Newsletter of the Consortium of Vermont Composers


December 1995 -- Volume VII, Number 2

Final Outgoing Directorís Report

by Gilles Yves Bonneau

As many of you are aware, an important meeting of the membership was called by Barbara J. Wells to determine the future of the Consortium. The meeting was held at All Saints Church in South Burlington on 29 October. Eleven composers attended; please read the reports submitted, elsewhere in this newsletter.

This will be my swan song to you, as a move to Seattle is imminent. Barbara has kindly consented to chair the group for the purposes of incorporation requirments. I wish much success to her and all the hard-working and well-intentioned individuals who have given their best effort to this Consortium for many years. This organization deserves to thrive. It will take many hands and new blood; it will require much work and the infusion of constantly renewed energy; it will involve a lot of time and perseverance and flexibility and cooperation and compromise.

I urge each one reading this newsletter to probe his/her soul and come up with an honest appraisal of possible contributions -- past, present and future -- toward this group effort. Then act! Get involved in the reaching of your goals, through active particiation in this natural, wonderful vehicle -- the Consortium -- already in place for your benefit. Make it work for you by making it work for all of us. As in everything else in life, much depends on your willingness to work for your goals. Simple, isnít it? One must be able to risk to succeed.

My sincere best wishes and thanks to each and every one of you, good people.

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Meeting Report

by Bea Phillips

Thank God we are still alive and kicking! I want to say I belong to Vermont Composers; not that I belonged!

Approximately twelve members met at All Saints Church Sunday, October 29, and produced a rich tapestry of ideas! Once we found each other, we entered into a lively discussion period. It took us a long while to find our footing; but when we did, we all decided to stay in business! But not business as usual; we have new directions.

Early on, Dennis agreed to get out a newsletter and Batya agreed to work on a composite video of past performances. Then came a flurry of decisions at the ninth hour, so to speak: It was actually getting past 3:00 and we knew we must do something! We made these decisions:

  1. Raise dues to $25 a year.
  2. Accept the offer of Barbara Wells to be our acting director.
  3. Pursue steps to become incorporated and to make our application for tax exemption under IRS Code 501(c)3.
There was input from several members as to how to go about spurring interest and how to get money to pursue goals.

Many viable ideas emerged which are in embryo stage now. We are on the brink of new directions and I find it all invigorating!

Submitted by grateful member Bea Phillips.

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Composers on Video

Anyone interested in assembling an edited half-hour video from the videotapes of previous festivals, to sell and distribute through local channels like Downstairs Video at The Savoy Theatre in Montpelier, please call or write Batya Weinbaum, P.O. Box 69, East Montpelier, Vermont 05651-0069, 802-454-1147. Production to start in early 1996. Also considering edited cassette/CD from past festival recordings.

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Treasury Report

Treasurer's Report for December 95:

At a meeting in Burlington on October 29, l995, the members present agreed to raise the dues requirement to $25 per year. This slightly painful step was discussed over a period of months, and was necessitated by the fact that our present membership roll of about 60 members times $15 (the old rate) created an insufficient flow of funds to even continue this newsletter.

Thus: Your dues for 1996 at the rate of $25 per member are due and payable ASAP. Those who have been members in the past and have not paid for l995 will now therefore owe $40 to be up-to-date and included in future activities.

Also, at the October 29 meeting we agreed to seek Non-Profit Incorporated status, and become a IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. I am pleased to report that the State of Vermont has already granted Non-Profit Incorporation, and I am proceeding with the IRS.

All of this leads up to a pleasant conclusion to this report: the Vermont Community Foundation has recognized our past super-human efforts with a grant (for l996) in the amount of $2100. These funds are for support of concert activity in l996, and will be in hand when the Consortium receives IRS approval. I'm sure you'll join in thanking member Bill Harris for his work that led to this great development.

Send in your 1996 dues, $25, to Don Stewart, Treasurer, Consortium of Vermont Composers, PO Box 65, Tunbridge, Vt. 05077

December 2, l995

Respectfully submitted,
Don Stewart

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Listkeeping Note

Check your mailing label. If itís wrong -- name, address, expiration -- or if youíre not getting a newsletter and know youíre a current member and should be receiving it, please contact our new listkeeper, Craig Hanson, at 14 Beech Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401.

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Editor Request

The next deadline for Consorting is February 5. Please send material to: Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield, Vermont 05663, call or fax 802-485-3972, voicemail 802-485-1210, or email to Contact Form

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VCME Records Read and Grant on New CD

The Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble has recorded Thomas L. Read's quartet Light After Light and James Grant's song cycle A Change of Season after poems by Ann S. Barker. The instrumental ensemble plays Read's three-movement quartet, with Jill Hallett Levis singing the Grant songs, conducted by Kate Tamarkin.

The compact disk is available at The Violin Shop in Burlington, at VCME concerts, by mail (VCME, P.O. Box 67, Fairfax, Vermont 05454-0067) or by contacting Steve Klimowski, the ensemble's director.

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Vermont Community Foundation Awards Grant to Consortium

William Harris

In August of this year I first heard of the work of the Vermont Community Foundation which is right here in Cornwall a few miles from Middlebury. I raised with them the idea of some funding for the Consortium, specifically for a series of concerts in l996 with money to pay the performers. Gilles Yves Bonneau and I put together proposals and filled out the forms in a hurry in late August just under the deadline. In November we were awarded a good part of the money we had asked for.

The people at the Foundation were most helpful, and urged us to use our funding to leverage matching funds from various Vermont businesses and organizations. Our project called for four concerts of Vermont composers to be performed in l996 by Vermont performers, who were to be paid for their performance at long last. In fact, all funds were stipulated to be used specifically for the performers. We have been fortunate in having fine performers play gratis for some ten years now, and realize that the time has come to find some money for them.

When the Consortium of Vermont Composers was first started more than ten years ago, the main aim was to establish the fact that there were composers of new music in Vermont, and that their work should be heard. Many performers contributed time and effort to this end, without ever discussing being paid. Now is the time to reach out to the musical public with four or more concerts each year, playing in various parts of this state if possible, and paying our performers as a way of thanking them for helping us through all those years. The pay may be short at first, but if we persist we can improve that considerably.

I believe we may be able to raise matching funds to be used in l996, but it will take work and organization. Your thoughts on how to go about this, and how we should restructure the Consortium with new purposes in mind, will be much appreciated.

	Shake and shake the catsup bottle
	First none comes, and then a lot'll..
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by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz

Our New Music Network has taken off. As an adjunct to Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour, the New Music Bazaar has generated considerable interest. Before I tell you more, here's how to get there:

If that's a digital mouthful, then simply use the WebCrawler or WorldWideWebWorm to search for

New Music Vermont

The Kalvos & Damian site provides network browsers access to composers -- Vermont, American and International composers who have been and will be on the radio show. That access isn't just the usual biography, but includes a photograph, list of important works, and sometimes a full catalog. The real kick is the multimedia. Music and interview clips are part of each composer's page, and there is an option for video, Midi, and source code for composition and acoustic programs. The K&D site also includes clips from the radio show, and a "graffiti page" with multimedia contributions. (If you're reading this on line, you probably know that, but just in case you browsed your way here, head for the composer links in the Bazaar.)

One of the most important features of the site is our Music Resources for Composers. We've searched the Net for organizations, schools, institutes, performances venues and ensembles, composer sites, references, libraries, files and scores, programs, Midi and electronic/computer music info, and much more -- 150 extraordinary sites worldwide, and growing. What can you find there? We offered a sampling last month, but here are some more:

I hope that's enough to tickle your interest, because while people are browsing through our Music Resources list, they'll also be linked to the K&D Bazaar's dozens of composer pages. Join the show; call, write or email Dennis Báthory-Kitsz at 802-485-3972 / 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield, Vermont 05663, or David Gunn at 802-244-1747 / 7 Huntington Place, Waterbury, Vermont 05676.

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Alan Walker Woodwind Quintet

Alan Walker's Woodwind Quintet in B-flat Major received its first performance on September 30 by the Bennington Woodwind Quintet at Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

It was particularly rewarding for the composer to have his music performed by first-rate players: Rebecca Sheperd, flute; Lyndon Moors, oboe; Ray Willard, clarinet; Christine Mortensen, horn; and Zafer Ponter, bassoon.

You may be amused (or furious) at a conversation which took place minutes before the concert began. As the composer sat in the audience, a middle-aged couple entered and sat immediately in back of him. Their conversation began:

Wife: Oh my God, I see there's a premier performance on the program.
Husband: Oh no, don't tell me. I hate those kind of pieces. And you'd think they'd know better than to put it at the end of the program. If they'd put it in the middle at least they could have something decent to end with.

And that was not the end of their comments, interspersed throughout the evening.

Following the playing of the piece (which, by the way, ended up not at the end of the program), when the players graciously asked the composer to stand, he would love to have, but didn't turn around to see the expression on the couple's faces upon discovering that the subject of their darts had heard it all from eighteen inches away. Then again, maybe they'd not have cared less!

Submitted by the composer

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Dragon Dance Theatre Projects

Dragon Dance Theatre has completed a couple of major pageant projects this year. One, The Tree, was performed at the Bread and Puppet Theater's Domestic Resurrection Circus in August, featured a live band of six more or less improvisatory musicians, and a fabulous tree about 40 feet wide and 60 feet long, constructed from saplings, through which the entire audience exited at the end of the piece.

The second performance, Phaeton's Fall/Scorpio Rising, we presented at our homestead in Middlesex during a steady rain on the weekend before Halloween, to an undaunted crowd of about 400. This show, in addition to a very excellent and inventive live band, featured some of Sam Kerson's remarkable fire sculptures and fireworks scenes. Dragon Dance will be participating in Montpelier's First Night Celebration on December 31, with scenes from the Scorpio Rising production.

Submitted by Susan Bettmann.

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Next deadline: February 5. We stretch out two months ahead, so if you have anything planned between now and April, send info & a phone number. You can reach Consorting lots of ways. Email is best so I donít have to retype. But write!By mail, Consorting, c/o Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield 05663. By phone or fax, 802-485-3972. By email, Contact Form.

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ASCAP Ponders Licensing Future

ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is pondering the future of licensing music in an increasingly on-line and digital world, where copies of musical performances are both indistinguishable from originals and infinitely reproducible.

What does that mean? Simply that music transformed into the world of computer information can be copied with complete precision. There are no telltale marks that say "copy". When that Trio Sonata recording is converted into bits, it can be fired around the globe on the Internet, bouncing from computer to computer until it reaches its destination ... or destinations. I can sit down tonight, select fifty names from my electronic mailing list, and send each one a perfect copy of any original music I've stored on my machine.

But that's not all. Some music comes not in the familiar forms of scores or recorded performances, but rather as electronic expressions using software or the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). These aren't performances. They are the scores. And they, too, can be transmitted anywhere in seconds.

What's a composer to do? Licensing agencies like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC struggle to survey performance venues and broadcast media. They've recently gotten the cable kinks worked out. Now comes the Internet, where it's possible to track musical downloads only at the point of origin. Further copies vanish into the electronic netherworld.

Among those tussling with these questions at ASCAP headquarters in Manhattan on November 15 were composers Eve Beglarian, Joel Chadabe, Mark Coniglio, Jaron Lanier, Paul Lansky, Steve Paulus, Laurie Spiegel, Carl Stone, Morton Subotnik, Dan Weymouth, and the Consortium's Dennis Báthory-Kitsz. Nina Bernstein sat in, hoping to shed light on how her father Leonard's musical archives would fare on line, and three publisher representatives (Todd Vunderink of Southern/Peer, Tom Broido of Theodore Presser, and Ed Matthews of G. Schirmer) tossed in ideas about their own futures in an electronic publishing age. Nine ASCAP representatives -- including two lawyers -- grappled with the issues as well.

No solutions were found at this preliminary meeting, but among the thoughts:

There were many other suggestions and arguments at the afternoon-long meeting, which ASCAP is using as a starting point for the future. Vermont composers are invited to send their thoughts to Steve Paulus or Fran Richard, New Media and Technology Group, ASCAP, One Lincoln Plaza, New York, New York 10023. (ASCAP's internet site will be ready to go shortly, and will be linked to this space.)

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Kalvos & Damian Show Goes International!

Longer Program and Enhanced Web Page Available to Composers

by Kalvos or Damian

The Kalvos & Damian New Music Sesquihour, heard Saturdays from 2:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon on WGDR-FM 91.1 in central Vermont, has gone international. The supply of Vermont composers available to appear on the show has dwindled, and so the two-hour show (sometimes extended to four hours on selected Saturdays) has taken a new direction.

Composers from San Francisco, New Haven (Connecticut) and Pittsburgh have already joined us, and we are taping shows with composers and performers of new music from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, London, Tasmania, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, and other cities worldwide. An edited version of the K&D show will also be rebroadcast for the first time on another station beginning in mid-December, and we have contacted nationwide public radio representatives about offering the show via satellite.

By reaching out on the Internet, we have found dozens of interesting new composers excited about appearing on the program. The door always remains open to Vermont composers. Our Vermont guests have already included Olex Beck, Gilles Yves Bonneau, Arpad Elo, David Gibson, Bill Harris, Don Jamison, Rip Keller, Peggy Madden, Dennis Murphy, Erik Nielsen, Troy Peters, Bea Phillips, Thomas L. Read, Glenn Sproul, Don Stewart, and Gwyneth Walker. National guests have been Jacques Bailhé, Drew Krause, and Thomas Massella. Upcoming Vermont guests will be Michael Arnowitt, Zeke Hecker, Randy Neal, David Robert Stewart, George Todd, Batya Weinbaum, Barbara Wellsping, and Bob Wigness. National and international guests will be John Bussey, Joel Chadabe, Jody Diamond, Nick Didkovsky, Charles Dodge, Claudia Friedlander, Mark Lindsey, Larry Polansky, Laurie Spiegel, David Stevens, Steve Stusek (Vermonter no longer!), Ken Sybesma, and Dan Weymouth.

Join us. Contact Kalvos at 802-485-3972 or Damian at 802-244-1747.

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Published by the Consortium of Vermont Composers
Gilles Yves Bonneau, Director
Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, Editor-in-Flux
Don Stewart, Treasurer
Craig Hanson, Listkeeper

Board: Gilles Yves Bonneau, Troy Davidson, David Gunn, Bill Harris, Zeke Hecker, Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, Maria Lattimore, Ed Lawrence, Erik Nielsen, Thomas L. Read, Gwyneth Walker, Batya Weinbaum.

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