Conservatory of Music, 2008
  • Conservatory of Music, 2008



    The Unanswered Question?
    Margaret L. Birinyi
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner, James Stokes

    In this presentation I compare and contrast Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question (1906) for trumpet, four violins, and four flutes, and Gyorgy Kurtag’s Ligatura-Message to Frances-Marie (The answered unanswered question) (1988) for solo cello with two bows and two violins. First, I examine the manifestation of each composer’s aesthetics and styles in their respective compositions. Ives’ compositional persona was a result of his non-traditional music upbringing and Emerson's Existentialist philosophy. Choosing not to be pressured by the demands of the popular audience, he was able to explore new avenues of compositional technique, such as polytonality and polymeter. Kurtag’s is an intertextual composer, drawing inspiration from everything including literature, poetry, art, composers of the past, and music of his contemporaries. A complex and innovative composer like Ives was ideal material for Kurtag’s. The second part of my presentation examines the relationship between Ives’ Unanswered Question and Kurtag’s Answered Unanswered Question. Kurtag’s piece is a response to Ives’ in instrumentation, form, tonality, and semantics. Finally, I discuss whether Kurtag’s work truly answers the Unanswered Question. My presentation includes an overview of the musicological literature of both composers, but has the goal of drawing a link between the past and present as a means for such a composer as Kurtag’s to express his musical and intellectual identity.



    Adaptation: Modern Music Industry Trends
    S. Ross Irvine
    Mentor: Ray L. Eubanks

    The business model of the music industry has changed enormously in the past five years. There are new niches, mediums, and ways of distribution emerging weekly. The lexicon of music is also changing. Musicians must know what is going on in their field of work so that they may adapt and create new means of establishment. The largest trends are the emergence of "Mobile Music", "360 Deals", and the rise of the self-distributed album. By examining the largest trends of the past five years through news articles and journals and examining the social forces that drive those trends, I will introduce a new idea of prosperity within the music industry. By modeling an artist like a corporation, new ideas may be synthesized from the worlds of investment finance and marketing to help create a much-desired new business model.



    A Lecture Recital on the Aspects of Vocal and Flute Performance
    Mary Lee
    Mentor: Lisa Jelle

    This lecture-recital compares and contrasts the use of the flute and the voice in performance and practice, with an emphasis on techniques that are common to both. Topics include breathing, vibrato, trills, extended techniques, and melodic approach. The pieces performed to demonstrate the connection of voice and flute Stride La Vampa! (from Il Trouvatore, Giuseppe Verdi), The Great Train Race (Ian Clarke), and Lookout (Robert Dick).



    Schnittke and Kundera: Aesthetics Beyond Craft
    Aaron Quinn
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    Composer Alfred Schnittke and author Milan Kundera are two artists with truly unique voices. Schnittke’s polystylisitc approach sets him as one of the most important Post-Soviet composers, while Kundera’s use of romantically tinged political writing has placed him at the forefront of anti-Soviet literature. In reading and listening to these artists, I have noticed striking similarities in their aesthetics and approaches to their media such as their development of themes, quotation, and use of color. While Schnittke and Kundera have been compared to other artists by musicologists and literary critics, there has been no attempt in scholarly works to discuss their work in relation to other Soviet-era artist of different media. I analyze, compare and contrast Alfred Schnittke’s 3rd String Quartet and Milan Kundera’s novel The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by examining the form of the pieces and their vocabulary in relation to each other. My comparative analysis shows that these artists are heavily influenced by their art form’s past, and at the time of their work, their political influence: the Soviet Union.