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Fulcrum Point Discoveries

Fulcrum Point Discoveries: New Works for Percussion & Saxophone
featuring works by Timothy Page and Conner VanderBeek
Monday, February 23 at 6pm
410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 833
Free Admission


Don’t miss the second Discoveries program of the season.  Music by Timothy Page and Conner VanderBeek will be played by saxophonist Jeremy Ruthrauff and percussionists Ian Ding, Jeff Handley and Brandon Podjasek. An open conversation between the composers, musicians and audience will follow.


Shout, Murmur, Wheeze – Timothy Page
safe space – Conner VanderBeek


About the composers
After a brief career in physics, Timothy Page left the U.S. for Finland to study composition with Veli-Matti Puumala at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He wound up putting down roots, firmly establishing himself in the Nordic contemporary music scene with performances and commissions throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Page has represented Finland around the world in festivals such as Ung Nordisk Music, Nordic Music Days, ISCM, NYCEMF, and ICMC, and has also lectured in music theory at the Sibelius Academy. In 2013 he returned to Chicago to commence a PhD program in composition at University of Chicago under mentor Augusta Read Thomas. Page’s body of work is widely varied stylistically, reflecting interests in a broad range of musical idioms, and he savors opportunities to explore personally untrodden territory from piece to piece. Read and hear more at www.timothypage.net.


Conner Singh VanderBeek is a dual-degree senior at Northwestern University studying Music Composition, Ethnomusicology, and South Asian Studies. His music focuses on the intersection of everyday experience, emotion, trauma, and music, constituting a style concerned primarily with the ways in which music can be a reflection of and bridge between cultures and individuals. VanderBeek has been performed by the Northwestern Contemporary Music Ensemble and ICE, and his music has been featured in several student films, plays, dance pieces, and publications. He is a recipient of the Beinecke Scholarship, and his 2014 ethnography on the Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago received the Hsu-Wigmore Award for Best Honors Thesis. VanderBeek is a student of Jay Alan Yim, Lee Hyla, and Hans Thomalla, and has studied Sikh sacred music at Punjabi University, Patiala.


What is the Fulcrum Point Discoveries Series?
Fulcrum Point Discoveries is a monthly series that presents new music by young and emerging American composers in a free public setting. This series gives these composers an opportunity to hear their music interpreted by Chicago’s best musicians and to explore their work in dialogue with a community of performers, listeners, and other composers. The Fulcrum Point Discoveries series serves both composer and community by educating audiences and offering exposure to American composers while also giving them a unique venue for musical revelation, feedback, and development.

Location: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

Timothy Page: Shout, Murmur, Wheeze is an experiment in the compositional taming of free jazz.  Originally a commission from Finnish saxophone virtuoso Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo, the work explores the tension between the precision of classical saxophone and the unbridled expression of certain improvisatory genres. The drumset part has been meticulously notated in order replicate very specific effects associated with the sound world of drummers like Han Bennink and Rashid Ali. Meterless, fantasy-like sections in the work actually belie very ”composerly” techniques such as canonical counterpoint and strict metric modulations. At some point in the work, the texture gradually crystallizes into a Bulgarian romp – which is subsequently and summarily deconstructed.

Conner VanderBeek: This melody is not my own. It is taken from the seventh stanza of the fourth ashtipada of the Sukhmani Sahib, a major prayer in the daily litany of the Guru Granth Sahib, or Sikh holy book.

“safe space” is a reflection on a time in my life when my mind would not allow me to find one. I turned to religion, finding haven in the faith of my mother’s family, Sikhism. In Sikhism, the word of God is disseminated through music, and the act of listening to the sacred word, Gurbani, is considered cleansing, regardless of whether or not the listener understands the language. This passage from the Guru Granth Sahib is my favorite; the solemnity of the melody – a melody that is uniform across the global Sikh community – serves to augment the clashing ideas of sacrifice and the sacredness of being alive.


Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 833, Chicago, IL 60605

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