UC San Diego's Department of Music

March 19, 2015

  UC San Diego graduate students and faculty made a mark at the January Hearing Landscape Critically: Music, Place, and the Spaces of Sound conference at Harvard University.

The conference embraced an interdisciplinary methodology and brought together scholars from diverse geographical contexts and academic fields including art history, literary studies, cultural geography, and ethno/musicology alongside creative practitioners, prompting new ways of thinking about sound, music, space, and place. Presenters from UC San Diego were: Kate Clark (MFA visual arts student) and Samuel Dunscombe (DMA music student): Parking Lot Park: Mapping Human Geography through Site Responsive Sound Art Installation; κmy Cimini (Assistant Professor, music): Maryanne Amacher and the Sound of Pass, Christian, Mississippi: 1969 & 1975; Joshua Charney (Ph.D. student, music): Corporate Soundscape: Buying and Selling Sounds in San Diego's 'Golden Triangle'; Nancy Guy (Associate Professor, music): Ringing Garbage in Contemporary Taiwan: From Cockroaches to Beethoven and Beyond (Guy was an invited plenary speaker); and Zeynep Bulut (Ph.D., music, 2012; King's College, lecturer): In Transit: Electrical Walks and the Urban Noise.

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds of the music faculty is curating the National Gallery of Art's 2015 κmerican Music Festival this month. The festival, covered in depth by Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, reflects on a century's worth of "arresting, sometimes quirky personal visions". Composer Chinary Ung and constrabassist-improviser-composer Mark Dresser of the music faculty are on the program along with composer and UCSD music alumnus Mark Applebaum (now on faculty at Stanford) and internationally renowned composers George Crumb, Charles Ives, and Edgard Varese. Also on the program is flutist Claire Chase, who grew up in La Jolla and founded the New York City-based International International Contemporary Ensemble. The Festival program also includes the first stage of Reynolds's new project FLiGHT.

UC San Diego composer Lei Liang's Landscape IV had its world premiere March 15 at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. "Having been interested in Mahayana Buddhism for a number of years, I went to a Buddhist monastery in upstate New York to study meditation in 1999," Lei said in a program note. "One evening, while walking alone by the side of the lake, I caught the sight of a V shape floating and extending on the surface of the water. It was a beaver taking a swim under the moon. This image gave me insight into my relationship with silence: underneath the music is a profoundly deep silence upon which I seek to inscribe my signature through sound. It inspired me to compose a number of works."

The Fresh Sound concert series--this Spring highlighting percussionists connected with UCSD's Department of Music--continues March 20 at 7:30 pm with κiyun Huang and ξric Derr. Aiyun is a music alumna who heads the percussion program at McGill University in Montreal. She'll perform a theatrical program featuring Cooking with Alice by Canadian composer Peter Hatch. This piece combines Aiyun's two passions of music and cooking, inspired by the lives of Gertrude Stein and Julia Child; along with Erik Ulman's Ode.Her fellow music alum Derr, now a lecturer at Stanford, will perform three solos for drum set: Carolyn Chen's Great Birnam Wood, Kyle Johnson's Emptier, the light, the sky and the light, and Patrick Hart's relentlessly intense 700 Club. They will also play the duo piece Silence must be! by Thierry De Mey. Fresh Sound continues April 9 with On Structure, a DIY experimental and theater collective featuring Natacha Diels and Jessie Marino; and May 1 with UCSD's Kjell Nordeson of UCSD's red fish blue fish percussion ensemble. Fresh Sound is curated by UCSD music alumna Bonnie Wright. Concerts begin at 7:30 pm at Bread & Salt, a converted bakery in Barrio Logan.

Previewing Fresh SoundSan Diego Reader music writer Robert Bush captured the experimental essence of UCSD's Department of Music, which sets it apart from other university music programs. Bush mentions music faculty such as David Borgo, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Kamau Kenyatta, Roger Reynolds and Steven Schick as present-day proponents of "adventurous" music.

Tiffany DuMouchelle and Steven Solook, grad students in the department of music, are part of a cultural diplomacy project called Cultures in Harmony | We Bring People Together Through Music, a group of American musicians who collaborate with musicians and local groups around the world to develop new ways of communicating and problem-solving through music. DuMouchelle and Solook are deputy directors for projects in Cameroon and Papua New Guinea. They are in the process of fundraising to support their work. More information about Tiffany and Steven, click here.

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