New Music, from saxes to ‘Solitaire’

Meghan McCallum

New Music Sunday, a unique, once-per-term performance of student and faculty musical compositions, will take place this Sunday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. in Harper Hall. Having organized New Music Sundays for the past two years, Dr. Joanne Metcalf of the music theory/composition department said she has often wanted to include important contemporary repertoire in the program, and this term’s selection will be the first to include any.
Sunday’s lineup will include seven pieces, ranging from a one-man performance on a laptop computer to a twelve-saxophone ensemble playing a work by French composer Christian Lauba. Metcalf said that she is excited to finally realize her dream of having contemporary repertoire alongside student works.
Saxophonist Jesse Dochnahl, finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist competition, will perform “In Freundschaft” by Karlheinz Stockhausen with an undisclosed “theatrical element,” Metcalf said. Reid Stratton’s unique John Cage-inspired laptop computer performance, “Solitaire,” will also include a mystery “theatrical element.” Stratton will also be conducting an eight-student choir in its performance of “Mercy” by Joe Rodenbeck.
Graham Hand, a frequent composer for New Music Sundays, will see two of his unusual and exciting compositions performed this Sunday. The first, “21 Aphoristic Haiku,” is made up of 21 very short movements played with flute, cello, guitar, and piano. “The First Thirty-five Seconds,” his second piece, will include vocals, flute, violin, tuba, guitar, and percussion.
Metcalf described Bryan Teoh’s piece, “The victims lay motionless and everything, it seemed, would be all right,” as “energetic and exciting.” It will be played by a string quartet of two violins, a viola, and a cello.
“Mutation-couleurs IV” by French composer Christian Lauba will performed by the LU Saxophone Ensemble. According to Metcalf, this intense piece is “intended to evoke a sonic landscape” and uses a variety of unusual and interesting techniques and sounds.
So if you’re looking for something new, this term’s New Music Sunday promises a variety of interesting and unique pieces.