CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 16, 2001
Center for New Music will feature works by computer music pioneer James
Dashow April 1
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for New Music will feature
works by guest composer James Dashow, a pioneer in the field of computer music,
on a free concert of music from Italy, at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 1 in Clapp
Recital Hall on the UI campus.
A flexible organization devoted to the presentation of the music of the
past 100 years, the Center for New Music is directed by David Gompper, a faculty
member in the theory and composition area of the UI School of Music. Part
of the UI Division of Performing Arts, the center supports its own performing
ensemble, including both faculty and students of the School of Music.
The April 1 program will include the premiere of Dashows "Far
Sounds, Broken Cries" for 12 instruments and quadraphonic electronic
sounds; performance of a scene for tape alone from "Archimedes -- A Planetarium
Opera," a work in progress that Dashow is composing for performance in
the 2002-2003 season at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Dashows
"Sul Filo Dei Tramonti" (On the edge of sunsets) for soprano, piano
and electronic sounds.
The program will also include two works by other composers: "Manao
Tupapau" (1996) for flute (doubling piccolo, alto flute), percussion
and tape by Mauro Cardi; and "Come vasto labisso" (How vast
the abyss) for violin, percussion and piano by Enrico Correggia.
An American currently living near Rome, Dashow was one of the founders of
the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale (Center for Computerized Sounds) at
the University of Padova, Italy. He has taught at MIT, Princeton University
and in Madrid, and he lectures extensively in the U.S. and Europe. He served
as the first vice-president of the Computer Music Association and was for
many years the producer of a radio program on contemporary music for Italian
He has written theoretical and analytical articles for various professional
publications and is the author of the MUSIC30 language for digital sound synthesis.
His music has been recorded on many different labels. He has received grants
and awards from foundations in the United States and Europe. Most recently,
he was awarded the prestigious Prix Magistere at the 30th Festival International
de Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques (International Festival of Electro-Acoustic
Music and Art) in Bourges, France.
"Archimedes" is based on the life and legends of the great Sicilian
mathematician. Dashow says the score "involves a great deal of electronic
stagecraft, and in particular the immense possibilities of full immersion
in the sights and sounds offered by the latest planetarium technology -- Surround
Sound and Surround Video."
The first scene depicts Archimedes growing up through the first 20 years
of his life. The primary sounds are giggles of all sorts, combined with electronic
sounds, all of which run around the
planetarium dome like groups of children at play. "Try to imagine bunches
of kids, from a few months to a few years to 20 years crawling, toppling over,
running, jumping, hopping, playing, goofing off, wise-cracking and so forth,"
Dashow says that "Far Sounds, Broken Cries" "develops on
a large scale some ideas I had long wanted to work on having to do with the
interactions between a medium-sized ensemble, whose instrumentation offers
a wide variety of sonic possibilities, and multi-channel electronic sound,
where the perceived motion of sound and change in acoustic environment can
become part of the composition."
The title comes from a passage by Thomas Wolfe that catches Dashows
sense of the whole work: "What is this dream of time, this strange and
better miracle of living? Is it to feel, when furious day is done, the evening
hush, the sorrow of lost fading light, far sounds and broken cries, and footsteps,
voices, music, murmurous, immense and mighty in the air?"
"Manao Tupapau" takes its name from a painting by Gauguin, considered
one of his greatest masterpieces. It was painted in 1892, during a happy time
when the painter was living in his hut with his young Tahitian wife Tehura,
immortalized in this and other paintings and in a sculpture.
The work is part of the "Kreisel Variations" project of the Freon
Ensemble (Rome), which develops the theme of the relationship between music
and color. The electronic sounds in the piece are based on the interactions
between instruments and a tape that uses recorded sounds of the same instruments
as in the live ensemble.
Cardi teaches composition at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, Italy,
and is president of Nuovo Consonanza (New Consonance). His works are published
by Casa Ricordi, Italys most prominent music publisher, which recently
dedicated a CD recording to him. The composer of more than 50 works, Cardi
has over the last few years been principally concerned with computer music,
and in his recent works he makes use of technology applied to music. He collaborates
with new music performing groups throughout Europe, where his music is widely
Correggia is a pianist, conductor and composer, who has also earned a law
degree. He taught composition at the Turin Music Conservatory until his retirement
in 1985. At present he devotes himself to composing and concert organization.
He has received many commissions for his works in Europe including one in
1986 from the French Ministry of Culture for his work "Duna" that
was premiered at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The Center for New Music was founded in 1966 with a seed grant from the
Rockefeller Foundation. Its programming has included world premieres as well
as acknowledged contemporary masterworks. In November 1998, an East Coast
tour by the Center included a performance at Merkin Hall in New York City.
Critic Paul Griffiths opened his New York Times review of the Merkin Hall
concert by observing that "an ensemble of faculty and graduate students
from the University of Iowa performed strongly Tuesday night," and he
praised Gompper for "the concerts clarity and directness."
You may see program notes and additional information on the April 1 concert
on the Center for New Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~cnm/.
For information on other UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <email@example.com>.