Paul Williams, president of The ASCAP Foundation, has announced that Will Stackpole has been named the recipient of the 39th annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize. The $5000 prize was awarded for fEED, a 16-minute work for orchestra which “looks inward at the effects of social media and 24-hour political news on our experience of the world around us.”
Stackpole describes fEED as “a piece of music that reflects on the agitation caused by the constant influx of data in today’s social media driven culture. Across the whole piece, a single musical idea is developed, growing longer and longer, but is constantly interrupted and imposed upon by chattering and intrusive orchestral episodes. A few of these episodes even depict the feeling of an endlessly scrolling screen, using an auditory illusion called a Shepard tone. The orchestra ends up in a sort of conversation with itself about whether or not to give its attention to these musical distractions, at times lashing out aggressively to put a stop to them, and at others easing back into the comfort and familiarity of the theme that acts as the backbone of the piece.”
The judges for this year’s Nissim Prize were: Teresa P. Cheung, music director of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra (PA); Michael Morgan, music director of the Oakland Symphony; and Michael Repper, music director of the New York Youth Symphony. The jury also awarded Special Distinction to Michael Seltenreich of New York City for Elegie, a 14-minute work for piano and string orchestra and Peter S. Shin of New Haven, Connecticut, for Slant, a 12-minute work for orchestra.