Department of Music News Archive 2022-06-15

The New York Times: It's Anthony's Time': A Composer Gets His Dues
Seth Colter Walls of The New York Times feature UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis spotlighting his many works and the upcoming production of "X: The Life and Times of Malcom X" by the Detroit Opera House.

"With a new production of Anthony Davis’s pathbreaking Malcolm X opera opening in Detroit, we are on the cusp of a broader reappraisal of his work."

New Music USA: Anthony Davis: Any Means Necessary
Frank J. Oteri interviews Anthony Davis for New Music USA's SoundLives podcast, where they spoke about the world of jazz and opera and how for him they're not all that far apart, as well as the urgency for artists to challenge the status quo.

'"Nietzsche opened my mind to opera. It was through Birth of Tragedy and reading that, that I became interested in the idea of opera, and what opera could be. But I thought that what Nietzsche was writing about in terms of the Apollonian and Dionysian, and the kind of binary that he created was more applicable to American music than it was to German. Because we’re African and we’re European. The combination of the musical foundation in these two great cultures, I thought opera could have that. An American opera ideally would be that kind of expression.'" - Anthony Davis

‘X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X’ Reviews:
The New Yorker: Malcom X and Hamlet Seize the Opera Stage

The New York Times: After 36 Years, a Malcolm X Opera Sings to the Future

The San Diego Union-Tribune: In Detroit Opera’s ‘X,’ a long-dormant Anthony Davis opera comes to life with marvelous singing and playing

The Detroit News: Detroit Opera's 'X' delivers timely, haunting retelling of Malcolm X's life

The Wall Street Journal: ‘X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X’ Review: More Self-Empowering Than Radical"
The New York Times: The ‘Philosopher King’ of Percussion Starts His Next Chapter
Zachary Woolfe of The New York Times interviews percussionist and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Steven Schick, giving an inside look of the recording of "Weather Systems," a new multi-album project.

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Steven Schick drums up world of sonic adventure on ‘A Hard Rain’ double-album, a percussive tour-de-force
George Varga of The San Diego Union-Tribune writes about Steven Schick's new album "A Hard Rain," where Schick plays nearly 200 instruments on a piece by John Cage.

"Using recording technology that was never imagined by Cage, who died in 1992 at the age of 79, Schick and ace audio engineer Andrew Munsey — himself an accomplished jazz drummer — transform Cage’s work into something even more bold and multifaceted."

Steven Schick steps down from his position as the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ music director to explore new musical horizons
The San Diego Union-Tribune: In a leap of faith, Steven Schick ends his 15-year tenure as La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ music director

KPBS: Steven Schick moves 'onward'
The New York City Jazz Record Review: Just Justice by Jones Jones featuring UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Mark Dresser
Robert Bush of The New York City Jazz Record reviews Just Justice, an album by Jones Jones, featuring UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Mark Dresser, saxophonist Larry Ochs and percussionist Vladimir Tarasov.

The album was recorded on January 12, 2020 at Studio B in Warren Lecture Hall by UC San Diego Music staff recording engineer Andrew Munsey.

"The album begins with an almost orchestral vibration, courtesy of deep drum tones. Dresser attacks his instrument from every direction other than what is expected and Ochs stokes the fire with a garrulous bellicosity.... Anyone who loves the work of a truly exploratory saxophone trio that extrapolates the revolutionary templates of the ‘60s would be wise to seek this out."

New work by UC San Diego Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Music Lei Liang to premiere at Rockport Chamber Music Festival
The world premiere of UC San Diego Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Music Lei Liang's Mother's Songs, commissioned by Rockport Music, will be performed by Wu Man, one of the world's leading pipa players, and acclaimed violist Hsin-Yun Huang at the 41st Rockport Chamber Music Festival on Thursday, June 30th.

UC San Diego Music Professor David Borgo to teach Jazz in Paris course for UC San Diego Global Seminars in July
UC San Diego Music Professor David Borgo will be in France for the month of July teaching a Jazz in Paris course for UC San Diego Global Seminars.

About the course:
Paris (the home of revolutions in dress, politics, food, and wine) was the first country outside of the United States to embrace and promote American jazz in the 20th century. The Negro military bands serving abroad during World War I returned to Paris to create a "Second Harlem" in the Montmartre District.

We spend the summer following in their footsteps to understand how Jazz developed and why it was so enthusiastically received by the Parisians in the 1920s. In addition to historical lectures, films, and live music in class, we will capture the flavor of the period with excursions to the nightclubs, restaurants, concert venues, and cafes owned and frequented by these African American pioneers abroad.

The ability to speak French or read music is not necessary—a passion to learn about American jazz in Paris is required!

Downbeat reviews the jazzahead! Conference in Germany featuring UC San Diego Music Associate Professor Stephanie Richards
Josef Woodard of Downbeat reviews the jazzahead! Conference in Bremen, Germany, where UC San Diego Music Associate Professor Stephanie Richards premiered new works with UC San Diego Music staff recording engineer Andrew Munsey on drums.

"Richards is fast emerging as a trumpeter bringing a new energy and attitude to her instrument and to the business of jazz from the experimental and free improvisational perspective. A trumpeter with her own sensual voice, Richards artfully deploys extended techniques to musical ends, while her band (featuring potent young pianist Joshua White, with influences from Cecil Taylor and beyond) flexes and surges. She brings a vocabulary of melodic and riff-based ideas, mixed with abstraction and a palpable sense of searching. At this moment, her quartet is expanded by one — the being inside her very pregnant belly, whom she called “the special guest” of the show."

Atlanta based label Transvection Ltd. releases UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Wilfrido Terrazas's releases his 8th album My Shadow Leads The Way
Flutist/composer Wilfrido Terrazas releases My Shadow Leads The Way, a musical exploration of the poetry of Mexico City-based award winning poet Ricardo Cázares. In the album's 11 tracks, Terrazas alternates between playing flutes, percussion, and narrating a selection of poems from Cázares' yet unpublished book 'Latitud' in both Spanish and English. A flutist’s shadow come alive, a bell-driven invention, a rebellion of the spoken word aspiring to be music, this collection of pieces stems from --and wraps around-- the naked eloquence of Ricardo Cázares’ poems, transforming them into a musical glossary of the instability of meaning, memory, and thought.

KPBS: 5 songs for right now: Serbian/Henshaw, Nomis, Kaye/Davis, The Inflorescence and Wilfrido Terrazas
"The Ensenada-born flutist and UC San Diego music professor Wilfrido Terrazas released a new album of compositions, "The Torres Cycle," a collection of seven compositions anchored by four "torre" works, each representing a direction: del Norte, del Sur, del Este and del Oeste. Between each torre is an interstitial "tótem." Each track is so distinct, with unique instrumentation, though the recording as a whole feels fluidly epic. I was drawn to one of the tótems, the second track: "Tótem I, Camino sobre la tierra," which features an oboe and percussion. On this composition, Juliana Gaona plays oboe like it's something else entirely: flexing, splitting and bending its sound against the curious percussion of Rebecca Lloyd-Jones. The album was primarily recorded at UC San Diego, then mixed in Mexico City." - Julia Dixon Evans, KPBS

Sequenza 21 Review: Wilfrido Terrazas – The Torres Cycle
Paul Muller of Sequenza 21 reviews Wilfrido Terrazas's new album The Torres Cycle, subtitled 'A Musical Ritual for the Seven Cardinal Directions.' "Using the concepts of direction and location, The Torres Cycle seeks to delineate the confluence of our cross-border cultures. Wilfrido Terrazas continues to build bridges of cultural understanding through the language of new music."

Music by UC San Diego Music faculty King Britt sampled for Adam Sandler's Philly basketball movie Hustle
The new Adam Sandler Philadelphia feature film Hustle, features "Runnin'" by New Zealand artist David Dallas that samples "New World in My View" from King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan!

"But probably the most creative, subtle nod to Philly is with 'Runnin,' a song by rapper David Dallas of New Zealand... So what’s so Philly about that? Just this: Dallas’ song is built on a sample of 'New World In My View,' from King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan, a ready-to-be-rediscovered 2005 classic by Philly DJ-producer King Britt in which he sampled late New Orleans street preacher and visual artist Sister Gertrude Morgan."

Resident Advisor: BBC Radio 1 Takeover: Four Artists Pushing the Frontiers of Technology
King Britt is one of four artists featured in Resident Advisor's BBC Radio 1 Takeover series, where they learn about how technology inspires their music-making and expands the limits of their productions.

The San Diego Union-Tribune Review: Steven Schick’s final La Jolla Symphony concert a happy success
Christian Hertzog of The San Diego Union-Tribune reviews Steven Schick's final La Jolla Symphony concert featuring violinist David Bowlin and a premiere by UC San Diego Music doctoral candidates Anthony Vine and Madison Greenstone.

"While Vine’s program notes may be whimsical, the music was anything but — 10 minutes of slowly changing harmonies and timbres in a continuity of sound with no discernable rhythms.... This was not music for impatient listeners, but for those willing to slow down and hear these slowly changing drones, it was a mysterious and rewarding sonic meditation."

UC San Diego Music graduate students Yongyun Zhang and Daniel Corral awarded the Creator Development Fund Grant from New Music USA
UC San Diego Music graduate students Yongyun Zhang and Daniel Corral were awarded the Creator Development Fund Grant from New Music USA.

This year’s program supports twice as many creators as last year, awarding $335,000 in total funding to 112 creators, which is part of New Music USA’s commitment to supporting at least 100 creators and 100 organizations as part of their 10th anniversary year.

UC San Diego Music doctoral candidate David Aguila selected for the 2022 - 2023 School of Arts and Humanities Community Connections Fellowship
UC San Diego Music doctoral candidate David Aguila was selected for the 2022 - 2023 UC San Diego School of Arts and Humanities Community Connections Fellowship.

About his project:
As project lead for Creative Notation for Creative Performance, David Aguila will work with members of in^set to present a series of four sessions to groups within the San Diego Youth Symphony program. During the workshops, students will have the opportunity to develop a unique compositional concept, singular mode of graphic notation and explore deeply personal ideas/artistic content. in^set will help guide them through a process of experimentation and problem solving with the ultimate goal of providing a safe space to refine their scores and musical ideas for a final performance, held at UC San Diego.

UC San Diego Music graduate student Ke Chen presents two researchers papers at ICASSP 2022 in Singapore
Ke Chen presented two research papers in the 2022 IEEE international conference on acoustics, speech and signal processing (ICASSP 2022) at Singapore from May 22 to May 27.

The first work is related to an audio classification task. Ke Chen proposed a model called HTS-AT: a hierarchical transformer model for audio classification and detection. This model adopted a downsampling transformer architecture into the audio classification task, leading to a currently highest performance of audio classification on three common evaluation datasets. By leveraging the structure of the transformer, HTS-AT can be further applied into sound event detection task and also achieve compatible performance.

The second work is related to singing melody extraction task, which aims to extract singing melody (fundamental frequency) contours of music tracks. Ke Chen presented TONet, a tone-octave deep learning network model for singing melody extraction. This model combined the human perceptions of tone (pitch-class) and octave for music pitches with a two-branch extraction model to improve the extraction performance. From various ablation studies, TONet has proved to be efficient in improving the extraction results based on the previous state-of-the-art models.

Both papers are presented orally by Ke Chen in ICASSP under the guidance of his advisors: professor Shlomo Dubnov and professor Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick.

UC San Diego Music graduate student Sergey Kasich's work was published on the Imago Mundi Collection's website
UC San Diego Music graduate student Sergey Kasich's "RIGHT" was published on the Imago Mundi Collection website. The piece was originally commissioned by the famous collection in 2018 and has since traveled around the world. The collection itself belongs to Luciano Benetton (founder of Benetton Group, famous for their "United Colors of Benetton" ad).

The original work is a sound art diptych, featuring copies of Sergey's LEFT and RIGHT ears, done with special silicone, which models human skin and gristle tangibility properties. Each ear-copy is mounted to a small frame, containing circuitry with inbuilt microphone and in-ear-phone piece. Anyone can switch it on and listen through a copy of his ear.

The RIGHT part is in Benetton's collection and LEFT is in the Moscow Sound Art Studio SA))_studio for permanent exposition.

The peculiar specialty of the LEFT piece is that it has a small switchable oscillator inside, which when activated, generates a frequency above 9 kHz with a low volume, modeling a permanent post-traumatic tinnitus that Sergey has in his left ear, which is partly deaf.

UC San Diego Music collaborate with the Media Arts Center in San Diego to provide free music educational programs
UC San Diego Music graduate students will be joining a collaborative music educational program with the Media Arts Center in San Diego as tutors to provide free educational opportunities for young music/film creators interested in beatmaking, filming composing and podcasting.

LOCATION: City Heights Library IDEA Lab, 3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, CA 92105

Interested in doing music production for hip ho, EDM, and other pop music? The first thing you’ll need is a solid beat! UCSD is bringing a beatmaking class in the City Heights Library’s new Idea Lab to teach an introductory course on the world of digital music production. The program is open to students 13+ and will include a $300 stipend for the 4 week course, No previous experience necessary and space is limited.

Are you an emerging filmmaker who wants to learn how to fit music to your work? UCSD is teaching a film composition class in the City Heights Library’s new Idea Lab. Participants will learn beginning and advanced techniques for creating and setting music to film with experienced composers. No musical background necessary, and participation is free.

Anyone with a smart phone probably has a podcast that they are looking forward to listening to. Do you have a story? Do you want to learn about perhaps the most pervasive entertainment genre of our time? UCSD is teaching a podcasting class in the City Heights Library’s new Idea Lab. Any community members interested in leaning about podcasting are welcome, whether total beginners who want to get started or those with precious experience looking to take their skills to the next level. Participants will learn about story-boarding, basic recording and editing, setting music to narrative, and more. Applications are open to anyone 16+, but we are happy to work with people of all ages. Walk-in participants are welcome!

UC San Diego Music Class of 2022 Undergraduate Student Jeffrey Xing presented in the Undergraduate Research Conference
Throughout history, composers have been enamored with and inspired by birdsong, praising it as "nature's music". Recent scientific investigations of birdsong with musical methods, however, demonstrate that the connection between music and birdsong is far from trivial. In Jeffrey Xing's URC presentation, "Syntactic modulation of rhythm in Australian pied butcherbird song", he demonstrated the usage of musical rhythm analyses in analyzing Australian pied butcherbird songs, and show that the way their song is sequentially structured is strongly related to its rhythmic patterns. Such acoustic relationships have important cognitive consequences for music perception in humans, which prompt questions about if humans and songbirds share similar senses of musicality.

Keir GoGwilt, Ph.D. '21 receives the 2022 Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal
Keir GoGwilt, Ph.D. '21 receives the 2022 Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal for the School of Arts and Humanities.

Recipients of this prestigious award are chosen based upon the quality of academic research as determined by the impact of the research to the field and/or department; the insight, originality, and creativity shown by the author; the effectiveness of the writing, clarity, and organization of the thesis; and the soundness of the methodology and quality of the data (when applicable).

New York Classical Review: Navarro work a highlight amid didactic opening night at MATA Festival
George Grella of New York Classical Review praises the world premiere of Unnoticed Spectacles by Fernanda Aoki Navarro, Ph.D. '19 at MATA Festival.

The piece was performed by vocalist Alice Teyssier, D.M.A. '17, bassoonist Rebekah Heller, clarinetist Joshua Rubin, and flutist Laura Cocks.

"The combination of the beguiling sounds and the mysterious, dream-like logic made this suspenseful in the way of anticipating something new that would knock the listener marvelously askew. Skillful, personal, having no clear antecedents, this was what new music truly should be all about."

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