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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

October 21, 2003

Multi-media performance set for new music festival

The Empyrean Ensemble
The Empyrean Ensemble

2003 Festival of New American Music - Schedule of Events

Music and the visual arts will come together in a creative collaboration by CSUS faculty members during the Festival of New American Music at the University Nov. 5 to 16.

Composer Stephen Blumberg and electronic media artist Rachel Clarke, both CSUS professors, have jointly produced “Skirr,” a work combining original music with animated artwork. The Empyrean Ensemble will perform Blumberg’s music as Clarke’s images are projected on a large screen for the finale of its concert at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 9 in Capistrano Hall.

“Many people don’t believe skirr is an English word,” says Blumberg. “It’s an unusual word that means to fly or go rapidly.” Blumberg says he and Clarke chose the word to act as a unifying theme for the piece, and that it describes the mood the work evokes. “Skirr is a living drawing in a state of continuous transformation,” says Clarke. “At times the animation is very abstract, at times it’s referential. It’s in a constant metamorphosis that’s choreographed to the music,” says Blumberg. A still image from the nine-minute piece graces the poster and program for the festival.

The Festival of New American Music is in its 26th year at CSUS, making it one of the longest running annual events dedicated to modern composition. All festival events are open to the public and nearly all are free. Included are concerts, lectures, classes and presentations at area schools. Venues range from the University’s Music Recital Hall to downtown Sacramento’s Sterling Hotel to the historic Crocker Art Museum.

For more information, contact the CSUS music department at (916) 278-5155. For media assistance, contact public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •