[ Composer's Voice ]
October 25, 2009
Jan Hus Church
351 East 74th Street
New York, New York 10021
The Composer’s Voice Concert Series is an opportunity for contemporary composers to express their musical aesthetic and personal “voice” created in their compositions. Vox Novus collaborating with the Remarkable Theater Brigade and Jan Hus Church to produce a monthly concert series promoting the chamber works of contemporary composers.
Title Composer Performer
06/12/09 (New York Premiere) Nolan Stolz Nolan Stolz, electromagnetic waves, 2 TV antennas, 2 DTV converter boxes, wah-wah & distortion pedals
On Expansion (World Premiere) Ryan Pratt Sophia Yan-piano
Blackhole Resonance (World Premiere) Neel Murgai Neel Murgai-voice
Paper Work (World Premiere) Douglas DaSilva Douglas DaSilva-guitar, Dombra, Paper
Peace Out, My Brother Donal Fox Tom Piercy-clarinet
Claudine Hickman-piano
Claudine Hickman was born and raised in New York City. Claudine received scholarships from Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe.
Pianist Sophia Yan performed at age 4 in Carnegie Hall and debuted at age 9 at the Kennedy Center. Sophia is a four-time first prizewinner of the Steinway Society Competition and winner of International Concert Alliance and International Young Artist Competitions. Sophia is recognized as an exceptional artist by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
Clarinetist Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with orchestral, concerto, solo recital and chamber music appearances throughout the world. A devoted performer of contemporary music, he has premiered numerous compositions written for him including Ned Rorem’s Four Colors. Thomas is the clarinetist in the Emmy Award-winning “Baby Juno” CD/ DVD series and has also recorded for the Albany, Capstone, DG, and NJST labels.
Douglas DaSilva is a composer, guitarist and educator in New York City. He composes in various styles including jazz, pop, children’s music, chamber music and experimental. Much of his writing is influenced by Brazilian music and self-inflicted stress. He is best known by his nom de guerre: Mr. Doug.
Dolan Fox, composer is internationally acclaimed as composer, pianist, and improviser in the jazz and classical fields. His numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and nominations for the CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts As visiting artist at Harvard University he received a Certificate of Recognition. He will be performing a world premiere of one of his works with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Nov 30, 2009. www.leonellismusic.com
Neel Murgai, composer, performer Neel Murgai is a sitarist, overtone singer, frame drummer and composer. He has studied sitar with Pundit Krishna Bhatt and composition with Edgar Grana. His music can be heard in the debut CD of the Neel Murgai Ensemble Innova Records and in the recent feature film “The Yes Men Fix the World”.
Ryan Pratt’s interests in music include the research and analysis of timbre, and phenomena relating to acoustics and psychoacoustics. His work is influenced by other scientific research of physical and/or natural phenomena, and these concepts are often used within pieces. He is currently pursuing a D.M.A. in composition at Columbia University.
Nolan Stolz’s compositions have been performed in Europe, Canada and throughout the United States. He has received several commissions from soloists, ensembles and orchestras. Stolz has written for such groups as the Yale Brass Trio, Avery Ensemble, Synchronix and the Fireworks Ensemble. He teaches music in the Connecticut Community College system.
Paper Work started out as an exercise for a preschool music class in which each child is given a piece of paper and asked to make as many sounds as possible with it. Somehow this exercise encountered my guitar and it was love at first sight. At one point in their relationship, the dombra (2 string instrument from Kazakhstan) came into the picture. In the midst of the embattlement of this triangle, the love child, Paper Work was born.

I was honored when asked to contribute to the “Aspect of Bill" project in memory of concert tenor William A. Brown. Peace Out, My Brother, is inspired by the last mail message that Bill left on my answering machine on September 18, 2004. While I was in Europe, I got word that he had suddenly passed away. To this day, I still have Bill’s voice message as a reminder of his good nature and inspired soul. The piece has many musical references to Bill and his love and openness to many forms of music and music-making. including fragments from Charlie Parker and deconstructed harmonic nods to Der Tod und das Mädchen by Franz Schubert. There are haunting lines depicting the ghost of Bill with dramatic shouts "Peace" and the scream into the piano “Peace Out!” - the coda begins with undulating, angelic subtones ("A Beautiful Angel Sings"), indicating the peaceful, soulful, passing on of my brother, Bill Brown. --Donal Fox

Bill's voice message left on my answering machine, Saturday, September 18, 2004.
"My brother, Bill Brown. All Good.
I'm in here for a minute. I'll be out in a minute too.
But it is all good.
I'm over here on Dudley. Trying to check you out.

I know you are making all the money. Writing all that good music too.
All right, I'll holler at you man. Peace out."

Blackhole Resonance was created specifically for the October 25, 2009 Composer’s Voice Concert Series concert. It is based on the 2003 astronomical discovery of sound waves emanating from a super-massive black hole. The note, a B flat, is the deepest ever detected from an object in the Universe. The black hole lives in the Perseus cluster of galaxies, located 250 million light-years away. The piece is written for solo voice. The “cosmic accompaniment” is the voluntary participation of the audience, other musicians and the sounds resonating in the Jan Hus Church sanctuary, New York City and the universe.

In “On Expansion”, I wanted to further investigate the piano in order to write for it based on its own nature. I took many samples and organized a chart of tuning, where I found what I had read about - that the piano’s upper and lower strings, (sparing about 2 octaves in the mid region), are both gradually raised and gradually lowered, respectively. In the very upper and lower regions of the instrument the tuning can deviate by more than 30 cents when compared with the same pitches in the middle register. We hear this as ‘in tune’, because the spectrum of the piano is slightly stretched. Because the tuning is gradually altered away from the middle range, the idea of expansion immediately came to mind. Rather than construct an overall form relating to one example of an expansion, I came up with several textural and harmonic ideas, which are each used in conjunction with each other throughout the piece, projecting several types of micro-expansion within each section’s macro-expansions.
The Composer’s Voice Concert Series is an opportunity for contemporary composers to express their musical aesthetic and personal “voice” created in their compositions. Vox Novus collaborating with the Remarkable Theater Brigade and Jan Hus Church to produce a monthly concert series promoting the chamber works of contemporary composers.

Vox Novus is a collective of composers, musicians, and music enthusiasts collaborating together to create, produce, promote, and enjoy the new music of today. Our members are from a variety of composers committed to the creation and dissemination of new music. Their music is of a variety of styles, aesthetics, and ideologies. Vox Novus produces and promotes new music. They are dedicated to contemporary music, the musicians who perform, and the composers that write the music of today. Their mission is to cultivate a music community and make their work available to the greater public.

Remarkable Theater Brigade founded by Christian McLeer, Dan Jeselsohn and Monica Harte, creates and produces new operas and musicals and takes children’s versions out to special-needs and at-risk children free of charge.
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[ Composer's Voice ]