New Music and Art Festival brings leading artists to BGSU

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Latitude 49

The 38th annual Bowling Green State University New Music and Art Festival will showcase the work of more than 30 guest composers and performers Oct. 18-21. The four-day, international festival includes concerts, composer talks and an art exhibition and lecture. This year's featured guests include composers Steven Mackey and Sarah Kirkland Snider, guest ensemble Latitude 49, and a special performance by vocalist Shara Nova. In addition, concerts will include works by BGSU composers Drs. Christopher Dietz, Mikel Kuehn and Marilyn Shrude.d

Musical events kick off on Oct. 19 with a composer talk by Mackey and Snider and the first three of the festival’s eight concerts. All events are free except the concluding concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 21 in Kobacker Hall. Advance tickets are $7. Online tickets will be available up to midnight before the concert at festival.bgsu.edu. To purchase tickets in person or by phone, call 419-372-8171 or visit the box office, located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts, open noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, or the Kobacker Hall box office up to two hours before the performance.

Mackey is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation and has written for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance and opera. His numerous awards include a 2012 Grammy. His first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands based in northern California. He blazed a trail in the 1980s and ’90s by including the electric guitar and vernacular music influence in his concert music, and he regularly performs his own work, including two electric guitar concertos and numerous solo and chamber works. He is also active as an improvising musician and performs with his band Big Farm.

Deemed "one of the decade's more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers" by Pitchfork, Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as "rapturous" by the New York Times, "haunting" by the Los Angeles Times, and "strikingly beautiful" by Time Out New York. With an ear for both the structural and poetic, Snider's music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling.

Latitude 49 is a Chicago-based mixed-chamber group blending the finesse of a classical ensemble with the drive and precision of a finely tuned rock band. With commissioning and supporting living composers at the heart of its mission, and members coming from across the United States and Canada, L49 epitomizes a diverse, unconventional family of sounds, instruments, and human experiences.

Not many people can front a rock band, sing Górecki’s Third Symphony, lead a marching band processional down the streets of the Sundance Film Festival and perform in a baroque opera of their own composing all in a month’s time. But Shara Nova can. Her multifaceted career as My Brightest Diamond, which began with an acclaimed independent rock record, has reflected her journey into the world of performing arts following her studies in operatic voice and classical composition. “This Is My Hand,” her fourth album, marks a confident return to rock music, one informed by her mastery of composition and a new exploration into the electronic.

“Milestones: A Celebration of BGSU School of Art Alumni Featuring Studio Arts, Design and the 25th Anniversary of the Digital Arts Program” is on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free.

Art events begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 with visiting artist Michael Fox, a BGSU alumnus and now Los Angeles-based artist researching the use of natural aesthetics to inform subjective conclusions, who will speak on “Subjectivity in a Data-Driven Culture” in 204 Fine Arts Center. Working directly with innovators from research organizations such as Northwestern University’s Cognitive Science Department, The Chin Lab at the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University’s Medical Robotics team, Fox explores how evolving technology can be utilized to alter space and produce objects that invoke questions about social change.

Organized by BGSU’s MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), College of Musical Arts and Fine Arts Center Galleries, the festival supports the creation of new work and engages both the University and city communities in the process of music appreciation and awareness.

For a complete schedule of events, visit festival.bgsu.edu or contact the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at 419-372-2685.

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(From left to right) Sarah Kirkland Snider, Shara Nova, Steve Mackey

Guest Bios:

Deemed "one of the decade's more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers" (Pitchfork), composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as "rapturous" (The New York Times), "haunting" (The Los Angeles Times), and "strikingly beautiful" (Time Out New York). With an ear for both the structural and poetic, Snider's music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling.
Snider's works have been commissioned and performed by some of the most prestigious orchestras, ensembles, and soloists throughout the world, including the San Francisco, Detroit, Indianapolis, and North Carolina Symphonies, the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, and the American Composers Orchestra; violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, percussionist Colin Currie, and vocalist Shara Nova (formerly Worden); Ensemble Signal, The Knights, yMusic, and Roomful of Teeth, among many others. Her music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and at festivals including BAM Next Wave, Aspen, Ecstatic, Sundance, New York’s Festival of Song, and Zurich's Apples & Olives. “Penelope,” her song cycle for mezzo and orchestra (or chamber ensemble), has been performed over 40 times in the United States and Europe.

Steven Mackey was born in 1956, to American parents stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation and has composed for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance and opera. He has received numerous awards including a Grammy in 2012. His first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands based in northern California.  He blazed a trail in the 1980s and ’90s by including the electric guitar and vernacular music influence in his concert music and he regularly performs his own work, including two electric guitar concertos and numerous solo and chamber works. He is also active as an improvising musician and performs with his band Big Farm.

Latitude 49 is a Chicago based mixed-chamber group blending the finesse of a classical ensemble with the drive and precision of a finely tuned rock band. With members coming together from across the United States and Canada, L49 epitomizes a diverse, unconventional family of sounds, instruments, and human experiences. The group is Ensemble in Residence at the Kenosha Creative Space, and previously at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Michigan. They have presented numerous concerts each season in major venues including the Ravinia Festival (Chicago), (le) Poisson Rouge (NYC) and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Music Box. More than 30 works have been written for L49 so far by a multitude of composers ranging from aspiring students to Pulitzer Prize-winning masters. With commissioning and supporting living composers at the heart of its mission, L49 strives to engage diverse audiences with new sounds and specially curated programs that reflect the world in which we find ourselves, with all its beauty and curiosities. With its name taken from the parallel that serves as the Canadian/United States border, Latitude 49 serves as a bridge between artists, composers, and listeners of today.

Not many people can front a rock band, sing Górecki’s Third Symphony, lead a marching band processional down the streets of the Sundance film festival and perform in a baroque opera of their own composing all in a month’s time. But Shara Nova can. Her multifaceted career as My Brightest Diamond, which began with an acclaimed independent rock record, has reflected her journey into the world of performing arts. “This Is My Hand,” her fourth album, marks a confident return to rock music, one informed by her mastery of composition and a new exploration into the electronic.

Born in diamond-rich Arkansas and then raised all around the country, Nova came from a musical family of traveling evangelists. She went on to study operatic voice and then classical composition after a move to New York City.

Nova began issuing recordings as My Brightest Diamond in 2006, following a protean period in the band AwRY, and joining Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoisemakers live ensemble. Asthmatic Kitty Records released her debut album, “Bring Me the Workhorse” in 2006, “A Thousand Sharks’ Teeth” in 2008, and 2011’s “All Things Will Unwind,” which featured songs written for the chamber ensemble yMusic.

In between My Brightest Diamond, well-known fans became collaborators, and collaborative projects amassed. Highlights include singing in Laurie Anderson’s 2008 show “Homeland,” delivering guest vocals on The Decemberists’ 2009 “Hazards of Love” album and subsequently joining them on tour, performing in Bryce and Aaron Dessner’s multimedia presentation “The Long Count,” singing and recording for Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang and singing in Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “Penelope” and “Unremembered.” Nova has also worked with David Byrne (on his concept musical “Here Lies Love”), Fat Boy Slim, Bon Iver and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Wednesday, October 18

6 p.m., 204 Fine Arts Center
ARTalk: Michael Fox: Subjectivity in a Data-Driven Culture
Followed by a reception for the artist in the West Wing Gallery of the Fine Arts Center

Thursday, October 19

1 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall
Composer Talk: Sarah Kirkland Snider and Steven Mackey

3 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall
Concert 1:
chamber works by Carl Schimmel, John Liberatore, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Tom Schnauber, Braxton Blake and Drew Baker

7:30 p.m., Kobacker Hall
Concert 2:
Large Ensemble works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Steven Mackey, David Dzubay, Jennfier Jolley and Mikel Kuehn, with special guest Shara Nova

9:30 p.m., Clazel Theatre (127 N. Main St., downtown Bowling Green)
Concert 3:
Works by Stephen Lilly, Frank Felice, Du Yun, Kate Soper, Amanda Schoofs and Kevin Ernste

Friday, October 20

10:30 a.m., Bryan Recital Hall
Concert 4:
Chamber works by Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Ingrid Stölzel, Daniel Bayot, Marilyn Shrude, Erin Rogers and Steven Mackey

2:30 p.m., Kobacker Hall
Concert 5:
Works by Cydonie Banting, James Romig, Michael Eckert, Robert Gibson, Ao Xiang, Kevin Puts and Steven Mackey

8 p.m., Kobacker Hall
Concert 6: LATITUDE 49

Music by Steven Mackey, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Mark Kilstofte, Gabriela Smith and Christopher Cerrone

Saturday, October 21

2:30 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall
Concert 7:
Electroacoustic works by Kyong Mee Choi, Asha Srinivasan, Mike McFerron, Scott Miller, Jay C. Batzner and Konstantinos Karathanasis

8 p.m., Kobacker Hall
Concert 8:
Orchestral and percussion works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Steven Mackey, Richard Cornell, Christopher Dietz and Gabriela Lena Frank
(Tickets required)