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First Indiana Remixed Concert to feature two new compositions Thursday



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Members of the IU New Music Ensemble pose for a photo Feb. 14 outside the Musical Arts Center. The ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. on March 5 in Auer Hall. Courtesy Photo

The Jacobs School of Music’s New Music Ensemble will perform three pieces from Indiana composers in its first Indiana Remixed concert of the year. The concert is at 8 p.m. Thursday in Auer Hall, and two compositions will premiere.

Indiana Remixed is presented by the IU Arts & Humanities Council. According to its website, Indiana Remixed is a “months-long celebration of the contemporary arts and ideas that shape Indiana today.” 

One of the composers, Patrick Holcomb, said the concert embodies these ideals by showcasing the diversity of Indiana artists and their compositions.

“We’re focusing on artists who are all based in kind of the same larger area, most of which have ties to the school, but the results are just so, so, so different,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb is the Assistant Director of the New Music Ensemble and co-coordinator of music composition and a master’s student in composition. 

He was commissioned to compose his piece “The Harvest of the Amulet of the Deer” after winning the Georgina Joshi Composition Commission Award in 2019. The award is given to a composition student every year, and the student must compose a piece for solo voice and instrumental ensemble, specifically for the NME.

Holcomb said he worked alongside poet Soleil Davíd, an IU master’s student, to write the piece because it needed lyrics.

“Since it’s a concert focusing on and celebrating Indiana University, it just felt natural that I should ask another Indiana University student to write the words,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb said the lyrics describe a woman who tears the heart out of a living deer.

Michael Schelle, a composer in residence at Butler University, was asked to be a guest composer for the concert and composed “Summit at San Quentin." 

“It’s not telling a particular story,” Schelle said. “You might interview five people at the concert, and they’ll have five very different reactions to what was happening.”

According to the program note for Schelle’s piece, he was inspired by his research on San Quentin State Prison, a death row prison, in California. It’s the state’s oldest prison. Schelle said he learned through his research that some of his favorite jazz musicians were incarcerated there. Some of the inmates created a band called the San Quentin Jazz Band.

Schelle’s program note calls the piece a “fictional gathering of various inmates."

“It’s really a wild ride, and I think it’ll grab the audience,” New Music Ensemble director David Dzubay, said of Schelle’s piece. “There’s also great depth and sustenance.”

The event is free for everyone and does not require tickets. 

Dzubay said that the New Music Ensemble will perform two other Indiana Remixed concerts. One is April 16 in Auer Hall, and one is April 21 in the Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University.

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