UCF New Music Ensemble
Collide Contemporary Music Series

Sunday April 8, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

Tickets: $5-20

The Collide Contemporary Music Series presents the student-based UCF New Music Ensemble in a concert of world premieres of original music by UCF composers, performed by UCF musicians.

Program

Ablution by Eduardo Mac Master

I

II

III

IV

Looking Glass by Erick Campos

Tsunami by Melody Cook

Unsettling by Nicholas Costanza

To Grieve by Heidi Mattern

  1. Shock
  2. Guilt
  3. Anger
  4. Depression
  5. Up
  6. Acceptance

Participants

Director: Thad Anderson
Composition Area Coordinator: David MacDonald
Flute: Jolene Crossman, Thomas Swanson
Clarinet: Austin Suarez
Violin: Krister Lawlor
Cello: Jomar Cruz
Piano: Daria Park
Percussion: Theodore Jackson and Paul Yorke

The UCF New Music Ensemble

Founded in 2017, the UCF New Music Ensemble is a performance-oriented chamber group focused on diverse repertoire from the 20th and 21st-centuries. The ensemble is used as a laboratory for instruction in chamber performance skills encompassing the various styles of conventionally notated works but will also introduce other contemporary approaches such as improvisation, electro-acoustic music, and graphic scores. The ensemble frequently rehearses and premieres newly composed works by resident students, faculty, and visiting guest composers.

UCF composers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, and it shows in the exciting and creative music they write. This concert features world premieres of new works created by students, performed by students. You will hear music that reflects inspiration from documentary video, personal journeys, and social bonds. We are proud to present a program of brand new music for the inaugural season of the UCF New Music Ensemble.

Program Notes

Ablution by Eduardo Mac Master

Ablution is a cleansing or purification; it could be a sacred cleansing or showering. My grandfather, before showering, would sing a song roughly translating into English as:

I’m going to shower
Pass me the soap
Beautiful Mama necha (grandmother)
You’ll be my love

The melody he sang is presented as the thematic material in the first movement and returns in the fourth movement. A full representation of the song is heard in the flute at the beginning. A mixture of folk-style music, from his singing and my background, and concert music, from my musical training can be heard and reflects a journey to find my artistic voice.

Looking Glass by Erick Campos

Looking Glass is all about taking the listener on a weird, whimsical, but grand journey. There are austere, reflective moments, but there are also a few funny and musically hilarious moments as well. As you dive deeper, you discover entirely new worlds completely discrete from each other. The melancholy juxtaposed against the beautifully joyous. Soon you find yourself having unearthed a small, hidden, but dark and sinister secret. Afterwards, nothing is the same and you are not sure you can get back to the surface.

Tsunami by Melody Cook

Tsunami is dedicated to the survivors of the tsunami in Japan, March 11, 2011. It is a musical representation of the sounds and emotions experienced during the tsunami. I was touched by Kenji Saito’s footage of the tsunami in Ofunato Harbor, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. An event with such staggering loss of life and property should be remembered. Those who experienced it, and their loved ones who were lost, should be honored.

The tsunami begins with an earthquake under the ocean. There is an anxious calm as the water recedes. A clarinet loudspeaker announcement warns everyone to evacuate to higher ground. The music swells as the water rises quickly, flooding the harbor. Residents, watching from the mountainsides, whisper anxiously as the water breaks over the levy. The water continues to rise, much higher than expected, demolishing everything in its path. The strings, flute, and clarinet reenact the sobs and terrified screams of people watching their homes and businesses collapse, swept away by the rushing current. Water covers the rooftops and slows for a moment. Then, churning violently, the current reverses the direction of the music as it returns to the ocean, carrying debris with it. Onlookers watch in disbelief, weeping and whispering to one another. Their landscape is devastated. Homes and businesses are gone. There is nothing left.

Shock.

Grief.

Silence.

Unsettling by Nicholas Costanza

This short composition arose in response to the formation of a New Music Ensemble in the fall of 2017 at the University of Central Florida. There are two main ideas in Unsettling: the interval of a perfect 5th, heard both melodically and harmonically (and also transposed and inverted), and the melodic theme first heard in the piano about a minute into the piece. There are three sections in this piece, an intro, the main body section, and an outro or coda. The main body section has a kind of groove to it, but it is slow and unsteady, and perhaps even a little nervous. My goal with this work was to create a sense of uncertainty in the listener, using these two musical ideas as the foundation for the mood of the piece.

To Grieve by Heidi Mattern

To Grieve follows the stages of the grieving process. In Shock, the jarring opening statement represents the shock of loss. On the other hand, the calming and lyrical passages in the vibraphone represent denial. Guilt focuses on the inner turmoil that comes from feelings of guilt and helplessness. The bass clarinet mimics a heartbeat that begins stable but soon becomes more rapid and irregular as anxiety builds. Anger begins with loud sounds that represent outward anger, but as the movement progresses, the music begins to represent inward, seething anger that is bubbling up and waiting to overflow. Depression is meant to lack direction musically and temporally. This movement captures the stagnation and emptiness of depression, and it is not until the end of the movement that some kind of resolution is met between the crotales and cello before leading into the upward turn. In Up, the music immediately becomes more active as the depression is lifted. There is still conflict and pain, but hope is restored. Passages of ascending melodic motion capture the momentum of the upward turn. Acceptance is the final stage of grieving, and it marks a place of finality and closure. The dance-like rhythm is light-hearted and exuberant; like a weight has been lifted. The piano solo represents the very intimate moment of making peace with the loss and finally reaching a point of rest.