Friday, June 20, 2014

Intermezzo : Sunday, February 8 @ 3pm

Tony Steve, percussion
Jacksonville University Faculty Artist

Assisted by 
Dr. Michael James Olson, piano 
The JU Marimba Band

    Amy Dagenais, Anthony Akapnitis, Sara Simonovska, marimba
    Evan Peterson, bass marimba
    Aaron Jennings, drums and percussion

Tony Steve (b. 1959)
    Surge for Solo Marimba (1990)
    Biscuit Crux (Solo Marimba) (2014)
    I’ll Ask That Question Suite (2014-2015)
        1. You Are My Agenda
        2. Your Death Will Be Humane

John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
    Red Arc/Blue Veil (2002)
    with Dr. Michael James Olson, piano

Harry Breuer (1901-1989)
    Three Novelty Xylophone Rags
        Back Talk (1936)
        Bit-o-Rhythm (1932)
        Chicken Reel (1936)

Percussionist and composer Tony Steve is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Music and Percussion at Jacksonville University. He has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony, Israeli Festival Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, North Eastern Pennsylvania Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, and Bridgeport Symphony. He toured with A Chorus Line in Europe, appeared as marimba soloist with the Brooklyn Percussion Ensemble in Korea, and performed as percussionist at Madison Square Garden for A Christmas Carol, and also has worked with Henry Mancini, Lou Rawls, Sheri Lewis and The Xavier Cugat Orchestra. Tony's works are published by Media Press, Keyboard Publications and Percussion Arrangers, and he has won numerous ASCAP writers awards for his compositions, which are performed in America as well as in Europe and Asia. His degrees include a Bachelor of Music from Jacksonville University and a Master of Music from Ithaca College, and he is completing a doctorate at Florida State University.

Dr. Michael James Olson is a composer, producer, and musician whose concert music has been performed throughout the world. Michael has received numerous awards including ASCAPLus Awards (2007-2012), Finalist for the ASCAP/SEAMUS Commission, and First Prize at the Georgia Southern Research Awards. Michael’s music, performance, and production can also be heard on more than 15 albums spanning the genres of folk to pop, on numerous record labels. His music has been featured in films and television, and his records have received radio airplay on more than 200 stations across the U.S, Canada, and Australia. Michael has toured extensively throughout the U.S. with acts such as Everclear, Semisonic, Violent Fems, Rick Springfield, Better Than Ezra, Eve6, and Josh Turner. He holds a B.M. from Minnesota State University, an M.M. from Georgia Southern University, and a Doctorate from Ball State University. Michael currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Jacksonville University where he teaches classes in music theory and commercial music, and is the Director of the Dolphinium Records label.

PROGRAM NOTES by Tony Steve & John Luther Adams

Surge for Solo Marimba (1990) was written while I was at Ithaca College. The piece is rhapsodic in form. The pitch material is based on four pitch sets and those are developed throughout the course of the piece.

Biscuit Crux (2014) was commissioned by Connor Stevens. He will be performing the work later in the spring. He graciously allowed to premier the piece on January 31, 2015. In many of my works small harmonic cells are developed throughout the span of the piece. This work has the performer making large kinesthetic shifts on the instrument while the piece moves between frenetic and placid.

I’ll Ask That Question for video, soundscape and live musician takes on a few subjects that are on the minds of many people. How often is each of us the point of someone’s cloaked inquiry to our life? Is it really good to eat all that food that large corporations are giving us with pesticides and hormones? Do large corporations lie to us about what they are doing to make the world a better place? If corporations are ”people” would one not have a conscience and treat people equally? If a corporation is indirectly part of a heinous war crime, would the corporate leaders be held responsible for continuing the lie?
You Are My Agenda and Your Death Will Be Humane use live percussion and follow the video and soundscape to underpin the questions posed above. The percussion instruments used in Your Death Will Be Humane are mostly found in the kitchen supply section of a supermarket. Hopefully, the works will have you asking more questions and not accepting the face value of everything you are told to believe. Otherwise, keep eating the food given to you by people without a conscience.

-- Tony Steve

Red Arc/Blue Veil (2002, commissioned and premiered by Ensemble Sirius) is the first piece in a projected cycle exploring the geometry of time and color—what Kandinsky called "those inner sounds that are the life of the colors." As in all of my recent music, I imagine the entire ensemble (piano, percussion, and processed sounds) as a single instrument, and the entire piece as a single complex sonority. The processed sounds are derived directly from the acoustical instruments. In Red Arc/Blue Veil the electronic sounds are layered in tempo relationships of 3, 5 and 7, while the piano and mallet percussion trace a single arc, rising and falling from beginning to end.

-- John Luther Adams (American composer; Winner, 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music)

Novelty Ragtime Pieces for the xylophone have a history dating to the cylinder recordings of Thomas Edison. Scott Joplin, the father of ragtime, would mark on his scores not to play ragtime too fast. This direction allowed the listener to hear the interweaving rhythms in the pieces. Novelty ragtime xylophone was often a part of a radio hour. Harry Breuer was a virtuoso xylophonist that appeared on numerous national radio programs during the mid-century heyday of live radio.
Back Talk, Bit O’ Rhythm and Chicken Reel are windows into the past of America’s vast network of entertainment for the masses.

-- Tony Steve

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