2018 Omaha Under the Radar Festival Artists and Featured Composers
Kate Soper - Voices from the Killing Jar
Kate Soper is a composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice. She has been hailed by The Boston Globe as "a composer of trenchant, sometimes discomfiting, power" and by The New Yorker for her "limpid, exacting vocalism, impetuous theatricality, and...mastery of modernist style." A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Soper has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (The Virgil Thomson and Goddard Lieberson awards and the Charles Ives Scholarship), the Koussevitzky Foundation, Chamber Music America, the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund, the Music Theory Society of New York State, and ASCAP.
Praised by the New York Times for her "lithe voice and riveting presence," Soper performs frequently as a new music soprano. As a singer and performer with experience in Western Classical and Indian Carnatic music, songwriting, improvisation, and experimental theatre, she has sung in U.S. and world premieres of works by composers such as Peter Ablinger, Beat Furrer, George Lewis, Matthias Spahlinger, and Katharina Rosenberger, and has appeared with groups such as the Morningside Opera Company, the Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, and the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble.
Soper is a co-director and performing member of Wet Ink, a New York-based new music ensemble dedicated to seeking out adventurous music across aesthetic boundaries. She is the Iva Dee Hiatt Assistant Professor of Music at Smith College.
Voices from the Killing Jar Program Note
Voices from the Killing Jar is an 8-movement dramatic work for soprano, baritone and chamber ensemble. A killing jar is a tool used by entomologists to kill butterflies and other insects without damaging their bodies: a hermitically sealable glass container, lined with poison, in which the specimen will quickly suffocate. Voices from the Killing Jar depicts a series of female protagonists who are caught in their own kinds of killing jars – hopeless situations, inescapable fates, impossible fantasies, and other unlucky circumstances – each living in a world constructed from among the countless possible sonic environments of the ensemble. Instrumentation: Sopranos, baritone, flute (piccolo, c, bass), tenor saxophone, percussion, piano, violin, and live electronics.
George Lewis - Artificial Life 2007/2017
George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 150 recordings..
Lewis has served as Fromm Visiting Professor of Music, Harvard University; Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley; Paul Fromm Composer in Residence, American Academy in Rome; Resident Scholar, Center for Disciplinary Innovation, University of Chicago; and CAC Fitt Artist in Residence, Brown University. Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music(University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award; Lewis was elected to Honorary Membership in the Society in 2016.
Professor Lewis came to Columbia in 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, Mills College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Koninklijke Conservatorium Den Haag, and Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Arts Summer Institute. Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey.
Artificial Life 2007/2017 Program Note
Created for the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Artificial Life is a schema for collective improvisation – and collective silence. No musical material is prescribed; the principle is rather that of stimulus, and the medium that of verbal instructions that could give rise to radically different results, depending on the performers taking part.
for the sonic environment.”
(In alphabetical order by first name/project name)
Alexa Dexa is a New York based composer, electronic sound designer, and performer noted as "an example of pure charm and whimsy” by The New York Times and "unarguably personifying DIY for the millennium" by Creative Loafing. Her toychestral electronic pop solo project parades her soulful vocals, computer-based sequences, and enough instruments made with children in mind to rival a playpen. Always enchanted with miniatures and drawn to resonant bell tones, Alexa instantly fell head over heels upon discovering the realm of toy instruments and immediately began to seek out the toys that continue to shape her compositions. Albums from her self-released discography have been awarded Creative Individual Grants from the Puffin Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. An adventurer at heart, Alexa spends 4-6 months out of the year touring the world with a strong do-it-yourself ethos. Her 12 previous self-booked tours have taken her throughout North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia. Festival appearances include the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival (NY), BFF Femme Fest (NE), Future City Festival (NZ), Fairy Tale Festival (HR), the Florida International Toy Piano Festival (FL), Fusion Festival (DE), Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts (MI), and Make Music New York (NY).
Amanda Sealock and Scott Shinbara
Based in Omaha, NE, Amanda Sealock and Scott Shinbara collaborate on percussion based projects regularly, including performances of music by Steve Reich, Nine Inch Nails, Björk, Toru Takemitsu, and more.
Anthony R. Green
The creative output of AnthonyR.Green (composer, performer, social justice) includes musical and visual creations, interpretations of original works or works in the repertoire, collaborations, educational outreach, and more. Behind all of his artistic endeavors are the ideals of equality and freedom, which manifest themselves in diverse ways in a composition, a performance, a collaboration, or social justice work. As a composer, his work has been presented in over 20 countries by such notable soloists and ensembles as Gabriela Díaz, Wendy Richman, Ashleigh Gordon, Dame Evelyn Glennie, ALEA III, Sound Energy, The Fidelio Trio, Ensemble Mise-en, The Playground Ensemble, Ossia New Music Ensemble, and Alarm Will Sound, to name a few. As a performer, he has appeared at venues across the US, Cyprus, France, the Netherlands, the UK, and South Korea, interpreting solo, chamber, and large ensemble works. For performances, he has worked with numerous student and emerging composers, as well as established composers such as David Liptak, Renee' C. Baker, Steve Reich, and George Crumb. Green’s most important social justice work has been with Castle of our Skins, which is a concert and education series organization dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. www.anthonyrgreen.com
Bonnie Lander is avant-garde soprano, violinist, free improviser, and composer based in the larger Philadelphia area. As a performer and composer Bonnie specializes in absurd, fast paced, expressive, and theatrical works for voice. In the past few years Bonnie has developed a series of graphic scores called "Objects in Space," multi-channel installations, and created a series of intense, theatrical series of works called "Inside Voices." These works revolve around the theme of experiencing the voices, noise, and emotional narratives in the performer's mind. Premiered in 2013 as a performance piece for multichannel voice and live improvisation Bonnie was commissioned to write the second chapter of "Inside Voices" entitled Coping Mechanisms by NYC based opera company "Rhymes With Opera." This piece will premier in 2017 both in San Diego and New York City.
Devel (Developing) Crisp is a spoken word artist, born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He wrote hip-hop verses in high-school and was inspired by HBO’s Def Poetry Jam to perform them a cappella at open mics. He joined a coalition of poets in 2009, dubbed “The Wordsmiths”, in which he still performs locally with. In 2013, he became a Teaching Artist for the Nebraska Writers Collective, where he has shared and coached poetry in various schools, prisons and businesses. In 2014, he earned a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and has competed around the United States as a member of the Omaha Slam Poetry Team. He went on to win an Omaha Entertainment and Art Award in 2017 for Best Performance Poet. Crisp is known for his carefully crafted wordworks, delivered in a powerful, vibrant style. Think Rembrandt meets DMX! Always searching to find interesting and fresh ways to tell a story and deliver a message, Devel Crisp seeks to unconventionally meld emotion with aptness, all in the name of reflection, amusement, change and progressive art. http://developingcrisp.tumblr.com
Edem Soul Music
Edem Soul Music, originally born Edem K. Garro, was born and raised in both the east coast and the midwest. Edem sings in her native tongue, called ‘Ga’. ‘Ga’ originates from the Ga Tribe of Ghana, West Africa. Growing up her parents made sure that she always remembered to understand where she came from. As you listen to Edem Soul Music, you will not only hear the rhythmic African sounds of her djembes or the angelic sounds of her voice, but you will also hear her identity, and hopefully, find yours.
Femalevolent Gods ia an improvisational music and sound duet driven and inspired by collaboration with the audience through platonic touch. The prevalence of technology in our present world has eroded, in many ways, a sense of fellowship among other humans. This combined with the American cultural norm of minimal physical touch in non-romantic relationships has led many people to suffer from touch starvation. Music provides human connection in ways that are more abstract, and our goal is to create an experiment that combines the immediate and kinesthetic with artistic reaction and expression, and involves the audience in a performance where touch is simultaneously intimate and depersonalized.
Ian Dicke is a composer inspired by social-political culture and interactive technology. Praised for his “refreshingly well-structured” (Feast of Music) and “uncommonly memorable” (Sequenza 21) catalogue of works, Dicke currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of California, Riverside. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and festivals around the world, including the New World Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, ISCM World New Music Days, and the Atlantic Coast Center Band Director’s Association. He has received grants, awards, and recognition from the Fulbright Program, Barlow Endowment, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New Music USA, New York Youth Symphony, ASCAP, and BMI, among others. In addition to his creative activities as a composer, Dicke is also the founder and curator of the Outpost Concert Series in Riverside, CA and is a former co-director of Fast Forward Austin, a music festival held annually in Austin, TX. For more information on works in progress, upcoming performances, commissioning, and score rentals, please visit www.iandicke.com.
Jeff Kaiser is a music technologist, trumpet player, composer, conductor, and scholar. Classically trained as a trumpet player, Kaiser now views his traditional instrument as hybrid with new technology in the form of software and hardware interfaces that he creates for his performances and recordings. He gains inspiration and ideas from the intersections of experimental composition and improvisation and the timbral and formal affordances provided by combining traditional instruments with emerging technologies. The roots of his music are firmly in the experimental traditions within jazz, improvised and Western art music practices. He regularly performs throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, and has recently performed in China. His work is featured on Clean Feed Records, Leo Records, NineWinds, Cuneiform Records and his own label, pfMENTUM, among others.
As Assistant Professor of Music Technology at the University of Central Missouri’s Center for Music Technology, Kaiser embraces the idea of being an artist/scholar. As a scholar, he is particularly interested in changing notions of agency, instruments, and virtuosity, and how technologies can also configure musicians and musical communities by affording specific ways of creating sonic and social value.
For more information, please visit his personal website at http://jeffkaiser.com.
Jeff Young and Paul Pinto
Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots, Run for Public Office on a Platform of Swift and Righteous Immigration Reform, Lots of Jobs, and a Healthy Environment: An Opera by Paul Pinto and Jeffrey Young was created in 2011 as a parody of contemporary politics and politicians. The half-hour piece focuses on issues of immigration and national identity. Jeffrey Young and Paul Pinto collaboratively created the text, music, and staging, scoring the piece for their own voices, violin, percussion, a turntable, and lots of cardboard boxes. In "...Patriots...," instrumental music alternates with sung and spoken words, zany and humorous topical quips alternate with personal, pointed critiques of the political zeitgeist, fully notated sections merge into structured musical and textual improvisations, and tonal harmonies mix with less traditional musical effects. The piece has been performed principally on three tours of the US, including seven West Coast performances in 2011, 17 cities in 17 days in 2013, and four more West Coast performances in 2016.
For over a decade, Paul Pinto and Jeffrey Young have been playing together in thingNY, a quirky collective of New York composer-performers who fuse electronic and acoustic chamber music with new opera, improvisation, theater, text, song and installation. Founded in 2006 for an ad hoc festival in the historic Loew’s Jersey City Theater, thingNY performs experimental sound works created collaboratively by the core ensemble - Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, Jeffrey Young, Gelsey Bell, Dave Ruder, and Andrew Livingston - and by adventurous composers such as Robert Ashley, Frederic Rzewski, John King, Pauline Oliveros, Miguel Frasconi, Vinko Globokar, John Cage, Julius Eastman, James Tenney, David Snow, and Andrea La Rose. [http://www.thingny.com/]
Described as "Rad as f*&^" (Scapi Magazine) and having "a sound that is well-suited for the strange world of new music" (Chicago Classical Review), Kayleigh Butcher has gained critical and audience acclaim as a soloist and contemporary chamber musician.
Kayleigh has performed on many contemporary series, festivals, and at prestigious venues such as Roulette, NYC Skirball Center, The Stone, KANEKO, HERE Arts, Chicago’s Ear Taxi Festival, Fast Forward Austin, Chicago’s Pritzker Pavillion in Milennium Park, Omaha’s Under the Radar, Stanford University, Issue Project Room, Constellation Chicago’s Frequency Series, and NYC’s SONiC Festival at Shapeshifter Lab, to name a few. Kayleigh is also a founding member and the director of Quince Ensemble, an all-female, acappella vocal quartet that explores experimental vocal techniques and improvisation.
Kayleigh received her Bachelor’s of Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, where she studied with Dr. Anne DeLaunay and Dr. Denise Knowlton. She was a graduate teaching assistant to Dr. Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers at Bowling Green State University, where she earned her M.Mus. She currently resides in New York City with her fat cat, Cherubino.
Lori Reckling is a composer and musician bridging the worlds of tradition and experiment, spiritual and secular. Her music captures the Divine within each of us and illuminates the eternal miracle of music. She is fascinated by the intersections of sound and silence, tonality and dissonance, tradition and imagination, the physical world and that of the ethereal. She is increasingly inspired by the sound current of the cosmos, the reverberation of the earth, and the light sustaining each of us, and passionately explores diverse ways in which to incorporate these elements in her music. Her interpretations and creations are informed by a lifetime of diverse experiences drawn from a broad education in music, textiles and applied design, the natural and social sciences, creative writing, and the healing arts. She is a member of ASCAP and collaborates with artists around the country.
Michael Wittgraf is an electronic music composer whose recent work explores live manipulation of feedback, interactive improvisation, and time as data. His music has been performed in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia, and appears on the Eroica, New Ariel Recordings, and SEAMUS labels. He has awards, commissions, and recognition from ASCAP, Modern Chamber Players, National Symphony Orchestra, Tempus Fugit, Louisiana State University, University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, Florida State University, PiKappa Lambda, Zeitgeist, Chiara String Quartet, Bush Foundation, North Dakota Council on the Arts, and more.
Mike is a multi-instrumentalist, performing with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra on principal bassoon, in a number of rock-and-roll bands on keyboards, saxophone, and electric bass, and as a solo and collaborative performer on computer. He holds the title of Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor at the University of North Dakota, where his teaching specialties are music technology, composition, theory, and bassoon.
Olivia is a writer who's personal experiences are the foundations of her performances. As the reigning Women's Slam Poet for Nebraska, she represented the state at the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam which was held in Dallas Texas this past March.
The OEAA Performance Poet showcase was an amazing opportunity to perform on the stage that helped define her as a spoken word artist. The Down Under formerly known as the Side Door, and during Aly Peeler's open mic nights, she crafted her poetic words and performance prowess there.
Outside of the showcase, Olivia’s top 3 performances for 2017 were Omaha’s Slutwalk, Abuse is Not Love, and WOVEN. All three performances were created for survivors of sexual assault to share their stories, and to invoke empowerment within the Omaha community. Currently, Olivia is working on my stage play "The Gleaning", and attending Metro Community College to attain her Liberal Arts Degree.
Queerniverse is Omaha Nebraska's first POC centric & queer inclusive burlesque troupe. Our goal is to combat societal standards & promote body positivity.
Tanngrisnir (Christopher Burns + Trevor Saint)
Tanngrisnir is the improvising duo of Christopher Burns and Trevor Saint, building upon their five years of shared performing experience in Skøefst and Minor Vices. Tanngrisnir is dedicated to fusions of composition and improvisation. Christopher and Trevor develop bespoke software and technology and invent rules, games, and koans, all designed to integrate preconceived intention and spur-of-the-moment decision-making in new and innovative ways. Their approach emphasizes clear musical trajectories, wide-ranging sonic exploration, and furious rhythmic energy.
Archipelago is Tanngrisnir’s first large-scale project as a duo, combining volcanic live improvisation with computer-controlled lighting and algorithmically edited cut-up visuals. Trevor and Christopher perform together with their video doppelgangers, exploring shimmering textures, rapidly evolving sonic and visual patterns, and densely layered polyrhythms. Archipelago uses video to enable the experience of a single musical instant from multiple perspectives, integrating live, prerecorded, documentary, and abstracted materials into a complex web of sound and visuals. Ranging from the spare and poetic to the whirling and vertiginous, Archipelago is a provocative, intense, rewarding experience.
Ted Moore is a composer, improviser, intermedia artist, and educator based in Chicago. His work focuses on fusing the sonic, visual, physical, and acoustic aspects of performance and sound, often through the integration of technology. Ted’s work has been reviewed as “an impressive achievement both artistically and technically” (Jay Gabler, VitaMN), “wonderfully creepy” (Matthew Everett, TC Daily Planet), and “epic” (Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press). Ted’s work has been premiered by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, Yarn/Wire, Splinter Reeds, Quince Vocal Ensemble, and AVIDduo. Ted also frequently performs solo on electronics using his laptop, modular synthesizer systems, resonant physical objects, lighting equipment, and video projection. Ted has also been featured as an installation artist by the Northern Spark Festival (Minneapolis), Studio 300 Festival of Digital Art and Music (Lexington, KY), St. Paul Public Library, TC Make (Minneapolis). As an improviser, Ted is one half of Binary Canary, a woodwinds-laptop improvisation duo alongside saxophonist Kyle Hutchins. In collaboration with Scott Miller, he curated and performed in the free improvisation series Ars Electroacoustica in Minneapolis. Currently, Ted is pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Chicago.
~Nois is a Chicago-based saxophone quartet devoted to the performance of new music. Formed by graduate students at Northwestern University in 2016, ~Nois has quickly emerged as one of the premier young ensembles dedicated to contemporary performance. ~Nois was awarded the Silver Medal at the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and was previously awarded First Prize at the 2016 Chicago Woodwind Ensemble Competition.
~Nois was founded with the desire to push the boundaries of the saxophone quartet through collaborating with composers on new and progressive works for the medium. Past and present collaborators include José Arrellano, Mathew Arrellin, Nicholas Cline, Darcy Copeland, Niki Harlafti, Joe Krycia, Craig Davis Pinson, Alec Sloane, and Phil Taylor, among others.
Dedicated to supporting new music in the Chicago area, ~Nois has been featured on the Frequency Series at Constellation in Chicago, as well as the Irving Park Fine Arts Music Series and New Music Chicago Festival. The quartet also enjoys sharing new music throughout the country and has previously been a guest artist at Michigan State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Missouri - Kansas City. ~Nois will embark on a tour throughout the Southeastern U.S. this spring with performances at Baldwin Wallace University and the Universities of Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, and Tennessee.