Bent Frequency presents UNDERSCORE_a call for scores

An Object of Some Concern (2021)

Dayton Hare

An Object of Some Concern: Most of my friends could tell you that I have a tendency towards understatement, especially when it comes to talking about my inner life. When I say, then, that something is “an object of some concern,” you can be sure it’s actually quite a large point of worry for me, the kind of anxiety-inducing thing I often become fixated on, turning around and around in my mind and worrying myself more all the while. This piece is about that experience of becoming stuck on a troubling feeling, in general, and about a specific worrisome fixation of mine in particular, the climate crisis. The piece opens with a violent plunge in the strings that mimics the feeling of suddenly awakening in the middle of the night, unable to breath. From there the trio propels itself forward with music that is unrelenting and obsessive, constantly straining higher and higher, threatening to snap, until finally it reaches its breaking point. This, of course, represents the experience of mounting anxiety, of becoming consumed by the feeling. But more than that, at the risk of being a bit too on the nose, I find that it also mimics the trajectory of global temperatures and the climate emergency.

–Dayton Hare

Currently pursuing graduate studies at the Yale School of Music, Colorado native Dayton Hare is a composer whose music often draws inspiration from the natural world and our relationship with it. He received bachelor's degrees in composition and English from the University of Michigan and fellowships from the National Orchestral Institute + Festival, the Écoles d’art américaines de Fontainebleau, and the Norfolk New Music Workshop. He's been invited to participate in numerous festivals such as the RED NOTE New Music Festival, New Music on the Point, and highSCORE. He is a current student of Martin Bresnick, and previously studied with David Lang, Katherine Balch, Evan Chambers, Roshanne Etezady, and others. Dayton has also worked extensively as a journalist, both as a writer and editor.”

Rib (2022)

Amir Khalaf

The music is based on a poem that I wrote with the same name. Rib is a visualrepresentation of the images and the events of the poem which is inspired by motion, nature, likeness and immature sound objects.

–Amir Khalaf

Amir Khalaf, born in Cairo, Egypt. He graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Cairo and studied composition at the University of Birmingham.

In his music, Amir explores the notion of deficiency and decay as well as the limited sonorities of musical instruments. He is interested to transform motion into sound objects by creating ephemeral and insufficient acoustic environments inspired by Nature, folk music, and electronic music.

He attended masterclasses and individual lessons with Pierluigi Billone, Kaija Saariaho, Frank Bedrossian, Dieter Ammann, Oscar Bianchi, Raphaël Cendo, and Mark Andre. He participated in Festivals such as Impuls, reMusik, Sound of Wander, Festival Mixtur, Young Euro Classic Festival, Etchings festival. He worked with ensembles such as Quatuor Bozzini, Ensemble Linea, Quartetto Maurice, mdi ensemble, The Callino Quartet, Vertixe Sonora, and AYPO Philharmonic Orchestra.

…and the higher leaves of the trees seemed to shimmer in the last of the sunlight’s lingering touch of them… (2022)

Emilie LeBel

…and the higher leaves of the trees seemed to shimmer in the last of the sunlight’s lingering touch of them… was written for the UltraViolet Ensemble. The Sound-world for this piece is based on my Giant Prairie Wind Harmonica project, generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

–Emilie Lebel

Canadian composer Emilie Cecilia LeBel specializes in concert music composition, the creation of mixed works that employ digital technologies, and intermedia concert works. Described as a creator whose music “reflects her intelligence and audaciousness” (Sir Andrew Davis), and is “restrained and beautifully coherent from beginning to end” (barczablog), as well as “impressively subtle and sensuous” (ConcertoNet), LeBel’s work inhabits sonic worlds that are primarily concerned with textural landscapes, resonance, and variances in colour.

LeBel’s artistic practice has been recognized through several significant awards and appointments, including RBC Affiliate Composer with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2018–2022), Composer-in-Residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2015), TD SoundMakers Composer in Residence with Soundstreams Canada (2015–2016), Land’s End Ensemble Composers Competition (2016), Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award (2015), Canadian Music Centre Toronto Emerging Composer Award (2012), and Canadian Federation of University Women Elizabeth Massey Award (2012).

LeBel’s compositions have been performed across North and South America, and Europe by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Mark Takeshi McGregor, Continuum Ensemble, Women on the Verge, Duo Nyans, Voices of the Pearl, Cecilia String Quartet, Plumes Ensemble, Quatuor Bozzini, Arditti Quartet, Land’s End Ensemble, Cheryl Duvall, Luciane Cardassi, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Onyx Trio, and junctQín keyboard collective, among others. LeBel’s work appears on twelve commercial recordings, including LeBel’s debut album of chamber music, field studies - released on Redshift Records in May 2023.

LeBel is Composer Advisor with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and a faculty member at MacEwan University, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communication. LeBel holds degrees in music composition from the University of Toronto (DMA) and York University (MA, BFA Hons.), and in audio engineering and music production from the Harris Institute for the Arts (Dip. Hons).

Flex (2023)

Anna Louise-Walton

In Flex, a table becomes an instrument, played with toy mallets and household objects. The performers play these items with careful technique, eliciting a variety of sounds, and blurring the line between object and instrument.

–Anna Louise-Walton

Anna-Louise Walton is an American composer of chamber, orchestral, and electronic music. In her music, she explores concepts of mimicry, the notation of improvisatory rhythms, and the utilization of household objects.

Her works have been performed by ensembles such as Hypercube Ensemble, Ekmeles, TAK Ensemble, the Bergamot Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Trio Catch, Fonema Consort, Quatuor Diotima, Mivos Quartet, Surplus Ensemble, Ecce Ensemble, Switch~ Ensemble, Versipel Collective, and the Wooster Symphony Orchestra. Her music has also been featured at Musikprotokoll, MATA Festival, IRCAM’s ManiFeste, Darmstadt International Summer Course, Royaumont Voix Nouvelles, Heidelberger Frühling Festival, Schloss Summer Academy, impuls Festival, VIPA Festival, Electric LaTex Festival, New Music on the Bayou, and highSCORE Festival.

In 2020, Walton served as a mentor for young composers in MATA Jr. She has received a BMI Student Composer Award (2019), the Walden County Promising Young Composers Competition Award (2021), the IAWM Choral/Vocal Ensemble Prize (2021), and the Martirano First Prize Award (2023). Recent commissions include works for Trio Zukan and for Proton Bern.

Though Walton did not start composing formally until her junior year at Scripps College, where she received a B.A. in music studying under Tom Flaherty, she grew up playing the piano and singing from a young age. She then went on to study composition at Kunstuniversität Graz with Beat Furrer. Walton received an M.A. in music composition from Tulane University in 2018, where she studied with Rick Snow. She then went on to study Sonology at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She is currently a DMA candidate in music composition at Columbia University, where her primary mentors are Zosha Di Castri, Georg Friedrich Haas, and George Lewis.

Breathless (2015)

Chris Arrell

Breathless (2015) for violin, cello, and piano (with admiration to GG, TM, and KS). In six continuous movements, Breathless is music as a living organism. Rhythm expands and contacts. Harmony inhales to wide consonance and exhales to compact dissonance. Pulse surges and retreats. Melody whispers in florid legato and shouts in strident staccato. Timbre bleeds to pale whites and is reborn in a blaze of brilliant color.

  1. Kaleidoscope in Blues
  2. Reflections & Reverberations
  3. Kaleidoscope in Greens
  4. One, Two, Three
  5. Kaleidoscope in Reds
  6. Reflections & Reverberations (Reprise)

–Chris Arrell

Chris Arrell’s music is characterized by its exploration of the intersection between humanity and technology, the blend of the natural and the digital, and the fusion of popular and experimental styles. Praised for their nuanced and unconventional beauty by New Music Box, Boston Music Intelligencer, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Arrell's compositions have garnered commissions from prestigious entities such as the Alte Schmiede (Austria), Boston Musica Viva, MATA, Spivey Hall, and the Fromm Foundation. His works have been performed by renowned ensembles including Alia Musica, Bent Frequency, the Bent Frequency Duo Project, Brave New Works, the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, the Boston Musica Viva, the Boston New Music Initiative, Collide-O-Scope Music, newEar, Nextet, the Puget Sound Trio, Sonic Generator, and the Ensemble Sospeso, among others. Recently named a winner of Bent Frequency's 2023-24 Underscore Call-for-Scores, Arrell has also received accolades from the Ettelson Composer Award, Ossia Music, the League of Composers/ISCM, the Salvatore Martirano Competition, the MacDowell and ACA colonies, and the Fulbright Hays Foundation. His music is available through Beauport Classical, Electroshock Records, Navona, Parma Recordings, SCI, and Trevco Music. Arrell is an associate professor at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he teaches courses in music theory and computer music and directs the Holy Cross Laptop Ensemble Federation (H-CLEF).

Kindling (2018)

Charles Peck

Kindling is a reflection on the spontaneous, yet repetitive motion of fire. From the outset of the piece, the ricochet bowing of the cello and the steady pulse of the kick drum stoke the flame, while the violin flickers and flares in response. As the piece builds, a flurry of tremolos and natural harmonics are used to express motion that is both active and static. Eventually, the ensemble, led by the piano and strings, conjures a steady orange glow with a series of phrases that quickly appear and dissipate. The rapid alternations between these distinct phrases coalesce to form a continuous, burning texture.

–Charles Peck

Charles Peck is a composer whose work has been called “daring” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “wild and shimmering” (Broad Street Review), and “substantial, personal, genuine” (Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music). His music, spanning a range of chamber and large ensembles, has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Albany and Columbus Symphonies, the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the JACK Quartet, Sandbox Percussion, and Contemporaneous. Recently awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Peck has also received commissions from the Barlow Endowment, the McKnight Foundation, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Alarm Will Sound, the Bergamot Quartet, and Ji Hye Jung and has been named a winner of composition competitions with the New York Youth Symphony, ASCAP, the Lake George Music Festival, Frame Dance, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Symphony in C, the Tribeca New Music Festival, and the Boston New Music Initiative, among others. His music has been featured at a variety of venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival, the Mizzou International Composers Festival, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Cultivate at Copland House, and the New Music Gathering. This year, Peck has also become a member of the composition faculty at the University of Pittsburgh.

Bent Frequency

Founded in 2003, Atlanta-based Bent Frequency brings the avant-garde to life through adventurous and socially conscious programming, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and community engagement. One of BF’s primary goals is championing the work of historically underrepresented composers - music by women, composers of color, and LGBTQIA+. Hailed as “one of the brightest new music ensembles on the scene today” by Gramophone magazine, BF engages an eclectic mix of the most adventurous and impassioned players.

BF has partnered with internationally acclaimed ensembles, dance groups, and visual artists in creating unique productions ranging from traditional concerts to fully staged operatic works, to concerts on the ATL streetcar, to a band of 111 bicycle-mounted, community performers. BF’s programming, educational outreach, and community events aim to be inclusive of the diverse and dynamic communities they are a part of.

BF is ensemble in residence at Georgia State University and run by Co-Artistic Directors Jan Berry Baker and Stuart Gerber.