Kari Besharse is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music, a guitarist, an educator, a sci-fi nut, and an outdoors enthusiast. Her works, which incorporate sounds from acoustic instruments, found objects, the natural world, and synthesis, are often generated from a group of sonic objects or material archetypes that undergo processes of rupture, degradation, alternation, expansion, and distortion. Currently a lecturer at Southeastern Louisiana University, Dr. Besharse has also taught music theory, music history, and electronic music courses at Illinois Wesleyan and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kari’s education includes undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri at Kansas City (B.M. ‘98), and graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin (M.M. ‘02) and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (D.M.A. ‘09). Dr. Besharse’s dissertation research examined the role of texture in French spectral music through the works of Gérard Grisey, Philippe Hurel, Kaija Saariaho, and Tristan Murail. She studied composition with Stephen Andrew Taylor, Guy Garnett, Russell Pinkston, Donald Grantham, Robert Cooper, Rick Taube, and James Mobberly.
Dr. Besharse’s compositional output spans various facets within the field of contemporary music, and she is equally compelled to write music for mediums such as laptop ensemble, orchestra, and fixed electroacoustic music. Kari was awarded a Bourges Residence Prize for Small Things, an electroacoustic work written in Csound and Protools, which uses the sounds of the frogs and insects of Austin, Texas as its source material. Additional honors have come from the Look and Listen Festival Prize (semi-finalist), the ASCAP Young Composers Competition (finalist), and the INMC Competition (finalist). Recent projects include Luminous Flux for the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble that premiered at the Etchings Festival at Auvilar, France in July 2010 and Embers, a work for saxophone and piano commissioned by Richard Schwartz, which premiered in March 2011. Her music has been presented around the world by venues and organizations such as The California Ear Unit, Society of Composers, Inc., Texas Computer Musicians Network, The LaTex Festival, The Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, ICMC, SEAMUS, Bourges, Elektrophonie, Third Practice, 60X60, The Electroacoustic Juke Joint Festival, New Music Forum, Pulse Field, and the Art of Sounds Festival at Belgrade, Serbia.
Recently assigned the position of Assistant Professor of Composition & Theory at Tulane University, Maxwell Dulaney received his M.A. in Composition and Ph.D. in Composition & Theory from Brandeis University. Awards include a 2009 Mellon Dissertation Research Grant, a 2008 Wellesley Composers Conference Fellowship, and 1st Prize in the 2006 ASCAP/SCI Student Composer Competition. Mr. Dulaney has been published in the SCI Journal of Musical Scores, Vol. 45 and his music has been recorded on the Rainbow Classical label by the ensemble Mikrokosmos.
As an acoustic and electro-acoustic composer, his compositional process is rooted in the study of sound, and focuses on finding new and informed ways of developing compositional structures out of the elemental aspects of sound through studying the inherent spectral and timbral qualities of each instrument that is part of a new work, as well as the underlying sonic structures of specific performance techniques.
Dr. Dulaney has been commissioned by, and collaborated closely with, soloists and ensembles including Orlando Cela, Chris Finkel, New York New Music Ensemble, the Xanthos Ensemble, and Grammy Award-winning harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy. His music has been performed throughout the U.S., in Italy, and in China at Ningbo University and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Upcoming projects include a commission by ECCE, which is an extended collaborative project with concerts in Paris and New York City, an orchestral work for the student orchestra of Randolph College, and a commission by Orlando Cela for a new solo flute piece and one for flute and live electronics.
Jesse McBride is a Professor of Practice in Jazz Studies at Tulane’s Department of Music. He currently leads "The Next Generatiion” a jazz ensemble founded by Harold Battiste.
Jesse regularly performs at New Orleans jazz venues and festivals, and he is frequently featured on NPR and WWOZ as an improviser and composer.
The performance of Jesse McBride Big Band at the 2019 Jazz and Heritage festival can be heard here:
Tucker Fuller lives in New Orleans. Recent projects include a trilogy of song cycles in collaboration with poet Megan Levad: Murder (2010), Love (2011), and Labor (2014). For the Marigny Opera House and Marigny Opera Ballet: Salve Regina, for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra (Winner, 2014 Tribute to the Classical Arts Award for Best Performance of New Classical Music); Orfeo, a full-length ballet score (October 2015); Giselle Deslondes (November 2016). The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned and premiered Louie the Buoy (2016). His music has been played by the Albany Symphony, New Resonance Orchestra, Polymnia Quartet, Musaica, Da Capo Chamber Players, and the American Symphony, among others. He studied with composers Joan Tower, Christopher Theofanidis, Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, and Michael Daugherty, and holds degrees from Bard College (B.A.), Peabody Conservatory (M.M.A.), and the University of Michigan (D.M.A).
Yotam Haber's music hailed by New Yorker critic Alex Ross as “deeply haunting,” by the Los Angeles Times as one of five classical musicians “2014 Faces To Watch,” and chosen as one of the “30 composers under 40” by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Project 440, Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria, and Milwaukee. He is the recipient of a 2017 Koussevitsky Commission, a 2013 Fromm Music Foundation commission, a 2013 NYFA award, the 2007 Rome Prize and a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He has received grants and fellowships from the MAP Fund (2016), New Music USA (2011, the New York Foundation for the Arts (2013), the Jerome Foundation (2008, the Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation (2011), Yaddo, Bogliasco, MacDowell Colony, the Hermitage, ASCAP, and the Copland House.
In 2015, Haber’s first monographic album of chamber music, Torus, was hailed by New York’s WQXR as “a snapshot of a soul in flux – moving from life to the afterlife, from Israel to New Orleans – a composer looking for a sound and finding something powerful along the way.”
Recent commissions include works for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor; an evening-length oratorio for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, CalARTS@REDCAT/Disney Hall (Los Angeles); New York-based Contemporaneous, Gabriel Kahane, and Alarm Will Sound; the 2015 New York Philharmonic CONTACT! Series; the Venice Biennale; Bang on a Can Summer Festival; Neuvocalsolisten Stuttgart and ensemble l’arsenale; FLUX Quartet, JACK Quartet, Cantori New York, the Tel Aviv-based Meitar Ensemble, and the Berlin-based Quartet New Generation.
Current projects include New Water Music, an interactive work (2017) for the Louisiana Philharmonic and community musicians to be performed from boats and barges along the waterways of New Orleans and a chamber opera, The Voice Imitator, with librettist Royce Vavrek for the 92Y (2020).
Haber is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of New Orleans and Artistic Director Emeritus of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass that has, since 1996, been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world. His music is published by RAI Trade.
Ryan Harrison, a New Orleans native, is a graduate student in Duke University’s music composition program. His music has been performed by JACK Quartet, the Mivos Quartet, the Lorelei Ensemble, the Lunar Ensemble, The New Orleans Chamber Orchestra, Jeremy Hue Williams, Paula Fan, Orlando Cela, and members of the Louisiana Philharmonic. He has worked with composers and educators such as Jerry Sieg, Barbara Jazwinski, Edward Dulaney, Rick Snow, Scott Lindroth, Stephen Jaffe, and John Supko, and holds degrees in composition from the University of New Orleans (Bachelor of Arts), Tulane University (Master of Fine Arts), and is currently working towards obtaining a PhD from Duke University. In his free time Ryan is also an avid nature photographer.
Philip Schuessler’s music explores the intricacy of subtle timbres and delicate dynamics through extended acoustic and electro-acoustic resources. His diverse output spans a number of different approaches including techniques of spectralism, indeterminacy and graphic notation, new forms of notation, ephemeral sound fabrics, microtonality, popular and rock music, and electro-acoustic music.
Schuessler received his Bachelors Degree in composition at Birmingham-Southern College, his Masters Degree from the University of Miami, and his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His teachers have included Charles Mason, Dorothy Hindman, Dennis Kam, Keith Kothman, Dan Weymouth, Sheila Silver, Perry Goldstein, and Daria Semegen.
He has had works performed by notable ensembles such as Yarn/Wire, Dither Guitar Quartet, Mantra Percussion Ensemble, IKTUS Percussion, Hypercube, Pesedjet, and the Gemini Duo; and his works have also been championed by such soloists as percussionist Daniel Kennedy, pianist Mabel Kwan, soprano Tony Arnold, violinist Graeme Jennings, and cellist Craig Hultgren. His music has has been performed at notable venues such as June in Buffalo, Birmingham City Stages Festival, Festival Miami, the Czech-American Summer Music Workshop, CCMIX in Paris, SEAMUS Conferences, ArtSounds in Kansas City, Artomatic in Arlington, Virginia, Electronic Music Midwest, New Music Forum in San Francisco, the School for Designing a Society in Urbana, Illinois, Electro-acoustic Juke Joint Festival, the Electro-acoustic Barn Dance Festival, the Spark Festival in Minneapolis, and most recently the New Music on the Bayou Festival in Monroe, Louisiana. He has also been a participant at the MusicX Festival, the Ernst Bloch Music Festival, the Elliott Carter/Oliver Knussen Chamber Music Intensive Workshop at Carnegie Hall, and the Oregon Bach Festival.
His music has been recognized internationally by Elektrophonie’s NuitBleue Music Festival, the Futura Festival, and by the Bourges Residence. Recently, Schuessler was chosen by Eric Moore’s Cello Loft Project for a new commissioned work for cello and percussion. Other awards include being a winner in the Duo Fujin Weekend Composition Competition, being a semi-finalist for the American Prize in Chamber Music, and being a recipient of a New Music USA Composer Assistant Grant.
Most recently, Schuessler was an artist in residence for the July 2015 session at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming where he composed Lux Aeterna for mixed chorus and piano.
Since 2010, Schuessler has taught music theory and composition at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.
Rick Snow creates multi-modal artworks of sound and light. Custom interactive computer sound and projection mapping instruments and installations comprise his most recent work. In this work he creates situations in which audiences discover a complex “alien” generative system with its own memory and habits. These situations create an interaction between participant and work engaging the active memory and movement of both the participant and the system. His work has been performed/exhibited in many venues in the United States as well as selectively in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and Wales.
A few of his most recent projects include Paths and Sympathetic Resonance -a generative sound installation consisting of 4 metal plates, resonant frequencies, and field recordings chosen for the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center's 2015 REVERB Exhibition, Portal 1: A Rippling Space -an interactive sound and video installation presented at the 2015 New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, Wash: Awake -a generative installation for computer sound and projection mapping on a 40'x20' hanging sculpture by artist Jamey Grimes, Arcanum: Memories Cryptic -a series of works for piano solo commissioned by Katalin Lukács, and Singing Sweetly from a Spider's Web - an interactive sound installation in which participants' voices are transformed and re-presented as harmonic content in a network of sound synthesis.
He holds the position of Professor of Practice at Tulane University where he oversees the Music Science and Technology area. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.
David Z. Durant is a Professor of Music at the University of South Alabama where he is the Director of the Music Theory, Technology, and Composition Programs. Durant has composed over 140 works for a variety of soloists and ensembles and for digital media. Recently he has performed in Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, and 15 other states in the U.S.
Durant's music has been presented at USA The New, Experimental, and Improvised Music Concert and the 10th Annual Electroacoustic Music Concert, ICMC, Conservatorio di Musica F.A. Bonporti Trento in Trent, Italy, at the Il Corpo la Luce il Suono Festival in Florence, Italy. NYU Interactive Music Concert, at Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras, Centro de Investigacion y Estudios de la Musica and at La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, International Computer Music Conference held in Utrecht, Netherlands, at the 5th Annual Florida Contemporary Music Festival at the University of Florida and at the Virginia Tech International Trumpet Festival .
Durant is an active performer and has premiered many of his own works. He is also widely acclaimed as an improviser on piano and low brass instruments. Durant has lived in Mobile, Alabama, since July 2003.
Chen-Hui Jen is a composer and pianist currently based in Miami, USA. Chen-Hui Jen’s music presents an imaginative, spiritual, and poetic space with subtlety and sophistication. She earned a Ph.D. degree in Composition at the University of California, San Diego, where her mentor was Prof. Chinary Ung. She also debut piano performances with electronics at UCSD.
Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Chen-Hui Jen received her M.F.A. in composition at the Graduate School of Music at the Taipei National University of the Arts and B.F.A. in composition at the Music Department of the National Sun Yet-San University, under the instruction of Prof. Hwang-Long Pan and Dr. Tzyy-Sheng Lee.
As a composer, Chen-Hui Jen writes music for music for orchestra, chamber, and solo, for both Western and Chinese instruments, also vocal and choral works, as well as works with computer and electronics. Chen-Hui Jen’s works have been performed at multiple prestigious new music festivals and concerts, including the ISCM World Music Days, SEAMUS, Acanthes Music Festival, ACL Music Festival, EarShot San Diego Workshop, New Music Miami Season, Taipei International New Music Festival, WOCMAT, and Contemporary Sizhu Music Festival. Chen-Hui Jen’s works have won numerous prizes in the Taiwan Literature and Fine Arts Composition Competition for chamber, choral, and solo works, the Formosa Composition Competition for violin concerto, the International Tsang-Houei Hsu Music Composition Competition for Chinese chamber music, the International Taiwan Music Center Composition Competition, and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition. She has also received multiple commissions from the Palimpsest Ensemble, Accordant Commons, The Living Earth Show, Ensemble ISCM-Taiwan, Taipei Chamber Singers, Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, Ching-Yun Chorus, Kaohsiung Chamber Choir, and Muller Choir, as well as multiple grants from the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Taiwan National and Arts Foundation.
As a pianist, Dr. Jen have been collaborating with her husband composer/computer musician Jacob David Sudol since 2010. Together they’ve played as piano/electronics duo at many distinguished venues such as the Spectrum in New York City, Center for New Music in San Francisco, ISCM New Music Miami Festival, Root Signal Festival, Miami Bakehouse Art Complex, the Taipei National Recital Hall, Taiwan Chai Found 101 Auditorium, as well as many schools including University of California at San Diego, Florida International University, Mills College, California Institute of Arts, Chapman University, Tulane University, Taiwan Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan National Chiao Tung University, and China Soochow University. She is currently a contracted pianist in the NODUS Ensemble at Florida International University and the Ensemble Ibis at University of Miami.
Jacob David Sudol writes intimate compositions that explore enigmatic phenomena and the inner nature of how we perceive sound. His music has been performed over one hundred times by many prestigious ensembles and performers across the USA as well as in Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, China, Thailand, Japan, and Cambodia. His compositions regularly selected for the most prestigious annual national and international computer music and electronic music conferences. Dr. Sudol is also currently writing a chapter on his music for a future book to be published by Oxford University Press.
In 2012, he founded a cello/electro-acoustic duo with his colleague the distinguished cellist Jason Calloway and, since 2010 he has been in a piano/electro-acoustic duo with his wife Chen-Hui Jen. At FIU he directs the FLEA (Florida Laptop Electro-Acoustic) Ensemble and in Taiwan he directed CLOrk (Chiao-Da Laptop Orchestra). He also regularly collaborates on interdisciplinary projects with architect Eric Goldemberg, visual artist Jacek Kolasinski, and Cambodian dancer/choreographer Chey Chankethya.
Dr. Sudol was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan for the Academic 2015-16 Year and is also an Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Composition at Florida International University.