Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 4 pm
download a copy of this program here.
Ann DuHamel, piano
Prayers for a Feverish Planet:
new music about climate change
Erick Tapia (b. 1991)
Karen Lemon (b. 1961)
Forgive Them Not, For They Know What They Do (2020)
Frank Horvat (b. 1974)
Heat Island (2017)
Laura Schwendinger (b. 1962)
Magic Carpet Music (2002)
Trees of India (2009)
Stop Deforestation! (2020)
Ian Dicke (b. 1982)
White Parasol (2008)
Daniel Blinkhorn (b. 1973)
frostbYte – chalk outline (2015)
Clifton Callender (b. 1969)
Meditation on a Warming Planet (2020)
Alex Burtzos (b. 1985)
Gunter Gaupp (b. 1993)
Those Who Watch (2020)
About the music
It is a work of introspection and internal reflection, which is managing harmonic parameters and colors together with the conviction of register to create a dark environment that gradually becomes bright as a reflection of freedom.
Inscribed at the top of the score:
En la montaña vacía no se ve un hombre,
sólo se oye el eco de voces humanas.
Vuelven las sombras, entran profundo en el bosque,
otra vez brilla el Sol, sobre los líquenes verdes.
Wang Wei – El parquet de los ciervos
In the empty mountain there is not a man to be seen,
only the echo of human voices is heard.
The shadows return, they go deep into the forest,
the Sun shines again, on the green lichens.
Wang Wei – The Deer Park
Ann adds: One of the definitions that Merriam-Webster lists for “solipsism” is “extreme egocentrism.” Many small acts of solipsism have brought about the current climate crisis, so I’m including this piece as a reflection on thinking beyond the self.
Erick Tapia, born in Mexico City in 1991, began and continues his composition studies with Marco Alejandro Gil at the FaM. In 2016 he entered the Music School of UNAM, studying with teacher Leonardo Coral. At the same time, he took composition classes with Dr. Francisco Cortes Álvarez. He was a fellow by competition in the Arturo Márquez Extraordinary Chair in 2019, there he took classes with this renowned Mexican composer. His music has been performed by different soloists and ensemble musicians from Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica and Finland. In 2019 he began parallel studies in composition at the INBA Higher School of Music in the chair of the teacher Georgina Derbez and in the UNAM Music School he entered the chair of Dr. Gabriela Ortiz.
Forgive Them Not, For They Know What They Do
(A lamentation on inaction against human-induced climate change)
The motivation for this piece needs no more explanation than the title and subtitle provide. The title is a modified paraphrase of words attributed to Jesus Christ on his condemnation and crucifixion as appear in the Bible Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 23 (his words indicating a soul much more forgiving than my own). Similarly, the titles of the piece’s three sections – “… they do these things when the tree is green …”, “… what will they do when it is dry?” and “Weep for yourselves and for your children” – are words attributed by Luke to Jesus, though here they are given a different focus.
Our climate situation is dire. We can each of us act to make a small improvement, but the necessary great improvement, and lasting change for the good, can only be achieved if we all of us act.
Australian composer Karen Lemon counts amongst her qualifications a PhD in Musicology from the University of Sydney (on Schoenberg’s post-tonal music c.1910) and a License in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from Carnegie Mellon University. However her career as a composer is in its early stages: despite minor studies in composition in her undergraduate days (with Anne Boyd and Gillian Whitehead, amongst others), it has only been in recent years that Karen has returned to it. She has been privileged to have had her music performed in locations as far afield as Sydney, Los Angeles, New York and Cambridge, and by such distinguished performers as Thomas Hutchinson, Artur Cimirro and Gwion Thomas. Karen has composed music by commission or on request for CAMS, Hourglass Ensemble and the University of Bristol Schola Cantorum, and several of her works have been prizewinners in composition competitions, including Gesualdo Six, the Renée B. Fisher Award and Opus Dissonus.
As a performer, though Karen is a pianist by training (having studied at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music with Albert Landa and Adene McInnes), she was most active as a chorister and vocalist, notably as a foundation and lifetime member of the Sydney-based new music choir The Contemporary Singers and as founder and director of and arranger for the pop-jazz a cappella ensemble The Five Skins. Karen has worked as a lecturer in Musicology at the University of Sydney and the University of Tasmania, and enjoys Associate Artist representation with the Australian Music Centre. She currently divides her time between Australia and France. Website: https://karen-lemon.com
Heat Island (2017)
When you read the words “Heat Island”, one might imagine “fun-in-the-sun” touristy images or the title of some chintzy reality TV show. The true reality though is that the Heat Island Effect is a serious part of man-made climate change. On any hot summer day within an urban area, everything is even more hot than it should be simply because of the sun’s reflection off an infinite amount of concrete and building surfaces.
The Heat Island Effect isn’t just some visual effect where you see waves emanating from concrete…it can be quite deadly. Thankfully some cities are already taking steps to curb the effect, like making it mandatory for new building construction to have green roofs and more green space being incorporated into urban planning. But more must be done and quickly if the world has an opportunity to curb the disastrous effects of climate change.
The rumbly and murky start of this composition attempts to emulate the world oozing heat from pavement. As the piece progresses, it gradually works its way up to the higher registers with a more calm tone. This symbolizes the hope that I have that we do have the ability to transform the earth back to a more natural state so it won’t emit so much heat. At the beginning, the piano is dark and foreboding. By the end, it’s calm and soothing – Earth is breathing once again.
Frank Horvat is one of the most inventive songwriters to come out of the contemporary scene in Canada (WholeNote Magazine). This award-winning composer’s music is emotional and intense. As a pianist and multi-genre composer, Frank Horvat has made the tricky musical leap that allows him to pursue a niche of his own (Edmonton Journal). Frank gives his audiences time and space to reflect in this fast-paced world. His instrumental compositions tell deeply personal stories while permitting audiences to ponder their own. He has been featured on over a dozen albums on labels including ATMA Classique, Really Records, and Centrediscs. With composition premieres on five continents, his works have been showcased internationally in theatre, feature films, and radio/TV networks including the CBC, CBS, HBO, Vice & Bravo. He ignores boundaries and isn’t afraid to mix politics with art (Ludwig van Toronto) as many of his composition projects revolve around social issues. He has been a panelist at the ClassicalNEXT conference speaking on the topic of ‘Artivism’ and featured in UK’s Classical Music Magazine podcast by Chris Gunness.
His environmental projects include the social media campaign #music4HRDs and album, For Those Who Died Trying (“the resulting [musical] tributes are poignant” – BBC Music Magazine), that look at the stories of murdered environmental activists. Almost 50 string quartets participated in this awareness campaign including: Juilliard, Merel, Mivos, Utrecht, and Zemlinsky Quartets as well as members from orchestras including the London Symphony. His artivist projects include the Green Keys Tour, Piano Therapy Concerts and Music for Self-Isolation. Discover Frank’s latest projects at www.frankhorvat.com.
Magic Carpet Music (2002) II. Air
The Suite was adapted for pianist Jenny Lin from the composer’s original work for flute, clarinet, violin and cello; Magic Carpet Music for Piano was premiered at Galapagos Art Space, NYC.
Laura Schwendinger, first Berlin Prize Prize composer, Professor of Composition UWMadison. Performances and recordings by Dawn Upshaw, Arditti & JACK Quartets, Jenny Koh, Janine Jansen, Matt Haimovitz, ICE, Eighth Blackbird, New Juilliard, ACO, Liszt Chamber Orchestra, American League of Orchestras at: Kennedy & Lincoln Centers, Berlin Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, Théâtre Châtelet, Carnegie Hall, Miller Theater, Tanglewood, Aspen, & Ojai Music Festivals. Fellowships from the Guggenheim, Fromm (2), Koussevitzky (2) Foundations; Radcliffe Institute, Harvard Musical Assoc, Copland House, & MacDowell, Yaddo, Bellagio, & Bogliasco Residencies, First Prize ALEA III, Awards from American Academy Arts & Letters (2). Her music has been called “captivating,” “darkly attractive, artful…moving”, “serene mystery…infinite beauty” in The New York Times, “sure command of craft”, “shrewd composing…genuine article…onto ’season’s best list’ in Boston Globe. SFCV review of her opera, “Artemisia is sumptuous on every level…” Of her Albany CD (with the JACK Quart), Colin Clarke wrote “sheer intensity of the music is spellbinding, as if the passion of composer for subject shines through like a light.”
Trees of India (2009) II. Jacaranda
These three pieces were inspired by the wonderful trees that grow around the city of Bangalore in India where I lived for several years. The country inspired a variety of compositions, ranging from the music theatre pieces Kim, based on Rudyard Kipling’s book The Coolie’s Tale (about the building of the Kalka-Simla Railway at the beginning of the 20th century) to smaller scale works like these three pieces for piano, Trees of India.
I composed these in response to a request to perform something of my own at one of many recitals I gave all around the country. Having never written specifically for myself, I wanted to create something that challenged me technically whilst reflecting on a subject with an Indian theme. Once known as “The Garden City,” Bangalore used to be renowned for its trees, particularly the spectacular Gulmohar with its canopy of brilliant red flowers and feathery vibrant green leaves that bloom just before the monsoon, the jacaranda with its delicate but luminescent purple flowers, and the enormous rain tree, providing swathes of shade and home to an abundance of wildlife. The name of this tree in Tamil translates as “tree with a sleeping face” on account of the leaves closing up as the sky darkens before rain or at sunset.
During my time there, I witnessed the rapid expansion of the city and the destruction of many trees to make way for new transport and buildings, and the resulting rise in pollution, traffic and temperature; it was very much climate change at first hand. Particularly, it was watching the slaughter of a row of rain trees on the Old Madras Road to make way for the metro that moved me most…
Chris Williams began his musical career at the age of eight as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. Having won a scholarship to study Music at New College, Oxford, he went on to study postgraduate composition and piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he won several prestigious prizes, including the Royal Philharmonic Prize for composition. His work ranges from large-scale music theatre pieces to simple choral works, accompanied and a cappella, as well as instrumental and orchestral pieces. He lived in India for 16 years, where, for two years, he was Composer-in-Residence at the Lawrence School, Sanawar, in the Himalayan foothills, and from 2004, he lived in Bangalore as a composer, pianist and teacher. Before India, Chris lived in Devon, U.K.
In 1985, he was appointed as Musician-in-Residence at the Beaford Centre and thereafter worked freelance as a composer, teacher and musical director for choirs and music theatre, especially with The Young Company and the People’s Company at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. Major productions of Korczak (about an orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto) have been produced by YMT UK (2011), Wroclaw (2016), and Opera I Filharmonia Podlaska in Poland (under the auspices of UNESCO), which was voted the most important historical event in Poland in 2012. His latest commission is for 1,000 voices in Plymouth and the Band of the Royal Marines to commemorate the 400th centenary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to America.
Stop Deforestation! (2020)
One of the main causes of climate change is the deforestation of forests. Their resources are running out, leaving a devastated landscape. Many areas have lost their profuse vegetation and the desertification of these soils is progressively advancing. In the piece the metaphor is of a dialectic between humanity that makes indiscriminate and violent use of the forests, depleting their resources. The piece progresses from a greater amount of figuration to a lesser one, as occurs with the jungle that is progressively losing its extension on our planet. The work is a call to reflection on this complex problem.
Darío Duarte is a Latin American composer whose main premise is composition related to the description of landscapes. He is committed to climate change and has composed several works that focus on nature and the ecological awareness of its preservation. He has won an award in 2019 for his opera SOMA, where he reflects on the human condition in times of dehumanization.
White Parasol (2008)
White Parasol was written in reaction to a 2008 BBC news article about the major loss of shelf-ice in Canada’s High Arctic:
“Loss of ice in the Arctic, and in particular the extensive sea-ice, has global implications. The ‘white parasol’ at the top of the planet reflects energy from the Sun straight back out into space, helping to cool the Earth. Further loss of Arctic ice will see radiation absorbed by darker seawater and snow-free land, potentially warming the Earth’s climate at an even faster rate than current observational data indicates.”
Ian Dicke is a composer inspired by social-political culture and interactive technology. Praised for his “refreshingly well-structured” (Feast of Music) and “uncommonly memorable” (Sequenza 21) catalogue of works, Dicke currently serves as an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of California, Riverside. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and soloists around the world, including the New World Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Paul Dresher Ensemble, pianist Vicky Chow, The MATA Festival, ISCM World New Music Days, and the Atlantic Coast Center Band Director’s Association. He has received grants, awards, and recognition from the Fulbright Program, Barlow Endowment, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New Music USA, New York Youth Symphony, ASCAP, and BMI, among others.
In addition to his creative activities as a composer, Dicke is also the founder and curator of the Outpost Concert Series, which connects Riverside’s musical culture with groundbreaking artists across the national contemporary music landscape. For more information on works in progress, upcoming performances, commissioning, and score purchases, please visit www.iandicke.com.
frostbYte – chalk outline (2015)
A work for piano, Arctic video footage, Arctic and electroacoustic sounds, commissioned by Zubin Kanga. chalk outline is electroECOustic and videophonic in nature, using the Svalbard coastline (and the idea of an outline in a more generalized sense) as a metaphorical reference to the (antiquated) forensic technique of drawing a chalk outline around the deceased. The piece is an example of how I often integrate the differing disciplines of sound and image to create a sense of advocacy about the importance of places and spaces mediated via technology, sonification and visualization.
Central to the piece are location- based field recordings I made whilst on expedition throughout the Arctic region of Spitsbergen | Svalbard. Positioned at 81° north, 10° East, the archipelago of Spitsbergen | Svalbard is a truly remarkable part of the world that continues to inspire awe and fascination, and is often at the heart of our collective consciousness for its ecological and climatic sensitivity.
The region is renowned for its visual and cinematic beauty, however it should be no surprise to find that sound plays an integral and vital role in the uniqueness of the region. From the smallest sounds of popping and hissing as snow and ice melt, to the raucous thundering of glacial ice calving, sound is bonded to each and every ecosystem in the archipelago.
Daniel Blinkhorn is a composer, digital media artist and field recordist currently residing in Sydney. Although often working in the electroacoustic and videophonic domains, his output includes chamber, symphonic and wind orchestra works, sound installations, music for film, dance, radiophonic composition and various hybrid/ inter-media environments.
Daniel’s works are widely performed, exhibited and presented internationally, and his compositions have received numerous international and national composition citations. He is a 2011 Churchill Fellow (Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Australia), has worked in a wide variety of creative, academic, research and performative contexts, and is a lecturer in the Composition and Music Technology faculty at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. Daniel is also a represented composer at the Australian Music Centre, and the representative member/ councilor for composition at Music Australia (2012–2020).
Daniel has undertaken numerous composition residencies, and self-directed recording intensives internationally (La Muse En Circuit, Paris, ZKM| Center for Art and Media, Institute for Music and Acoustics, Germany, CMMAS – Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras, Mexico, Centre de Arts, Montreal, Visby international Centre for Composers, Sweden and Islao de Arts, Madagascar) and is an ardent location and environmental sound recordist, where he has embarked upon a growing number of expeditions throughout the high Arctic/ North Pole region of Svalbard, Africa, Amazon, West Indies, Northern Europe, Middle East, Alaska, Mexico, Cuba, Madagascar and Australia.
Whilst entirely self-taught in electroacoustic music and biomimetics, he has formally studied composition, creative and digital media arts at a number of Australian universities including, the School of Art and Deign (formally ‘COFA’) – UNSW and the University of Wollongong, Faculty of Creative Arts where his doctoral degree was recommended for special commendation. Other degrees include a BMus (hons), MMus, and a MA(r).
Meditation on a Warming Planet (2020)
“The way out of climate change is inside each of us.” — Thích Nhất Hạnh
From a human perspective, the warming of the planet is very gradual, yet relentless, a steady progression (accumulation) toward a more chaotic and less hospitable world.
Often working at the intersection of music and mathematics, Clifton Callender’s compositions have been recognized and performed by the Pacifica Quartet, ‘Tang Quartet, Spark Festival, SEAMUS, International Festival of Electroacoustic Music Primavera en La Habana, NACUSA Young Composers Competition, and the American Composers Orchestra Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions, among others, and is recorded on the Capstone, New Ariel, and Navona labels. Recent commissions include Canonic Offerings for the Bridges Conference on the Arts and Mathematics, gegenschein for Piotr Szewczyk’s Violin Futura project, and Reasons to Learne to Sing for the 50th Anniversary of the College Music Society. He is currently working on Criticalities, commissioned for the 75th commemoration of Chicago Pile-1 (the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction), and a setting of Kathy Jetnil Kijiner’s poem for the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, Dear Matafele Peinam.
Also active in music theory, Callender has published in Science, Perspectives of New Music, Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, and Intégral and serves on the editorial board of Perspectives of New Music and as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Mathematics and Music. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago, Peabody Conservatory, and Tulane University and is Professor of Composition at Florida State University.
Holding your mother’s hand
while she is dying is like trying to love
the very thing that will kill you.
– Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, from Rabbit Hole (2018)
Alex Burtzos is an American composer and conductor based in New York City and Orlando. His music has been performed across four continents. Alex has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost contemporary musicians and ensembles, including JACK Quartet, Yarn/Wire, Contemporaneous, ETHEL, loadbang, Jenny Lin, RighteousGIRLS, and many others. He is the founder and artistic director of ICEBERG New Music, a New York-based composers’ collective, and the conductor of the hip hop/classical chamber orchestra ShoutHouse.
As a composer, Alex is committed to pursuing artistic expression unconstrained by boundaries of school or style. His work often incorporates elements of the 20th Century avant-garde, jazz, rock, metal, and hip-hop alongside or against classical/preclassical structures and sounds, justifying these juxtapositions with a great depth of musical ideas and extra-musical knowledge. Alex’s music takes as its basis and provides commentary on a diverse array of subject matter, from early colonial history to recent events, from Shakespeare’s tragedies to naughty text messages. His unique approach has earned him accolades and awards from organizations around the world.
Alex holds a DMA from Manhattan School of Music, where his primary teachers were Reiko Fueting and Mark Stambaugh. He is the Endowed Chair of Composition Studies at the University of Central Florida.
Gunter Gaupp (b. 1993)
Those Who Watch (2020)
In the last few years, my experience of the world has been colored by a dull but constant sense of climate change anxiety. That sense of dread is dramatically worsened whenever I encounter clips of news pundits actively spreading misinformation and openly mocking the efforts of environmentalists. Accordingly, Those Who Watch attempts to present four distinct perspectives in the spread of climate change denial through the lens of my own anxiety while also trying to critically examine my engagement with misinformation as a distraction from forward progress.
In the piece’s electronic accompaniment, voices of news anchors and billionaires who profit from fossil fuel consumption swirl in a cacophonous cloud of mischaracterizations and misquoted statistics. Meanwhile, the voices of scientists and activists like Wallace Broecker form the bedrock of the piece’s sonic landscape, distorted beyond understanding and only truly audible in moments of quiet sincerity. The soloist, then, serves as a mouthpiece for my anxiety as the piano stews in its own angst, screams into the void, and ignores a path to meaningful change.
Gunter Gaupp is a composer and teacher based in Memphis, whose work combines interests in noise composition and genre music. Born in Louisiana, Gunter’s recent work maintains a connection to jazz and folk traditions in his approach to melody and harmony, while exploring new possibilities through extended technique and graphic notation. His music has premiered recently in Chicago, Memphis, and Green Bay, as well as internationally in Vienna and Paris.
Gunter completed his MM in 2019 at the University of Memphis, where he studied composition under Kamran Ince and John Baur. More recently, Gunter has begun teaching music to middle and high school students at Memphis Rise Academy.
This project is made possible in part by a University of Minnesota Grant in Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship Award
About the musician
Pianist Ann DuHamel’s performances have been praised as poetic and “… a delight for the ears and the soul” (Encuentro Universitario Internacional de Saxofón, Mexico City). She has performed in 18 countries, including concerts at Sala Verdi in Milan, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York, and Trinity College in Oxford.
Hailed as a “forward thinking classical pianist” (Midwest Record) for her debut album Rückblick: New Piano Music Inspired by Brahms (Furious Artisans), Ann actively champions contemporary composers, recently commissioning works by Flannery Cunningham, Jocelyn Hagen, and Edie Hill, among others. Piano Magazine applauded “the depth of programming and playing” in Rückblick, admiring Ann’s “range of sound and full melodic tone,” as well as her “clear voicing and vibrant sense of color.” Dr. Brahms’s Book of Rags, which appears on the album, was a finalist in The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2021, and received a Special Judges’ Citation: “Championing the Music of Marc Chan.”
Ann also appears on the 2022 release Tyler Kline: Orchard (Neuma Records), performing six works of Tyler Kline, five of which she commissioned. Fanfare Magazine praised her performance as “alive … [played with] aching expression.”
In demand as a collaborative pianist, Ann has performed chamber music with members of both the Grammy-Award winning Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as with Martha Councell-Vargas, flute; Preston Duncan, saxophone; Maria Jette, soprano; and Clara Osowski, mezzo-soprano. Her performance at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall with ensemble: Périphérie was hailed by the New York Concert Review as “outstanding,” praising the group of “superb musicians” who “played with power and assurance.”
Ann’s latest project, Prayers for a Feverish Planet, responds to the climate crisis with 60 new works, from composers across the globe, for piano and piano/electronics. During the Fall of 2022, she was awarded artist residencies at Tofte Lake Center (MN) and Everwood Farmstead Foundation (WI) for this project, which has also received extensive support from the University of Minnesota (Institute for Advanced Study Residential Fellow, Fall 2021; Imagine Fund Special Events Grant; and Grant-In-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship).
Ann is Immediate Past President of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, and she currently serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota Morris. She is a proud graduate of the University of Iowa, earning her DMA under the tutelage of Professor Ksenia Nosikova.