IAWM Annual Concert

Satruday, March 7 | 9:30-11:30 am
Charter Oak Cultural Center
21 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford is pleased to present the works selected for the 2014 IAWM annual concert.  Rather than giving one single concert in 2014, the organization instead decided to curate an electroacoustic program that could be presented multiple times around the globe.  Our presentation will be part of the WCForum Session 3 and will be preceded by a brief introduction by Jessica Rudman, one of the four composers whose works were selected for the concert.


Program Notes

Califia and the Trespassers by Andrea Clearfield (with video by Quintan Ana Wikswo)

Califia and the Trespassers is a collaboration between Quintan Ana Wikswo (concept/text/film), Manfred Fischbeck (choreographer) and Andrea Clearfield (electroacoustic score). The work was created at Montalvo in Saratoga, California in 2013 where Clearfield was awarded a Lucas Artist Fellowship. She invited Wiskwo and Fischbeck to begin the process of creating a work together at Montalvo.  They experimented with sound, movement and text/themes in the redwood forest, each collecting materials for the piece.

The work is conceived as a performative meditation, reflection and indictment of ecological and human violence, ‘trespasses’ of colonialism, and the oppression and destruction of natural habitats and native cultures. Califia is the fictional Amazonian queen from whom California takes its name, a member of the Black Mojave Nation who lived in California before the Spanish Invasion.

The composition premiered at Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater in September, 2013 with support from the Pew Foundation for Arts and Heritage.  The film was projected onto various scrims and audience was guided through the dancers and tableaus that juxtaposed figures of “trespassers” with the embodiment of natural forest environments. Clearfield’s composition incorporates her treated field recordings in the redwood forest and acoustic instruments.

I will play the swan and die in music by Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner

This is an enhanced recording of a performance for live laptop ensemble and trombone.  The submitted stereo recording is a standalone playback of the work. The title of the piece comes from Othello (Emilia, Act V scene ii) and is one of the many literary references to the phrase “swan song” which stems from the ancient belief that the normally mute swan sings one beautiful melody before it dies.  This work is a memorial piece to my father who was an incredibly bad but incredibly enthusiastic trombonist whose dreadful bleats could always be heard above the other more skilled players in the summer community band of my youth.

I am greatly indebted to Andrew May, director of the Center for Experimental InterMedia at the University of North Texas, who patiently assisted me (and many times just flat-out rewrote so they would work correctly!) in my first Pure Data patches for this work.

Not One Would Care by Jessica Rudman

Not One Would Care is a response to Sara Teasdale’s poem “There Will Come Soft Rain”, which depicts an eerily tranquil vision of a post-apocalyptic world where nature regains control.  The work uses a combination of synthesized sounds (created in Tassman) and stock sound effects to depict a cataclysmic climax followed by a long winding down.  Sounds associated with human society dominate the opening sections, yet are gradually replaced by abstract and non-human sounds. Even the choice of medium for the work – electronics with no live performers – is directly related to the content of the poem.

Daughter by Line Tjørnhøj

Daughter (2008) is the first in a series of electroacoustic compositions in which the Danish composer Line Tjørnhøj experiments with the relationship between documentary and voice in a so-called vox:dox production. The story is about an honor killing: the daughter is raped by her brothers and her mother kills her to preserve the family honor! 

The actual words in the piece are taken from an interview with the young woman’s (Rofayda Qaoud) mother (Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud) as presented in “Mother kills raped daughter to restore `honor´” by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in The Seattle Times, November 17, 2003.

The idea behind the vox:dox pieces is to investigate the essence of motherhood through selected and adapted stories with related themes. The Danish Arts Foundation, which granted Tjørnhøj a three-year stipend in 2010, wrote the following in connection with the award: “Movements like ‘Daughter’ from ‘Vox:dox’ confirm in a few seconds that electroacoustic composition can be not only relevant but also apt and highly effective in communicating states of mind not previously reflected in the classical vocal repertoire.”


Andrea Clearfield is an award-winning composer of music for orchestra, chorus, chamber, dance, and multimedia collaborations. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces”, the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration” and Opera News for her “vivid and galvanizing” music of “timeless beauty”. Her music is performed widely internationally. Among her works are ten cantatas including one for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Dr. Clearfield has held fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo among others. She is a recipient of the 2014 Copland House Award. Dr. Clearfield received a D.M.A. in Composition from Temple University and an MM from The University of the Arts where she served on the composition faculty for 25 years. She is the founder and host of the renowned Philadelphia Salon featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance and world music since 1986 and winner of Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philadelphia” award. She is currently writing an opera on the life of the great Tibetan yogi, Milarepa to libretto by Jean-Claude van Itallie and Lois Walden

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (b. 1964) received her D.M.A. (1991) in music composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as acting director of the electronic and computer music studios at Florida International University in Miami and the Experimental Music Studios at the University of Iowa and has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois, the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of North Texas. She served on the board of the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States and the board of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community.  She has been the vice-president of the International Alliance for Women in Music. Currently she makes her living as Director of Academic Computing Technical Services at the University of North Texas.  She is also a karate instructor and has recently earned her second degree black belt in American karate.  She is a widow and the mother of two sons aged 15 and 11.

Jessica Rudman’s music has been performed across the United States and abroad.  Her works have been included on festivals such as the Omaha Symphony New Music Symposium, Composers Now, New Voices @ CUA, the Ernest Bloch Festival, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, the IAWM International Congress, and various SCI Conferences.  Honors include winning the 2013 Robert Starer Award, the 2013 Boston Metro Opera’s Advocacy Award, the 2012 College Music Society Student Composer Award, and the 2012 NewMusic@ECU Orchestra Composition Competition.

Line Tjørnhøj lets voices and sounds cross borders of style, tradition, expression and aesthetics. She has worked with a broad variety of singers from jazz, ethno, opera, Bulgarian women, throat singers and Roy Hart trained singers as well as musicians, choreographers and visual artists from the contemporary experimental performance scene. In her stage works she experiments with integrating live electronic processing and concrete stage prop sounds to let the music itself do a part of staging the work. This is a way to keep the focus on acoustics and to let the music form the axis of the dramatic staging. A conscious comment on our contemporary, extreme visually oriented society. Her works have been praised for originality, beauty, extraordinary extended vocal techniques and personal expression.

Quintan Ana Wikswo (film/poetry) is an artist and writer whose projects span literature, photography, video, performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, critical theory, and activism. Her thirty-seven major projects are exhibited, published, and performed at prominent institutions through Europe and the Americas. She is an active collaborator with leading composers including Veronika Krausas, Andrea Clearfield, Lydia Lunch, Pamela Madsen, Anne Le Berge, Arthur Kell, Tom Flaherty, and David Rosenboom.  “Quintan Ana Wikswo’s trenchant interdisciplinary investigation into the sites of massacres and other atrocities is a vivid reminder that art no longer serves religion, but is progressively supplanting it in terms of ritual and sanctity,” (Thomas Micchelli, Hyperallergic).  Created using salvaged military communications equipment, her works construct sites for expansive conversations on violence and warfare, gender and sexuality, existential sovereignty and shamanism. Wikswo’s writing appears regularly in Tin House, Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, New American Writing, Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, and is widely anthologized. Since 2012, she has had three solo museum exhibitions in New York City and Berlin, and been included in major museums throughout the United Kingdom, Germany, France, California, and New York. She has received fellowships from Creative Capital, the NEA, the NEH, Yaddo, Djerassi among others. www.QuintanWikswo.com