Department of Music News Archive 2021-11-05

red fish blue fish
Thursday, November 4th at 5:00 p.m. PDT
Watch LIVE:
red fish blue fish performs inti figgis-vizueta's To give you form and breath (2019) and Michael Gordon's Timber (2009) live from the Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater on Saturday, November 6 at 5:00 p.m. PDT.

Please note that in-person attendance for this concert is only open to active members of the UC San Diego community. UC San Diego students, staff and faculty must complete their daily symptom screener and be ready to show the "green thumb" at the door. Masks will be required at all times while indoors. We apologize, we are currently not accepting external audiences, including alumni.
To give you form and breath (2019)
inti figgis-vizueta

Mitchell Carlstrom, Kosuke Matsuda, Yongyun Zhang

​Inspired by Joy Harjo’s poetry, this piece centers the nature of creation stories in relation to indigenous identity. Much of native belief and collective knowledge stem from oral traditions and the lens they provide is core to our understanding of the world and the spirits that live with us. ‘To give you form and breath’ seeks to channel portions of that understanding through ‘ground’ objects and manipulations of rhythm as manipulations of time.

Timber (2009) 
Michael Gordon

Mitchell Carlstrom, Michael Jones, Kosuke Matsuda, Roberto Maqueda, Steven Schick, Yongyun Zhang

"I began working on Timber in 2009 at the invitation of the Dutch-based dance group, Club Guy & Roni, and the percussion ensembles Slagwerk Den Haag and Mantra Percussion. I had written many orchestral works over the decade, beginning with Decasia in 2001 up to Dystopia in 2007, and I wanted to clear my mind of pitches and orchestration.

For that reason, I decided early on that Timber would be for non-tuned percussion and that each percussionist would play one instrument only. I thought of composing this music as being like taking a trip out into the desert. I was counting on the stark palette and the challenge of survival to clear my brain and bring on visions.

I imagined that the six instruments would go from high to low, and that, through a shifting of dynamics from one instrument to the next, the group could make seamless and unified descending or ascending patterns. After working on rhythmic sketches with Mantra Percussion in early 2009, I went to Amsterdam in June to workshop my ideas with Slagwerk Den Haag. I had the plan but I was searching for the right instruments.

After some experimentation, Slagwerk’s Fedor Teunisse brought out a set of wooden simantras. These slabs of wood, which looked like standard building materials from a lumberyard to me, had a gorgeous sound. It was distinct enough so that the clarity of the percussive hits could be heard, and was also extremely resonant, producing a complex field of overtones. With inspiration from this discovery, I returned to New York to finish the music for Club Guy & Roni’s extravaganza ‘Pinball and Grace,’ which premiered in October of 2009."
—Michael Gordon
Mitchell Carlstrom
Percussionist Mitchell Carlstrom is dedicated to creating thought-provoking musical experiences. Through interpretation of compositions, he strives to challenge the meaning of sound in a space, creating unique soundscapes for audiences to enjoy. Carlstrom’s performance experience ranges from solo repertoire to large ensembles. His best musicianship can be found while working in chamber groups creating intimate music with friends. As a member of red fish blue fish, a founding member of the MinusOne Percussion Quartet, and a former member of Left Edge Percussion, he has toured throughout the United States and Mexico. Currently Mitchell is a D.M.A. student at UC San Diego studying under Steven Schick, while having earned a Masters in Percussion Performance from Southern Oregon University under the direction of Terry Longshore, and a Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
Michael Jones
Michael Jones is a percussionist based in San Diego, California. His creative and scholarly work focuses on performative cultural processes and the lyricism of embodied performance. He regularly appears with the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish and other contemporary music projects around southern California. He has performed on the LA Philharmonic’s Noon-to-Midnight Festival, the Other Minds Festival, the Dog Star Orchestra Festival, the Vernon Salon Series, and the Hartford New Music Festival. He has completed residences at the Nief-Norf Summer Festival (Tennessee), the Darmstadt Courses for New Music (Germany), the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada) and others. He can be heard on the Naxos, Edition Wandelweiser, and New World labels. He holds a five-year dual BM degree from the University of Hartford, where he studied with Benjamin Toth, and is currently a graduate student at the University of California San Diego, where he studies with Steven Schick.
Kosuke Matsuda
Kosuke Matsuda is a solo percussionist born in Nagasaki, Japan, who has performed throughout Asia and North America. He began his percussion studies with Yoko Yamagajo and since his first exposure to percussion at a young age, Matsuda has devoted his life to the art of solo performance.

He graduated from Ueno Gakuen University in Tokyo with a Bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance (2015) where he studied with Masahiro Okada. He studied with Kunihiko Komori and Koji Fukamachi at the Aichi University of Fine Art earning his Master’s degree in Percussion and graduating at the top of his class in the Wind and Percussion instrumental department in 2017.

Matsuda performed as a soloist with Lancaster Symphony in 2019 and was also given the honor of certification in the Japanese Arts and Cultural Agency Training Program by the Japanese cultural government. Having already completed a Master’s degree and Artist Diploma at the Frost School of music, the University of Miami, Matsuda is about to start his first semester as a Doctor of Musical Arts student and Graduate Teaching Assistant studying under Steven Schick at the University of California San Diego in 2021 Fall.
Roberto Maqueda
Heterodox percussionist (and/or artist) interested in avant-garde art, new forms of communication as well as their implementation in the sound-musical creation of our time. He studied with Christian Dierstein, Fred Frith, Håkon Stene or Steven Schick. At the moment he is carrying out an artistic research project at DKDM (Copenhagen) on co- creative practices. His main projects are reConvert, y-band and Ensemble CONTAINER. In recent times he has been presented at Manifeste Festival, Wien Modern, MaerzMusik; among other festivals. He has been an external professor at the Conservatori Liceu of Barcelona. He lives in between Basel (CH) and Copenhagen (DK).
Steven Schick
Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. Hailed by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as, “one of our supreme living virtuosos, not just of percussion but of any instrument,” he has championed contemporary percussion music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. The most important of these have become core repertory for solo percussion.

Steven Schick is music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and the artist director Breckenridge Music Festival. He is artistic director emeritus of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. As conductor, Schick has appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, Ensemble Modern, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble.

Schick’s publications include a book, “The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams,” and numerous recordings including the 2010 “Percussion Works of Iannis Xenakis,” and its companion, “The Complete Early Percussion Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen” in 2014 (Mode). For the latter, he received the Deutscheschallplattenkritikpreis for the best new music release of 2015. He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2014.

In 2020, Steven Schick won the Ditson Conductor’s Award, given by Columbia University for commitment to the performance of American music.

Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music and is the inaugural holder of the Reed Family Presidential Chair at the University of California San Diego.
Yongyun Zhang
Yongyun Zhang has presented percussion recitals across China and the US, including recent performances at Central Conservatory of Music, Shandong University, with the Harry Partch instruments in Seattle, at the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, during a Main Concert at PASIC in Indianapolis with the CCM Percussion Ensemble, and at the Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar.

Yongyun has a dedicated interest in performing and premiering works of living composers, especially pieces incorporating the spoken voice. She considers the role of Chinese language in modern percussion repertoire through her commissions, as well as through adaptations and translations of existing works. Her ongoing collaborations include new pieces with composers Luís Salguiero, Feiyang Xu, and Rachel C. Walker. She received a residency at the Britten-Pears Foundation for 2022.

Yongyun studied with Percussion Group Cincinnati at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (BM), receiving First Prize in the Baur Competition. She graduated with her MM from the University of Washington with Bonnie Whiting, and is pursuing a D.M.A. with Steven Schick at the University of California San Diego.
UC San Diego Music is a leading program known for its innovative research and support for the creation and performance of experimental music.

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