Saturday – March 16, 2024 – Concert 6 – 7pm – Hart Recital Hall

  • Lisa Renée Coons—Chimera’s Garden—12:00 (s)
  • Alexandria Smith—Palpitations—8:00 (s)
  • Blaise Ubaldini—Isaac Newton In a Spaceship—10:00 (s)
  • John Gibson—Air Traffic—10:00 (8)
  • Eric Honour—Stutter Edit—9:45 (8)

Lisa Renée Coons—Chimera’s Garden—12:00 (s)
Shanna Pranaitis, flute

Chimera’s Garden is the newest in a series of works I call ‘narrative environment scores,’ and it was created collaboratively with Shanna Pranaitis. Narrative environment scores are born of a desire to establish a shared aural-visual world for the listener and performer that evolves temporally. The original physical score combined watercolor, ink, and found objects to convey the connections between the protagonist and the natural world. That document was then translated to video and fixed media, to act as both the object that the performer reads/responds to, and the context in which the audience experiences the performance. The protagonist of the piece is never at home with others, always at odds with her surroundings, until she loses herself in the cultivation of her garden. She is eventually both fulfilled and subsumed by her remote sanctuary, as her body transforms through obsession.

The radically traditional flutist Shanna Pranaitis fearlessly explores the growth edges of sonic possibility and creates profoundly moving immersive concert experiences by integrating new and historically reimagined works with theater, movement, lighting and storytelling.

Close collaborations with colleagues around the world have led to recitals and performances on five of the seven continents and include performances at such festivals as the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL) and Darmstädter Ferienkurse (DE), and in such hallowed halls as Carnegie Hall and the Tonhalle Zürich. Her debut solo CD of Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf’s works for flute (NEOS) was hailed as “remarkable” (Memeteria) and a “virtuoso testimony” (Musicalifeiten).

Shanna is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of FluteXpansions, the first comprehensive e-learning platform of its kind with resources for the frontier of contemporary flute performance and composition. Through innovative workshops and a revolutionary online group program, FX Sonic Immersion, Shanna leads a passionate community with a team of renowned faculty coaches at the convergence of fearless sonic exploration and trailblazing artistic coaching.

More recently, Shanna pivoted from relying solely on performing and teaching to expand the boundaries of the Classical music world, to utilizing all of her multi-hyphenate experience as an arts entrepreneurship and Integrative Change Work coach. As a coach, she specializes in strategic transformation for artists to live creatively fulfilled and financially empowered while powerfully anchored in their own authenticity.

Shanna performs on instruments made by the only two female flute makers in the industry – Burkart flute and open-hole piccolo (especially modified for her) and Kingma open-hole bass and alto flutes.

Alexandria Smith—Palpitations—8:00 (s)

I have been cultivating a bioartstic practice that enables me to listen to my biological signals and interact with a fuller array of embodied. My practice aims to illustrate ways that biological data does not need to be seen as a means for control, but instead as an extended, intersectional, and situated listening practice.

Palpitations is the first piece in a series of pieces that sonifies health issues. In August, I started having episodic heart palpitations that were induced by stress and anxiety. At times, I would feel my heart speed up; sometimes, it felt like it would pause and quickly start back up again. In order to listen to and interact with my heart rhythms, I started performing biofeedback-like listening sessions by attaching multiple heart rate sensors to my body, soloing them, hearing them together, and/or hearing how they were latent across different parts of my body.

In this performance, you will hear heart rate readings coming from three different parts of my body and galvanic skin response readings being sonified. The electronic sounds you hear will be sensor readings processed in ableton live alongside interactive visuals and processed trumpet (at times being processed by the biofeedback readings).

Praised by The New York Times for her “appealingly melancholic sound” and “entertaining array of distortion effects,” Alexandria Smith is a multimedia artist, audio engineer, scholar, trumpeter, and educator who enjoys working at the intersection of all these disciplines. Her research interests focus on integrating feminist methods of making and scholarship into music technology. To explore how electronic music is embodied through practice, she has been experimenting with ways to integrate biofeedback training and sensor observation into her music and designing interactive media applications and environments for performers.

Blaise Ubaldini—Isaac Newton In a Spaceship—10:00 (s)
Shanna Pranaitis, flute

The ghost of Isaac Newton mutters the eight definitions that open the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, roaming the deserted corridors of an abandoned spaceship somewhere in the universe and plunged into a state of zero-G. The flute is the medium through which the ghost is expressed, in puffs or in songs, blending into the pure, hot sound of the metal. We listeners, who are we, to assist in the alchemical, intimate marriage of mind and matter?

Blaise Ubaldini is a musician with an eclectic background – a classically-trained clarinetist who also does improvisational music and rock – he rubs shoulders with some of the greatest soloists from all musical scenes, classical, contemporary, jazz, world-music, and creates unique and unexpected encounters around his work and those who collaborate with him. Blaise’s work integrates and merges unconventional and creative elements – going beyond just instrumental music, with texts, songs, onomatopoeias, into musical discourse, like so many authentic gestures or behaviors, constantly questioning the nature and memory of human beings and music.

Trained in France, Blaise got a Master’s degree in Composition from the Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland and studied for two years at IRCAM in Paris. He also has a degree in Indian studies from the Faculty of Oriental Languages and Civilizations at the University of Paris. He does in-depth work on languages and voice, and expands his musical journey by writing texts and poems to be part of the music as a literary element of his work.

He collaborates with the ensemble Intercontemporain, the conductor Pierre Bleuse, the Collegium Novum Zürich, the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the ensemble Accroche Note, the Sine Nomine quartet, the soprano Liz Pearse, the flutist Shanna Pranaitis, the Lucerne Festival Alumni Ensemble, the clarinetist Martin Adàmek, the quartet Hélios, the vocal ensemble Exaudi, the company CH.AU, the ensemble Matka, the duo Interference.

His first monographic CD, Sunbathing was released in Spring 2022 with Parisian label Paraty (distribution PIAS/Harmonia Mundi).

A Fulbright Scholar for 2023-2024, Blaise is actually pursuing a Doctoral degree in composition at the University of Southern California, aiming to question the relationship between our perception of emotions and the making of culture in a multidisciplinary approach: composition, neuroscience, education, and game studies.

John Gibson—Air Traffic—10:00 (8)
Eddie Ludema, trumpet

Often my inspiration for pieces comes from observing the natural world or worrying about what’s happening to it. In Air Traffic, I’m thinking about honey bees. In his book Honeybee Democracy, Thomas D. Seeley, a scientist at Cornell, gives a detailed account of the behavior of these bees, including their ability to scout out a new home and navigate there, while keeping together a hive of thousands. Seeley performed experiments showing that scout bees guide the others to a new home they’ve discovered: the scouts fly quickly, in a straight line through the bee swarm, thus encouraging the other bees to follow, instead of flying randomly in all directions. My piece enacts such a swarm in its middle section, using a colony of synthetic “bees” that fly around the concert hall, while the trumpeter, as scout bee, gets them to fly right. When the bees find their home, they break into a celebratory song, with a swinging beat.

But there are real bees in this piece, too! To help me get a better sense of what honey bees are like, I met with biologists Lílian Caesar and Chris Robinson at the university hives. I dropped microphones in a hive and witnessed a terrifying, claustrophobic, and frenzied sound world, which you will hear accompanying the trumpet. I even donned a bee suit to better see what they were up to. You will hear a bit of my conversation with Lílian at the end of the piece. Unfortunately, honey bees, while essential for agriculture, out-compete native pollinators, which are also under threat from climate change and pesticides. If you want to help native bees, and you have some kind of yard, replace your grass with asters, bee balm, boneset, and other native plants.

John Gibson composes electronic music, which he often combines with instrumental soloists or ensembles. He also creates fixed-media audio and audiovisual works that focus on environmental soundscape. His portrait CD, Traces, is available on the Innova label, along with other recordings on the Centaur, Everglade, Innova, and SEAMUS labels. Audiences across the world have heard his music, in venues including the D-22 punk rock club in Beijing, the Palazzo Pisani in Venice, and the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. Presentations of his electroacoustic music include concerts at the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, the Bourges Synthèse Festival in France, the Brazilian Symposium on Computer Music, the Australasian Computer Music Conference, and many ICMC and SEAMUS conferences. Significant awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Paul Jacobs Memorial Fund Commission from the Tanglewood Music Center, and a residency in the south of France from the Camargo Foundation. He was a Mentoring Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in May 2017. Gibson is associate professor of music and director of the Center for Electronic and Computer Music ( at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Eddie Ludema is Assistant Professor of Trumpet, Music Theory and Tech at Idaho State University. He is principal trumpet with the Idaho State Civic Symphony and performs with the Portneuf Brass Quintet and the ISU New Music Faculty Ensemble. He and Prof. Jon Armstrong formed and co-direct the acoustoelectric Video Game Music Ensemble as part of the Commercial Music Program at Idaho State. He works with the trumpet studio, trumpet ensemble, brass ensemble and teaches music theory, music technology and improvisation. He has performed with the Utah Symphony, The Orchestra at Temple Square (Utah), the ORSO Rock Orchestra (Germany), the Classical Music Festival Orchestra (Austria), the Carmel (Indiana) Symphony, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, the Terre Haute Symphony, and the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. He was a founding member of the Mirari Brass Quintet and toured internationally with the Indiana State University Faculty Ambassador Brass Quintet. He received doctoral and masters degrees from Indiana University with John Rommel, an Artist’s Diploma with Anthony Plog at the Freiburg Music Conservatory (Germany), and a bachelor’s with Nick Norton at the University of Utah.

Eric Honour—Stutter Edit—9:45 (8)
Shanna Pranaitis, flute

Commissioned and premiered by Shanna Pranaitis, with support from NewMusicUSA.

Stutter edits have become a very common audio production technique in the last 10 years or so, and enable the audio producer to effectively recompose or comment upon the rhythmic structure of a work, generally by stepping outside that structure and deliberately creating conflict with it. This piece is based very strongly in groove—stutter edits work best when they have an easily recognizable structure to work against—but it is a complex, shifting sort of groove: momentarily danceable, but designed to catch listeners out over the medium term. Stuttering occurs in all aspects of the work: the live flute part, the live computer processing, the pre-recorded media, and even the formal structure. The computer part of the work makes heavy use of granular and spectral techniques to provide real-time stuttering and stretching of the live flute performance, but also incorporates some pre-recorded, fixed material. The grooves are generated mostly from a set of samples flutist Shanna Pranaitis recorded for me, of key clicks, tongue rams, lip pizzicatos, and other extended techniques on the flute, as well as from ancillary sounds she made while recording the samples, like breathing. The tempo accelerates regularly over the entire duration of the piece, and the flute part gets wilder and wilder, culminating in a blistering-fast, stutter-heavy rave of extended techniques.

Devoted to exploring and furthering the intersections of music and technology, Eric Honour’s work as a composer and saxophonist has been featured around the world in numerous international conferences and festivals like ICMC, SEAMUS, MUSLAB, Sonorities, EMM, NYCEMF, and others. A member of the Athens Saxophone Quartet, he performs regularly in Europe and the United States, and has presented lectures and masterclasses at many leading institutions.

Honour is Chair of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, Professor of music, and founder of the Center for Music Technology at the University of Central Missouri, teaching courses in acoustics, music technology, and composition. His work as an audio engineer and producer appears on the Innova, Centaur, Ravello, and Irritable Hedgehog labels, among others, as well as on numerous independent releases and he has served as an acoustics consultant and designer on projects ranging from recording studios to classrooms to auditoriums and performance spaces, most recently serving as the principal designer of UCM’s cutting-edge music technology studios, which opened in 2022.

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