We are excited to partner with the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance to present this wonderful event as part of St. Petersburg Arts Festival this month! Two of the works employ new original music by local composers Elizabeth A. Baker and Sean Hamilton.
Our Town: A Moving Dance Tour of St. Pete
A project of the St. Pete Dance Alliance and Dance Linkages
September 17, 2017 @ 6:00p
Shuffleboard Courts, and various locations in downtown St. Pete
Our Town is a curated series of original, short, site-specific dance performances that occur in and near multiple historic and iconic locations throughout downtown St. Pete. This performance is presented as part of the SPFestival 16. The audience travels from piece to piece, on a guided, walking tour that begins at the Shuffleboard Courts and ends in the Mural Alley along 6th and 7th Streets. Choreographers include Helen Hansen French, Kellie Harmon, and Andee Scott of the St. Pete Dance Alliance, in addition to Elsa Valbuena, Erin Cardinal, and Alex Jones. Additional collaborators include the New Music Conflagration, with an original music composition by Elizabeth Baker that will be downloaded onto smartphones by audience members on site.
This unique evening of dance performances blends dance, music, art, architecture, and technology, creating moving public art in and around iconic and historic sites in our beautiful city. Produced by the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance and Dance Linkages, with support from the St. Pete Arts Alliance and Creative Pinellas, Our Town invites the audience to engage with dance and their city in new ways.
Our Town begins at the Shuffleboard Courts and additional sites include outside the Mirror Lake Library, Face the Jury, the open-air Post Office, Cycle Brewing, and the mural alley.
Producer: St. Petersburg Dance Alliance and Dance Linkages
Concept and Direction: Andee Scott
Contact: Andee Scott and Helen Hansen French
It is hard to believe that on August 10th 2013, just three short years ago, I was in the first planning meeting for an organization that had been a dream of mine for barely a month. August 10th just happens to be my birthday, and it is fitting that it is the birthday of The New Music Conflagration, Inc., because this organization is more than just a business, it represents a cause near and dear to my heart… the ability to promote contemporary concert music and artists in the community where I was born, raised, and continue to maintain a home-base. The 2016-2017 season of events represents a new era of programming for The NMC.
Mikel Thomas (Interim Artistic Director) and I are excited about the growth of our performance programming, particularly the increased caliber of artists on the schedule and the ambitious nature of repertoire presented. We are happy to have opened up a collaborative partnership with artists in Orlando, which will allow us to present the Belt-Ramirez Duo and a major chamber work of Pierre Boulez this year.
We are also, expanding into new venues, while keeping ties to our old favorites. The St. Petersburg Main Branch Library, remains the hub for a great deal of our programming and The Space at 2106 Main (Thanks to Erica Sutherlin, Jared O’Roark, and Robert Morris for their continued support!) will always be another second home, but we will now host concerts at the St. Pete-Clearwater Airport as well as Bloom Art Center (Special thanks to Mitzi Gordon for making that a reality!) and many other locations throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough, which we are keeping secret for now.
Our collaborative work continues with dancer/choreographer/movement specialist Helen Hansen French in the creation and presentation of new music works with dance. An exciting collaboration on the horizon blends the poetry of local author Maureen McDole, the sonic sensibilities of little old me, and the movement artistry of Helen to create a new work for the Sun Lit Festival in April.
On the educational side, Fofi Panagiotouros and I are proud of the opportunities afforded to K-12 students through integration with the Pinellas County School music programs, as well as the community education initiatives, which are going to be made available to all members of our area no matter what age or artistic stage they may be in at present. A huge part of the 2017 Florida International Toy Piano Festival is a community outreach program, which allows K-12 students to collaborate with professional and emerging artists. Olivia Kieffer, 2017 Composer-In-Residence and Kelly Barefield 2017 Junior Composer-In-Residence, will not only create a series of original works for students to premiere with the professional toy pianists; they will also, interact with the students throughout the fall semester, providing invaluable experience-based learning for students in Pinellas County. A summer community composer Saturday workshop program, culminating in a July 2017 recital, offers the public a chance to explore their musical side, while music history workshops broaden the scope of understanding of the musicians that came before the ones seen on the concert stage today.
Inaugural Florida International Toy Piano Festival Artist-In-Residence, Robert Fleitz, will be joining The NMC as Co-Artistic Director of the Florida International Toy Piano Festival, paving the way for us to work in tandem to present a festival that is centered around the various roles of the toy piano in new music with a fresh line up of performers. Don’t worry! Robert and I will still perform in upcoming toy piano festivals, but we are both excited to highlight new performers that you might not have encountered before! For those composers and performers preparing to submit to the 2018 Florida International Toy Piano Festival, we’re looking for more collaborative works and less toy piano solo pieces, so please keep that in mind!
In three years and two concert seasons we have presented well over 140 works, many of which were World and Florida premieres. We have an archive of works from past open calls that are slowly being integrated into upcoming seasons, which has been a thrilling way of marrying our past with our future. I invite you to check out our current schedule of events, purchase your tickets today, or make a small donation to help us keep this high caliber programming accessible to all members of the public. As of February 2016, The New Music Conflagration, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with a 509(a)(2) public charity status, any donations made to assist us in our mission of presenting new music throughout our community, are tax-deductible.
Here’s to our third concert season and new beginnings! Happy new concert year!
Elizabeth A. Baker
The New Music Conflagration, Inc.
Music for Airports – Indian Harmonium & Cello
25 SEPTEMBER 2016 | FREE
New Music Masterworks – LGBT Composers
30 OCTOBER 2016 | FREE | SUGGESTED $3 DONATION
New Music Masterworks – Vernon Taranto & Students
20 NOVEMBER 2016 | FREE | SUGGESTED $3 DONATION
New Music Masterworks – Traveling Sounds
30 NOVEMBER 2016 | FREE
Elizabeth A. Baker – Creating A Toy Piano Method
31 DECEMBER 2016 | FREE
Florida International Toy Piano Festival – Outreach Concert
5 JANUARY 2017 | FREE | SUGGESETED $5 DONATION
Tiny Keys, Tiny Lectures
6 JANUARY 2017 | FREE
The Toy Piano as Compositional Tool
6 JANUARY 2017 | FREE
Elizabeth A. Baker (toy piano, electronics, Indian harmonium)
6 JANUARY 2017 | $10.00 GENERAL ADMISSION
Florida International Toy Piano Festival – Composers Concert #1
7 JANUARY 2017 | FREE
Florida International Toy Piano Festival – Composers Concert #2
7 JANUARY 2017 | $10.00 GENERAL ADMISSION
TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED FROM THE SPACE @ 2106 MAIN
Florida International Toy Piano Festival – Toy Piano Collaborations
7 JANUARY 2017 | $10.00 GENERAL ADMISSION
TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED FROM THE SPACE @ 2106 MAIN
Florida International Toy Piano Festival – Toy Piano Collaborations
8 JANUARY 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $3 DONATION
New Music Masterworks – Le marteau sans maître by Pierre Boulez
12 FEBRUARY 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $7 DONATION
New Music Masterworks – Eastman & Hailstork – African American Composers
26 FEBRUARY 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $3 DONATION
Music History Workshop – Forbidden Music
11 MARCH 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $10 DONATION
New Music Masterworks – Women Composers
19 MARCH 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $3 DONATION
New Music Masterworks – Bureaucracy & Procedure
18 APRIL 2017 | FREE
New Music Masterworks – Erich Bargainer – Circuit Bridges
30 APRIL 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $5 DONATION
New Music Masterworks – Belt-Ramirez Guitar & Oboe Duo
21 MAY 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $7 DONATION
Composer Workshop – Electronic & Electro-Acoustic Works
10 JUNE 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $10 DONATION
Composer Workshop – Solo Instruments
17 JUNE 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $10 DONATION
Music History Workshop – Forbidden Music Continued
24 JUNE 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $10 DONATION
Saturday Composer Workshop Recital
16 JULY 2017 | FREE | SUGGESTED $3 DONATION
December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993
While Frank Zappa is widely remembered for his work in the rock and jazz world, Zappa had quite the career as a composer of avant-garde music, with performances conducted by new music champions such as Pierre Boulez and Peter Rundel. Zappa was greatly influenced by the composer Iannis Xenakis as a child and though he never graduated from a college music program, he showed expertise in contrapuntal writing as evidenced by his Synclavier album in a “new baroque” style. We couldn’t just choose five albums by Zappa to highlight his prowess as a composer of new music, so we are sharing several of them with you this week!
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 21, 1940, Frank Zappa was largely a self-taught musician, whose 30-year career embraced a wide variety of musical genres, encompassing rock, jazz, synth and symphonies. Avant-garde composers, as well as math and chemistry from his father’s work, all fell into Zappa’s mix of influences and comprised his unique approach to his art, coupled with a flouting of convention. Zappa also directed films, designed album covers and spoke about social issues. Although his unconventional aspect often overshadowed his brilliance, Zappa is highly respected as a musical pioneer. He died from prostate cancer on December 4, 1993, at age 52. – Biography.com
The New Music Conflagration, Inc. is proud to announce that Olivia Kieffer will be our Composer-In-Residence for the 2017 Florida International Toy Piano Festival. You may remember Olivia as a participant at the inaugural festival in January 2016, and since that time Olivia has done a great deal to further integrate toy piano into her compositional process as well as her performance practice. In addition to her own residency goals, Olivia will be working closely with local music students to create a series of new works to be premiered during the festival but will also, teach the children about the process of creating a work and seeing it through production. The New Music Conflagration, Inc. is excited about this invaluable opportunity for area students to work with and be inspired by another world class musician!
Olivia Kieffer is a composer, percussionist, and educator from Wisconsin. She is an active performer and composer in Atlanta’s New Music scene, and has been hailed as “A vibrant, energetic, and passionate” musician. She performs with with the Terminus Ensemble, Bent Frequency, amplified toy piano trio (tink tink tink), sax/percussion duo Bonebreaker, and is composer/bandleader/drummer for the 7-piece chamber rock group Clibber Jones Ensemble.
She is Percussion Instructor at Reinhardt University, where she teaches Applied Lessons and a variety of music classes, in addition to directing the Reinhardt University Percussion Ensemble. Her degrees in Percussion Performance are from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with the Allen Otte of the Percussion Group Cincinnati, and Georgia State University with Stockhausen specialist and New Music champion Stuart Gerber.
She feels at home in both the classical and rock worlds, and can be heard as composer or performer (or both!) on recordings by Amy O’Dell, the Georgia Brass Band, Tay0, GremlinsDuo, and Clibber Jones Ensemble. She is on the Board of Directors at Eyedrum Music & Art Gallery. Olivia’s compositions and projects have been highlighted in ArtsAtl, TomTom Magazine, the Atlanta Creative Music podcast, the A/B Duo blog, New Music Conflagration, Music, Polyphony, and Polyrhythm, listening to ladies, Composer’s Circle, and WABE (90.1FM).
Keyboards in all their varieties are her favorite instruments to compose for, which has flourished during her time working closely with composer and pianist William Susman. Her most recent project is “The Texture of Activity”, a book of 55 toy piano miniatures, each one dedicated to a friend. Her obsession with the toy piano as both an instrument and a compositional tool grew during the period of writing these pieces. She arranged 10 of the “Texture of Activity” pieces into a book of progressively difficult vibraphone solos, called “10 Short Pieces for Solo Vibraphone.” Olivia’s music has been called “honest, to the point, and joyful!”
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
April 30, 1939 – Miami, FL, USA
“ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH, Francis Eppes Distinguished Professor, is widely considered to be one of America’s leading composers. She studied at the Florida State University and the Juilliard School, where her major teachers were Roger Sessions and Elliott Carter. She also studied violin with Richard Burgin and Ivan Galamian and was a member of the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski.
Zwilich is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in Music (the first woman ever to receive this coveted award). She was elected to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters and, in 1995, was named to the first Composer’s Chair in the history of Carnegie Hall. Musical America designated her the 1999 Composer of the Year. A prolific composer in all media except opera, Zwilich has produced four symphonies and other orchestral essays, numerous concertos for a wide variety of solo instruments, and a sizable canon of chamber and recital pieces. Her works are commissioned and played regularly by the leading orchestras and ensembles throughout the world.
Many of her works have been issued on recordings, and Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (8th edition) states: “There are not many composers in the modern world who possess the lucky combination of writing music of substance and at the same time exercising an immediate appeal to mixed audiences. Zwilich offers this happy combination of purely technical excellence and a distinct power of communication.” – from Florida State University
Our next New Music On A Sunday Afternoon will feature collaborations by current and former University of South Florida graduates. Get to know a little about them as we feature some of their work until the concert in June!
Eli Ponder-Twardy is a recent graduate of the University of South Florida, from which he holds a degree is in jazz performance. Eli has been a featured artist nationally, at USF’s 2015 New Music Festival and The Venture Compound’s: We Are Jazz Series, and, internationally, at the La Spezzia, Vienne, and Umbria Jazz festivals in Italy and France respectively. Tampa composers Nathan Corder, Susanna Hancock, and Paul Lewis have all dedicated pieces to Eli during his time in Florida. Eli hales from rural northern Alabama, and, from an early age, has been drawn to the arts because of their ability to build community. In Tampa, Eli has undertaken organizational work with organizations that seek to do just that, including the Hillsborough County Arts Council in Tampa, Urban Conga, and College of The Arts Council at USF. In 2015, Eli was awarded a Fulbright study grant to study in Leeds, England. Through studying modern arts administration infrastructure in the UK, and the illustrious Arts Council of England, Eli plans on using this experience to gain necessary to advocate for community building through the arts upon his return to the United States.
Our next New Music On A Sunday Afternoon will feature collaborations by current and former University of South Florida graduates. Get to know a little about them as we feature some of their work each week until the concert in June!
Brett Copeland is a graduate student at the University of South Florida pursuing an M.M. degree in both Tuba Performance and Electro-acoustic Composition. His primary teachers are Jay Hunsberger, principal tubist of the Sarasota Orchestra and professor at USF, and Dr. Baljinder Sekhon, professor of composition at USF. Brett received his undergraduate degree in Music Technology from the University of Northern Iowa where he studied with Dr. Jeffrey Funderburk and Sandy Nordahl. Brett is primarily an electronic and electro-acoustic composer. He recently collaborated with student dancers, engineers, visual artists as a part of a campus wide performing and visual art festival at the University of South Florida. Brett’s electronic compositions have performed at the University of Northern Iowa’s Gallery of Art, USF’s Contemporary Art Museum, the USF Centre Gallery, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and his composition Dérive was selected to be performed at the Collective Soles spring 2015 dance concert in a collaboration with dancer Jacqueline Dugal. In addition to electronic compositions Brett has achieved success with his acoustic compositions. His piece, “Charmer” for solo guitar was selected to be performed by Rodrigo Baggio as a part of the Vox Nous Fifteen Minutes of Fame series.
As a performer Brett actively seeks out new-music to perform on tuba and he is the current President of the New Music Consortium at USF. Recently, Brett was asked to be a performing artist at the first ever Electrobrass Conference, held at the University of Alabama, where he performed electro-acoustic works by young and upcoming composers along with his own compositions.