New York composer Debra Kaye has honed her craft collaborating with musicians of Manhattan's dynamic new music community. AND SO IT BEGINS, her debut album, is the result of this cross-pollination, with most of the music played by those who commissioned and premiered it. Music is movement - a concept from Kaye's Dalcroze studies, these pieces have a visceral, visual quality, balancing pathos and humor, poetry and drama, taking the listener on a wide ranging journey that blends her deep classical roots with traces of jazz, world music, folk and pop. She has been described as "a unique voice in American music, transcendent...witty...colorful...profound." Kaye's music has been played at notable venues in New York City and beyond - uptown at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Mannes College, downtown at Bargemusic, DROM, and Spectrum, with radio play on Chicago's WFMT and other regional stations. Career highlights include awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, Mannes College, Edward T. Cone Foundation, residencies at the Millay Colony and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and three OFF-OFF Broadway productions of The Ugly Duckling, with laudatory notice from the New York Times. A graduate of Mannes College of Music and New York University with degrees in composition and piano performance, Kaye rounded out her musicianship with jazz piano. A faculty member of the Mannes College Preparatory Division, she has served as executive director of the NY Composers Circle and president of the Howland Chamber Music Circle in Beacon NY. Debra wishes to express gratitude to her inspired teachers, Justin Blasdale, Anne Farber, Mike Longo, Ruth Schonthal, and the dedicated excellence of producer Judith Sherman, and the players on this album.
Acclaimed by Fanfare Magazine as "Truly masterful…a modernized Rachmaninoff" Christopher J. Keyes (b. 1963) began his career as a pianist, winning many competitions and later making his "double-debut" in Carnegie Hall as both soloist and guest composer with the New York Youth Symphony. He continued his musical training at the Eastman School of Music, completing his doctorate in 1992. His major composition teachers include Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler, Christopher Rouse, and Robert Morris. Among his numerous awards are the Eastman Szernovsky Award, several ASCAP Grants to Young Composers, and the Rudolf Nissim Award for best orchestral work written by a living ASCAP member. Since the late 1990s his work has focused on electro-acoustic music, multi-channel audio, and more recently computer graphics as mediums to expand the possibilities of acoustic instruments in concert. His compositions have been performed and broadcast in over 30 countries worldwide. He is currently an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. Solo CD's and a multi-channel DVD of his music can be heard on the Centaur (CRC 2377) and Capstone (CPS-8739) labels. More information is available on his website, located at http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ckeyes.
Joseph Koykkar (b. 1951), composer, has had his music performed nationally and internationally for the past 30 years, including performances and commissions by many of the leading new music ensembles in the nation including the Relache Ensemble, Present Music, Zeitgeist, New York New Music Ensemble, North/South Consonance, Synchronia, and the C.A.L. Ear Unit. His music can be heard on seven CDs, including an all-Koykkar CD released on Northeastern Records in 1992. Other labels which have released his music are MMC, Meyer Media, Equilibrium, SEAMUS, In-Sync, and North/South. He has composed in a variety of media including chamber music, orchestral scores, music for dance, film/video scores, and electronic/computer music. He holds degrees from Indiana University (Master of Music) and the University of Miami (D.M.A.). He has received grants and awards from such sources as the Pew Charitable Trust for Music, the NEA, Meet the Composer, ASCAP, the American Music Center, the Wisconsin Arts Board and the American Composers Forum. He was composer-in-residence for the NOW Festival '96 at Capital University in Columbus, OH. His compositions are published by Belwin-Mills, Subito Music and JNK Music. He spent two years as composer-in-residence with the Artists-in Schools Program in Virginia from 1978-80. As a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1987, he teaches courses in music technology/sound design and Music Director for the UW-Madison's Dance Program.