Nief-Norf Summer Festival, the annual interdisciplinary summer music festival hosted by experimental and contemporary music organization Nief-Norf, has named Emre Sihan Kaleli (Austria) and Leah Reid (United States) the winners of the 2019 International Call for Scores. Each year the nnSF Call for Scores invites submissions of contemporary scores for chamber ensemble that are performed by Performance Fellows at the annual Nief-Norf Summer Festival. Kaleli and Reid are invited to attend the festival and coach festival students and faculty in the preparation of the work.

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Emre Sihan Kaleli (1987) is a Turkish composer currently residing in Vienna. He obtained his Bachelor’s in composition from the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan and his Master’s at Conservatory of Amsterdam. He completed a Post-Master Course in Composition at Kunstuniversität Graz. Perhaps a natural consequence of having lived in countries that are culturally significantly diverse, his work does not focus on one singular aesthetic direction or style. On the contrary: most of his compositions strongly differ from one another, displaying a plurality of aesthetic directions and accompanying technical tools. In Kaleli’s winning score, Adjacent rooms, for Borges, he aimed to create a continuous stream of different thoughts and emotions. The music is dynamic with often and abrupt changes and goes to unexpected directions. The piece is inspired by the fictions of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and dedicated to his memory. Adjacent rooms, for Borges will be performed on June 14, 2019 as part of the Nief-Norf Summer Festival.

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Leah Reid is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. Her primary research interests involve the perception, modeling, and compositional applications of timbre. In her works, timbre acts as a catalyst for exploring new soundscapes, time, space, perception, and color. Reid’s winning work Single Fish is an aphoristic composition for three sopranos and hand percussion. The work explores the sounds and rhythms present inside Gertrude Stein’s poem Single Fish from Tender Buttons. The piece was composed using a multidimensional timbre model Reid developed while at Stanford University. The model is based on perceptual timbre studies and has been used by the composer to explore the compositional applications of “timbre spaces” and the relationship between reverberant space and timbre, or rather the concept of “timbre in space.” The performance of Single Fish will take place during the Nief-Norf Summer Festival on June 18, 2019.

The call for scores was open to composers of all ages and all career stages. The review panel selected these two works from a multitude of strong candidates. 260 pieces from 177 composers were submitted to the call overall. The reviewers were especially compelled by submissions that tied into the theme of this year’s New Music Weekend Summit which is to interrogate the notion of genre in music such as works that embrace or defy genre categories and works that challenge the individuality of “the composer’s voice” by their genre associations.

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Past Winners

2019 Emre Sihan Kaleli, Adjacent rooms, for Borges
2019 Leah Reid, Single Fish
2018 Juro Kim Feliz, Pangkur
2018 Jinhee Han, Echoes of Home
2018 Tomás La Porta, Haikus sin Palabras
2017 Carolyn Chen, Sentence
2017 Viet Cuong, Water, Wine, Brandy, Brine
2017 Brooks Frederickson, Fat Quarter
2016 Shiuan Chang, Monk
2016 Nicole Murphy, Stolen
2016 Filippo Santoro, Per quattro
2016 Brian Simalchik, Seven Songs
2015 Beavan Flanagan, L’essence perd son sens
2015 Robert Honstein, Is it Auburn?
2015 Sid Richardson, Astrolabe
2014 Aaron Helgeson, nothing from nothing (is black are white)
2013 Travis Alford, Froschteichmusik
2013 Bryan Christian, Combination
2013 Nicholas Deyoe, wir aber sind schon anders
2013 Lewis Nielson, Tocsin
2012 Samuel Andreyev, Stopping