toy piano

2018 Florida International Toy Piano Festival Resident Artists

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The 2018 Florida International Toy Piano Festival features the inauguration of the first performing artist residency in the City of St. Petersburg, FL. Two festival alumni were chosen by The New Music Conflagration, Inc.’s Executive Director (Elizabeth A. Baker) and Co-Artistic Director (Mikel Thomas) and five more were chosen from an open call for proposals. The artist residents will live in cabins on the Pioneer Settlement side of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve for a week (January 2-8, 2018) during which time they will engage with the local community through public performances, open workshops, school visits, and lectures. The artist residents will also, spend time exploring the nature preserve and create new works influenced by their local experiences.

2018 Pioneer Settlement Artists-In-Residence
Melissa Grey & David Morneau – l’Artiste ordinaire (NYC)
Cindy Giron (The Hague, The Netherlands)
Daniel Fawcett & Li Tao – TATAT Ensemble (Chicago, IL & Eugene, OR)
Jonathan Hannau & Kelley Sheehan – Plucky Plunkers (Chicago, IL)

This program has been made possible by: The New Music Conflagration, Inc.; The City of Saint Petersburg, Florida; The Florida Department for Cultural Affairs; The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance; and Creative Pinellas.

02_lAo_photo_by_Rachel_Cheetham-Richard.jpgMelissa Grey & David Morneau – l’Artiste ordinaire (NYC)

Established in January 2016, l’Ao is a collaborative partnership between composer- performers Melissa Grey & David Morneau. They have three expansive projects: MOTHER, a love letter to the ocean, a hand-made card from her grateful children; Photon Ecstasy, a growing catalog of compositions that engages music, sound, science fiction, and interactive light to address the hubris of certainty; and Soft Series, a concert series dedicated to presenting soft premieres. These projects allow l’Ao to collaborate and connect with musicians, artists, engineers, scientists, and designers. For MOTHER, they have been selected as the 2018 Toy Piano Pioneer Resident Artists at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. The premiere of Photon Ecstasy was commissioned by the University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center in conjunction with the exhibition of Dan Rose’s artist books, Plaisirs Arbitraires | Arbitrary Pleasures. New York Arts wrote that with repeated listenings “there’s more to be moved and impressed by, to learn from [Photon Ecstasy].” Their first collaboration, Gadget Berry Dimple: A Glossary of False Translation (benjolin, Merlin, spoken word), was performed for Hans Tammen’s 100th Anniversary of Dada at Spectrum NYC and has been published by Circumference journal, which supports poetry in translation. artisteordinaire.org

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Cindy Giron (The Hague, The Netherlands)

Cindy Giron is a composer, performer, and educator based in Boston and The Netherlands. Intrigued by silences, textures, journeys, contrasts, and conversations, her music explores all instrumentations from solo, chamber, orchestral, electronic compositions, all the way to merging different art forms, sometimes creating installations. As a 2014 First Music winner, Giron was commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony for Nelumbo, an orchestral piece with a premiere at Carnegie Hall and the United Palace Theater in New York City. Other collaborations include having not forgotten, a solo percussion piece commissioned by Gavin Ryan with a premiere in Provo, Utah and Gothenburg, Sweden. This year, Giron collaborated with the contemporary Dutch ensemble Kluster5 for the creation of her new chamber ensemble piece oNo, and also received a commission from St. Petersburg, Florida’s RogueDance Collective for her piece hu-nature, an electronic track accompanying excerpts, a newly choreographed work. Past travels and collaborations include participation as a composition fellow at Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA (2014), Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music in Germany (summer 2014 and 2016), and the Impuls International Ensemble and Composers Academy in Graz, Austria (2015). At Impuls, Giron created her first installation Friluftsliv, in collaboration with cinematographer Toshiki Yashiro. This past year, Giron also participated as a composer and performer at Co-Incidence, an experimental music residency in Somerville, MA during January 2017. At Co-Incidence, Giron premiered her mono-drama i-4-1-2 for electronics, video, lights, voice and metal objects. It was during this time that she also created a new installation Blanket for performers, fabric and movement. Recent performances include participation at the 2017 Wave Field Synthesis Festival in Den Haag, Netherlands, the Third Life Studio in Somerville, MA. Giron holds a Bachelors of Music from Manhattan School of Music, a Masters in Music Theory and Composition from NYU Steinhardt, and is currently studying her second Masters Degree in Music Composition with Practice-Based Research and a minor in Contemporary Piano Performance at The Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, Netherlands. cindygiron.com

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Daniel Fawcett & Li Tao – TATAT Ensemble (Chicago, IL & Eugene, OR)

Tatat Ensemble is an ensemble dedicated to the performance of new music by living composers. Founded in 2017 by Li Tao and Daniel Fawcett, they have sought to combine their interests in theater, poetry, electronic media and visual art to create unique concert experiences for their audiences. They actively try and create large concert length works often implementing lesser-known, self-created musical instruments. Additionally, they seek to encourage artists of all fields to help them build an active repertoire for rarities such the as toy piano, theremin, music boxes and more. Currently, they have an ongoing project currently taking place through various social medias entitled #picturethis where they are asking both musicians and non-musicians alike to submit graphic scores for them to interpret. They hope this will bring forth more active participation and greater interest in new music. tatatensemble.com

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Jonathan Hannau & Kelley Sheehan – Plucky Plunkers (Chicago, IL)

Plucky Plunkers has ambiguous beginnings and ambiguous endings. Touting the banner as Chicago’s best and only toy piano duo they seek to engage audiences in riveting concerts that have been described as, “Pretty cool I guess”, and “Yea it was fun to listen to”. They collaborate regularly with composers in and around the city and seek to push the toy piano medium to some arbitrarily high level through eclectic programming and death defying stunts. Jonathan is a proud Schoenhut artist who plays with not one but two upright toy pianos each with it’s own unique sound. His comrade Kelley is a proud BC toy piano artist who plays on a two and a half octave baby grand. Unfortunately because of their own pride and hubris it has created a heavy rivalry in the group due to their concepts of what model is better. It should be noted that both were paid heavily by each company to say that theirs is better. They are currently in the process of planning their second show “The meme show”. pluckyplunkers.com

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Our Third Concert Season & New Beginnings!

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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

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.

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Belt-Ramirez Duo

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.

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Helen Hansen French Photo by Nick Gallina

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.

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Fofi Panagiotouros – Director of Community Outreach

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.

Robert Fleitz performing at Florida International Toy Piano Festival January 8 2016 at The Space at 2106 Main
Robert Fleitz – Co-Artistic Director – Florida International Toy Piano Festival

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!

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Cosmic Dreams Septet – World Premiere July 2014

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!

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth A. Baker

Executive Director
The New Music Conflagration, Inc.

 

 

FULL SEASON INFORMATION HERE

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

 

Olivia Kieffer – Composer-In-Residence – 2017 Florida International Toy Piano Festival

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KiefferToyPianoThe 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!”

oliviakieffer.com