Composer Anthony Cornicello (born in Brooklyn, New York, 1964) writes music that blurs distinctions between performers and electronics, timbre and harmony, composition and improvisation, and explores the boundaries of what may be considered post-classical concert music. His music is vibrant and visceral, full of rhythmic energy and harmonic sophistication, and his forays into live electronics have led to exciting combinations of instruments and processed sound. Cornicello’s background as a jazz pianist is evident not only in the rhythmic activity of his music, but also in his constant investigation of the rich sonorities available from a variety of instruments.

He has been commissioned to write music for the Scorchio Electric String Quartet, ModernWorks! (funding from Meet the Composer/ Commissioning Music USA), the Auros Group for New Music, the Prism Saxophone Quartet, the New York New Music Ensemble, David Holzman, the Group for Contemporary Music, and the InterEnsemble of Padova, Italy. His work has also been featured on the Guggenheim Museum’s “Works and Process” series. Cornicello’s works have also been performed by the Chicago Civic Symphony, Parnassus, ALEA III, Composers Concordance, Madeleine Shapiro, Robert Black, among many other outstanding groups and solo performers. His music has been presented as part of the Darmstadt International Festival of New Music as well as the June in Buffalo Festival.

Cornicello’s Second String Quartet has been recorded by the Atlantic String Quartet; the Second Sonata for Piano by David Holzman (Centaur). More recently, his Post-Modern Waltz was recorded by Eric Moe for Albany Records. A portrait CD of Cornicello’s works is scheduled for 2006 release on Albany Records.

As a performer, he has conducted or played piano in his own works on numerous occasions. While a graduate student at Rutgers, he formed and directed the Janus Ensemble, a group dedicated to contemporary music. More recently, Cornicello has begun performing on the laptop, using a variety of interfaces and the Max/MSP program. Those performances, mostly with EEE!, have had a notable impact on his music, as EEE!’s music ranges from hip-hop to experimental noise. EEE! is based at Eastern Connecticut State University, where Cornicello is an Associate Professor and Director of the Electronic Music Lab.

Cornicello received the Ph.D. from Brandeis University, where he studied with David Rakowski, Eric Chasalow, and Martin Boykan. His teachers also include Charles Wuorinen, Gérard Grisey, and Richard Beirach.

His current fields of interest include developing unusual interfaces for live computer music performances, as well as continuing to investigate resonance and spatialization. His recent and current projects (mostly for string instruments and electronics) have been exploring the latter two, and the series of experimental works ReZenant Garden, performed by EEE! have operated on all three areas of interest. Future projects will include works for instrumental groups or soloists and electronics, as well as turntablists.

Cornicello's works are published by C.F. Peters Corporation and APNM, and he is a member of BMI.

Saturday, April 14, 2007
A publicity nightmare

No, I didn't insult anyone. Not yet.

No, this publicity nightmare comes from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Next week, I start the Electronic Music Festival at Eastern CT State University. Back in February, I wrote the press release. Yes, I wrote it, because whenever I've asked for this service to be done in the past, it either doesn't get done, or they simply reformat my comments into paragraph form. So, I wrote one myself. They changed a few things, and I commented that I had a few press contacts as well. That resulted in a letter sent to me and my department chair, admonishing me for stepping on their proverbial toes. With my tail between my legs, I decided to let them do their job.

So, this week, I look at a few local papers, hoping to see at least our listings. Nothing. I checked an online source. Nothing. I called the Hartford Courant, and got the listings editor (it's now called the "cal", if you're cool), and she hadn't heard of us. And, this is my publicity nightmare: nothing, niente, nada, zippo, bupkas.

One thing you don't want to do is get an Italian mad. (You don't want to get a redhead mad either, but that's another story.) After an irate email, cc:ed to my department chair and a handful of Deans and VPs, a plan was hatched: print ads will be sent out, paid for out of discretionary funding. We forwarded our flyer that's we've been using on-campus, and.... it sat on a desk for most of Friday. Then, we were asked to fix the logo. Mind you, we sent them files, knowing that they should have a computer with Illustrator, and therefore the ability to alter our files. Now, the print ads are set to run on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. It's always quite annoying when someone asks "how can I help?" but really has little intention of doing so.

Granted, the Public Relations office is small, most likely understaffed, and I'm not the only one requesting their services. However, this is what they do. They not hired to teach classes, they don't sit on committees or do research. Their reason for being at the University is to conduct the publicity campaigns for events on campus. Yet, they failed miserably at this task.

Hopefully, the solution is going to work. Our concert series starts this week, and continues into May. I'll list it entirely in my next post.