Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mercury Season Concert

Coalescense is being performed by Mercury Season Sunday night (12/30) at 5 Seasons North. I will be playing the first violin part so its kinda turned into a flute quartet and it works pretty well. We will also be playing Brian Chamberlain's "Lost Hollow Road" and works by Erik Kofoed.

Here's the info:
December, 30 2007 at 5 Seasons North 3655 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, Georgia 30005
Cost : Donations Accepted

8th Annual New Years Party. Come relax and enjoy a fun night of music and good cheer at the 5 Seasons North! Food and drink will be available through the restaurant & brewery. Music will be provided by the Mercury Season ensemble. Will there be more than one string player in this sea of wind players? How many French horns can get along in one place? Find the answers and more when you join Mercury Season in celebrating the beginning of the start of the New Year. Why not get your New Year’s started early?! We hope to see you there!

Monday, December 17, 2007

duoATL concert this Friday (12/21) at Redlight Cafe

duoATL is performing this Friday (12/21) at 8:30pm at Redlight Cafe ( World Circus will be opening up for us at 7:30pm. Redlight Cafe has alcoholic beverages and a tasty menu, and we only play for about an hour. So if you always wanted to come to a concert, but without the pretentious atmosphere here's your chance.

The address is: 553 Amsterdam Ave, Atlanta, GA 30306

Here's a map:,+Atlanta,+GA+30306&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=43.294656,95.449219&ie=UTF8&ll=33.793093,-84.367404&spn=0.011127,0.023303&z=15&iwloc=addr&om=1

Last chance to hear this program! We change it up after this concert! Admission is $7, so come and have a good time so they'll invite us back!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Karlheinz Stockhausen passed away on December 5th 2007

This was posted on IAWM:

The composer Karlheinz Stockhausen passed away on December 5th 2007 at his home in Kuerten-Kettenberg and will be buried in the Waldfriedhof (forest cemetery) in Kuerten.
He composed 362 individually performable works. The works which were composed until 1969 are published by Universal Edition in Vienna, and all works since then are published by the Stockhausen-Verlag.Numerous texts by Stockhausen and about his works have been published by the Stockhausen Foundation for Music.
Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveer, who have performed many of his works and, together with him, have taken care of the scores, compact discs, books, films, flowers, shrubs, and trees will continue to disseminate his work throughout the world, as prescribed in the statutes of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, of which they are executive board members.
Stockhausen always said that GOD gave birth to him and calls him home.
Šfor love is stronger than death.
IN FRIENDSHIP and gratitude for everything that he has given to us personally and to humanity through his love and his music, we bid FAREWELL to Karlheinz Stockhausen, who lived to bring celestial music to humans, and human music to the celestial beings, so that Man may listen to GOD and GOD may hear His children.
On December 5th he ascended with JOY through HEAVEN¹S DOOR, in order to continue to compose in PARADISE with COSMIC PULSES in eternal HARMONY, as he had always hoped to do: You, who summon me to Heaven, Eva, Mikael and Maria, let me eternally compose music for Heaven¹s Father-Mother, GOD creator of Cosmic Music.
May Saint Michael, together with Heaven¹s musicians in ANGEL PROCESSIONS and INVISIBLE CHOIRS welcome him with a fitting musical GREETING.
On behalf of him and following his example, we will endeavor to continue to protect the music.
Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveerin the name of the world-wide family of musicians who love him, together with everyone who loves his music.
On Thursday, December 13th 2007, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. it will be possible to personally say farewell to Karlheinz Stockhausen in the chapel of the Waldfriedhof in Kuerten (Kastanienstrasse).
A commemorative concert will take place soon at the Sülztalhalle in Kuerten. Programme, time and date will be specially announced.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vagabond Drumming - audio online

For those who are interested in the progress of my Vagabond Drumming project, there are audio excerpts now online at my personal MySpace page from Nov. 2006 (Book I, parts 1 & 2) and Nov. 2007 (Book III, parts 2 & 3) performed by the Georgia State University Percussion Ensemble, Stuart Gerber, director.

One or more of these audio files may also show up in rotation among the audio by metro-composers on the Atlanta Composers MySpace page. *

The current plan for the project is for Book II of Vagabond Drumming to be completed next, comprised of percussion solos with brief "Greek chorus" percussion preludes to each and coda to the whole Book.

Feedback and questions about the Vagabond Drumming project are always welcomed. (As are monetary contributions!) :-)

—Mark Gresham

* P.S.: Participate! Go to the Atlanta Composers MySpace page to network and listen to music by Atlanta composers, and contribute your own articles and comments to this very Atlanta Composers Blog. Help build a stronger, more visible, and less fragmented creative community in metro-Atlanta. It cannot be done for you by any outside organization, it can only be done by you. Contact Adam Scott Neal with your questions about the Atlanta Composers MySpace page, and Darren Nelsen about the Atlanta Composers Blog.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

GSU student composers concert

I'll be performing on Brian Chamberlain's work for flute and guitar. This is from Toby Chappell:

This Friday, at noon in GSU's Kopleff Recital Hall, there will be arecital featuring new works by student composers. Here is the programinfo (not in performance order):
Brent MILAM: Dark Expanse (Dying Pulsars) for electronic sounds
Brent MILAM: Maquina quebrada for cello & marimba
Carol UNDERWOOD: Frozen Metropolis; II. Ghosts In The Machine for viola &piano
Brian CHAMBERLAIN: Lost Hollow Road for flute & guitar
Brian CHAMBERLAIN: When Atlas Fails for solo guitar
Jason SHERWIN: Sonata for Keyboard, Poco Allegro (solo piano)
Toby CHAPPELL: Memories of the North for solo guitar
Toby CHAPPELL: The Solstice Variations No. 1 for electronic sounds

Directions to the Recital Hall can be found at:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mac OS X Leopard Problems

I know that a good number of you out there use Macs. For those who haven't already upgraded to Leopard (10.5), beware!

The following music/audio apps and hardware do NOT work on Leopard (from my own personal experience):

Line6 GearBox
Line6 Riffworks
Line6 PODxt Live

Any other Leopard users out there with issues/warnings to report?

Thanks, Apple! Ouch.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Video posted

Hello all -

Just dropping a line to tell you that one of my recent projects, Parallel Lives, is available for viewing on YouTube. This is a collaboration with my friend Kevin Dotson, and his video footage is filmed around Atlanta and Tallulah Gorge State Park. I hope you enjoy!


Monday, November 12, 2007

neoPhonia concert and music of Nickitas Demos

This is from the neoPhonia email list:

Sorry for the late notice on this one! You are cordially invited to the second neoPhonia New Music Ensemble concert of the 2007/08 season.

We explore the wonderful world of strings in a concert entitled STRING THEORIES. If you are able, please join us tomorrow, Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30 PM in the Kopleff Recital Hall on the campus of Georgia State University in lovely downtown Atlanta. The concert is, of course, FREE and open to the public.


Alleghenies of Dreams by North Carolina based composer Paul ELWOOD
for five sting banjo and cello [a premiere!]

Dona Nobis Pacem by Michael KURTH
for solo bass clarinet

The premiere of String Theories by Nickitas DEMOS
for guitar and violin

Trio "Agitato" by Macon, GA based composer David H. JOHNSON
for violin, viola and cello

The concert will feature Duo Luniare (John Huston, guitar and Danijela Zezelj-Gualdi, violin) as well as special guests Michael Kurth (double bass), composer/banjo player Paul Elwood, Composer/violinist David H. Johnson, Jo Nardolillo, viola and GSU alumna Nan Kemberling, cello.

The Kopleff Recital Hall is located within the Arts and Humanities Building which is on the corner of Peachtree Center Avenue and Gilmer Street in downtown Atlanta. Street parking may be available in this area, or you may
use I-Lot (Peachtree Center Ave). For more detailed directions and maps, please check out the GSU School of Music website at:

As always, you will be able to meet and greet the composers and performersafter the concert at a reception hosted by the GSU Student Chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI).


Aegean Counterpoint, the newly released CD by Nickitas Demos on the MSR Classics label, will be featured on Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE FM 90.1 TONIGHT Monday Nov. 13 at 9 PM ET. If you don't live in the Atlanta area but want to check out the broadcast, it will be streamed live at:

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sonic Generator Concert

I'll keep this brief to avoid inundating this blog with too many posts: Sonic Generator's first concert of the season is coming up next week.

Monday, November 12th at 8 p.m.
Georgia Tech Alumni House
190 North Avenue

Admission is free and no reservations are required.

The concert features The New Math(s) (1999), a collaboration between filmmaker Hal Hartley, Dutch minimalist composer Louis Andriessen, and electronic sound artist Michel van der Aa; an arrangement of part of Brian Eno's Music for Airports (1978) done by Evan Ziporyn; Atlanta composer Steve Everett's Ladrang Kampung (2003); Donnacha Dennehy's Glamour Sleeper (2004); Jacob ter Veldhuis’ Grab It!; and Javier Alvarez’s Temazcal (1984).

Full details (including directions) here.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dorkbot Art and Technology Forum / Flock

The next dorkbot-atl meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 7th at 7:30 pm in the Couch Building (music department) at Georgia Tech, in the first floor rehearsal hall.

Full details are available here.

This month's dorkbot will feature an informal presentation of my new work Flock (for saxophone quartet, dancers, electronic sound, video, and audience participation) in preparation for the piece's premiere at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami in December. I have developed Flock in collaboration with Mark Godfrey, Liubo Borissov, Frank Dellaert, Dan Hou, Justin Berger, and Martin Robinson.

Flock is a full evening performance work for saxophone quartet, conceived to directly engage audiences in the composition of music by physically bringing them out of their seats and enfolding them into the creative process. During the performance, the four musicians and up to one hundred audience members move freely around the performance space. A computer vision system determines the locations of the audience members and musicians, and it uses that data to generate performance instructions for the saxophonists, who view them on wireless handheld displays mounted on their instruments. The data also drives the real-time generation of a multi-screen video animation and an electronic soundtrack.

For those of you who came to a similar "test event" last May, I want to thank you for your feedback, which had considerable influence on the development of the work, and to encourage you to come this week to see how it has evolved and to help us tweak it further before the premiere.

More information about Flock is available here.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 02, 2007

GSU Percussion Ensemble to premiere Gresham's "Vagabond Drumming, Book III"

Dear friends,

The Georgia State University Percussion Ensemble will premiere my Vagabond Drumming, Book III in a concert on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7:30pm at the Rialto Center in downtown Atlanta. Admission is free.

And the rest of the program looks very enticing! GSU-PE director Stuart Gerber says the following works are to be performed (although not in this order):

Mark Gresham: Vagabond Drumming, Book III
Toru Takemitsu: Rain Tree
Mary Ellen Childs: Still Life
John Luther Adams: ...and bells remembered...
George Crumb: An Idyll for the Misbegotten
Lou Harrison: Concerto for Flute and Percussion
William Duckworth: Gymel
James Romig: Parallax

Let me especially point out 3 of these composers with whom I've had the pleasure of meeting, corresponding by e-mail, or speaking by telephone:

John Luther Adams, a percussionist who grew up in Roswell, Georgia before moving to wilds outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. (And with whom I once enjoyed eating ice cream in Fairbanks one early December!)

Mary Ellen Childs, a Minnesota composer whose music I first encountered through a live performance of her choral work, Bright Faces (on poetic fragments of Sappho), sung by the Dale Warland Singers.

William (Bill) Duckworth, a North Carolina native, christened by Village Voice critic Kyle Gann as the father of post-minimalism (thanks to his 1978-'79 Time-Curve Preludes for piano solo).

I'm delighted to be represented on the same program with these composers, as well as Takemitsu, Crumb, Harrison, and Romig, and am really looking forward to the concert!

—Mark Gresham

FYI: Here is the calendar for GSU School of Music events.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Contemporary Music T-shirts!

Hello everyone -

Some of you may have seen this already, but I have a little online store specializing in contemporary music t-shirts:

12tone Tees

Right now we have:

- punk-rock style shirts of Schoenberg and Xenakis
(more to come later - suggestions welcome!),
- our version of the smiley face (made with Max/MSP)
- several shirts bearing our tongue-in-cheek slogan "Keep Music Evil" (some have a Matrix on the back, one has a tombstone saying "RIP Tonality 1682-1911").

Maybe give a hint to your loved ones - it would make a goofy and fun stocking stuffer come Christmas time!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

duoATL concert November 4 at 3pm

duoATL will perform this Sunday (11/4) at 3pm at Northside Drive Baptist Church: 3100 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Here's the program:

Caprice(1999)- Katherine Hoover (b. 1937)

Jarcias (1992) I, II, III - Antonio Ruiz-Pipo (1934-1997)

Sonatina, for Flute and Guitar, I. Cantanda con simplicidade - Radames Gnattali (1906-1988)

Libertango - Astor Piazzolla (1921 - 1992)

West End Funk (2007) - Brian Luckett (Atlanta Composer)


Primera Crónicas del Descubrimiento (1988) I. Leyenda Taina, II.Danza - Roberto Sierra (b.1953)

Histoire du Tango (1985), I. Bordel 1900, II. Cafe 1930, III.Nightclub 1960, IV. Concert d'aujourd hui - Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)

I Loved Lucy (1996) - Michael Daughtery (b.1954)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thanks from Five Points Ensemble

[Posted at the request of Albert Ahlstrom and the Five Points Ensemble.]

We had a great show and a very good turnout for our first program.

We want to thank James Paulk for a very nice review/article that appeared on Wedenesday in the AJC. James is a new writer who is working with Pierre at the AJC.

We are organizing new concerts now. We are open to all professional performers interested in presenting 21st century music, or composers that would like to submit music to our expanding core group, or have other professional performers in mind.

We had quite a diverse audience and some of the audience members told me that, though they might not have understood all of the music, they did enjoy hearing the music played so well. This is our goal- interesting, varied and professionally performed programs of 21st century music, with Atlanta music being part of the focus.

—Albert Ahlstrom

ASO gets Mellon Grant

Some information about the ASO's latest grant it was awarded. Part of it dedicated for new music:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Midtown Brass Performs Work by Atlanta Composer, Erik Kofoed

(Submitted by Erik Kofoed, composer, and Paul Poovey, trumpet for Midtown Brass)

Sunday,10/21 from 3-4:30pm at the Florence Kopleff Recital at Georgia State University

For anyone who is interested the Midtown Brass Quintet is playing my piece, 'The Green Movement' this Sunday afternoon at Georgia State University. I will also be MCing the concert for them. They are a fanstastic ensemble and have a very cool program. Come out and support live, new music. The details follow.


For those that missed us at the 5 seasons in Alpharetta back in August, we’re giving a recital(free event) at Georgia State University on Sunday,10/21 from 3-4:30pm at the Florence Kopleff Recital Hall Here are directions from the GSU website:

For those of you who haven’t seen us live yet, we try to cover all the bases when we perform. You’ll hear music from Bach, the Beatles, the Swing era, and we’re please to feature several new works for brass quintet,including a really nice piece by film composer Michael Kamen, and a couple more by up-and-coming local composer, Erik Kofoed.

Again, I hope many of you can come out and support LIVE music, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Five Points Ensemble to debut Oct. 22

[The following announcement was submitted by composer Albert Ahlstrom.]

Five Points Ensemble
Mon. Oct. 22nd, 7:30 at GSU

Everyone is invited to the first program by Atlanta'a newest new music group "Five Points Ensemble" Mon. Oct 22 at 7:30 at GSU. This is a group that will be playing only music of the 21st century (no historical music from the 60s and 70s) that interests the performers. We want this group to be a performer/composer collective that will program works by many composers in the Atlanta area, as well as new music from around the world.

Kenneth Long, clarinet - Nickitas Demos, Tonoi III for solo clarinet (2001)
Christopher Rozmarin, trombone - Jean-Francois Michel, Homage for Jean Tinguely
Sarah Ambrose, flute - Andrew Rindfleisch, Tears for solo flute
Albert Ahlstrom, piano/composer - Summer Sky for solo piano (2006)
Adam Pendleton, saxophone - Zachary Crockett, Fight to Flow Between for solo saxophone (2006)

Here are the goals of the group:

1. Performer driven
    Repertoire selected by a professional performer or group - professional as in faculty at music school or regularly performing in public throughout the metro area.

2. Collective, No curatorial oversight
    The music will be selected by the performers and there will not be a theme or focus to the programs. Ideally there will be a mix of live, electronic interactive, edgy, somewhat traditional - all of which will be interested in conveying new ideas. This group is a collective gathering of people interested in hearing and performing new music. Hopefully our concerts will be engaging, stimulating, not fall into any set style of new music, and will reach out to a wide variety of audiences. I would love to see some jazz players, video artists, etc. blending on these concerts.

3. No funding or grant proposals
    New music groups in Atlanta often become bogged down in the funding process. The limitation and source of funds can limit the number of the programs presented, and often limit the programming. There will be no funds provided for performers. We want to present enough concerts that we will be seen as a regular source of new music, and we want our programs to be known as varied and engaging. As part of this idea we will present programs in places such as museums, libraries, art galleries, etc.

4. Be a venue for new music
    Rather than squeeze one new piece on a program with lots of old music, this will be a way for a group to present one new piece without having to prepare an entire program. Then the group will be able to enjoy hearing other new music without having to worry about performing several other pieces that same night. This of course implies that the performers have an interest in new music, and hopefully this will be a way to bring these performers and the composers in Atlanta together to build a community. To this end we are planning for simple receptions after the programs that will be opportunities for everyone to socialize.

5. An Atlanta Composer angle
    We will have several pieces on each program that will be written by Atlanta area composers. This will always be a key component of the group, but we do not want to limit the repertoire to exclude music from around the world. Part of our objective is to make the composition that is taking place in Atlanta a part of the world community of music.

—Albert Ahlstrom

Thursday, October 04, 2007

neoPhonia 10/9/07

From Nick Demos -

You are cordially invited to the first neoPhonia New Music Ensemble concert of the 2007/08 season.

We take a look at all those mundane and seemingly unimportant moments in life: an unnoticed street performer, the smell of rain, a typical day in the life of a music school as well as the act of breathing and dancing. In the hands of skilled composers, these moments are revealed as extraordinary. Join us as we reveal the Extraordinary Ordinary... on the next neoPhonia concert.

The concert takes place at on Tuesday, October 9 at 7:30 PM in the Kopleff Recital Hall on the campus of Georgia State University in lovely downtown Atlanta and is, of course, FREE and open to the public.


A Minute of News by Eugene NOVOTNEY
for solo snare drum

The premiere of Petrichor by GSU alumnus Adam Scott NEAL
for clarinet and computer generated sounds

09.17.2003 by Mike McFERRON
for Stereo Digital Audio Media

Balafon by Christian LAUBA
for solo alto saxophone

[Bi:guni chum] by Dohi MOON
for cello trio

The concert will feature GSU Faculty Artists Kenneth LONG, clarinet and
Adam PENDLETON, saxophone

The Kopleff Recital Hall is located within the Arts and Humanities Building which is on the corner of Peachtree Center Avenue and Gilmer Street in downtown Atlanta. Street parking may be available in this area, or you may use I-Lot (Peachtree Center Ave). For more detailed directions and maps, please check out the GSU School of Music website at

As always, you will be able to meet and greet the composers and performers after the concert at a reception hosted by the GSU Student Chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Knox's Semordnilap No. 2 to be performed tonight at Bargemusic

Cary and Dorothy Lewis (former Atlantans, now based in Portland, Oregon) write to let us know about their NYC performance tonight which includes music by Atlanta composer Charles Knox:

"we are in nyc right now playing tonight at bargemusic including chas' 2002 ..." says Cary.

Bargemusic is Brooklyn's floating concert hall for chamber music, on an actual barge docked at the Fulton Ferry Landing on the East River.

Here's the whole program:

October 3 • Wednesday, 8 pm at Bargemusic
Charles Knox: Semordnilap No. 2 ("2002")
Edwin Robertson: Music for Cello and Piano
Mozart: Sonata in e minor, K. 304 (arr. for Viola and Piano)
Chopin: Piano Trio in g minor, Op. 8, CT. 206 (arr. for Viola, Cello and Piano)
  Daniel Avshalomov, viola
  Dorothy Lewis, cello
  Cary Lewis, piano

Composers: What ideas might Bargemusic suggest to you for alternative performance spaces around Atlanta? Let's hear your thoughts.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Atlanta Composers Myspace Submissions

Hello everyone,

You may remember from an earlier post that I have made a MySpace page to feature Atlanta composers. I would like to update this monthly, but have not had any new submissions for October. Keep them coming in!

Please send mp3s (or URLs for me to download) here:

Even if we have featured your music before, submit pieces anyway. I am treating this as first-come, first-served. We can feature 5 pieces at a time, and I think that if we keep rotating the music, people will check back on the page more often. No, you don't have to join MySpace, but if you are on there, please befriend Atlanta Composers and tell all of your fans to befriend us, too!


Monday, September 17, 2007

Making It: Today's Music Success Model

Good little commentary on making it in today's music biz. Though addressed to songwriters, I believe this equally applies to us composers (perhaps even more so.)

What's your definition of success, and how are you achieving it?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Concert Idea from "Wordless"

From Sequenza21, here's an interesting story about a concert series that features classical and rock music on the same program:

"For a series only slightly over a year old, Wordless Music has made astonishing waves. Givony’s brainchild, which he only anticipated lasting two or three concerts, ends up in the black from ticket sales alone and has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. His programs aim to be half-classical, half-rock, though he estimates about 90% of the audience comes for the latter. While such a programming style may not meet the curatorial standards of Lincoln Center, he tries to create sensible musical pairings. When he was able to secure Beirut for a concert on September 20th, for instance, he thought programming some Osvaldo Golijov would complement the band’s Balkan, Levantine sounds. Other times, however, Givony scrapes together a half-hour of classical music and sees whatever decent band he can get. So far, so good."

Since classical and rock are my two favorite kinds of music, this seems natural to me. I'd like to try this in Atlanta. The Atlanta Composers Meetup is currently working on an upcoming electronic music concert this Fall. Perhaps after that, we could curate a classical/rock show for Winter/Spring?

Your thoughts? Worth pursuing?

Anyone have any favorite local rock groups that you could recommend?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dorkbot Art and Technology Forum

The first dorkbot-atl meeting of the year will be held next Wednesday, September 5 at 7 pm in the Couch Building (music department) at Georgia Tech in room 207. This month, we have two fascinating presentations by Matt Simpson and David Lieberman that should be of particular interest to readers of this blog.

Full details on the presentations and directions to the building are available at:

The Atlanta chapter of Dorkbot, the international forum on art and technology dedicated to “people doing strange things with electricity,” is sponsored by the Music Department. Its lectures are free and open to the public.

We hope to see you on Wednesday!


Matt Simpson: The Laptop Studio: Performance at home, and the Studio on stage

With the advent of affordable multi-gigahertz laptop computers, the electronic music studio has shrunk from racks of costly synth hardware not just 5 years ago to a laptop and various input devices. As a result, the current and upcoming generation of electronic musicians are turning to the laptop as a full blown, self contained, multi in and out production rig without thinking twice. Coupled with the extremely rapid and robust development of music (and otherwise) software, new as well as long-desired sonic techniques have developed. One primary example can be found in the synergy of the studio and the stage. Software such as Ableton Live allows a laptop musician to instantly create multi-layered improvisations in his or her own studio just as easily
as taking what was meticulously crafted in the studio into a live setting for any and all sonic manipulation. This can most clearly be seen in the Laptop Battles, a tournament-style community-driven competition held in cities across the world. Rules are simple - one laptop, one input device, and 2-3 minutes. What results is often unique and innovative, helping to break
the barriers between musican and music consumer, and ultimately introducing people interested in music making to comprehensible and powerful tools of sonic creation.

Matt Simpson is a native of Atlanta, with occasional stops in South Florida and the farms of South Georgia. Graduated 2004 from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Computer Engineering, Co-Chair of Nophi Recordings, local organizer of the 2007 Laptop Battles, 2006 Atlanta Laptop Battle champion, former member of The Secret Life, current member of Harmaline and PASSWARDSZ. Raised on a healthy diet of 8-bit sounds and FM synthesis, Matt has been a rabid consumer of all things audio since his earliest sound experiments at an early age (from jumping on the hardwood floor of his home to rhythmically skip Michael Jackson's "Thriller", to tossing a plush parrot with a record/playback device embedded, timing the 'oof's and 'ahh's with every hit of the stairs). Trained on the keyboard and viola, Matt has made computer music since 1996. Matt initially learned on DOS-based trackers, and has steadily built a project studio that today encompasses nearly 30 synthesizers, drum machines, circuit bent devices, toys, and self-built miscellanea.


David Lieberman: Game Enhanced Music Manuscript: The Anigraphical Etudes

A unique set of developmental issues present themselves when applying game theory concepts to the creation of interactive music manuscript in video game format for concert performance (game-scores). Paying special attention to structural, mathematical, and sociopsychological similarities, those issues become apparent when observing the correlation between the two distinct human activities of performing music manuscript and playing games. Precepts from ludology (the study of video games) and structural issues applicable to traditional video game development require consideration too. Game- scores may then be evaluated within the context of the benefits and ramifications that result from the convergence of video games and music manuscript. The Anigraphical Etudes are a set of animated, interactive music manuscript for live concert performance in video game format. The pieces incorporate into traditional western notation the added dimensions of decision-making, size, color, motion, and computational algorithm to enhance the live performance experience.

David Lieberman: Early training at the San Francisco Conservatory and with Canadian composer Harry Freedman. BM, MA, Doctor of Music from Northwestern University where his principal teachers were Ben Johnston, Alan Stout, and William Karlins. Additional graduate study at U.C. Berkeley with Gerard Grisey. Advanced Master Classes with Jacob Druckman and Bernard Rands (Aspen Music Festival) and with British composer Judith Weir (Oregon Bach Festival). Additional instruction with Samuel Adler and Milton Babbit. Taught Computer Music as Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Theory and Technology at the prestigious Oberlin College at the age of 25. Resident Composer Brooklyn College Computer Music Center. Adjunct faculty Union County College, N.J. Visiting/Guest Lecturer/Artist/Speaker: NYU, U. Mass. Amherst, Kobe Tokiawa College, Atlanta College of Art, Univ. Miami FL, College Music Society Southern Regional Conference (Univ. of Florida, Tampa), International Conference for the Web Delivery of Music (Wedelmusic/Interactive Music Network: Univ. of Leeds, England), Project Bar B Que (Interactive Audio Think Tank), Graphite 2006 (4th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques-Univ. Teknologi Malaysia UT. Commissions: San Francisco Chamber Symphony, Stoney Brook Contemporary Players. Awards: BMI Student Composers, Highest Honors Northwestern U., American Music Center, National Saxophone Society, Kensington Symphony, others. Grants: Meet the Composer, Ekstein Trust. Publications: Game Enhanced Music Manuscript, AMC Press. Currently not affiliated with a university and resides in Atlanta, GA.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Atlanta Electronic Music, Popular?!

Hello All,

I was just looking at my web stats and noticed that so far this year, fifty-two (52) people have landed on my personal website (entirely separate from this blog) using some combination of the keywords 'atlanta electronic music'. Compared to all the other keywords people are using to find me, that's a lot concentrated on one phrase.

Are you all seeing this in your stats too? Might we be onto something here? A demand for our electronic music, folks! Whaddaya think?

Maybe we ought to have another electronic music show like we did last February. Could be bigger than I realize.

How can we capitalize on this?
Your thoughts, please.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Strayform Tries Indie New Music Model

"Strayform is a Texas startup that, like SellaBand and the recently funded Amie Street, is giving unsigned artists a way to promote and sell their music.

Like SellaBand, artists sign up, upload some of their music and then create proposals for new music they want to create. Fans can listen to and download the music (DRM free), and donate directly to proposals they like. The proposals are all different. One artist, for example, says he will mention the name of person who pledges the most in the song itself."

Great to see another website geared toward independent artist promotion. I like the model (getting paid *before* the creation of a work--like a commission.) I just signed up and will give it a shot. Will let you know what I find. I encourage others to try it too. Follow the link (click this post's title) to find more info on TechCrunch. Strayform's website is

Sunday, August 12, 2007

ASO plays Gresham @ Piedmont Park

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Jere Flint conducting, will perform my "Music for a Summer Celebration" today, Sunday, August 12 @ 7:30pm, as part of its free "Bark in the Park" concert at Piedmont Park. Assuming it doesn't rain, this will be the second performance by the ASO, which premiered the 5-minute work last year at Wolf Creek Park. So far, there have been 5 performances in all by 3 orchestras, so this will be number 6 in the work's 13-month performance history. Please come to the concert if you can. It's free, outdoors and pet-friendly.
  —Mark Gresham

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Atlanta Composers Myspace Page

Hello all -

I have started a Myspace page to showcase Atlanta composers. The intention of this page is to have a rotating showcase of our works (4 at a time, each up for a few weeks). Please follow the link above and befriend us! Also if you wish, you may send me an mp3 (to of your favorite work to be posted on the page.

Many thanks,
Adam Neal

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Atlanta Composers Meetup

For those who haven't heard, there is a new Atlanta Composers Meetup. Our first meeting is Tues, July 10. 7:30pm at my house.

Event Description:
We will discuss how to develop and promote local concerts of our music, with particular emphasis on a Summer/Fall 2007 concert. Topics will include potential venues, ensembles, instrumentation, media, etc. Please come and share your ideas.

Please register at and RSVP for the meeting.

(Because charges me a monthly fee for their services, I'm requesting that people contribute $2 at the meeting.)

See you there!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

R. Timothy Brady co-winner of Opera Vista competition

Atlanta composer R. Timothy Brady emerged as a co-winner of the first annual Opera Vista Festival competition this past week with his new 40-minute chamber opera Edalat Square.

Opera Vista, a Houston-based organization dedicated to new opera, hosted the Festival, which took place from June 21-24, 2007 at the Barnevelder Arts Complex in Houston, Texas. After a professional jury winnowed down the number of contestants and operas to five, the Festival audience was called upon to select the winning work by vote, based upon live performances of 15-minute excepts from each. The result was a tie between Brady's Edalat Square and Soldier Songs by New Jersey composer David T. Little.

"We counted the votes numerous times (because it was rather incredible)," said Opera Vista's artistic director Viswa Subbaraman in an public message to the Orchestralist online discussion group. "They both received exactly the same number of votes!" As a result, both winning operas will be performed fully staged during the 2008 Opera Vista Festival.

The complete Edalat Square received its premiere April 15th of this year at Emory University, where Brady (b. 1985 in Atlanta) studied composition with John Anthony Lennon and graduated cum laude this year with a B.A. in music composition.

The composer offered the Festival the following synopsis:

"Darkness and despair, disguised as piety and righteousness, descend from atop the minarets of the mosques, consuming those who seek hope through the light of God. On July 19, 2005 in Edalat Square, Iran, Mahmoud Asgari (17) and Ayaz Marhoni (16) were hanged for the crime of lavaat (sex between two men). Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, an estimated 4,000 people have been executed for lavaat. Inspired by the circumstances surrounding the execution of Mahmoud and Ayaz, the soul of Edalat Square emerges from the poetic essence of the Sufi mystics—emerging from silence and meditation, melody and prayer. Disturbed by a crisis in Islam, the soul awakens..."

Houston Press critic D.L. Groover reviewed the Festival competition in an article published Thursday (28 June, 2007), which can be found online here at

In his review, Groover called Eladat Square both "the most adventurous of the lot—in both music and libretto" and "poignant, highly poetic."

R. Timothy Brady (who, by the way, is not to be confused the Canadian composer/guitarist Tim Brady) offers on his MySpace Music page a clip from the evocative multi-track pre-recorded vocal opening of the opera ("Preview" in the audio samples list) and a short radio interview with WABE-FM's Wanda Temko, recorded and broadcast prior to the work's Emory premiere.

For more information about Opera Vista, go to

—Mark Gresham, composer/music journalist 28 June 2007

[NOTE: This article by Mark Gresham is cross-posted from his EarRelevant blog.]

Thursday, June 21, 2007



JUNE 2007

MSR Classics
Independent Classical Music Label has released


For more information about this recording and to purchase, please visit the MSR website at:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mercury Season at Spruill Arts Center

Mercury Season, a new chamber music ensemble here in Atlanta, is throwing a chamber music concert at the The Spruill Art Gallery in Dunwoody on Tuesday the 19th of June at 7:30pm. Featuring original works and arrangements by Atlanta Composer Erik Kofoed.

Tues. June 19th, 7:30pm
4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30338
Cost : Donations accepted
A free concert of chamber music. Performing amidst the gallery's emerging artist showcase, we are presenting music borrowed, adapted, and not usually heard in a concert hall. Drinks and refreshments will be available. Works by Bach, Villa-Lobos, Massenet,Lennon, Byrd, Monk, Beyonce, and Kofoed

Mercury Season is a collective of classical musicians that take classic and pop music and recombine it through varied instrumental possibilities to present eclectic but emotionally connected programs that engage and entertain mind and soul.

This concert features Nicole Randall on Flute, Brendon Bushman and Kallie England on Oboes, Catharine Sinon and Terrina Anderson on Clarinets, Kiyo Kojima on Bassoon and Saxophone, Greg McClean on Trumpet, Erik Kofoed on Trombone and Alto Horn, Bill Pritchard on Tuba, and Caroline Stutzman on Cello.

Donations welcome. Drinks and refreshments will be available, please join the performers for a brief reception following the concert.

Visual artists utilize their distinct techniques and artistry to communicate their impressions of images and ideas around them. In the same vein, this group of young musicians have taken the music around them - from the traditional to the cutting-edge - and made it their own. They have borrowed from other instruments, from Popular music, Jazz and traditional songs, taking the amazing maelstrom of music that surrounds them everyday, and integrated it into one engaging program.

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
J. S. Bach Arr. Kofoed

Aria for Flute and Bassoon
Hector Villa-Lobos

Elegie Op. 10 No. 5
Jules Massenet

John Lennon Arr. Kofoed

And think ye Nymphs to scorn at love
Love is a fit of pleasure
William Byrd

Sonata VI
Jan Dismas Zelenka

March of the Lemmings
Spy vs. Spy
Erik Kofoed

Round Midnight
Thelonius Monk Arr. Pilzer

Baby Boy
Beyoncé Knowles

Geamparale and Maruntica
Traditional Slavic

More info about Mercury Season here:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

duoATL at Callanwolde and on YouTube

duoATL will be performing this Sunday (6/17) at 3pm at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Briarcliff Rd in Atlanta. We will be performing a new work by Atlanta Composer Brian Luckett (see YouTube video below) and works by Michael Daughtery, Roberto Sierra, Katherine Hoover and more active/living composers as well as some standards for the pairing such as the Piazzolla's Histoir du Tango. Hope to see you there! Admission is $15.00(10.00 for students and seniors).

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Graphic Notation/Improv Pieces Show

Dear all,

Adam Neal here, just wanting to give an update on our Graphic notation/improv show. All of us involved have been extremely busy, so are not going to present the show. Thanks to everyone who submitted works; hopefully we can get them performed sometime in the future.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cosmic Karma

Michael Gandolfi discusses his “Garden of Cosmic Speculation”

"Intuition is sensing the winds of change, the way things are going, the mood of the moment, and how it will affect the future." —Maggie Keswick Jencks

The following interview comes from a 30-minute conversation I had with composer Michael Gandolfi on the afternoon of April 30, 2007, in Atlanta. We discussed his “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation,” inspired by earthworks and installations designed by architect Charles Jencks at Portrack House, which is just north of Dumfries, in southwestern Scotland.
    The ASO played four of the "impressions" from the work-in-progess a year ago. Now it comprises 11 sections, including a 14-minute "suite within a suite" called "The Garden of the Senses."
    At last Gandolfi's completed "Garden" receives its premiere this week, performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Robert Spano conducting. The concerts are Thu-Sat., May 24-26, 2007, at 8:00p.m. at Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 404-733-5000
    Before going further, however, you may want to first read my feature article for Creative Loafing ["Wierd Science," 16 May 2007], which can be found online here, as it provides a good overview of what Michael and I are discussing below.
    —Mark Gresham

Gresham: Your “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation” has grown considerably since the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performed four “Impressions from…” last year. Where in this upcoming ASO complete performance are those four movements?

Gandolfi: What you heard before are [now numbers] 1, 2, 3 and 11.

Gresham: You’ve said that the specific order will not set in stone?

Gandolfi: The whole point of the piece was to simply turn out a whole bunch of movements based on these various aspects of the Garden—mainly the physical aspects of the garden, but a few conceptual ones as well. My intention, initially, was not to have the whole piece played all at once—the point being that a given conductor would choose his or her own pathway through the garden, I like to say, by just selecting a number of movements for a given program.
    So at that point, as I was writing other movements for the piece, I wasn’t really concerned about an order for a single program. I was just covering the various features of the garden and writing piece after piece after piece.
    Actually, the ones that are underlined here… [He shows a single page listing the movements as the ASO will perform them.] This one I’m just about ready to finish, is number 4. I still have number 7 to do. So [the rest] was done in Miami by the New World Symphony a week ago [April 21, 2007], all but these two movements of course, and the order was as you see it except that in the place of “Symmetry Break Terrace” here, which hadn’t been written yet, was the “Fractal Terrace.” That totals a little over 57 minutes actually.

Gresham: Prior to that performance, you were also planning to have the “Garden of the Senses” performed near the end of the whole work. What happened to that idea?

Gandolfi: It became clear to us, to Robert Spano and me, in the midst of rehearsal that this suite belonged in the middle, not at the end.

Gresham: How did this come to be composed as a “suite within a suite”?

Gandolfi: In the entire work, what I’m trying to do is give the listener the sense of the space from a musical standpoint. “The Garden of the Senses” is a separate garden within the larger Garden, walled off with shrubs, maybe 50 yards by 30 yards—very formal, manicured, ornate, Baroque.
    So at first, before I tackled the “Garden of the Senses” suite, I had just thought about the senses themselves, [i.e.] for the sense of hearing: a sonic landscape. But as I thought about it, I realized that may well and good to describe the senses, but it doesn’t really describe the “Garden of the Senses.” And that’s why I started thinking about this Baroque feeling of the space, and I thought it would be fun to tether it to a Baroque suite. The only non-suite movement is the chorale at the end. Jencks has a “sixth sense” which he calls Intuition, so I just decided to express that in the form of a chorale, in segue from the Gigue.

Gresham: I understand you’ve added some recordings of natural sounds on either side of the “Garden of the Senses” in this ASO performance?

Gandolfi: “The Garden of the Senses” suite is about 14 minutes total. I used [Bach’s] French and English suites as my models. But going in, [it] is a little more difficult to delineate [from the preceding movements]. What we’re going to do for the Atlanta performances, at least what I’m intending on doing now, is having some kind of a separator by using ambient sounds recorded from the garden—bird sounds insect sounds. Actually the piece will open with those sounds and will merge with the music and fade out, and the musical piece will start. Then I thought I would do that at the very end of the piece. Now I realize if I bring those sounds back in surrounding the Garden of the Senses, at the end of the “Willow Twist” (let’s say the nature sounds come back in and acquiesce for 10 seconds or so) we’ll get a sense that a chapter is done, now we’re ready for the middle part. When that’s done I’ll bring the [recorded nature] sounds back in, so one does get a sense that there is a connection between parts one and three, [beyond] just the orchestral scope of the writing.
    So that’s the way it’s shaking up, and I hadn’t thought about that until I actually heard it in [the Miami] concert.

Gresham: So this order was not this order only 2 weeks ago?

Gandolfi: No. [But in the Miami performanceit was] pretty much what you see, except 6 was 10.

Gresham: So the “Garden of the Senses” could actually be a standalone 14-minute piece by itself. Do you have some other shortened menus in mind already for this “modular” piece?

Gandolfi: An order I would prefer would be 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11—a rich piece about 35 to 40 minutes.”

Gresham: You mentioned “Willow Twist” and two “Terrace” movements earlier. Could you talk a bit about those?

Gandolfi:“The Willow Twist” is like a jazz big band piece, it’s very swinging with a big trumpet solo and a trombone solo. I have them stand up big band style. It’s not complex in the way that some of the other movements are, in the treatment of rhythm. It does have an overlapping rhythmical pattern. It’s a real groove piece. You know how when you get into a main groove you have to get out of it somehow? So what I do is transform a primary groove into a secondary groove, which ramps it down a little bit. Then an abrupt bow-and-arrow stop, and you’re in this coda section which is very ethereal. So “Willow Twist” is very visceral. It really does describe the object, that’s what I’d say. The “WillowTwist” is like a Mobius strip, a sheet of metal, a very complex strip and it’s circular. And so I wrote a piece that grooves in a circular way. In fact, when the wind players were playing the piece, in Miami, they were actually making little circles with bodies; they didn’t know, they’d never seen the object. The music just feels that way.

Gresham: So it should be easy for listeners to get into the groove and see how it transforms.

Gandolfi: “Fractal Terrace” also is a grove movement, but a little more complex, a little more like a Steve Reich kind of groove. And now what will be the “Symmetry Break Terrace / Black Hole Terrace”—these [three] would make a little set, actually, because they are powerful and groove oriented, although the “Fractal Terrace” and “Symmetry Break Terrace / Black Hole Terrace” are a little more complex in their structure of the groove.
    These movements are just more visceral [than most]. Other movements are more complex, in terms of the multiple sections and the way things transform, they’re a little headier in a sense.
    I would say that “The Jumping Bridge” and “The Nonsense” have something in common. The writing is bright and bold and kind of quirky, they form a kind of a unit in a way and “The Quark Walk” has more of a connection with “The Snail.” It’s a slower movement, bolder maybe than “The Snail” is, and full of atmosphere, describing different aspects of a quark, a subatomic particle.

Gresham: There seems like a lot of different variety of musical expressions incorporated in “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation.” Is it, um, possibly a bit wide ranging for one piece?

Gandolfi: So it’s not like an onslaught of completely different things. Occasionally I’ll bring in a motivic idea from an earlier movement and just develop it differently, so there is a sense of connection over the course of the broad arc of the piece.
    [A reviewer said it was as if] the physical landscape waves of the garden itself were captured through the course of the piece, that the piece held together by virtue of the feeling of wavelike activity. Maybe that’s one of those unconscious things that happen?

Gresham: Speaking of unconscious, subconscious, or perhaps “collective unconscious,” the impact of Jenck’s Garden, in let’s say an abstract, perhaps even iconic sense… Does that carry over into your music?

Gandolfi: The garden itself, though its reference to cosmology and contemporary thought in physics prompts speculation and to wonder, to have a sense of awe, actually, with respect to the incredible discoveries, and it’s fairly apparent that’s what this garden does. Looking at the garden, visiting it, one is immediately struck by that sense. Yes, it’s an abstraction. [However,] you don’t read about these things—you’re experiencing them physically with the space, with what architect Charles Jencks has done with the property. But he’s also specific, too, because he’ll have sculptural details placed in the garden to prompt you to exactly what he was thinking about conceptually. So that sense of wonder and awe is what I was trying to capture in the [musical] movements themselves. Hopefully there will be a kind of magical sense, the sense of at once wonderment about it all. And on the other hand there is the playfulness to it there, too, that’s kind of a quirky, almost yin and yang thing. You have polar opposites: On the one hand you have these are incredibly profound things but they also provoke almost a sense of giddiness or silliness at the same time too-- like a quantum flux, where you have particles that are just appearing and disappearing willy-nilly. Jenks plays on the bizarre and strange qualities in a humorous way. So that is interpreted in these pieces as well too. “The Nonsense” is a prime example; “The Jumping Bridge” too; the audience chuckled at the end of “The Jumping Bridge.” It’s sort of fun and joyful.

Gresham: So it’s ok to laugh?

Gandolfi: Absolutely!

Gresham: How is this connected to your own personal sense of wonder?

Gandolfi: It’s really hard for me to say precisely, because it’s hard to describe in words sometimes what the music hopefully is doing. That often manifests itself in the use of the color of the orchestration and the harmony. Those are two aspects of music making where I feel like I can conjure up something, by twisting around harmony and orchestral color, to create a sense of wonderment or…


Gandolfi: Yes, a sense of giddiness or enjoyment. Sometimes I’m specific, as in “Soliton Waves,” the second movement of the piece, where I actually have musical wave forms and movements moving all around the stage. Big crashing waves and little eddys of waves. The big formal design describes an actual soliton wave, which is a wave that has the property of joining with another wave, forming a third unit, then exiting with no memory of having joined with the other wave. There are two main streams in [this movement]; they join up in the middle become something else then they exit. The listener finds they’ve been riding that singular wave the whole way. And when it bursts out at the end, [you think ] “Wait a minute, we’re right back to where we’ve started from”; in fact you’ve always been there, it’s just that it’s joined up with another wave and formed another, larger object. So there are very specific ties in these movements to the objects that are being described.

Gresham: Where does this piece fall in the development of your career, your own artistic journey?

Gandolfi: This piece is at once a focal point, sort of crystallizing some things I’ve been working on for the past several years, and at the same time it’s a jumping off point too, a point from which I feel like I’ll move forward. I would characterize it by saying it’s a purely, thoroughly post-modern piece in the sense that it references other music the same way a post-modern building will [where] you might have a Greek column in the front, a portico from another era, and you might have a mid-twentieth-century modernist facade elsewhere.

Gresham: It may reference previous eras but not imitate, per se?

Gandolfi: We’re at a point now in concert music in which so much has been done, and there’s such a rich tradition, that to reference other eras is sort of a natural thing to do now. I’m enjoying putting my mind into these other eras of music, of musical discovery, and referencing multiple centuries actually, as this piece does, and I’m realizing there’s a lot of terrain there yet to be explored. Some music has done this before: Stravinsky in his neo-classical period. But this is different; I’m not holding it at arms length like I feel it [is] in Stravinsky’s neo-classicism. It’s not cold [or detached]. I’m actually jumping into the pond, and really embracing these things. And the fact that the form of the piece itself is open, in the sense that I’ll continue to add movements [just as] Jencks continues to add to his Garden. And as the years progress I’ll continue to visit the Garden and write more movements, and this piece will just keep going, as far as I’m concerned. So that’s a kind of post-modern notion. I’ve never done anything like this before, to write an orchestral piece that could be so modular.

Gresham: How many people have?

Gandolfi: One of my models was Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet suites, although I will never issue it as three suites the way Prokofiev did. This will be just a big hunk of movements. Up in front of the piece I’ll suggest some “menus,” some pathways, but I’ll also say it’s up to the conductor to decide what movements are appropriate. Robert Spano has already suggested a whole bunch of different arrangements, starting with the “Garden of the Sense” suite [by itself]; the “Willow Twist” could also make a concert opener in and of itself; “The Nonsense” could be a piece in and of itself. Two, three, five movement combinations—there are so many ways in which it could be put together.

Gresham: Where do you think composers find themselves at the beginning of the 21st century, in terms of our “collective consciousness,” creatively speaking? Where do you see things going from here?

Gandolfi: It’s the whole global Village idea; there’s so much out there I don’t see it being one trend. It is an eclectic time, and that used to be a very bad word, when I was a student in the 1970s. Now it’s a virtue. Where we are at the beginning of the 21st century—that will be the legacy of eclecticism and global acceptance, if you will, one that doesn’t look for a leader such as a Stravinsky, or a Schoenberg, or whomever. I think it’s a good thing we don’t look for that. It’s a more democratic view of what the artist is, how the artist fits in. It’s quite a different time, a big paradigm shift.
    That’s just the way I feel about it—who knows? Time will tell. But that’s how I feel about it now. Virtually every composer is contributing to the big picture, and they’re not looking to purify, which I think was the case in the middle and latter part of the 20th century, in which I grew up. Now, it’s like: What have you discovered? Let’s hear it, if it’s rock music, jazz, or music of other cultures, classical, or whatever. It’s a freer time to allow what an individual sees as their vision of the beauty in music to emerge, and to not distill it away or bury it.
    I hope that’s the experience somebody has with this piece, the visceral joy of all these kinds of music merging and swirling about. Hopefully that will communicate to the audience. ■

Mark Gresham, composer/music journalist 19 May 2007

[NOTE: This article by Mark Gresham is cross-posted from his EarRelevant blog. All comments should be posted here on the blog.]

Michael Gandolfi's artist website can be found at

Saturday, May 19, 2007

3 weeks, 3 new works at the ASO

For three weeks in a row, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is performing new works, all of which should be of interest to Atlanta composers.

This week (which means tonight, SAT 5/19 @ 8pm is the final performance) ASO principal contrabassist Ralph Jones is soloist and Laura Jackson conducts the Concerto for Bass Viol (2006) by John Harbison.

This coming week (THU 5/24, FRI 5/25 & SAT 5/26 @ 8pm) features premiere performance of the "complete" The Garden of Cosmic Speculation by Michael Gandolfi, to be conducted by Robert Spano.  I say "complete" in quotes with reason.  (Yes, it is the complete work, but...)  While many of you may have read my feature article in this week's Creative Loafing, 650 words hardly is room for the larger story about the work.  (NOTE: I did not write either the article's published title nor the caption under the photo!)  I had a 30-minute conversation with Gandolfi in preparation for that article, and I hope before the concerts take place to post more extensive excerpts from that conversation in this blog.

Finally, though the concerts at this writing appear to be almost sold out (THU 5/31 & SAT6/2 @ 8pm & SUN 6/3 @ 3pm - no FRI concert, and online tickets for THU seems sold out completely), the ASO & Spano with baritone Gregg Baker, perform the southeastern premiere of a work the ASO co-commisioned with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the African-American Cultural center of Greater Philadelphia: Pastime (2006) by Richard DanielpourPastime celebrates 3 historical baseball and civil rights greats: Josh Gibson (Negro League), Jackie Robinson & Hank Aaron (National League).  Hank Aaron is scheduled to be present at the sold-out Thursday performance.

Mark Gresham

[NOTE: This article can also be found on Mark Gresham's new EarRelevant blog, which is intended to delve far outside of "new music."  So many of Gresham's posts involving Atlanta's new music scene will either appear here in the Atlanta Composers Blog at, or be crossposted/crosslinked to both blogs.]

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Csound User Group - First Meeting, May 21

Our first Csound User Group meeting will be Monday, May 21st at 7:30pm. We'll meet at Mitch Turner's house. Email him for directions: mmturner (A-T) mindspring (D-O-T) com

I (Darren) will present the use of 'invalues' for realtime control in MacCsound. Mitch will present 'global variables' within a reverb instrument.

If you have more ideas or requests for topics, please let us know. Please feel free to leave your comments here.

See you there!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bent Frequency concert: 1six Landscapes

Atlanta chamber ensemble Bent Frequency presents 1six Landscapes (the final concert of our 2006-2007 season) on Sunday, May 20th, 8:00 PM at Eyedrum.

Featuring virtuosic contemporary works showcasing (and selected by) six familiar BF musicians as soloists. The eclectic program will include:

  • The haunting electro-acoustic landscapes of Atlanta composer Robert Scott Thompson's "Canto de Las Sombras."
  • A gripping musical caricature by Michael Colgrass inspired by Inuit legend: "Wild Riot of the Shaman's Dreams."
  • Roger Sessions' masterpiece "Six Pieces for Solo Cello."
  • The outrageously theatrical "an apologia" by Jon Deak based on text by Richard Hartshorne.
  • A premiere of "Icarus", a new work by Atlanta composer Chris Arrell.
  • Stephen Hartke's elegant "Caoine" for solo violin.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Eyedrum at 8:00 PM

Cycling '74 Max/MSP/Jitter Workshop at Eyedrum

I'm forwarding this information from Gregory Taylor at Cycling '74, who will be teaching a beginners' workshop for Max/MSP/Jitter at Eyedrum in June.



Our next workshop will be held at Eyedrum in Atlanta, GA and is
strictly for beginners.

This workshop is specifically for new users, and is intended to provide
an introduction to Max, MSP, and Jitter together as a unit. It
concentrates on the basics of working with Max for all users in a
variety of situations including audio and image processing.

The topics to be covered in the workshop include an overview of the Max,
MSP, and Jitter objects in their natural habitat, basic audio and video
processing techniques, strategies for patch design and creation, user
interface design, and techniques for better patching, learning & problem
solving. Particular emphasis will be given to learning about and taking
advantage of Max's data neutrality -- the ability to interconnect audio
and video image processing data.

This workshop places an emphasis on strategies for learning
Max/MSP/Jitter that can be applied after the workshop ends.

Participants are required to bring their own laptop (Windows or Mac)
with Max/MSP/Jitter installed. A three-month software authorization will
be provided with the $300 class fee. To reserve a space call Jill at
415-974-1818, ext. 4# or e-mail

date: June 4 to June 7, 2007
time: 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
place: Eyedrum

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dorkbot Art and Technology Forum

Hi all,

I wanted to invite all of you to attend dorkbot-atl, the Atlanta chapter of the international forum on art and technology dedicated to “people doing strange things with electricity.” Our final meeting of the year is this Thursday, May 3rd, at 7 pm in the Couch Building (room 207) at Georgia Tech.

Full details and directions are available at:

The meeting will feature a hands-on demonstration of Flock, a work in progress being developed by myself, Liubo Borissov, Frank Dellaert, Mark Godfrey, Dan Hou, Justin Berger, and Martin Robinson. Come and help create the music being performed by a live saxophone quartet, learn how everything works, and give us feedback on the experience as we continue to develop the piece.

Flock is a performance work for saxophone quartet, conceived to directly engage audiences in the composition of music by physically bringing them out of their seats and enfolding them into the creative process. During the performance, the four musicians and the audience members move freely around the performance space. A computer vision system determines the locations of the audience members and musicians, and it uses that data to generate performance instructions for the saxophonists, who view them on wireless handheld displays mounted on their instruments. The data is also artistically rendered and projected on multiple video screens to provide a visual experience of the score. More information about flock is available at:

As always, dorkbot, which is sponsored by the Georgia Tech Music Department, is free and open to the public.

Hope to see you there!! This is the final event at Georgia Tech for our academic year, but there's more exciting things to come this fall...

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Atlanta Score Study Group's New (Old) Direction

From Eddie Horst:

This is an announcement about The Atlanta Score Study Group (ASSg) regarding some changes in its focus and direction.

As you may know, ASSg, in a previous incarnation, was started by Eddie Horst, but revived and artfully managed over the past year by Jonathan Cazanave.

The original direction of the group was to be as the name implies: studying great music by listening to recordings and diligently examining and learning from the score. The ultimate aim was to increase our skills and proficiency as composers by truly understanding the means by which great music was created in works that we admired.

Many of the past meetings did indeed focus on this goal, but I came to learn that about half the attendees had various other goals (all very worthy). So to better address our various interests I would like to introduce a solution for all of us. First, I would like to return ASSg to its original course, and second, because of exciting new developments in the Atlanta composer community, I would encourage those not focused on score study to find an existing group, or even to create a new one that more suits their needs. There is plenty going on. Jonathan showed us that there are many eager composers in our midst.

Before I describe how ASSg might better operate, let me describe how our relationship to the Atlanta composers' community will be strengthened through our friend, Darren Nelsen. As many of you know, Darren is a great organizer and visionary who maintains an excellent blog at News of ASSg's meetings have been and will continue to be disseminated through his blog, along with news from other groups. So ASSg is not going away. It is simply refocusing back to its original mission and continuing to stay in touch with the community through Darren's blog. ASSg is one part of a larger thing.

ASSg Purpose: To study scores communally so as to help ourselves and each other become better composers.

Participation: If you agree to be a part of ASSg, and you show up at a monthly meeting, you must agree to commit to some listening and studying beforehand. Yeh, like homework, but the payoff might be more exciting than a mere degree. You will also be expected to give something at the meeting. Remember, this is like a musical commune: everyone gives, everyone gets. Anyone can suggest a piece for the group to study. The score and mp3 will be made available by me to everyone a month or so beforehand. The score may even come as a standard midi file which would allow easy non-transposed analysis in sequencer or notation software while synchronized with the audio.

What to Study:
Classical, Romantic or Contemporary music written for an ensemble
Classic or contemporary film scores
Our own music, as long as it is of benefit to all of us
Various other music that is a) good and b) appealing to the group

ASSg will be interesting, thought-provoking, educational, inspiring, and certainly fun. However, to be those things for everyone, it will require a commitment for each of us to listen and study intently beforehand and then actively participate in the meetings. When this works well it is actually a thrilling experience (Well, at least for me).

The analysis can touch on anything that might help us write better music including but not limited to:
compositional aspects
vertical structures
the line and horizontal aspects
tension and release
emotional effects
and on and on.

If you are interested in being an active member in the new ASSg, please send me a quick email indicating what you feel you can contribute for your own and the group’s enlightenment. Give me your thoughts on how the new ASSg will help you. Give me your thoughts on what you might want to change or add. We will try to keep the number of participants at a relatively low number so that we can stay on track with the most committed members. Incidentally, I am inviting a few very serious score study buddies who have not been to any previous meetings.

I will set up the first meeting when I hear from you. We can continue to meet monthly at Crawford on any night we choose. Jonathan will likely be involved in managing things but his duties will not be as extensive. We will all share.

Send to:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

AJC axes "classical music critic" position

The staff position of "classical music critic" has been eliminated at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, according to recent published reports by writers at Creative Loafing-Atlanta.

But the story hardly stops there. The AJC is losing a "who's who" of senior writers due to a restructuring of the daily newspaper with what some might easily call a "virtual hatchet."

Even as two of its editors were announced winners of Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism, editorial columnist Cynthia Tucker (for commentary) and managing editor Hank Klibanoff (shared the prize for history), the daily newspaper is losing some 40 senior senior staffers in an "early retirement buyout" (including the AJC's only other extant Pulitzer winner, science writer Mike Toner), a number of other specific "beats" have been eliminated, and it appears many remaining writers will be obliged to compete for remaining jobs in a "reapplication" process.

"Features" appears to have been one of the departments hit hardest, with elimination of both the "classical music critic" position [Pierre Ruhe] (leaving two other staff music writers to compete against each other for the sole remaining "pop music" job) and "visual arts critic" post [Catherine Fox], as well as two of its three film critic jobs [Eleanor Ringel Gillespie was one of the senior writers to accept "early retirement"] to rely upon wire service reviews. (Atlanta's alternative weekly, Creative Loafing, for comparison, has two local film critics.)

I have tried to contact AJC classical music critic Pierre Ruhe by e-mail for comment, even off-the-record if he wishes, but have received no response as of yet.

Although daily newspapers all around have experienced severely decreasing readership, my personal opinion is this the equivalent of the AJC dropping its pants and mooning Atlanta's arts community, particularly the classical music world. (As many of you know, I cover classical music for Creative Loafing, and won an ASCAP/Deems Taylor award in 2003 for it, but in what I must admit appears to be less-and-less frequent assignments.) And according to one member of the Atlanta Symphony, another alternative weekly, The Sunday Paper, recently published a list of "top 40" influential people in Atlanta's music scene, and not one of them was part of the "classical" world, not even Robert Spano--but I have not personally seen the list, so I cannot confirm that report, though I will ask the SP's A&E editor for a copy.

But those I have spoken with about the AJC's changes regarding "classical music," even when it was far less clear late last week exactly what was transpiring, classical music supporters in Atlanta are upset--those who know about it, that is. I'm not even sure what we know now is all that clear, as a "job reapplication process" for remaining AJC writers will not be over until June 1, according to Creative Loafing reporter Scott Freeman--see second link below.

My own best guess at this juncture is that the AJC staff posts on the chopping block will continue to exist until the "reapplication" process is over, but I have no tangible confirmation of that at this time.

The first I heard that something was going down specifically with AJC coverage of "classical music" was Friday, April 13, during intermission of an Atlanta Symphony subscription concert. Nevertheless, please read more about it here:

Fear and loathing at the AJC

by Scott Freeman [Creative Loafing "Fresh Loaf" blog, April 13, 2007]

Newsroom musical chairs at the AJC
AJC loses top talent and familiar names; many who stay will have to find new beats
by Scott Henry [Creative Loafing, online/print editions, April 18/19, 2007]

—Mark Gresham, composer/music journalist 21 Apr 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Compeition, Local Composer Makes Semi-Finals

Juan Chattah of Decatur, GA made the semi-finals and that's no small feat. Is this the same person who teaches at Agnes Scott College? I would be interesting in hearing/seeing what he submitted.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Copywork and recording - shameless plug

Hi everyone,

I am posting to see if anyone needs or knows someone who needs any notation/copywork done. I am great with Sibelius, but will notate by hand or in Finale if needed. Turnaround and rates will be quite reasonable - I am just looking to make a little extra cash before I head to the UK in September.

I am also available for remote recording, as well as mixing and mastering.

Contact me here:

Example scores are available my website: Handwritten examples and recording examples available upon request (note: most of the recordings on my site are live and not engineered by me).

Please pass this along to anyone who may be interested.

Many thanks!
Adam Neal

Monday, April 16, 2007

Final neoPhonia New Music Ensemble concert of the 2006/07 season

From Dr. Nickitas J. Demos:

Just a reminder - you are cordially invited to the fourth and final neoPhonia New Music Ensemble concert of the 2006/07 season.

Whether focusing on a solo performer, a lonely subway commute or the single blossoming of a flower just before death - we take a look at the solitary life... on the next neoPhonia concert.

The concert takes place at 7:30 PM in the Kopleff Recital Hall on the campus of Georgia State University in lovely downtown Atlanta and is, of course, FREE and open to the public.


Des Cherubins Sprache inwendig by Eckart BEINKE
for solo marimba

Straphanger by GSU MM composition graduate student Adam Scott NEAL
for computer generated sounds

Bamboo Blossoms by GSU MM composition graduate student Jennifer MITCHELL
for trombone, harp and two percussion

The Laughing Monkeys of Gravity by GSU faculty member Curtis BRYANT
for soprano and piano - Text by Stephen BLUESTONE
featuring special guest artists Chery BRENDEL, soprano and Lisa LEONG, piano

The Kopleff Recital Hall is located within the Arts and Humanities Building which is on the corner of Peachtree Center Avenue and Gilmer Street in
downtown Atlanta. Street parking may be available in this area, or you may use I-Lot (Peachtree Center Ave). For more detailed directions and maps,
please check out the GSU School of Music website at

As always, you will be able to meet and greet the composers and performersafter the concert at a reception hosted by the GSU Student Chapter of the
Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Politics meets RIAA meets Atlanta

I hesitate to post this, 'cause I don't want to step into a political swamp... but since the RIAA is responsible for raiding an Atlanta studio using a SWAT team and drawn machine guns to hammer out alleged copyright infringement, it's only fair that I post this...

DNC appoints RIAA shill to run Public Affairs for convention

Our country is turning into a dictatorship enough without reps from the RIAA embedded in (or in fact leading segments of) political parties.

I urge you to take action if you're so inclined by contacting the DNC to express dissatisfaction with this appointment.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Composer and Guitarist Atanas Ourkouzounov performs at Columbus State University

Monday, April 16 -- Performance by Carson McCullers Resident Composer in Guitar, Atanas Ourkouzounov. The RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 7:30 PM. Admission is free.

I've had some communication with Atanas, mainly about his Sonatine for flute and guitar that hopefully duoATL will perform in the near future (which is an incredible piece). Flutist Mie Ogura will also be performing with Atanas. I recommend checking out his samples on his site Certainly a different perspective and influence coming from Bulgaria.

If all goes well, I will be making the trek out to Columbus.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Contributors Needed

The mission of is to cover as many aspects of local composer activity as possible. To that end, I need more contributors to share what's going on in each of your worlds. So far, we have coverage of a few groups--GSU (Adam Scott Neal), the ASSG (Jonathan Cazenave), and the upcoming Csound User Group (me and Mitch Turner).

I'd like to get more contributors from more areas, like Georgia Tech, Emory, Kennesaw, LaGrange College, and any independent groups (similar to ASSG).

What I need is one or more representatives from each group willing to post information about upcoming events and activities within their sphere. This applies to schools, ensembles, performance venues, meetup groups, journalists, critics, etc. As long as your contributions have to do with promoting music of local composers and helping this community to become more vibrant and gain more exposure.

Please let me know if you're interested in becoming a contributing blogger! ;) And spread the word. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Steve Reich Festival

Unfortunately, I'm not going to make it to the Steve Reich/SO Percussion concert tonight at GSU. If anybody wants to post comments about their experience at the show, that would be nice.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Second Life

Is anyone here (besides me) in Second Life? Do you happen to own land or property? (I do not.) Can we put on a virtual concert there?

If there's no place currently available, would anyone be interested in going in on a group purchase of property and establishing a 24/7 streaming area of Atlanta composers' music? I think it would be fun to do as a group.

Let me know if you're interested and we'll start to pursue this.

Incognito in Public

What would happen if one of the USA's greatest, most recognized 30-something classical musicians performed for tips in a Washington, DC subway station? To find out, read this long, disturbing article (replete with video) from yesterday's Washington Post (Sunday, April 8, 2007):   [Article]

The follow-up question for all of us: What does it signify for living composers?

--Mark Gresham

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Volunteer Needed for 'Featured Composers' Column

I need a volunteer to write a monthly section of the blog called Featured Composers. Each month, Featured Composers will profile (in brief) two Atlanta-area composers, with bios and links to their sound pages/files. Very similar to Sequenza21's "Click Picks".

The Featured Composers section is a way to highlight local talent and bring direct awareness to our composers and their music. A way of saying, "Here, look at this!"

I need a contributor to do these writeups. It's fairly simple work. Just follow the links in the Atlanta Composers section, pick two composers, summarize their bios, and link to their sound pages or files. You don't need to be a music critic, you just need to do some exploring and share what you find. It'll be fun for someone who likes to do research, listen to new music, and give back to the community. You'll be helping us learn about each other.

Please let me know if you're interested by sending an email to darren (A-T) curiomusic (D-O-T) com or contact me here. Thanks!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Csound Users Group

I'm very excited to announce the inauguration of a local Csound Users Group. Headed up by myself and Mitchell Turner, we are going to have our first meeting in May (tentatively Thurs. May 10 @ 7:30pm at Mitch's home.)

We'd like participants and volunteers to present mini-topics of 5-10 minutes each. I will demonstrate the use of 'invalues' for realtime control in MacCsound. Mitch will present 'global variables' within a reverb instrument. We need more topics and presenters, so please let us know if you're interested. ('Presenter' sounds formal--we really just need people willing to say a something about what they know how to do in Csound. It'll be a fun, informal gathering.)

Please respond to this post to show your interest and ideas/requests for topics.

More details to follow...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

ASSG Meeting Canceled.

From Jonathan:

Hi everyone,
The ASSG is officially celebrating Spring Break this year. :-)

There *Will Not* be a meeting Tomorrow, April 5th.
We should resume as normal next month.

Jonathan Cazenave
Composer for Film, TV and Multimedia

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Classical Music Looks Toward China With Hope

Interesting article in The New York Times...

Here are some excerpts...

[With the same energy, drive and sheer population weight that has made it an economic power, China has become a considerable force in Western classical music. Conservatories are bulging. Provincial cities demand orchestras and concert halls.]

[Fewer young American listeners find their way to classical music, largely because of the lack of the music education that was widespread in public schools two generations ago. As a result many orchestras and opera houses struggle to fill halls.

China, with an estimated 30 million piano students and 10 million violin students, is on an opposite trajectory. Comprehensive tests to enter the top conservatories now attract nearly 200,000 students a year, compared with a few thousand annually in the 1980s, according to the Chinese Musicians Association.]

[“Music is hot in China,” said Chen Hung-Kuan, the chairman of the piano department at the Shanghai Conservatory. “It may be fading in Western countries,” he added, but in China the talent is “unlimited.”]

Do we have any locals working in/with China? What's been your experience? Is any of your music being performed there? I imagine that with Atlanta being a hub of international renown (Hartsfield-Jackson, CNN, Coke), we might be able to have some impact in China. A market worth exploring...! Please post your comments if you have some experience here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stack the Dectet

Hello all,

Just wanted to make another alert for the "Stack the Dectet" concert on Sunday evening (April 1st) at 7:30 in the Kopleff Recital Hall at GSU.

This concert was conceived by Daniel Swilley, who invited myself and Kansas composer Brian Bondari to compose pieces for the same instrumentation: flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone, percussion, violin, viola, contrabass.

The pieces are:
Feridoun by Brian Bondari, based on Persian legends.
Gallery by Adam Scott Neal, inspired by Abstract Expressionist paintings.
Pantheod by Daniel Swilley, inspired by John Keats's poem "Song of Four Fairies."

For more information, please visit: