Music Lovers Take Note: Kennesaw State Festival of New Music now playing Feb. 12-15
Festival features four concerts, film screening, lectures, seminars and master classes
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 23, 2013) — Music lovers curious about unusual instrumentation, cutting-edge compositions and unheard new music that might someday be among classical favorites will find a sumptuous feast at Kennesaw State University’s Festival of New Music Feb. 12-15.
Four nights of concerts at KSU’s Bailey Performance Center will showcase the talents of composers David Lang and Michael Markowski and the performance skills of Sō Percussion, Sonic Generator and gloATL. All four concerts presented by the College of the Arts and Co-Artistic Directors David Daly and Laurence Sherr will include compositions by featured composer Lang (www.davidlangmusic.com).
“This festival is an expression of our dedication to the spirit of innovation ... to the creative forces at work today,” said Daly, director of Bailey Performance Center and its Premiere Series. “Every piece of music that will be performed has been written by a living composer. Those composers include students and faculty members from our University, artists from within our own community and internationally renowned Grammy award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composers.”
The festival moves beyond the concert stage as artists interact with students and the community, and it goes beyond music with a film about the lives of a family of artists and dance by gloATL.
“The composers and artists represented in the festival hail from many backgrounds, and all bring their unique experiences and voices to the table,” said Daly. “Musically speaking, a wide variety of performances are represented: strings, brass, winds, voice, piano, percussion – both solo performers and ensembles. Furthermore, the festival includes both dance and film events, exploring the boundaries where music meets other art forms.”
Music written by KSU composition students and selected by their teachers will open the festival Tuesday, Feb. 12. Then, Sonic Generator (www.sonicgenerator.gatech.edu), which uses technology and research innovations along with classical and unusual instruments, will perform Lang’s The Child Project in collaboration with gloATL (www.gloatl.org), an adaption of Lang's child choreographed by Artistic Director Lauri Stallings. Stallings often brings unconventional choreography that includes non-static public art and interactive art installation to non-traditional settings such as malls and other public places.
“David Lang is one of the hottest commodities in the world of new music, and he has contributed greatly to the landscape of contemporary art in our generation,” said Daly. “Sō Percussion, gloATL, Sonic Generator – these represent some of the most innovative artists working today. They are continually pushing boundaries in the name of artistic exploration and expression.”
The talent of KSU faculty members is showcased Feb. 13 in the Faculty Artists Showcase; the KSU Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble take center stage Feb. 14. The Wind Ensemble will finish Thursday’s concert with the world premiere of Markowski’s Remembering the Molecules commissioned by the wind ensembles at KSU, as well as Bowling Green State, Emory, Middle Tennessee State, Pacific Union, Ohio, California-Berkley, Kentucky and West Georgia universities.
Sō Percussion (www.sopercussion.com) closes the festival Feb. 15, employing unique instrumentation to expand the realm of rhythms and textures. Adam Sliwinski of Sō Percussion said, “Our performance at KSU features two of America's greatest composers: David Lang and Steve Reich. For their music and for our own Double Music, traditional percussion instruments are mixed with the homespun sounds of flowerpots and teacups, metal pipes and planks of wood." The KSU Percussion Ensemble will join the Brooklyn-based percussion quartet in the festival’s final concert.
Lang, Markowski (www.michaelmarkowski.com) and Sō Percussion will be in residence during the week, leading lectures, seminars, master classes and panel discussion and coaching individual students and ensembles, with most activities open to the community as well. The short film “The Woodmans,” with score by Lang and soundtrack by Sō Percussion, will be screened in the Bailey Center’s Clayton Gallery at 4 p.m. on Feb. 14.
”These events provide us an opportunity to generate awareness about new music,” said Daly. “This is music that is not often widely performed, and our ability to showcase it here gives these composers and artists an audience that may not otherwise exist in our community.
“From an educational standpoint, we are giving our students exposure to new, developing trends in the art form and special access to the artists through the residency activities. Having the chance to learn from and interact first-hand with artists of this caliber is an invaluable experience for our students.”
KSU Composer-in-Residence Laurence Sherr added, “The festival also provides both faculty and students the opportunity to showcase their talents as conductors, performers and composers.”
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.
-- Robert S. Godlewski, email@example.com, 770-499-3448