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In the News

Bringing you the latest news from the UC San Diego Department of Music's faculty, student and alumni networks.

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September 2021

King Britt's Blacktronika university class announces Theo Parrish, Flying Lotus, Amp Fiddler, more for Autumn term

DJ Mag, September 21, 2021

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt revealed the list of upcoming guests for his Blacktronika: Afrofuturism In Electronic Music course. He will be joined by Flying Lotus, Theo Parrish, Amp Fiddler, Ron Trent, Masters At Work, Mad Professor, Elsa M'Bala, Computer Jay, Colloboh, Dave Davis and Yaw Evans.

The music-focused course, which is available to all UC San Diego students, looks at "the lineage of many of the groundbreaking Black, electronic artists who have been integral but overlooked in the development and commodification of house, techno, drum & bass and experimental music," says King Britt.

Read the DJ Mag article.

Related: Resident Advisor


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt's collaboration with Tyshawn Sorey to premiere at the Other Minds Festival in October

Jazzwise, September 21, 2021

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt's collaboration with Tyshawn Sorey will be premiering at Other Minds Festival 25: Moment's Notice on October 15, 2021.

The festival will take place in person at the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater in San Francisco, CA and livestreamed online.

Learn more and purchase tickets.

Related: Jazzwise


UC San Diego Music faculty Anthony Davis and Ken Anderson, and alumni Jonathan Nussman, Brendan Nguyen, and Leslie Ann Leytham to perform in Bodhi Tree Concerts' 10th Anniversary Concert

The San Diego Union-Tribune, September 19, 2021

UC San Diego Music faculty Anthony Davis and Ken Anderson, and alumni Jonathan Nussman, D.M.A. '20, Brendan Nguyen, D.M.A. '15, and Leslie Ann Leytham, D.M.A. ’15 will be performing in Bodhi Tree Concerts' 10th Anniversary Concert on Saturday, September 25th.

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article.


UC San Diego Music D.M.A. candidate Kathryn Schulmeister, and Matt Kline, D.M.A. '21 performs in the Ojai Festival

September 17, 2021

UC San Diego Music D.M.A. candidate Kathryn Schulmeister, and Matt Kline, D.M.A. '21 performed in the Ojai Music Festival conducted by John Adams on Friday, September 17.

Watch the performance on the Ojai Music Festival website.


The Metropolitan Opera to stage UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis' “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X”

The New York Times, September 16, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera to present Pulitzer Prize winning composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis' “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X" in their 2023-24 season. This will be the Metropolitan Opera's second time presenting a work by a Black composer, just two years after its first, since the company began in 1883.

“Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz) is an even more relevant figure today,” Davis said in a statement. “His vision is as prescient today as it was in 1986. He is an inspiration for Black Lives Matter and the movement for social justice. As a composer, I am thrilled to help create ‘X’ as an opera for today that speaks to the future as well as the past.”

Read The New York Times article.

Related: Associated Press | OperaWire | Playbill | The San Diego Union Tribune | Billboard


Steph Richards with Joshua White, “Zephyr” (2021): Something Else! video premiere

Something Else!, September 15, 2021

The video of trumpeter and UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards' "Zephyr," the opening track for Richards' upcoming album of the same name, created by Vipal Monga is now available for viewing on Youtube!

"Steph Richards is an exceptional trumpet player who belongs in a rare company of trumpeters like Wadada Leo Smith and Lina Allemano who have a vision that goes way beyond what’s been done and reaches out toward what can be made possible."

Zephyr will be released on October 15, 2021 from Relative Pitch Records.

Watch "Zephyr."

Read the Something Else! review.


Review: Anthony Davis’ ‘Restless Mourning’ boldly ventures where other composers fear to go

Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2021

Mark Swed of The Los Angeles Times reviews Anthony Davis' "Restless Mourning," performed at the Santa Monica new music series Jacaranda's 9/11 tribute concert.

"Davis’ harmonic vocabulary is elaborate, unpredictable, his own. Instrumental colors, bright or dim, are made of many hues. There are electronics used for their mystery-making. The vocal writing can be declarative and songful at the same time. Solo singers and grouped voices do not dramatize text but rather take it to other realms. Davis ends not somberly but with the glorious hope that mingled ghosts might illuminate the skies in a manner far different than what the terrorists produced. Blue has become, once more, cerulean."

Read The Los Angeles Times review.

Related: San Francisco Classical Voice | Violinist


Matricalis, A New Resource For Musician Mothers, Launched By Olivia De Prato, Zosha Di Castri, Allison Loggins-Hull & Alice Teyssier, D.M.A. '17

Broadway World, September 14, 2021

Alice Teyssier, D.M.A. '17 along with Olivia De Prato, Zosha Di Castri, and Allison Loggins-Hull launch Matricalis, a project and community hub that reflects on the impact of motherhood on individual musicians. Through podcast episodes, collaborative pieces, and open discussions, Matricalis seeks to tackle one of the final “taboos” in the professional music world. Matricalis hope to openly explore the transformative nature of becoming a mother as an artist, considering both the logistical challenges, as well as the profound ways creativity can change, encouraging us towards new ways of thinking and doing.

Learn more about Matricalis.

Read the Broadway World Article.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt: On how goals and expectations change along with you

The Creative Independent, September 13, 2021

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt discusses building and maintaining a community everywhere you go, teaching as a way of learning, and finding and keeping a rhythm for your creative work with The Creative Independent.

Read The Creative Independent interview.


Fall arts preview 2021: Musician David Borgo on how ‘music always touches us’

The San Diego Union-Tribune, September 12, 2021

George Varga of The San Diego Union-Tribune interviews UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo about his 12th album "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows" that is inspired by COVID and Black Lives Matter. A majority of the 11 compositions are named after words from John Koenig's “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” that Borgo found while googling for a word to describe the emotions he felt driving by the empty University Towne Center when the stay-at-home order first came out.

'the finely wrought work on “Suite of Uncommon Sorrows” is deeper and more nuanced. What results is thoughtful, melodically inviting music that is rich in atmosphere, texture and expressiveness. “Music gets directly to our emotions,” Borgo said. “I’m proud that the emotions explored on this album are not the most obvious ones people experience, such as anger, frustration and sadness.”'

Saxophonist David Borgo, guitarist Peter Sprague, pianist Tobin Chodos, Ph.D. '19, bassist Mackenzie Leighton and drummer Mark Ferber will be performing the album live on Wednesday, October 6th. Due to the pandemic, the performance will be livestreamed online without an in-person audience.

Watch the livestream at music.ucsd.edu/livestream.

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article.

August 2021

Review: UC San Diego Music faculty Stephanie Richards and Amy Cimini and staff recording engineer Andrew Munsey performs in the Carlsbad Music Festival

The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 30, 2021

UC San Diego Music faculty Stephanie Richards and Amy Cimini and staff recording engineer Andrew Munsey performed in the Carlsbad Music Festival.

Christian Hertzog of The San Diego Union-Tribune says, "Their music was a kind of structured free improvisation. Each piece used short groups of pitches to shape the improvisations. The interplay between musicians was delightfully surprising and always supportive of each other."

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune review.


UC San Diego Professor of Music Nancy Guy's edited volume Resounding Taiwan: Musical Reverberations Across a Vibrant Island will be published in August as part of the Routledge Research on Taiwan Series

August 26, 2021

Resounding Taiwan demonstrates the ways in which the study of music contributes to our identification and interpretation of the forces that, when woven together, form Taiwanese society. These elements include political policies (both those aimed at negotiating Taiwan's place in the world and those that order Taiwan internally) and the feeling-ful reactions to and assertions of those policies. The twelve chapters explore how music shapes life—and life shapes music—in Taiwan. The chapters present diverse approaches to their sounding subjects. Some are deeply rooted in the methods and concerns explored by Taiwan's first generation of ethnomusicologists, while others employ current social theories. Eight of the twelve authors grew up in Taiwan, but all pursued their doctoral degrees in the United States or the United Kingdom. The contributors focus on subjects ranging from musical life under Japanese colonial rule (1895 – 1945) through to the contemporary creations of Indigenous musicians, popular music performance and production, Christian religious music, traditional ritual music and theatre, conceptions about sound and noise, and garbage truck music's role in reducing household waste. The volume displays not only what music can tell us about Taiwan, but how music tells us.

Learn more and order the book.


UC San Diego Music Distinguished Professors Anthony Davis and Mark Dresser, and UC Irvine Professor Michael Dessen, Ph.D. '03 performs telematically in the ACC World Music Festival in Gwangju, South Korea

August 20, 2021

UC San Diego Music Distinguished Professors Anthony Davis and Mark Dresser, and Michael Dessen, Ph.D. '03 performed their compositions telematically along with musicians and their compositions in Korea for the 12th ACC World Music Festival in Gwangju, South Korea.

The three-day festival, hosted by the Asia Culture Center of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and organized by the Asia Culture Institute, aims to encourage the audience to embrace various genres of music, from Korean traditional music to fado and tango.

Program:

earth balm - Mark Dresser

Staring Distance - Yoon-Jeong Heo

A Walk Through the Shadow - Anthony Davis

Rules of Life - Bomi Kim

What peace can we hear - Michael Dessen

Selfish Gene - Jean Oh

Ensemble in Gwangiu, South Korea:

Bomi Kim - Haegum

Jeong-a Ahn - Vocal

Jiha Park - Piri

Jean Oh - Guitar

In California:

Michael Dessen - Trombone (Irvine)

Anthony Davis - Piano (San Diego)

Mark Dresser - Bass (Encinitas)

Young Ho Kang - Technical Director

Yoon-Jeong Heo - Artistic Director

Learn more about the festival in The Korea Herald.


Review: Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, Ph.D. '11 and Spektral Upend the String Quartet on Enigma

I Care If You Listen, August 17, 2021

Esteban Meneses of I Care If You Listen reviews the Spektral Quartet's performance of Enigma composed by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ph.D. '11.

"Enigma — the piece and the album — feels like a desolate netherworld of slowly creeping cries and murmurs, at times like an out-of-body trip beyond the confines of time."

Read the full review.


UC San Diego Music undergraduate student Timothy “Ill Poetic” Gmeiner releases new project “Portfolio I: As Serious As Your Life”

August 17, 2021

Timothy “Ill Poetic” Gmeiner releases his first installment of an ongoing production series, “Portfolio I: As Serious As Your Life” on Definition Music.

Inspired by Val Wilmer’s seminal 1977 book on the black free-jazz movement, “As Serious As Your Life” is an intimate and vulnerable work that funnels the urgency, frustration and freedom of that era toward the chaos of emotions that come with losing a parent during a global pandemic. Unlike prior releases from Ill Po, what makes this record especially unique is in the choice to cover such heavy emotional content with almost no words.

“‘As Serious As Your Life’ is designed to act as a portfolio of my work for and with other artists; to show my breadth as a producer, composer, engineer and visual artist. Along the way it captured much more: a global pandemic and the slow passing of my mom - a painful event experienced by everyone enmeshed with a deeply personal event only truly felt by me.” -Timothy Gmeiner

Check out the album.


UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Alex Stephenson's Bloom for string quartet chosen for the 2021 ISCM WNMD

ISCM, August 12, 2021

Composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Alex Stephenson's Bloom for string quartet was chosen for the 2021 ISCM World New Music Days in Shanghai and Nanning, China. The organizers are hoping the festival can occur in late March 2022.

Learn more about the 2021 ISCM WNMD.

Listen to Bloom performed by the Flux Quartet on Soundcloud.


UC San Diego Department of Music announces the 2020-2021 Academic Achievement & Service Awards

August 3, 2021

The University of California San Diego’s Department of Music is proud to announce the Undergraduate and Graduate Student award recipients for academic achievement and service during the 2020-2021 academic year.

See the list of award winners.


UC San Diego Professor of Music Shlomo Dubnov appointed as an Associate Editor of Elsevier’s Entertainment Computing Journal

UC San Diego Professor of Music Shlomo Dubnov was appointed as an Associate Editor of Elsevier’s Entertainment Computing Journal after serving as the lead editor on music for Computers in Entertainment by ACM.

Entertainment Computing publishes original, peer-reviewed research articles and serves as a forum for stimulating and disseminating innovative research ideas, emerging technologies, empirical investigations, state-of-the-art methods and tools in all aspects of digital entertainment, new media, entertainment computing, gaming, robotics, toys and applications among researchers, engineers, social scientists, artists and practitioners. Theoretical, technical, empirical, survey articles and case studies are all appropriate to the journal.

Learn more.


pfMentum releases Saxophonist and UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo's new album Suite of Uncommon Sorrows

The Suite of Uncommon Sorrows in an eleven-part suite of original music composed in response to the tumultuous events of 2020, including the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the growing Black Lives Matter movement, and the debilitating polarization of U.S. politics that made it impossible to address either of these adequately.

Each movement explores a different “uncommon sorrow,” such as kuebiko (a state of moral exhaustion inspired by acts of horror in the news, which forces you to revise your image of what can happen in this world), kenopsia (the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet), chrysalism (an amniotic-like tranquility while a storm rages outside), liberosis (an ache to let things go; a desire to hold your life loosely and playfully), zenosyne (the sense that time keeps going faster), and pâro (the feeling that no matter what you do it will always be inadequate).

Check out the album on pfMentum.


Trumpeter and UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards to release new record Zephyr that explores the sonic and visual territory of water in October

New York Times’ “emerging Maestro” Steph Richards to release her latest solo record Zephyr on October 15, 2021 on Relative Pitch Records.

For most of her career as one of the most acclaimed improvisers working in jazz’s avant-garde, trumpeter, composer and bandleader Steph Richards worked hard to make sure that her music was considered on its own terms, rather than — as is so often the case in jazz and music as a whole — in the context of her gender.

But when she went into the studio to record her upcoming album Zephyr in 2019, Richards was six-and-a-half months pregnant. That literally transformative experience shaped the concise, visceral album both in concept and in practice, forcing the thoughtful, cerebral artist to explore a more immediate connection between her body and her work. “I was experiencing my own metamorphosis, thinking about the idea of breathing one breath for two bodies — moving through the world with two distinct pulses happening at the same time,” Richards explains. “It brought a whole other color to my sound precisely because I had a different physical ability. Our bodies are full of potential, and that's something that I had never deeply investigated. ”

Alongside pianist Joshua White, Richards found inspiration in her embodied self instead of attempting to sideline it on Zephyr’s three suites, which amount to an intense 38 minutes of forcefully original sound. Zephyr will be accompanied by a “slow cinema” short film directed by filmmaker and writer Vipal Monga that presents the album’s focus on water and breath in another light. Almost meditative — “It's not being dictated to you from a visual perspective,” as Richards puts it — the film will be released online as well as screened during Zephyr’s album October release tour.

Check out a preview of Zephyr.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt presents Moksha Black for the Virginia Tech Cube Fest

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt presents Moksha Black featuring Roba El-Essawy in the Virginia Tech Cube Fest.

Moksha Black is a project from veteran producer, King Britt. The project name refers to the process of Black Liberation through self realization and spiritual awareness.

Learn more.


Yvette Janine Jackson, Ph.D. ‘17 featured in Virginia Tech's Cube Fest

Yvette Janine Jackson, Ph.D. '17 is a composer and sound installation artist focused on bringing attention to historical events and social issues through her radio operas. She developed Radio Opera Workshop, an adaptable ensemble, which debuted the premiere of The Coding as part of the 2021 Fromm Players Concert II.

Learn more.

July 2021

Portland Opera, The New York Philharmonic, and Michigan Opera Theater to perform works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis

The New York Philharmonic will perform Anthony Davis' clarinet concert, You Have the Right to Remain Silent, on October 20-23, 2021 at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. The performance will feature Anthony McGill on clarinet and contra-alto clarinet and Earl Howard on the Kurzweil. Learn more.

Davis' Pulitzer Prize winning opera The Central Park Five will be performed by the Portland Opera on March 18, 20, 24 and 26, 2022. There will also be a new co-production of the opera with New York City Opera and The Public Theater at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in the Fall. Learn more.

Michigan Opera Theater will present a new production of Davis' first opera X: The Life and Times of Malcom X in Detroit, Michigan on May 14, 19, and 22, 2022. The production will travel to Opera Omaha and Seattle Opera. Learn more.


Training Computers to Transfer Music from One Style to Another

UC San Diego News Center, July 20, 2021

Can artificial intelligence enable computers to translate a musical composition between musical styles – e.g., from pop to classical or to jazz? UC San Diego Professor of Music Shlomo Dubnov and Redmond High School senior Conan Lu developed a machine learning tool that does just that. Dubnov and Lu presented their findings in a paper at the 2nd Conference on AI Music Creativity (AIMC 2021) on July 20th.

Read the full article on UC San Diego News Center.

Hear Conan Lu speak about this project.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt featured on the MusicTech Podcast

MusicTech, July 19, 2021

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt was featured on MusicTech's Podcast, where he discusses why he prefers vintage samplers over modern, which audio manufacturer he trusts above all others for mixing drums, and which specific piece of hardware he must have on all his mixes.

Listen to the Podcast.


Saxophonist and UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo releases videos from his new 11-part "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows"

David Borgo YouTube, July 10, 2021

Saxophonist and UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo's videos from his new 11-part "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows" is now available on YouTube and the suite will be released soon on compact disc by pfMentum. The group will be opening the Wednesdays@7 series on October 6, 2021 in the Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater.

Borgo also completed the revised version of his award-winning book Sync or Swarm, which will be published in early 2022 by Bloomsbury Academic.

Check out the "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows" on Youtube.


“My dream is to teach in a club”: King Britt talks Blacktronika and new pedagogies

John Morrison of The Wire spoke with DJ, producer and UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt about his course Blacktronika and building a new pedagogy around electronic music and its history.

Read The Wire interview.


Los Angeles Electric 8 releases recording of Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Daniel Corral's Circle Limit III

Los Angeles Electric 8, July 2, 2021

On July 2, 2021, MicroFest Records released Los Angeles Electric 8's new recording of composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Daniel Corral's Circle Limit III, a spatialized composition for 8 electric guitars.

LA Times’ Mark Swed called Circle Limit III “…a stunning wall of sound as aural complement to Gehry’s steel, ” and Sequenza 21 said “ … Circle Limit III, by Daniel Corral, gracefully flowed outward in a warm ambient wash. The piece was never static… with the sound rising, falling and slowly shimmering in the bright afternoon sunshine. The harmonies were lush and comforting and… Circle Limit III was perfectly chosen for the sidewalk and fully captured the imagination of the crowd…”

Learn more and check out the album.


UC San Diego graduate student David Aguila releases new album with Ted Taforo

Bandcamp, July 2, 2021

UC San Diego graduate student David Aguila releases new album with Ted Taforo titled "Belief in Reality" on Bandcamp.

Check out the album on Bandcamp.


Rattle Records releases Justin DeHart's, D.M.A. '10 solo percussion album Landfall: New Zealand Percussion, Volume 1

July 2, 2021

On July 2nd, 2021, Rattle Records released Justin DeHart’s, D.M.A. '10 solo percussion album Landfall: New Zealand Percussion, Volume 1.

The work celebrates new works for solo percussion, including one from UC San Diego alumnus, Mark Menzies, who works alongside DeHart at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Learn more about the album.

Listen to an interview with DeHart on Radio New Zealand.

June 2021

UC San Diego Music undergraduate student Timothy “Ill Poetic” Gmeiner releases new track “Defeating My Thoughts”

June 29, 2021

UC San Diego Music undergraduate student Timothy “Ill Poetic” Gmeiner releases new track “Defeating My Thoughts”

“1:26 of organized chaos. This isn't for everybody, it might not be for anybody. Free-Jazz but beats. Burnt out from the past 33 weeks of classes, I popped open my laptop in an airbnb in Ohio and made this in 20 minutes to get the aggression out. New album "As Serious As Your Life" is coming this summer before fall classes kick back in.”

Check out the track.


UC San Diego Music graduate student Nasim Khorassani speaks in the Ensemble Evolution: IFCA Connections forum by the International Contemporary Ensemble

International Contemporary Ensemble YouTube, June 28, 2021

Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Nasim Khorassani was one of two guest speakers for the forum, Ensemble Evolution: IFCA Connections, held by the International Contemporary Ensemble. Khorassani spoke about her composition style and showed samples of her sketches and scores.

Watch the forum on YouTube.


7K! Records' latest edition in their compilation series 'Layers' includes "Thyroid" by UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards

June 25, 2021

Highly established and respected Berlin-based label 7K! Records release the latest edition in their compilation series 'Layers'. The label hand selected specific wind artists from around the world for this Wind Layers compilation and features some of the most interesting wind artists on the scene today such as Colin Stetson and Doug Wieselman.

UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards' "Thyroid" in collaboration with analog synth/drummer and composer Qasim Naqvi was included in this compilation.

Check out the record.


UC San Diego Music graduate student Steven Whiteley releases new album "Soundness Of Mind" with Danielle Davis

Bandcamp, June 25, 2021

Liila, a duo featuring UC San Diego Music graduate student Steven Whiteley, and Danielle Davis, releases their first album “Soundness Of Mind” on Bandcamp. Liila was formed during a shared tenure at a Zen Buddhist monastery, bonding over mutual fascinations with deep listening and intersections of sonic futurism and archaism.

Philip Sherburne of Pitchfork describes the album as “spacious, playful synthesizer melodies that push at the boundaries of what ‘meditative’ music can be.”

Check out the album on Bandcamp.

Read the Pitchfork review.


UC San Diego Music graduate student Teresa Díaz de Cossio selected for Cleveland Institute of Music’s Future of Music Faculty Fellowship

Cleveland Institute of Music, June 22, 2021

Flutist and UC San Diego Music graduate student Teresa Díaz de Cossio was selected as one of 35 fellows for Cleveland Institute of Music’s inaugural Future of Music Faculty Fellowship, designed to elevate Black and Latinx musicians within the music academy.

Learn more about the Fellowship.


Machine Learning Enhances Non-verbal Communication in Online Classrooms

UC San Diego News Center, June 21, 2021

UC San Diego Music and Computer Science Professor Shlomo Dubnov, an expert in computer music who directs the Qualcomm Institute-based CREL, and electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. student Ross Greer began developing a new tool that track eye movements to deal with the downside of teaching music over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers built a prototype system and undertook a pilot study in a virtual music class at UC San Diego via Zoom and the system was found to be highly accurate in estimating the presenter's gaze.

Read the full article on UC San Diego News Center.

Learn more on the NewScientist.


Soprano Susan Narucki serves as panelist for a discussion held by the Charles Ives Society

Charles Ives Society YouTube, June 21, 2021

Soprano Susan Narucki was a panelist on the first of a series of discussions held by the Charles Ives Society, called All the Way Around and Back, exploring Ives' music, his life, his progressive outlook, his relationship to the Transcendentalists and much more. The first panel will be posted to the Ives Society's YouTube channel on Monday, 21 June 21 and can be found here. The chief focus of this first event will be Peter Burkholder's book, Listening to CHARLES IVES. Panel participants include Donald Berman; Peter Burkholder; Deirdre Chadwick, president of the not-for-profit BMI Foundation; pianist Jeremy Denk, whose performances and recording of Ives's Concord Sonata are much admired; soprano Susan Narucki, critically acclaimed for performances of 20th and 21st century music including her recording with Donald Berman of Ives songs, The Light That is Felt; and conductor Leonard Slatkin, who has long championed American composers and recorded an entire album of Ives's music with the St. Louis Symphony.

Watch the discussion on Charles Ives Society YouTube.


UC San Diego graduate student Max Schaffer releases new album DEEP FRIED DECLINE

June 11, 2021

DEEP FRIED DECLINE is an album/love-letter exploring the powerful but deeply uncomfortable space between desire & rage in daily trans existence—placing the experiences of nonconforming artists at its core.

Check out the album on Bandcamp.

Check out the album on Spotify.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt announced to serve on the Curatorial Council for Carnegie Hall's Afrofuturism festival

Carnegie Hall, June 10, 2021

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt was announced as one of the five leading Afrofuturism experts serving on the Curatorial Council for Carnegie Hall’s upcoming citywide Afrofuturism festival in February 2022.

Learn more about the Afrofuturism festival.


Podcast: Composer Lei Liang’s inspiration comes from Tiananmen Square, under the sea and other curiosities

The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 8, 2021

The San Diego Union-Tribune's podcast "Name Drop San Diego" interviews Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Music Lei Liang to talk about how he got involved in music, how he chooses topics to explore in his compositions and more.

Listen to the Name Drop San Diego podcast.


Trumpeter and UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards featured on Anthony Braxton's New Record

Trumpeter and UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards is featured on the legendary Anthony Braxton's new record titled 12 Comp (ZIM) 2017.

Check out the record on Bandcamp.

Read the Chicago Reader review.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt receives the Outstanding Teaching in Africana Studies and Music award

June 4, 2021

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt receives the Outstanding Teaching in Africana Studies and Music award from The African and African-American Studies Research Center, presented by Provost Ivan Evans, ERC.


Wilfrido Terrazas’ flute flight to Baja

San Diego Reader, June 3, 2021

Robert Bush of San Diego Reader interviews flutist and UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Music Wilfrido Terrazas about his latest album Itaca and how the pandemic has affected him as a musician.

Read the San Diego Reader interview.


Remote Links: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Maryanne Amacher with UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Amy Cimini and the New York Public Library

New York Public Library, June 3, 2021

The Music and Recorded Sound Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts acquired the innovative composer and sound artist Maryanne Amacher's archive in 2020. They partnered with UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Amy Cimini and Bill Dietz, editors of Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews, to present a series of short videos that explore Amacher's work through conversations as a shared engagement across social time and distance.

Learn more and watch the video series.


Hinterhof by Judith Hamann, D.M.A. '18 included in "The Best Experimental Music on Bandcamp: May 2021"

Bandcamp, June 1, 2021

"The 33-minute Hinterhof is predominantly ambient and drone-leaning, but there is also a lot of activity and motion churning beneath Hamann’s calm tones. Most impressive is the way she builds a slow narrative, yet keeps Hinterhof feeling organic. When she leans into heavy cello strains about 25 minutes in, the climax is so earned and logical, it feels like the motion of planets."

Check out the full list on Bandcamp.


"My Brilliant Image" composed by UC San Diego Music graduate student Jasper Sussman published by See-a-Dot Music Publishing, Inc.

Alternating between introspective, devotional lines, and bursts of rhythmic energy, this short piece hums with the same ecstatic energy as the Hafiz poetry at its center. Equally appropriate as a religious service anthem or concert piece (perfect for a first half closer or encore number), this piece is recommended for vocal sextets and chamber choirs.

Check out the scores and a performance of the piece by the Madison Choral Project.


UC San Diego Music graduate student Daniel Corral writes an article for issue 10 of Soap Ear

Soap Ear

UC San Diego Music graduate student Daniel Corral writes an article for issue 10 of Soap Ear titled "Counting Presence," all about his piece Count In. "Counting Presence" focuses on the experience of hearing music as "change" rather than "drama."

Read the article on Soap Ear.

May 2021

American Academy of Arts and Letters to host virtual 2021 Ceremonial recognizing 2020 and 2021 honorees

American Academy of Arts and Letters, May 19, 2021

The American Academy of Arts & Letters to host virtual 2021 Ceremonial on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7 p.m. EDT. 2020 and 2021 honorees will be recognized, including forty-six new members and over one hundred fifty awards to architects, artists, writers,
and composers.

Honorees include UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Chinary Ung, Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis, and Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Music Lei Liang.

Chinary Ung is a 2020 inductee, Anthony Davis is a 2021 inductee, and Lei Liang received the 2021 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Learn more and watch the Ceremony on May 19, 2021.


Music + Art: King Britt on his collaboration with Joshua Mays, Dreams, Diaspora, and Destiny

The Key, May 19, 2021

In The Key's "Music+Art" series, UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt talks about AR's unique ability to express Afrofuturism and ways in which his collaboration with Joshua Mays on Dreams, Diaspora, and Destiny influenced his "Blacktronika: Afrofuturism in Music" course at UC San Diego.

Read The Keys interview.


Kevin Simmonds and Anthony Davis in Conversation

Poetry Foundation, May 18, 2021

Writer and musician Kevin Simmonds and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis discuss Black sound, Black church, and the future of opera on The Poetry Magazine Podcast.

Listen to The Poetry Magazine Podcast.


"(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics" project led by Christopher A. Williams, B.A. '03 awarded 1.7 million Euros

May 17, 2021

A major new research project entitled “(Musical) Improvisation and Ethics” was awarded 1.7 million Euros by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)’s Young Independent Researcher Group program (Zukunftskolleg, project ZK 93).

Led by musician and artistic researcher Christopher A. Williams, B.A. '03, anthropologist Caroline Gatt, and philosopher Joshua Bergamin with the collaboration of Prof. Deniz Peters, the project will investigate the improvisational foundations of ethical processes across a range of human and other-than-human activity.

Learn more.


UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter curates a playlist for I Care If You Listen's "ListN Up"

I Care If You Listen, May 14, 2021

Composer and UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter curates a playlist for I Care If You Listen's "ListN Up" series with sounds that have nourished his ears, brain, and heart lately while reminding him to pay very close attention to his own experiences as a listener.

Check out the playlist.


Three’s company, four’s a crowd: Celebrating the rarefied pleasures of the string trio

SF Chronicle Datebook, May 11, 2021

Joshua Kosman of SF Chronicle's Datebook investigates the reasons behind a composer's choice of instrumentation, specifically the choice between string trio versus string quartet. He listened to more than 50 samples of string trios and finds that "there’s a distinctive musical geometry that takes hold among three players, one that allows each instrument an even greater measure of psychological autonomy than it would otherwise have."

Kosman mentions UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter and alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ph.D. '11 as composers that found string trios as the perfect fit for their needs.

"In 'Spectra,' Anna Thorvaldsdottir explores the resonance of open strings and perfect intervals, which register crisply among just three players."

"Marcos Balter’s gnomic “Vision Mantra” fuses the instruments into a single composite voice, none of them going anywhere without their companions."

Read the SF Chronicle Datebook article.


UC San Diego Music graduate student Mariana Flores Bucio presents in the International Americanistic Studies Congress

Centro Studi Americanistici "Circolo Amerindiano" onlus'Facebook, May 11, 2021

UC San Diego Music graduate student Mariana Flores Bucio presents in the International Americanistic Studies Congress organized by Centro Studi Americanistici "Circolo Amerindiano" onlus from Peruggia, Italia.

The conference was hosted virtually on Thursday, May 6 and Mariana Flores Bucio gave her presentation Ethnomusicology: survival, continuity and new contributions of the music and traditional dances in America, Mariachi: From the 18th to 21st Century.

Watch the event on the Centro Studi Americanistici "Circolo Amerindiano" onlus' Facebook.


UC San Diego Music undergraduate student Vita Muccia chosen to present in the 34th annual Undergraduate Research Conference in representation of the Arts & Humanities

UC San Diego Undergraduate Research, May 8, 2021

UC San Diego undergraduate student Vita Muccia, a senior Music major and Theatre minor, presents in the 34th annual Undergraduate Research Conference. Vita was selected to give the Arts & Humanities plenary talk for her project “Shakespeare Unlimited : The Tempest in a Pandemic,” which she worked on with her mentor Professor Ursula Meyer.

Vita is developing the student theatre company, Fair Play, into a committed group of students who study and perform Shakespeare plays. Their mission is to create an educational outreach program that brings more relatable and understandable adaptations of Shakespeare's works to middle and high school students, reiterating that many themes Shakespeare wrote about are truly human experiences that anyone can relate with.

Watch Vita Muccia's Plenary Talk.

Learn more about the Undergraduate Research Conference.

Learn more about the Triton Research & Experiential Learning Scholars (TRELS​) program.


UC San Diego Music graduate student Paul N. Roth and NYC-based guitarist Ian Douglas-Moore release new work with Brooklyn arts space V/A

V/A Bandcamp, May 7, 2021

UC San Diego Music graduate student Paul N. Roth and NYC-based guitarist Ian Douglas-Moore release new work with Brooklyn arts space V/A.

Paul N. Roth - alto saxophone

Ian Douglas-Moore - electric guitar

Check out the piece on Bandcamp.


UC San Diego's Alumni Awards honor Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, MA ’08, PhD ’11

UC San Diego News Center, May 6, 2021

"The musical compositions of Anna Thorvaldsdottir, MA ’08, PhD ’11, convey an auditory ecosystem where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired by nature. Using sound and nuance along with harmonies and lyrics, her work has influenced contemporary music across the globe, advancing frontiers of the art form."

For 42 years, UC San Diego’s Alumni Awards have celebrated the distinguished work and personal accomplishments of Tritons who bring honor and distinction to our alumni ranks. This year, the spirit and ceremony will live on virtually on Saturday, May 15 as we honor the following exceptional Tritons and take part in all that Alumni Celebration Weekend has to offer.

Learn more about Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

Meet the Alumni Award Honorees 2021.

Register for the Alumni Awards Ceremony.


UC San Diego graduate students Celeste Oram and Stephen de Filippo receives the Australian Music Centre’s Art Music Funds grant

Resonate Magazine, May 6, 2021

UC San Diego graduate students Celeste Oram and Stephen de Filippo receives the Australian Music Centre’s 2021 Art Music Funds grant. Each artist will receive $5,000 towards the commission of a new work.

Celeste is creating a concert-length experimental music-theatre work for Ensemble Adapter, an Icelandic/German quartet. The work explores comparative histories of radio in Iceland and Aotearoa New Zealand, dwelling on radio's varying guises as a raw force of nature, a mouthpiece for nation-building, and a site of intimate and personal connection.

Stephen and oboist Niamh Dell will work collaboratively to create a new work for oboe and electronics, exploring liminal sounds that are found at the edges of pitch and articulation. Thematically, the work considers a local fascination of mythical creatures, and conceptualises Niamh's instrument as a beak - its narrow bore both enhancing and restricting performer agency.

Read about the 2021 Art Music Funds grant recipients.


UC San Diego graduate students Alexander Ishov, Michael Jones and Ashley Zhang release recording of Morton Feldman’s “Crippled Symmetry”

Alexander Ishov Bandcamp, May 6, 2021

UC San Diego graduate students Alexander Ishov, Michael Jones and Ashley Zhang release their recording of Morton Feldman’s “Crippled Symmetry,” recorded live on November 8, 2019 at the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall .

Alexander Ishov - flute, bass flute
Michael Jones - glockenspiel, vibraphone
Ashley Zhang - piano, celesta

Check out the recording on Bandcamp.


Conrad Prebys Foundation Awards $500,000 Grant to Support Department of Music’s Community Outreach

UC San Diego News Center, May 3, 2021

“UC San Diego is a destination for world-class music, art and culture,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “With the support of The Prebys Foundation, we are expanding access to the wealth of cultural opportunities available on campus to our greater community. As a leading public university and center for creative expression, we are dedicated to supporting and promoting social and cultural enrichment regionally and globally.”

Read the UC San Diego News Center article.

April 2021

UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis curates a playlist for I Care If You Listen's "ListN Up"

I Care If You Listen, April 30, 2021

Composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis curates a playlist for I Care If You Listen's "ListN Up" series with music that he's lived with all his life, pieces that he's grown to love and ones that have an ongoing influence on his direction in music.

Check out the playlist.


Composer Tina Tallon, Ph.D. '20 receives the 2021-2022 Rome Prize in Music Composition

American Academy in Rome, April 23, 2021

Composer Tina Tallon, Ph.D. '20 receives the 2021-2022 Rome Prize in Music Composition from the American Academy in Rome for her interactive, electroacoustic chamber opera Shrill.

Project Shrill synopsis:
Written for Boston-based experimental opera company Guerilla Opera, Shrill is an interactive electroacoustic chamber opera which will examine how bias in the development and regulation of voice technology has shaped society. Everything from microphones to modes of transmission have been optimized for specific voices, and the gendered and racialized invective surrounding people from underrepresented demographics in the media has changed very little since the dawn of the broadcast era. Told from the perspective of four minoritized vocal laborers, it will grapple with questions of virtuality, embodiment, identity construction, and power. The set will include novel sculptural electronic instruments that engage performers and audience alike in embodied explorations of the resistance that different media and forms of representation pose to equity and advancement. Ultimately, Shrill will entreat listeners to examine their own biases and advocate for voices that are silenced in our society by structural inequity.


Voices for Playas de Tijuana: a social-dialogue community project

UC San Diego Arts and Humanities Events YouTube, April 21, 2021

UC San Diego Arts and Community Engagement director Susan Narucki talks with Department of Music graduate student Miguel Zazueta-Cervera about his Community Connections fellowship: a social-dialogue project called "Voices for Plays de Tijuana."

"Voices for Playas de Tijuana" has the goal to create a dialog between the artistic group Radical: Vocal Ensemble and the Committee of Citizen Security of Playas de Tijuana in order to develop an artistic product that helps this community to reach their goal of making Playas de Tijuana a safe place to live.

Watch the talk on YouTube.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt releases new track in collaboration with Zimbabwean duo Chimurenga RenaissanceInterview with Steph Richards: … only be soul, there is no room for anything otherIn La Jolla Symphony & Chorus ‘Music in Community’ concert, an unlikely pairing

The Buddy System Label Bandcamp, April 16, 2021

Global electronic music producer and UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt releases new track in collaboration with Zimbabwean duo Chimurenga Renaissance.

“Zimbabwe” featuring Nadine Stoddart is a celebration of the beauty that Zimbabwe has given to the world. Recorded in Zimbabwe, Philadelphia and Seattle, the song pays homage to Tendai Maraire’s father Dumisani Maraire, whom brought the Mbira to the western world.

Check out the track on the Buddy System label Bandcamp.


Interview with Steph Richards: … only be soul, there is no room for anything otherIn La Jolla Symphony & Chorus ‘Music in Community’ concert, an unlikely pairing

JazzBluesNews, April 14, 2021

JazzBluesNews interviews trumpeter and UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards about her experiences as a musician.

"If I’m listening to the band, the room, the space, then everyone is influencing the sound. One thing I learned from playing with so many different artists in a variety of genres and venues is that you should never underestimate your audience, and that context is everything." -Stephanie Richards

Read the JazzBluesNews interview.


In La Jolla Symphony & Chorus ‘Music in Community’ concert, an unlikely pairing

The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 10, 2021

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus will be performing Beethoven's Violin Concerto and contemporary composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi's "why the trees were murmuring" in their virtual concert program "Music in Community" this Friday, April 16th.

“I love these kinds of pairings,” said Steven Schick, the symphony’s music director. “Works that sound utterly unlike each other on the surface but have deep commonalties.”

Read the article in The San Diego Union-Tribune.


Paper by UC San Diego Music graduate student Lilac Atassi published in the Leonardo Music Journal

MIT Press Direct, April 9, 2021

"Allocentric and Egocentric Controllers: Similarities and Differences" by UC San Diego Music graduate student Lilac Atassi published in the Leonardo Music Journal.

Abstract:
Gestural instruments can be divided into two categories based on the type of the reference frame used by the controller. An egocentric controller uses a reference frame that is centered on and follows a point of the performer's body to measure the body point positions relative to some other body points. An allocentric controller uses a stationary reference frame attached to an object other than the performer's body. The allocentric option is the more commonly used by gestural instrument designers. The egocentric option has been used and explored less frequently. This paper studies, at a low level and high level: 1- The similarities and differences between egocentric and allocentric controllers for gestural instruments from the perspective of performer and instrument designer. 2- The affordances and constraints of egocentric and allocentric controllers as they, to a large degree, define the characteristics of an instrument. The paper presents the initial results of a subjective experiment to encourage the future discussion and study of the subject.

Learn more.


Composer Ming Tsao, Ph.D. '07 awarded as a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for 2021

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, April 8, 2021

Ming Tsao received his Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego under Chaya Czernowin as well as studying privately with Brian Ferneyhough.

Read the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Announcement.


UC San Diego Division of Arts & Humanities fundraising to establish the Cecil Lytle Endowed Chair in African and African-American Music

The UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities invites members of our community to contribute to a special initiative establishing the Cecil Lytle Endowed Chair in African and African-American Music. This unique effort will advance the study, composition, and performance of African and African-American music while affirming its vitality for students past and present.

To honor a living legend, the division and Department of Music seeks your support in expanding scholarship on genres and themes aligned with UC San Diego’s celebration of diversity, cultural heritage, and innovative collaboration.

Learn more.

Give Now to the Cecil Lytle African and African-American Music Endowment Initiative.


American Academy of Arts & Letters honors San Diego’s Anthony Davis, 2020’s Pulitzer Prize music winner

The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 5, 2021

2020 Pulitzer Prize winning composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis will be induced into the American Academy of Arts and Letters on May 19.

“It’s a great honor,” Davis told the Union-Tribune in a Monday phone interview. “Post-COVID, we will meet every year to help distribute awards that the academy gives to composers, so I’m looking forward to participating.”

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article.


Composer and UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter featured in a new 6-episode podcast launching April 13

Mission: Commission is a free weekly podcast that invites listeners behind the scenes to hear how classical music gets made. Follow the creative journey of three composers (Marcos Balter, Courtney
Bryan, and Augusta Read Thomas) who have been given six weeks to create a newly commissioned piece of music. Marcos Balter is writing a new work for harpist Parker Ramsay for the podcast.

Mission: Commission is a production of Miller Theatre at Columbia University. In fall 2020, Miller Theatre invited Balter, Bryan, and Thomas—three fascinatingly different composers stylistically—to each write a new piece of music in six weeks, checking in with podcast host Melissa Smey (Miller’s Executive Director) weekly to discuss their unique processes along the way. Like an audio diary, listeners will get a rare inside look as an artist creates—from the blank page, to inspiration, risk-taking and hard work, to the finished product. The result is a dialogue about music creation that ventures into joy, frustration, and humor—and just being a human during a global pandemic. Recordings of the final pieces will be shared at the conclusion of the podcast on May 18.

Learn more and tune-in.
Listen to the Mission: Commission Podcast Trailer.


Book Review: Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews co-edited by UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Amy Cimini and composer Bill Dietz

The Brooklyn Rail, April 2021

Nicole Kaack reviews Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews co-edited by historical musicologist and UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Amy Cimini and composer Bill Dietz for The Brooklyn Rail.

Kaack highlights selected works of Maryanne Amacher and reviews the book as "an incredible reference text, dramatically expanding the available literature on a significant yet little-known artist and offering insight into the realist poetics and technical rigor of Amacher’s work."

UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo records a new 11-part suite of original music titled "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows"

Read the review in The Brooklyn Rail.

Check out the book on Blank Forms.


UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo records a new 11-part suite of original music titled "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows"

UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo recently recorded a new 11-part suite of original music titled the "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows," composed in response to the tumultuous events of 2020, including the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the growing Black Lives Matter movement for social justice, and the near complete disregard for both by the United States government under former President Donald Trump. The suite presents a seamless progression through “uncommon emotions” such as kuebiko (a state of moral exhaustion inspired by acts of horror in the news), kenopsia (the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet), occhiolism (the awareness of the limitations of one's own perspective), liberosis (an ache to let things go), pâro (the feeling that no matter what one does it will always be inadequate), and zenosyne (the sense that time keeps going faster). The ensemble included recent Ph.D. graduate Asher Tobin Chodos on piano, Mackenzie Leighton on bass, and the phenomenal Mark Ferber on drums. The project was tracked at San Diego stalwart Peter Sprague's Spragueland Studios in Leucadia, California. Borgo has also been working on a revised edition of his award-winning book Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age for Bloomsbury Press.

March 2021

The Memories and Materials of Maryanne Amacher: In Conversation with Amy Cimini and Bill Dietz

Flash Art, March 26, 2021

Kate Galloway of Flash Art interviews UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Amy Cimini and composer Bill Dietz, the co-editors of Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews, about their process of creating this book.

Read the interview in Flash Art.


How Can Opera Give Voice to a New Narrative?

UC San Diego News Center, March 25, 2021

“Five of the world’s most renowned composers and lyricists gathered for a virtual UC San Diego event March 6, outlining how they envision the role of opera in advancing equality and social justice.

Representing the present and future of the genre, composers Anthony Davis, John Adams and Daniel Bernard Roumain, and librettists Thulani Davis and Michael Korie spoke candidly about the struggle for representation and equity in their industry, and the responsibility artists have to bring about change—sometimes even subversively.”

This talk was organized by Professor of Music Susan Narucki, the Director of the Arts and Community Engagement initiative in the Division of Arts and Humanities.

Read the UC San Diego News Center article.


Tehran-based label releases new album Noise a Noise 21.1 featuring "Situation IV - Io E iO" composed by UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi

March 25, 2021

Tehran-based label Noise à Noise is celebrating the new solar year 1400 S.H with the release of Noise A Noise 21.1 - a compilation of works from all female composers. The album includes pieces by Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi, Nilufar Habibian, Anahita Abbasi, Mehrnaz Khorrami, Deniz Tafaghodi, Nesa Azadikhah, and Leonie Roessler with Akane Takada.

The album features Abbasi's "Situation IV - Io E iO" for solo violin, performed by Andrew McIntosh (recorded 2018, San Diego).

Check out the album on Bandcamp.


UC San Diego Music Conrad Prebys Music Center Receives a $500,000 Grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation

March 23, 2021

"We are tremendously grateful for this gift from The Conrad Prebys Foundation and are especially grateful for their continuation of Conrad Prebys' support of our work. Like all performing arts organizations we have been extremely hard hit by the pandemic. The UC San Diego Department of Music, in addition to its academic mission, has always been a dynamic presenting body, hosting upwards of 200 performances a year in venues including our flagship Conrad Prebys Concert Hall. As we rebuild a full slate of concert activity for next season, this grant will allow us to embrace new technologies to reconnect with our audiences/constituencies and to develop new ones. Work being done by our faculty and students already registers nationally and internationally: this grant will allow us to better archive and more widely share that work. A key part of our post-pandemic revamp is to build deeper and more sustainable connections with the broader San Diego community and this grant will help us by funding the start-up of an ambitious community outreach plan."

-Anthony Burr
Professor of Music
Department of Music Chair

Learn more about the grant.

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article.


Sarah Hennies’ ‘Contralto’ Lets Women’s Voices Be

KPBS, March 23, 2021

Julia Dixon Evans of KPBS interviews composer Sarah Hennies, M.A. 03' about "Contralto," a groundbreaking work of experimental documentary filmmaking and music that was screened with live accompaniment in March by Project [BLANK] musicians through a live online broadcast.

"Contralto" features a cast of transgender women speaking, singing, and performing vocal exercises accompanied by a dense and varied musical score that includes a variety of conventional and "non-musical" approaches to sound-making.

Project [BLANK] musicians includes UC San Diego Music graduate student Kathryn Schulmeister, bass, UC San Diego Music alumni Leah Bowden, percussion, Fiona Digney, percussion, Shayla James, viola, and Batya Macadam-Somer, violin, and Arianna Aviña, percussion, and Elizabeth Brown, cello.

Project [BLANK]'s broadcast of "Contralto" is still available ON DEMAND for $10 through June 6th. Purchase tickets.

Read the KPBS article.


Miller Puckette, creator of Max and Pd, on how he’s patching his way to remote collaboration

March 19, 2021

UC San Diego Professor of Music Miller Puckette, the original creator of Max and Pure Data, speaks about how he’s patching his way to remote collaboration. He reveals how he plays with a percussionist using Pd and Ableton Live, and later joins Cycling ’74’s David Zicarelli to talk about the future of collaboration in modular environments.

Watch the IRCAM Forum Workshops.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt curates a digital exhibit based on his course Blacktronika for Google Arts & Culture’s Music, Makers & Machines Exhibition

UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt, in collaboration with Moogseum, curates a two-part digital exhibit that honors innovators of color in electronic music for Google Arts and Culture's Music, Makers & Machines Exhibition.

Check out Part 1 of the Blacktronika Exhibit.

Check out Part 2 of the Blacktronika Exhibit.


Scientists hustle to create new tests, drugs and expand telemedicine to battle COVID-19 over the long term

The San Diego Union-Tribune, March 14, 2021

"Across campus, Shlomo Dubnov, a professor of computer science and music, has been considering another metric: cough recognition. In early February, he published a paper that indicates that its possible for computer software to tell whether a person is infected with COVID-19 based on coughs and utterances. The software discriminates between recorded sounds made by healthy people and those who have the virus."

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article.


UC San Diego Music Professor Wins Prestigious Award

UC San Diego News Center, March 2, 2021

Composer and UC San Diego Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Music Lei Liang will be awarded a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters on May 19 at the academy's official virtual ceremony. Two Goddard Lieberson Fellowships of $15,000 each, endowed in 1978 by the CBS Foundation, are given annually to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts.

Read the UC San Diego News Center article.


Album Review: Wilfrido Terrazas - Ítaca

Sequenza 21, March 2, 2021

Paul Muller of Sequenza 21 reviews flutist and UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Music Wilfrido Terrazas' 6th solo album Ítaca.

"Ítaca successfully operates on the cutting edge of virtuoso improvisation and extended techniques while anchored in the framework of ancient epic poetry. Wilfrido Terrazas continues to push the envelope for state-of-the-art contemporary flute performance."

Read the review in Sequenza 21.

Check out the album on Cero Records.

Check out the album on Spotify Records.

Check out the album on Amazon Music.

February 2021

UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Wilfrido Terrazas' albums included in FreeForm FreeJazz's list of 85 free jazz albums

FreeForm, FreeJazz, February 26, 2021

Two of UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Wilfrido Terrazas' albums, "Cátedra" (2011) by Generación Espotánea and "Pirate Songs" (2018) by the Wilfrido Terrazas Sea Quintet, were included in a list of 85 albums picked by the prestigious Brazilian blog FreeForm FreeJazz to provide a historic overview of free jazz and free improvisation in Latin America.

See the full list on FreeForm FreeJazz.


King Britt's Blacktronika Celebrates Black Innovators in Electronic Music

DJ Mag, February 25, 2021

UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt speaks with Declan McGlynn of DJ Mag about the goals and inspirations behind his Blacktronika: Afrofuturism in Electronic Music course at UC San Diego.

“When I started as Assistant Teaching Professor at [UC San Diego], I noticed a void, not only in our curriculum but globally, of a class that focused on people of colour’s important contributions to electronic music… My main goal is to bring this knowledge to all young people who are enjoying all the newer sounds of electronic music so that they know the history, sonic lineages and socio-political context in which this music made…”

Read the DJ Mag article.


Intersection Music premieres new work composed by UC San Diego Music graduate student Erin Graham

February 25, 2021

Percussionist Lee Vinson of Intersection Music performs the world premiere of “Cycle” composed by UC San Diego Music graduate student Erin Graham. “Cycle” for four snare drums has six movements and three acts that explore instrumental colors and the relationships between different drums, each cast as a character in a musical drama.

Learn more and watch the performance.


KPBS The Parker Edison Project podcast interviews UC San Diego Music graduate student Kevin Green

KPBS, February 24, 2021

KPBS The Parker Edison Project interviews UC San Diego Music graduate student Kevin Green for an episode of their podcast titled 'The Southeast,' where they take a look at The Underground Improv, a venue crucial in the development of San Diego's illustrious rap history. Green also incorporated this material in his Winter MUS 17 Hip Hop class at UC San Diego.

"I felt it important that UC San Diego students be introduced to how Hip Hop was lived by practitioners in Southeast San Diego. The podcast was used in combination with other audio/visual archival material and written historical context I provided to give MUS 17 students an indication of what the meaning and creative energy was like at The Community Actors Theater during the nights The Underground Improv open mic events were held. The second portion of the podcast featured an interview with a community activist. While I didn't require students to listen to this part, I think any individual who is associated with UC San Diego can get something from hearing about an area of our city that is not often thought to produce and make culture, which I know to be untrue." -Kevin Green

Listen to The Parker Edison Project podcast.


Engineer-turned-Artist Named Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Institute

UC San Diego News Center, February 19, 2021

The Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego appoints composer, sound engineer and UC San Diego Professor of Music Shahrokh Yadegari to be an Associate Director of the interdisciplinary institute.

“Shahrokh Yadegari has pushed the envelope of interdisciplinary education and research,” said QI director Ramesh Rao in announcing the appointment. “As both an engineer and an artist, he is the right blend of researcher and practitioner to help QI build up new alliances across disciplines, not just in research but also in integrating educational programs into our research mission.”

Read the UC San Diego News Center article.


A paper by UC San Diego Music graduate student Eunjeong Stella Ko and Professor Shlomo Dubnov receives Best Paper award in the AAAI Affcon conference

“Comparison and Analysis of Deep Audio Embeddings for Music Emotion Recognition” by UC San Diego Music computer music graduate student Eunjeong Stella Ko with Professor Shlomo Dubnov captured the best paper award in the AAAI (American Association for Artificial Intelligence) Affcon (Affective Computing) conference. In the paper, the authors investigate the utility of state-of-the-art sound representations derived from deep neural network audio embedding methods and apply them to a Music Emotion Recognition (MER) task. Emotion is a complicated notion present in music that is hard to capture even with fine-tuned human designed features. The deep audio embedding were trained on Sound Event Detection task to capture important aspects of sounds that improved upon emotion recognition results compared to previous baseline MER models.

Learn more.


UC San Diego Music receives donation of historically important percussion instruments from the estate of the great Chinese American Composer Chou Wen-Chung

After the passing of the great Chinese American Composer Chou Wen-Chung in October 2019, UC San Diego Music Professors Steven Schick and Lei Liang started a conversation with Professor Chou's heirs, the result of which was that the traditional Chinese instruments were given to the Chou Centre in Xinghai (under the auspices of Professor Liang). The percussion instruments came to UC San Diego and are currently in a collection curated by Professor Schick. Consisting of about 15 gongs, nearly 20 cymbals, a dozen large drums and assorted smaller instruments, this will be a "living collection" at UC San Diego.

Learn more.


The Wire reviews A Re-Discovery (Remix Project) by King Britt's UC San Diego Music students Erin Graham, Jonathan Stallings, David Aguila, Anqi Liu, Janet Sit, Jeffrey Xing and Jackie Guy

Emily Pothast of The Wire reviews A Re-Discovery (Remix Project) by King Britt's UC San Diego Music students Erin Graham, Jonathan Stallings, David Aguila, Anqi Liu, Janet Sit, Jeffrey Xing and Jackie Guy.

"A Re-Discovery (Remix Project) is a selection of seven remixes created by Britt's students in the music production course he teaches at University of California San Diego."

"In Erin Graham's remix, Britt's piano melody is made even more ambient, a slow glow sweeping across the sonic spectrum."

"Jonny Stallings combines snippets of samples with a matrix of dancing beats and digital clasp, while fantasyX [Jackie Guy] uses reversed and timeshifted audio to conjure a haunted void."

"David Aguila transforms the composition into a duet, playing trumpet along with Britt's piano in a single take recorded outdoors in San Diego's Balboa Park."

"Jeffrey Xing plunges the original track into a bottomless pit."

"Anqi Liu dissolves it in a vat of acid; Janet Sit uses it to construct a tiptoeing spy soundtrack."

Purchase issue 445 of The Wire to read the review.

Check out the album on Bandcamp.


Waveform Magazine interviews UC San Diego Music Associate Teaching Professor Tom Erbe 

February 2021

Waveform Magazine interviews UC San Diego Music Associate Teaching Professor Tom Erbe about his creative and technical process designing new synthesizers and audio processors.

Purchase issue 5 of Waveform Magazine (Digital Version).

Purchase issue 5 of Waveform Magazine (Print Version).


Composer Anthony Davis Imagines His Freedom

San Francisco Classical Voice, February 6, 2021

Composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis is featured in an article by Michael Zwiebach of The San Francisco Classical Voice, where he interviews Anthony Davis and takes an in-depth look of the composer's musical works.

'“I like to be able to imagine my freedom, the idea that I can create building on different foundations — Ellington, Strayhorn, Mingus, and the jazz tradition and also building on the operatic tradition from Britten, Schoenberg, back to Puccini, Wagner, and everything. Finding that space between all these things in which I’ll allow myself to engage freely as I see what works for the dramatic situation and what I want to create, that’s always exciting to me."'

Read The San Francisco Classical Voice article.


On Black History: James Gordon Williams, PhD ’13

Triton Magazine interviews James Gordon Williams, Ph.D. '13 about the meaning of Black History to him, his book Crossing Bar Lines: The Politics and Practices of Black Musical Space, and his experiences attending UC San Diego.

"One of the most exciting things for me in my book Crossing Bar Lines: The Politics and Practices of Black Musical Space is my use of Black feminist theory for reframing how African American improvising musicians translate their lived experiences into musical expression.... Being a musician myself, it is important to make explicit how musicians think about their creative processes relative to past history and contemporary events in the world."

James Gordon Williams received his Ph.D. in Integrative Studies in 2013, mentioning UC San Diego Music Professor Emeritus Cecil Lytle and current faculty Anthony Davis, David Borgo, Anthony Burr, Jann Pasler, and Kamau Kenyatta for their immense support and guidance.

Read the feature on Triton Magazine.


The Sounds of COVID

Qualcomm Institute, February 4, 2021

In a research paper on “Robust Detection of COVID-19 in Cough Sounds,” published in the February 2021 issue of Springer Nature’s SN Computer Science journal, UC San Diego music and computer science professor Shlomo Dubnov and colleagues spell out initial results of their work analyzing samples of coughs and utterances from patients diagnosed with the SARS-Cov2 virus against a control group of healthy subjects.

Read the Qualcomm Institute article.

Watch video: Robust Detection of COVID-19 in Cough Sounds.


March edition of Music for Your Inbox features "Hodad" composed and performed by UC San Diego Music graduate students Daniel Corral and Myra Hinrichs

The March edition of Music for Your Inbox, a monthly experimental music and visual art series created by Jennifer Bewerse, D.M.A. '17, will feature a piece called "Hodad" composed by UC San Diego graduate student Daniel Corral"Hodad" is a new violin solo written for violinist and UC San Diego graduate student Myra Hinrichs to play on a beach.

If you subscribe to Music for Your Inbox, you will receive a 20 minute video of "Hodad" (shot by Tim Lacatena) as well as a postcard featuring artwork by UC San Diego visual art faculty Janelle Iglesias.

Subscribe by March 10th to receive this delivery on March 15th.

Learn more about Music for Your Inbox.


Del Sol String Quartet releases new album Kooch-e Khamân featuring works by UC San Diego Music graduate student Nasim Khorassani and alumni Hesam Abedini and Niloufar Shiri

Del Sol String Quartet releases new album Kooch-e Khamân that features the works of 7 Iranian-American composers, including UC San Diego Music graduate student Nasim Khorassani and alumni Hesam Abedini, B.A. '17 and Niloufar Shiri, B.A. '17. Hesam Abedini also served as the co-producer of the album.

Tracks:
1. Road to Hana, Gity Razaz
2. Gol-hāy-e Ghorbat No. 0 (The Flowers of Nostalgia No. 0), Adib Ghorbani
3. über/unter druck, Elnaz Seyedi
4. String Quartet II, based on a poem by Fereydoon Moshiri, Hesam Abedini
5. Rock Cloud, Nasim Khorassani
6. Sarāb, Niloufar Shiri
7. Revolution Street, Iman Habibi

Purchase the album on Amazon.

 

January 2021

Article by UC San Diego Music graduate student Jonny Stallings published in the Perspectives of New Music, Volume 58, No. 1

In "Open Instrumentation and Nonhierarchical Forms of Social Organization: Christian Wolff's Exercises 1-14 (1973-74)," Jonny Stallings compares Wolff's Exercises to rhizomatic melodies, referring to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's concept of the rhizome put forth in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. The use of open instrumentation, "heterophonic unison," guided improvisation, and nonhierarchical performance instructions facilitates rhizomatic deterritorialization of sound, harmony, melody, rhythm, and form in Wolff's Exercises.

Learn more.


Reflective premiere for Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s powerful Catamorphosis by Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko

Adventures in Music, January 30, 2021

Jari Kallio of Adventures in Music reviews the Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko's online concert featuring the premiere of a new orchestral piece titled "Catamorphosis" by composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ph.D. '11.

"Scored for a large orchestra of triple winds, brass, harp, piano, an extended percussion section calling forth four players, as well as full strings, with various divisi, Catamorphosis is clad in ever-transforming sonorities. Both conventional and extended playing techniques are used throughout the score, ever in the most imaginative and natural ways."

Read the full review.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt writes for the Epiphanies section of The Wire

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt writes for the Epiphanies section of The Wire magazine on the everlasting influence of Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi.

Purchase issue 444 of The Wire.


Composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Yi-hsien Chen receives the third prize in the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra's Composition Competition

Composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Yi-hsien Chen receives the third prize (first prize vacant) in the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra's 2021 Composition Competition for his orchestral piece, "Viewing Distant Song". The piece represents his lifelong fascination with the beauty of Taiwanese aboriginal music and its presence in our sonic environment.

Learn more about Yi-hisen Chen.


Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Nathaniel Haering selected for the LA Phil's National Composers Intensive

Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Nathaniel Haering was selected for the LA Phil's National Composers Intensive. The 2020 NCI participants worked with LA Phil musicians remotely to create new works intended to be performed and recorded safely at home by a single instrument. Nathaniel Haering's for social media was premiered by LA Phil bassist Ted Botsford.

Learn more about Nathaniel Haering.

Check out Nathaniel Haering's for social media.

Learn more about LA Phil’s 2020 National Composers Intensive.


Composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi's sketches featured in Towards Sound and the Iranian Female Composers Association's exhibition "Rooted in Iran"

Composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi's sketches for various compositions are featured in Towards Sound and the Iranian Female Composers Association's collaborative exhibition "Rooted in Iran".

Check out the "Rooted in Iran" exhibition.

Check out Anahita’s sketches and hear her speak about her compositional process.


Composer and UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter featured in The New York Times article "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Flute”

The New York Times, January 6, 2021

Composer and UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter's compositions "Pessoa" and "Pan" both performed by flutist Claire Chase are featured in The New York Times article "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Flute”

Read The New York Times article.


Undergraduate Research on Music Awarded by the UC San Diego Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute

A music project proposed by undergraduate student Colin Wang and graduate student Vignesh Gokul, supervised by Professor Shlomo Dubnov, receives undergraduate research funding by HDSI. MSinGAN is a research project aiming to extract useful information from any single audio/music spectrogram using deep learning. By learning from the features of a single spectrogram, this deep learning model is expected to understand the style and music of any musician by just utilizing a single sample, and generate musician-specific music based on these features. The award that Colin received based on the project's proposal is the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute Undergraduate Scholarship, where the department offers a $2500 funding for data-related projects up to 20 projects in total each academic year.

Learn more about the HDSI Scholarship Program.

Check out Colin Wang's website.


Mahan Esfanhani's Musique featuring "Intertwined Distances" composed by UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi chosen as one of Schell's picks for 2020

Sequenza 21, January 2, 2021

In "Music from behind a mask: Schell’s picks for 2020," Michael Schell of Sequenza 21 features Mahan Esfanhani's Musique featuring "Intertwined Distances" composed by UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi as one of his top picks in composed chamber and solo music of 2020.

Read the article on Sequenza 21.


Flutist and UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Music Wilfrido Terrazas releases new album Ítaca with Mexico City label Cero Records

Cero Records, January 1, 2021

Flutist and UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Music Wilfrido Terrazas releases his 6th solo album Ítaca with Mexico City label Cero Records. This is Terrazas's first album dedicated to his solo flute compositions and features nine pieces for flute, piccolo, alto flute and bass flute.

Check out the album on Cero Records.

Check out the album on Spotify Records.

Check out the album on Amazon Music.

December 2020

Edition Wandelweiser Records releases Kevin Good's slow, silent, singing performed by percussionist and UC San Diego Music graduate student Michael Jones

Edition Wandelweiser Records releases Kevin Good's slow, silent, singing performed by percussionist and UC San Diego Music graduate student Michael Jones.

Review by Michael Pisaro-Liu, September 2020:

"In Michael Jones' able hands, the tones of slow, silent, singing feel as if they are being plucked from the vine. but the vine is diagonal. it is as easy to reach a high hanging fruit (or a high note) as a low one. the bells of the glockenspiel are all available all the time ... in theory at least. but Kevin Good makes a continuously evolving selection, always with the full gamut in mind, but only ever choosing a few. on the page they are patterns more than melodies, diagonals that can be quickly scanned. however, the notes are deceptively, patiently spread out in time – so that the decaying tones become something like melody. we, the listeners, fill the gaps. we are the ones who sing."

Check out the album.

Check out the album on Bandcamp.


Soprano Alice Teyssier, D.M.A. '17, percussionist Ross Karre, D.M.A. '09, and composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ph.D. '11 featured in The New York Times's "The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2020"

The New York Times, December 17, 2020

Ash Fure's 'Shiver Lung' featuring vocals by soprano Alice Teyssier, D.M.A. '17, and percussions by Ross Karre, D.M.A. '09, and 'Mikros' composed by composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ph.D. '11 are featured in The New York Times's "The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2020."

Ash Fure: ‘Shiver Lung’

“Something to Hunt”; International Contemporary Ensemble; Lucy Dhegrae and Alice Teyssier, vocalists (Sound American)

"I try not to be fussy with audio quality. But if anything calls for an exception, it’s this long-awaited collection of music by Ash Fure — works that experiment with how sounds are made and felt. So before hitting play, gather your focus, along with your best headphones or speakers, for an intensely visceral listening experience." JOSHUA BARONE

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: ‘Mikros’

“Epicycle II”; Gyda Valtysdottir (Sono Luminus)

"A subterranean hall of mirrors lures in the listener in this deeply affecting three-minute track. Gyda Valtysdottir’s cello takes on the guise of a modern-day Orpheus and the spectral sounds of the underworld as she layers her performance on top of two prerecorded tracks. As this protagonist cello line sighs, heaves and slackens, the taped parts add fragmented scratch tones, whispers and tremors, evoking terrain both alluring and treacherous." CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM

Read The New York Times article.


Life & Work with Joseph Bourdeau

SDVoyager Magazine, December 14, 2020

Meet Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Joseph Bourdeau.

Read the interview.


Honoring Our 'Library of Dreams'

UC San Diego News Center, December 10, 2020

This Week @ UC San Diego features "Library of Dreams" by UC San Diego Music undergraduate students Donald Liang and Terry Feng. Liang and Feng shares about what inspired them to create an album that takes a floor-by-floor look of the UC San Diego Geisel Library and how it all came together.

“Their work brings the dynamic effects of site-specific sound art together with digital-electronic groove music of the slickest, chill-est quality,” Music assistant professor Sarah Hankins said. “‘Library of Dreams’ isn’t just a major artistic achievement, it’s also a labor of love, and a gift to the whole UC San Diego community. Donald and Terry take us ‘home’ even during this moment when we’re all feeling out of place.”

Read the full interview and listen to the album.

Read the feature in American Library Association's ilovelibraries.


Cellist and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Charles Curtis featured in Bandcamp's "Best Contemporary Classical Albums of 2020"

Bandcamp, December 10, 2020

Cellist and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Charles Curtis's album "Performances & Recordings 1998-2018" is featured in Bandcamp's "Best Contemporary Classical Albums of 2020."

"A close associate of La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier, and Éliane Radigue, cellist Charles Curtis has established himself as one of the major American instrumentalists in experimental music—particularly in the realms of tuning, durational pieces, and psychoacoustics. This astonishing 3-CD set casts a wonderfully broad net on those disparate activities while subtly arguing for continuity between them. The collection opens with a riveting performance of Radigue’s transportative yet austere “Occam V,” composed for him in 2012, and then it suddenly shifts to interpretations of medieval and Baroque pieces by Guillaume De Machaut, Tobias Hume, and Silvestro di Ganassi. Those seeming polarities dissolve as the album unfolds."

Read the Bandcamp article.


The San Diego Union-Tribune recaps the numerous 2020 accomplishments by San Diego musicians, including esteemed UC San Diego Music faculty

December 6, 2020

George Varga of The San Diego Union-Tribune recaps the numerous wonderful accomplishments of 2020 by San Diego musicians, including esteemed UC San Diego Music faculty Anthony Davis, Steven Schick, Susan Narucki, Lei Liang and Chinary Ung.
Opera composer Anthony Davis
2020 Pulitzer Prizes-winner for music, for “The Central Park Five”
La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Music Director Steven Schick
2020 recipient of the Ditson Conductor’s Award
Singer Susan Narucki
2020 Recording Academy / GRAMMYs Award nominee
Composer Lei Liang
2020 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition winner
Composer Chinary Ung
2020 American Academy of Arts and Letters inductee

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article.


Ted Taforo & Scot Ray release new album What is Beauty mastered by UC San Diego Music graduate student David Aguila

Bandcamp, December 4, 2020

Ted Taforo & Scot Ray release new album What is Beauty mastered by UC San Diego Music graduate student David Aguila.

David Aguila was also hired by Point Blank Music School Los Angeles as a Lecturer for their Mastering Course this Winter.

Check out the album on Bandcamp.


Steph Richards’ super scents make Supersense

San Diego Reader, December 3, 2020

UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards shares with Robert Bush of San Diego Reader the story behind the creation of her new album SUPERSENSE and how the idea of accompanying the album with a "scratch-and-sniff" card came to be.

Read the San Diego Reader interview.


The Library of Congress releases a series of interviews and conversations with composer Roger Reynolds

Library of Congress, December 1, 2020

The Library of Congress releases a series of interviews and conversations with Roger Reynolds that discusses the celebrated composer's use of text, thoughts on sound spatialization, site-specifics works, intermedia, technology in music, his compositional methods, and relationships with other composers (including Iannis Xenakis, Toru Takemitsu, John Cage, and Elliott Carter).
These interviews further enhance the Roger Reynolds Collection that is held at the Library of Congress, containing manuscripts, sketches, correspondence, recordings and other primary source materials related to Reynolds’ life and work.

Learn more.

Watch the interviews.


UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt featured in Black Futures edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham

UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt featured in new book Black Futures edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham. King Britt contributed a special music mix of carefully selected songs for the book.

About Black Futures:

Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham have brought together this collection of work--images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more--to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today. The book presents a succession of startling and beautiful pieces that generate an entrancing rhythm: Readers will go from conversations with activists and academics to memes and Instagram posts, from powerful essays to dazzling paintings and insightful infographics.

In answering the question of what it means to be Black and alive, Black Futures opens a prismatic vision of possibility for every reader.

Check out the book.


Opera News reviews the recording of Lei Liang's chamber opera, Inheritance featuring Grammy-winning soprano Susan Narucki, conducted by Steven Schick

Arlo McKinnon of Opera News reviews the recording of Lei Liang's chamber opera, Inheritance featuring Grammy-winning soprano Susan Narucki, conducted by Steven Schick. McKinnon praises Lei Liang's composition, Susan Narucki's portrayal of Sarah Winchester, the supporting cast comprised of soprano Kirsten Wiest, D.M.A. '19 and mezzo Hillary Jean Young, D.M.A. '19 and acclaimed baritone Josué Cerón, and the masterful conducting of Steven Schick leading an ensemble of faculty, alumni and graduate student performers.

"Liang employs many recurring musical leitmotifs, small and unusual enough to avoid seeming pedantic. He has the instrumental ensemble incorporate many extended playing techniques throughout to create unusual, otherworldly sound colors. in particular, his writing for the two percussionists is virtuoso."

"Susan Narucki, as Sarah, again demonstrates that she's one of the great practitioners of contemporary vocal music. She vividly displays Sarah's sorrow, loneliness, bitterness and confusion. She's lyrical where the music allows and can traverse the wide leaps and disjointed passages with suave nuance."

"Conductor Steven Schick masterfully maintains an atmospheric sense of timelessness but also keeps the performers focused, making a strong case for the opera's dramatic relevance."

Read the full review.

November 2020

Conversations with Mari Kawamura

SDVoyager Magazine, November 30, 2020

Meet pianist and UC San Diego Music graduate student Mari Kawamura.

Read the interview.


Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Varun Rangaswamy voted to the board of San Diego New Music Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Varun Rangaswamy was recently voted to be on the board of San Diego New Music.

Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Varun Rangaswamy was recently voted to be on the board of San Diego New Music.

Varun will help curate concerts, recruit players/composers and serve as a liaison between San Diego New Music and local colleges/universities.

Learn more about San Diego New Music.

Learn more about Varun Rangaswamy.


UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt chosen as the UC San Diego Cross-Cultural Center's Faculty Artist in Residence

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt is chosen as the UC San Diego Cross-Cultural Center's Faculty Artist in Residence.

The Faculty Artist in Residence at the Cross-Cultural Center partners with UC San Diego faculty for the academic year to engage with the campus community - students, staff, and faculty - around topics of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Events centered around the topic of Afrofuturism in Electronic Music will be released in winter quarter.


Gregory Porter's latest album, with songs co-produced by UC San Diego Music Teaching Professor Kamau Kenyatta, is nominated in the 2021 Grammy Awards

The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 24, 2020

Gregory Porter's latest album "All Rise" is nominated in the 2021 Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album! "Four of 'All Rise’s' 13 songs were co-produced by UC San Diego music professor Kamau Kenyatta, a key mentor and longtime collaborator of Porter’s."

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article.


Concurrence by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, featuring a piece composed by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ph.D. '11 is nominated in the 2021 Grammy Awards

November 24, 2020

Concurrence by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daníel Bjarnason is nominated in the 2021 Grammy Awards for Best Orchestral Performance. This performance features a piece titled "Metacosmos" composed by composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ph.D. '11.

Learn more.


A Tense New Classical Work Bottles The Feeling Of A Police Stop

NPR, November 24, 2020

Elizabeth Kramer of NPR's All Things Considered speaks with 2020 Pulitzer Prize winning composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis about his opera You Have the Right to Remain Silent that was inspired by his experience of being pulled over by the police in the mid-1970s when he was driving with his wife to Boston for a concert.

Clarinetist Anthony McGill recently performed Davis's You Have the Right to Remain Silent with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in a free virtual concert.

Read and listen to the NPR interview.

Watch the performance.


"'All bets are off': Flexible engagement with music-listening technologies by autistic adults" by UC San Diego Music doctoral candidate Michael Matsuno published in the Psychology of Music

Sage Journals, November 23, 2020

"'All bets are off': Flexible engagement with music-listening technologies by autistic adults" by Michael Matsuno, doctoral candidate in contemporary music performance (flute), was published in the Psychology of Music.

The qualitative study examines music-listening habits among autistic adult programmers at UC San Diego's Research on Autism Development Lab, and showed that music technologies are a powerful tool in the daily lives of autistic adults in their sense of agency and personhood.

The current version of the article can be viewed on a UC San Diego campus network connection.

Read the article.


Sounds of the World podcast interviews composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi

Sounds of the World, November 23, 2020

The Sounds of the World podcast interviews composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate in composition Anahita Abbasi and composer Niloufar Iravani to speak about their music, their lives in Iran as well as in America/Europe, and the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA).

Listen to the podcast.


Rising Stars: Meet Erin Graham of San Diego

SDVoyager Magazine, November 23, 2020

Meet Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Erin Graham.

Read the interview.


UC San Diego Music Teaching Professor Kamau Kenyatta's compositions "Destiny and Watching and Waiting" arranged by Kris Johnson and performed by the Kris Johnson Big Band will be featured at the UC San Diego Founders Live event

November 17, 2020

UC San Diego Music Teaching Professor Kamau Kenyatta's compositions "Destiny and Watching and Waiting" arranged by Kris Johnson and performed by the Kris Johnson Big Band will be featured at the UC San Diego Founders Live event, honoring Joan and Irwin Jacobs with a Lifetime Legacy Award and celebrating this year’s Chancellor’s Medalists.

UC San Diego Alumnus David Castaneda will also perform, and Kenyatta and Castaneda will provide introductory remarks before and between performances.

Watch Kamau Kenyatta's "Peter Kobia" performed by the Kris Johnson Big Band.

Learn more about the Founders Live event.


Mahan Esfahani, Harpsichordist's album Musique?, featuring a piece by UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi, receives Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award) Bestenliste

Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, November 2020

Mahan Esfahani, Harpsichordist's album Musique?, featuring UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi’s composition “Intertwined Distances,” receives Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award) Bestenliste in the keyboard music category!

The Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik honors ten outstanding productions each year awarded by a jury panel that consist of musicologists, critics, authors and editors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

From the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik jury:

“The harpsichord is commonly associated with early music or, at best, with the Neo-baroque soundtrack of the Miss Marple films, in which the keyboard instrument chirps and purrs so quirkily. But now Mahan Esfahani presents a furious recording that exclusively combines works from the 20th and 21st centuries. In doing so, he literally unleashes the instrument, opens the gates to new dimensions of sound and sometimes also treats it percussively. The panorama ranges from Toru Takemitsu’s sharply contoured sentence “Rain Dreaming” to Henry Cowell’s roaring “Set of Four” to breathtaking electronic experiments by Kaija Saariaho and Anahita Abbasi.”

Learn more.

Check out the album on Hyperion Records.


King Britt, Eris Drew, and More Remix Arandel

XLR8R, November 13, 2020

UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt reimagines "Bodyline," a centerpiece of InBach, as a modern minimal house tune.

King Britt, Eris Drew, Toh Imago, and more have contributed to a remix package of Arandel‘s InBach, originally released in January. Not only an homage to Bach’s work, InBach aimed to illuminate the extraordinary instruments housed in the Musée de la Musique (Philharmonie de Paris) with vivid, contemporary music.

The remixes should be viewed as a continuation of the album. The package comprises five takes that reshape and reimagine the core ideas of the original album’s tracks, which themselves were re-imaginations.

King Britt's remix can now be streamed in full at the link below and the complete InBach Remixes album is scheduled to be released on November 20.

Learn more and listen to King Britt's remix.


UC San Diego Music alum Xavier Beteta releases new album Lasting Shadows

November 10, 2020

UC San Diego Music alum Xavier Beteta releases new album Lasting Shadows, featuring pieces titled "Lasting Shadows," "Fragments of a Distant Dream," "La Catedral Abandonada," and "La Resurrección de la Memoria."

"I have had the double pleasure of hearing the first performance of

Xavier Beteta's "The Abandoned Cathedral" and conducting it myself with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Both times I found myself immersed in Beteta's colorful musical landscape, in which the evocations at any given musical moment are balanced with a finely calibrated large-scale sensibility. In Beteta's music you can have it all--finely wrought poetic detail and persuasive structure." - Steven Schick, Percussionist and Distinguished Professor of Music, University of California, San Diego

Learn more about Lasting Shadows.


Hausmann Quartet - Quarantine Composers Competition

Hausmann Quartet, November 8, 2020

Composer and UC San Diego grad student Alex Stephenson was named a prizewinner in the Hausmann Quartet Quarantine Composers Competition - A 6 feet apart production for his composition "Bloom" for string quartet.

All prizewinners will receive a financial honorarium, and we will perform (and record live) each of the works in the coming seasons.

Learn more about the Hausmann Quartet Quarantine Composers Competition.


Kim Bjørn releases new book PATCH & TWEAK with Moog featuring UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt

BJOOKS, November 6, 2020

PATCH & TWEAK with Moog is the ultimate resource for Moog synthesizer enthusiasts and musicians of all skill levels interested in an immersive modular synthesis experience.

Opening with a foreword from acclaimed film score composer Hans Zimmer, this hardcover book by Kim Bjørn features 200 pages full of synthesizer techniques, creative patch ideas, sound design tips, professional artist interviews, in-depth discussions with Moog engineers, and a glimpse into the company's remarkable history. The book's primary focus is Moog's well-loved line of semi-modular analog synthesizers: Mother-32, DFAM, Subharmonicon, Grandmother, and Matriarch.

The book includes stories, inspiration, and hands-on patch tips from King Britt and many other artists.

Learn more about PATCH & TWEAK with Moog.


Oxford Contemporary Opera - Opera in Conversation with Anthony Davis

Oxford Contemporary Opera, November 5, 2020

Oxford Contemporary Opera features Pulitzer Prize winning Composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis for the first talk in their series Opera in Conversation. Davis covers his works, the relationship between race and opera and more.

Watch the Opera in Conversation interview.


An audio introduction to Steph Richards

The Wire, November 2020

UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards shares with The Wire a playlist of songs from her past albums and collaborative projects as well as an exclusive video about her latest album SUPERSENSE.

Listen to the playlist on The Wire.


Column: Bass players offer soothing music on Election Day

The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 4, 2020

UC San Diego Professor of Music Mark Dresser and fellow N.Y. bassist William Parker organized the "Deep Tones for Change" mini-concert series that spanned the entire 17 hours of Election Day to offer listeners a soothing break from political and social turmoil. “We have no musical agenda except the intent to send healing vibrations — vibrations for peace,” explained Dresser. 

Tune in on the Deep Tones for Peace Facebook group.


Complete Communion: Jazz For November Reviewed By Peter Margasak

The Quietus, November 3, 2020

Peter Margasak of The Quietus reviews Stephanie Richards's new album SUPERSENSE saying, "The band digs deep into various extended techniques... the quartet consistently employs such features in service the contours of the leader's writing, which eschews any borders between tunes and pure sonic exploration. Many of the tracks move among those poles effortlessly, as atmospheres either humid or sere, and textures both abstract and viscous can snap into a pithy groove on a dime."

Read The Quietus review.


Blank Forms to publish new book Maryanne Amacher - Selected Writings and Interviews edited by UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Music Amy Cimini and Bill Dietz

The life and work of Maryanne Amacher are as vast as they are little known. In this volume, Amy Cimini and Bill Dietz offer a heterodox and idiosyncratic selection of largely unpublished documents spanning the breadth of the papers included in the Amacher Collection. The chronologically grouped documents, ranging from private writings and letters to program notes, manifestos, and proposals for unrealized projects, are framed by interviews in which Amacher discusses corresponding periods of her life. This structure leads readers carefully into the composer’s musical thought as it develops and transforms over time, while working strenuously against the definitiveness associated with “collected” writings. This study of a still-unfolding body of work approaches its materials as provisional, promissory and open-ended. Here, Cimini and Dietz have compiled a volume full of staggeringly rich primary documents, while probing the issue of what it means to assemble these materials while the question “who was Maryanne Amacher?” remains so open. This collection invites the reader to answer.

Learn more and pre-order for December 8th release.


UC San Diego grad student Paul Roth's project "Radio Future Hour" from the UC San Diego Arts and Community Engagement initiative airs on social justice radio station KNSJ

"Radio Future Hour" is a collaboration between social justice radio station KNSJ (89.1FM in San Diego) and the Arts and Community Engagement initiative in the UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities.

The project commissions regional youth leaders working with local community organizations to build podcasts that explore issues most relevant to them and their collective futures. The resulting dialogues offer thoughtful, practical, empathetic, and grounded perspectives on local, national, and global issues, giving all of us optimism for brighter tomorrows.

Listen to "Radio Future Hour" on the KNSJ website.
Listen to "Radio Future Hour" on Soundcloud.
Learn more about Paul Roth's project.


Roger and Karen Reynolds to publish their monograph Xenakis Creates in Music and Architecture: The Reynolds Desert House

Over the summer Roger and Karen Reynolds signed a contract with Routledge to publish their monograph, Xenakis Creates in Music and Architecture: The Reynolds Desert House. Now in its final stages of preparation, this extensive study explores their 4-decade relationship with the Xenakises and the collaborative evolution of his novel architectural concept intended for the Anza-Borrego Desert east of San Diego. Reviewers commented that:

“This is a very unique proposal of the highest quality on a topic that is greatly underdeveloped: the links between musical, architectural and literary creativity in Xenakis' work. The author is uniquely poised to address these issues having been a close colleague and friend of Xenakis over many decades and having exchanged thoughts and reflections deeply with him during that period.”

Learn more.


Album Review - Steph Richards: SUPERSENSE

Downbeat, November 2020

Josef Woodard of Downbeat says, "In keeping with her visceral approach to free play, Richards and company have created an engaging multi-sensory tableau, one that poses the question, Who’s afraid of the avant-garde?...4 stars"

Read the Downbeat review.


Sitar Virtuoso and UC San Diego Music faculty Kartik Seshadri to re-release his 2012 album Sublime Ragas

November 2020

Juxtaposed with Pandit Ravi Shankar and nominated as one of the "Top of the World 10 albums" by the prestigious Songlines Music Magazine U.K., sitar virtuoso and UC San Diego Music faculty Kartik Seshadri's 2012 album Sublime Ragas will be re-released in CD and Vinyl this November. Seshadri is praised by Songlines Music Magazine U.K. as "one of the world's best sitar players."

The album will be available for purchase on Amazon, Apple iTunes, and more.

Read the Songlines Music Magazine review.

Learn more about Kartik Seshadri.

October 2020

Justin DeHart, D.M.A. '10, Senior Lecturer of Music at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, was featured on two international record releases

On 30th of October, Justin DeHart, D.M.A. '10, Senior Lecturer of Music at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, was featured on two international record releases.

At Seventy: The Percussion Music of Stuart Saunders Smith, a 6-disc retrospective album of percussion music from American composer Stuart Saunders Smith on Chen Li Records. Justin is featured as soloist for the entire first, of six discs. His contribution includes Smith's complete suite of three works for drumset, and solos for tubular bells, xylophone, marimba/voice, and a vibraphone/violin duet with UC alumni and current colleague in NZ, Mark Menzies. "Stuart’s music is just gorgeous!” says Justin. "He works intuitionally to create a very distinct lyrical musical vocabulary that nods to jazz and new complexity movements while remaining incredibly intimate and personal."

Again She Reigns, from South African electronic music duo, BATUK, was released on their Teka Music label on the same day. The album celebrates legendary women from African history, such as Sibongile Promise Khumalo, Negeste Saba Makeda (famously known as the Queen of Sheba), Josina Mutemba Machel, Hypatia of Alexandria, Fezekile Kuzwayo, Dahomey Ahosi, Muthoni wa Kirima, and Perpetua and Felicity. Each song is also accompanied with a painting from the duo which has been shown in Cape Town and Luxembourg (see below for cover, which is the painting for Hypatia’s Theory). As frequent collaborator with Spoek Mathambo (one-half of the duo), Justin was approached to mix 7 of the 8 songs. Justin adds, “The album features an amazing futuristic blending of hypnotic groove-oriented musical styles, from techno, afrobeat, and house, while the vocalist, Manteiga, soulfully sings songs of female empowerment.” Read more.


Album review: Mahan Esfahani’s «Musique»? – A recital of delightful challenges

AIM - Adventures in Music, October 28, 2020

"Commissioned and premiered by Esfahani, Anahita Abbasi’s Intertwined Distances (2018) for harpsichord and electronics... [is a] ravishing fourteen-minute piece [that] could probably be described as a next-level toccata, a phenomenon both auditory and tactile....Within the wealth of Abbasi’s textures, one discovers a myriad of harpsichord sonorities, both alien and familiar, yet ever communicate and alluring. With Esfahani, the music ventures into hitherto unknown spheres, resulting in the most rewarding sonic and visceral experience."

Read the review.


Gramophone reviews the recording of Lei Liang's chamber opera, Inheritance featuring Grammy-winning soprano Susan Narucki, conducted by Steven Schick

Gramophone, October 27, 2020

Laurence Vittes of Gramophone writes, "... Narucki forces her character to experience almost impossible contrasts of beauty and pain. While Lei Liang's opera must obviously be seen to be fully experienced, especially given the press of current events, so sensitively and imaginatively does he mix and match his kaleidoscopic sonic palette to Matt Donovan's freely evocative, numerology-obsessed libretto, the quartet of voices, the curious ensemble and the electronics that the highly charged narrative makes a deep impression even without the stagecraft. The recording captures the drama, layering the voices with the ideally captured instrumental riffs so that it's all perfectly clear and precise without being surgical."

Read the Gramophone review.


Nine Trustees Join the UC San Diego Foundation Board

UC San Diego News Center, October 26, 2020

World Renowned Bass Guitarist and UC San Diego Music alum Nathan East is one of nine new trustees to join the UC San Diego Foundation Board.

The mission of the UC San Diego Foundation is to foster and promote support for UC San Diego through charitable giving, advocacy, leadership, consultation and fiduciary duty, and to assist the Chancellor and other campus leaders through outreach to the community.

Nathan East is recognized as one of the most recorded musicians in music, credited on over 2,000 recordings. He’s a founding member of contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay and is known for his musical collaborations with Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Quincy Jones, Anita Baker, George Harrison, BB King, Stevie Wonder and Daft Punk. East’s debut album went to #1 on Billboard’s Jazz Charts and won a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. East, a 1978 UC San Diego graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Music, was honored by the United States Congress with a Congressional Record for his contribution to the worldwide music community.

East will join UC San Diego Professor of Music Susan Narucki as a member of the board of trustees on the UC San Diego Foundation.

Learn more on UC San Diego News Center.


Meet Anqi Liu

SDVoyager Magazine, October 26, 2020

Meet Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Anqi Liu.

Read the interview.


Meet Stephen de Filippo

SDVoyager Magazine, October 26, 2020

Meet Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Stephen de Filippo.

Read the interview.


World-reputed sitar master and UC San Diego faculty Kartik Seshadri speaks with the Music of the Silk Road class at Indiana University Bloomington

October 26, 2020

World-reputed sitar master and UC San Diego faculty Kartik Seshadri gave an inspiring presentation to the Music of the Silk Road class at Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music. Seshadri shared many valuable insights about Indian music, his life and career as a musician, and gave a performance that shared the mesmerizing voice of sitar with the students.


UC San Diego Music undergraduate students Donald Liang and Terry Feng release new album Library of Dreams

October 23, 2020

UC San Diego Geisel Library. A place to study, catch up on lectures and homework, goof around with friends, cram for upcoming midterms and finals, ingest abnormal amounts of coffee, eat, sleep, research, and learn. 8 unique floors, but one place to call home.

Library of Dreams features 8 tracks correlating to the 8 floors of Geisel Library. Recreating the different environments and moods of each floor, the album is a sonic tour of the library, as well as beats to help you focus, study, or simply just relax. Go for a Study Grind on Floor 6, Meme and Chill with friends on Floor 1, or take a break and get some Fresh Air on Floor 3. It’s Geisel, the Library of Dreams.

Donald Liang:

Donald is a fourth year music composition student at UC San Diego. His main interests are music production and writing music; specifically, he enjoys the creative processes of music and the inner mechanisms of how artists take creative ideas and bring them to life. His musical experience began from classical piano, and eventually evolved to a passion for guitar and singing. His passion for music has led him to participate in many different forms of musical activities, including choir, acappella, worship, and collaborating with friends to create different kinds of music.

Terry Feng:

A third year piano performance and computer science student at UC San Diego, Terry Feng enjoys the intersections of music, human experience, culture, and technology. As a classically trained pianist, but also as an avid listener of genres spanning film score, contemporary instrumental, and pop, he enjoys music from a perspective of theory and how it shapes the intricate dialogue between composer, performer, and listener. He has since played with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, volunteered and performed with International Music Sessions, and is currently exploring avenues involving machine learning and audio synthesis.

Listen to the Library of Dreams album.


Ariana Grande Is in Love, and 11 More New Songs

The New York Times, October 23, 2020

Giovanni Russonello of The New York Times selected Stephanie Richards's "Glass" in the album SUPERSENSE as one of the most notable new songs of the week (October 23): "Steph Richards is an emerging maestro...With social distancing forcing so many changes to the ways we relate, think of Richards as extending the techniques of artistic interaction, creating a way for audiences and performers to share space from afar."

Read The New York Times review.


Trumpeter and UC San Diego Associate Professor of Music Stephanie Richards to release new album SUPERSENSE

October 23, 2020

Trumpeter and UC San Diego Music Associate Professor Stephanie Richards to release new album "SUPERSENSE" with a trio of fellow all-star improvisers Jason Moran, Stomu Takeishi and Kenny Wolleson. In order to provide listeners a rich experience that is often taken away in the digital format, Richards tapped acclaimed multimedia artist Sean Raspet to create singular, abstract scents to both inform and accompany the recording.

Physical copies of "SUPERSENSE" include Sean Raspet's scent creations that are presented on a scratch and sniff card so that listeners can get the full experience, taking in the smells as they hear each track.

Buy the Vinyl/CD/Digital Album.


immerse(d) digital 004 - immerse(d) x dublab - sound of change: the future of our music industry

Project Immersed, October 22, 2020

UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt speaks about the sustainability of our music communities and the way the music industry has changed on a panel with Andreea Magdalina (shesaid.so Founder), Moor Mother (Artist/Poet/Curator), Joe Muggs (The Guardian/The Wire), and Pinch (Tectonic Recordings/Cold Recordings).

Watch this episode of immerse(d).
Watch King Britt's performance on immerse(d).


Album Review - Steph Richards: Supersense

All About Jazz, October 22, 2020

Mike Jurkovic of All About Jazz says, "the music of Supersense—manipulated, reactionary, explorative, cryptic, unbridled —is beyond not being captivated by...4 + 1/2 stars"

Read the All About Jazz review.


UC San Diego Music Professor Shlomo Dubnov's paper for the 2020 Joint Conference on AI Music Creativity is among the most highly scored by conference reviewers and invited to be included in a special issue of the Journal of Creative Music Systems

October 19-23, 2020

UC San Diego Professor of Computer Music Shlomo Dubnov chaired a session and also presented a paper in the 2020 Joint Conference on AI Music Creativity. The conference was a joint venture between MuMe and CSMC, with funding from MUSAiC: Music at the Frontiers of Artificial Creativity and Criticism (ERC-2019-COG No. 864189). It was entirely virtual, spread throughout the week October 19-23. There were 205 registrants. The program featured nine spotlight presentations featuring a diversity of viewpoints in research, business, and the arts.

Dubnov's talk presented a new deep neural model of musical information dynamics that provides a formal model for music expectations that takes into account cognitive constraints on learning musical structures and representation. His paper was among the most highly scored by conference reviewers and was invited to be included in a special issue of the Journal of Creative Music Systems devoted to the top works from the 2020 conference.

Additionally, in the conference there were two excellent keynotes, both from specialists in sound and music, including Dubnov collaborator and music department's last year's distinguished visitor Gerard Assayag from IRCAM where he reported about a joint ongoing work on machine improvisation.

The talks covered both an artistic and a scientific side, including four panels, one of which summarized the results of the 2020 AI Music Generation Challenge — where participants competed to create music AI that generate the most plausible Irish traditional tunes. The four judges performed some of their favorite entries. The scientific program consisted of 32 papers, 6 works in progress, and 4 demonstrations, all presented by researchers around the world.

Watch the 2020 AI Music Creativity presentations.


Meet Michael Jones

SDVoyager Magazine, October 19, 2020

Meet Percussionist and UC San Diego Music graduate student Michael Jones.

Read the interview.


A Plurality of Traditions: Anthony Davis and the Social Justice Opera

Los Angeles Review of Books, October 17, 2020

Thomas Larson of Los Angeles Review of Books takes an in-depth look at all of Pulitzer Prize winning Composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis's operas.

"Under the microscope, Davis, who is 68 and a professor at the University of California at San Diego, reveals a rare strain of the American composer’s DNA, a synthesis of the diasporic music of African descendants and the uncompromising voice of contemporary opera."

Read the full review.


Sharing an Intimate Musical Vision

The New York Times, October 15, 2020

Composer, percussionist and UC San Diego Music alum Sarah Hennies speaks with Steve Smith of The New York Times about her composition “The Reinvention of Romance” and the shift from composing solo pieces meant for her own use to the increasing “demand to provide pieces meant for others, and to entrust those artists with the profoundly personal motivations encoded into her music.”

“Core concerns she enumerates in her professional biography are ‘queer and trans identity, love, intimacy and psychoacoustics.’ Ms. Hennies writes music rife with psychological effects and emotional undercurrents, like those that pulse within ‘The Reinvention of Romance.’ And she conveys alienation and ambiguity with instruments altered, muffled or played unconventionally in ‘Spectral Malsconcities’ and ‘Unsettle.’ But in those same works and others, Ms. Hennies also evokes recognition, transformation and acceptance.” - Steve Smith

Sarah Hennies received her master’s degree from UC San Diego, where she worked with percussionist, conductor and Distinguished Professor of Music Steven Schick.

Read The New York Times article.


International Contemporary Ensemble Announces Leadership Transitions

Broadway World, October 15, 2020

The International Contemporary Ensemble announces bassoonist Rebekah Heller's transition from Co-Artistic Director to Board Mmeber, and welcomes a new cohort of Board Members including UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter, David Byrd-Marrow, and Du Yun.

Heller also announces her next artistic project focused on community-building, and a celebration of diverse artistic voices in the bassoon world, featuring works for seven bassoons by Finola Merivale, Clifton Joey Guidry III, and UC San Diego Music grad student Anahita Abbasi.

Read the Broadway World article. 


American Modern Opera Company - Excerpt from "With Care" | A Take Away Show with WQXR

La Blogothèque, October 15, 2020

Violinist and UC San Diego grad student Keir GoGwilt performs Johann Sebastian Bach's "Chaconne, Partita No.2 in D Minor" with dancer Bobbi Jene Smith for a "Takeaway Show" by WQXR in collaboration with La Blogotéque. It is an excerpt from "WITH CARE" created by Bobbi Jene Smith in collaboration with Keir GoGwilt that was presented at the Miriam Farkas Hall in Cambridge by the American Repertory Theater and the American Modern Opera Company.

Watch the performance.


Meet Miguel Zazueta of UCSD in La Jolla

SDVoyager Magazine, October 12, 2020

Meet Vocalist and UC San Diego Music graduate student Miguel Zazueta.

Read the interview.


UC San Diego grad student Jeremy Hyrkas's composition "Bell / Bloom" showcased at the International Society for Music Information Retrieval 2020 Conference

ISMR 2020, October 11-16, 2020

Network modulation synthesis is a recent framework aimed at improving the usability and creative potential of autoencoders that produce musical audio. As a whole, the framework offers algorithms to improve parameter tweaking, create time-variant audio from non-autoregressive models, and synthesize multiple channels of monophonic audio linked by a shared audio target. This composition, bell / boom, heavily emphasizes the third use case. A complex synthesis tree of five channels, each using alterations of the network modulation synthesis algorithm, is used to create groups of audio samples that differ in timbre but are linked by their connection to the root audio. These audio groups, along with other standalone samples created using network modulation, are played back using a custom Max/MSP patch and a MIDI controller. The resulting composition features rich audio textures and allows for sequence and timing improvisation from the performer, while all audio in the piece was generated using algorithmic methods and the CANNe autoencoder for musical synthesis. Technical details of the network modulation synthesis algorithm can be found in the author’s upcoming ICMC paper.

Learn more and listen to bell / bloom.


 ListN Up: Yvette Janine Jackson (October 9, 2020)

I Care If You Listen, October 9, 2020

ListN Up is a series of weekly artist-curated playlists. Born from a desire to keep artists sharing and connected during times of isolation, ListN Up offers an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Yvette Janine Jackson says, "Each of the selections were chosen because when I first heard them, they transformed me in some way, either physiologically, emotionally, or spiritually. I return to them whenever I need to be transported or just reset my perspective."

Learn more and listen to the playlist.

 


Mode Records releases Vol. 1 of new album "Roger Reynolds @ 85" featuring JACK Quartet's recording of Composer Roger Reynolds's two most recent string quartets

 

Mode Records, October 2, 2020

Mode Records has just released the first of a pair of recordings in a “Roger Reynolds @ 85” set. The new release contains JACK Quartet’s recording of Roger Reynolds’s two most recent string quartets including, FLiGHT, which they commissioned. The disc also includes … not forgotten a tribute to three of Reynolds’s composer friends: Toru Takemitsu, Elliott Carter, and Iannis Xenakis. In its review of the Park Avenue Armory premiere, Musical America quoted an audience member as saying on his way out, “It was more un-expected than I expected.” About JACK’s recording of FLiGHT, ESTEROS writes that it presents ”… a tormented abstract dramaturgy that alternates subdued and almost plaintive motives with a hyperkinetic flow of thoughts … [there are] climates admirably condensed already in the long first movement, and which in the following three are expressed in even sharper and more brutal contrasts between vertiginous ascents and filiform hermeticisms of the soul.

The second disc in the set, will be released this coming Winter, and include the New York Philharmonic and SUNY Buffalo pianist Eric Huebner’s performances of Reynolds’s Piano Etudes, Books I and II, commissioned by the Fromm Foundation.

Buy the Digital Album/CD on Bandcamp.

Check out the album on Mode Records.


9 amazing things to buy this Bandcamp Friday!

Listencorp, October 2, 2020

Listencorp reviews the King Britt – A Re​-​Discovery (Remix Project) album saying it's "a fantastically dynamic set of tracks. Anqi Liu’s remix serves as a perfect example of this. King Britt’s calm, thoughtful disjointedness is exacerbated to a more manic state at the start through a layering of warbling samples. From there, the artist allows the samples to run themselves ragged, bringing dead sound to the fore. A swell of sounds finds the piano emerging from the murky depths once again."

Read the review.


UC San Diego Music students Erin Graham, Jonathan Stallings, David Aguila, Anqi Liu, Janet Sit, Jeffrey Xing and Jackie Guy releases new album A Re-Discovery (Remix Project) on The Buddy System Project Bandcamp

Bandcamp, October 2, 2020

UC San Diego Music graduate students Erin Graham, Jonathan Stallings, David Aguila, Anqi Liu and Janet Sit, and undergraduate students Jeffrey Xing and Jackie Guy remixed Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt's piano album A Discovery. The new remix album "A Re-Discovery" was released on Friday, October 2 through The Buddy System Project Bandcamp.

"This album is something I hold dear to my heart. A series a remixes of "A Discovery," by a few of my amazing students at UC San Diego. I chose these particular students, because I have learned so much from them in different ways. They bring beautiful sonic interpretations to the project, informed by my original piano pieces, giving new life and direction to the songs. Hearing their approach, as composers and electronic artists was enlightening.

Given we all have been going within due to quarantine, racial / social unrest and environmental issues, these works were a inventive way to reflect and react.

Art is the driving force to change and shift consciousness.
Thank you for your support and thank all the amazing musicians that gave breath!"

-King Britt

September 2020

Convocation Conversations: An interdisciplinary approach to current challenges - "What Does COVID-19 Teach Us About Race Issues in America?"

UC San Diego, September 29, 2020

UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis joins in conversation with K. Wayne Yang (Professor, Ethnic Studies and Provost, Muir College), Jessica Graham (Associate Professor, History), and Victoria Ojeda (Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health) about What COVID-19 teach us about race issues in America, moderated by graduate student James Crawford and undergraduate student Syreeta Nolan.

This round table discussion was originally presented on September 29, 2020 as part of the UC San Diego 2020 New Student Welcome Convocation.

Watch the discussion.


Seattle Modern Orchestra - 2020-2021 Season Announcement

Seattle Modern Orchestra, September 24, 2020

Seattle Modern Orchestra commissions and premieres new works from an international lineup of composers and often presents important pieces from the contemporary repertoire that are rarely if ever heard by Seattle audiences. This season will include six commissions and six concert broadcasts. The lineup of composers includes Iranian composer Anahita Abbasi, Cornish faculty member Tom Baker, saxophonist/composer Darius Jones, cellist/composer Ha-Yang Kim, Brown University assistant professor Wang Lu and SMO co-artistic director, Jeremy Jolley. The decision of whether each event will take place in person or virtually will be based on evolving community health guidelines throughout the season. Concert dates are October 23 and December 16-19, 2020 and January 31, March 14, May 1, and June 6, 2021.

Learn more about the 2020-2021 season of the Seattle Modern Orchestra.


Patch Notes: King Britt

Fact, September 24, 2020

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt filmed an episode of Patch Notes that makes use of classic and contemporary hardware like the Roland SH-101 and Moog Mother-32. The video takes a look into the creation process of his Transmissions radio show on NTS.

Watch the video.

Listen to Transmissions on NTS.


John McCowen & Madison Greenstone: Mundanas for Duo

Issue Project Room, September 24, 2020

Composer and performer John McCowen continues his 2020 ISSUE residency with a streamed performance of compositions from his duo with clarinetist and UC San Diego Music grad students Madison Greenstone.

Watch the Performance.


Music Master Class Iran founded by UC San Diego Music grad student Nasim Khorassani live streams first Composers Jury Performance

Music Master Class Iran, September 20, 2020

Music Master Class Iran is a project started by UC San Diego Music grad student Nasim Khorassani this summer to offer free online composition classes to students in Iran. Khorassani says "the whole project was inspired by the impressive instruction system of our department at UC San Diego. I started by the end of June, alone, with only 5 students, and now it has become very huge with about 50 students registered!"

On September 20th, MMCIran had a live jury concert on the MMC YouTube channel with 8 jury members, discussing the work of the 5 students. Among the 8 jury members, 3 are UC San Diego Music grad students Anahita Abbasi, David Aguila, and Peter Sloan.

UC San Diego Music grad students Miguel Zazueta, Mariana Flores, and Teresa Diaz also held individual workshops through MMC for Iranian students.

Watch the MMC Composers Jury Performance.


The organic physicality of sound: the music of Anahita Abbasi

PBS106.7FM The Sound Barrier, September 13, 2020

Ian Parsons of PBS106.7FM Melbourne's The Sound Barrier interviews composer and UC San Diego graduate student Anahita Abbasi and plays 7 of her pieces in an episode titled "The organic physicality of sound: the music of Anahita Abbasi."

"Her music would always grab my attention from its first moment - new combinations of sounds, producing new textures and colours that would then grow and shift throughout the piece - music in which, as a listener, I could feel a real sense of immersion, as if the music was happening around me, not so much in the literal sense of surround-sound (although much of her music is in fact sonically spatialised) but more in the sense of the way in which it engaged the senses, alerting the sensation of music from every angle."

Listen to the full episode.


UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo releases new album "IntraAction" with UC San Diego Music alumni Jeff Kaiser and Kjell Nordeson

pfMENTUM, September 12, 2020

KaiBorg (Jeff Kaiser and David Borgo) + Kjell Nordeson

INTRAACTION

Jeff Kaiser: Trumpet and live computer processing

David Borgo: Soprano Saxophone, Piccolo, Futujara, Hne, Sneng, Double Whistle, Bamboo Saxophone, Sylphyo with Respiro, and live computer processing

Kjell Nordeson: Drums, Percussion, and Vibraphone

Buy the Digital Album on Bandcamp.

Buy physical CDs on pfMENTUM.


Lied Society to Live Stream World Premiere of Anthony Davis’ Latest Work

Operawire, September 12, 2020

On October 18 at 2:00 p.m. PDT, The Lied Society will broadcast the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis’ “We Call the Roll,” a work commissioned by the Society in partnership with the Schubert Club.

The broadcast will stream live on The Lied Society’s website and hosted by Trilloquy podcast host Garrett McQueen.

Learn more about the event on OperaWire.


Sequenza 21 reviews soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest's, D.M.A. '19 new album Luminous with pianist Siu Hei Lee, Ph.D. '18 

Sequenza 21, September 12, 2020

Paul Muller of Sequenza 21 reviews Luminous saying that "The colors and nuances in Ms. Wiest’s voice are all clearly heard and a new appreciation of her gloriously translucent tones, precise dynamic control and purity of pitch are gained in this recording that might otherwise be missed in the concert hall."

Read the full review.

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