"...smooth-running, well-organized, sonically and musically superior event, put on by some truly lovely people."
- Asymmetry Magazine
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2017 EMM Guest Artist: Splice Ensemble
The SPLICE Ensemble is a trumpet, piano, and percussion trio focussed on cultivating a canon of the most important works composed for instruments and electronics. Through seminars, lectures, master classes, concerts, and commissions, the SPLICE Ensemble works with composers and performers on performance practice techniques for collaboration and integrating electronics into a traditional performance space. The resident ensemble of both the SPLICE Summer Institute and the SPLICE Festival, the SPLICE Ensemble has been a featured ensemble at M Woods in Beijing, SEAMUS, the Electroacoustic Barndance, SCI National, and will be the featured guest ensemble at Electronic Music Midwest this fall.
Keith Kirchoff is a pianist, composer, conductor, concert curator, and teacher. Described as a "virtuosic tour de force" whose playing is "energetic, precise, (and) sensitive," he works towards promoting under- recognized composers and educating audiences of the importance of new and experimental music. An active lecturer who has presented in countries throughout the world, his recital programs focus on the integration of computers and modern electronics into a traditional classical performance space.
Kirchoff has played in many of the United States' largest cities including New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Austin, as well as major cities throughout Italy, New Zealand, Australia, England, Canada, Belgium, Mexico, China, and The Netherlands. He has appeared with orchestras throughout the U.S. performing a wide range of concerti, including the Boston premier of Charles Ives' Emerson Concerto and the world premier of Matthew McConnell's Concerto for Toy Piano, as well as more traditional concerti by Tschaikowsky and Chopin. He has also been a featured soloist in many music festivals including the Festival de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, Festival Internacional de Müsica Contemporànea, the Society for Electro- Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), the Oregon Festival of American Music, and the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC).
Throughout his career, Kirchoff has premiered well over 100 new works and commissioned several dozen. As a strong supporter of modern music, he has worked closely with many prominent composers including Christian Wolff, Frederic Rzewski, and Louie Andriessen. As a lecturer, Kirchoff has presented seminars, lectures, and master classes on the music of the 21st century at many of the country's largest Universities. One of the nation's prominent performers of electronic music, his "Electro-Acoustic Piano" tour has been presented throughout two continents, and he has twice hosted an international composers competition seeking music for piano and live electronics: first with the University of Toronto in 2011, and then again with the American Composers Forum in 2015. The first album in his Electro-Acoustic Piano series was released by Thinking outLOUD Records in July 2011.
As a composer, Kirchoff is equally comfortable in acoustic and electronic mediums. The 2010 Rozsa Visiting Artist & Composer at the University of Tulsa, Kirchoff has been awarded residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts, New York Mills, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Wildacres, and has been a guest composer/pianist at several universities including Brown University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Cal State, University of New Mexico, University of North Florida, and Brigham Young University. He has received commissions from numerous ensembles and soloists including Transient Canvas, Ensemble mise-en, pianists Shiau-uen Ding and Kai Schumacher, tuba player Jeffrey Meyer, organist Matthew McConnell, soprano Christine Keene, and Telling Stories Music. Often performing his own works in recital, his music, which has been described as "hyperactive," has also been performed throughout the United States, Canada, England, Turkey, Holland, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany by many respected musicians and ensembles including the California E.A.R. Unit, the Firewire Ensemble, mezzo-soprano Erica Brookhyser, violinists Carmel Raz and Stephanie Skor, cellist Alex Kelly, and pianists Albert Muhlbock and Mabel Kwan.
Kirchoff serves on the board of directors for the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) as the Vice President of Programs, and is also the Artistic Director of Original Gravity: a Boston-based concert series that features the music of local composers and pairs that music with locally brewed beer. Together with Christopher Biggs, he is also the founder and Director of Performance Studies at SPLICE (Summer institute for the Performance, Listening, Interpretation, and Creation of Electroacoustic music) hosted at Western Michigan University.
The winner of the 2006 Steinway Society Piano Competition and the 2005 John Cage Award, Kirchoff was named the 2011 "Distinguished Scholar" by the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association. He has also received composing grants from MetLife Meet the Composer and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Kirchoff's primary teachers include Dean Kramer, Stephen Drury, and Paul Wirth. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Oregon in 2003 graduating summa cum laude and then received his Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory in 2005. He has also studied composition with Michael Gandolfi and Jeffrey Stolet, and conducting with Richard Hoenich. In addition to his recordings on his independent label Thinking outLOUD Records, Kirchoff has released recordings on the New World, SEAMUS, New Focus, Tantara, and Zerx labels.
You can follow Kirchoff on Twitter @keithkirchoff and learn more at his website: keithkirchoff.com
Adam Vidiksis is a composer, conductor, percussionist, improviser, and technologist based in Philadelphia whose interests span from historically informed performance to the cutting edge of digital audio processing. Often drawing from both acoustic and electronic sounds, his music has been heard in concert halls and venues around the world. Critics have called his music "mesmerizing", "dramatic", "striking" (Philadelphia Weekly), "notable", "catchy" (WQHS), "interesting", and "special" (Percussive Notes), and have noted that Vidiksis provides "an electronically produced frame giving each sound such a deep-colored radiance you could miss the piece's shape for being caught up in each moment" (David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer). His unique approach to composition has been praised for its "outstanding control" (Philadelphia Weekly) and for being "restrained" and "magical" (Local Arts Live).
Vidiksis's music is frequently performed and commissioned by ensembles around the world, at conferences, festivals, and public concerts. His work has been recognized with awards from SCI, ASCAP, Phindie, and Blow-Up Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival. His music is available through HoneyRock Publishing and PARMA, New Focus, and EMPiRE Records. He is will be the ACF Steven R. Gerber Composer in Residence for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for its 2017-2018 season.
A devoted advocate of new music and improvisation, Vidiksis continues to serve for the past seven years as the conductor of the Temple Composers Orchestra, and two as a founding member on the executive board of the Impermanent Society of Philadelphia, a Philadelphia based organization that is focused on promoting freely improvised live performance that focuses on experimental sound and movement. He is a founding faculty member in composition and performance at the SPLICE Institute, currently in its third year, where he continues to teach. His work with the Splice Ensemble, formed from the performance faculty of the institute, has been featured at national conferences and major venues around the world. He has performed in the North America, Europe, and China as a performer and improviser in both percussion and electronics. His deep interest in bringing new works to life has led him to conduct numerous premieres, working with international groups such as Ensemble NJ_P and the Black Sea Symphony. Vidiksis previously held positions as director of the wind ensemble at Drew University in Madison, NJ, and also as assistant conductor of the Delaware County Symphony in Aston, PA.
Vidiksis holds degrees from Drew University, New York University, and Temple University, culminating in a doctoral degree in music composition. Vidiksis currently serves on the composition and music technology faculty of Temple University as a Conwell Entrepreneurial Fellow, where he teaches classes in music theory, orchestration, composition, and music technology. He is currently conductor of the Temple Composers Orchestra, faculty advisor to conTemplum (Boyer College's new-music student organization and student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc.), director of the Boyer Electroacoustic Ensemble Project (BEEP), and has co-curated the electroacoustic concert series Cybersounds.
For more information and music, please visit www.vidiksis.com.
Samuel Wells is a composer, performer, and music technologist based in New York City. As an advocate for new and exciting music, he actively commissions and performs contemporary works.
Sam has performed throughout the North America, as well as in China and France. He has also been a guest artist/composer at universities throughout North America, including Western Michigan University, Western University of Ontario, and Northern Arizona University. He is a recipient of a 2016 Jerome Fund for New Music award, and his work, stringstrung, is the winner of the 2016 Miami International Guitar Festival Composition Competition. He has performed electroacoustic works for trumpet and presented his own music at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar, Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, NYCEMF, N_SEME, and SEAMUS festivals. Sam and his music have also been featured by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance (KcEMA) and Fulcrum Point Discoveries. Sam is a member of Arcus Collective, Kludge, and SPLICE Ensemble. Sam has performed with Contemporaneous, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, and the Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra.
Sam has degrees in both performance and composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and graduate degrees in Trumpet Performance and Computer Music Composition at Indiana University. He is currently on faculty at SPLICE Institute and Molloy College.
Electronic Music Midwest is dedicated to programming of a wide variety of electroacoustic music and providing the highest quality performance of electronic media. This annual festival consists of approximately nine short concerts (about 1 hour in length) over the course of a weekend in Autumn. Our goal is to bring together vibrant and interesting artists of all forms, give them a vehicle for their expressions, and a place for them to share ideas with others.
EMM is the result of a consortium formed in 2002 between Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC), Lewis University, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Officially
formed in 2002, this festival was founded by Mike McFerron, Connie Mayfield, and Paul Rudy in 2000 when it was presented at
KCKCC under the name "Kansas City Electronic Music Festival." In 2001, the festival continued at Lewis University under the
title, "Electronic Music at Lewis - 2001."
EMM has always featured an 8-speaker surround diffusion system under the guidance of Ian Corbett. The core of the system are eight Mackie 1521 bi-amped speakers, an EAW/QSC subwoofer system, and either a Soundcraft MH3 mixer (named "EMMily") or a Digico S21 (named "EMMilia"). Due to Ian's expertise, many visiting composers comment that EMM is one of smoothest run festivals they have ever attended.
Since its beginning, EMM has programmed over
500 new electroacoustic compositions. Composers have traveled from around the world to graciously share their music with audiences in the Midwest. However,
EMM is about more than just playing new music. We strive to create an environment conducive to building community interaction. Most concerts are approximately one hour
long, and composers have plenty of time to "talk shop" with each other as well as interact socially with students and audience members.