UC San Diego Music Conrad Prebys Music Center Receives a $500,000 Grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation
"We are tremendously grateful for this gift from The Conrad Prebys Foundation and are especially grateful for their continuation of Conrad Prebys' support of our work. Like all performing arts organizations we have been extremely hard hit by the pandemic. The UC San Diego Department of Music, in addition to its academic mission, has always been a dynamic presenting body, hosting upwards of 200 performances a year in venues including our flagship Conrad Prebys Concert Hall. As we rebuild a full slate of concert activity for next season, this grant will allow us to embrace new technologies to reconnect with our audiences/constituencies and to develop new ones. Work being done by our faculty and students already registers nationally and internationally: this grant will allow us to better archive and more widely share that work. A key part of our post-pandemic revamp is to build deeper and more sustainable connections with the broader San Diego community and this grant will help us by funding the start-up of an ambitious community outreach plan."

-Anthony Burr
Professor of Music
Department of Music Chair

American Academy of Arts & Letters honors San Diego’s Anthony Davis, 2020’s Pulitzer Prize music winner
2020 Pulitzer Prize winning composer and UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Music Anthony Davis will be induced into the American Academy of Arts and Letters on May 19.

“It’s a great honor,” Davis told the Union-Tribune in a Monday phone interview. “Post-COVID, we will meet every year to help distribute awards that the academy gives to composers, so I’m looking forward to participating.”

UC San Diego Music Professor Wins Prestigious Award
Composer and UC San Diego Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Music Lei Liang will be awarded a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters on May 19 at the academy's official virtual ceremony. Two Goddard Lieberson Fellowships of $15,000 each, endowed in 1978 by the CBS Foundation, are given annually to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts.

UC San Diego Division of Arts & Humanities fundraising to establish the Cecil Lytle Endowed Chair in African and African-American Music
The UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities invites members of our community to contribute to a special initiative establishing the Cecil Lytle Endowed Chair in African and African-American Music. This unique effort will advance the study, composition, and performance of African and African-American music while affirming its vitality for students past and present.

To honor a living legend, the division and Department of Music seeks your support in expanding scholarship on genres and themes aligned with UC San Diego’s celebration of diversity, cultural heritage, and innovative collaboration.

Engineer-turned-Artist Named Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Institute
The Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego appoints composer, sound engineer and UC San Diego Professor of Music Shahrokh Yadegari to be an Associate Director of the interdisciplinary institute.

“Shahrokh Yadegari has pushed the envelope of interdisciplinary education and research,” said QI director Ramesh Rao in announcing the appointment. “As both an engineer and an artist, he is the right blend of researcher and practitioner to help QI build up new alliances across disciplines, not just in research but also in integrating educational programs into our research mission.”

A paper by UC San Diego Music graduate student Eunjeong Stella Ko and Professor Shlomo Dubnov receives Best Paper award in the AAAI Affcon conference
“Comparison and Analysis of Deep Audio Embeddings for Music Emotion Recognition” by UC San Diego Music computer music graduate student Eunjeong Stella Ko with Professor Shlomo Dubnov captured the best paper award in the AAAI (American Association for Artificial Intelligence) Affcon (Affective Computing) conference. In the paper, the authors investigate the utility of state-of-the-art sound representations derived from deep neural network audio embedding methods and apply them to a Music Emotion Recognition (MER) task. Emotion is a complicated notion present in music that is hard to capture even with fine-tuned human designed features. The deep audio embedding were trained on Sound Event Detection task to capture important aspects of sounds that improved upon emotion recognition results compared to previous baseline MER models.

Composer and UC San Diego Professor of Music Marcos Balter featured in a new 6-episode podcast launching April 13
Mission: Commission is a free weekly podcast that invites listeners
behind the scenes to hear how classical music gets made. Follow
the creative journey of three composers (Marcos Balter, Courtney
Bryan, and Augusta Read Thomas) who have been given six
weeks to create a newly commissioned piece of music. Marcos Balter is writing a new work for harpist Parker Ramsay for the podcast.

Mission: Commission is a production of Miller Theatre at Columbia University. In fall 2020, Miller Theatre invited Balter, Bryan, and Thomas—three fascinatingly different composers stylistically—to each write a new piece of music in six weeks, checking in with podcast host Melissa Smey (Miller’s Executive Director) weekly to discuss their unique processes along the way. Like an audio diary, listeners will get a rare inside look as an artist creates—from the blank page, to inspiration, risk-taking and hard work, to the finished product. The result is a dialogue about music creation that ventures into joy, frustration, and humor—and just being a human during a global pandemic. Recordings of the final pieces will be shared at the conclusion of the podcast on May 18.

Miller Puckette, creator of Max and Pd, on how he’s patching his way to remote collaboration
UC San Diego Professor of Music Miller Puckette, the original creator of Max and Pure Data, speaks about how he’s patching his way to remote collaboration. He reveals how he plays with a percussionist using Pd and Ableton Live, and later joins Cycling ’74’s David Zicarelli to talk about the future of collaboration in modular environments.

How Can Opera Give Voice to a New Narrative?
“Five of the world’s most renowned composers and lyricists gathered for a virtual UC San Diego event March 6, outlining how they envision the role of opera in advancing equality and social justice.

Representing the present and future of the genre, composers Anthony Davis, John Adams and Daniel Bernard Roumain, and librettists Thulani Davis and Michael Korie spoke candidly about the struggle for representation and equity in their industry, and the responsibility artists have to bring about change—sometimes even subversively.”

This talk was organized by Professor of Music Susan Narucki, the Director of the Arts and Community Engagement initiative in the Division of Arts and Humanities.

UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo records a new 11-part suite of original music titled "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows"
UC San Diego Professor of Music David Borgo recently recorded a new 11-part suite of original music titled the "Suite of Uncommon Sorrows," composed in response to the tumultuous events of 2020, including the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the growing Black Lives Matter movement for social justice, and the near complete disregard for both by the United States government under former President Donald Trump. The suite presents a seamless progression through “uncommon emotions” such as kuebiko (a state of moral exhaustion inspired by acts of horror in the news), kenopsia (the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet), occhiolism (the awareness of the limitations of one's own perspective), liberosis (an ache to let things go), pâro (the feeling that no matter what one does it will always be inadequate), and zenosyne (the sense that time keeps going faster). The ensemble included recent Ph.D. graduate Asher Tobin Chodos on piano, Mackenzie Leighton on bass, and the phenomenal Mark Ferber on drums. The project was tracked at San Diego stalwart Peter Sprague's Spragueland Studios in Leucadia, California. Borgo has also been working on a revised edition of his award-winning book Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age for Bloomsbury Press.
Scientists hustle to create new tests, drugs and expand telemedicine to battle COVID-19 over the long term
"Across campus, Shlomo Dubnov, a professor of computer science and music, has been considering another metric: cough recognition. In early February, he published a paper that indicates that its possible for computer software to tell whether a person is infected with COVID-19 based on coughs and utterances. The software discriminates between recorded sounds made by healthy people and those who have the virus."

The Memories and Materials of Maryanne Amacher: In Conversation with Amy Cimini and Bill Dietz
Kate Galloway of Flash Art interviews UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Amy Cimini and composer Bill Dietz, the co-editors of Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews, about their process of creating this book.

UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Wilfrido Terrazas' albums included in FreeForm FreeJazz's list of 85 free jazz albums
Two of UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Wilfrido Terrazas' albums, "Cátedra" (2011) by Generación Espotánea and "Pirate Songs" (2018) by the Wilfrido Terrazas Sea Quintet, were included in a list of 85 albums picked by the prestigious Brazilian blog FreeForm FreeJazz to provide a historic overview of free jazz and free improvisation in Latin America.

UC San Diego Music Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt curates a digital exhibit based on his course Blacktronika for Google Arts & Culture’s Music, Makers & Machines Exhibition
UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt, in collaboration with Moogseum, curates a two-part digital exhibit that honors innovators of color in electronic music for Google Arts and Culture's Music, Makers & Machines Exhibition.

Album Review: Wilfrido Terrazas - Ítaca
Paul Muller of Sequenza 21 reviews flutist and UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Music Wilfrido Terrazas' 6th solo album Ítaca.

"Ítaca successfully operates on the cutting edge of virtuoso improvisation and extended techniques while anchored in the framework of ancient epic poetry. Wilfrido Terrazas continues to push the envelope for state-of-the-art contemporary flute performance."

Book Review: Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews co-edited by UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Amy Cimini and composer Bill Dietz
Nicole Kaack reviews Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews co-edited by historical musicologist and UC San Diego Music Assistant Professor Amy Cimini and composer Bill Dietz for The Brooklyn Rail.

Kaack highlights selected works of Maryanne Amacher and reviews the book as "an incredible reference text, dramatically expanding the available literature on a significant yet little-known artist and offering insight into the realist poetics and technical rigor of Amacher’s work."

King Britt's Blacktronika Celebrates Black Innovators in Electronic Music
UC San Diego Assistant Teaching Professor of Music King Britt speaks with Declan McGlynn of DJ Mag about the goals and inspirations behind his Blacktronika: Afrofuturism in Electronic Music course at UC San Diego.

“When I started as Assistant Teaching Professor at [UC San Diego], I noticed a void, not only in our curriculum but globally, of a class that focused on people of colour’s important contributions to electronic music… My main goal is to bring this knowledge to all young people who are enjoying all the newer sounds of electronic music so that they know the history, sonic lineages and socio-political context in which this music made…”

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus to perform “why the trees were murmuring” by UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi
The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus will be performing Beethoven's Violin Concerto and contemporary composer and UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi's "why the trees were murmuring" in their virtual concert program "Music in Community" this Friday, April 16th.

“I love these kinds of pairings,” said Steven Schick, the symphony’s music director. “Works that sound utterly unlike each other on the surface but have deep commonalties.”

Article by UC San Diego Music graduate student Jonny Stallings published in the Perspectives of New Music, Volume 58, No. 1
In "Open Instrumentation and Nonhierarchical Forms of Social Organization: Christian Wolff's Exercises 1-14 (1973-74)," Jonny Stallings compares Wolff's Exercises to rhizomatic melodies, referring to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's concept of the rhizome put forth in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. The use of open instrumentation, "heterophonic unison," guided improvisation, and nonhierarchical performance instructions facilitates rhizomatic deterritorialization of sound, harmony, melody, rhythm, and form in Wolff's Exercises

Tehran-based label releases new album Noise a Noise 21.1 featuring "Situation IV - Io E iO" composed by UC San Diego Music Ph.D. candidate Anahita Abbasi
Tehran-based label Noise à Noise is celebrating the new solar year 1400 S.H with the release of Noise A Noise 21.1 - a compilation of works from all female composers. The album includes pieces by Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi, Nilufar Habibian, Anahita Abbasi, Mehrnaz Khorrami, Deniz Tafaghodi, Nesa Azadikhah, and Leonie Roessler with Akane Takada.

The album features Abbasi's "Situation IV - Io E iO" for solo violin, performed by Andrew McIntosh (recorded 2018, San Diego).

KPBS The Parker Edison Project podcast interviews UC San Diego Music graduate student Kevin Green
KPBS The Parker Edison Project interviews UC San Diego Music graduate student Kevin Green for an episode of their podcast titled 'The Southeast,' where they take a look at The Underground Improv, a venue crucial in the development of San Diego's illustrious rap history. Green also incorporated this material in his Winter MUS 17 Hip Hop class at UC San Diego.

"I felt it important that UC San Diego students be introduced to how Hip Hop was lived by practitioners in Southeast San Diego. The podcast was used in combination with other audio/visual archival material and written historical context I provided to give MUS 17 students an indication of what the meaning and creative energy was like at The Community Actors Theater during the nights The Underground Improv open mic events were held. The second portion of the podcast featured an interview with a community activist. While I didn't require students to listen to this part, I think any individual who is associated with UC San Diego can get something from hearing about an area of our city that is not often thought to produce and make culture, which I know to be untrue." -Kevin Green

Intersection Music premieres new work composed by UC San Diego Music graduate student Erin Graham
Percussionist Lee Vinson of Intersection Music performs the world premiere of “Cycle” composed by UC San Diego Music graduate student Erin Graham. “Cycle” for four snare drums has six movements and three acts that explore instrumental colors and the relationships between different drums, each cast as a character in a musical drama.

Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Nathaniel Haering selected for the LA Phil's National Composers Intensive
Composer and UC San Diego Music graduate student Nathaniel Haering was selected for the LA Phil's National Composers Intensive. The 2020 NCI participants worked with LA Phil musicians remotely to create new works intended to be performed and recorded safely at home by a single instrument. Nathaniel Haering's for social media was premiered by LA Phil bassist Ted Botsford.

Sarah Hennies’ ‘Contralto’ Lets Women’s Voices Be
Julia Dixon Evans of KPBS interviews composer Sarah Hennies, M.A. 03' about "Contralto," a groundbreaking work of experimental documentary filmmaking and music that was screened with live accompaniment in March by Project [BLANK] musicians through a live online broadcast.

"Contralto" features a cast of transgender women speaking, singing, and performing vocal exercises accompanied by a dense and varied musical score that includes a variety of conventional and "non-musical" approaches to sound-making.

Project [BLANK] musicians includes UC San Diego Music graduate student Kathryn Schulmeister, bass, UC San Diego Music alumni Leah Bowden, percussion, Fiona Digney, percussion, Shayla James, viola, and Batya Macadam-Somer, violin, and Arianna Aviña, percussion, and Elizabeth Brown, cello.

Project [BLANK]'s broadcast of "Contralto" is still available ON DEMAND for $10 through June 6th. Purchase tickets.

Del Sol String Quartet releases new album Kooch-e Khamân featuring works by UC San Diego Music graduate student Nasim Khorassani and alumni Hesam Abedini and Niloufar Shiri
Del Sol String Quartet releases new album Kooch-e Khamân that features the works of 7 Iranian-American composers, including UC San Diego Music graduate student Nasim Khorassani and alumni Hesam Abedini, B.A. '17 and Niloufar Shiri, B.A. '17. Hesam Abedini also served as the co-producer of the album.

1. Road to Hana, Gity Razaz

2. Gol-hāy-e Ghorbat No. 0 (The Flowers of Nostalgia No. 0), Adib Ghorbani

3. über/unter druck, Elnaz Seyedi

4. String Quartet II, based on a poem by Fereydoon Moshiri, Hesam Abedini

5. Rock Cloud, Nasim Khorassani

6. Sarāb, Niloufar Shiri

7. Revolution Street, Iman Habibi

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