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Musica nova 2003.

The 12th International Electro-Acoustic (EA) Music Competiton, Musica nova 2003, an event traditionally held in Prague under the patronage of the Czech Music Council with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the City of Prague, the Czech Music Fund and OSA, attracted 126 entries from 29 countries in two categories: pure EA compositions (autonomous art EA music) and EA music with a live instrument (music for instrument and EA media). In the pure EA composition category, the international jury, which met in November last year in the reconstructed FAMU (Film school) Sound Studio, awarded the first prize to the Italian composer Cladio Gabriele for Ombra nell@azuro, and the second prize to Briton Pete Stolllery for his piece Vox Magna. In the live electronic category the first place went to the American Robert Scott Thompson for his composition The Ninth Wave, and the second place to the Japanese Yasuhiro Takenaka for his composition Separe et invisible. As is now traditional, there was a special category for Czech composers. Here the award went to the young Petra Gavlasova with her composition Survivors. Most of the entrants were under the age of 35, but the jury picks the youngest as one of the finalists. In 2003 this was the Greek Konstantinos Krathanasis with his piece De Ligno Chalibeque. The Concert of Winners in the presence of the award-holders was held on the 5th of December 2003 in co-operation with the Music Faculty of the Academy of Dramatic Arts (HAMU).

Once again the standard of the competition was high, partly because of rules that are clear and precise, and the competition deliberately does not extend into multimedia, pop and sound art. The prize-winning pieces were of good quality both in terms of sound parameters and structure, but very diverse in style--and indeed the competition has a long-term reputation for stylistic variety.

A few words on the winners: Claudio Gabriele (1963) studied composition and keyboard instruments in Italy and France (IRCAM, GRM), he is a teacher at the State Conservatory in Benevento and a visiting professor at NY University. The five-part piece Ombra nell azuro is a symbolic image of the planet. It uses natural sounds and instrumental noises rich in aliquot notes. Robert S. Thompson (1959) is an internationally very successful composer who has worked in EA since 1976 and also developed EA software; he is professor of composing at the State University in Atlanta. The Ninth Wave for cello a EA medium (2001) was inspired by Celtic mythology. The EA sounds are derived either from the sounds of a cello (played by Craig Hultren), or are created using the Chant programme. Pete Stollery (1960) is director of studies at the University of Aberdeen. His Vox Magna (2001) was originally created a sound effects for an exhibition celebrating machine-tool industry in Rotterdam, but was worked up for the purposes of the competition. Yasuhiro Takenaka (1951) studied EA in various institutions including CCRMA. He finished his piece Separe et Invisible in France. The live saxophone is the symbol iof the emtoional human ego, while the EA part represents the transcendent dimension of life. Petra Gavlasova (1976) studied composition in Ostrava and EA at the conservatory in Amsterdam. Her piece Survivors for fl., trb., el. guit., tape and live electronics was recorded in the church the Nikali Kerk in Utrecht. The 4-part composition is based on the idea of people (instruments) searching for each other after some unspecified catastrophe.

The rules of the next year of the competition can be found at. The deadline for receipt of entries (compositions) is the 10th of October of the same year.
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Author:Dohnalova, Lenka
Publication:Czech Music
Date:Apr 1, 2004
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