CUBE COMMISSIONED WORKS performed by the CUBE ensemble

Sketches of a Summer Night by Edward Eicker

A CUBE performance recorded March 12, 2006 at the Merit School of Music, Chicago.

Edward Eicker is a composer of choral and instrumental music for both small and large ensembles. He holds an M.A. in Music Composition (2002) and a B.M. in Music Education and Organ Performance (1999) from Roosevelt University. His principal teachers have included David Schrader and Samuel Soria and composers Patricia Morehead and Stacy Garrop.

Since 2000, Eicker has received various awards, commissions and publications, including being named a finalist in the 2007 "Outside the Bachs" Choral Composition Contest. His most popular organ works include "Just a Minute: A Suite of Miniature for Organ," and its sequel, "Just (A)nother Minute." His other organ and choral works are published by GIA Publications, Inc., World Library Publications, Augsburg Fortress, and Graphite Publishers.

Eicker currently serves as Music Director at St. Paul of the Cross Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. He lives in Des Plaines with his wife Megan, and two children, Austin and Owen.

 

 

Philip Morehead · Sketches Of A Summer Night (Edward Eicker)

 

Two Pieces for Oboe and Piano by Julian Harvey

A CUBE performance on November 2, 2003 on WFMT radio in Chicago on the program Critical Thinking with Andrew Patner

Two Pieces for Oboe and Piano (2003) --- Julian Harvey
1. Song Without Words
2. Scherzo

Patricia Morehead, oboe
Philip Morehead, piano

Julian Harvey majored in music theory in college and attended law school and is licensed to practice law. After law school he spent three years in the Army as a clarinetist and pianist, receiving several awards for his compositions. Since then he has continued to study piano and composition independently. His teachers have included M. William Karlins, Robert Lombardo, and Patricia Morehead in composition and Gavin Williamson, Abraham Stokman, and Gerald Rizzer in piano and Lisa Goethe-McGinn and Susan Levitin in flute.
Many of Mr. Harvey's works have received performances nationally and internationally. His “Mass in Three Languages” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His compositions have been published by Walton Music, Darcey Press, and Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. Look for his CD on the Centaur label entitled "Sweet was the Song: Music by Julian Harvey."

Philip Morehead · Two Pieces for Oboe and Piano (Julian Harvey)

Found on the Street by Sebastian Huydts

A CUBE performance recorded March 28, 2003 at Columbia College, Chicago

Found on the Street(1998) for clarinet and piano---Sebastian Huydts
1. Jugglers — 2. Summernight — 3. Honi soit qui mal y danse
Christie Vohs, clarinet
Sebastian Huydts, piano

Found on the Street was written in July of 1998 for clarinettist Christie Vohs. As the title indicates, folk-tunes and other street images inspired me to write the three pieces that form this work. The music is meant to excite and please musicians and audience alike: The outer movements have great motoric drive and contain virtuoso gestures for both performers, whereas the middle movement combines an essentially warm harmonious background and a gentle and easy to follow melody with a touch of melancholy.

Pianist–Composer Sebastian Huydts (b.1966) studied piano at the Amsterdam Conservatory in The Netherlands with Edith Lateiner Grosz. He holds an MA in composition from the University of Chicago where he studied composition with Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska, Howard Sandroff, Cliff Colnot and John Eaton. He can be heard in solo piano recitals and Internationally renowned artists frequently perform his works. At present, Mr. Huydts is Chair of the Music Department at Columbia College in Chicago. His works are published by Jeanné of Minneapolis.

Philip Morehead · Found on the Street (Sebastian Huydts)

The Tell-Tale Heart by Ilya Levinson

A CUBE performance recorded March 8, 2002 at Columbia College, Chicago

The Tell-Tale Heart (2002)---Ilya Levinson
libretto by Jon Steinhagen, based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe
directed by Amy Ressler
lighting designed by John Rodriguez
set designed by Marc Muehleip

David Holloway, baritone
Caroline Pittman, flute/alto flute/piccolo
Patricia Morehead, oboe
Christie Vohs, clarinet/bass clarinet
Jeffrey Yang, violin
Paula Kosower, cello
Douglas Brush, percussion
Philip Morehead, conductor

Russian-born Ilya Levinson graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory, where he studied composition with Alexander Pirumov and orchestration with Edison Denisov. After immigrating to the United States in 1988, Levinson completed a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Chicago where his training included instruction from Ralph Shapey, Shulamit Ran, John Eaton, and Howard Sandroff.

Levinson is Assistant Professor at the Music Department of Columbia College Chicago and Music Director and Co-Founder of the New Budapest Orpheum Society, an ensemble-in-residence at The University of Chicago. The group specializes in performing music of the Jewish Cabaret. Their two CD’s: Dancing on the Edge of the Volcano and Jewish Cabaret in Exile are recorded on the Cedille label. Ilya Levinson is composer-in-residence with American Music Festivals, an organization committed to promoting cultural exchange and American music.

Levinson’s catalogue includes operas, musicals, symphonic and chamber music, film scores and original music for theatre productions. His music has been performed by the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra, Yaroslavl Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Sarajevo Philharmonic, CUBE Ensemble, New Music Ensembles of The University of Chicago and Northwestern University, and Duo Montagnard among others. Ilya Levinson was a winner of the 1994 Midwest Composers Competition and recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships in Music Composition in 1997 and 2003.

Philip Morehead · The Tell - Tale Heart (Ilya Levinson, David Holloway)

Leaving, Arriving by Russ Grazier

A CUBE performance recorded March 30, 2001 at Columbia College, Chicago

Leaving, Arriving (2001)---Russ Grazier
for violin and ensemble (World premiere)

Guillaume Combet, violin
Caroline Pittman, flute
Patricia Morehead, oboe
Teresa Reilly, clarinet
Greg Flint, horn
Lewis Kirk, bassoon
Jon Johnson, percussion
Sebastian Huydts, piano
Philip Morehead, conductor

A chamber concerto for violin and chamber ensemble, Leaving, Arriving was composed in New Hampshire between November 2000 and February 2001. It is a single movement piece in two primary sections that are connected by a violin cadenza at the center of the piece. For several years prior to the composition of this piece I had been interested in writing a chamber work that featured violin, specifically a work in which the violin would be the only string instrument. The idea of a supporting cast that primarily consisted of wind instruments intrigued me. The ensemble I decided upon is a woodwind quintet plus a percussionist and pianist. This combination offers a wide range of instrumental qualities to play off the violin within a relatively small cast. The slow opening section of the work is filled with a recurring motif – descending half-steps which are often accompanied by half-step trills in the winds. These half-steps become an integral part of the fast-paced second half of the piece in which the violin trades frantic riffs with the ensemble. The piece was written for and dedicated to both CUBE and this evening’s guest soloist, Guillaume Combet.

Russ Grazier, Jr. is a Co-Founder of the Portsmouth Music & Arts Center (PMAC) and its Executive Director. A native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Russ is a composer and saxophonist who has taught saxophone, composition, and music theory for over 25 years.
He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Composition with Saxophone Concentration at Boston Conservatory and a Master’s degree in Composition at Peabody Conservatory. Additionally, he studied graduate-level composition at the University of Chicago.
He has taught at some of the most prestigious music schools in the country, including Boston Conservatory, Roosevelt University (Chicago), the University of Chicago College, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and the Merit School of Music (Chicago). Russ has been composer in residence with Chicago’s CUBE Ensemble, and his music has been performed by the Contemporary Chamber Players of Chicago, the West End String Quartet, CUBE, Voices from the Heart, and many other ensembles and soloists. In 2011, he won the Duo Fujin one-day composition competition and his winning work, analecta for flute and saxophone, was performed by the duo on their tour of the Southeast U.S. in Spring 2012.
He is past president of Art-Speak, the cultural commission for Portsmouth, where he lives with his wife, Katie, and their two sons, Max and Jake.

Philip Morehead · Leaving, Arriving (Russ Grazier)

Clariphonic Rapture by David Keberle

A CUBE performance recorded May 4, 1998 at the Arts Club of Chicago

Clariphonic Rapture for nine clarinets and percussion---David Keberle
World Premiere (commissioned by CUBE)

Larry Combs, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
John Bruce Yeh, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
J. Lawrie Bloom, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Richard Nunemaker, Houston Symphony Orchestra
Julie DeRoche, DePaul University
Douglas Ewart, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
Mwata Bowden, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
David Keberle, University of Pittsburgh
Christie Vohs, Chicago Chamber Music Collective
Dane Richeson, percussion
Philip Morehead, conductor

Clariphonic Rapture (1998)

I was delighted when asked by Pat Morehead to compose a work for CUBE’s Tenth Anniversary celebration : A Clarinet Summit. As a composer and clarinetist, I found the opportunity to create a work for the gathering of nine of the world’s greatest clarinetists both stimulating and a challenge. When I reflected on the concert and its setting, various images of the city of Chicago came to mind. Although I grew up in the nearby mid-western town, it wasn’t until I moved to Europe that I came to understand the important role Chicago has played in the history of music. Both in its development of the blues and jazz traditions and for the world class standards set by the instrumentalists in its symphony orchestra.
The work strongly identifies with these traditions utilizing specific references to the jazz tradition through the use of harmonic, melodic, rhythmic and textural references.
The instrumental writing is at times virtuosic and focuses in part on the concept of creating the effect of one large clarinet played by nine performers which is contrasted with the use of soloistic material employing contemporary extended techniques for the instrument.
The form is a montage of highly contrasted material which uses extremes of register as well as contrasting rhythmic activity and texture. This formal technique is contrasted with an underlying gradual development of melodic, harmonic registral and rhythmic activity. In my mind, this use of form, together with virtuosic ensemble playing is representative of the essence and energy of a metropolis like Chicago where on the surface a chaotic semblance of many individual occurrences is created by groups of individuals working simultaneously together. (DK)

Philip Morehead · Clariphonic Rapture, for nine clarinets and percussion (David Keberle)

Eden Garden by William Ferris

A CUBE performance recorded on May 22, 2000, at the Arts Club of Chicago.

Eden Garden, “A musical menagerie,” for chamber ensemble and singer (2000) (World Premiere)---William Ferris

Eden Garden was commissioned by CUBE as part of the national series of works from Meet the Composer/Arts Endowment Commissioning Music/USA, which is made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation, and the Dayton Hudson Foundation

I. Preamble
II. Reflection I
III. Statement
IV. Dance
V. Prayer
VI. Reflection II
VII. Summation

Dan McDaniel, baritone
Caroline Pittman, flute
Janice Misurell-Mitchell, flute/piccolo
Patricia Morehead, oboe/English Horn
Christie Vohs, clarinet/bass clarinet
Elizabeth Start, cello
Sebastian Huydts, piano
Douglas Brush and Shannon O’Brien, percussion
Philip Morehead, conductor

William Ferris talked with Patricia Morehead about Eden Garden: “The title of course refers to the Garden of Eden and the Creation. The texts come from the opening of Genesis and from Job in the Old Testament, and from the Poetry of St. Patrick that deals with nature and the force of creation. The instruments help to characterize the drama of the singer’s text. They are used like protagonists and are of equal importance with the singer. The text from Genesis deals with the story of Adam and Eve; the text from Job is one of the very few happy texts in that book and deals with the sounds of the creatures of creation; and the extraordinarily poetic text of St. Patrick deals with the force of creation… From earliest childhood I have been very strongly influenced by the chant tradition of the church. My style is what I would describe as modal/polymodal chromaticism. It is essentially rich and sonorous, lyrical and vocal. This work is in the center of my musical output with a harmonic language that is all my own.” The final poem in the work is by Ferris’s long-time partner and associate, singer John Vorrasi.

Tonight’s concert is dedicated to the memory of composer-conductor William Ferris, who died suddenly last week at the age of 63. Ferris studied in a master/apprentice program with composer Leo Sowerby. His other principal teachers have included Alexander Tcherepnin, Paul Stassevich, James Welch and Arthur Becker.
William Ferris had his music performed by major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival and the Spoleto Festival and broadcast on NPR and the BBC.
He was the conductor of the internationally acclaimed William Ferris Chorale, an ensemble that specializes in twentieth century choral music. Among the composers who have been in residence for festival celebrations of their music are: John Corigliano, Ned Rorem, David Diamond, Dominick Argento, John McCabe, William Mathias, Gian Carlo Menotti, Stephen Paulus, William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti and Lee Hoiby. The ensemble has produced some 15 highly acclaimed recordings. Albany Records has released the world premiere recording of Ferris’s 1998 composition Angels — a miracle play for singers, actors and instruments.

Philip Morehead · Eden Garden, A Musical Menagerie for chamber ensemble and singer (William Ferris)

Folding Into White by Timothy Edwards

A CUBE performance recorded November 12, 1999

Folding into White (1999) World Premiere-----Timothy Edwards
for flute, oboe, and computer-generated electronics

Caroline Pittman, flute
Patricia Morehead, oboe

Folding into White
Folding into White is a piece to be performed by two musicians, one who performs on oboe and English horn, and another who performs on flute and alto flute. Both performers play along with a preexisting digital accompaniment which in common parlance might be called a “recording.” In reality, the accompaniment was constructed from several individual and brief digital sounds that were developed from recordings of Patricia Morehead and Caroline Pittman using computers and other digital audio tools. The sonic source materials were all produced on either oboe, English horn, flute or alto flute, whether using multiphonics, whistle tones or other extended techniques or simply using pure tones or phrases. Then certain of these digital recordings were subjected to transformations in the digital realm.
Sometimes the transformations take the form of producing fictitious acoustical spaces around the source sound. Sometimes they take individual notes and change the timbre by resonating certain frequencies within the sound, by adding echoes or “delay,” or by changing the sound's “envelope” or temporal character. A pinch of granular synthesis is also employed, where tiny pieces of the sound (only milliseconds in length) are rearranged using computer algorithms.
There are certain places in the piece where it seems as if a sound is echoing, and with each echo, it is changing slightly. Here separate, differently processed versions of the same original recording are meticulously laid end to end to create an effect of metamorphosis. The effect happens in both directions: First a few flute notes repeat and are eventually distorted; later a familiar flute sound seems to emerge from an altogether different sound.
Working with these materials has had an effect not only on the compositional process but on the composition as a whole. While such transformations as described above are part of the fabric, they are not a compositional focus per se. Still, there is too much happening in this piece for one to want to label it minimalist.
Despite so much processing, I have attempted to create an accompaniment which is native to the flute and oboe families — one which extends the sonic vocabulary of this ensemble, rather than simply contrasting with it.
—Timothy Dwight Edwards

For bio see his website, www.timothydwightedwards.com

Philip Morehead · Folding Into White (Timothy Edwards)

Prism - Mirror - Lens by Richard Blocker

A CUBE performance recorded February 1995 at the Arts Club of Chicago

Prism – Mirror – Lens (1994) (World Premiere)---Richard Blocker

Caroline Pittman, piccolo
Patricia Morehead, oboe
Philip Morehead, piano

Richard Blocker (b.1960, Hot Springs, Arkansas) studied composition with Ralph Shapey, Shulamit Ran and John Van Der Slice among others. He received the Ph.D. in musical composition from the University of Chicago in 1989.

Prism - Mirror - Lens (1994) was commissioned for the CUBE Ensemble by Pat Morehead. It is dedicated to CUBE. The title of the work is an instance of naming for technical reasons. It rather obliquely indicates procedures that I used in the composition of the work. It conveys through images certain portions of my working technique which I felt to be of some consequence to the outcome of the work itself. Refraction, as in a prism, is an image of the musical process of expansion and contraction. In Prism - Mirror - Lens, an example is the alteration of intervals between pitches in two musical motifs that share the same contour. Two melodic lines derived from a common source may diverge radically into component parts that form an image of diffraction. The use of techniques that reflect the image of a mirror is as old as music itself; and the focal point of a lens is what all composers seek to create in each moment of a musical performance.

Another way of looking at the title is as being drawn from my experiences of other works of art. This can be traced back to my early experience of Samuel Delaney’s novel Dahlgren — where “Prism, Mirror, Lens” is the title of a chapter and a reference to certain characters’ apparel—, and is filtered through encounters with Boulez’s Figures, Doubles, Prismes and Ferneyhough’s Lemma-Icon-Epigram. Both of these works’ titles are images of the ancient musical procedure variation.

The name becomes a complex of associations. One of the first questions the performers of CUBE asked me was the meaning of the title, and of the quotation affixed below the title in the score: “Tout est sensible!” —de Nerval. This too is another reference to both Boulez and Ferneyhough (and de Nerval!). Boulez was early fascinated with the poetry of Gerard de Nerval (a precursor of the French Symbolist poets with whom he has shown such affinity), and Ferneyhough affixes a quote from Baudelaire (“Tout est hiéroglyphique”) above the title of his Lemma-Icon-Epigram.

These words form images that can as easily hide the work as shed light upon it. The images of words must never be seen as a substitute for a work of art. In so far as a work of art is itself an image, it must be so realized technically that the image subjective act, and any expression of a subjective act requires construction as its means.and construction of art appear to give rise to one another simultaneously. Technical means can never be an end in themselves, but neither is purely mimetic activity an example of art.

Philip Morehead · Prism - Mirror - Lens (Richard Blocker)

Three Serious Songs by Sebastian Huydts

A CUBE performance recorded April 20, 2001 at Columbia College, Chicago

Three Serious Songs, Op. 28 (2001) by Sebastian Huydts
for voice and chamber ensemble (World premiere)
Poetry by Margaret Atwood

1. Night Poem
2. Variation on the word SLEEP
3. Sunset II

Barbara Ann Martin, soprano
Teresa Fream, violin
Frank Babbitt, viola
Elizabeth Start, violoncello
Caroline Pittman, flute/piccolo
Janice Misurell-Mitchell, alto flute
Patricia Morehead, oboe/english horn
Christie Vohs, bass clarinet
Lewis Kirk, bassoon
Sebastian Huydts, piano
Dane Maxim Richeson, percussion.
Philip Morehead, conductor

Sebastian Huydts, Three Serious Songs
“Three Serious Songs” (on texts by Margaret Atwood) were commissioned by Chicago’s 21st Century Music Ensemble CUBE. The three poems chosen deal with those hours in life where light is dim and illusions and fear reign. The accompanying music uses several motives that reflect essential elements of the poetry. Harmonically the music offers passages of impressionist complex warmth contrasting with sparse and starkly dissonant or purely consonant episodes. Treatment of all musical elements and instruments emphasizes support of the nocturnal character of the poetry. All movements lead into one another without interruption.

Philip Morehead · Three Serious Songs (Sebastian Huydts, Margaret Atwood)