Composer Spotlight-John Allemeier
Get to Know...John Allemeier
The vast array of instrumentation possibilities means that the chamber music category often yields really interesting works with great colors. This is definitely the case with John Allemeier’s Bolamkin for alto flute, vibraphone, and piano. Plus, we love the alto flute! John has composed a fantastic array of chamber works including the flute with really cool combinations and colors. You can hear recordings of many of them on his SoundCloud page and website.
Q&A with John…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
As a composer, I am drawn to the flute because of its versatility and agility. The flute has virtuosic technical ability combined with boundless potential for lyricism.
Describe your musical background and current activities.
While I was trained as a composer for concert music, a major component of my creative work for the last few years has been writing music for modern dance. Writing music for stage performances has fundamentally changed how I compose for the concert hall. Throughout my career, some of my best performers were flutists and my success writing for flute is due to their patience and willingness to work with me.
Do you have any upcoming events that you would like our friends and followers to know about?
ASSEM3BLY (featuring the amazing Lindsey Goodman) just released a CD on Albany Records that features my composition Bolamkin (for alto flute, vibraphone, and piano). This recording features some incredible performances and great chamber music with flute.
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
Be patient with the composers and fearless with their music.
More About John…
John Allemeier’s music has been described as having a “sweet sense of mystery” by Fanfare and as being “rapturous” by the American Record Guide. His music has been performed by Ethel, Loadbang, Boston New Music Initiative, Charleston Symphony, ASSEM3LY, Beo Quartet, Due East, Duo XXI, Kassia Ensemble, Low and Lower, Madison Park String Quartet, Terminus Ensemble, and on venues such as the Charlotte New Music Festival, TUTTI New Music Festival, the International Double Reed Society, International Clarinet Society Conference, International Society of Bassist Convention, Piccolo Spoleto, the 5th Annual Festival of Contemporary Music in San Francisco, and the Spark Festival in Minneapolis. He received his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Iowa, his MM in Composition from Northwestern University, and his BM in Performance from Augustana College. He is currently Professor of Composition and Music Theory at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. More information is available at www.johnallemeier.com.
If you liked Bolamkin…
Deep Water for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, timpani, and piano
Pieces of Silver for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and percussion
Santana Mix for flute, cello, double bass, and percussion
Solstice for flute, sax, violin, cello, and double bass
Songs of Earth and Sky for flute, ceramic pots, and berimbau
Those Voices flute, bass clarinet, violin, viola, and cello
Get to Know...Stephen Lounsbrough
Composer and violinist Stephen Lounsbrough primarily writes music for large ensembles. Fortunately for flutists, he wrote Purple and Yellow for flute and mallet percussion for a friend. Maybe he should write some more chamber music!
Q&A with Stephen…
Who are your favorite "new music" composers and why?
I love and am influenced by the music of post-minimalist composers such as John Adams and Arvo Pärt. The simplicity of means as well as the pulse that so often permeates this kind of music appeals to me. I also am fascinated by composers such as Edgar Meyer and Judd Greenstein that blur the lines of "serious" and folk or world music to create beautiful, exciting sounds.
What are your favorite “new music” pieces and why?
That's a hard question! My taste is so broad, that it's hard to narrow down favorites. One favorite is the violin and piano version of Pärt's "Fratres". Its simplicity of means, almost so simple it's laughable, and yet its simultaneous complexity of sound is so compelling. John Luther Adams' "Sila" also fascinates me with its expansive sound and the physical connection of music to performer.
Describe you background and activities.
I began primarily as a choral arranger and experimenting in works highly derivative from the Baroque style. Once I began to compose more seriously, I moved toward what I would describe as a mix of post-minimalist and post-romantic styles. Purple and Yellow, for flute and mallet percussion, was written for two friends as part of my Master of Music Composition Recital at Central Michigan University. I have recently completed a choral commission, a wind ensemble commission, and am working to orchestrate my sonata for Double Bass and piano.
More about Stephen…
Stephen Lounsbrough is a graduate of Central Michigan University from which he holds a Master of Music Composition and studied with David Gillingham. He also holds a degree from Faith Baptist Bible College in Sacred Music. Other composition teachers he has studied with are William Dougherty and Scott Harding.
Lounsbrough has received a number of honors for his works. In 2012, “Oh, the Depth of the Riches,” was selected as scholar division winner in the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble Composition Contest and premiered by the ensemble. Recent honors include being awarded runner-up in the Duluth Symphony Orchestra Composers’ Competition (Red Sky) and winning the ACDA CMU Chapter Choral Composition Competition (“REMINISCE”). Lounsbrough just completed a commission by the Salt Lake Vocal Artists to compose Invocation for choir, piano, and singing bowls. For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/LounsbroughMusic/ , www.stephenlousbrough.com , or listen at https://www.youtube.com/user/stephenlounsbrough
If you like Purple and Yellow…
Maple Leaf on the Ground
Instrumentation: Open instrumentation for 7 or more performers
Duration: c. 6 minutes
(The composer envisioned this piece including the flute.)
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.