The Project

Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi

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The Three Lakes Center for the Arts, Three Lakes, WI

In 2011, the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Inc., a non-profit Wisconsin corporation founded in 1984 to encourage and support the composition and performance of new music by Wisconsin composers, was awarded a grant from state agency, the Wisconsin Arts Board, to commission six  Wisconsin composers to create solo piano works inspired by Wisconsin themes.

 

The commissioned composers, Geoffrey Gordon, Joseph Koykkar, Ryan Maguire, Joel Naumann, Yehuda Yannay, and Donald J. Young, chosen through a double-blind selection process, based their pieces on various self-selected  Wisconsin themes including geographic locations (Black Earth, Mineral Point, Spring Green, Downer Avenue, Lafayette Place and Brady Street), people (Steve Nelson-Raney,  a  Wisconsin musician, poet and visual artist), and scenes/events (a herd of cows in a thunderstorm, good times at River Bend Nature Center, a raging river, and the political turmoil leading up to the June 2012 gubernatorial recall election). The premiere of Wisconsin Soundscapes was performed by pianist Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi on September 30, 2012 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music Hall. This event also included an exhibition of the composers’ scores and a post-concert discussion with the composers, pianist, and the audience.

 

A second Wisconsin Arts Board grant, awarded in 2012, supported subsequent presentations at community venues throughout the state, the underlying mission of the Wisconsin Soundscapes project. These post premiere performances took place in La Crosse, Madison, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Spring Green, and Three Lakes and included open dialogue with Astolfi, the attending composers, and the audience.

 

The Wisconsin Soundscapes commissioning and touring phases were made possible through generous support from the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers and the Wisconsin Arts Board. Support for the audio preservation of this project came from the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, a University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute Award and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Letters and Science and Office of Grants and Faculty Development.

 

Special thanks to Wisconsin Soundscapes project director, Dr. Ed Martin.

 

wiscomposers.org

artsboard.wisconsin.gov

 

About Wisconsin Soundscapes:

 

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