Various Artists | Seamus Electro-Acoustic Miniatures 2014: Transients

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Seamus Electro-Acoustic Miniatures 2014: Transients

by Various Artists

The SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures series is an annual album release of fixed-media works addressing a specific theme; the theme for 2014 is Transients.
Genre: Classical: Modernist
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. 5 More Irrelevant Facts
Cody Kauhl
2:40 album only
clip
2. A Sample of the Atmosphere
Melody Eötvös
1:32 album only
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3. Echoes in the Darkness
Andrew Martin Smith
2:49 album only
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4. Mnemonics
Panayiotis Kokoras
3:00 album only
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5. Collective Motion
Ben Taylor
2:59 album only
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6. Harmonic Meditation, No. 1
Cody Brookshire
3:01 album only
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7. When Will the Destruction End?
Maxwell Tfirn
1:06 album only
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8. In Memoriam, Frankie Knuckles
Josh Simmons
1:57 album only
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9. Telos Relinquished
Jon Hallstrom
3:02 album only
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10. Ash and Cinders
Christopher Chandler
2:04 album only
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11. Bloom Boundary
Doug Geers
3:04 album only
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12. Brood X
Robert Gibson
3:02 album only
clip
13. Kettledrum Organ
Mitchell Herrmann
2:55 album only
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14. Erre
Zach Sheets
2:39 album only
clip
15. Heteroglot
Andrew Babcock
2:11 album only
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16. Memory Failure
Ryan Carter
3:01 album only
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17. Freighthopping
Simon Hutchinson
1:20 album only
clip
18. Be That Suddenness
Larry Matthew Gaab
3:00 album only
clip
19. Anicca
John Nichols III
1:59 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The SEAMUS Electro-Acoustic Miniatures series is an annual album release of fixed-media works addressing a specific theme. The theme for 2014 is Transients.

The 2014 adjudication committee chose a theme meant to inspire a rich diversity of interpretations and approaches. The following descriptions was provided for reference:

Works on short time scales, such as the miniature or the poem, often afford a paradoxical potency and clarity. Or they can permit flashes of whimsy, fancy, and oddity. This year's theme, "Transients," invites consideration of the momentary and the succinct, but also the transitory, the ephemeral, and the evanescent.

The 2014 adjudication committee members were Benjamin D. Taylor (chair), Christopher Chandler, and Kevin Ernste. In addition to devising the theme, the members of the committee evaluated the submissions and each included their own realization of the theme. Submissions were evaluated based on the following criteria:

Adherence to the theme
Creative and coherent exploration of thematic possibilities
Musicality
Technical quality

The following composers are included on SEAMUS Electro-Acoustic Miniatures 2014: Transients
Andrew Babcock
Cody Brookshire
Ryan Carter
Christopher Chandler
Melody Eötvös
Larry Matthew Gaab
Doug Geers
Robert Gibson
Jon Hallstrom
Mitchell Herrmann
Simon Hutchinson
Cody Kauhl
Panayiotis Kokoras
John Nichols III
Zach Sheets
Josh Simmons
Andrew Martin Smith
Benjamin Taylor
Maxwell Tfirn

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CODY KAUHL
5 More Irrelevant Facts (2014)
duration: 2:38

program notes and composer bio
What better way to keep us from meaningful, focused work than with “5 More Irrelevant Facts That Will [insert exaggerated emotional response here]”? This composition acts as a metaphor for all topical Internet content presented as a list of random, nonsensical bullet points designed to hold fleeting attentions. Coincidentally, most content from these Internet posts and feeds are also transient in cultural relevance. These heart-felt stories, memes, or pop culture references fade into irrelevance within weeks of their inception as new topics vie for significance. Fortunately, the popularity of numbered lists may soon grow tiresome and the purpose of this composition will become as transitory as the subject it examines.
Cody Kauhl is an acoustic/electronic composer that investigates the hidden musical potential of urban and rural noise pollution. His work has been performed at international and national festivals and conferences including ICMC, SEAMUS, and the Center of Cypriot Composers. Cody graduated in 2011 with a B.M. in Music Theory/Composition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and recently completed his M.M. thesis in Music Composition at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. For more information, please visit: codykauhl.com.

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MELODY EöTVöS (2012)
A Sample of the Atmosphere
duration: 1:29

program notes and composer bio
This work was inspired by the story behind the discovery of the chemical element Neon (Ne) by Sir William Ramsay in 1898.  These memorable words by Ramsay’s partner express the excitement of the discovery:  “the blaze of crimson light from the tube told its own story and was a sight to dwell upon and never forget”.
Melody Eötvös (1984) is an Australian composer whose work draws on both multi-media and traditional instrumental contexts, as well substantial extra-musical references to a broad range of philosophical topics and late 19th Century literature.
She has been the recipient of various awards including the 3MBS National Composers Award (Australia 2009), an APRA PDA (Australia 2009), and the Soundstream National Composer Award (2012).  Current projects include a commission from Music Viva Australia (Sydney), an Australia Council Grant to compose a new piano sonata for Bernadette Harvey (Sydney), and this year was a selected composer for the ACO Underwood New Music Readings 2014, and as a composer fellow for the Intimacy of Creativity 2014, Hong Kong.
Melody holds a Doctor of Music (2014) from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Master of Music (2008) from the Royal Academy of Music, London UK.
melodyeotvos.com.au

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ANDREW MARTIN SMITH
Echoes in the Darkness (2007)
duration: 2:46

program notes and composer bio
Echoes in the Darkness was conceived as an exploration of limited means. All of the sonic material contained within this work has been generated from a single, seven-second sound source: the sound of bats flying in a cave. This piece was created using DSP-Quattro, SoundHack, and Logic Pro 7.
Andrew Martin Smith (b. 1984, Sharon, CT) is a composer, clarinetist, and entrepreneur based in Northwest Ohio. Through his music he explores the sonic ramifications of interdisciplinary influence and inspiration. He enjoys highlighting the similarities shared between several seemingly disparate disciplines, artistic endeavors, and stylistic trends. His electroacoustic music has been performed at festivals and conferences throughout the United States and Europe, including the National Student Electronic Music Event, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, and the International Computer Music Conference. Smith has received degrees in music from the State University of New York at Fredonia (B.M. 2007) and Bowling Green State University (M.M. 2009; D.M.A. 2014). His primary composition instructors have included Mikel Kuehn, Elainie Lillios, Burton Beerman, Andrea Reinkemeyer, Donald Bohlen, and Karl Boelter. He is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Bowling Green State University, where he teaches courses in music theory and composition within the College of Musical Arts.

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PANAYIOTIS KOKORAS
Mnemonics (2011)
duration: 2:59

program notes and composer bio
Mnemonics uses everyday sounds of a cityscape and an industrial zone. The reality is amplified, multiplied and distorted into an abstract sound object. The repetition of mnemonic patterns becomes a fight between the ephemeral and the permanent.
Panayiotis Kokoras studied composition with Yannis Ioannides, Henri Kergomard, and classical guitar with Evangelos Asimakopoulos in Athens, Greece. In 1999 he moved to England for postgraduate study at the University of York where he completed his MA and PhD in composition with Tony Myatt. His works have been commissioned by institutes and festivals such as the Fromm Music Foundation (Harvard), IRCAM (France), MATA (New York), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), ZKM (Germany), IMEB (France), Siemens Musikstiftung (Germany) and have been performed in over 400 concerts in 200 cities around the world. His compositions have received 56 distinctions and prizes in international competitions, and have been selected by juries in more than 130 international calls for scores. His work explores significant influences of the electroacoustic studio upon acoustic instrumental compositions and vice-versa. As an educator, Kokoras has taught at the Technological and Educational Institute of Crete, and, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). Since fall 2012 he has been appointed Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas.

****
BENJAMIN D TAYLOR
Collective Motion (2014)
duration: 2:58

program notes and composer bio
Leaving church one Sunday, I observed a dazzling scene of thousands of whirling birds moving in exact precision.  I stood mesmerized for the next quarter of an hour as they kept landing in the adjacent field and then taking flight again, creating the most intricate and beautiful shapes in the sky I have ever witnessed. This natural phenomenon, called collective motion, consists of a group of individuals moving together to form patterns as a single body.  The shapes created are fleeting; constantly twisting, morphing, and transforming. As a musical composition, this work is structured on the three simple laws of collective motion which are; separation, alignment, and cohesion.
Benjamin Dean Taylor is a freelance composer, improviser, arranger, teacher, guitarist, ukulele-ist, and dixieland trumpet player.  He is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he received his Doctorate of Music in composition. His other degrees are from Bowling Green State University in Ohio (MM) and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah (BM). Dr. Taylor lives with his wife and three sons in Bloomington, Indiana.  Hear his music at benjamintaylormusic.com.

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CODY BROOKSHIRE
Harmonic Meditation No. 1
duration: 2:59

program notes and composer bio
I am a DMA Composition student at the University of Georgia, where I am also a teaching assistant and technician in the electronic music studios. I am consistently inspired by the unseen and the mysterious, by the actions and emotions of searching and discovery, by both the natural sciences and the surreal, and by the intersection of creation and chaos. For this piece, I wanted to take the sound of something magical and fleeting and then stretch it out, like slowing the pace of time, so that we may live inside that moment and explore its nuances, experiencing and capturing something hitherto unattainable.  My inspiration comes from the opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night” by The Beatles, a distinctive and iconic sonority that possesses vivid character due to the complex harmonic interplay between all the instruments.  With a little help from my friends, I recreated that chord from scratch in the studio and used this new 2 second sample as my source material.  For the backbone of the piece, I time-stretched the sample to 45 times its original length, and then merged two of these extra-long samples, one reversed and one forwards, together at the loud ends.  Three more stretched samples subtly cascade into the mix, each transposed to a concordant interval, treated with meticulous shifting equalization, and moved spatially at a glacial rate.  “Harmonic Meditation, No. 1” is a slow-motion surge that rises to a single moment of enlightenment and then recedes back into the original sonority, savoring previously microscopic jewels of harmony along its wave.

****
MAXWELL TFIRN
When Will The Destruction End? (2014)
duration: 1:02

program notes and composer bio
Maxwell Tfirn is a third year PhD student at the University of Virginia, pursuing his degree in Composition and Computer Technology. He received a Masters degree from Wesleyan and University in Music Composition and a Bachelors degree in Music Education. Max has had work performed at SEAMUS, FEASt Festival, 12 Nights Festival of Electronic Music and Art Series, Subtropics Music festival, N_SEME, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Technosonics Festival, ICMC, and the South Central Music Consortium.  
When Will The Destruction End? is a miniature that uses files of Maxwell’s music scores and picture and opens them up as raw data.  All of the sounds are just a few milliseconds long and each sound is looped to create an audible timbre and pitch.  Not all of the files create interesting sounds when looped, so various processing is applied to the raw sounds to create more vibrant and interesting timbres.  The title refers to the process of destroying files to create something new but also a reflection on aggressive sounds that are many times associated with violence.  Silence is used in order to allow the listener to reflect on the timbres and view them as something beautiful and not violent.

****
JOSH SIMMONS
In Memoriam: Frankie Knuckles (2014)
duration: 1:53

program notes and composer bio
My music is influenced by electronic dance music, in particular Chicago house and Detroit techno. I attended a rave in Detroit in 2014. The rave took place shortly after the death of Chicago house pioneer, Frankie Knuckles. While driving through predawn Detroit after the rave ended, I still had the echoes of the concert in my ears. I began to wonder what Frankie's music might sound like if it was still echoing through some lonely abandoned alley in the city. In Memoriam: Frankie Knuckles is that echo, a kick drum reduced to a click, a high hat reduced to noise. More of my work can be seen at cargocollective.com/simsies

****
JON HALLSTROM
Telos Relinquished (2002, rev. 2014)
duration: 2:58

program notes and composer bio
Telos: A goal or purpose… Our teachers tell us to strive for it in our compositions; our analyses seek to discover the point of its arrival.  Yet in its ultimate execution music exists in the temporal domain where everything is transient.  Any real goals are thus illusory, purposeless beyond the frame of their temporary existence.
Jonathan Hallstrom is Chair of the Music Dept. at Colby College, where he teaches music theory and composition and directs the multimedia studio. He has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Rockefeller, Exxon, and Sloan Foundations for his work in computer-generated sound and interactive multimedia and has been a featured composer at many national and international conferences and festivals, including SEAMUS, SCI, ICMC, Electronic Music Midwest, The Third Practice Festival, The Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, The New Music America Festival, Bourges’ "Sonneries Utopiques" and IRCAM's Portes Overtes series.

****
CHRISTOPHER CHANDLER
Ash and Cinders (2014)
duration: 2:50

program notes and composer bio
Fires have a special magic about them. They contain a multitude of contradictions: timeless yet transitory, destructive yet regenerative, and restlessly energetic yet calmly meditative. Ash and Cinders is a brief reflection on the ephemeral nature of this luminous element.
Christopher Chandler is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music working towards his Ph.D. in composition at the Eastman School of Music. His music has been performed by eighth blackbird, Ensemble Interface, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and his works have been honored with awards including a BMI Student Composer Award and an ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission. He is currently a Visiting Instructor of Music at the University of Richmond where he teaches courses in composition and music technology.

****
DOUG GEERS
Bloom Boundary (2014)
duration: 3:00

program notes and composer bio
When I was a child, my father used to sit under an awning behind our house during
heavy downpours, listening to baseball on the radio. He loved the sounds and smells of
those storms. Now my memories serve as vigil candles.
Doug Geers began composing music with computers shortly after his Dad brought
home an Atari 800 in 1983. Since then, he has used technology in nearly all of his
works, whether in the compositional process, as part of their sonic realization, or both.
He has created concert music, installations, and several large multimedia theater
works. Reviewers have described his music as "...glitchy... keening... scrabbling...
contemplative" (New York Times), "kaleidoscopic" (Washington Post), "...Powerful..."
(Neue Zürcher Zeitung), and have praised its "shimmering electronic textures" (Village
Voice.) Geers is an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Brooklyn College,
a campus of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is Director of the Center for
Computer Music at Brooklyn College, and serves on the composition faculty of the
CUNY Graduate Center. www.dgeers.com.

****
ROBERT GIBSON
Brood X (2004)
duration: 3:00

program notes and composer bio
“Brood X” (Roman numeral ten) is the name biologists have given to the world’s largest simultaneously emerging population of Magicicada, the 17-year periodical cicada, which appeared in the Washington, DC area in May of 2004. I made field recordings of the male choruses of cicadas in various wooded areas near my home during the month of May 2004, and these recordings are the sole sound source for my brief essay on transience. The Japanese haiku poets speak of “shrilling like a hissing fire,” (Saren) and remind us “how quickly the hush will come” (Basho).
Robert Gibson’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe, China and South America. His music has also been presented on National Public Radio and by noted performers and ensembles, including Bertram Turetzky, Esther Lamneck, Santiago Rodriguez, the Stern/Andrist Duo, the Clarion Wind Quintet, the Contemporary Music Forum, the 21st Century Consort, and the Aeolus String Quartet. He is Professor and Director of the School of Music at the University of Maryland, College Park.

****
MITCHELL HERRMANN
Kettledrum Organ (2013)
duration: 2:52

program notes and composer bio
“Kettledrum Organ” was conceived of as a musical translation of Paul Klee’s 1930 cubist painting of the same name. The piece explores the physical causality of musical sound, deconstructing the timbral envelopes inherent in instruments such as the marimba, vibraphone, and organ to create a series of transformed gestures combining characteristics from each of the source sounds.
The envelopes of these two types of instruments are drastically different, and perhaps even antithetical. The envelope of a percussive instrument is inherently ephemeral, defined by its initial transient and subsequent decay. The envelope of an organ, on the other hand, is defined by the absence of an initial transient and its theoretically infinite sustain. In attempting to deconstruct and transfigure the sonic elements of these instruments, “Kettledrum Organ” explores the implications of a sound object which is both transient and sustained, ephemeral and protracted, fleeting and yet enduring. Sonic landscapes arrive and assert themselves with apparent durability, only to swiftly dissipate and reveal their transitory nature.
Mitchell Herrmann is a student currently attending Oberlin College and Conservatory, majoring in Music Technology and Cinema Studies. His work has explored the intersections between experimental film and electroacoustic music, with a focus on combining influences from digital animation and acousmatic sound. His work has been accepted into and performed at festivals around the world.

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ZACH SHEETS
erre (2014)
duration: 2:35

program notes and composer bio
The title of this piece, "erre," is the French word for “wanders”; it braids together three strands of thought that construct the piece: 1. Silence or stillness that is ruptured by a loud transient, bringing about a flurry of activity and spatialization that comes to subside; 2. The larger-scale cycling of materials through a variety of landscapes, like a small animal exploring a large room; and, 3. A sudden moment of rupture into a new terrain, which was produced as the result of a botched convolution and FM synthesis. Erre carries all these heritages: erratic, erroneous, and error, in equal measure. For me, this work comes to have an air of fragility – not because of frailty or instability, but because of the coincidence that it ever existed at all. 
Zach Sheets is a composer of instrumental/electroacoustic music and a chamber musician and orchestral flutist. His works have been performed by the Talea Ensemble, the Callithumpian Consort, the Juventas New Music Ensemble, the Brattle Street Chamber Players, the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and many others.
Currently the principal flutist of the Cape Symphony Orchestra, Zach has performed with the Switch~ Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Encounters Ensemble, and the Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble. He is pursuing an M.M. (composition) and M.M. & Performers Certificate (flute) at the Eastman School of Music, and holds a B.A. in music and French Literature, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.

****
ANDREW BABCOCK
Heteroglot (2014)
duration: 2:09

program notes and composer bio
Heteroglot is a caricature of the transitory nature of inner speech. We hear the voices of others–other humans, other animals, other material objects– interjecting our thoughts
from our auditory imagination and our external perception. The discursive polyphony of inner imagination, however, is not easy to pin down. While we think linguistically,
phrases and sentences are not always articulated clearly–the pacing can rapidly change, words can become fragmented, and intelligible language can turn to pure glossolalia.
Andrew Babcock is a PhD composition student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Prior to earning his Masters in composition at the University at Buffalo, Andrew worked in New York City as a composer, sound designer, and recording engineer for television and film. He was awarded first prize in the 2011 Sound in Space competition co-sponsored by Harvard University, Northeastern University, and the Goethe-Institut and received a special mention in the Metamorphoses 2012 composition competition in Belgium. Andrew’s works have been featured internationally at festivals such as Sonorities, ICMC, NYCEMF, L’Espace du Son, and SEAMUS.

****
RYAN CARTER
Memory Failure (2014)
duration: 2:57

program notes and composer bio
Memory Failure is a short composition about short-lived memories. The music is sculpted gesturally, using a GameTrak (a video game controller featuring two tethers). I performed a single line of music four times, trying to remember the gestures I had used in the previous take. The four takes are superimposed, resulting in a dense cloud of sound, but also a kind of rhythmically amorphous canon based on slight arm movements that can never be exactly replicated.
Ryan Carter's music has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the National Flute Association, the MATA Festival, the Metropolis Ensemble, Present Music, The Milwaukee Children's Choir, and the Calder Quartet, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the American Composers Forum, and Meet the Composer. Ryan has collaborated with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Nieuw Ensemble, the JACK Quartet, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, and many
others. Ryan is also an avid computer musician. His iMonkeypants app (available on the App Store) is an album of algorithmically generated, listener-interactive electronica. Ryan holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BMus), Stony Brook University (MA), and New York University (PhD), and currently teaches as a Visiting Scholar at Virginia Tech.

****
SIMON HUTCHINSON
Freighthopping (2014)
duration: 1:18

program notes and composer bio
Playing with multiple meanings of the word “transients,” this piece evokes train hopping (or “freighthopping”), the technique of itinerant workers who illegally rode the rails across the United States.
Simon Hutchinson’s work as a composer incorporates his experience across diverse musical styles from all over the world. Drawing from jazz, the avant-garde, the Baroque, and the traditions of Japan, Korea, and Indonesia, Hutchinson creates unique music and intermedia works that explore themes of modernity, technology, and global community.
Hutchinson holds a PhD in Composition with supporting coursework in Intermedia Music Technology from the University of Oregon. Notable composition teachers include Jeffrey Stolet, Robert Kyr, David Crumb, Hi Kyung Kim, David Cope, Peter Elsea, and Bill Matthews. Additionally, Hutchinson spent several years in Japan studying shamisen (three-stringed lute) and Japanese Folk Music with virtuoso Sato Chouei and shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute) with Sato Chikuen. Currently, Hutchinson is Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Montana.

****
LARRY MATTHEW GAAB
Be That Suddenness (2014)
duration: 2:57

program notes and composer bio
The piece suggests a forceful spirit that is fleeting.  The sounds were selected for their to-the-point character and for a direct and essential temperament.  Brief yet palpable, each gesture asserts a fresh spontaneity that instigates movement and motion.  Crisp, emphatic compact actions decay rapidly. Multiple percussive sounds step over and under each other as they quickly respire.  The paradoxical and enigmatic properties add to the color of these fugitive sounds.
Larry Matthew Gaab is a native of the United States.  He composes in his music studio in Chico, California, U.S.A..  His body of works are for tape alone and for mixed acoustic and electronic instruments.  The pieces utilize improvisation, composition, and computer generation.   His works have been selected for music festivals and concerts in 
the United States, the Americas and in Europe.

****
JOHN NICHOLS III
Anicca (2014)
duration: 2:00

program notes and composer bio
Anicca is the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence. Recognizing that everything consists of anicca is one of the first steps in the Buddhist path toward enlightenment and is one of the three basic facts of existence. When considering this year's theme of “transients” and the transitory I was reminded of the concept of anicca. The text, composed by Barry R. Morse and read by Halim Beere, epitomizes the human experience and the inherent condition of impermanence.

all we have are memories
forever
never again
lost to eternity
speak through the clouds
in my mind
forever
in my memory
(Barry R. Morse)

John Nichols III’s compositions intrigue listeners with a diverse collection of timbres, shapes, sensations, and surprises that have been melded together into a coherent form. A native of Chicago, he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Composition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Learn more at johnnicholsiii.com.

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