RTV: Compost Q

Release Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Improvisation, composition, and dance by Compost Q, a seasoned, multi-dimensional collective presenting active, rich, organic, dark, loamy and finished collaborations.

Violinist Dorothy Martirano specializes in contemporary music. During 2009, she premiered new works for violin (by Morgan Powell and Erik Lund) and those for violin, tape, and dancer (by Ross Feller). She toured and recorded during the 1980s and early 90s with composer/performer/inventor, Salvatore Martirano, doing solo performances of music composed for her, and duos with “Four not Two,” a composing/performing interactive computer/MIDI synthesizer system for improvisation. She has performed and recorded with the Tone-Road Ramblers, the Cal Arts Contemporary Chamber Players, and the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players.

Morgan Powell, born in West Texas in 1938, is a composer and jazz trombonist whose works are performed internationally. Powell’s primary compositional interests are in the areas of instrumental and vocal music; he explores the rich and complex components of improvisation and the spirit and elements of jazz, together with “New Music” compositional concepts, techniques and notation. Among the awards Powell has received are three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships; two appointments as Associate to the Center for Advanced Study – University of Illinois; an American Music Center Grant; an Illinois Arts Council grant; numerous Meet the Composer Awards; ASCAP Awards; two MacDowell Colony, ten Ragdale Foundation, and one UCross Foundation artists residencies; and Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for “The Waterclown.”

A native of Taiwan, Yu-Chen Wang is a graduate of the Tainan National University of the Arts where she studied Gu-Zheng with Dong-He Ling and Hao-Yin Huang and composition with Siao-Wun Jhuang and Chao- Min Dong. She has performed in master classes for Yan-Jia Zhou, Li Meng, Ji Qiu, Yuan Sha, Ji Wei, and Lei Zhu. Ms. Wang’s compositions are a blend of western classical music and traditional Chinese music. She is interested in expanding the usual instrumentation and forms used in Gu-Zheng ensembles. Since 2009 summer, she has lived in Champaign-Urbana and is working on spreading the Gu-Zheng.

Armand Beaudoin plays bass and cello. He has worked as a sideman with several jazz greats, including Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Byrd, Mose Allison, and Sheila Jordan. Presently, he enjoys working with many fine artists in the vibrant community of Champaign-Urbana. He is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois, and has bridged his engineering skills with his interest in experimental and improvised music.

Erik Lund is a composer and trombonist interested in both composed and improvised music. His compositions have won the League of Composers, International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), and ASCAP composition competitions. He has received grants for his works from the Musik Biennale-Berlin Festival, Meet the Composer, ASCAP, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Research Board of the University of Illinois. His works have been commissioned and/or performed by more than a dozen ensembles, including the Arditti Quartet (UK), Orchestra Giovanile Italiana (Italy), Crash Ensemble (Ireland), Wolpe Trio (Germany), Tone Road Ramblers (USA), and C2 Duo (USA), as well as by notable soloists. He is a professor of music composition at the University of Illinois.

Kirstie Simson (UK) has been a continuous explosion in the Contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation in moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called “a Force of nature” by the New York Times, she is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance” according to Time Out Magazine, London. For the past thirty years, Kirstie has collaborated with many dancers and musicians who share a common interest in improvisation, including Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Simone Forti, Darrell Jones, Michael Schumacher, Le Quan Ninh and countless others. She was awarded a London Time Out ‘Dance and Performance Award’ as “a unique figure in the dance world. In January 2008, Kirstie joined the faculty of the Dance Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

COMPOST Q: Morgan Powell, Dorothy Martirano, Yu-Chen Wang, Erik Lund, Armand Beaudoin, Kirstie Simson with guest dancer Jian Dai.