By Tiffany Edwards, University Relations

Anne LeBaron

Composers and performers will encourage audiences to break out of their comfort zone April 7-9, when they challenge the definition of music and push traditional boundaries during the second annual New Music Festival at UNCG.
“Music is a living, breathing art form. Its most current expressions speak best to our people and our time,” said Dr. Mark Engebretson, professor of composition in the UNCG School of Music and director of the festival. “We will be drawing connections between people and music-making machines and exploring new relationships.”
The New Music Festival features artists that are engaged in the creation of new forms of expression, often employing technology to achieve their artistic visions. Kadet Kuhne presents films that translate the visual subjects’ movements into sound. Clay Chaplin creates new sounds by using a special glove with electronic sensors that transmit his hands’ movements into digital impulses that are in turn translated by a computer. Featured guest composer Anne LeBaron of CalArts and Mills College explores the relationship between live performers and a computer that “thinks” musically and actively participates in the performance.
Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post once wrote of LeBaron’s work, “Her new CD ‘Rana, Ritual and Revelations’ … is for listeners with adventurous tastes, and even they will like some things better than others. But the quality of imagination is often dazzling, and so is the control of elusive forms and material.”
In addition, the festival will incorporate many multi-media aspects, from visual art to film. The three-day festival will begin at 5:30 p.m., April 7, with a free collaborative event between the School of Music and Weatherspoon Art Museum. Titled “Fusing the Muse: Humans, Computers and Sound,” the evening will include music, a reception, a short lecture by guest Anne LeBaron and a visit to the Jessica Stockholder exhibit. Stockholder is a contemporary artist who blurs categories such as object and environment, or decorative beauty and practical use, according to Nancy Doll and Terrie Sultan, who co-wrote the introduction for the exhibition’s catalogue. Her installations are often brightly colored and combine common household objects, such as brooms, carpeting and plastic pails, in innovative ways.
“Stockholder really calls into question ‘how do we define art?’ I think audiences will find the same reaction to the music,” said Ann Grimaldi, curator of education for the Weatherspoon.
Friday and Saturday nights, the festival will continue with 7:30 p.m. concerts in the School of Music Recital Hall. Tickets for these concerts are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and $3 for UNCG students. Call the box office at (336) 334-4849, weekdays from noon to 5 p.m., to order.
Guest artists will include the artists mentioned previously, as well as Susan Fancher (saxophone), Nora Hoffman (composer/violinist), Cheryl Gobbetti-Hoffman (flute; University at Buffalo, State University of New York), Maggi Payne (composer, Mills College), Alejandro Rutty (composer/conductor, Hartwick College), Alice Shields (composer) and Rodrigo Sigal (composer). Musicians and composers representing UNCG will include Brian French, Noah Hock, Jaemi Loeb, Rebecca Myers, the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet and the UNCG Contemporary Chamber Players.
For more information, contact Mark Engebretson at (336) 256-1478 or