The EcoSono Ensemble
Rita Dove is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. A member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Dove holds the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. In May of 1993, Dove was named the poet laureate of the United States, the first African American appointed to the position as well as the first woman and the youngest, at 41 years old. In 1996 she received the National Humanities Medal from President Bill Clinton, the same year in which she received the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities. In addition to her poetry, Dove has penned prose, as seen with the short-story collection Fifth Sunday (1985), the novel Through the Ivory Gate (1992) and the essay collection The Poet’s World (1995). She has also written the play The Darker Face of the Earth (1994), and collaborated as a lyricist with a variety of composers.
Matthew Burtner (www.matthewburtner.com) is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist. An IDEA Award winner and first prize winner of the Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music composition, Burtner works closely with politicians, scientists, artists and musicians, creating music in support of sustainability and free imagination. In 2014 he was invited to Brazil to work with former Vice President, Al Gore on Climate Reality, and in 2015 he was invited by the US State Department to create the music for President Barack Obama's visit to Alaska. In 2015 he was also a featured presenter on the Smithsonian Magazine's Future is Here festival and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's Arctic Spring Festival. In 2016 he presented Music for Climate Science at NASA's Goddard Space Center. His electronic and chamber music is played widely in festivals and concerts around the world and is available on several critically acclaimed albums. Jean Ferraca of Public Radio’s Here on Earth says “It is music that draws from both beauty and horror of nature... He calls his music “ecoacoustics”. I say it’s the world song.” Burtner is Professor of Composition and Computer Technologies (CCT) and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Virginia, and Founder of the environmental arts non-profit organization, EcoSono (http://www.ecosono.org).
EcoSono (www.ecosono.org) is a non-profit organization pursuing commonalities between innovative musical creation and ecological sustainability. Through education, engagement and artistic production, EcoSono defines a unique methodology for environmentalism and the arts. Matthew Burtner established EcoSono in 2010 as a nexus for work in ecoacoustics. National Geographic News Watch called EcoSono's production, Auksalaq, “a significant cultural event that marries science as the brain, art as the heart and culture as the soul in our search for awareness and sustainability”. EcoSono has organized concerts from Alaska to Namibia and venues in between.
The EcoSono Ensemble is a music collective combining chamber music performance, improvisation, new technologies and ecoacoustics. The group gave its debut performance at the 2012 premiere of Matthew Burtner and Scott Deal’s Auksalaq telematic opera which was performed in Norway, Canada, Indiana, Alaska, Washington DC, New York, and Virginia. Since then, EcoSono Ensemble has performed internationally, including concerts for the ISIM Festival in Toronto, the Dark Mofo Festival in Tasmania, the Vivid Festival in Sydney, the Melbourne Recital Centre, the University of Californian San Diego, the Anchorage Museum, the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, the Peak Frequency Festival in Colorado, and others.
In addition to the musicians included on this album, the Ensemble includes percussionist I-Jen Fang, and trumpeter Glen Whitehead.
Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) University of Virginia
The Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) develops new technologies for artistic engagements and actions in the creative and academic spheres. Active at the University of Virginia since 2008, projects include new software development, robotics, human-computer interface hardware, and network applications. IMRG previously developed the Auksalaq Nomads telematic opera software and iPhone Apps, and the MICEtro robotic network conductor for the 500-person human computer MICE Orchestra. In addition to musical concerts, Nomads has been used for conferences and large lecture classes.
Ceiling Floats Away NOMADS Team: Jon Bellona Matthew Burtner Travis Thatcher
Jon Bellona is an intermedia artist/composer who specializes in digital technologies. Jon's music and intermedia work have been shown internationally including KISS (Kyma International Sound Symposium); SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States); IMAC (Interactive Media Arts Conference); SLEO (Symposium on Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras); FMO (Future Music Oregon) concerts; with special performances at the Casa da Musica (Porto, Portugal) and CCRMA (Palo Alto, CA).
Travis Thatcher resides in Charlottesville, VA and is the Technical Director of the Composition and Computer Technologies (CCT) program at the University of Virginia. Travis Thatcher received a Masters in Music Technology and a BS in Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked as the instrument designer for the band Wilco, and has developed devices and interfaces for musical acts such as Glenn Kotche, Animal Collective and Sonic Generator. He was a front end Developer for the interactive online interface company, Jellyvision. As Voice of Saturn he performs and designs electronic instruments.
EcoSono Ensemble performers
Lisa Edwards-Burrs, voice; Kelly Sulick, flute;Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano
Lisa Edwards-Burrs has received awards including the Carson Silver Medal and monetary prize from the American Traditions Competition of Savannah! Onstage and Outstanding Vocalist of the Year from Richmond Magazine. She has performed for such dignitaries as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senator John Glenn, baseball great Cal Ripkin, international economist Dr. Fareed Zakaria and blues guitarist and singer B. B. King at the Richmond Forum. Dr. Burrs was also an Artistic Ambassador for the United States to South America with pianist, Melanie Day, which resulted in a five-week concert tour. Her performances in recital, oratorio and chamber music are extensive and her performances featuring the works of African-American composers and other contemporary works have received critical acclaim. She is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Longwood University in Virginia. She received degrees in Vocal Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia (B.M. and M.M.) and The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (D.M.A.).
Kelly Sulick teaches at the University of Virginia and serves as Principal Flute in the Charlottesville Symphony. Prior to her appointment, she served as Principal Flute with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and as Consortium Instructor of Flute at the University of Evansville for three years. She earned her Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Southern California and completed three seasons as Principal Flute with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles, California. Prior to her graduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, where she graduated with highest honors and was named a James B. Angell Scholar for her academic achievements.
Canadian clarinetist Shawn Earle is Lecturer in Clarinet at the University of Virginia and is principal clarinetist of the Charlottesville Symphony. He performs regularly as a soloist and has been a chamber musician with the Cascadia Reed Quintet, Vancouver Clarinet Trio, Trio Dolce, and guest artist with the Novo Ensemble. He also has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Island Symphony. In December 2015, Dr. Earle completed his Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of British Columbia examining contemporary Canadian clarinet music.
Kevin Davis is a composer, improviser, and cellist. Originally from Appalachian Tennessee, he has at various times been based out of Memphis, Chicago, New York, and Istanbul, where he has played in and composed for a large variety of musical situations across a wide spectrum of contemporary music. He has recorded and performed in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has degrees in music composition from the University of Memphis (B. Music) and the Centre for Advanced Musical Studies (MIAM) in Istanbul, Turkey (MA). He is currently pursuing a PhD in Composition and Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia.
Canadian pianist John Mayhood has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout North America, as well as in Germany and Austria. He has frequently appeared on CBC and SRC radio as well as on various NPR affiliates, and his performances have been televised in both the USA and Canada. In constant demand as a collaborator, John has appeared with musicians from the Montreal and Toronto Symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, among many others. Also a scholar, he has presented on subjects ranging from the philosophy of performance practice to neo-Riemannian theory at, among other places, the University of Chicago and the annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie. He earned his Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Ian Hobson. His other major teachers were Caio Pagano and Jean-Paul Sévilla. John has taught piano at the University of Illinois and philosophy at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a member of the piano faculty at the University of Virginia
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