November 7, 2022 - Andrew White performs the works of living composers
Composer’s Voice features baritone Andrew White to present the works of R Michael Daugherty, Ella Deloon, Stanley Hoffman, Lawrence Kramer, Mike McFerron, Allen Molineux, Lisa Neher, Stephen Stanziano, Greg A Steinke, and Blair Whittington.
The purpose and goal of this online event is to foster and broaden the art song genre. This event creates an opportunity for composers to “voice” or express their musical ideas as well as explore and experiment with accompaniment through the digital video medium.
It is a chance to introduce living composers to audiences giving them a chance to talk about their work and how they go about creating it. Besides the performance of the works, Andrew White will lead a discussion with the selected composers speaking about their compositions and careers.
Collaboration and accompaniment is an online project of the Composer’s Voice concert series empowering living composers and the musicians who champion new music.
Dr. Andrew White currently serves on the voice faculty of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He holds a Bachelors and a Masters Degree, as well as an Artist Diploma and Doctorate from The Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University. Previous faculty positions include Indiana University of Pennsylvania, The University of Akron, Hiram College, Lake Erie College, Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, and Ashland University. In 1995 he made his New York debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in a program devoted to the songs of Frederick Koch with the composer at the piano. Ken Smith of New York Concert Review hailed Andrew White as "…a formidable interpreter… Every song composer should be so lucky with collaborators."
Andrew White has been a regular at Vox Novus with Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame.
My Dog Crab
R. Michael Daugherty
R. Michael Daugherty’s catalog of compositions contains over 350 works, including eleven song cycles and numerous individual songs. As a singer, he makes sure his vocal works are text driven and reflect the strengths of the voice.
Acclaim for his vocal works: “…LOCALS MARVELED AT THE SEEMINGLY PERFECT MATING OF LANGUAGE AND MICHAEL’S REACTION TO IT.” – William Osborne, Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus, Denison University
“…HONEST SONGS THAT YOU CAN WEAR FOR A LIFE TIME!” – soprano, Alice Pierce
“…THE SONGS SEEM PRACTICALLY TO SING THEMSELVES.” - Mary Ann Dodd, “The Fourth Biennial Holtkamp/AGO Award in Organ Composition 1989-1990” published in The American Organist, October 1990
Dr. Daugherty holds a B.A. degree from Denison University, studying with Elliot Borishansky and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from The Ohio State University studying with Marshall Barnes
Crab, my Dog is a speech that comes from Act II, scene 3, of Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Here, it is the solo baritone part performed in the play by Launch, described as a clownish servant of Proteus, one of the two gentlemen. This is a comic piece and really should be acted as well as sung. The speech calls for two shoes, a staff, a hat and Crab as props. As Crab never weeps, cries or barks, I envision the dog as a stuffed animal toy.
A Solar Eclipse
Ella Deloon is a 31-year-old composer of classical music. Her work is inspired by space and our place in it. In addition to a myriad of nonclassical influences, she draws from the traditions of the Russian Romantics and French Impressionists. Her programmatic tone poems explore the fascinating nature of astrophysics and planetary science. Past works include a symphonic vignette narrating the advent of light in the early birth of the Universe, a wind quintet inspired by the Horsehead Nebula, and a piano solo evoking a binary star. She has an interdisciplinary degree in Music, Language and Culture through Vanderbilt University and the Blair School of Music. She taught at the W.O. Smith Music School where she also developed the composition and songwriting curriculum as a grant-funded fellow. She currently lives in rural Maine where the sky is dark and the stars are bright. More information and work can be found at elladeloon.com.
This chamber vocal tone poem is set for the poem "A Solar Eclipse" by American author and poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox, published in 1906 in the collection Poems of Sentiment. In it, the author describes a solar eclipse as allegory, personifying the "pallid, faithful Moon" and the Earth as two lovers in orbit "about the mighty, all-directing Sun." The poem and music is meant to capture the awe and wonder that we as humans feel when we look out at the Universe, and the epic journey we are each on to find our place in it. In order to make sense of the Universe, we try to see ourselves reflected in it. The poet may be interpreted to have seen herself reflected in the Moon and, as a woman in her time, she also found herself overshadowed and overlooked by "the men our world call wise." As we all find our role in the intricate interweavings of the Universe, we look to each other for communion of value and purpose. We are often misjudged or mischaracterized, yearning to be truly seen. The struggle of self-actualization is beguiled by the appearance of self-expression. What do you look up and see?
Ben Noyes, the cellist accompanist, in the title of the piece wherever and whenever it is listed, described, or mentioned. Ex: "A Solar Eclipse by Ella Deloon featuring Ben Noyes."
The lyrics in full are:
A Solar Eclipse
Published in 1906 in the collection Poems of Sentiment
Ella Wheeler Wilcox - 1850-1919
In that great journey of the stars through space
About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
The pallid, faithful Moon, has been the one
Companion of the Earth. Her tender face,
Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
Which at Time's natal hour was first begun,
Shines ever on her lover as they run
And lights his orbit with her silvery smile.
Sometimes such passionate love doth in her rise,
Down from her beaten path she softly slips,
And with her mantle veils the Sun's bold eyes,
Then in the gloaming finds her lover's lips.
While far and near the men our world call wise
Stanley M. Hoffman
Stanley M. Hoffman was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1959. He has lived in the greater Boston area since 1977. He received degrees in Composition from Brandeis University (Ph.D. 1993), The New England Conservatory of Music (M.M. 1984), and the Boston Conservatory (B.M. 1981).
Bass flute players Peter Sheridan and Judy Diez d’Aux gave the premiere of Arirang Variations (flute duet) in Toronto, on 04/12/2015. Mr. Sheridan also commissioned Prelude and Fughetta (alto flute, organ). He and organist Christopher Trikilis gave the premiere in St. Patrick, Mentone, VIC, Australia on 05/03/2015. Peter Sheridan also recorded the flute duets Meditations and Memories, Monologues and Dialogues, and Arirang Variations for the Australian label MOVE Records. Senior Editor at ECS Publishing Group from 1998–2021, Dr. Hoffman was laid-off because of the economic toll caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also works as a conductor, arranger, vocalist, lecturer, documentary film consultant, and writer.
In 1988, I began collecting poems to set to music someday including PEARS by Linda Pastan. The idea for certain poems was and is is to create “Songs of Passion.” This is the first one I have completed. A synthesized accompaniment was the biggest surprise and expressive challenge for me.
From The Black Riders
Lawrence Kramer, Distinguished Professor of English and Music at Fordham University, turned to composing in 2007 after winning international renown as a musicologist. (In 2017 he was awarded an ASCAP Foundation Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism.) His vocal and chamber music, including sixteen song cycles and eight string quartets, has been performed throughout America and Europe on concerts in New York, San Francisco, Santa Fe, London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, Vienna, Krakow, Belgrade, Ghent, Stockholm, and Bern. In 2013 his string quartet movement “Clouds. Wind. Stars.” (later the finale of his String Quartet no. 8, “Reflections and Memories,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxhBFW7QBl0) won the Composers Concordance “Generations” Prize. He has also won competitions held by Hartford Opera Theater, Ensemble for These Times, and The Arc Project. “Ecospheres” for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble premiered in February, 2022, in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on an ecologically themed program, “Songs for the Earth.”
The Black Riders and Other Lines is a collection of poems by Stephen Crane published in 1895. This ten-minute sequence for voice and percussion sets seven of these short, stinging, strikingly modern texts—poetic aphorisms rather than lyrics. “Strikingly” is the right word here: Crane’s irony and intensity do seem to strike at the reader, and thus seem to cry out to be set for voice and percussion. Who or what the “black riders” are we never know; the first poem, not set here, says they came out of the sea. But perhaps one can say of them what Crane said of the poems: “They came, and I wrote them; that’s all.”
X Marks the Sirens
Mike McFerron is professor of music at Lewis University, and he is founder and co-director of Electronic Music Midwest (http://www.emmfestival.org). His music can be heard on numerous commercial recordings as well as on his website at http://www.bigcomposer.com.
X Marks the Sirens was written for and dedicated to mezzo-soprano, Katherine Crawford. This composition was completed in my home studio in July, 2013.
My heartfelt thanks to acclaimed poet and my colleague, Jackie White, for supplying a beautiful text.
X Marks the Sirens
by Jackie White
She was what she was
and she knew it.
Fate is often like that.
People don't change.
At the end of her DNA,
an added twist, vixen
gene, where it was
written: men will love
you but you can't
keep them; she took
blue & yellow to green
her colors, but they
saw only red. Her heart
became a shack
for bits of the dead
because the myths repeat
your body will sing
them toward you; their
bodies will break
against rock. A trickle
separates desire, love, or
so it is said. She goes on
crooning: I do not wear
the scent of flowers but flesh,
its musk draws in your animal,
into my hum-howled breath:
Sometimes you have to shut up;
unbelieve what you've read.
Music Always Round Me
Allen Molineux (b.1950) received a B.M. degree from DePauw University, a M.M. in composition degree from the Eastman School of Music and a D.M. in composition from Florida State University where his teachers were, respectively, Donald H. White, Warren Benson and John Boda. In addition, he attended the Lukas Foss Workshop at Indiana University in 1981, Gunther Schuller’s 1986 Atlantic Center for the Arts Workshop and Pierre Boulez’s Carnegie Hall Workshop in 1999.
His brass sextet “Seven Shorties” was awarded the 2014 Grand Prize for the Humboldt State University Brass Chamber Music Workshop Composition Contest. His orchestral work “Trifles” was one of four pieces done on the New Music Reading Session of the Alabama Symphony (May 2015), premiered by the Oklahoma Composer Orchestra (Jan. 2016) and received its second performance by the Friends University Community Orchestra (Feb. 2016). It has just been released on the ABLAZE Records label, bringing the total to five professional recordings that include works of Molineux.
For 35 years he taught at several universities and colleges such courses as Theory, Composition, Arranging, Counterpoint, Form and Analysis, Band, Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble. He is now retired from full time teaching, which has given him more time to compose.
A few years back, I saw a call for scores by a countertenor. For it, I composed a new song using Walt Whitman's "Music Always Round Me". The singer announced the songs selected for performance from his score call and my song was chosen to be included. Unfortunately, the recital never materialized and now I had a work with severely limited future potential. Thus I created this version for baritone voice.
New music powerhouse Lisa Neher is a mezzo-soprano, composer, and actress on a mission to transform audiences through story, sound, and vulnerability. Described by Oregon ArtsWatch as "small woman with a very big voice" and "especially alive" Neher captivates audiences with her electrifying dramatic commitment and unforgettable vocal colors. She recently performed with Third Angle New Music, the Portland Columbia Symphony, New Music Gathering, Queer Opera, and Opera Theatre Oregon. As a composer, Neher is inspired by female athleticism, the tender love of friends, the ambiguities of death, and the eerie mystery of deep ocean life. For more information, visit www.lisanehermusic.com.
American Waters explores bodies of water as literal and metaphorical barriers between us and the places and people we know and love. As a nation of immigrants, our histories are rich with stories of family coming to the United States across oceans or traveling from one side of this continent to another. My great-grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland, leaving family and friends behind, and my own career has taken me to regions far from my native waters of Puget Sound. This piece digs into the emotional toll of these moves through the lens of water.
I created the text for this piece by stitching together fragments of folk songs from the U.S. and the United Kingdom. These fragments are like hints of memories from the past which are reinvented with new melodic lines. Whispered sounds emulate the noises of splashing surf and crashing waves.
American Waters was born out of a music and film course I took in graduate school. The original version was composed to accompany a montage of early black and white footage of rivers, waterfalls, and ocean surf from the Library of Congress. Later I expanded the piece to exist on its own.
Fragments of traditional folk songs
Away you rolling river
I cannot cross
Build me a boat
I cannot cross o're you rolling river
Down by the river
Down the sea
I'm bound away
Bound gently down
Over the ocean
Street Fair: The Quartet
Stephen Stanziano is an active composer, educator, and bassist in Northeast Ohio, and holds a Ph.D. in music theory and composition from Kent State University. His works have been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Collective, Grammy-award winning guitarist Jason Vieaux, baritone Andrew White, several Cleveland Orchestra members including violist Lisa Boyko, flautist Peter Bloom, the Gruca White Ensemble, and The Cleveland Chamber Symphony.
His music has been recorded by the Gruca White Ensemble on Big Round Records, the St. Cecilia Foundation, and performed live throughout the United States and Europe, including St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. His commissions include works for The Panoramicos, John Carroll University's Schola Cantorum, The Lakeland Community College Civic Band, baritone Jose Gotera, and pianist Randall Fusco.
He is a 2020 ASCAPLUS award winner, past president of the Cleveland Composers Guild, and on the music faculty at Cleveland State University, Hiram College and Lakeland Community College.
Street Fair: The Quartet (text by Marvin Bell, used with permission) This work is a six-and-a-half-minute song setting of a poem by Pulitzer Prize winner, Marvin Bell. In four sections, the melody is a lyrical, word-painted journey over a collection of digitally reproduced sounds of supporting pan-diatonic harmony.
Greg A Steinke
Greg A Steinke (1942 - ) is Former Chair, Departments of Art and Music, (The Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair in Music), also Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oregon (retired, 6/15/01); Associate Director, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (‘93–97) and Director, Composers Symposium (‘90–97) (Newport, OR); Holds B.M. degree, Oberlin Conservatory, M.M. degree, Michigan State University, M.F.A. degree The University of Iowa, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Publications: on new oboe literature and music composition; revisions to Paul Harder Harmonic Materials in Tonal Music, 6th-10th Ed., Basic Materials in Music Theory, 7th-13th Ed., Bridge to Twentieth-Century Music, Rev. Ed., Pearson, and with H Owen Reed the Harder-Reed Basic Contrapuntal Techniques, Warner Bros. Pub.; and article, “Music for Dance: An Overview” in The Dance Has Many Faces, 3rd Ed., Ed. by Walter Sorell, a cappella books. Served as National Chairman of the Society of Composers, Inc. (‘88–97) and currently national President of NACUSA (‘12–19); Board Member of NACUSA Cascadia. Composer of chamber and symphonic music with published/recorded works and performances across the US and internationally, speaker on interdisciplinary arts and oboe soloist specializing in contemporary music.
"Civil Wars" Poetry: Carol Coffee Reposa Music: Greg A Steinke “Civil Wars” Now Vicksburg’s under siege again. A thick Smoke hangs in heavy, acrid curls around Antietam. Oracles appear. They pound Their fists and often you can hear the click Of tongues trained on the shattered glass and brick. Marauders in black cruisers circle, hound The helpless. Guards have burrowed underground, While Lincoln dies each day by some new trick. And it will take more than the searing war Lee offered up at Appomattox, more Than shining words at Gettysburg’s dark watch To stop the bloodstained pageant, end the march, Parade of graves from Ferguson to Watts, Hearts lost to knives and cross-hairs, calls and shots. By Permission: Carol Coffee Reposa © 2019 by Carol Coffee Reposa
Blair Whittington is a composer and Los Angeles native. Guitar was his first serious instrument but he now spends most of his free time composing instrumental and vocal chamber music. He studied composition with Byong-kon Kim. For the last two decades he has worked as music librarian at the Brand Library & Art Center and also directs the Brand Library chamber music series on behalf of the Brand Associates. His music has been performed by musicians such as pianist Mark Robson,, pianist Yumi Suehiro, the UK Guitar Quartet, the Bateira Trio, Nautilus Brass, Trio Emporte (flute/oboe/piano), Trio Spilliaert (Brussels) and the musicians of the Boston New Music Initiative. He also has composed many miniatures that have been performed across the United States and Europe as part of Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame and 60x60.
My first thought when seeing Andrew White's call was to write a piece for solo voice with nature sounds. That grew into an accompaniment that was a set of variations with the sound of wind and birds. The text I wrote is about a person who lives alone and is self sufficient until a drought threatens his existence. I made the music like a dirge but a very colorful dirge using samples of instruments from around the world. The ideas that influenced this piece are the California drought and the COVID pandemic which has caused so many people to feel isolated.
The wind blows but it brings no clouds
That is is the reason the dry wind haunts me
Slowly my garden becomes barren
My tree has not grown plums
Not a cloud in the sky
and the nights are so cold
I have some water to drink
but the birds flew past my garden
I wish the rain would come
and my worrying would be done
Composer's Voice is an opportunity for contemporary composers to express their aesthetic and personal "voice."
Composer's Voice performances present the music of living composers. The performances feature musicians who champion new music and present the works being created today. Composer's Voice creates a venue for audiences to discover music that they haven't heard before.
Composer's Voice presents new music monthly on TV cable access in New York City. In addition to its eipsodes on TV, Composer's Voice creates virtual performances with musicians and interviews with composers. Primarily a concert series in its past Composer's Voice has produced more than 150 concerts in New York City. The series has also collaborated and produced concerts across the United States and other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Romania.
Since its inception in 2001, Composer's Voice has presented the works of thousands of composers from around the world. Works are chosen from a wide range of aesthetics and styles performed by dedicated musicians committed to new music. Concerts have featured hundreds of musicians of all and unique instrumentation and ensembles.
Composer's Voice is a Vox Novus project.