Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble
Youngstown Percussion Collective
Present The World Premiere
Forms Of Things Unknown
Dr. David Morgan
Dr. Glenn Schaft – director, Edward Davis – assistant director
2 November 2011
Butler North Annex, 8PM
Forms Of Things Unknown (2011)
1. Airy Nothing
2. Do I Dare Eat A Peach?
5. Better Angels
6. The Flow
7. Bindu To Ogis
9. Unknown Unknowns
12. The Only Dance
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5, Scene 1
Forms of Things Unknown is a concert-length piece for fifteen percussionists. Morgan, states “my primary goal was to compose an evening of music for percussion that would never become boring for the audience or the performers. The piece is in a circular form that reflects the cycles of time and the earth. Each movement flows into the next with no set-up time between. The percussion writing reflects my contemplation of the artistic possibilities inherent within various dichotomies, including pitched and “non-pitched” percussion, strict notation and improvisation, metal and wood, sticks and hands, harmony/melody and rhythm, loud and soft, tradition and innovation, cerebral and visceral, and space and time.”
A wide variety of music and artists are reflected and referenced in the piece, including ritual music of Northern Brazil, the Congo, and Egypt; global percussionists including Glen Velez and Nana Vasconcelos; jazz vibraphone artists such as Dave Samuels, David Friedman, Gary Burton, and Mike Manieri; the Minimalism of Terry Riley and Steve Reich; and seminal percussion works by Western composers including Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, and Toru Takemitsu.
The piece is designed to engage all of the senses. In addition to the wide variety of rhythms and sounds, incense will be burned, beverages and snacks will be served, and objects of various textures will circulate. The venue will be decorated and illuminated at the discretion of the performers, who will wear a variety of costumes that enhance the experience.
The piece was commissioned by the Youngstown Percussion Collective, a YSU student organization. YPC President, Bob Young said “This project has challenged our musical minds as well as brought the members closer together in search of a common goal. The world premiere should be an exciting event.” YPC member Jeff Farber concurs, “This piece will definitely challenge our abilities. But, moreover, I see it opening our world-view (because of the many different cultures the music draws from) and opening our imaginations on how to use sound, motion, and theatrics to create a truly captivating performance.
Dr. Glenn Schaft says “This project provides our students the rare opportunity to participated in an entire artistic creation project from its very conception, through planning, fundraising, performance, recording a compact disc, mixing and mastering the recording, and distributing the music worldwide, all the while working on a daily basis in meetings and rehearsals with a world-class composer in David Morgan, who just happens to be a faculty colleague at the Dana School of Music. Our students are fortunate to have the opportunity to present a great piece of music to the world and this experience will enrich their lives for many years to come.”
Morgan agrees, saying “the best thing about this project from my perspective is the opportunity to work closely with Glenn and the percussion students throughout the process of taking a project from its initial conception to performance. This is a very challenging piece of music and the musicians are working extremely hard to pull this off.”
Notes by D. Morgan and G. Schaft
Sarah Sexton-Belz, Mineral Ridge, OH
Keith Born, Bethel Park, PA
Ed Davis, Poland, OH
Evan Gottschalk, East Palestine, OH
Matthew Hayes, Coshocton, OH
Dylan Kollat, North Jackson, OH
Roger Lewis, Youngstown, OH
Dustin May, Westerville, OH
Moriah Placer, Warren, OH
Nick Sainato, Boardman, OH
Jeff Farber, Boardman, OH
Troy Schaltenbrand, Allison Park, PA
Megan Seivert, Miamisburg, OH
Robert Young, Austintown, OH
Eric Zalenski, Bloomingdale, OH
About Dave Morgan
Dave Morgan is a jazz bassist and composer who has performed with a wide variety of artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Lovano, Arturo Sandoval, Cedar Walton,
James Moody, Benny Golson, Larry Coryell, Mose Allison, Jim McNeely, Bob Brookmeyer, and The Cleveland Orchestra. His latest recording “The Way of the Sly
Man” is inspired by the ideas of the Greek-Armenian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff. The recording, featuring Jamey Haddad, Dan Wall, Jack Schantz, Howie Smith, and many
other fine musicians, was made possible by grants from Chamber Music America, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, and the Bascom-Little Fund. Morgan also composed the music for CD The Surprise of Being—Live at Birdland by the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra featuring Joe Lovano. A concert by the Tri-C JazzFest by the Jazz Unit featuring Ernie Watts of Morgan’s transcriptions and arrangements of the music of Frank Zappa earned an Award of Achievement from Northern Ohio Live. The American Wind Symphony Orchestra has commissioned several original compositions and arrangements, including “The Art of Seven” (2008). The
Polish Philharmonic Orchestra recently recorded “Reflections and Meditations,” which will be released on Centaur Records in Fall 2012. His compositions “Romance
for Flute and Strings” and “Three Vignettes” for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra are also available on Centaur Records. More information is available on his website,
davemorgan.com. Morgan is Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass at Youngstown State University.
About Glenn Schaft
Dr. Glenn Schaft is Associate Professor and Director of Percussion Studies at Youngstown State University where he has served since 1996. He directs the YSU Percussion Ensemble, teaches private and group lessons, performs with the Faculty Jazz Group, serves as faculty advisor for the Youngstown Percussion Collective, and is founder of the SMARTS RHYTHMS Drum Circle Educational Outreach Program. His performance and teaching credits include over thirty-three years of experience in classical, contemporary, world, jazz/improvised, and popular music. He is an educational artist endorser with Zildjian, ProMark, Remo, and Black Swamp Percussion. He has performed and presented clinics throughout the United States and China. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society where he serves on the College Pedagogy and Drumset Educators Committee's.
•Glenn and the Youngstown Percussion Collective wish to thank:
•Dave Terpak and Specialized Event Solutions for the lighting.
•Dr. Fred Owens, Jim Dolan, and the Department of Communications for the videography.
•Jack Ciarniello for the audio recording.
•Lori Factor, Anna Ruscutti, Michele Lepore-Hagen, Bruce Palmer, Jean Engle, and Ron Cole for your assistance with the publicity and programs.
•Doug Smith, proprietor of the Drum Smith, for your generosity and support.
•Dr. Michael Crist (chair) and Dr. Bryan DePoy (dean) for your support on behalf of the Dana School of Music and the College of Fine and Performing Arts throughout this project.
•Our percussion corporate sponsors - Zildjian, Remo, ProMark, Black Swamp, and Dynasty.
•Thanks to my students for all your dedication and hard work!
•Most of all…we are all grateful Dave Morgan for the great music!
see http://www.thejambar.com/unknown-music-will-engage-audiences-senses 1.2662864#.TsFeYRwUasY for more info