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Release: March 30, 2001

UI Electronic Music Studios present music from Iowa, France and Italy April 12

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios will present a joint international exchange concert in cooperation with music conservatories in Perpignan, France, and Trieste, Italy, at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Students of composers Lawrence Fritts from Iowa, Denis Dufour from Perpignan and Roberto Doati from Trieste will present their new electroacoustic works on the concert, which will be free and open to the public. The same program will be repeated in France later in April and in Italy in May.

Fritts, Dufour, and Doati are leading figures in electroacoustic music composition. Dufour hosts the yearly International Festival d’Arts Acousmatique, and Fritts and Doati are releasing a new compact disc of their recent electroacoustic works this spring.

The works by Iowa composers on the program will be: "Pet Sounds" by graduate student Rob Bennett, "Mushrooms for Supper: Dinner With John Cage" by UI graduate student Michael Cash, and "Flutter Horizon" by UI undergraduate student John Ritz.

The French and Italian works on the program will be selected by Dufour and Doati.

"Pet Sounds" was created in Bennett’s home studio between summer and fall of 2000. All sounds in the piece originate from one of approximately twenty short sounds that were made by Bennett’s cat, Champ, and captured onto Minidisc.

"Mushrooms for Supper: Dinner With John Cage" was written entirely within the UI Electronic Music Studios. It takes its title from 20th-century American composer John Cage, who was known for his taste in mushrooms. Cage was known for making use of ambient noise in his compositions, and he once said that he thought the noises of a restaurant -- plates and silverware clashing, talking, and so forth -- were like music to him. In that spirit Cash used the sound of a silver dinner fork as the source of the sonic material for his composition.

"Flutter Horizon" was inspired by "Plucked Ascension," a photograph by artist Sarah Shepherd that portrays an extreme emotional state. The image documents the mind’s ability to visualize mental and physical escape. "By creating a state of agitation and tension," Ritz explained, "‘Flutter Horizon’ attempts to create a context that allows the mind to enter this unproven orientational state aurally."

The Electronic Music Studios have been part of the composition program at the UI School of Music for more than 30 years. By offering a traditional emphasis on the compositional aspects of electronic media, the studios have helped prepare Iowa’s graduates for composing, research and teaching careers at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Director Lawrence Fritts has brought the latest generation of technologies to the studios. Students and faculty now have access to three multiple-platform workstations that integrate SGI, Kyma, and Macintosh digital audio technology. Carefully maintained Moog, Arp and EMS analog synthesizers, along with other analog processing and control devices from the past 30 years, have also been integrated into the new systems to ensure that Iowa’s composers have the broadest possible range of technologies available as compositional tools.

Fritts is a leading figure in electronic and acousmatic music. His works have been performed in Chicago by the Contemporary Chamber Players, the University of Chicago New Music Ensemble, New Music De Paul and New Music Chicago. His electronic works have also been featured in a series of concerts at Columbia College and have been broadcast in the United States and Europe. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Company about the history of electronic music.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at The Electronic Music Studios web page is located at

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