Dedicated to the commission and performance of new music
Upcoming FREE Online Workshops
Tango 101 for String players with Ames Asbell
January 29th 10 AM EST
Tango 101 for String Players: History, Styles, and Performance Techniques by Dr. Ames Asbell.
Since its birth in the Rio de la Plata region of South America around the turn of the 20th century, Tango has infiltrated many different musics and cultures and thriving tango music and dance scenes have emerged in cities around the world. By examining the history and development of the style, composers can explore elements of tango in their own work, while performers may learn how to execute some of the characteristic tango performance techniques of tango for use in their own interpretation and performance. Please join me for a fun, comprehensive look at tango style through the lens of a professional string player and teacher.
Past Workshops ...
Since 2020 we started a series of online activities that included interviews with creative artists and workshops of a variety of topics. The interviews included Matt Nelson, Todd Steed, Will Wright, Abby Fisher and Two Way Street.
Electronic Music with Jordan Munson
September 24th 2 PM EST
Electronic Music: Process and Practice
In this workshop, composer-performer Jordan Munson will demonstrate the techniques, technologies, and processes he utilizes in the creation of his electronic and electro-acoustic works. Munson will also discuss his modular approach to composition and performance; how works can move from studio composition to live solo performance, and even ensemble presentation. Although not required, workshop participants are encouraged to bring examples of their electronic or electro-acoustic works in the form of music recording software sessions or rendered audio files.
Jordan Munson is a composer, performer, and multimedia artist. His work explores memory and our relationship to technology and has been said to “merge acoustic melody and electronic rhythm with thrilling purpose” (The New York Times). Drawing from backgrounds in formal percussion performance training, improvisation, pop, and sound design, his compositions juxtapose subtle landscapes of richly layered textures with driving melodic arrivals. Munson utilizes technology to interpret natural sounds and vice versa, focusing on the transmission losses that occur from this constant re-synthesis.
As a performer, Munson showcases his passion for combining sound with video art and light into a singular immersive experience. His frequent collaborators include Scott Deal and Michael Drews as a member of the trio Big Robot, and composer/vocalist Hanna Benn. He has performed alongside musicians Nico Muhly, R. Luke DuBois, and Bora Yoon.
His music has premiered at the Big Ears Festival and institutions such as the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee, and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Munson’s video art has shown worldwide, including at the Musicacoustica Festival in Beijing, the New World Center, and The Phillips Collection. He has composed original scores for the Phoenix Theatre (IN) and the acclaimed podcast Sick, and his latest album Until My Last (New Amsterdam Records) has been featured in The New York Times and on Wilco’s list of best albums from 2018.
Munson is a Senior Lecturer in Music and Arts Technology at IUPUI and technical director for the Nief-Norf Summer Festival. He holds degrees from Indiana University in Indianapolis (M.S.M.T.) and the University of Kentucky (B.M.).
Improvisation As Integral to Composition with Elliot Miles McKinley
January 8th 10 AM EST
Improvisation as integral to composition
As the late pianist Bill Evans framed in a 1965 interview, the main difference between composition and improvisation is time: Improvising is creating one minutes music in one minutes time, whereas composition allows the creator more time to consider choices. There are, for the sake of a final piece of art, advantages, and disadvantages to both. But ultimately, and what may be self-evident, they are interconnected in a way that is often not consciously considered. For me, this process has been connected to me in a two-fold way: As a performer informing my music, and as a composer finding the creative impulse. I will share my experiences and then show some possible ways for you, as creators, to make these connections in a more considered way.
Songwriting with Sean McCollough
May 14th 3 PM EST
In this workshop, performing-songwriter Sean McCollough will discuss songwriting as both process and inspiration. He will talk about some of the nuts and bolts of songwriting such as constructing melody, chord progressions, rhythm, rhyme schemes, etc. But he also recognizes that much of songwriting is more intuitive than simply putting together the pieces, so he will also explore finding sources of inspiration and how to break free old habits and explore new ideas. He will share his own experiences, along with those of fellow songwriters, including his wife who has a very different process than his own. He asks that, if you are able, you bring a song that you are working on – even if it’s just lyrics, or just melody, or just a chord progression. This is not a requirement to attend the workshop, but there will be a little time in the middle to work on something of your own and get feedback from Sean. If there is time at the end, a few people may be able to share what they are working on.
6 Improvisation Clinics
Feb 27th 10 AM EST
Register now for our first virtual improvisation workshop. The clinics will take place on February 27th between 10 AM – 6 PM EST via Zoom. Each session will be 1 hour long.
The presenters for the first edition will be offering a variety topics and approaches to improvisation (in alphabetical order).
Richard Barrett: “NEW INPUTS”. An exploration of ways in which improvisational practices from artistic disciplines such as visual art, theatre and dance can inform and inspire thinking and activity in freely improvised music, particularly in an educational context.
Oğuz Büyükberber: “Generating pitch content for improvisation”.
Tim Feeney: "Bringing the Outside In".
Valeria Mignaco: Ornamentation in baroque music: introductory concepts.
Joo Won Park: “Electronic Music Ensemble Improvisation”.
Ed Sarath: “Improvisation, Soul and Cosmos”
Since 2019 and with the support of the Nora Roberts Foundation the ensemble led a number of workshops and activities in educational institutions. Throughout these workshops we had the opportunity to read and premiered more than a dozen composition write specifically for us, that number keeps growing! We also lead workshops on improvisation with composers that ranged from middle school students to recent college graduates.
Select list of testimonials by composers, students, workshops collaborators and more!