contemporary chamber music [performance + composition + research]

Nicholas Deyoe - Guest Composition Faculty, 2015

Nicholas Deyoe is a Los Angeles based composer, conductor, and guitarist, and is the Co–Founder and Artistic Director of the wasteLAnd concert series. His music has been called “intriguingly complex and excitedly lush” by the LA Times. Drawn to sounds that are inherently physical, Nicholas strives to create music that engages listeners intellectually and emotionally by appealing to their inner physicality. His compositions combine uses of noise, delicacy, drama, fantasy, brutality, and lyricism to create a diverse sonic experience. As a guitarist, Nicholas strives to further the already vast sound world of the electric guitar by experimenting with microtonal tunings, preparation, bows, and beer cans. He has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, USINESONORE Festival, The La Jolla Symphony, Palimpsest, and several soloists. His music has been performed in throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. As a conductor, Nicholas has performed with The La Jolla Symphony Orchestra, Red Fish Blue Fish, Ensemble Ascolta, The Darmstadt Preisträgerensemble, Noise, The University of Northern Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and many ad-hoc ensembles in the United States and Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in composition from UC San Diego where he studied with Roger Reynolds. Deyoe’s compositions and improvisations can be heard on Sono Luminus, Populist, Spektral, Khajila, and Eh? Records.  

Jason Eckardt - Guest Composition Faculty, 2015

Jason Eckardt (b. 1971) played guitar in jazz and metal bands until, upon first hearing the music of Webern, he immediately devoted himself to composition. Since then, his music has been influenced by his interests in perceptual complexity, the physical and psychological dimensions of performance, political activism, and the natural world. He has been recognized through commissions from Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, the Guggenheim Museum, Chamber Music America, The New York State Music Fund, Meet the Composer, the Oberlin Conservatory, and percussionist Evelyn Glennie; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations; and awards from the League/ISCM, Deutschen Musikrat-Stadt Wesel, the New York State Council on the Arts, ASCAP, the University of Illinois, and Columbia University. Eckardt's music has been heard on festivals including the Festival d'Automne á Paris, Tanglewood, Darmstadt, IRCAM-Resonances, the ISCM World Music Days, Voix Nouvelles, Musik im 20. Jahrhundert, Currents in Musical Thought-Seoul, and the International Bartók Festival. An active promoter of new music, Eckardt was the co-founder and the Executive Director of Ensemble 21, the contemporary music group in New York City. Mode has released two Eckardt portrait CD’s, Out of Chaos and Undersong, a third portrait disc featuring the JACK Quartet and the International Contemporary Ensemble is currently in preparation for Tzadik. Additional recordings have been released on the CRI, Albany, Urlicht, Helicon, Capstone, Innova, Amp, Revello, and Metier labels. His complete catalog is published by Carl Fischer. He teaches composition at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and Brooklyn College and lives in the Catskill Mountains.

Christopher Adler - Composition Program Director

Christopher Adler is a composer, performer and improviser living in San Diego, California. His music draws upon fifteen years of research into the traditional musics of Thailand and Laos and a background in mathematics. He is internationally recognized as a foremost performer of new and traditional music for the khaen, a free-reed mouth organ from Laos and Northeast Thailand. He is a pianist for the nief-norf Project, and Director of Composition for the nief-norf Summer Festival. He is also the pianist and composer-in-residence with NOISE, an Affiliated Artist with San Diego New Music, and a co-founder of the soundON Festival of Modern Music.

Christopher Adler’s compositions encompass cross-culturally hybrid forms drawn from contemporary concert music and traditional musics of Thailand and Laos, the application of mathematics to composition, and the integration of improvisation into structured composition. His works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, Tanglewood, Merkin Hall, Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo, Bang on a Can, the MATA Festival, and at new music festivals and universities worldwide by ensembles including the Silk Road Ensemble, red fish blue fish, Ensemble ACJW, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Ensemble 64.8, the nief-norf Project, the Van Buren String Quartet, the Pangaea Quartet, pulsoptional, NOISE and the Seattle Creative Orchestra. His musical sound installation Piano Field was exhibited at the Oceanside Museum of Art, and he was recently selected to participate in Third Coast Percussion’s RENGA: Cage:100 and the Forum for Contemporary Music Leipzig’s Party Pieces Project, with performances in the Kennedy Center and Miller Theater. His compositions have been released on his 2008 CD Ecstatic Volutions in a Neon Haze (Innova) and his 2004 CD Epilogue for a Dark Day (Tzadik), and on recordings by percussionists Omar Carmenates (Rattle Records) and Morris Palter (Blue Leaf Records), and have been broadcast and webcast internationally on WGBH’s Art of the States, WNYC, WQXR’s Q2 and BBC-3. His retrospective analysis of his first ten years of cross-cultural composition has been published in John Zorn’s Arcana II: Musicians on Music (Hips Road, 2007), and he has published in the journal Sonic Ideas on his composition Signals Intelligence.

Christopher Adler is the world’s leading innovator in contemporary concert music for the khaen. He has performed his own compositions and traditional repertoire at Carnegie Hall, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Merkin Hall, Music at the Anthology, the Cultural Center of Chicago, and at universities across the U.S., Thailand and Singapore. With his ongoing project New Musical Geographies, he has promoted the instrument by commissioning and recording new works by composers including Sidney Marquez Boquiren, Christopher Burns, Jeff Herriott, and Matthew Welch. His recordings of compositions by David Loeb have been released on Vienna Modern Masters.

As a soloist and as pianist with the San Diego New Music resident ensemble, NOISE, he has appeared at the International Festival of Chihuahua, and at universities across the U.S. He has recorded compositions by Derek Keller (Tzadik), Nathan Hubbard (Circumvention/Accretions), Matthew Burtner (Innova Recordings), Stuart Saunders Smith, Christopher Burns, and Juan Campoverde Q. In 2007, he co-founded the soundON Festival of Modern Music, presented annually in La Jolla, California. He is one of the only pianists in the world performing Tom Johnson’s Chord Catalogue.

Christopher Adler is currently Professor of Music at the University of San Diego where he teaches composition, sound art, theory, twentieth-century music, and world music. He received Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in composition from Duke University and Bachelor’s degrees in music composition and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studied composition with Scott Lindroth, Evan Ziporyn, Stephen Jaffe, Sidney Corbett, Thai music with Panya Roongruang, and pipe organ with James David Christie and Haig Mardirosian.