CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Dec. 3, 1999
UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
DIKKERS READS DEC. 10 -- Scott Dikkers, editor of "Our
Dumb Century," a compilation of headlines from the Onion, the parody newspaper
based in Madison, Wis., will read at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10 at Buchanan Auditorium
of the University of Iowa Pappajohn Business Administration Building.
The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights"
series originating live on the UI radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and
open to the public.
"Our Dumb Century" was named outstanding humor book of
the decade by Prairie Lights and has been on the best-seller list of the Independent
Bookstore Consortium for more than a year.
A Washington Post review stated, "The Onion gleefully
offends, armed with a powerful combination of puerility and intelligence
the National Lampoon was to the '70s, The Onion may be for the new millennium."
An article in Esquire calls the newspaper "genius . . . the most consistently
hilarious spot on the flogged dead horse of American comedy."
The Onion, in print since 1988 and on-line since 1996,
has a readership of approximately a half million people.
For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights"
readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.
The Onion may be accessed on-line at http://www.onion.com/
* * *
NEW COMPOSITIONS ON CONCERT DEC. 12 -- The Composers Workshop
of the University of Iowa School of Music will present six new pieces of music
by student composers on a free concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12 in Clapp
Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Written by undergraduate and graduate students in the
composition program, the pieces feature a wide variety of performing media,
from recorded tape and electro-acoustic composition to instrumental solos
and an instrumental ensemble with vocal soloist.
The complete program will be:
--"Night Sketches for eight players, human host and Duende"
by senior Matt Ertz;
-- Duet for flute and viola by graduate student Michael
--"Antihisis" for piano and tape by graduate student Evangelia
-- an untitled piece for tape by senior Amy Rucinski;
--"Novelty as a Value" for solo flute by graduate student
Erin Gee; and
--"The Lights Went Out," an electro-acoustic composition
by graduate student Rob Bennett.
"Night Sketches" is based on a Spanish ceremony in
which a woman is selected to represent the Duende, a spirit that conveys suffering
and grief using music to express itself. Taking place in the streets of Seville
the week before Easter, the ceremony begins with a procession in which statues
of the Virgin Mary and giant crosses are carried through the streets.
When the procession stops, a woman is presented upon a
balcony, where she sings a lament for Jesus. The singing woman is believed
to be possessed by the Duende.
Ertz describes "Night Sketches" as a "formalized ritual
with the sole purpose to conjure Duende and experience its existence." Its
four uninterrupted movements, Ertz said, "explain the process of the evocation.
First, the host is presented with a slow march. Next, the incantation begins,
alerting the spirit with chimes and the players beginning to use their magnetic
powers to draw Duende out of the host. Then, Duende enters our world through
the host and sings its grief. Last, Duende is dismissed and thanked and the
players' powers dwindle and dilute, thus ending the ritual."
"The Lights Went Out" is a musical response to one of
the most devastating weather events in recent history, when a tornado descended
on Pleasant Grove, Ala., April 8, 1998, taking the lives of 32 people. Based
on later analysis and assessment of the damage, the tornado was rated F5 on
the Fujita scale -- the highest rank for a tornado.
"The Lights Went Out" is based on manipulations of a fragment
of an interview taken from an anonymous survivor of the storm. According to
the composer, "The music attempts to evoke some of the paralyzing sounds,
sensations and emotions that one might experience when placed in the path
of such a storm."
"The Lights Went Out" was created in the UI Electronic
Music Studios and in the home studio of the composer.
* * *
PERCUSSIONISTS GET THEIR 'LAST CHANCE' DEC. 12 -- The
fall semester "Last Chance" concert of the University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble
will begin at 8:02 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, making it officially the final concert
of the year -- and of the century -- at the UI School of Music.
The performance, which will be free and open to the public,
will be in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.
The UI Percussion Ensemble presents a "Last Chance" concert
at the end of each semester as one final opportunity for percussion students
to perform the solos and ensemble pieces they have been studying.
Traditionally the "Last Chance" concert is also the last
performance of the semester in the School of Music. When another performance
was scheduled for 8 p.m. on the last Sunday of the semester, Dan Moore, the
Percussion Ensemble's director, didn't want to forfeit his special place in
the School of Music calendar.
"Here at the end of the century and the millennium would
be a bad time to lose our unique spot in the schedule," More said. "We knew
what we had to do, so we'll start our performance a couple of minutes later.
We like to think of it as saving the best for last."
Moore said the program, which usually falls in place
at the last minute, has not been decided yet. "We will feature solos and duos
by outstanding students from the percussion studio who will audition for the
opportunity to play in this last of all 'Last Chance' concerts in the 1900s,"
Formed in 1958, the UI Percussion Ensemble this year celebrates
its 40th anniversary season. The group performs musical styles ranging from
ragtime and jazz to 20th century concert idioms and traditional musical styles
from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. In addition to the standard
percussion repertoire, the ensemble regularly performs the newest music written
by both professional composers and students.
With an extensive array of instruments -- from traditional
drums, xylophones and cymbals to just about anything that can be struck, scraped,
shaken or smashed together -- Percussion Ensemble performances are known for
their variety and fast-paced programming, presented with humor, drama and