinct and my conscience and demands that I, as a musician and as a man, give it testimony.” The unaccompanied soprano solo “Djamila Boupachà,” to poetry by Jesus López Pacheco, reveals the suffering of the woman Djamila Boupachà and other Algerians oppressed by French colonists. Originally conceived as a solo or chamber work, Nono subsequently turned it into the second movement of a larger-scale orchestral work, Canti di vita e d’amore: sul ponte di Hiroshima (Songs of Life and Love: On the Bridge of Hiroshima). The wide leaps that Nono employs emphasize extremes of anguish and an intensity of hope.

This Night

Remove from my eyes
this centuries-old fog.
I want to look at things
like a child.

It is sad to wake up
and to see everything the same.
This bloody night,
this endless mire.

There has to come a day,
…distinct.
There has to come… the light,
believe what I am telling you.

Sarah Bassingthwaighte – Further Letters from Earth (12′)

The Sound Ensemble

The music presented represents many of the trends and styles in composition in the years since 2000. Further Letters from the Earth is a new piece by Sarah Bassingthwaighte, written for our January 7 concert. As a local composer, Sarah’s highly evocative music brings to life images of the world we experience every day.

Daron Hagen – Chamber Symphony (15′)

The Sound Ensemble

In Chamber Symphony by Daron Hagen, we hear him embrace all that has come before and mold it to reflect his own voice.