Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic composer. Jóhann´s background is in Iceland’s vibrant alternative music scene, but his best known work combines classical orchestration with electronic music. He created a unique blend of chamber music and electronics on the album “Englabörn” in 2002 and has since released 5 solo albums on the labels Touch and 4AD, including “Virthulegu Forsetar” (2004), scored for a brass ensemble, electronic drones and percussion, and the orchestral albums “Fordlandia” (2008) and “IBM 1401 – A User’s Manual” (2006), a composition which uses sounds produced from the electromagnetic emissions of an old IBM 1401 mainframe computer. Jóhann has written scores for 9 international feature films and has won awards for his film music at the Rhode Island and Sapporo IFFs. Jóhann has also composed actively for theatre and contemporary dance. Jóhann is a founder of the Reykjavik Kitchen Motors label / think tank / art collective and of the group Apparat Organ Quartet. He has performed in venues all over the world with his ensemble, including Centre Pompidou, London Barbican, Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts, and the Prague Rudolfinum.
Four world premieres commissioned by the people! New York’s own electric chamber ensemble the Bang on a Can All-Stars will premiere new works by Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Paula Matthusen on March 14 at Merkin Concert Hall as part of Ecstatic Music Festival.
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
London-born Anna Clyne is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Her work, described as “dazzlingly inventive” by Time Out New York, often includes collaborations with cutting edge choreographers, visual artists, film-makers, and musicians worldwide. Currently the Chicago Symphony’s Mead Composer-in-Residence through the 2013–14 season, the orchestra has performed several of her works, including the premiere of Night Ferry in 2012 under the baton of Riccardo Muti. An avid advocate for music education, Clyne teaches composition workshops for local young composers and incarcerated youths as part of this residency, and served as the Director of the New York Youth Symphony’s award-winning program for young composers “Making Score” from 2008 to 2010. Clyne was also recently a guest composer at the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival. She has received numerous accolades, including a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, eight consecutive ASCAP Plus Awards, and a Clutterbuck award from the University of Edinburgh. Additionally, she has received honors from Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. Clyne was a finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Composer Award, and was nominated for a 2010 British Composer Award.
Absurdist composer and electronic musician, Dan Deacon, is based in Baltimore, Maryland. Musically influenced by Devo, Talking Heads, Scratch Orchestra, People Like Us, Raymond Scott and Conlon Nancarrow, Dan’s music strives to take contemporary experimental composition and electronic music out of the circle of the esoteric intellectual gangs and hipster communities, placing it into the more informal “fun time.” His high-energy performances consist of song-structured material performed with Casio keyboard, computer, vocoder and many whosits and whatsits to process his voice and signal generator.
Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. In addition to writing for a variety of different ensembles, she also collaborates with choreographers and theater companies. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as "run-on sentence of the pavement" for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being "entrancing". Her music has been performed by Dither, Alarm Will Sound, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), orchest de ereprijs, Ballett Frankfurt, The Glass Farm Ensemble, James Moore, Kathryn Woodard, Todd Reynolds, Kathleen Supové, Margaret Lancaster and Jody Redhage. Her work has been performed at numerous venues and festivals in America and Europe, including the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the MusicNOW Series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Merkin Concert Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music at MassMoCA, the Gaudeamus New Music Week, SEAMUS, International Computer Music Conference and Dither's Invisible Dog Extravaganza. She performs frequently with the electroacoustic duo ouisaudei, Object Collection, and through the theater company Kinderdeutsch Projekts. Awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers' Awards, First Prize in the Young Composers' Meeting Composition Competition, the MacCracken and Langley Ryan Fellowship and recently the "New Genre Prize" from the IAWM Search for New Music. Matthusen completed her Ph.D. at New York University - GSAS. She was Director of Music Technology at Florida International University for four years, where she founded the FLEA Laptop Ensemble. Matthusen is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, where she teaches experimental music, composition, and music technology.