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Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Music Presents OWU : NOW – Celebrating ‘The Music of our Time’

April 8, 2008

The Carpe Diem String Quartet
DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Music will present the final performance of this year’s OWU : NOW, a three-concert festival celebrating “The Music of Our Time.” The performance will be held at 8 p.m. April 15 in Jemison Auditorium of Sanborn Hall, 23 Elizabeth St. Admission is free and open to the public.

The three-concert festival has featured 26 musicians—OWU music faculty members joined by some of the finest professional musicians in central Ohio—16 works, and 3 world premiere performances. The works—all written since 1970—range from traditional to experimental, jazz and blues to avant-garde and electronic, and will present a mix of Eastern, Middle-Eastern, Latin and Western sounds and styles. Works by American composers including George Crumb, Morton Gould, David Noon, and Lori Laitman are prominently featured.

OWU : NOW celebrates “The Music of Our Time” multidirectionally—retrospectively looking back at the music composed during the past generation and brazenly looking forward at the music being composed today.

The festival will close with “Black Angels” on April 15. The Carpe Diem String Quartet—violinists Charles Wetherbee and Wei You, violist Korine Fujiwara, and cellist Wendy Morton—will perform the world premiere of “Songs Without Words” by Bruce Wolosoff and George Crumb’s incredible “Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land”—both works for electric string quartet.

Carpe Diem String Quartet has captured the imagination of audiences, the respect of critics, and is becoming one of the most versatile ensembles of its generation. The quartet has earned critical acclaim with innovative programs, electrifying performances, and a passion for audience engagement.

George Crumb’s “Black Angels” was conceived as a kind of parable on our troubled contemporary world. The work is probably the only quartet to have been inspired by the Vietnam War and draws from an arsenal of sounds including shouting, chanting, whistling, whispering, gongs, maracas, and crystal glasses. The score bears two inscriptions: in tempore belli (in time of war) and “Finished on Friday the Thirteenth, March, 1970.” Crumb himself wrote about the work: “Things were turned upside down. There were terrifying things in the air ... they found their way into Black Angels.” This promises to be a performance to remember!

Wolosoff’s “Songs without Words” is a collection of short movements for amplified string quartet in small classical forms, the rhythmic characteristics of each movement drawn from the vernacular of indigenous American forms such as rock, jazz, and blues.

The concert also will feature mezzo soprano Marilyn Nims and the Duvall Trio—pianist Cameron Bennett, violinist Korine Fujiwara, and cellist Wendy Morton—performing Lori Laitman’s “Daughters.” Nims, with Bennett at the piano, also will perform Selections from “Canciones de Valldemosa” by Antón García Abril. Clarinetist Nancy Gamso and double bassist John Pellegrino will perform Morton Gould’s “Benny’s Gig,” originally composed for the “King of Swing,” clarinetist Benny Goodman.

For more information about OWU : NOW, contact the Department of Music at (740) 368-3700, musicd@owu.edu, or music.owu.edu.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 40 states and 45 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.