Composition submissions for Exchange concerts at UC-Boulder Feb. 23, 2013

University of Iowa
Composition submissions for Exchange concerts at UC-Boulder
Feb. 23, 2013

Shed (2012) 12’ Justin COMER
Andrew Uhe and Terese Slatter, violins (b. 1990)
Manuel Tabora, viola
Yoo-Jung Chang, violoncello

Portrait of Transition (2012) 9’ Nima HAMIDI
Andrew Uhe and Terese Slatter, violins (b. 1984)
Manuel Tabora, viola
Yoo-Jung Chang, violoncello

iha tgao (2012) 5’ Dan FRANTZ
Andrew Uhe and Terese Slatter, violins (b. 1986)
Manuel Tabora, viola
Yoo-Jung Chang, violoncello

200 Uses for a Paperclip (2012) 5’  Jason PALAMARA
Janet Brehm Ziegler, soprano (b. 1977)
Aaron Ziegler, percussion

to make good progress (2012) 5’ Will HUFF
Andrew Uhe, violin (b. 1986)

Growing Fast in Sawdust (2012) 8’ Andrew Thierauf
Andrew Thierauf, percussion (b. 1987)

Grand Duo (2012) 12’ Leonid IOGANSEN
Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet (b. 1981)
              Sasha Burdin, piano
bīja (2012) 7 Brian Penkrot
(b. 1978)
              Janet Brehm Ziegler, soprano 
             Aaron Ziegler, percussion

Bios and program notes

Shed was composed for a reading session with the JACK Quartet at the University of Iowa. The word “shed” can mean many different things: shedding fur, bloodshed, shedding tears, a tool shed, a watershed, shedding light, and so on. A piece of music can similarly express multiple meanings and evoke different emotional responses. Just as the word “shed” depends on context, music depends on a listener’s experience and ideas. The goal of this piece is not to express a single concrete meaning, but to engage with listeners.

Justin Comer graduated in 2012 from Coe College with a B.M. in Composition and Saxophone Performance. He is currently pursuing a M.A. at the University of Iowa. His composition teachers have included Joseph Dangerfield and David Gompper.

Portrait of Transition is the third string quartet composed during my professional life, and the first one during my studies at the University of Iowa. After an obvious trend to formalize structure in my earlier compositions, this piece is a turning point for discovering new musical ideas. Being surrounded by a completely new musical environment and trying to discover a unique interpretation of the sonata form led me to compose this work. It is based on a two-bar musical idea that forms an eight-minute composition.
Nima Hamidi (b. 1984) lived as a composer in Tehran until 2011. Before studying composition in Iran he studied the Setar, an Iranian traditional instrument, and the guitar. Having lived in Tabriz for most of his life, he has an aural knowledge of Azerbaijan folk music. Currently he is enrolled in the PhD program in composition at the University of Iowa.

“iha tgao” was constructed using several different algorithms, governed by the composer's intuition of pacing and contour. It was composed at the University of Iowa, and received a first reading from the JACK Quartet in October 2012.

Daniel Frantz received his BM in music composition and electronic music from the University of South Florida. There he studied with Paul Reller and Michael Timpson. He was awarded the Patrick Keim Memorial scholarship for composition in 2007, and received a talent grant for clarinet performance.
He is currently pursuing his MA in composition at the University of Iowa. His recent work explores applications of algorithmic composition, as well as the implementation of the software Puredata both during performance and the compositional process.

200 Uses for a Paperclip - Freelance poet Soo David Nihm wrote 200 Uses for a Paperclip after being inspired by Sir Ken Robinson's lecture entitled Changing Education Paradigms.  In his lecture, Robinson details a study in which children were tested for divergent thinking at different ages from Kindergarten through high school.  One of the questions on the test asked the schoolchildren to list how many uses they could think of for a paperclip.  When given to adults, a small minority of respondents could list more than 200 uses, and adults who can do this usually score in the genius level on IQ tests.  Surprisingly, 98% of Kindergarten students scored high enough on this test to be considered geniuses.  However, the results of the study showed that as children progress through the American education system, their ability to think creatively diminishes, with the students scoring lower and lower as they approached adulthood.  Nihm's poem, 200 Uses for a Paperclip, takes the form of a conversation between a person who is thinking imaginatively about the problem and a person who is not.  This piece was commissioned by Janet and Aaron Ziegler.

Jason Palamara is a second year PhD student in music composition at the University of Iowa.  He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor’s degree from Butler University.  He has studied composition with Michael Schelle, Frank Felice, Krzysztof Wolek, Steve Rouse, Larry Fritts and David Gompper.  Jason currently works as the sound designer for the University Of Iowa Department Of Dance, also composing music for many of the department’s projects.

To Make Good Progress maps my experiences with meditation: beginning in a state of rest and deliberate focus to frustrating distractions until focus is brought back and a feeling of calm comes over me--for me, good progress is increased mindfulness.

Will Huff holds a B.M. summa cum laude at the University of Arkansas (2008) and a M.M. at Butler University (2010). His commissions range from pieces written for friends to the Fort Smith Symphony (director, John Jeter). His most recent success includes the premier of his solo trombone piece, A Divisive Dichotomy, in Fort Myer, Virginia at the Eastern Trombone Workshop this past March. He has participated in ensembles devoted to new music including the JCFA Composer’s Orchestra, Ensemble 48, and the Outside Orchestra all based out of Indianapolis. After graduating from Butler, Will Huff moved to Chicago where he worked at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and played in the new music ensemble Bricklayer’s Foundation. Will Huff is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Iowa where he holds a TA in Theory/Composition as well as graduate assistant to the Electronic Music Studios directed by Lawrence Fritts. His composition teachers include Robert Mueller, Frank Felice, Michael Schelle, Lawrence Fritts, and David Gompper.

Growing Fast in Sawdust utilizes both common and uncommon sounds in this live electroacoustic work. The common sounds of the vibraphone and marimba are coupled with the sounds of a tin can as well as recordings of natural environments. The sounds of the vibraphone, marimba, and tin can are also manipulated in different ways throughout the piece.

Andy Thierauf is a percussionist and composer who specializes in the creation and performance of contemporary music. He is particularly interested in the commingling of percussion with theater and dance and was recently featured as the dancing percussion soloist for a commemorative video recording of Paul Elwood's Edgard Varése in the Gobi Desert. He continues to produce collaborative performances with various choreographers, and he also organizes and directs iHearIC, a concert series in Iowa City that features local performance artists. He has premiered many new works for percussion and has worked with composers such as Zach Zubow, David Gompper, and Paul Elwood.
Andy is currently pursuing the DMA in percussion performance and pedagogy at The University of Iowa under the direction of Dr. Dan Moore. He received his B.M. from CCM and M.M. from OSU both in percussion performance. 

Grand Duo (2012)

Written as a commission by a friend and a former classmate, Michael Spina, the work is virtuosic and asks for extended techniques and technical mastery from both players. The ideas revolve around a series of motives battling with each other across an ABA” form. Harmonic relationships and the emphasis on certain pitches through tension and release establish hierarchies of pitch classes in the piece.
Leonid Iogansen, born in St. Petersburg Russia in 1981, has received various commissions, most notably in 2006, from Shuang Yin International Music Festival, which has commissioned him a total of an hour of music for various ensembles.
Leonid holds a Summa cum laude Bachelors of Music in violin and composition from Boston University, where he was a Trustee Scholar in 2001-2003, and a Masters degree with the same majors from Peabody Conservatory. Leonid is currently pursuing PhD in Composition at the University of Iowa as a student of Prof. David Gompper.

Hama dēkhatē hai ki bīja jamīna mē bhaviya kī phasalō kī āśā kē

The text for Bīja roughly translates to “the seed is thrown into the ground in the hopes it will bear future crops.” The initial impetus was for a gong based percussion quartet, but the text lent itself to a more intimate duet.  The piece was conceived in panels of increasing activity and obfuscation of the beat.  It was written for Janet and Aaron Ziegler and premiered in September of 2012.

Brian Penkrot's music has been performed throughout the US, Asia, and Europe, including the La Pietra Forum and the SCI National Conference.  Brian has attended numerous festivals and has had works performed by ensembles including ICE and ECCE.
Brian is pursuing his PhD at the University of Iowa, where he studies with David Gompper.  Brian is the SCI Iowa chapter president and teaches music theory at the Preucil School.  He is also the business manager for Melos Music. Brian has his MM from UNLV and BM from Columbia College Chicago. His works and audio samples can be found at