Pauchi Sasaki, Composer
Described by The Wire as an artist “unafraid of working within different disciplines and stylistic constraints”; Pauchi Sasaki’s interdisciplinary approach integrates musical composition with the design of multimedia performances, the application of new technologies, and the development of self-designed instruments seeking the embodiment of electronic music performance. A composer, performer and improviser, her music recreates intimate subjective landscapes through electro-acoustic sonorities mixed with field recordings and synthesis, influenced by improvisational aesthetics and ethnic musical traditions.
An active film scorer, “Pauchi Sasaki’s effective scores” [Variety] are also featured in more than 30 feature and short films that earned her three “Best Original Score” awards from Festival de Cinema Latino Americano di Trieste in Italy (2015); CONACINE, National Film Council of Peru (2013); and Filmocorto (2011). She also received the Ibermúsicas Latin American grant for sound composition with new technologies at CMMAS-México (2015); The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, becoming the protégé of American composer Philip Glass (2016), and the Goethe-Institut’s artist residency at Salvador-Bahia (2017).
Pauchi studied with César Bolaños, Ali Akbar Khan, Maggi Payne, John Bischoff, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, James Fei, Laetitia Sonami, Les Stuck and Pauline Oliveros. She holds a BA degree in Journalism from PUCP in Lima-Perú, and an MFA degree in Recording Media and Experimental Music from Mills College in Oakland, California. She has performed at the Tokyo Experimental Festival, The Mario Testino Museum [MATE], the Art Basel Miami week, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, The Kitchen, among other venues.
Joelle Lamarre, soprano
Joelle Lamarre, (soprano, actress and playwright) is thrilled to be joining George Lewis (a Guggenheim Fellowship winner) and Sean Griffin one more time with Afterwords for its west coast premiere at the Ojai 2017 Summer Festival. Afterword, an opera developed with Sean Griffin and Catherine Sullivan, constitutes an aesthetic extension of George E. Lewis’s 2008 book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press).
Julian Terrell Otis, tenor
Julian Terrell Otis is proud to reunite with “this trio of impressive vocal soloists” (New York Times) in the West Coast premiere of Afterword. He has become an enthusiastic interpreter of contemporary music. Most recently lending his ringing tenor sound to Anthony R. Green’s …I Shall Shake His Hand… curated by Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Cross That Line to Freedom (South Shore Opera Company). As a student Julian was able to explore the choral works of Ted Hearne, James MacMillan, Sebastian Currier and other contemporary composers under the baton of Donald Nally. Julian wishes to explore the limitless possibilities of his instrument’s expressive capacity through song, improvisation, and theatrical works.
Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble
OBERLIN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE
Deemed “a hotbed of contemporary-classical players” and a “rural experimental haven” by The New York Times, Oberlin Conservatory of Music cultivates innovation in its students. In its six annual full-concert cycles, Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME), directed by Timothy Weiss, performs music of all contemporary styles and genres: from minimalism to serialism, to electronic, cross genre, mixed media, and beyond.
CME has worked with many prominent composers including George Crumb, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Stephen Hartke, Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, Joan Tower, Frederic Rzewski, and others, and has premiered many of their works. CME also regularly premieres works by Oberlin faculty, student, and alumni composers.
Each year, some of the most well-regarded contemporary music icons perform as soloists with CME, including Jennifer Koh (Oberlin College 1997), Claire Chase (Oberlin Conservatory 2001), David Bowlin (Oberlin Conservatory 2000), Tony Arnold (Oberlin Conservatory 1990), Marilyn Nonken, Stephen Drury, Steven Schick, and Ursula Oppens. Distinguished students receive opportunities to perform as soloists with the ensemble as well.
CME presents an annual concert series at the Cleveland Museum of Art and regularly tours the United States. In recent years, the group has performed at the Winter Garden, Miller Theater, Merkin Concert Hall, DiMenna Center, Harvard University, Benaroya Hall, Palace of Fine Arts, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. CME has also been featured on a number of commercial recordings, including John Luther Adams’ In the White Silence (New World Records), Lewis Nielson’s Écritures: St. Francis Preaches to the Birds (Centaur Records), and in several releases on the Oberlin Music label.
For more than two decades, Timothy Weiss has been music director of the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble and has brought the group to a level of artistry and virtuosity in performance that rivals the finest new music groups. A committed educator, Weiss is professor of conducting and chair of the Division of Contemporary Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he helped create and mentor Eighth Blackbird and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He has gained critical acclaim for his performances and brave, adventurous programming throughout the United States and abroad. His repertoire in contemporary music is vast and fearless, including masterworks, very recent compositions, and an impressive number of premieres and commissions. His work has been honored with an Adventurous Programming Award from the League of American Orchestras.
Senior violinist Christa Cole currently studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of David Bowlin. She made her solo debut with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra in 2012 playing the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto, and recently performed Shulamit Ran’s Violin Concerto with the Oberlin Orchestra. While a student
at Oberlin, she has performed Joan Tower’s Night Fields in the Orientation Recital, and Shulamit Ran’s Inscriptions in the Danenberg Honors Recital. Over the summers, she has received quartet fellowships at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music Institute and Credo Chamber Music Camp, and has attended Madeline Island Chamber Music Camp and the Round Top Festival Institute. Cole has performed in master classes for Christian Tetzlaff, Punch Brothers, Charles Castleman, Rachel Barton-Pine, and Stephen Shipps. She actively pursues scholarship in music theory, and plans to begin her graduate studies in music theory in the fall of 2017.
Junior Toby Elser began his violin studies at the age of 5 in Ithaca, N.Y. Since 2014, Elser has been pursuing his bachelor’s degree in violin performance under the instruction of Marilyn McDonald at Oberlin Conservatory. He has attended summer music festivals at Bowdoin, Roundtop, Zodiac, and Madeline Island.
Adam Jeffreys is entering his senior year as a violinist in the studio of David Bowlin at Oberlin Conservatory. Last year, he participated in Oberlin’s 150th anniversary tour, taking part in outreach efforts at various schools in Chicago and in Oberlin Orchestra’s performance at Symphony Hall. In 2015, at the Roundtop Orchestral Institute, he was the Texas Festival Orchestra’s principal second violinist, which collaborated with guest artists Nicholas Kitchen and Stefan Milenkovich. In 2014, Jeffreys attended the Aria Institute and performed in masterclasses for Felicia Moye, Gregory Fulkerson, Hal Grossman, and Sibbi Bernhardsson. In addition to the violin, Jeffreys has a strong interest in Soviet-era history. In 2015, he gave a lecture on sensory blending in Socialist Realist art, literature, and music at Oberlin College’s Synaesthesia Symposium.
Violinist Dana Johnson is in her final year pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of Milan Vitek. Johnson has dedicated much of her time to new music, performing student compositions, playing as a principal in Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, and as a member of the student-run contemporary music collective, Semble N. Johnson has soloed with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has served as concertmaster of the Oberlin Orchestra and the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. She has participated in festivals around the world, including soundSCAPE (Italy), the Litomysl Violin Masterclass (Czech Republic), Le Domaine Forget (Canada), and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Johnson performed at the Kennedy Center with her string trio, Trio Ligatura, and has worked with or performed in master classes for Christian Tetzlaff, Pinchas Zukermann, Frank Huang, Yura Lee, Mark Fewer, The Punch Brothers, and the Calder, Cavani, and Ariel Quartets.
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, John Kirchenbauer is a violinist at Oberlin College and Conservatory. He studies with Professor Milan Vitek and has participated heavily in the 20th-century and contemporary music ensembles at Oberlin. In recent summers, he attended the Meadowmount School of Music, Aria Summer Academy, and Litomysl International Master Class. Also a student in Oberlin’s College of Arts and Sciences, Kirchenbauer is interested in applied math and science and plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Engineering at one of Oberlin’s partner universities starting in the fall of 2017.
A native of Loveland, Colo., Jeremy Kreutz is a student of Darrett Adkins at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He has studied with Brinton Smith, Benjamin Karp, and Katherine Azari. In addition to his attendance of the Brevard Music Festival, Round Top Festival Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival’s orchestral fellowship program, Kreutz was the assistant principal cellist of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) in 2014, joining musicians such as David Robertson and Gil Shaham for a coast-to-coast tour of the United States. In his free time he also enjoys hiking, running, and reading, and he looks to continue studying German in Oberlin’s language department.
Benjamin Merte began playing the double bass at age ten in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is currently in his fourth year attending Oberlin Conservatory, where he studies with Cleveland Orchestra member Scott Dixon. Merte is an active performer of classical and contemporary music, and frequently performs new music for the double bass.
A native of Hong Kong, Pok Yee (Pauline) Ng started violin studies at a young age and has won major prizes at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, including first prize in Violin Solo, and second prize in the categories of Violin Sonata and Violin Concerto. Ng is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in violin performance and composition at the Oberlin Conservatory under the tutelage of Professor Milan Vitek and Professor Stephen Hartke, respectively. Her original compositions, Yin-Yang for solo violin and Lí (☲) 離 for solo cello, have been performed in Oberlin Conservatory showcase concerts, including the Orientation Recital, Danenberg Honors Recital, and the Oberlin at Oakton series. In addition, Ng is a recipient of the Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Violin Performance and is the Young Composer-in-Residence of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings for the 2016-2017 season.
A double degree student at Oberlin College and Conservatory, Corey Worley studies viola under Peter Slowik and majors in psychology. Worley has soloed with the Benefic Chamber Orchestra and the Credo Brandenburg Ensemble. Passionate about chamber music, he has collaborated with Dimitri Ashkenazy, Mark Fewer, Felix Fan; as a member of Trio Ligatura, he has performed at the Kennedy Center and on WCLV. Worley has attended National Art Centre’s Young Artists Program, Talis Festival and Academy, Sejong Music Festival, and Domaine Forget. He has performed in master classes led by Heidi Castleman, Jean Sulem, and Dimitri Murrath, as well as the Mivos, Emerson, and Cavani Quartets. An advocate for contemporary music, Worley was a visiting artist for the Madison New Music Festival, has premiered many works, and studied under Garth Knox and members of Ensemble InterContemporain. A Youth Advisory Council member (American Viola Society), Worley is committed to viola education and scholarship.
Nicole Mitchell, flute
Nicole Mitchell is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as “Top Flutist of the Year” for the last four years (2010-2014). Mitchell’s music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion through albums such as Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007), Awakening (Delmark, 2011), and Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), which received commissioning support from Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works.
Gwendolyn Brown, contralto
Contralto Gwendolyn Brown’s operatic performances of traditional, 20th century, American Art Song, Negro Spiritual and even the avant-garde has earned her consistent critical acclaim. Gwendolyn Brown’s “deep contralto “showed astonishing range and timbre, a stern voice of certainty.” (Huddersfield Examiner) and she is hailed as “a transfixing force of nature” (Mark Swed, LA Times).
Ms. Brown’s recent performances in George Lewis’s new opera Afterword: The AACM (as) Opera were met with critical acclaim in the US and abroad. Other critically acclaimed highlights of contemporary works include creating the lead role of Marie Laveau, in Ann LeBaron’s Crescent City for Los Angeles’ The Industry.
Ms. Brown has performed for many of the top opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Amsterdam and Brussels. She has received critical acclaim in character roles including the Principessa in Suor Angelica and Zita in Gianni Schicci. She has performed her signature role of Maria in Porgy and Bess with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera as well as in Germany, Amsterdam, Brussels and recently for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Originally from Memphis, TN, Gwendolyn Brown studied music at Fisk University, the University of Memphis and the American Conservatory of Music. She participated in the young artist programs of Des Moines Metro Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists.
Ms. Brown is Assistant Professor of Music at her alma mater Fisk University.
Graham Haynes, cornet and flugelhorn
Graham Haynes is an American cornetist, trumpeter and composer. The son of jazz drummer Roy Haynes, Graham is known for his work in nu jazz, fusing jazz with elements of hip hop and electronic music.
With aspirations to push jazz beyond its traditional boundaries, Graham Haynes’ first foray into electronic music came in 1979 upon meeting alto saxophonist Steve Coleman. Together, they formed a band called Five Elements, which launched an influential group of improvisers called M-Base Collective. After the formation of his own ensemble – Graham Haynes and No Image – and the subsequent release of an album (What Time It Be?), Haynes would spend the balance of the 1980s studying a wide range of African, Arabic and South Asian Music. After a move to France in 1990, Haynes incorporated these far-off influences into his next two releases – Nocturne Parisian and Griot’s Footsteps.
Helga Davis, soprano
Helga Davis served as a principle actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. Her appearance in You Us We All by Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond) and Andrew Ondrejcak marked her fifth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival.
Among the many works written for her are Faust’s Box, written and directed by acclaimed Italian contemporary music composer Andrea Liberovici; Oceanic Verses by Paola Prestini, with libretto by Donna DiNovelli and video by Ali Houssani; Elsewhere by Missy Mazzoplli and Maya Beiser; and The Blue Planet, a multi-media theater piece written by Peter Greenaway and directed by Saskia Boddeke. She was also the co-star of The Temptation of St. Anthony directed by Robert Wilson, with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock.
Mark Shim, tenor saxophone
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, saxophonist Mark Shim moved to Canada then later settled in Richmond, Virginia. He started on saxophone in seventh grade, graduating from high school in 1991 and attending Virginia Commonwealth University and William Paterson College. In 1994 he moved to Brooklyn, where he played and recorded with Hamiett Bluiett in Harlem. He then played with Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Greg Osby, and the Mingus Big Band.
Shim’s debut recording Mind Over Matter (Blue Note, 1998) was followed by New Directions , a young group project, that included Osby, Jason Moran, and Stefon Harris and then his second recording as a leader, the outstanding Turbulent Flow, both released on Blue Note in 2000.
With a unique deep timbre and chops that range from swinging bop, uncut funk, to avant-garde, Shim continues to perform, record, and tour with artists such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Carmen Lundy, The Headhunters, Michele Rosewoman, Liberty Ellman, and Steve Lehman.
Roscoe Mitchell, winds
Internationally renowned musician, composer, and innovator, began his distinguished career in the spirited 1960s of Chicago, Illinois. His role in the resurrection of long neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, his innovation as a solo woodwind performer, his and his reassertion of the composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form have placed him at the forefront of contemporary music for over four decades. A leader in the field of avant-garde jazz and contemporary music, Mr. Mitchell is a founding member of the world renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and the Trio Space.
Muhal Richard Abrams, piano
Muhal Richard Abrams has been in the forefront of the contemporary music scene for well over forty years. Muhal is a co-founder of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founder of The AACM School of Music and President of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, New York City Chapter. Muhal was the first recipient of the grand international jazz award, “The Jazzpar Prize”, which was awarded to him in 1990 by the Danish Jazz Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.. In 1999 Muhal was presented a proclamation by Richard M. Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago, declaring April 11, 1999 as Muhal Richard Abrams Day in Chicago.
Except for a brief period of study at Chicago Musical College and Governors State University in Chicago, Illinois where he studied electronic music, Mr. Abrams is predominately a self-taught musician who, as a result of many years of observation, analysis, and practice as a performing musician, has developed a highly respected command of a variety of musical styles both as a pianist and composer. The versatile Mr. Abrams and members of The AACM are responsible for some of the most original new music approaches of the last three decades.
Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone, composer
Few musicians share the ability of alto saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. What has materialized is a sound that hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form that reflects Mahanthappa’s own experience growing up a second-generation Indian-American. The current manifestations of that trajectory include his latest project Bird Calls (2015), which was named #1 album of the year by both Downbeat and NPR Music’s Jazz Critics Poll.
Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation,” Mahanthappa has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, Chamber Music America and the American Composers Forum. He has been named alto saxophonist of the year for three years running in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Polls (2011-2013) and again in 2015 and 2016, and for five years running by the Jazz Journalists’ Association (2009-2013) and again in 2016. He won alto saxophonist of the year in the 2016 JazzTimes Magazine Critics’ Poll. In April 2013, he received a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, one of the most prominent arts awards in the world. In 2015, he was named a United States Artists Fellow. In 2016, he was named the Director of Jazz and the Associate Director of the Program in Musical Performance at Princeton University.
Mahanthappa is a Yamaha artist and uses Vandoren reeds exclusively.
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
ACT RECORDS WEBSITE PAGE (HI RES PHOTOS/EPK):
Jen Shyu, performer/composer
Born from Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, 2016 Doris Duke Artist Jen Shyu (Chinese name: 徐秋雁) is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, and Fulbright scholar. Known mostly for her virtuosic singing with saxophonist and 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellow Steve Coleman since 2003 and having collaborated with innovators Anthony Braxton, Bobby Previte, Chris Potter, Michael Formanek, and David Binney to name a few, she has performed her own music around the world in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin Museum of Art, Ringling International Arts Festival, Asia Society, Roulette, Blue Note, Bimhuis, Salihara Theater, National Gugak Center, and National Theater of Korea and festivals around the world.