2016 Omaha Under the Radar Artists

tbd. - An Omaha Based Dance Collective

Omaha

tbd. is an Omaha based dance collective comprised of artists who want to create, learn, and perform movement together. Performances/collaborations have included The Union for Contemporary Arts, Kaneko, Omaha Under the Radar Festival, Omaha Dance Project, and various independent shows and events.  We continually explore new ways to collaborate with other artists and organizations so that our work is innovative and relevant.  Our mission is to improve ourselves technically as dancers, produce unique and quality art through movement, and continue the growth and support of modern/contemporary dance in Omaha.  

 

(photo credit: J L Williams)

Radical 2

New York

Radical 2 (Levy Lorenzo // Dennis Sullivan) is a performance duo based in Brooklyn, NY. Grounded in the tradition of contemporary classical percussion, Radical 2 extends this performance practice by exploring compositions that use theatrical vocal techniques and prototype electronics. By integrating the human voice via extended techniques and oddly contextualized speech, Radical 2 is actively blurring the lines between their vocal chords and percussion instruments. While also making use of physical theater, their performances range from whimsical and witty, to somber and nebulous, to farcical and just plain absurd. With electronics, Radical 2 uses newly designed instruments that allow the use of live electronics into their performances which provide strong engagement between the audience and the electronic sound worlds. Radical 2 extends the role of classical percussionists into actors and electronic musicians, yet still relying on the percussionist’s sense of extended techniques and new music performance practice.

Bus Gas

Omaha

Bus Gas is a long running drone/ambient/postrock collective. While membership is constantly changing, Bus Gas currently helmed by multi-instrumentalists Tom Flaherty and Eric Nyffeler. Bus Gas’ recent compositions have been is a continuation of their goal of seamlessly melding writhing improvisations with fully composed passages. The resulting songs, spliced together from a mess of magnetic tape, guitar strings and analog synth rumbles, are their darkest and most ethereal to date. Gone are some of their more grounded, earthy moments, replaced by something all together more ghostly and weightless.

Terrence McManus

New York

A native of Brooklyn, New York, guitarist/composer/sound artist Terrence McManus has been called "... one of New York's latest guitar heroes ..." (All About Jazz), and that he has "... hit on an entirely new language." (Gambit), and "... possesses the goods to impart a significant impact ..." (jazzreview.com). Time Out New York calls him a "Texture-minded guitar abstractionist ..." and the NY Times times has described him as a "guitarist drawn to abstract texture".

He has performed or recorded with many of the major innovators in contemporary music, including John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Dresser, Don Byron, Ellery Eskelin, Herb Robertson, Mark Helias, John Hollenbeck, Ben Monder, Russ Lossing, Randy Peterson, Mat Maneri, Tom Rainey, Michael Sarin, and Marty Ehrlich. He has performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, the New York Guitar Festival, Jazz Festival Willisau (Switzerland), Jazzfestival Saalfelden (Austria), the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, and the inaugural month at John Zorn’s The Stone. Terrence was featured in the book State of the Axe: Guitar Masters in Photographs and Words, by legendary photographer Ralph Gibson.

FOCI Arts

New Orleans

FOCI Arts is a New Orleans-based organization devoted to the contemporary arts. Its focus is the promotion, education, and dissemination of a variety of art forms, in New Orleans and throughout the US, through concerts, gallery shows, public lectures, readings, and educational outreaches, as well as through FOCI Words, an online periodical  and podcast on contemporary art and creative thinking. FOCI emphasizes original, contemporary creative expression, and seeks to present such art inclusively. FOCI Arts operates on the belief that art can be unique, original, and radical without being exclusionary.

Rosalyn Nasky, Owen Weaver, and Steve Snowden

New York

Choreographer/dancer Rosalyn Nasky, composer Steven Snowden, and percussionist Owen Weaver come together for a program of seamlessly integrated electroacoustic music and dance. The three long-time collaborators connected in Austin, TX in 2009 where they created new works together for dance festivals such as Big Range Austin and Ears, Eyes, and Feet, among others.

Jay Markel

Omaha

Jay-Markel Pratt is an Omaha based choreographer, dancer, and performance poet who has danced with The Moving Company, Maya Taylor Dance, and co-founder of Nebraska Modern Dance Theater. He will present his new work, C.O.P.E. at Omaha Under the Radar. 

Oracle Hysterical

San Francisco

Oracle Hysterical is a collective of 4 composer-performers: twin brothers Doug Balliett (double bass, viola da gamba) and Brad Balliett (bassoons), Majel Connery (vocals, autoharp), and Elliot Cole (guitars, vocals, harmonium). Half band, half book club, OH combines eclectic musical influences with literary breadth, adapting great works of literature through the medium of song. OH has created hip-hoperas, art-rock song cycles, rap cantatas, and other genre-bending works all over America and Europe, collaborating with a variety of ensembles to cultivate a unique sound palette for each project.  

Liz Pearse

Kansas City

Finding joy in variety, Liz Pearse is a musician of many pursuits. After a childhood spent playing every instrument she could lay hands upon, Liz began exploring the endless possibilities of the voice. Hers is an instrument possessing an unusual range, color, and versatility, which has led to performances of music from medieval to modern opera, orchestra, chamber, and recital stages around the world. 

 

Liz is one-quarter of Quince, a chamber vocal group whose debut album Realign the Time was described by the Box is Empty as “a strong debut from a group sure to play a big role in reconceiving vocal composition in twenty-first-century music”. Her other projects include a set of commissions for piano-playing singer, artistic programming for Kansas City’s newEar Chamber ensemble, and researching contemporary vocal pedagogy (and finishing her dissertation!)

Lincoln Dance Center

Lincoln

Lincoln DanceCentre mixes passion and performance. Founded in 2004 as Conservatory of Contemporary Dance in Lincoln, NE, owners Monya DeBoer and Sarah Brown were ready to put proferssional dance training on the map. We believe everyone deserves an excellent dance education. Our faculty is the best and simply put, the training is outstanding.

 

Lincoln Dance Center is directed and instructed by Monya DeBoer, Sara Brown, Jenna Richter, and Audrey Barrett.

On Structure

New York

On Structure is a sound-centric performance duo. The 
New York based ensemble uses improvised and composed
Sounds {and the fluctuation of these sounds} to brew 
Transferable art pieces which may 
Ravage the realms of the performer, audience or space itself. 
Uncovering the hidden motions of sound, freeing 
Compositions from the fluorescence of the concert expectation. 
Topsy-turvy. 
Use of lasers, wigs, electronics, cellosandflutes; 
Repurposing life experiences for music glitches and muscle twitches. 
Eclipse boundaries of the stage.

 

On Structure is Jessie Marino and Natacha Diels

Screaming Plastic

Omaha

Free-improvisation, ambient noise group comprised of Hannah Mayer, cello; Ben Eisenberger, guitar; Phill Smith, electronics; Jeff Kolega, drums.

Ju-Ping Song

Lancaster, PA

Pianist JU-PING SONG is internationally recognized as one of today’s champions of contemporary music. Her colorful and beyond-the-recital format performances have won her praise from critics as “an extraordinary pianist” (Boston Globe).  In the process, she has inspired the creation and commission of new works by today’s under-40 and distinguished composers.

 

Ms. Song is the founder and artistic director of NakedEye Ensemble, a flexible new music group based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whose mission is to promote works by living composers. She is also a founding member of FLAME Ensemble, an eclectic group of 25 musicians who host and perform in the annual FLAME Festival in Florence, Italy.

Jacob Kopcienski

Morgantown, WV

Jacob Kopcienski has performed throughout the United States, France, Italy, Australia, and Malaysia. Premiering numerous works, Jacob has worked with composers including Vinko Globokar, François Rossé, Julien Malaussena, Jamie Leigh Sampson, Molly Joyce, and Peter Wilson. He has also enjoyed collaborating with visual and performance artists including Antone Konst and Feriel Boushaki. 

 

A recipient of a 2014-2015 Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship while studying in Paris, France, Jacob researched “normal” and “extended vocal” techniques in relation to the saxophone’s broad technical capabilities. He is currently exploring these in both acoustic and electronic medium to expand the number of possibilities available for personal expression in “composed” and improvised performance. Jacob currently studies saxophone with Dr. Michael Ibrahim and has previously studied with Jean-Michel Goury and Dr. John Sampen.

 

Dereck Higgins

Omaha

Active in music since the 70's Dereck is known for his bass playing skills and diverse musical interests. He has played many styles from punk to jazz to blues to electronic to Cajun. Dereck's current music projects include membership in the bands
InDreama
Cleemann
The Jewel Beast
Paddy O'Furniture
The Pat Higgins Trio
as well as solo and guest appearances.  

http://dereckhiggins.bandcamp.com/

Grafter

Chicago

The result of a long and thorough process of vocal and physical practice-sharing, composer/performer Jenna Lyleand Australian vocalist Jessica Aszodi present a program whose centerpiece is Grafter, a new collaborative work for voice and electronics by Lyle and Aszodi that incorporates amplified voices, bodies and live electronics. The performers interact using samples, both of their voices, movement and live processing. The piece places energetic focus on the body, altering sonic outcomes through choreographic affectation. 

 

Kyle Johnson

San Diego

Kyle Johnson is a composer, filmmaker and video artist whose work is presented internationally. His documentary work has been collected by the Library of Congress and released by Mode Records. 

Stacey Barelos

Omaha

Stacey Barelos is a pianist, composer and educator based in Omaha, Nebraska. In all musical endeavors, Stacey seeks to create a 21st century audience for modern classical music through engaging interaction, provocative performances and the permission to not be taken quite so seriously.  A tireless champion of new music, Stacey has premiered dozens of works and can be heard on the Centaur and Albany labels. For more information see www.staceybarelos.com.

K A T E S

San Francisco/New Jersey

Since 2012, pianist Kate Campbell and choreographer/dancer Katelyn Halpern have performed as the bi-coastal interdisciplinary duo K A T E S, entangling new solo piano music with contemporary dance and blurring the roles of musician and dancer. Sound, motion, story, and play are seamlessly blended throughout each concert, as are the performers’ roles. The free mix of roles and elements becomes a binding agent, leading to beautifully crafted concert experiences. In their alternately poised and playful repertoire, which includes a commissioned piece by Lainie Fefferman; compositions by Missy Mazzoli, Mayke Nas, Marc Mellits, and Ryan Brown; and original arrangements, K A T E S creates intimate, integrated worlds of performance. 

Soundboard

Chicago

Soundboard is contemporary harp and guitar duo based in Chicago, IL comprised of Ben Melsky (harp) and Jesse Langen (guitar). 

 

BEN MELSKY is a Chicago-based harpist specializing in contemporary music, solo and ensemble playing, and teaching. Currently, he plays for the Joffrey Ballet and Ann Arbor Symphony and has played with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, and Chicago Philharmonic. 

 

JESSE LANGEN is a guitarist who specializes in new music.  He works with living composers regularly and premieres dozens of pieces every season.  Equally comfortable on classical and electric guitar, he seeks to push both the technical boundaries and the conceptual functions of the instrument.  He can be heard regularly in Chicago, throughout the US, and abroad as a soloist, as the guitarist for Ensemble Dal Niente, in the trio Pesejet with Mabel Kwan and Carrie Henneman Shaw, as half of Hasco Duo with Amanda Deboer Bartlett, and in duo with harpist Ben Melsky.  

Allison Balcetis

Edmonton, ON

Internationally recognized as an ambitious contemporary saxophonist, Allison Balcetis has studied and collaborated with artists from around the world.  Her international performance career includes concerts in Italy, France, Thailand, Slovenia, North America, and Brazil.  Most recent collaborations include working with Brazilian composers André Mestre, André Ribeiro, Rodrigo Bussad, and Manuel Failleros to create a yearly workshop of young composers’ pieces, performing them in a professional context.  Other notable collaborations with composers include Georges Aperghis, Marcos Balter, Colin Labadie, Thierry Alla, and Henri Pousseur.

 

 

As a faculty member of the University of Alberta since 2009, Allison trains the next generation of thoughtful, artistic musicians.  Outside of the university, Allison helps develop the new music community as past Executive Member and Production Manager of New Music Edmonton and board member of the Borealis Electro Acoustic Music Society.

Seen/Heard Trio

Des Moines

The Seen/Heard Trio is an American contemporary music trio devoted to performance that delights the senses. Combining the skill and musicianship of classical training with the fearlessness of new music adventurers, Seen/Heard Trio is helping audiences find the joy and wonder in chamber music.

 

Seen/Heard was forged out of a common dedication to fiercely compelling performances and persuasive story-telling through classical music. Actively engaged in community-building, the trio develops performances and educational opportunities to draw new and veteran audiences of all ages.

UNO Percussion Ensemble

Omaha

The percussion ensemble at the University of Nebraska Omaha, led by Scott Shinbara and Tomm Roland. 

New Muse Piano Duo

Columbia, MO

The New Muse Piano Duo (Paola Savvidou and Jonathan Kuuskoski) is an ensemble-in-residence at the University of Missouri School of Music specializing in music of the 20th and 21st centuries. They actively commission and perform newly composed works for four-hands and two pianos, incorporating visual and interactive components, often within unexpected concert formats.

Petite Musique Collective

Chicago

Founded by french vocalist Nathalie Colas, Petite Musique Collective was born from a wish to never pick but embrace all.


Pulling from the rich artistic soil of Chicago and seeking to highlight the many artistic talents that the city harbors, PMC embraces all musical times, and strives to ties ends, melt, weld. Through music.

Patchwork

Cleveland

Mutually interested in exploring a wide range of contemporary genres, Noa Even and Stephen Klunk formed Patchwork, a saxophone and drum set duo that collaborates with composers to build an eclectic body of new music. Based in Cleveland, Patchwork has appeared in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New York City, at the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference and at Bowling Green State University's annual New Music Festival in 2013. In 2015, Noa and Stephen performed student compositions for reading sessions at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and Ball State University. Patchwork recently headed a consortium commissioning project for a piece by composer Eric Wubbels. Entitled Axamer Folio, the work will be premiered this season.

Bassoons Across Nebraska

Lincoln

Bassoons Across Nebraska are members of the Omaha and Lincoln Symphony bassoon sections who seek to raise “Bassoon Awareness” throughout the region.

 

Representing the Bassoons on the “Under the Radar” festival are:

 

James Compton, Principal Bassoonist of the Omaha Symphony.

Karen Sandene, 3rd/Contrabassoonist, Omaha Symphony and Second Bassoonist in the Lincoln Symphony, and a music instructor in the Lincoln Public Schools. 

Dr. Jeffrey McCray, Principal Bassoonist, Lincoln Symphony and Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Joyce Besch, Third/Contrabassoonist, Lincoln Symphony.

Wenmin Zhang, Assistant Principal Bassoon, Omaha Symphony. 

 

The Bassoons Across Nebraska are artists with the Nebraska Arts Council Touring Program and also seek to perform music by Nebraska composers and to commission new works.

Ammie Brod, viola

Chicago

Violist and southwest native Ammie Brod holds a B.M. from the University of Arizona with Hong­Mei Xiao and an M.M. from Northwestern University with Roland Vamos, as well as studying for two years with acclaimed performer and pedagogue Emanuel Vardi. As a member of Dal Niente, Ammie has worked with composers such as Chaya Czernowin, Mark Andre, Kaija Saariaho, Hans Thomalla, Marcos Balter, and Augusta Reed Thomas. She also attended the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, helping to earn Dal Niente a Kranischteiner Stipiendieum Prize and a Kranichstein Musikpreis, the latter being the highest honor for performers in the Courses. In addition to her work with Dal Niente, Ammie has recently made appearances with Quince Vocal Ensemble, the Omaha Under the Radar festival, and Project Incubator at the University of Chicago, which emphasizes direct collaboration between composers and performers during the compositional process. When not performing, Ammie works as a professional floral designer and enjoys making homemade gourmet ice cream.

Big Slur

Omaha

Big Slur is a set of technical limitations: a drum machine, a mic, and a monome running The Party Van. Whatever happens happens.

Bent Frequency Duo

Atlanta

Percussionist Stuart Gerber and saxophonist Jan Berry Baker are The Bent Frequency Duo Project.  Stuart and Jan have recently commissioned 15 new works for their duo which will be premiered and toured between 2013 and 2016. 

The first iteration of this project was truly international in scope, including commissions from seven American composers ( Robert Scott Thompson, Chris Burns, Devin Maxwell, Jeff Herriott, Roshanne Etezady, Kevin Schlei, and Chris Arrell) and two European composers (Vivienne Olive from Germany and Stefano Pierini from Italy). Since February 2014 we have presented this program over 20 times across the East Coast (Worchester, Boston, Storrs, Hartford, and New York), the Midwest (Milwaukee, Chicago, Champaign, Oshkosh, Dekalb, Whitewater and multiple cities in Indiana), Texas (Huntsville) and Nuremberg, Germany.

Eris Koleszar

Omaha

Eris Koleszar uses technology to carve out a space at the juncture of noise and music that's less about playing music than playing with music. Sampling everyday sounds and running them through a blender of effects, she builds cacophonous orchestras. The colors of these instruments birth variegated soundscapes that flirt with traditional concepts like tonality and melody.

Jared Brown and Scott Shinbara, percussion

Ashland, OR and Omaha, NE

Percussion Jared Brown completed a degree in music from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2015, and is currently a graduate student at Southern Oregon University. Dr. Scott Shinbara is the percussion coordinator at the University of Nebraska Omaha. At Omaha Under the Radar they will team up to perform Aphasia by Mark Applebaum. Aphasia is composed for seated performers triggering electronic sounds through gesture. The performer is required to memorize over one hundred meticulously described gestures, each occurring at precise, non-repetitive moments with the recording. When executed accurately the coordinated movements take on the tone of spoken words and conversations which are never heard.

James Burch, cello

Austin

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, James Burch is a cellist currently based in Austin, Texas. As a soloist he has performed works by Dvorak and Maslanka at the Rialto Center in Atlanta, Georgia and Bates Recital Hall in Austin.  He has also performed internationally including most recently at the soundSCAPE festival in Maccagno Italy, where he was awarded the Performer Prize. Committed to the performance of contemporary music, he has worked with numerous composers including Xi Wang and Donnacha Dennehy.  His current projects include upcoming performances of works by Kaija Saariaho and Michael Gordon as well collaborations with other Austin-based composers. In addition to his role as a performer, James is also the co-director of Tetractys, a new-music concert series in Austin.

Jason Charney

Bowling Green, OH

Jason Charney’s work as a composer addresses the connections among scientific phenomena, sensory perception, and performative gesture.  He writes music for instruments and electronic media, often combining them. He is also an active electroacoustic performer, both as a soloist and with instrumentalists. As a sound artist, Jason is interested in cultivating sound as a critical and non-linear medium in gallery or site-specific installations. Jason holds degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Kansas and Bowling Green State University, where he teaches Music Technology. More information at www.jasoncharney.com.

James Fusik

Minot, ND

Saxophonist James Fusik has garnered numerous accomplishments worldwide. Fusik has commissioned and/or premiered works by composers including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Marilyn Shrude, Walter Mays, Nathan Davis, Christopher Cerrone, Robert Honstein, Ryan Carter, Ravi Kittappa, Juan-Camilo Hernandez Sanchez, and artist Matthew Barney. Fusik’s performance honors include Co-1st prize at the 2011 Stockhausen Courses and Concerts-Kurten (GER), advancing to the semi-finals of the 5th Adolphe Sax competition in Dinant (BEL), and 1st prize in the 2010 Richardson competition (USA). 

Daniel Wyche

Chicago

Daniel Wyche is a guitar-based composer and improviser originally from New Jersey, currently living in Chicago after spending several years in Philadelphia. He works primarily with electric guitar and a wide range of filters, pitch-shifters and delay units, coupled with both guitar- and pedal-based extended techniques. 

 

 

He has been a curator at the Elastic Arts Foundation in Chicago since 2013, and is currently serving as part-time faculty at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago.

 

He is currently an ABD PhD candidate in the History and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Chicago. The relationship between these two projects, musical on the one hand and the academic on the other, is still being worked out.

Lori Reckling

Omaha

Lori Reckling is a pianist and composer 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.  As pianist, Ms. Reckling gravitates toward composers of all eras who have pushed the creative envelope of their time and is especially moved by those of the early 20th century.  As composer, she is increasingly inspired by the sound current of the cosmos, the reverberation of the earth, and the light sustaining each of us.  Her interpretations and creations are informed by a lifetime of diverse experiences drawn from a broad education in music, applied design, the natural and social sciences, creative writing, and the healing arts.  In addition to performance and collaboration preparation, Lori has several new compositions in the works, including a sonata for solo harp, a ballet, an orchestral tone poem, a quartet, art songs, piano preludes, and an arrangement for handbell choir. 

Thomas Snydacker

Chicago

Thomas Snydacker, a concert saxophonist and educator currently based in the Chicago area, has appeared throughout the United States and abroad as both a soloist and chamber musician.  He has appeared as an orchestral musician with world-class ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony under the batons of such luminaries as John Adams, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Marin Alsop, and Matthias Pintscher. His festival appearances as an orchestral musician include the Ravinia Festival and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. An active chamber musician, Snydacker frequently performs with his acclaimed saxophone quartet, the Estrella Consort. This exciting ensemble presents thrilling programs of music both new and old throughout the country and abroad, including a 2012 tour which took them through several cities in Ecuador where they presented recitals, workshops, and masterclasses.  Snydacker has also performed with such icons as Claude Delangle and the Paris Conservatory Saxophone Ensemble and has appeared as a soloist with groups including the University of Minnesota Concert Choir.  His playing has earned him numerous accolades, including the 2009 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award, a berth in the final round of the inaugural International Saxophone Symposium and Competition, and two appearances as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

Samuel Bertino

Omaha

Samuel Bertino, clarinet, is a student at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He has performed with the UNO Orchestra as a winner of the concerto competition, and has performed regularly with Ensemble 768 - the contemoprary chamber ensemble of UNO, and The New Philharmonic - a contemporary ensemble based in Omaha. 

Mighty Vitamins

Omaha

The Mighty Vitamins are 4 people (Jay Kreimer, Brad Krieger, Jim Schroeder, Roberts Stewart) who make uncommon sounds from common objects assembled into homemade instruments. One reviewer of their release Take-Out, on Bryan Day’s Public Eyesore label, wrote,”If weirdness was a religion, I can’t say if Mighty Vitamins could be popes but I’m sure they’d be very important people down at the Vatican.”

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