Recent Faculty Activities

EMHIowa faculty have recently been active in publishing scholarship, presenting papers, and developing new pedagogies. Christine Getz’s “Canonizing San Carlo: Sermonizing, the Sounding Word, and Image Construction in the Polyphony for San Carlo,” was published in the 2015 edition of Early Music History. This essay examines the role of the hymns, the sacred polyphony by Vincenzo Pellegrini and Andrea Cima, and the spiritual madrigals of Giovanni Battista Porta in promoting the officially sanctioned image of Carlo Borromeo after his elevation to the status of ‘beato’ and following his canonisation.

9780199321285Trevor Harvey’s chapter, “Avatar Rockstars: Constructing Musical Personae in Virtual Worlds,” about music in Second Life, was just published in The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality, edited by Sheila Whiteley and Shara Rambarran.

 

Booklet.qxd The CD, Brazilian Dreams: Music of Michael Eckert, was released in the fall of 2015 on MSR Classics MS1549. It includes Three Chôros, Three Pieces in Brazilian Style, Three for the Road, Three Scenes (Amanda McCandless, clarinet; Polina Khatsko, piano); Three Tangos, and Three Pieces for Two Pianos (The Unison Duo). Michael Eckert has also published a review of Ben Earle, Luigi Dallapiccola and Musical Modernism in Fascist Italy in The Journal of Musicological Research 34 (2015): 352-354.

main-qimg-c771a5403bc222f78ac025aece5e14f9Jennifer Iverson gave a talk in January 2016 at CCRMA, The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University, one of the foremost computer-music centers in the world. The talk, “Invisible Collaboration: The Dawn of Electronic Music at the WDR” is available on YouTube.

Tom_Quad_9139In January, Marian Wilson Kimber presented a paper, “Women’s Musical Readings and the Canon: Genre, Performance, and the ‘Work’ Concept,” at an interdisciplinary conference, Women and the Canon, at Christ Church, Oxford University. The paper explored the historical position of a rare women’s genre, the musical reading, for spoken word and piano.

Matthew Arndt was awarded an Innovations in Teaching with Technology Award from Iowa’s College and Liberal Arts and Sciences for his project, “New Tools for Musicianship and Theory Pedagogy,” which enhances undergraduate theory pedagogy through a program called SmartMusic and an app, Anki.

 

 

Christopher Jette Joins Faculty as Grant Wood Fellow

Composer Christopher Jette is joining us this year as a Grant Wood Fellow.  Jette considers himself “a curator of lovely sounds” and has a special focus on the artistic possibilities at the intersection of human performers/creators and technological tools. Jette’s personal website contains videos, scores, and many sound samples of his work, like video included below of his recent electro-acoustic work utuquq (2014) for piano, kinect sensor, and live electronics. Characteristic of Jette’s multifaceted aesthetics, utuquq draws together recorded walrus sounds, the ridge lines of the White Mountains, and technological processes controlled by human gestures. In addition to creating new work, he will direct the Laptop Orchestra of the University of Iowa (see the earlier post about LOUI here). Jette will also teach Composition, Composition Seminar, and co-teach Collaborative Performance with faculty from the Department of Dance.

Welcome Professor Jette!

Faculty Summer Research 2015

Musicology, Music Theory, and Composition faculty members have been hard at work during the summer months developing their scholarly and creative projects.

Ananuri, Georgia

Ananuri

Matthew Arndt (Music Theory) went on a trip to Georgia in order to learn more about Georgian music. In particular, Dr. Arndt took a Cultural Heritage Tour through western Georgia led by John Graham, an expert on Georgian music. He heard lots of folk and sacred music, and obtained various chant books and recordings. The picture at the left shows Ananuri, a castle on the Aragvi River in Georgia.

Michael Eckert (Composition and Theory) is celebrating the release of his new CD Brazilian Dreams: Music of Michael Eckert. The album features Dr. Eckert’s original compositions in the chôro style with performers the Unison Piano Duo, Amanda McCandless (clarinet), and Polina Khatsko (piano). A genre of Brazilian popular music that developed in Rio de Janeiro in the late nineteenth century, chôro has its roots in a performance style for social dances such as the polka, mazurka, waltz, and maxixe, combining harmonic and formal features of European music with Afro-Brazilian rhythms. The album is available on the MSR Classics website and on Amazon now (MS 1549), with the retail release scheduled for October 2015.

Lawrence Fritts (Composition) is performing micro-surgery on up-close recordings of a male theatre student’s dramatic speaking voice for a new piece.  He is also supervising a $70,000 major upgrade to the University of Iowa’s Electronic Music Studios, which are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

Christine Getz (Musicology) spent significant time this summer doing archival research in Milan, Italy. There, she promoted her book chapter titled “Music in the 16th and 17th Centuries” in a history volume, A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Milan: The Distinctive Features of an Italian State, edited by Andrea Gamerini and published by Brill, a publishing house known for its international focus. A formal, televised presentation of the book was held on June 8 at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, a historic library in Milan. A panel of well-known historians discussed the importance of the book and its content. The two chapters on music, one of which was penned by Getz, were among those discussed at length by the Italian intellectuals.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam

Jennifer Iverson (Music Theory) spent five weeks abroad in April and May, visiting Cologne, Kuerten, Basel, Amsterdam, and The Hague. Dr. Iverson is researching a book about the WDR electronic music studio, and its impacts on the Darmstadt avant-garde in the 1950s-60s. This involves studying correspondence, sketches, and scores from archives such as the Stockhausen Foundation (Kuerten) and the Paul Sacher Foundation (Basel). A highlight of the trip was a lengthy formal interview with Gottfried Michael Koenig, a pioneer of electronic and computer music. Koenig served as the technician for Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge as well as many other of the early WDR works, and then expertly led the electronic and computer music innovations at the Institute of Sonology in the Netherlands for more than twenty years. The interview will be published in issue 276 of Tempo. The picture at the left shows the canals of Amsterdam.

Platte at the British Library

British Library

Nathan Platte‘s (Musicology) summer activities included a trip to Los Angeles, where he visited UCLA’s Special Collections and the Margaret Herrick Library to conduct research on film composer Max Steiner’s early years in Hollywood. In July Dr. Platte participated in an international conference at the British Library that investigated the opportunities and challenges facing researchers working in audio-visual archives. The program included presentations, round-table discussions, and film screenings. An interview with film composer Ilan Eshkeri about his score for Still Alice (2014) included live performances by the piano quartet heard on the film’s soundtrack. Dr. Platte served on the conference’s program committee, shared a research paper about Max Steiner’s savvy navigation of the Hollywood studio system, and offered a position paper during the round-table discussion. The picture at the left shows Platte at the British Library.

Zack Stanton (Composition and Theory) has been working on a commission for the Midfest Band Festival at the University of Georgia. It is an honor band festival that takes place in December for the best middle school bands in that region. Lest you think that a middle school band piece is a piece of cake, Stanton reports, “You can’t imagine how difficult it is to write for middle schoolers.” Dr. Stanton also is hard at work on two future commissions from solo performers.

Marian Wilson Kimber (Musicology) received a second (!) publication subvention for her forthcoming book, Feminine Entertainments: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word (University of Illinois Press), from the AMS 75 PAYS Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Wilson Kimber’s new article, “Ringing Bells in Accompanied Recitation and Musical Melodrama,” appears in The Hidden Soundtrack of the Long Nineteenth Century, special issue of Journal of Musicological Research 34, no. 3 (2015): 249–265. The article describes how, due to the prevalence of bells in poetry performed by late-nineteenth-century elocutionists, melodramatic compositions frequently included bell sounds to create poetic meanings surrounding the passage of time, religious rituals, and death.

Summer Produce

Produce, as in produce research! The faculty at the University of Iowa use the time away from teaching during the summer to make rapid progress on research projects, when there is more time for intensive archival research, analysis, composition, and writing. Here are some of the things the musicology, theory, and composition faculty have been working on in summer 2014:

In June, musicologist Marian Wilson Kimber presented a paper, “Hymnody, Dance, and the Sacred in the Illustrated Song” at the 18th Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music at the University of Toronto, Canada.  The paper, regarding the pantomimic posing of American women to hymn tunes, ca. 1880-1920, is related to the book she completed this summer, tentatively titled, Feminine Entertainments: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word.

Composer Zack Stanton spent a month in Austin, Texas sketching out a new piece for narrator and wind ensemble, which memorializes legendary Texas football coach Darrell Royal (1924-2012). He has also just received a new commission from the Milliken University Percussion Ensemble for a piece to be premiered in April 2015. In October, Zack will travel to Los Angeles to hear a premiere of his work at the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers Conference. The work, Scenic Route, will be performed by pianist Paul Barnes, who commissioned Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Barnes will perform Scenic Route again in April 2015 at Symphony Space in New York.

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

Theorist Jennifer Iverson spent five weeks in Germany and Switzerland, undertaking archival research relating to early electronic music. She began at the archive of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. She then visited the Stockhausen Stiftung in Kürten, Germany, making time for a trip to the rural cathedral Altenberger Dom where Stockhausen received his first communion. Here she also met with Gottfried Michael Koenig, one of the few surviving members of the so-called “Darmstadt” group of composers and an expert on early electronic music at the WDR. She spent time at the historical archives of the WDR (Westdeutsche Rundfunk, or West German Radio). Jennifer ended the trip in Basel, where she visited the Paul Sacher Stiftung for the third time, and focused on correspondence between Pousseur, Stockhausen, Boulez, and Eimert. The trip was funded via an AHI (Arts and Humanities Initiative) grant from the University of Iowa.

Composer Aaron Perrine (PhD, composition, 2014) wins prestigious Sousa-Ostwald Award

Aaron Perrine–who successfully defended his dissertation and graduated with a Ph.D. in composition in Spring 2014–recently won the prestigious Sousa-Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association for his 2013 wind ensemble composition Pale Blue On Deep. The award, which carries a cash prize of $5,000, is a highly selective honor that places Perrine in the company of some of the most accomplished wind ensemble composers active today, including John Mackey, Michael Daugherty, Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, Anthony Iannaccone, Yo Goto, and Michael Gandolfi.

Perrine, who is a previous winner of the also highly competitive Outstanding TA Award from the University of Iowa, will begin a tenure-track job as Assistant Professor at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa in Fall 2014.
Congratulations on your many successes, Aaron!!

Anne of Green Gables and the Lost Art of Recitation


Marian Wilson Kimber has recently written about the role of poetic recitation in concert life at Musicology Now, the blog of the American Musicological Society.  Wilson Kimber has also been posting materials from the history of elocution on her tumblr, Elocutionary Arts. Follow her on Twitter: @MWilsonKimber.

Nathan Platte to lead film music workshop

In late October Nathan Platte will join forces with Colin Roust (Roosevelt University) at the College Music Society in Cambridge, Mass., where they will lead a pre-conference pedagogy workshop on film music. From there Nathan will travel to Syracuse University to participate in the “Belfer Audio Archive at 50” Symposium. The weekend includes performances, screenings, lectures, and guest appearances by the Kronos Quartet and music writer Alex Ross (The New Yorker). Nathan will give introductory remarks before a double feature of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Spellbound (1945). He will also present a paper that explores the use of preview scores or “temp tracks” in both films.

http://www.music.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1453&Itemid=1238

http://library.syr.edu/belfer/programs/belferat50/events/index.php

Jennifer Iverson recently presents at the 2013 Ligeti Symposium and Festival

Jennifer Iverson recently presented “Ligeti and the Evolution of Klangfarbenmelodie” at the 2013 Ligeti Symposium and Festival. The paper traces the dual lineages for the reception history of “sound-color-melody”, from Schoenberg and Webern through Adorno to Ligeti. A notable scholar and analyst in his own right, Ligeti both received and advanced the discourse around Klangfarbenmelodie in his scholarship and in his compositions. Iverson’s analysis shows that Ligeti used a rather Schoenbergian notion of Klangfarbenmelodie in Lontano (1967) while he developed ideas from the mid-century discourse around Webern’s music in the opening of the Cello Concerto (1966). Celebrating the 90th year of Ligeti’s birth, the festival brought together leading scholars, performers, and enthusiasts of his music.

Marian Wilson Kimber gives talk for opening meeting of the Beethoven Club

On October 3, musicologist Marian Wilson Kimber gave a talk on the siblings Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn for the opening meeting of the Beethoven Club in Cedar Rapids.  The club’s theme for the year is “Musical Families.”

Wilson Kimber has also published an article about Carl Davis’s score for the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance. [http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Article,id=16232/].  In September she attended the Minneapolis general meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America, which celebrated the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel.