New Music for the 21st Century
September 24, 2015
New Music for the 21st Century
> REVIEW: Pianoforte - May 3 Composers Voice Concert Review
> Video for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame for solo oud featuring Marina Toshich
> 60x60 Dance at Slippery Rock
> Circuit Bridges Concert No. 35 UK Loop
Vox Novus Calendar
> Selections for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame with Verismo Trio
> Composer Opportunites on Music Avatar
New Music for the 21st Century
Composers' Voice


May 3 Composers Voice Concert
By Jack Crager

When the Italian craftsman Bartolomeo Cristofori invented the piano, he called it "un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte" ("a keyboard of cypress with soft and loud")—abbreviated over time as pianoforte—because of its amazing ability to render sounds at both ends of the dynamic range. This capacity is on full display in the May 3 Composers Voice Concert at Jan Hus Church. While vocals, woodwinds, and guitars make prominent appearances, this performance is chiefly a demonstration of the piano's remarkable versatility when placed in talented hands.

First up, performing the Scott Brickman composition "Wind Power," is Nic Handahl on flute and Markus Kaitila on piano. The piece begins with boisterous, asymmetrical keyboard flourishes offset by lighter flute counterpoints, shifting into an exchange of the lead parts between the two. After an impressionistic section led by the piano, a series of quieter, contemplative piano chords play against meandering flute lines, later erupting into a soaring high-register interplay. The dancing exchange of phrases gradually builds to a rousing end.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame Hayk Arsenyan

Next is the Composers Voice hallmark, 15 Minutes of Fame, performed by Hayk Arsenyan on piano. While it comprises separate compositions, this set runs like a long continuous suite, gracefully traversing wildly diverse moods and dynamics. It starts with the single-note crescendo, punctuated by increasingly complex grace notes, of David Bohn's "Exordium," which merges into the wandering melodic bass-treble exchange of Daniel Bonaventure Lim's "The Two Wanderers." With a shared transitional chord and a subtle melodic shift, Ralph Worthington's "Waiting" takes a pensive turn, followed by the rousing wake-up call of Joseph Bohigian's "Match," featuring ascending and descending notes gaining thunderous momentum. Later the dynamics are reversed, as the roiling arpeggios of Franc Pesci's "Prelude" shift down to the quiet landing strip of Stephen F. Lilly's "Eleven," featuring thumping treble notes plucked on the strings from the top of the opened baby-grand instrument. Later the rapid-fire eruptions of Jay Derderian's "Aphorisms II" give way to the meditative melody of Jon Bash's "A Short, Lonely Dance." The disparate moods continue like a revolving kaleidoscope through the final pieces: Carlos Hernandez's Héctor Oltra García's "Sigh of Wind," which calls for the pianist to reach over the top and strum the piano strings like a giant harp, followed by Carlos Hernandez's "Escape From Hell," a furiously rumbling cacophony of rapid scales that brings the set to a resounding climax.

After this tour de force, the concert takes a more contemplative turn with Faye-Ellen Silverman's "Selections from 'Danish Delight,'" performed by Kazuki Ueki on classical guitar accompanying soprano Jihee Jeong. In the first piece, "Corrina's Tale," the soaring female vocals take the lead, occasionally echoed by softly picked guitar notes. In the second segment, "Pierrot," the guitar leads with rapid, Eastern-sounding arpeggios and trills, answered by operatic vocals; then the two voices shift into a quieter exchange of melodic phrases, the poetic lyrics and sonorous singing offset by complementary guitar lines.


Back on the piano, Shiau-uen Ding performs Yan Tsung-hsien's "Albumblaetter from Sansui Shack." This piece opens with a rapid-fire succession of complex chords, punctuated by scattered notes like blinking fire-flies; it builds in intensity before settling into a quiet middle section. It then revs back up in rolling-note flurries on both ends of the keyboard, rumbling and trickling with increasing momentum building toward a sudden, upward-roll finale. The pianist's dynamic delivery roundly fills the Jan Hus Church's chamber during the fortissimo sections.

Soprano Rachel Silverman is next up with Mary Ann Joyce-Walter's "from Argart," featuring text by George Eliot. Sung a cappella and often reaching impossibly high notes, this piercing melody line accompanies equally sharp lyric messages: "I carry my revenge in my throat," the singer exclaims at one point.


The mood shifts as Silverman is joined by violinist Tzu-En Lee to perform "Music is Poetry in Motion," composed by CV founder Robert Voisey. This opens with lovely but mournful violin lines and soaring vocals, then picks up speed in a lively interplay in which the violin is alternately played and plucked. The final two sections feature varying string arpeggios offset by counterpoint vocal melodies, the lyrics unfolding like spoken-word poems, underpinned by sonic currents that seem to veer in their own directions and then join back together at harmonious meeting points.

Mary Ann Joyce-Walter

To finish the concert, it's time for something different: a piece called "Improv & Experiences II" by the performance ensemble Arc Welding, comprised of Constance Cooper, Beth Griffith and Lauren Lee. Inspired by the avant garde compositions of John Cage, this work begins with thumping foot-clomps and vocal sound effects: clucks, trills, wails, warbles, whistles, owl-like whooos, tick-tocks, hums and whirs ... you name it ... often with the half-open piano used as an echo chamber. The performers meanwhile meander around the floor in a deliberately random fashion before settling into a circle for the final vocal notes, in which dissonance gradually resolves in a resonant, harmonic chord. It's an unexpected end to a musically adventurous afternoon.


Jack Crager is a New York City–based journalist who writes about music, visual arts, fitness, and other subjects ( He regularly contributes concert reviews to NM421.

New Music for the 21st Century

Marina Toshich Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Video for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame for solo oud

On September 8, 2012, Marina Toshich, the virtuoso oud player, originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, performed the World Premiere of her Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame for solo oud at the Young Yiddish Center in Tel Aviv, Israel. 15 one-minute pieces were composed specifically for Marina Toshich by David Bohn, Andy Cohen, Douglas DaSilva, Daniel Mc Dermott, Stavros Hoplaros, Nebojsa Macura, Daniel Mihai, Serban Nikifor, Jimmy Pigott, Anna Rubin, Ehsan Saboohi, José Jesus de Azevedo Souza, Ruben Toledo, Jean-Pierre Vial, and Rain Worthington. Unfortunately, the recording of this concert had technical difficulties and we were never able to share this fine set of music with the Vox Novus community.

This Summer (2015), Marina Toshich went into the studio in Tel-Aviv and recorded each of the 15 pieces. We can (finally) share this set of excellent pieces at:

New Music for the 21st Century
60x60 Dance

60x60 Dance at Slippery Rock

It's the kind of "mad" excitement that makes the arts thrilling¬ - 60 dance pieces performed live, each lasting 60 seconds and accompanied by original videos produced by art majors. Slippery Rock University will present the multimedia concert "60X60 2015" at 7 and 9 p.m., Sept. 24, in the West Gym Dance Studio. 60X60 refers to the 60 pieces lasting 60 seconds being presented in 60 minutes. The hour-long program will showcase modern and jazz choreography and original video created by dance and art majors. Andy Hasenpflug, dance musician for SRU's dance department, is producing the show. He said there is a trend toward rapid-fire performance, with shows "shorter and shorter and more spectacular as time goes by." Robert Voisey, a New York City-based composer and producer of chamber music, came up with the 60X60 concept in 2003 as a means for promoting contemporary composers. The suggested donation is $2 at the door. - See more at:

60x60 2012 UnTwelve mix composers include: Torsten Anders, George Arkomanis, Kenneth Babb, Christopher Bailey, Mike Battaglia, Oleg Bezborodko, Rich Bitting, Kaja Bjorntvedt, Susan Brewster, Ben Bridges, Paul Burnell, Warren Burt, Brendan Byrnes, Nicholas Cline, Jason Conklin, Maxime Corbeil-Perron, Zach Curley, Jim Dalton, Richard Duckworth, Allen Fogelsanger, Jake Freivald, Soressa Gardner, Kraig Grady, Bruce Hamilton, Pat Hanchet, Todd Harrop, Andrew Hasenpflug, Andrew Heathwaite, Dry Heeves, Aaron Johnson, Charles Jowett, Howard Kenty, Joan La Barbara, Kristof Lauwers, Stan Link, Marco Liy, Nora-Louise Muller, Claudi Meneghin, Herman Miller, Shaahin Mohajeri, Liam Molloy, Quincas Moreira, John Moriarty, John Oliver, Ryan Olivier, Steve Parker, Tina Pearson, Samuel Pellman, Derek Piotr, Joao Ricardo, Gilberto Rosa, Carlo Serafini, Andrew Smith, Billy Stiltner, Scott Thompson, Christoper Vaisvil, Michael Vick, Robert Voisey, Jane Wang, Julia Werntz,

West Gym Dance Studio - Slippery Rock University, Old Main Loop, Slippery Rock, PA, United States

$2 Suggestion donation

New Music for the 21st Century
Circuit Bridges Concert No. 35 UK Loop

Circuit Bridges Concert No. 35 UK Loop

Join us for Circuit Bridges Concert No. 35 UK Loop featuring electroacoustic music and interactive dance from composers based in New York and University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom in collaboration with Patricia Walsh.

Composers and Artists:
Jon Aveyard
Mat Gregory & Karin Bergstrom
Alan Dunn
Leon Hardman
Anthony Kelly
Paula Matthusen
Werner Moebius
David Morneau
Magda Stawarska-Beavan
Ezgi Ucar
Patricia Walsh
Ann Warren

Performances by:
Paula Matthusen
Kiki Sabater
Ann Warren
Diego Vásquez

Circuit Bridges:
Thursday, September 24, 2015 7:30pm (doors open at 7:15pm) Gallery MC
(ride the freight elevator to the 8th floor)
549 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
Between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue
Closest subway A/C/E at 50th Street, 8th Avenue
$15 admission
$ 7 students

New Music for the 21st Century

Vox Novus Calendar

Calendar of Vox Novus Events
New Music for the 21st Century

Announcing Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame selections for Verismo Trio

Vox Novus presents the selections for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: Verismo Trio, Nicole Riner, flutes, J. Scott Turpen, saxophones, and Theresa Bogard, piano.

"Never does the energy level let up with the cascades of notes...adroitly handled by the performers." -- David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine

Verismo Trio was founded in 2010 after active performers and recording artists Nicole Riner (flute), Scott Turpen (saxophones), and Theresa Bogard (piano) spent a blissful month learning, performing, and recording Jennifer Higdon’s Dash under the composer’s tutelage for a collaborative CD of her wind and string chamber music. Combining original works and arrangements for this instrumentation along with duo and solo works of all combinations makes for a widely varied, colorful concert experience that highlights works written since the 20th Century.

The selected works for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: Verismo Trio, to be given their World Premiere, 7:30 pm on Oct. 26, 2015 at the Buchanan Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall, University of Wyoming, 1000 E University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071

Works selected for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: Verismo Trio are: Le murmure de l'automne - Jean-Patrick Besingrand,
3 for the price of 1 -Nik Bizzell,
Browning Drainage - Alex Blencowe ,
Six Variant Gesticulations - David Bohn,
DawnEmbarkation - Erik Branch,
Dream Fragment #5 - Anthony Donofrio,
Chasing Other Than - Jason Emerson,
Orpheus - Warren Ertle,
A Minute of Your Time for Piano Trio - Burton Goldstein,
Miniwerk XXVIII "Verismo Music" - Shigeru Kan-no,
How Cold the Heart! - Akmal Parwez,
Density Gradient - Gay Pearson,
Une minute d'ennui - Louis Sauter,
Carillonneurs - Phil Taylor, and
BRIEF TRIO - Frank E. Warren

More can be found at

New Music for the 21st Century

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New Music for the 21st Century
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