New Music for the 21st Century
< March 14, 2014 >
VOX NOVUS NEWSLETTER - New Music for the 21st Century
> REVIEW: Simple Pleasures
> POSTCARD: Waffle Music
Vox Novus Calendar
> RESULTS: Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: The Four Elements with Mark Robson
> Fifteen Minutes of Fame - call for scores for string quartet
> Composer's Site - new opportunities
> Composer's Site - expiring opportunities

Waffle Music

Waffle Music

Two years ago, when the Detroit Symphony Orchestra was in the midst of a long and contentious labor dispute, some of its members played in other ensembles to keep their chops in shape. The entire didgeridoo s ection, for example, formed “The Redundants,” a dance band. They performed those eerie songs known as waffle music that they’d learned while apprenticing deep in the Australian Out - back, though they played them on more traditional dance band instruments. But waffle music, when rendered by anything other than didgeridoos, can be down - right dangerous, inflicting terrible pain on anyone lacking proper ear protection. Dancer Duane Dinklaker knows firsthand of this pain, which he promised to describe in detail the moment he snaps out of his coma.

David Gunn

David Gunn

Upcoming Performances

Composer's Voice

Simple Pleasures

March 9, 2014 - Composer's Voice Concert
Reviewed by Jack Crager

With an emphasis on solo and duet performances, the March 9 concert at Jan Hus Church marks something of a return to instrumental simplicity for the Composer’s Voice Series. But the stylistically diverse program offers plenty of complexity and variety in the pieces themselves.

Daniel Sachs

Master pianist Daniel Sachs — visiting from Cinncinnati, where he teaches at Mount St. Joseph — sets the tone with a rousing Fifteen Minutes of Fame. Entitled “Hommage à Ravel,” the mini-suite reveals how many different impressions can be derived from the work of 20th Century French composer Maurice Ravel. The set begins with the fluid ripples of “Prelude,” by Brian Martinez (in attendance all the way from Valencia, Spain). This shifts into the lively chords and melodicism of Frank E. Warren’s “Hommage” and Shao Suan Low’s “Ravel’s Dream.” Later the moods vary again with the scattered refractions of David Obaniyi’s “Mirror’s Edge,” the lush sonic clusters of Julie Mandel’s “Lazy Summer Day,” and the swimmingly playful tones of Philip DeWalt’s “Romance in a Fishbowl.” Closing the set, the quiet mystery of Jim Fox’s “de nuit/a la fin” gives way to the exuberant power chords of Arpad Solti’s “Valse euphorique.” Ravel himself would marvel at the mix.


Following this, Akmal Parwez sings his own composition with Francois Nezwazky accompanying on piano. Entitled “A Haiku Triptych: Three Haiku of Matsuo Basho (1643-1694),” it progresses in three stages: the bellowing vocals and hopscotch chords of “The Frog”; the lighter ebbing and flowing figures of “the Crow”; and the rapidly fluttering piano-vocal exchange of “The Cicada” — each segment aptly titled according to its mood.

Zach Herchen

Continuing the animal theme is “Hippo’s Dream,” a composition by Mosatora Goya performed on tenor saxophone by Zach Herchen. Like an unfolding dream, the piece fluctuates between soothing and kinetic passages, building to a boisterous climax before finally receding into increasingly dampened single tones.


Next up is “Soy,” by Composer’s Voice founder and director Robert Voisey, performed by soprano Jenny Green Ribeiro and pianist Sara Bong. Here the piano’s lively arpeggios and trickling grace notes are offset by expressively operatic vocals, alternately searching and soaring — an appropriate reflection of the title (which could refer to either the quintessential veggie protein or the most existential phrase in the Spanish language, depending on your view).

flutist Sarah Carrier and clarinetist Ashleé Miller

In Faye-Ellen Silverman’s “Conversations Continued,” flutist Sarah Carrier and clarinetist Ashleé Miller tightly perform three segments that seem to signify an evolving relationship. The introduction features fluttering, mostly light counterpoints; the middle “competition” section shows a one-upmanship of complex phrases that become woven together; and the final part settles into a more soothing, harmonious lullaby.


Pianist David Wolfson then performs his own composition with vocalist Andrew White. The piece derives its title, “Escape/Delete/Space/Enter/Home,” from a computer keyboard — but its progression seems to reflect a human life cycle: The opening “I’m not here” section gives way to a deliberate erasure of memories, then an angry expression of entitlement, a challenging call to action, and finally a peaceful sense of acceptance. Stages of grief? The aging process? Or…perhaps just options on a computer keyboard.


The afternoon’s final performer is clarinetist Sam Ross playing work by two composers. First is Sean Hickey’s “B-flat,” featuring a series of spider-like to-and-from movements that build to a piercing plateau before descending again. The second piece, “AT-26 Xavante,” by eight-year-old composer Jason Ulysses DaSilva, is inspired by a Brazilian military aircraft. It features arpeggios, syncopated in a Brazilian-style rhythm, that repeat and build on each other in different octaves — like jets in synch at a choreographed air show. This provides an upbeat, resonant finale to a richly varied afternoon of music.

Jack Crager

Jack Crager

Composer's Voice


Calendar of Vox Novus Events
Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Announcing results for Fifteen Minutes of Fame:
The Four Elements: earth, wind, fire, water
with Mark Robson

Vox Novus is pleased to announce the selections for Fifteen Minutes of Fame: The Four Elements with Mark Robson.

The 15 works are written for piano and/or toy piano with the theme of The Four Elements: earth, wind, fire, water. Pianist Mark Robson will premiere the 15 works at The Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale California on Sunday April 6, 2014 at 2pm.

The performance will be part of the opening activities of the The Brand Library from its recent renovation. The Brand Library, located in the City of Glendale’s verdant Brand park, is the art and music section of the Glendale Library, Arts & Culture Department. In 1956 it opened to the public in El Miradero, the beautiful home of Leslie C. Brand, a prominent early 20th century citizen and businessman. In 1969 an art gallery and recital hall were added to serve music and art lovers from across Southern California.

Mark Robson has been lauded by the Los Angeles Times on numerous occasions, singled out as a pianist with “one of the great techniques” and “an inquiring mind”. His career has included performance as a keyboard soloist, chamber artist, composer, conductor and vocal coach. He was a regular member of the music staff of the Los Angeles Opera from 1991 to 2005 as an assistant conductor and has worked as a musical assistant at the Salzburg and Spoleto (Italy) festivals. Mr. Robson has been on the faculties of USC, Chapman University, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Arts in the capacity of vocal coach and piano teacher. His music has been performed widely, including orchestral works premiered by the Brentwood - Westwood Symphony Orchestra and the Idyllwild Orchestra.

Selected works for Fifteen Minutes of Fame with Mark Robson include:
Elemental Variations by David Bohn,
The Root of the Wind
by Silvia Corda ,
Muddy Shoes
by Bobby DiLisle,
Twisting Brook
by Yvonne Freckmann,
The Wind in the Water
by Jay Anthony Gach,
Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
by Burton Goldstein,
Wind Shift
by Ben Hase,
Six Fires
by Matthew Hetz,
by Steve Lansford,
The Reverse Balducci
by Alan Shockley,
Hold the Wind, Don't let it blow!
by Bob Siebert,
Into Thin Air
by James Soe Nyun,
Spirit of the Water
by José Jesus de Azevedo Souza,
A Dancing Wind Through Chimes Blue
by David Nelson Tomasacci and
by Adam Zahller.

Vox Novus Projects

Vox Novus 60x60
Composer's Voice Fifteen Minutes of Fame
American Composer Timeline
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NM421 - New Music for the 21st Century


Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Fifteen Minutes of Fame


Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: PASSIONE String Quartet

Deadline: March 15, 2014

Vox Novus is calling for one-minute pieces for String Quartet composed for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: PASSIONE Quartet to be performed May 28, 2014 at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The one-minute pieces are to be written specifically for this project, which will be performed by PASSIONE Quartet. PASSIONE Quartet was formed in 2006 and consists of four young graduates of the University of Music Bucharest: Diana, Lavinia, Madalina, Violeta.

PASSIONE Quartet plays concerts and recitals in Romania, Italy, Greece, Japan.

PASSIONE has been featured in other projects, with established artists, of various styles:: Bogdan Bradu, Phoenix, Alan Bedin (lead singer of Synergy in Italy), project Opus Avantra, Donella del Monaco, Alessandro Safina.

PASSIONE Quartet has performed on a regular basis in venues throughout Bucharest and Romania (Hard Rock Cafe, Fratelli, La Scena, Arcub, Villa Rodizio, Clubul Diplomatilor, Club Cuba Republika del Sol), but also in TV shows (,,Autostrada TVR" – TVR 2, ,,Vineri STAR"- TVR International, "Jurnal Cultural" - TVR Cultural, ,,Povestiri Adevarate"- Acasa TV, ,,Phoenix 45 ani"- TVR 1, ,,Nora pentru mama"- Kanal D, ,,Dansez pentru tine"- PRO TV, "Sa ne-amintim duminica" – National TV, "Stele sub lupa" – Antena 2 ).

PASSIONE Quartet repertoire includes about 400 classics songs, carefully selected, organized by period style, as well as modern pieces written specifically for the quartet with a wide range of musical styles addressed (film music, waltzes, tangos, ambient music, entertainment, Romanian and international folk, jazz and cafe-concert) resulted in attracting a large audience, so that the PASSIONE Quartet is frequently invited to perform at important functions as well as concert halls and clubs.

In 2008, OPUS AVANTRA banded together with the Quartet Passione and premiered "Viaggio Imagginario", in Club Citta from Tokyo. In the same year they released the disc Opus Avantra – "Live in Tokyo". The show was staged in major cities from Italy: Rome - Stazione Birra, Milan, Venice - Teatro Santa Margherita etc. In the summer of 2008, the PASSIONE Quartet was invited to support 12 concerts in the Rodham Island, Casino Rodham and the music program included classical and modern genres.

PASSIONE’s concept is to address a diverse audience. PASSIONE repertoire is structured a variety of musical genres, from classical music to pop-rock.

For more information visit:

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