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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 21, 2007

Composers Workshop will present new works by UI graduate students Dec. 2

The Composers Workshop from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a concert of new works by graduate composition majors at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in Clapp Recital Hall.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

One of the main showcases for students in the composition program, the Composers Workshop presents concerts of new works each semester. The program is open to any composition student at the UI, from the undergraduate through the doctoral level. Performances typically feature faculty, student and guest performers in a wide variety of performance media.

The program for the concert will present works for small instrumental chamber ensembles, a choral piece, and two electroacoustic works -- one for CD playback and one with video. The performers are University of Iowa music students as well.

The complete program will comprise nine new works:

--"Song Cycle for Haruki Murakami" by Matthew Dotson, with video by Bart Woodstrup: This score is based on four quotes from a novel by Murakami that are combined with ambient recordings made around the composer's apartment in Chicago. Several instrumental soloists are added to the recorded sounds.

--"Evenly-Spaced Insanity" for solo tuba by John Griffin, which has three contrasting movements. It was written for tubist Karl Zelle, a senior tuba performance major in the School of Music, who will perform the piece.

--"Mirror" for oboe and bassoon by Carlos Cuellar.

--"Colloquy" for flute and percussion by Seth Custer.

--"Moon Tracks" for percussion by David DeVasto, which was inspired by recently published pictures of the Martian landscape.

--"Bella Ladrona" (Beautiful thief) for two guitars by Timothy A. Davis. The composer writes, "The title of the piece carries a number of personal meanings, ranging from the Latin flavor of the fast section of the piece to my apologies for writing yet another tango piece for the guitar."

--"Dialectical opposition(s)," an electroacoustic work by George Marie. The composer defines "dialectical opposition" as "wherein progress, change, or some desired resultant is obtained through antagonisms or other types of opposition applied to matter, ideas, values, emotions, etc.," and says that is an intrinsic component of his musical thought.

--"A la Luz de los Oropesantes-Luceros," a setting of a poem by Miguel Ángel Asturias for baritone and guitar, composed by Zachary Fischer. The composer writes that the text is "a surreal evocation of the creation, destruction, and subsequent rebirth of artists by the Mayan gods. (It) deals with the perpetual struggle to express the sublime, and reminds us that art is wrought from our humanity."

--"Ads" for vocal quartet by Lieschen Mast is a light-spirited work that was derived from actual newspaper advertisements collected throughout the past summer.

The Composers Workshop is a collaborative project between composers and performers in the UI School of Music. It is devoted to the performance of music written at the UI and aims to foster greater co-operation and interplay between composers and performers in the Iowa City area. The workshop is directed by David Gompper, professor of music in the Theory and Composition Department of the School of Music and director of the Center for New Music.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: David Gompper, School of Music,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),