Concert 4: KC Contemporary Music Festival

May 5th,  5 PM – 9 PM, The Bauer Event Space  115 W 18th St., Kansas City, Missouri 64108

(If parking at Union Station, take the Streetcar to Kaufman Center, 16th and Main,Crossroads, 19th and Main)

Kansas City’s first Contemporary Chamber Music Festival!!


newEar presents the inaugural Kansas City Contemporary Chamber Music Festival!

Come down to Kansas City’s First Friday in May to hear the city’s best contemporary chamber ensembles. On the third floor of The Bauer, you can hear music from newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Mnemosyne Quartet, KCEMA (Kansas City Electronic Music & Arts Aliance), and the Davis and Harte Duo. Drinks will be generously provided by SD Strong Distilling and Boulevard Brewing Company for guests over 21 years of age with proof of valid ID. The event is free and open to the public. A suggested donation of $5 will be collected at the door. Reserved seating can be purchased for $25 ($5 with valid student ID) through the Central Ticketing Office at UMKC.

5:00-5:40 Davis and Harte Duo
5:40-7:00 KcEMA 8.1 installation, and projection of score collaboration with animator Molly Garrett
7:00-8:00 Mnemosyne Quartet
8:00-9:00 newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble


newEar Program Details

(Not necessarily in order of performance)

Lies You Can Believe In – Missy Mazzoli – (Vln, vla, vcl) (2006) – 7 mins.

Program Note

Lies You Can Believe In, for string trio, was commissioned by Milwaukee-based ensemble Present Music. The “lies” in the title are not untruths, and instead refer to the old-fashioned word for an improvised and embellished story. This type of lie is not malicious; the process of invention and the telling of the tale are ultimately more important than the truth behind the account. In this piece I created my own “lie,” an invented and embellished urban folk music. The strings tell an improvisatory tale, touching upon the violence, energy, mania and rare moments of calm one finds in a city. This piece is inspired as much by modern gypsy music, punk, and electronica as it is by traditional Bulgarian and Romanian folk music. Many thanks to Present Music for engendering and inspiring this piece.

Soundtrack of an Open Road – Ted King-Smith (vcl and fixed media)  (2017) 9 mins.

Program Note

Soundtrack of an Open Road describes the pursuit for sanctuary, in the form of a calm and open road. From 2011-2013 I found myself driving more and more, and it was during these drives, especially those going cross-country, I was able to find a kind of mental clarity. Since then the sounds of a car and the road have been ingrained in me. The piece starts aggressively, depicting elements of road rage and anxiety. Gradually the journey becomes calmer, and the sounds of cars eventually fade away, leaving the cellist in a moment of solitude and sanctuary in the form of a cadenza. However, this moment of clarity is brief as the roads and chaos return. The fixed media is comprised of recorded sounds from cars, inside and out, as well as the materials they are built from (i.e. glass, metal). Soundtrack of an Open Road was written in 2014 and early 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri for Tiffany Bell and premiered in March 2015.

Grindcore – Nick Omiccioli (vln, vla, vcl) (2015) 10 mins.

Program Note

GRINDCORE for amplified string trio or quartet is inspired by the rich and complex sound produced by the timbre of over-driven electric guitars. This overdriven tone is translated through extended techniques and non-traditional methods of producing sound that distort the timbre of the bowed instruments. GRINDCORE incorporates written instructions and notated examples as guides for the ensemble to interpret and improvise. GRINDCORE is a fast, dissonant, and extreme form of heavy metal that is a combination of crust punk and thrash metal. The style is characterized by the use of scuzzy, low-tuned guitar riffs, blastbeats in the drums, and screaming vocal styles that range from low-pitched growls to highpitched shrieks.

I Know Where Everything Is – Nico Muhly (f., cl, vl, vcl) (2007) 5 mins.
Commissioned by the Seattle Chamber Players

Program Note

I Know Where Everything Is is a cycle of chords in a pile. Each chord has a series of possible voicings, and a series of possible quick ornamentations. The piece starts with the most moderate of these, works through the slower, more languid variations, and then concludes energetically and aggressively.

Glint Roshanne Etezady (cl, sax) (2010) 5 mins.

Commissioned by Robert Spring and Timothy McAllister

Program Notes

As a young musician, Roshanne studied piano and flute, and developed an interest in many different styles of music, from the musicals of Steven Sondheim to the 1980’s power ballads and Europop of her teenage years. One fateful evening evening in 1986, she saw Philip Glass and his ensemble perform as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live. This event marked the beginning of her interest in contemporary classical music, as well as her interest in being a composer herself.

Since then, Etezady’s works have been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, Dartmouth Symphony, eighth blackbird, Music at the Anthology, and the PRISM Saxophone Quartet. She has been a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Performers and ensembles including Rêlache, Amadinda Percussion Ensemble, Ensemble De Ereprijs, and the Dogs of Desire have performed Etezady’s music throughout the United States and Europe. Roshanne Etezady’s music has earned recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Korean Society of 21st Century Music, the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, Meet the Composer, and ASCAP.

An active teacher, Etezady has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp, Yale University, Saint Mary’s College, and the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She has given masterclasses at Holy Cross College, the Juilliard School, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.

Etezady holds academic degrees from Northwestern University and Yale University, and she has worked intensively with numerous composers, including William Bolcom, Martin Bresnick, Michael Daugherty, and Ned Rorem. She completed her doctorate at the University of Michigan in March, 2005.

The Witness Pauline Oliveros (all players) (1989) indeterminate time

Program Notes

A solo duet with an imaginary partner, a duo or an ensemble.

The Witness may be performed by a soloist as a duet with an imaginary partner or as an ensemble for two to a hundred or more performers. If performed as a sound piece any instruments or voices capable of following the instructions may be used.

The structure of The Witness consists of three strategies for listening and responding with guidelines for the use of the strategies. The Witness lends itself well to movement and drama as well as music. It may be performed either as music, movement, or drama, or in any combination. If performed as movement or theater then movement or dramatic action is substituted for sound. Performers may use any medium exclusively or sound, movement and/or dramatic action in combination.

The performance could take place in a variety of performance situations including theaters, museums, alternative spaces, outdoor amphitheaters, or other outdoor locations. Performers could be close together or at long or changing distances from one another. They could be inside, surrounding, or moving through an audience. Appropriate spatial relationships are to be developed by the players during the performance through awareness of height, angle and distance and its effect on sound, movement and theatrical action.

Back to Season 24