UT Composers Showcase
Sunday, June 16th @4pm
Imagine Art

Russell Podgorsek: Chamber Symphony
I.
II. Horn Fifths to Möbius
III. 
IV. Horn Fifths to Picasso

Chamber Symphony is about transformations. In the first movement, themes are treated to traditional means of development: motivic breakdown, modal switches, and key changes. In the second, the theme wears both ethno-jazz and classical masks, and is subjected to a twisting into inversion. In the third, the musical material is systematically dismantled and rebuilt from the resultant primordial soup. And in the last movement, though a relatively straight-forward "song," the tune itself is made from a distortion of the famous "horn fifths" motive.

Russell Podgorsek is a violist and electric guitarist originally from New Jersey. He earned his DMA at UT Austin where he now serves as their building manager and Lecturer in Composition.

Seo Yoon Kim: Day of the Sea
In Day of the Sea (2017), I am illustrating dynamic faces of the sea: still and shiny surface of water; steady waves that come and go; school of sardines chased by its predators; and silence after the feeding frenzy. This is my first chamber piece that includes woodwinds and percussion, and colorful timbres of these instruments helped me to depict what I felt. It was inspired by the BBC documentary named The Blue Planet (2001).

Seo Yoon Kim is a composer and violinist who lives in Austin. Her music incorporates a wide range of influences from Korean Folk music to Classical Western music and Film music. Her works have been performed in Russia, Korea, and the United States. Currently, she is studying with Dr. Yevgeniy Sharlat and will move to Baltimore in August to continue her study in Peabody Institute with Dr. Michael Hersch. 

Michael Mikulka: Sinfonietta
I. Intrada
II. Aubade
III. Scherzo
IV. Finale

Sinfonietta consists of 4 short movements. The first movement alternates between a bright introductory section, a lyrical theme that keeps getting interrupted, and a light and syncopated melody. The second movement is more unified: it is mostly placid and ethereal, and it features several woodwind solos. The third movement is filled with bleak humor and steady determination, interspersed with daydreams of a better time and place. The final movement is frenetic and virtuosic. Even when it settles down towards the middle of the movement, it is constantly shifting. It eventually builds to a wildly aggressive ending.

 Michael Mikulka is a composer and horn player living in Austin. He has won an absurd amount of low/mid-level composition contests and has had pieces performed by several musicians who are pretty famous if you spend most of your time inside the classical music bubble. He hopes this mediocre blurb doesn't detract from your enjoyment of his music.

--- intermission ---

Jessy Eubanks: Everything and Nothing (Density512 Commission)
Everything and Nothing is about anxiety and depression. The piece deals with the contrast of feeling overwhelmed by everything, yet also not caring about anything. 

Jessy Eubanks is a UT junior from Northern Virginia pursuing a degree in music composition. She has a diverse musical background as a vocalist, pianist, percussionist, jazz drummer, chorister, fiddle player, and more. She is the founder of Not Just The Notes, an organization dedicated to new music and collaboration, and also really loves cats.

Matthew Lyons: Loss
I. Shock

The inspiration for this piece came soon after a turning point in my life: the end of a long-term relationship, and the sudden loss of control of my right hand in the context of playing guitar (specifically, focal dystonia).This string quartet strives to capture my struggle to fill the sudden absence of two elements that had made up my identity. “Shock” has a sense of urgency and angst that conveys the initial disbelief of loss. 

Matthew Lyons is a composer, performer, and arranger from Austin, Texas. He recently received his Master's degree in Music Composition from the University of Texas at Austin, and will begin his doctoral studies at UT in the Fall of 2018. Matthew strives to write music that strikes a balance between audience-accessibility and complexity, and finds influence in jazz and popularstyles as well as the classical canon. 

José Martínez: Danzas Tórridas
Dance is a fundamental part in the culture of the Latin American and the Caribbean countries. This region is also known as the Torrid Zone or Inter-tropical area and even though it includes several countries it is noticeable how similar their music is. The sound of this music depicts the idiosyncrasy of this culture, representing the rhythmic nature of the people as well as their energetic behavior. This piece is then, built by the fusion of these elements with the modern techniques in harmony, melody, and orchestration found in classical music of the twentieth century. 

Torrid Dances could be approached as a ritual, constructed in two parts. The first one moves slowly and has an austere sound that calls for an ambient of reflection; nevertheless a rhythmic force lies underneath, particularly exposed by the percussion instruments. The second part, strongly related to the salsa rhythm, suggests a celebration of life through the dance. After the reflection it comes the reaction, the spirit of celebration surrounds the soul.

José’s music incorporates a wide range of influences from Colombian folk tunes to avant-garde Western art music, while borrowing from Latin music, heavy metal, and progressive rock. His works range from solo pieces with electronics, to orchestral works, passing through chamber ensembles, electroacoustic pieces, and collaborations with dancers. For several years he was a heavy metal drummer, and now is also active as salsa percussionist in the Austin area.
An alumnus of National University of Colombia as both a percussionist and a composer, he pursued an MM in composition at the University of Missouri, is currently a DMA composition student at UT Austin.


Performers

Zoe Cagan, flute/piccolo
Ben Stevenson, oboe
Luz Sarmiento, clarinet/bass clarinet
Josh Barker, clarinet/bass clarinet
Chris Padilla, alto saxophone
Pearson Altizer, bassoon
Zach Morgan, horn
Casey Martin, trumpet/flugelhorn
Evan Sankey, trombone
Ivan Trac, percussion
Jessy Eubanks, percussion
Louis Raymond-Kolker, steel drum
Pete Breithaupt, drum set
José Martínez, cowbell
Martin Kesuma, piano
Ellie Yamanaka, harp
Russell Podgorsek, electric guitar
Sara Sasaki, violin (Performer-in-Residence)
Sara Aldana, violin
Seo Yoon Kim, violin
Rebecca Lester, viola
Jacob Barker, cello
Andy Rogers, bass
Nicholas Perry Clark, conductor
Jacob Schnitzer, conductor
Josh Barker, assistant conductor

Special Thanks to
Laura Crabbe, Density512 Marketing Director
Chris Padilla, Density512 Operations Manager
Chris Ozley, Sound Engineer
Imagine Art, Venue Host
and our outstanding composer colleagues, Russell Podgorsek, Seo Yoon Kim, Michael Mikulka, Jessy Eubanks, Matthew Lyons, and José Martinez!