Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi
About the Works
Downer Avenue [left], Brady Street [center], and Lafayette Place [right]
"This 3-movement composition for
solo piano is based on musical
reflections of my youthful days living
on the east side of Milwaukee."
I. Downer Avenue
During my Milwaukee days, Downer Avenue was a genteel neighborhood that had a wonderful artistic and intellectual ambience primarily due to having the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus located nearby. I traveled that street almost daily making my sojourns to campus to pursue my composition studies in the early 70s. In the last few measures, I have included a very brief passage from my composition professor John Downey’s Pyramids as a memoriam to his mentorship and talents.
II. Lafayette Place
This is where I spent my adolescence living in an apartment close to the lakefront. My musical roots where laid there. I was involved with various styles of American music (rock, blues, soul, etc.) alongside my burgeoning interest in Western classical music.
III. Brady Street
During my youth, Brady Street was a colorful working class neighborhood with a strong Italian ethnicity which morphed into the city’s center of the counterculture by the late 1960s. -JK
Joseph Koykkar is a musician who is at home in a variety of music from classical to avant-garde to rock and blues. As a composer, he has had his music performed nationally and internationally for over the past 30 years, including performances and commissions by many of the leading new music ensembles in the nation such as the Relache Ensemble, Present Music, Zeitgeist, New York New Music Ensemble, North/South Consonance, Synchronia, and the California Ear Unit. His music can be heard on ten CDs, including an all-Koykkar CD released on Northeastern Records in 1992. His composition Out Front on the North/South label, was one of 49 entries in contention for a 2006 Grammy in the “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” category. He has composed for a variety of media including chamber music, orchestra, music for dance, film/video scores, and electronic/computer music. He holds degrees from Indiana University (M.Mus.) and the University of Miami (DMA) and 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 spent two years as a composer-in-residence with the Artists-in-Schools Program in Virginia from 1978-80 and was composer-in-residence for the NOW Festival ‘96 at Capital Universityin Columbus, OH. Dedicated to the promotion of new music by state composers, Koykkar served as the President of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers from 1990-1993, and was instrumental in shaping the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s unique Interarts and Technology Program in the 1980’s-1990’s, acting as the coordinator from 1995-2005. As a professor at UW-Madison since 1987, he teaches courses in electroacoustic music/sound design and serves as the Music Director for the Dance program.
Streets and Bridges Joseph Koykkar