Newsletter of the Consortium of Vermont Composers

This edition of Consorting is sponsored by Malted/Media


May 1996 -- Volume VII, Number 3

Director’s Report

by Thomas L. Read

   Here's a friendly greeting from your "acting" and newly appointed director, with all best wishes for a happy and productive springtime.

   As you may surmise from the enclosed information, plans for a Bi-Regional Autumn Festival of Consortium Composers are coming nicely into focus. The catalyst for this event was Bill Harris and he deserves our special thanks for securing a Vermont Community Foundation Grant of sufficient value for us to confidently establish concert dates and engage performing artists for the Festival.

   This edition of Consorting includes a call for your scores and, in this column, a suggestion that financial donations (of any size) from members and friends to help with festival expenses will be accepted with sincere expressions of surprise and delight by Don Stewart of Tunbridge on behalf of the Treasury! Neeedless to say, the grant money and the present treasury won't cover all of our anticipated festival expenses, and such funds, as well as payment of overdue dues (please) will lessen, maybe eliminate, the need to spend our composing time in general fundraising.

   And don't forget to send us some scores and tapes!

Best regards to all,
T L Read

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1996 Fall Festival of Vermont Music

by Zeke Hecker

   The Fall Festival of Vermont Music will be held on November 2-3 and 9-10 in Brattleboro, Manchester, Montpelier and Burlington. Here are the details:

November 2, Brattleboro:

November 3, Manchester: November 9, Montpelier: November 10, Burlington:    Composers should submit scores and parts of works for string quartet or piano trio, and singer songwriters should submit sheet music, lead sheets, and/or tapes to Zeke Hecker, RFD 3, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301. Call 802-257-1028 for more information.

   Composers should submit scores and parts of works for the VCME combo directly to Steve Klimowski at RFD 1, Box 295, Fairfax, Vermont 05454; "art" songs for soprano and piano directly to Lisa Jablow, RD, Plot Road, Waterville, Vermont 05492; works for piano or piano and flute or flute alone to Diane Huling, c/o Bethany Church, Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602; and electronic/performance materials to Dennis Báthory-Kitsz at 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield, Vermont 05663.


  1. You have to be a member of the Consortium, fully paid for this year, to submit works.
  2. Submission of a work doesn't guarantee that it will be programmed. The performers will choose works, based partly on length and shape of the overall program.
  3. Works must be received by July 1, 1996.
   Performers and groups are professional and we have the Vermont Community Foundation grant and other funds to secure their services. A modest admission fee will be charged for each concert. The southern concerts are co-produced by Friends of Music at Guilford. Each performing unit will present between 40 minutes and one hour worth of music.

About the performers:

   In sum, we are looking for: string quartets; piano trios; art songs; solo piano works; works for flute; performance and electronic pieces; VCME combination work (though piano trio material goes to Zeke); and songs from our singer/songwriters. We are also looking for financial contributions.

Zeke can be reached at, and Dennis can be reached at Contact Form Other contacts should be made by mail.

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Music for the Day and the Year

by William Harris

   Thinking of the Day as the unit of time we all accept calendar-wise, psychologically and to a surprising degree biologically, we would of course want to adjust a day/week/month Yearlong Art Music Program to more realistic parameters than our 'nine-to-five' routine throughout the year. We have enough of that already in our industrialized society.

   Recent studies have pointed to a rise in levels of awareness and inventiveness early in the day, after the initial drowse of awakening. Problems left over from the preceding evening often snap into clear focus in the morning for a certain type of person. After a morning's attention, lunch is a break followed by a period of rest, somnolence, in many societies a conventional nap or siesta. Later in the afternoon, perhaps from four PM through the early evening, physical strength is at the maximum; later a gradual decrescendo before the day fades into sleep.

   It is possible to consider programming music with a basic pattern, the normal pattern of many uneventful days, in mind. In the morning evocative music, strong and clear in sound, but not dominating. Lunch time is quiet, slow-paced, but later comes an almost meditative music during the siesta period. Late afternoon would seem to call for strong thematic material, energetic dynamics, leading to the evening recession with a full-sounding tempered richness, which will taper off into the evening dream-world.

   These are not hard to tabulate in the world of music, we have traditional paces which virtually match the above categories, and New Music emulates the traditional ways most in rhythmic patternings. But there are several yearly Seasons, each with dynamics of its own. Without becoming as programmatic as Vivaldi, we can let the seasons modify our diurnal, "circadian" patterns in subtle ways, much as classic Japanese haiku was able to key poems and experience to the four climatic shifts.

   In narrower focus, there are two changes which have a strong impact on most people. The bright sunny days always seem to raise a certain expectation in our minds, while barometric shifts in the direction of rain, even more sudden short barometric fluctuations as in the annual Swiss Fon winds, can wreak emotional and semi-medical effects on the general population. So we will want to make many varied changes in our seasonal and annual music-design, possibly best done by computer generated data.

   Entering the month and day gives us a rough place to start. Since the working week starts with a lazy-Monday and ends with a hang-in-there-Friday, we should probably enter diurnal/weekly data on the primary level. Time of sunrise and sunset are important events, but perhaps more dynamic are the barometric data which indicate a sunny/cloudy prospect. Levels of relative heat over a hundred degree F swing can be worked into our data. Events of national or international importance appearing in newsprint and on TV may have a strong impact, e.g. the Oklahoma bombing, the Savings and Loan scandals, a Presidential race for election.

   By now we have an overly complex set of initial data, so we will have to introduce some loading to make this into an operable system. If we load the most regular features with a factor of 1, those which are most unusual and explosive with a factor of 10, and try different loadings for the other functions on an experimental basis, we may find that our computer program can select pieces to perform from a roster like this:

  1. Largo
  2. Meditative
  3. Andante
  4. Picking up speed, but controlled
  5. Energetic but controlled
  6. Forcefully dynamic
  7. Crashing and driving
  8. Ecstatic in a forceful mode
  9. Furioso
   Any set of orchestrative devices can be associated with any of the above classes, but the rhythmics may well fall in a range of one to ten spread over the above groups in the order listed.

   Is this a practical way of organizing a year's worth recorded instrumental music, ranging over a wide spectrum of styles and dates, so as to provide a minimally-recursive Annus Musicalis at the present time? The answer is clearly no.

   But is this possible, and even more is it a worthwhile project to pursue as a way of bringing to an extended audience a wealth of many thousands of pieces of music which might never otherwise be heard at all? Here the answer, in the world of "what can come to be...", is decidedly in the affirmative.

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Weinbaum’s Fragments

  Angel Fish Press, operating out of East Montpelier, Vermont, announces the publication of its second chapbook, Fragments of Motherhood. Written by Batya Weinbaum, a resident in and about central Vermont since 1981, the chapbook represents a compilation of poetic prose and poetry on the theme of mothering. Batya Weinbaum’s The Island of Floating Women, Jerusalem Romance, and The Curious Courtship of Women’s Liberation and Socialism are also available at Country Books in Plainfield, Vermont. She just completed her Ph.D. at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she has been teaching writing and literature. This past year, she has been published in Sounding Off!, which won the American Book Award; Beyond Bedlam, by Third Side Press of Chicago; Mothertongue; Spectrum: The Literary Optimist; and many other venues. She has numerous previous publications.

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Treasury Report

Treasurer's Final Report for 1995 and prorject for 1996-97:

******** EXPENSES ********1997 1996 Concert 1995
Newsletter printing 600 500 368
Newsletter postage 400 300 200
Produce tapes 100 0 0
Other printing 0 100 0
Office/office expenses: 50
Phone 100 100 118
Postage 100 100 87
Travel 435
Netsite work 100 100
Concert production s=1600
Musician fees 3000 3400 n=1800
Space rental 300 400 400
Equipment rental 200 300 300
Publicity 300 350 350
Entertainment/Hospitality 100 100 100
Accounting/Legal 200 200
Bank charges 10 10
Contingency 200 100 100
TOTAL EXPENSE 5710 6060 4650 1258
********* INCOME *********
Members Dues 1500 1500 500 1280
Non-Member Subscriptions 30 50 0 0
Contributions from Members 200 200 95
Sales of Services (tapes) 200 0 5
Sales of Mugs, etc. 100 100 75
Contribs. from Non-Members 200 0 0
Admissions 1500 1000 1000
Special Contributions 400 250 250
Grants (VCF) 2100 2100
Grants (Vt. Nat. Bank.) 800 800
Grants (VCA) 1500
TOTAL INCOME 5630 6000 4650 1455
End-of-Year Balances 57 137 197
Don Stewart, May 11, 1996

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Listkeeping Note

   Check your mailing label. If it’s wrong -- name, address, expiration -- or if you’re not getting a newsletter and know you’re 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 July 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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Green Ideas Furiously Asleep

   George Todd's new CD is out! It is 73.39 minutes of music from l982 through l992, an excellent selections of the carefully prepared re-synthesized sounds which Todd is well known for, in a thoughful matrix of rhythmic devices. The disc is available from:

Electronic Music Foundation, 116 North Lake Avenue, Albany NY 12206
(518) 434-4110 Voice / (518) 434-0308 Fax / Email: For a full listing of the recordings EMF has prepared and plans for work in progress, see:

Submitted by William Harris

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By-Laws, Articles & Minutes

  At a January meeting of the Consortium, the assembled members adopted the Articles of Association and By-Laws of the Consortium. We are, after eight years, incorporated as a non-profit organization. You can read these documents, together with the minutes of the meeting, on-line or via hardcopy. To receive a hardcopy, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope with 2 oz. postage to Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield, Vermont 05633.

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Call for Scores

   Scores are sought for the book Music for Voice and Classical Guitar, 1945-1996, and annotated catalog to be published in Fall 1996 by McFarland & Company, Inc. All music must be performable by the duo of one vocalist and one classical guitarist. Send scores, tapes (optional), and supporting information to: James Maroney, 256 Berkshire Road, Southbury, Connecticut 06488-2039, no later than July 1996.

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Networking Update

by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz

   The Kalvos & Damian New Music Sesquihour and the on-line Bazaar it inspired have grown. The site has counted over 7,500 visits since mid-January, and now includes pages on each guest composer (see the index of composers), together with their catalogs, interview clips, musical examples, biographies, and other goodies; this newsletter and special Consortium announcements; news of the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, a large list of composer websites worldwide, and an extensive list of resources available for composers. The site includes photos and sound clips, together with sound players for web browsing software. Visit the Kalvos & Damian Home Page and explore more than 450 on-line pages, photos, graphics and audio clips.

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The Reflecting Pool

by William Harris

   Muzak was a great idea, far ahead of its time. Piping music to locations where uneasy silences were unacceptable, e.g. dentists' and doctors' offices, was already standard a whole generation ago. The only things that was wrong is that the music was crap, by design, because it was that sort of unobtrusive, melodious, sugared-oversound was exactly what the American public thought music was supposed to be.

   Now that we have current technology for doing the same thing on telephone communications, only much better and cheaper, we have a good avenue for finding a viable social use for New Music. For years the government has been allotting a decent percentage of the cost of every federally funded building for "art-work", which usually appears as a giant lump of stone in a shallow pool of water, or a wall of brash paint which often seems to go nowhere and look as if it came from nowhere as well. Of course some artwork is great, if it is good work, properly sited, and consonant in some un-obvious way to the intent of the building. No more Scales in the foyer of a Courthouse, muscular workers in low-relief stainless steel above the door of a Welfare Office. Abstract design has the advantage of looking quizzical when installed, and not losing this curious quality over a couple of generations.

   But we are talking about music. There have been numerous combinations of a dimensional piece of art, fixed or static, accompanied by a continuous recording of music; the SEAMUS Journal, last edition, mentioned one such arrangement with a 22.5-minute tape as an early venture. But when music accompanies visual display, it is usually the music which gets missed, as in cinema and current TV stories. Even an MTV show of Brendel on Beethoven's 5th piano concerto gives a lot more detail to the pictures than the music. After it is over you might better pull out your old CD and listen carefully in a darkened room -- just listen to just the music.

   I believe that it is worth bringing to the NEA a proposal for an assemblage of a week's New Music from the Consortium, to be installed in various locations of an important Federal building, on an annual contract for four such interchangable "sets" scaled for a 40-hour week if daytime use, or a continuous replay if the building is used continuously. Airports, train stations, courthouses, medical buildings, Government Offices as well as the halls of private corporations -- there is a lot of empty space sitting around unused.

   Briefly, there are several direct steps:

   How can this be started? First draw up a Proposal for the Project, submit to NEA through all the normal sources, certainly speak to some people in State Government for support, and if a small starter-grant can be secured, make up a coherent sample tape to be delivered on current communication lines to a site which find the idea intriguing. With net communications the idea can be documented and advertised easily.

   There may be no interest at all in today's bad-taste world, but then again there may be a sigh of relief to hear interesting sound in places where there was before nothing but the shuffle of shoes. Nothing tried...

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Nelson Premieres Walker

   On February 4, 1996, Mark Nelson, tuba and the Millikin/Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Wesley Tower, conductor, premiered Gwyneth Walker's Chanties and Ballads, Songs of the Sea for tuba and orchestra. The concerto had been in preparation for over a year and was warmly received by the audience. Ms. Walker was in attendance at the premiere at the 2,000-seat Kirkland Fine Arts Complex on the campus of Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Nelson will play the concerto again at the annual Cabaret concert April 12 and at the Young People's Concert April 14. Submitted by Mark Nelson.

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   Next deadline: July 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 don’t 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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Young Composers Competition

   The National Young Composers Competition is sponsored by a grant from BMG Music Service and is managed by Williams College. There are three grand prizes of $10,000, and winning works will be premiered at the Berkshire New Music Festival in October 1997. Deadline: March 3, 1997. Composers must be not more than 23 years old by March 1, 1997. For more information, call Hilary Greene, Program Manager, at 413-597-3730, at 5 Southworth Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267, or by email at

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Kiraly Music Network

   The Kiraly Music Network is Hungary's answer to the high cost of orchestral recording in the West. David Zsolt Kiraly has created a service to record orchestral music, with full rights to the digital master, using Hungarian orchestras. The process includes the orchestra, recording engineer, interpreter, music director, rehearsals, studio rental, tax, and other expenses, at a cost of $390 per minute. Depending on the length of music to be recorded, Kiraly will include travel and accommodations in the price. Eastern European orchestras have a long history or performing and recording contemporary music, and Kiraly has taken advantage of that fact, together with the different economic circumstances in Hungary, to develop the program. CD production is also offered. For information, contact the Kiraly Music Network at Izabellu ut 44/b., 1064 Budapest, Hungary; Bottyán ut 12, 2533 Bajót, Hungary; by phone at +36-60-366-926 or by fax at +36-33-355-030. (Information packets are also available from Dennis Báthory-Kitsz at 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield, Vermont 05663 or Contact Form

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Electronic Music Foundation Calendar

EMF Calendar is a publication of Electronic Music Foundation, Inc., 116 North Lake Avenue, Albany, New York 12206. Telephone 518-434-4110 voice, 518-434-0308 fax. Email to subscribe, or find them at

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Kalvos & Damian Show Finishes a Year on the Air

Program and Website
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, finished its first year on the air in mid-May. Vermont composers have continued to be featured, but show hosts Dennis Báthory-Kitsz and David Gunn looked into the community of European composers and found it rich with music, ideas and food. So from March 14-27, the show traveled to New York, Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels and Paris to interview composers and composer/performers: Klarenz Barlow, Marc Battier, Henning Berg, Peter Beyls, Rhys Chatham, Nicolas Collins, Maria DeAlvear, David Dramm, Anne LaBerge, Benedict Mason, Mary Oliver, Robert HP Platz, Eliane Radigue, Kaija Saariaho, Laurie Spiegel, Steven Stusek, Richard Tolenaar, and Calliope Tsoupaki.

   Since the last issue of Consorting, many other composers have appeared on the show, including Michael Arnowitt, Susan Bettman, Joel Chadabe, Dennis Darrah, Jody Diamond, Steven Gryc, Zeke Hecker, Fred Ho, David Kraus, John Levin, Keith Moore, Larry Polansky, Carl Stone, Peter Tavalin, George Todd, Scott MX Turner. Pauline Oliveros will appear on May 18, and future guests will include Charles Dodge, Randall Neal, Barbara J. Wellspring, Jaron Lanier, Mark Lindsey, David Stevens, John Bussey, Robert Wigness, Elma Miller, Dr. Nerve, Robert Train Adams, Richard DeCosta, Bill Gilliam, Jim Lynch, Tom Johnson, Randy Rare, and Alcedo Coenen.

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
Thomas L. Read, Director
Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, Editor-in-Flux
Don Stewart, Treasurer
Craig Hanson, Listkeeper

Board: David Gunn, Craig Hanson, Bill Harris, Zeke Hecker, Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, Maria Lattimore, Ed Lawrence, Peggy Madden, Don McLean, Erik Nielsen, Bea Phillips, Thomas L. Read, Don Stewart, Gwyneth Walker, Batya Weinbaum.

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