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December 3, 2009

Originality will rule at School of Music’s Composers’ Workshop on Dec. 4

Student composers will present original works for traditional instruments, electronic realizations and works for newly created instruments in the Composers’ Workshop, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in Brechemin Auditorium.


Katya Soudek will present a composition titled Each Life Converges to Some Centre, featuring singing by Cecile Farmer and her own piano playing. Inspired by the Emily Dickinson poem of the same name, the piece “describes the many attempts in one’s life that converge, progressively aiming higher and higher, toward some unreachable goal,” according to the composer. Another Soudek piece, Fantasy for Clarinet, will be performed by Ruben Watson. It “explores the various different tonal ranges and articulations of the clarinet as a means to create polyphonic textures.”


Soudek grew up in Federal Way and began composing on the piano at an early age. She studied clarinet beginning in grade school and later began writing for other instruments by arranging numerous works for wind ensembles.


Steven Luksan presents Four Pieces for Flute and Piano. He will play piano for the pieces, with Alysa Treber on flute. He explains that the work uses as its pitch material only the “white notes” found on the piano. Each piece uses a different pitch center within this collection of notes, with no sharps or flats found throughout the entirety of the composition.


Luksan is also from Federal Way. In addition to his music major, he studies Norwegian language and is a member of the Husky Marching Band.


Richard Johnson’s piece, Study for Spectral Submersible, is written for a newly created instrument. “The piece explores the instrument’s ability to subtly modify the sounds of metal pipes with water,” Johnson writes. “The Submersible is able to perform in ways that would be very difficult, if not impossible, for humans.”


Johnson is a composer, improviser, and instrument maker. He is in the doctoral program in music, studying with Richard Karpen.


Daniel Peterson has created an electronic realization called Mindless Collusion that “attempts to explore the spectral space inside the sound of a guitar, as well as the real space which the sound creates,” according to the composer. Peterson says the composition is loosely based on the novel The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa, in which a man from western society becomes a part of a nomadic native tribe living in the Amazon. The title was inspired by the novel.


Peterson earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the UW. He is currently studying computer music composition.


Yigit Kolat will peform his piece, Variations, on the piano. He says the theme is derived from Ottoman court composer Buhurizade Mustafa Efendi’s masterpiece Segah Ayin-i Serif (The Mevlevi Rite in the makam of Segah). The variations display different textural ideas, which are basically based upon certain pianistic gestures. And each variation depicts a step of spiritual evolution of a Sufi disciple according to the Sufi tradition.


A native of Ankara, Turkey, Yigit Kolat holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Hacettepe University State Conservatory and a master’s in music from the University of Memphis. His music has received several awards, including First Prize in the Seventh Dr. Nejat F. Eczacibasi Composition Contest, the most prestigious composition award of his native country, and the 2009 Tennessee Music Teachers Association Composer of the Year Award. He is currently a doctoral student in composition.


Also on the concert program is Vermittlung, by Michelle McKenzie, featuring Trevor Bortins on bass. McKenzie is an undergraduate composition major.


The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5, cash or check at the door. For more information, call 206-685-8384.