Austin New Music Co-op Presents Concert of Adventurous New Music for Vocal Ensemble

NMC and Convergence Vocal Ensemble premiere five pieces by local composers.

Austin New Music Co-op Presents:
Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM (pre-concert talks at 7:00)
Mexican American Cultural Center (600 River St, 78701)
Advance tickets available now for $12 at End of an Ear (
$17 at the door
Student tickets discounted to $12

On July 21, 2012 Austin New Music Co-op will present the first program of its second decade: "Vessel," a concert devoted to brand new compositions for vocal ensemble. Nine local instrumentalists will take the stage alongside the nationally renowned Austin-based Convergence Vocal Ensemble to perform five accompanied and unaccompanied vocal works. Convergence comprises Gitanjali Mathur (soprano), Laura Mercado (mezzo-soprano), Paul D'Arcy (tenor), and Cameron Beauchamp (bass).

Cultures throughout history have used rituals in different ways. At its essence, a ritual or ceremony is a vessel, which each participant fills with whatever significance she or he chooses. For this concert, five Co-op members have composed brand new works exploring ritual and ceremony. Travis Weller's newest piece sets the four voices alongside a trio of newly constructed string instruments, played by Line Upon Line percussion, which use antique organ pipes as resonators. Brent Fariss will offer a musical study of obsessive compulsive disorder for four voices, horn, trombone, and percussion. Keith Manlove will deconstruct components of rituals in his piece for four amplified voices, interactive electronics, and video. Andrew Stoltz will present a piece for four voices, harmonium, and Weller's original instrument, the owl. For her first composition on an NMC concert, Sarah Dutcher will present an unaccompanied work for four voices. Weller, Fariss, Manlove, and Stoltz are recipients of grants from "New Music USA" (formerly "Meet the Composer") for their contributions to the program.

New Music USA Grant
NMC is also excited to announce that composers Brent Fariss, Keith Manlove, Andrew Stoltz, and Travis Weller have been awarded grants from "New Music USA" (formerly "Meet the Composer") and will be conducting various outreach activities leading up to the concert on July 21. On July 19, the composers will open one of their rehearsals to the public. CORRECTION The free open rehearsal will be held in the auditorium of the "Waller Creek School" 4100 Red River St. (on the same campus as Ceremony Hall) from 6pm to 10pm. This will offer a preview of four works being performed at the concert, as well as a glimpse of the preparation process that NMC composers go through to ready their pieces for performance. Admission is free. On July 15 at 8:30 pm, 91.7 KOOP's weekly experimental music show, "Commercial Suicide," will host all four composers, playing recorded excerpts and discussing the concert and their four pieces. One hour before the July 21 concert, the composers will each give a talk about their pieces. They will discuss creative approach, notation, instrumentation, and compositional process.

About Austin New Music Co-op
New Music Co-op is a community of composers and performers from the Austin area dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of new music. Since 2001 NMC has presented almost 50 concerts featuring close to 200 new works, many of them premieres. Notable New Music Co-op concerts have included two collaborations with Ellen Fullman and her Long String Instrument, the first complete US performance of Cornelius Cardew's seven-hour epic, The Great Learning, a commission of a program-length work by Berlin-based composer Arnold Dreyblatt, a realization of John Cage's Song Books, music for the extinct instruments of Luigi Russolo, Pauline Oliveros' Four Meditations for Orchestra (with the composer in attendance), and a three-day series of the works of the New York School. The Co-op was recently named "Outstanding Classical Ensemble" for 2011-2012 by the Austin Critics' Table. New Music Co-op members come from highly diverse backgrounds, from classical performance to electronic music to formal composition to rock bands. The group runs by consensus, and gains its strength from its members' varied experiences and interests. The New Music Co-op is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations to the group are tax-deductible.

About Convergence
Convergence is an eclectic and dynamic vocal ensemble that brings professional singers together from across the nation to prepare and present chamber concerts in an inventive and refreshing way. Members also sing with other esteemed professional ensembles around the country, including the Grammy-nominated Conspirare Company of Voices, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Vox Humana of Nashville, and the Texas Early Music Project. The four artists for this upcoming performance reside in Austin.

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin's future. Visit Austin at

Funded in part through New Music USA's MetLife Creative Connections program.