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New Music Collective entertains with recent
original and contemporary compositions
N. SHUMATE, OUT OF THE BLUE     posted Nov. 19, 2009
Most ensembles perform classical compositions by musicians from the
18th and 19th centuries.  The New Music Collective, an ensemble of
Ohio State undergraduate music students and OSU faculty members,
take a different approach.   

The 25-member group performs a wide spectrum of modern
contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries.  The New Music
Collective is performing its second free concert on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. in
Weigel Auditorium, 1866 College Rd.

“The main thrust behind this was last year,” said David Tomasacci, New
Music Collective General Manager.  “Myself and another doctorial
student [Robert Lunn] were frustrated at the lack of a group or forum
for more recent and newer music compositions.”

At the end of Spring Quarter, 2009 the New Music Collective was
organized. The group debuted on March 1 followed by an official first
performance on May 22.

“The first show was just Lunn and I programming a concert by
ourselves with music from the last 50 years,” said Tomasacci, a second-
year music theory graduate student.

Dr. Thomas Wells, an OSU professor of composition, played a set of
piano pieces at the debut show. Interested in the project, Wells became
the New Music Collective faculty adviser and artist director.

“He was excited by our desire to address this lack of forum for new
music,” Tomasacci said.  “And the following quarter, we made it a
regular event.” The New Music Collective now performs one concert
each quarter.

“The first one was very successful, everyone was excited about it,”
Wells said. “For this program we are giving local composers a chance at
larger ensemble compositions.”

The event will include two world premiers by OSU undergraduates
Anthony Vine and David Root.  Vine, a third-year in composition,
composed a 15-minute piece for a chamber ensemble of 23 musicians
titled "American Poetic."

“It’s a sound environment composed of moments of ecstasies which
moves away from its standing as one thing to become another,” said
Vine, “but none of the material really becomes anything.”

Vine drew inspiration from the word “poetics.”  He said the Greek
meaning is the continuous constant state of becoming, an action that
transforms and continues the world.
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Event Flier.  Courtesy Melisa Bontempo
Anthony Vine's "American Poetics." Courtesy Vine
He described "American Poetic" as like watching a Polaroid photograph develop. “The hues and colors of the picture fluctuate and, in the case
of this piece, a clear image is never materialized.”

“In such a fast paced, crowded world the bravest thing is to be still,” Vine said.  “Structures and plots of musical devices are irrelevant to the
immensity of the textures to be absorbed.”

While writing his composition this summer, Vine said he kept in mind a sound environment approach—to have the ensemble literally surround the

“There will be instrumentalists in the front, the back and along the sides of Weigel Auditorium, where there are walls that musicians will be on
top of playing,” Vine said.

There will also be eight boom boxes with cassette tapes playing an electronic part to all the music, Vine said.  Some parts of the taped layer will
include: Hank Williams, Machaut, traffic over a bridge, the hum of electric circuitry, human voices, television signals, breathing, sirens and an
underwater swimming pool among other sounds.

Before the main program, "Paragraph 2," a section from Cornelius Cardew’s “The Great Learning,” will be performed by six percussionists and
50 singers at 7:35 p.m. Wells said the audience is invited to participate and sing.

“The whole piece is about 8 hours long, and it’s in 7 paragraphs,” Wells said.  “As we go from concert to concert we will perform one of those.”

Wells knew Cardew before he passed in 1981, and described the piece as a 30-minute high ritual religious experience, with drummers playing
loops of rhythm while singers compete over the drums.

The score will be available for interested audience members at the event and can be downloaded or printed in advance at
talasmusic.com/NMC/cardew.pdf .

The free event will also feature guest composer Per Bloland from Oberlin College, with a performance of his Clouds of Oran, and Giacinto
Scelsi’s piece Okanagon, a work for harp, contrabass and tam-tam.