The Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble is very excited to start our newest initiative, CODE Switch on Tuesday, October 9th at 7pm in the Vanderelli Room (free)! CODE Switch is an effort to bring new and innovative projects to Columbus by CODE presenting unique shows outside of our normal season that feature individual CODE musicians or special guest new music acts.
First up is CODE Switch: Crosswind which features flute and saxophone new music duet, Tower Duo at the Vanderelli Room this Tuesday! Come hear CODE musicians Erin Helgeson Torres (flute) and Michael Rene Torres (saxophone) perform together as Tower Duo for a FREE show featuring music from their soon to be released album, Crosswind! Tower Duo has been performing together since 2007 and specializes in creating engaging musical experiences with a particular interest in performing and premiering contemporary works by emerging composers. This show features music by living composers which represent Tower Duo's favorite collaborations from the first decade of their artistic work. Music by Baker, Brickman, Chan, Sink, Torres, and Wilmoth.
This event is FREE. There is free parking near the the Vanderelli Room (218 McDowell Street Columbus, OH 43215). More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2226737530929061/
The Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble presents the world premiere of All that we see or seem… composed by CODE’s Artistic Director, Michael Rene Torres, at the Urban Arts Space on Thursday, July 26th, 2018 from 6pm-7:30pm. All that we see or seem… for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion is an installation piece that explores how we interact with music in the 21st century with the six musicians separated spatially throughout the Urban Arts Space.
The title refers to a line from the poem, “A Dream within a Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe. In the poem, the character elaborates on an existential crisis similarly to how the classical music community has been dealing with an existential crisis of its own, wrestling with issues of relevance, sustainability, accessibility, inclusion, diversity, and slowly adapting and changing in the age of technology.
The piece is inspired by the idea that music in the 21st century is identified as a tangible product and not as a sonic experience. We tend to lazily view the paper with notation, the digital audio file, and the CD as the music itself. Music is consumed less and less often in a live setting. We have culturally abandoned the premise that music exists only in the mind (or in time and space) and thus seem to value the purchasable, physical product as being worth more than the aesthetic experience.
The instrumentation of the piece is the traditional new music ensemble of the 20th and 21st century, the (modified) Pierrot ensemble (fl, cl, vln, vc, pf, & perc), yet, deconstructed as the performers are stationed not as a group, but as individuals who interact only as echoes to each other. This also forces the audience out of the unmovable theater-seat and treats the musicians almost like a museum painting (for better or for worse). The performers will be wearing masks to dehumanize the musicians in the experience, bringing attention to the product of music and intentionally taking focus away from the relationship between performer and audience; almost like how a stage separates audience from performer and makes the musicians unapproachable (physically and metaphorically). The music performed is a collection of miniatures (music that is either 60 seconds in length or less than 100 notes) in an effort to make parallels to our collective difficulty (perhaps by conditioning) in concentrating beyond the standard (and repetitive by design) pop-song length radio selection. The musical score of each movement of the piece will be printed on postcards that the gallery patrons can touch and take and even mail as real postcards. This is the same exact music that the performers will be playing. While the postcards will have printed music on them, the postcard itself is just a postcard that represents music, but is not music, drawing attention to the question of exactly what the music or musical experience actually is. All of these elements are designed to emphasize the traditions of classical music which, in many respects, are at odds with how 21st century humans experience and consume music.
Patrons are invited to visit the Urban Arts Space at any point between 6pm-7:30pm on July 26th for this installation experience and are encouraged to travel through the gallery as there will be (almost) continuous sound for the full 90 minutes and depending on where you are in the gallery it may be a completely different experience.
CODE is back with our 3rd exciting season! First up is our 3rd annual “MADE IN OHIO” show at Wild Goose Creative on Sunday, October 8th at 2pm. “MADE IN OHIO” is a FREE concert that will focus on local creativity by featuring the music of living composers who are living and working in the Buckeye State.
This show will present the exciting music of local composers Brian Harnetty, Jennifer Jolley, Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz, Vera Stanojevic, Michael Rene Torres, and Thomas Wells. These works represent an eclectic set of diverse sound worlds; from hypnotic soundscapes and whimsical improvisations to intense rhythmic awesomeness and sonic adventures! Join CODE at Wild Goose Creative for “MADE IN OHIO” to hear NEW sounds and to discover NEW music!
This hour-long event is FREE but a $5 suggested donation is welcomed to defray production costs and to help pay the performing artists. Parking is available in a parking lot behind Wild Goose Creative or street parking on Summit St. (2491 Summit Street Columbus, Ohio 43202). This performance is made possible in part by a project support grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. For more info visit: www.facebook.com/events/119525442030589/
WOW! A full house in the Green Room for our show, Sonic Interchanges, on May 17th!!! We had so much fun! Great music and great people! Special thanks to the Johnstone Fund for New Music for sponsoring the show and to the Short North Stage for hosting. We were so excited that the concert featured local Ohio composers including the world premiere of Bridges for flute, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon by Vera Stanojevic and the American premiere of Flight Patterns for flute, violin, cello, percussion, and piano by Adam Roberts! We even had a great feature in ColumbusAlive leading up to the concert. Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see updates about our next season!
Before the concert, CODE hosted a community conversation as a part of the #TheBigTable. These community building conversations were held throughout the city and were sponsored by the Columbus Foundation. We talked about gender equality in Central Ohio's classical music scene specifically focusing on the programming of music by women composers! CODE got some great ideas that we're looking forward to trying in the next season!
CODE is partnering with the awesome Johnstone Fund for New Music again for our 3rd appearance on the “New Music at Short North Stage” FREE concert series! Our show, Sonic Interchanges, features music that will blur your expectations of melody, harmony and rhythm. You'll just have to let your imagination take over on Wednesday, May 17th at 7pm in the Garden Theater (1187 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43201).
Sonic Interchanges will feature the premiere of a dramatic new work by Columbus composer, Vera Stanojevic, called Bridges. CODE also presents Flight Patterns by Columbus native, Adam Roberts! You'll also hear other exciting works by major heavyweight composers such as David Lang, Jennifer Higdon, Augusta Read Thomas, and Giacinto Scelsi. This will be EPIC!
Get to Ethel’s Lounge (adjacent to the theater) before the show for cocktails! Parking is available at a lot just south of the theater and at nearby meters. Free street parking is available after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays on the south side of Fifth Avenue west of High Street around the corner from the theater. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/421600071541196/
CODE is super excited to present the 2nd annual “MADE IN OHIO” show at Wild Goose Creative on Sunday, October 16th at 3pm. “MADE IN OHIO” is a FREE concert that will focus on local creativity by featuring the music of living composers who are either from or currently working in the Buckeye State.
This show will present the exciting music of local composers Jennifer Jolley, Linda Kernohan, Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz, and Rocco Di Pietro. These works represent an eclectic set of diverse sound worlds, two of which are world premieres. Also featured on the performance will be five “miniatures” from CODE’s upcoming YouTube series by composers David Root, Ramsey Sadaka, Jamie Leigh Sampson, David Nelson Tomasacci, and Steven Winteregg. A miniature is a composition that is 60 seconds in length and/or 100 notes or less. Small but epic! Join CODE at Wild Goose Creative for “MADE IN OHIO” to hear NEW sounds and to discover NEW music!
Check out these preview videos by some of the composers on the show:
This hour-long event is FREE but a $5 suggested donation is welcomed to defray production costs and to help pay the performing artists. Parking is available in a parking lot behind Wild Goose Creative or street parking on Summit St. (2491 Summit Street Columbus, Ohio 43202). This performance is made possible in part by a project support grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/567302603470720/
FUNDRAISER UPDATE: We're excited to have reached 17% of our GoFundMe campaign goal. Consider helping to bring MORE new music to Columbus! Your contribution directly helps the artists! More info here: https://www.gofundme.com/2qrx58sk?ssid=746754317&pos=1
CODE needs our Columbus community’s help to reach our GoFundMe goal of $3,000 to support exciting projects in our 2nd season, like commissioning new works by local Ohio composers and funding our local musicians as they record for our new YouTube series.
We're excited to start our second season with our "Made in Ohio " concert at 3pm on Sunday, October 16th at Wild Goose Creative. This concert features the music of local composers who are living and working in our own community.
Putting a concert season together can be challenging and we need the help of our Columbus community! Help us reach our goal of $3,000 by donating to our GoFundMe campaign. Every dollar matters! Your contribution of any amount will help us to do three things:
- First, it will help us to pay performers for our upcoming YouTube series of miniature compositions. In November 2015 CODE released a “Call for Scores” for composers to submit works to be included in a new video series featuring miniatures. A miniature is a composition that is 60 seconds in length and/or 100 notes or less. Small but epic! We received 150 submissions from 96 composers from around the world! We selected 12 winners, 58% of which were from composers with connections to the state of Ohio. We’ve already recorded 7 of the 12 and will launch the series very soon.
- Second, your contribution will help us to commission new works for us to perform by local Ohio composers. There are composers alive and creating right now in our city. Their music represents what it’s like to be a modern human in our complex world. Their work is relevant and we’re devoted to bringing their music to Central Ohio audiences.
- Third, it will help with the behind-the-scenes costs of producing shows like “Made in Ohio” – such as venue rental, program printing, and marketing costs.
We're getting ready for an exciting season and we hope you'll join us to discover new music with CODE on our free “Made in Ohio ” concert on October 16th at 3pm at Wild Goose Creative.. Thank you for considering to support CODE's GoFundMe campaign to bring MORE new music to Columbus!
CODE is excited to return to the Garden Theater for the New Music at Short North Stage series sponsored by the Johnstone Fund for New Music on Wednesday, May 18 at 7pm! This FREE concert will feature the music of Ohio composer, Donald Erb (1927-2008). Erb was an early pioneer of electronic and electro-acoustic music. For more info about the show, check out the Facebook Event Page!
The first piece on the program, Sunlit Peaks and Dark Valleys, was Erb’s musical reaction to the Oklahoma City bombing, and specifically to the tragic loss of young lives. The final work, Quintet, mixes traditional instruments with harmonicas, crystal water goblets, and electric piano, creating haunting and exotic sound clouds and dramatic gestures with a sense of improvisation and spontaneity.
Check out this great podcast about the concert done by Kylie Harwell Sturgill from WOSU's Classical 101!
"If I am doing what I want to do with my music, it will have the clarity of classical music, the passion of romanticism, and the freedom of jazz"
- Donald Erb
Parking is available at a lot just south of the theater and at nearby meters. Free street parking is available after 6pm on weekdays on the south side of Fifth Avenue west of High Street around the corner from the theater. (1187 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201)
The Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble (CODE) is excited to announce the winners of the 2016 YouTube Series Call for Scores!
In November 2015 CODE released a Call for Scores for composers to submit works to be included in a new YouTube series featuring miniatures. A miniature is a composition that is 60 seconds in length and/or 100 notes or less. We received 150 submissions from 96 composers from around the world! There was A LOT of great music to listen to and our deliberations were really difficult. 25% of all submissions (and 58% of the winning submissions) were from composers with connections to the state of Ohio. All the videos will be recorded at Wild Goose Creative.
Watch our facebook page and website throughout the year for info about the release of the videos.
Call for Scores Winners
Panayiotis A. Kokoras
Michael Todd Kovell
No Sharp Dissonances
David J. Root
Jamie Leigh Sampson
David Nelson Tomasacci
An edited version of this article was first published by the Columbus Dispatch under the title "Don’t miss contemporary art-music scene in Columbus"
on Saturday January 9, 2016 at 5:00 AM. Below is the originally submitted, unedited, article.
Columbus New Music Resolution
by Michael Rene Torres
Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble
Why should Columbusites make a contemporary music New Year’s Resolution? Because it’s time for us to focus on the “here and now!” Culturally, we’re conditioned to look toward places like New York City, Paris, and Los Angeles to know what’s fresh in art and fashion. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that we often overlook the creative things and creative people in our own communities. We forget that art happens everywhere and that artists are contributing, hard-working members of our local communities. That’s such a great aspect about our city; Columbus has an outstanding art scene and a fantastic sense of support for our local artists. Specifically, Columbus’ contemporary art music scene has really blossomed in the past seven years.
We’re fortunate in Columbus to have organizations like the Johnstone Fund for New Music which has sponsored almost every major contemporary music event in the city for the past seven years (many of which have been free)! We’re fortunate to have large professional ensembles like the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (and so many others) that are committed to presenting new music by living composers on their concerts every season. We’re fortunate to have emerging chamber music initiatives like the Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble, the VIVO Music Festival, and the Columbus // NYC New Music Exchange that are bringing fresh new sounds to venues throughout the city. We’re fortunate to have universities like OSU, Capital, and Otterbein that are at the forefront of programing and teaching new music. We’re fortunate to have tons of outstanding local performers and composers who not only believe in the substance and relevance of contemporary art music, but who are working hard right now in our community to bring this music to us (that’s right, there are composers who are alive and writing music in our city!).
But why should we in Columbus spend our time going to hear contemporary classical music live? The music is weird; we don’t understand it; we’re afraid we won’t like it; blah; blah; blah… Our cultural “fear of the unknown” leads us to avoid things that we may not understand. It feels safe to stay within our habits and to consume the same experiences that we already know we like. We dismiss experiences that might challenge us, even before we try them. New art OFTEN challenges us and that’s because art is intrinsically human. In other words, art represents and resembles us in profoundly personal ways and since humans are complicated, strange, insecure, neurotic creatures, so is our art. The art music of our time really exemplifies what it means to be a modern human in a crazy world. We should embrace it! Besides, understanding the music is not a prerequisite to enjoying it. Let your imagination develop a personal understanding of the art. Your experience while listening will be completely unique and you’ll be exploring new areas of wonder and excitement. Contemporary art music is alive and thriving in Columbus and 2016 will offer many opportunities to experience it. Don’t be afraid. Make a New Year’s Resolution to take a chance, hear new sounds, and discover new music! You won’t regret it!