Corwin Series Concert - Synesthesias - New Music at UCSB 2: Graduates

Event Date: 

Friday, June 4, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Event Date Details: 

YouTube Premiere link

Event Location: 

  • Virtual Event

Event Price: 

Free and open to the public

Event Contact: 

Adriane Cleary
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
Artwork: "Masking" by Rivkah Simcha
Artwork: "Masking" by Rivkah Simcha
The Department of Music will present a virtual Corwin Series Concert, "Synesthesias - New Music at UCSB 2: Graduates," on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 6 pm PDT as a YouTube Premiere via the Department of Music's YouTube channel. The spring Corwin Series program will showcase recent multimedia, mixed, and acousmatic works written within the last year by UC Santa Barbara Composition graduate students. The concert will feature works by Drew Flieder, Raphael Radna, Rodney DuPlessis, Mathew Owensby, Alexandra Jones, Dariush Derakhshani, Kramer Elwell, Stewart Engart, and Mason Hock.
YouTube Premiere link:

Program Notes

Attractors | Drew Flieder

Attractors consists of 13 pieces. Each piece starts out in a specific ‘state’ and eventually converges to a final ‘state’. The title takes its name from the concept of an attractor in dynamical systems theory.

Passage | Raphael Radna

Passage (2018) is the product of my earliest experiments with computer-assisted composition. The basic material of the piece is derived from algorithmic transformations and reconfigurations of excerpts from Webern's Passacaglia for Orchestra, Op. 1. I then refined these materials, seeking to produce smooth, lyrical lines that aggregate to rich harmonies, supported throughout by a lively sense of motivic interchange between voices. Artwork: "Masking" by Rivkah Simcha (, @shulamith_in_shadow).

Coacervate | Rodney DuPlessis

Certain mixtures of polyelectrolytes can spontaneously form dense liquid droplets (called coacervates) suspended in water (dilute phase). These liquid droplets are often filled with complex molecules, proteins, polymers, and nucleic acids. Coacervate formation has been suggested as a possible mechanism through which the first simple cells formed on earth (Abiogenesis). In composing Coacervate, I worked closely with violinist and chemical engineer Chelsea Edwards to create a sonic narrative from this chemistry. Distinct musical motives are inserted into dilute textures where they compartmentalize, chain together like charged polymers, and erupt into the beginnings of life.

Two Live Burials | Mathew Owensby

Genpei Akasegawa’s Hyperart Thomasson describes curious art-like relics of useless objects in everyday life. Things which once served their function but now are preserved in impotence such as a staircase which leads to no door or landing or a bridge over dry land. The Live Burial is an object partially submerged in concrete. The ensemble consists of ancient instruments which themselves no longer serve their intended social function: recorders, crumhorns, viols, medieval harp, and percussion. The two haiku adapted for the work were written by soprano April Amante for use in this piece.

Morpheus | Alexandra Jones

Information coming soon

Pārsa | Dariush Derakhshan

Pārsa can be categorized as a programmatic piece. The inspiration of its form and direction came from the history of Persepolis and its demolition by Alexander the Great. The initial section is meant to represent a grand sound which is slowly ravaged as the piece continues. What remains by the end are broken parts and pieces representing the slow destruction of Persepolis by fire. The final section (A’) is a distorted memory of the grand sound heard in the beginning which quickly crumbles into a minuscule sound with a high amount of tension in its core.

Reception Interference | Kramer Elwell

Reception Interference explores COVID-era hyperconnectivity states, how isolation exacerbates negative mental states and dissociation, and how our perception of the world has been filtered through the consumption of mass quantities of information as opposed to interaction and physical presence. Sound sources are pulled from household objects and pre-COVID performance recordings taken from the composer’s personal experience- a nostalgic reminder of a time when we were more physically present in the world around us.

Sublimation | Stewart Engart

Sublimation is an endothermic process that occurs at temperatures and pressures below a substance’s triple point in its phase diagram, which corresponds to the lowest pressure at which the substance can exist as a liquid.

About the Artists

Raphael Radna

Raphael Radna is a composer of acoustic and electronic music whose works embrace unconventional compositional strategies and new technologies. His music has been performed in concerts, festivals, and conferences across the United States and in Japan, including the International Computer Music Conference, the New York Electroacoustic Music Festival, the California Electronic Music Exchange Concerts, the UCSB Summer Music Festival, and the Osaka University of Arts Electroacoustic Music Festival. Raphael is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at UC Santa Barbara, where he studies with João Pedro Oliveira, Curtis Roads, and Andrew Tholl.

Rodney DuPlessis

As a composer and researcher, Rodney DuPlessis primarily explores intersections of science and music. He is interested in creating powerful sonic experiences grounded in scientific models of physics, chemistry, biology, thermodynamics, and meta-science. His music has been performed and recognized internationally. As a programmer, DuPlessis has created innovative software tools for composition and worked to preserve and reincarnate preexisting software. He has also directed multiple festivals and concerts, and currently serves as co-creative director of the Nomadic Soundsters art collective. His teachers have included Curtis Roads, Clarence Barlow, João Pedro Oliveira, and Martin Kutnowski. He holds an MA in composition and an MSc in Media Arts and Technology. He is currently at UCSB completing a PhD in composition.

Mathew Owensby

Matthew Owensby is a violinist, violist, and composer specializing in microtonality and historically-informed performance. He has a bachelor’s in violin performance and composition from Chapman University and a master’s in composition from SFCM and his works explore microtonality, mythology, Medieval music, and the cosmic horrifying dread of an implacable and uncaring universe. Much of his compositional output merges elements of Medieval and Renaissance dance music with quarter-tonality and extended just intonation, including a just-intoned elaboration. Some recent examples include “La Quatre Estampie Roial” in Hark of the Merrows for brass choir, the quarter-tonal Idafect II for wind quintet which incorporates a forceful presentation of plainchant, and development of motivic material from “Lamento di Tristano” in the chamber concerto for bassoon and ensemble, Leanan Sídhe. His compositions have been performed by the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (Variations for Alto Flute and Piano (2014)), the University of Würzburg Contemporary Music Ensemble (Fantasy on Souvent Souspire (2018)), and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble (Idafect (2014), Leanan Sídhe (2016)). His solo viola work, Malphas (2015), a study on realized Medieval dance melodies, has been performed in a masterclass with Caroline Shaw and subsequently at the Hot Air New Music Festival and the SFCM Viola Project all in 2015.

Alexandra Jones

Information coming soon

Dariush Derakhshani

Dariush Derakhshani is a German-born Iranian composer/performer of concert and electroacoustic music. He has written for numerous acclaimed soloists and ensembles, with whom his works have been performed internationally. He also attended IRCAM Manifeste, where he had the opportunity to work closely with members of Ensemble Intercontemporain, and Altitude Festival where he worked with l’ensemble Multilatérale. Other notable festival appearances include Impuls Academy, the Madeira Residency, Festival DME, Barcelona Mixtur, and Kyiv Contemporary Music Days. He has studied and participated in masterclasses with the composers Patricia Alessandrini, Raphaël Cendo, Francesco Filidei, Beat Furrer, Philippe Hurel, Helmut Lachenmann, Mauro Lanza, Fabien Lévy, Tristan Murail, Gilbert Nouno, Åke Parmerud, Jaime Reis, Yann Robin and Alexander Schubert. Derakhshani recently completed the one-year course at Koninklijk Conservatorium's Institute of Sonology. Currently he is a PhD candidate in Music Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara under the supervision of João Pedro Olivera.

Kramer Elwell

Kramer Elwell is a composer, percussionist, improviser, and sound artist currently based in Santa Barbara, CA. His acoustic and electroacoustic works attempt to create massively rich timbral spaces and soundscapes, spin cryptic and surrealist narratives, and find atypical avenues from which to perform new music. This includes any combination of graphic or multimedia notation, improvisation, computer programming, installation, or interdisciplinary collaboration. Alongside composers Jon Fielder and Chris Ozley, Kramer is one of the founding members of the Cmd+Q Laptop Trio. Kramer's works have been performed at festivals and conferences at home and abroad. Some events include the SEAMUS National Conference, The International Computer Music Conference, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, The SPLICE Institute, and more. As an Artist-in-Residence he has also collaborated with many arts organizations, like: The Glen Arbor Arts Association, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Kramer is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Composition and a Master of Science in Media Arts and Technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Stewart Engart

Stewart Engart (b. 1991, he/him) is a Southern California-based composer, performer, sound artist, and creative coder working in the fields of experimental electronic music, audiovisual installation, and innovative chamber music. His work explores computer-assisted musical form and gesture, as well as experimental synthesis techniques. Stewart is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Artwork: "Masking" by Rivkah Simcha