Later this month, the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)’s 2015 World Music Days (WMD) will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia (from September 27 to October 2, 2015), but program planning is already underway for the 2016 WMD in Tongyeong, South Korea (March 29-April 3, 2016). To encourage that a fair and equitable distribution of new music is chosen from all over the world, all of the ISCM’s member organizations are encouraged to submit repertoire from their respective countries for consideration. As per the ISCM’s by-laws, if a member organization submits a total of six works in at least four different categories (which are grouped by instrumentation and must conform to the set duration limits), at least one of the works is guaranteed a performance during the festival. New Music USA, which is a full associate member of ISCM, has submitted six works for consideration. All are works that received funding through our grantmaking programs and all are works composed since 2010. Below are some details on each of the pieces.
1. Julia Adolphe: Veil of Leaves (2014) for string quartet
Julia Adolphe’s string quartet Veil of Leaves was one of the highlights of the fourth season of the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival in Jamaica, Vermont, which received a 2015 New Music USA Project grant.
2. Matthew Evans: Still Life for Ensemble (2015) for chamber ensemble
Evans’s Still Life for Ensemble was one of several works created and premiered by members of the ensemble Contemporaneous on a concert in celebration of their fifth anniversary, an event that was awarded a New Music USA Project grant. Here is a video from that performance.
3. Gabriela Lena Frank: Requiem for a Magical America: El Día de los Muertos (2012) for orchestra
The orchestral version of Requiem for a Magical America: El Día de los Muertos was one of several compositions created by Frank during her residency with the Annapolis Symphony, which was supported by the Music Alive program, a collaboration between New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.
4. Nolan Lem: push-pole (2014), a sound installation
Nolan Lem’s push-pole is the centerpiece of the New Music USA Project Grant-funded SoundArt2016, a two-week exhibition of Sound Art presented by Qubit New Music, a contemporary music and performance art initiative founded in 2010.
5. Missy Mazzoli: Vesper Sparrow (2012) for unaccompanied chorus
Mazzoli’s Vesper Sparrow is the opening track of roomful of teeth’s new recording render on New Amsterdam Records. The recording was awarded a New Music USA Project grant.
6. George Walker: Sinfonia No. 4 ‘Strands’ (2011) for orchestra
Walker’s Sinfonia No. 4 ‘Strands’ was a consortium commission that was funded through Meet The Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA Program.
Hopefully they will choose more than one. Better yet, all six!