Friday, December 19, 2008

2009 CoCoCo Competition Winner

I just heard from The Playground Ensemble that my piece Open Me for soprano and piano was selected as one of the winners of the Colorado Composers Concert Call for Scores.  The performance will be on 4/25/09, but I will post more details as they become available.  Thanks to everyone on the selection committee!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Unsilent Night

Check out Megan and me in a fun piece of performance art by Phil Kline. It's called Unsilent Night and consists of carrying boom boxes around downtown Boulder, playing some pretty, ambient music. Video is courtesy of the Daily Camera.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Ultradian Bipolar Disorder Videos

Firstly, I am well aware that many of my recent posts have been videos.  A video section is on the way.  In the mean time, please enjoy this recording of Ultradian Bipolar Disorder.  If you want a mastered, excellent sounding version, please visit my compositions page.  I also have an excellent new shopping cart on that page if you are interested in scores.

Ultradian Bipolar Disorder: part 1 of 2

Ultradian Bipolar Disorder: part 2 of 2

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ultradian Bipolar Disorder Premiere

If you're on the CU Boulder campus tonight, please check out my premiere of Ultradian Bipolar Disorder.  There's also 3 other premieres, and Stravinsky's Les Noces.  It's going to be a very cool concert.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gi•nt's Eye Rehearsal, Altered

So I got it in my head to post videos of all the "background fodder" I used for Gi•nt's Eye.  Some of it is pretty cool, and a lot of it doesn't show up on the current videos I have online (since it was a 2 night performance, the projected video changed from one night to the other).  For right now, let me just post this one.  It's from a rehearsal of Gi•nt's Eye, with the dancers experimenting and the piano being controlled by MaxMSP.  Keep in mind the piano programming (at the time the video was recorded) has NO MELODY and NO ADDITIONAL PEOPLE playing live.  The result is loud and "whack whack whack" but kind of dull :)

I added some video filtering (ghosting, saturation) and captured the film to use as a quasi-dynamic background, on which I mixed real time video during the performance.  Enjoy:

Update: After adding all these videos, I'm starting to get very serious about the idea of including a video section.  Maybe after DMA applications are sent out!  In the mean time, here's another video of a performance from the Boulder library that I altered in a similar way for the performance.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ultradian Bipolar Disorder

I have an update about my newest premiere, Ultradian Bipolar Disorder.  The premiere is Wednesday, November 12th at 7:30pm (at Grusin Hall, in the music building of CU-Boulder).  I'm starting to really get into posting on youtube, so I'll try to have a video up in the next couple weeks.

Before the concert actually takes place, I wanted to say a few words about new music on campus.  I've been fortunate to work with a group of people that are, without exception, very excited and very enthusiastic about new music.  As a composer, this is a huge relief - we have all been to rehearsals that feel like pulling teeth, and my experience with this group has been one of sheer joy and unbridled enthusiasm.  I want to list all the performers below and mention that, as composers, we are forever indebted to these people that take hours and hours of their life to perfect that which we ask of them - and to those who put their musical reputations on the line to perform our music, to speak with our voice.  Thank you all:

Emma Shubin, Katie Bloise, Paul Farus, Neal Postma, Tyler Sherban, Kristi Kilgore, Greg Simon, Max Ripple, Anthony Green, Filip Lazovski, Sam Gathman, Anne Ristorcelli, Lexi Massey, and our ever-vigilant conductor Stephanie Texara.

New Harry Potter Video

Before you ask, yes it is a $5 harry potter wand duct-taped to the end of a nintendo wii-mote.  This piece is a great example of why youtube is terrible.  As hard as Case Western tried, and as good a job that they did recording and mastering this - Harry Potter Returns to Hogwarts is a piece that absolutely relies on surround sound.  There are things constantly being thrown around, spinning and moving - and almost all of that is lost on youtube.  Case Western did a great job of presenting the piece in full surround sound (and Amasa Stone Chapel is a perfect venue for a Harry Potter piece), but youtube just can't hack it :)

Putting that issue aside, the video turned out to be pretty cool!  Check it out below.

Update:  I think it's worth mentioning a specific element of this piece I really liked.  As my much tech class can attest, I am constantly complaining about two things: uninformative titles of pieces and using tech for the sake of tech.

I won't attest to the quality (or lack thereof) of my title, but I can say that what I like most about this piece is that there is no visible computer (or other tech).  From the perspective of the audience, there is no intermediary - no system of translation between my intent and their perceived meaning.  Modern wireless protocols allow us to break down that computerized barrier that separates (often times physically) performers from audience.  You are not staring blindly at a set of speakers.  You are also not starring at a person who is staring at (or at least focused on) a computer or other automated system.  Everything becomes organic.  It's personal.

This is a piece without score, largely improvisatory - which requires the tech I used (and nothing more).  It is also a presentation that draws the audience and performer together.  This is the future of electronic (electro-acoustic) music, or at least this is what I hope it will be.  I don't want people to have to draw meaning and musical sentiment from inanimate objects; I want to establish a connection (a mechanism of trust) between performer and audience.

These thoughts are rough hewn and extemporaneous; I may post a longer, more thought out version on the Cu-Pendulum blog.

Program Notes - Novus Ordo Seclorum

Click here for a link to a basic explanation of how the tech in Novus Ordo Seclorum Works. The description is mine, but the layout and formatting is from the wonderful composer Paul Hembree.

Update: there's also the briefest of mentions of me in the local paper.  The article is very Michael Daugherty, not very me - but still worth a mention ;)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New Novus Ordo Seclorum Video

Here's a new video from last month's premiere of Novus Ordo Seclorum.  I'm getting so many videos on this site, I think I'll make a separate page for them.  In the mean time, enjoy these new videos.

Part 1

Part 2

New Open Me Video

From the premiere, here is the video of Open Me.  The poetry is by Amy Pence, the music and graphics are mine.  

Movements 1-3

Movements 4-5

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Newest Premiere - Open Me

Wednesday, 10/15 will be the premiere of my new set of song cycles, Open Me.  This piece features poetry by Amy Pence, as well as graphical scores - which will be projected behind the performers.  It will take place at 7:30 pm in Grusin hall, at CU-Boulder.

Oh, and Michael Daugherty will be there, so you know it will be awesome!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cleveland Concert

If you're in cleveland Wednesday, drop by Amasa Stone at 12:30 for the premiere of my new piece "Harry Potter Returns to Hogwarts".  If you're not around, I'll post a youtube as soon as it's available.  I am also waiting on the youtube from last week's premiere "Novus Ordo Seclorum".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Colorado Daily

Check out a cool article about me in today's Colorado Daily, p.4

Monday, September 15, 2008


My newest premiere is in Boulder, at CU, in Grusin hall.  It's called Novus Ordo Seclorum, and was commissioned for Constitution Day by the University of Colorado.  It uses a projected score, a series of dramatic readings, and I sing at the end (processed audio of course).  There also may or may not be fireworks.  If you can't attend, I'll post a youtube when it's up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Radio Interview and Other Press

Check out the radio interview I'm doing for Boulder 1190.  It's on Sunday at 7:30pm.  Also, there's a really nifty press release circulating about the premiere.  I've included it below:


A prize-winning composition by a CU-Boulder student that seeks to reflect in music what our founding fathers were feeling when they gathered to write the Constitution will be performed in a concert in celebration of Constitution Day, Sept. 17.

“Novus Ordo Seclorum” (New Order for the Ages), by Hunter Ewen, a master’s student in composition, will be featured in the Pendulum New Music Concert Series on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The concert, which opens with “Fanfare” by Daniel Kellogg, commissioned and performed by the CU Horn Choir, will be held in Grusin Music Hall. It will be free and open to the public, with a reception following.

Ewen’s piece won the Constitution Day composition competition cosponsored by CU-Boulder’s College of Music and the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement.
When composing the piece, Ewen set out to capture the ethos of the political culture at the time of the Philadelphia convention. On Sept. 17, 1787, 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention adopted the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution officially took effect on March 4, 1789.

“There are several unusual elements in this composition, all of which reinforce the sense of community, as well as the idea of stepping off a ledge and diving headfirst into the unknown,” said Ewen, who composed the piece to include a set of live performers underscoring a series of dramatic readings, where music is generated and notated by a computer.

“Their uncertainties about the future of the country translate into our uncertainties about what’s going to happen next, musically,” said Ewen. “Their sense of community becomes are sense of community, their fearlessness becomes our fearlessness.”

Each year the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement undertakes a project to commemorate the constitution. Activities from past years include an art competition, debates, and online quizzes.

“We try to keep it lively and sponsor an activity that will capture people’s imaginations,” said Peter Simons, director of the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement.

Call the College of Music Concerts Box Office at 303-492-8008 for
information about this performance. For more information about the College of Music visit Information on the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement is available at

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Moving Images

Experiencing moving images is a fairly common occurrence in modern society. Please see here if you don't know what I mean. My new piece, Novus Ordo Seclorum is going to explore that phenomenon. With a projected score, procedurally generated, the performers will be repeating short musical gestures (a la Riley's in C) that morph and evolve over time. The performance is celebrating Constitution day, and will be performed on Constitution day (9/17) at 7:30pm, Grusin Hall, University of Colorado at boulder. Please inquire with requests for score rental, if interested. I would be happy to send out the Max file.

Alarm Will Sound

I just learned that I was selected to have my newest composition "Ultradian Bipolar Disorder" read and recorded by Alarm Will Sound in January of next year. More details on the reading, as well as the premiere, as events warrant.

Bumping "Open Me" Back

Because of this Constitution day commission, I am bumping the premiere of Open Me from that concert. The new concert time is TBD, but I will post when I have more details.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Harry Potter

If you are in Cleveland, I have a new piece I'm premiering on October 3rd, at Amassa Stone Chapel. The title is "Harry Potter Returns to Hogwarts". It is a solo electronic piece, controlled by bluetooth buttons+accelerometer (magic wand). The piece will be very theatrical and very interesting - I will post a video or two when it is done. If you're in Colorado, it is being played on October 31st, date and time tbd.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Novus Ordo Seclorum

I was recently awarded a large award and commission for my proposal for a premiere celebrating "Constitution day".  I will post a video of the premiere, date TBD.  A summary of my proposal is listed below:

Name: Novus Ordo Seclorum
Instrumentation: 8 Instrumental Musicians, 20-30 Vocalists, Orator, Conductor, Projection
Time: Approx 6-8. minutes
Tech Requirements: Computer, Wireless Controller, Projector

The United States Constitution is often considered the single greatest force in sculpting the landscape of 20th and 21st century politics, locally and internationally. Without blueprint, or precedent, our founding fathers drafted the most significant document of young America, hewn from the hopes and dreams of a nation that craved equality, authority, and liberty. They created. They eschewed tradition. They functioned in wild bursts of imagination and horror. They were artists.

Novus Ordo Seclorum, from the Great Seal of the United States, translates to "new order for the ages". The proposed composition is an attempt to capture the ethos of the political culture at the time of the Philadelphia convention.  The thrill of uncertainty and the joy of human collaboration are embodied in a unique vision, developed by me.  Novus Ordo Seclorum features a set of live performers, underscoring a series of dramatic readings, where the music is generated, and notated, by a computer.

The notated music is a tribute to the beautiful new graphical interface of MAX 5.  The score is best described as "Riley's in C, but moving".  Repeated harmonic and melodic patterns writhe and undulate under a series of dramatic readings that transport the listener on a journey through the rich history of the American Constitution.  The procedural modulations are audibly, and visibly, apparent, as the generated music and text will be projected for the musicians as well as the audience to enjoy.  The projection is aesthetic and functional; there are no other scores available. All eyes are on the same target. Everyone looks together.

A conductor will be necessary, but (s)he is employed in a unique and unusual way.  (S)he will not control tempo - but will instead control dynamics, instrumentation, modulation, and the overall flow of the music.  This will be accomplished with the help of a wireless protocol, developed by Ewen, that allows communication between computer and a Nintendo "wii-mote" controller in the conductors hand.  Improvisatory changes are relayed to a computer which will be immediately displayed on the projection.  The remote allows for 11 unique buttons, as well as tracking pitch and roll data (the conductor will be able to make realistic hand gestures on stage).  There is also a force feedback system of vibration and 4 LED's that will allow the computer to relay subtle information to the conductor. The computer will choose from a bank of rhythms, pitches, and quotations and present them to the orchestra to play.

Please find enclosed copies of the necessary drivers and handlers for the wireless system.  The entire rig (drivers, handlers, UI, wireless interface, projection) has been successfully tested for 9 hours, at a distance of 45 feet, without failure.  The technical requirements of this performance are: a computer with bluetooth, wii-mote, and projector.

This project begs involvement. From collaborating musicians, to the wireless conductor, to the audience - everyone who experiences this music will feel exhilaration through uncertainty, civic pride through subject matter, and unity through collaboration.  Thank you for considering my proposal.  I hope you find it worthy of performance.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

new iPhone apps

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . Banking . . . . . . . . . . . News . . . . . . . . .Search Engines
This is an unusual post, but I just finished learning how to make iPod / iPhone apps and web apps - - so I thought I would share with the world. I didn't submit any of my apps to the store, but the 3 webapps (above) have proven quite useful. This comes on the heels of designing a new handler for wiimote / Max5 interactivity. Look for more information about the my 2 wiimote projects as I finalize all the details of the commissions and concert dates. (These work on Safari and iPhone, but probably not in Firefox or IE).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Video Goodies

Two goodies actually. The CU pendulum website has a link to two performances I was a part of last season. The first is a video of a performance of Steve Reich's Clapping Music that I happen to be in (3rd from the left). The second is a performance of Phil Kline's Unsilent Night. You can see my face for only a single frame, 1 minute 17 seconds in - on the very right edge of the window. Also note, 21 seconds in features my fantastic handwriting on the CD-Rs. You can check both out below:

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Gi•nt's Eye Videos

Better late than never. Here are a few movements from one of the Gi•nt's Eye performances that happened last April. Click on the videos for a brief description on who the performers are, who the audience is, what is improvised, and where the computer is coming into play. Enjoy!

Movement 1 (The "Launch" Movement)
Live audience member on piano, with reactive piano-playing computer algorithm.

Movement 2 (The "Fantasy Game" Movement)
Improvised dance, improvised music reacting to a movement-sensitive digital body suit. Real time audio and video processing.

Movement 4 (The "Valentine" Movement)

Movement 5 (The "So Long" Movement)
Soprano vocalist, live piano, computer controlled piano, and offstage flute, trumpet, ebow, saxophone. Poetry by Serena Chopra (created in Mvmt 4). Improvisational music.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm engaged

That's right!  After 5 years and 7 months of dating, Megan and I are finally engaged.  To see pictures and read the story of how it went down, you can visit my personal website (  Keep in mind that the website is only about 80% done, but it's still good enough to be entertaining.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No news is good news

School is now out, and I am embarking on a number of fun summer projects. One of the more interesting projects is designing a new website, and needless to say, my commitment to keeping this website up to date is lagging. I will make a formal announcement when it it live, so keep on the lookout.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New and Interesting Web Links

It's getting harder and harder for me to visit every website that mentions me, but I have been keeping a list of interesting articles and references people find online. Below are some of the cool ones:

Boulder Dance Bridge, Cleveland Fine Arts Guide, SCI, CNT Blurb, Pipl, Bozza Review, Myspace, GCFS, Graphic Design, Pendulum, Old Video Game, Old Concert, Blog, ZoomInfo, TBP. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Gi•nt's Eye Featurette

As you all may know, my latest piece "Gi•nt's Eye" was premiered last weekend. A crew from News Team Boulder visited one of the performances and created this short video about the piece.

Please take note that 1:29 is not my video, but rather the "flurry" screen saver we were using to test the video during dress rehearsal.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gi•nt's Eye Premieres

Don't forget to come to one or both of my premieres next weekend. Gi•nt's Eye will have two performances: Saturday the 5th at 8:00pm, and Sunday the 6th at 2:00pm. They will both take place in Atlas Black Box theater. Admission is free and there's a great reception afterwards. See you there!

Upcoming Radio Interview

For those of you who missed the 3 different movement demos we've had in the past few weeks, here's another opportunity to get an idea about what Gi•nt's Eye is all about. I'm giving a brief radio interview on KVCU, 1190 AM this Sunday at 8:00pm. I'll be talking about my piece and playing a selection from one of the movements.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My stuff is at Tower Records!

Please visit Tower Records to purchase Greg Banaszak's newest album "Romances for Saxophone and Orchestra", which contains my arrangement of Eugene Bozza's Aria for Saxophone. Also, please visit this fun traffic map application which tracks the locations of the last 100 people to visit this site. As I look right now, the last 100 people all came from Colorado. If you're not from CO, good for you!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Gi•nt's Eye Events

Here are three upcoming events related to Gi•nt's Eye.

Arts, Media, and Engineering Lecture - 2/14 - Arizona State University
Movement 6 Demo - 2/16 - 6:15 - Atlas Black Box
Movement 1 Demo - 2/27 - 7:30 - Atlas Black Box
Movement 2 Demo - 3/16 - 4:00 - Boulder Library 

And don't forget the concert premiere dates 4/5 8:00 and 4/6 2:00 in Atlas Black Box.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Gi•nt's Eye website is up!

Though you have already seen my splash screen, I feel compelled to mention that the basic information for my new composition Gi•nt's Eye is online.  Things are being updated in real time, and the first ten Gi•nt's Eye related event's (lectures, demos, etc...) are posted.  Check back later for more information.

For those of you still in Cleveland...

I just learned that my piece Maroon and Embrace was selected for the Greater Cleveland Flute Society's Composer's Connection.  The piece will be performed by GCFS members Lisa Heinrich and Sharon Marrell.  The performance will be April 27th, at 7:00pm, at Judson Manor (1890, E. 107th, Cleveland OH).  Thanks to everyone on the selection committee!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

New Release

My orchestration of Eugene Bozza's "Aria" for saxophone is now available for purchase at the Centaur Records website. The album is "Romances for Saxophone and Orchestra", by Greg Banaszak and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra.