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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 17, 2008

Electronic Music Studios present music by faculty, students and alumni Nov. 1

Works by faculty, students, alumni and a guest will be on the program when the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios (EMS) present a free concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in the Auditorium of the UI Becker Communications Studies Building (BCSB).

Because of the closure of the Voxman Music Building following the record floods in June, the School of Music does not have access to many of its usual performance venues during the 2008-09 season. The electronic music studios have been relocated to BCSB, which will also provide a performance venue for the studios.

The concert will open with "Life Drawing" for flute and electronics by Lawrence Fritts, the director of the EMS. Fritts said that the compositional process for "Life Drawing" originated with the physical sound of the flute. The instrument was digitally analyzed and various sonic features were extracted and compositionally manipulated." "Life-Drawing" was written for former School of Music faculty member Tadeu Coelho, to whom the work is dedicated.

A second piece for flute and electronics on the program is "Respiration" by UI doctoral student Chris Shortway. Similar to Fritts' score, the electronic sounds in "Respiration" were created from recordings of the flute so as to extend and complement the live flute.

Other works on the program are for stereo electronics. The first of these is "Situational Resonance" by UI alumna Rachel Foote. Currently an active-duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard, Foote is also the assistant editor of events for Journal SEAMUS, published by the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States.

"Situational Resonance" is an exploration of the soundscape genre of electro-acoustic music. It is also an escape from reality into an illusory environment centered on trains, birds and water.

UI alumnus John Ritz is the composer of "In the Very Eye of Night." Although Ritz's work often focuses primarily upon chamber music for instruments and interactive computer systems, "In the Very Eye of Night" is for stereo electronics without acoustic performance.

A widely known electro-acoustic composer, Ritz has received recognitions for his work from the ASCAP/Morton Gould Composer Awards, the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition, the 21st Century Piano Commission Competition, the Forum Biennial Musiques en Scène and the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States. The recipient of numerous commissions, he has had music performed throughout the United States, in France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Canada and Chile.

The program will conclude with work of a world-renowned composer in this genre, Eric Chasalow. The EMS will present "Left to His Own Devices," which was composed in 2003 and has been one of the composer's most enduring successes.

"Left to His Own Devices" was inspired by, and named after, a piece for tape and violin that the composer Milton Babbitt didn't write, which was to have been titled "Left to My Own Devices." As Chasalow explained it, "'In Left To His Own Devices' I have combined archival interviews with Milton Babbitt that go back as far as the 1960's with a virtual RCA synthesizer of my own creation.

"This has allowed me to write music that draws on quotations from Babbitt's instrumental music but to have it 'performed' by the sounds of the RCA. The text is my own composite of phrases that some of us have heard Milton speak many times over the years. In the best tradition of text-setting, I have tried to intensify these phrases by building a dramatic, musical structure both from them and around them."

Earlier this fall, the UI Center for New Music presented Chasalow's multimedia chamber opera, "The Puzzle Master." Chasalow's work has been performed throughout the world. Since 1990 he has been a member of the faculty at Brandeis University, where he directs the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio. He produces the biennial BEAMS Electronic Music Marathon, on the Boston CyberArts Festival. For more:

As director of the EMS, Fritts has brought the latest generation of technologies to the studios, assuring that students working in the EMS 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 around the United States and have been broadcast in the United States and Europe. See or

The EMS has been part of the composition program of the UI School of Music for more than 30 years. It is currently directed by Lawrence Fritts, who teaches a two-semester course covering various ways that composers can approach the media of electronic and computer music.

More information on the EMS is available on their Web page,

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 and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),