Sunday, March 25, 2007
Ballet Music

Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with one of the University of Southern Mississippi's extremely talented dance students to produce a new work. I created the piece In Pursuit of Mythical Beasts which is based on my wind sextet, Hydra. The above performance was from the 2006 USM Integrales New Music Festival. I finally got the video formatted to the right size so it could fit on YouTube.

The performance was wonderful. I had never had so much fun in bringing a new work to fruition. Now I am planning a couple new collaborations because of this first experience.

This week is the 2007 USM Integrales New Music Festival and two of my works will be performed. My Figment No. 3 "Euterpe" for Flute Alone will be performed by USM flute professor Danilo Mezzadri and the music from my ballet In Pursuit will be performed. In Pursuit will be performed for a masterclass with this years composer in residence, Ken Ueno, and I am getting a little nervous. But I am really looking forward to it.
Composer Everette Minchew (born 1977) is consistently active in the creation, performance, and promotion of contemporary music. Moderately prolific, his catalogue includes small chamber pieces for violin, piano, various wind instruments, harpsichord and electronic music. Current commissions include a string trio and an opera based on an 11th-century crusades tale. His earliest musical training came at the age of eleven when he began playing alto saxophone; it wasn?t long until he began his first attempts in composition.

He received a Bachelor?s Degree in Music History from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied saxophone under world-renowned soloist, Lawrence Gwozdz.

Fearing that traditional university training would hinder his development as a progressive composer, he abandoned the idea of formal lessons in favor of an intense private study of modern masterworks.

Minchew's works are characterized by their intense timbral explorations and brutal dissonance. That is not to say, however, that the compositions are devoid of beauty. In the first of the Two Brief Pieces, for example, the harpsichord chimes stringent yet haunting chords evoking a sense of loss. Other pieces, like the Figment No. 2 "Juggler's Fancy" play upon the kaleidoscopic interaction between timbres and tones. The rapid alternation of pizzicato, arco bowing, and extreme glissandi remind the listener of Xenakis coupled with a Berio Sequenza. Minchew's Invention "Two-Part Contraption" for piano owes much to Ligeti's etudes and boogie-woogie jazz.

His music has been performed around the United States, and he was the featured composer at the 2005 Intégrales New Music Festival in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
He currently resides in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with his wife, Cheryl.