Ars Nova Singers

music beyond words

Boulder, Colorado USA

(303) 499-3165

Specializing in a cappella music of the Renaissance and the 20th and 21st centuries, Ars Nova Singers of Boulder, Colorado is presenting its 30th concert season in 2015-2016. The professional-core vocal ensemble conducted by founding Artistic Director Thomas Edward Morgan is composed of 36 selectively auditioned choral musicians from the Denver/Boulder metropolitan region.

Kevin Sloan, Our Fragile Past  (kevinsloan.com)

Kevin Sloan, Our Fragile Past  (kevinsloan.com)

THE NEW ART: SHARED VISIONS

A stunning success!

The culmination of a collaborative, interdisciplinary project of Colorado artists: we assembled a gallery of 23 works by seven visual artists; 19 poets viewed the gallery and used the images as a basis for writing new poetry. The new poetry has been assembled into an anthology, and we have commissioned four Colorado composers (Daniel Kellogg, Paul Fowler, Conor Brown, and Thomas Edward Morgan) to use this anthology to create new music for chorus. Artistic Director Thomas Edward Morgan: “This is a project that we’ve been working towards for a couple of decades, and we’re very pleased to offer this as the climactic final program of our 30th season. We’ll have the visual artists, poets, and composers with us at the performances, and the energy and excitement generated by the shared inspirations has been electric.”


Shared Visions: The Visual Artists

“Art emerges from play with materials of no apparent value (paint, a lump of stone, a rough log, a scrap of wood found on a trail) transforming them to tell a story or to speak of a truth. Because I revel in the real, the actual, the tangible, I like to take the objective presence of a plain log of wood or a block of stone or a piece of paper pass it through a filter of traditional formalism, be it primitive, classical, gothic, or baroque, and then stream it again through my own sensibility, shaped by minimalism and abstract expressionism, to find at last a graceful gesture, curve, or line.

But then there is the dramatic horizon line of the world Out West. Who are we in relation to that stretch of the horizon out to the east over the endless prairie? The horizon line speaks to me of the boundless possibilities of the imagination but also of the importance of what is right here in front of us – the immediacy of the found piece of wood, worn by years of weather, spotted by the trail as we strike out early in the morning.”  – Helen Howe Braider

Helen Howe Braider was born a faculty brat, surrounded by books and writers, but was always uncomfortable with the written word, instead drawing constantly and then discovering clay and sculpture.  Under the tutelage of her brother-in-law, an abstract expressionist painter, she went to exhibitions, posed for her portrait and hung out with his artist friends. After a year at Goucher College, then three years at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland, Helen dropped out and found a job working inthe Dublin Art Foundry. In 1992 Helen moved with her family to Boulder, Colorado, entering a very different art market.  Her work continued as minimalist figurative carvings in stone and wood,  searching to convey a moment caught in stillness, an expressive tilt of a head, or a quiet lift of a hand.  www.helenhowebraider.com

“My work is metaphor. Through the invisible quality of understanding the metaphor, I am intuitively guided to the visual interpretations.” – Wewer Keohane

The art of Wewer Keohane is in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Brooklyn Library, The Masur Museum of Art, the Musee L’Eventail (Paris, France), many corporations and libraries. Her work is exhibited in many other museums as well. Her mixed media, book art works and sculptural pieces are represented and collected internationally and included in many publications. Wewer is also the author of several books, including Artful Dreaming, and holds Ph.D.s in Creative Arts/Depth Psychology. She is an avid art collector, dog lover and yogi. Wewer and her husband Steve, also an artist, have created Oneirica Art Ranch, a creative collaboration of art and working studios along Cattle Creek in the Roaring Fork Valley of Western Colorado.   www.wewerart.com

"My paintings tell mythical stories through overlapping imagery and interwoven pattern, spanning multiple panels. Parallel narratives about the human condition and the natural world are intertwined; encoded via dovetailing symbolism and metaphor. Visual references include the animal kingdom, science, mythology and repetitious pattern. The paintings are experiments in mutability— of shifting narrative, varied color palettes, and flexible grids. Different stories emerge when the panels are arranged and rearranged." – Julie Maren

A Colorado native, Julie Maren received her BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her creative path has led her to work as a painter, stone carver, textile designer and children’s book illustrator. Maren’s artwork has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, and is part of private, public and corporate collections worldwide. She has received major grants for her work, attended international stone carving symposiums, and her paintings have also been woven into textiles in the form of a signature series with the Smartwool company. Maren’s nomadic tendencies have brought her around the globe several times—essentially self-designed artist residencies. Carving stone in India; a year of experimenting with new materials in Bushwick, Brooklyn; and learning the old art form of cloister-work in Linz, Austria, were particularly formative experiences.   www.juliemaren.com

"My current works are allegorical depictions of what occurs when the natural and man-made worlds meet. I’ve created a body of work that speaks about our modern technological environment and simultaneously presents images of natural beauty and mystery. In these tableaus, the natural world of animals and plants interacts awkwardly with the man-made objects and yet, a tenuous balance is achieved." – Kevin Sloan

Appropriating the aesthetic of John James Audubon, Kevin Sloan explores the poetic dimensions of nature using a representational, scientific style. His images of the natural world feature intricately rendered birds that evoke Audubon’s realist approach and taxonomic faithfulness. Subtly allegorical, his work probes the relationship between humans, animals, and nature in the contemporary world. The artist received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Temple University and Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Arizona. He has had numerous one-man and group shows, including “Magic Realism: A New Generation” at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO.  His work hangs in many public and museum collections including Chase Manhattan Bank, General Electric, Hallmark Corporation, Phoenix Art Museum, Tampa Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, State University of NY Art Museum, the University of Utah Museum of Art, among others.   www.kevinsloan.com


Shared Visions: The Poets

Megan E. Freeman writes poetry and fiction. Her poetry collection Lessons on Sleeping Alone was recently published by Liquid Light Press. She has also been published in poetry anthologies and literary and educational journals, including Turtle Island Quarterly, Literary Mama, Green Fuse Poetic Arts, and English Journal. Composer Steven Sametz selected her poem, Music’s Music, as the text for a commission by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, which premiered at Disney Concert Hall. With degrees from Occidental College and the Ohio State University, Megan has over twenty years of experience teaching in the arts and humanities, and she is nationally recognized for her work leading professional development programs for educators. Megan has lived in northeast Los Angeles, central Ohio, northern Norway, and on Caribbean cruise ships. Now she lives near Boulder, Colorado. www.meganefreeman.com

 

Western Slope Poet Laureate Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poetry has appeared in O Magazine, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion and in her children’s lunch boxes. Her most recent collection is The Less I Hold. Clients include Think 360, Craig Hospital, Hospice and Camp Coca Cola. She served as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate, directed the Telluride Writers Guild for 10 years, and co-hosts the Talking Gourds Poetry club. She’s won the Fischer Prize, Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, the Dwell Press Solstice Prize, the Writer’s Studio Literary Contest, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. She curates “Heard of Poets,” an interactive poetry map of Western Colorado. Since 1994, she’s performed with Telluride’s seven-woman a cappella group, Heartbeat, and since 2006, she’s written a poem a day. Her MA is in English Language and Linguistics. Favorite one-word mantra: Adjust.   www.wordwoman.com

 

Erin Robertson lives in Louisville and writes in the quiet dark hours when the house goes to sleep.  Along with taking care of her two sons she likes hearing people’s stories, backpacking, getting her hands in the dirt, and listening to music better than most things.  Her poetry was included in the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department’s Art Inspired by the Land show at the Boulder Public Library.  Two of Erin’s poems were selected by our composers for use in Shared Visions.   www.erinrobertson.org

 


Shared Visions: The COMPOSERs

Conor Brown is a composer, clarinetist, and producer from Boulder, Colorado.   His music is motivated by the sweeping prairies, big sky, and jagged peaks of the American West.   His compositions often feature complex, driving rhythms, sustained tension, and colorful ornamentation inspired by folk music from around the world.  Conor has had works commissioned by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, ground-breaking amplified chamber orchestra Dogs of Desire, clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer, the American Symphony Orchestra, New York City-based chamber orchestra Contemporaneous, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Colorado Children’s Chorale, and many others.  Conor has performed as the guest principal clarinetist of the American Symphony Orchestra, as a concerto soloist with the Boston-based Cadenza Players, and with Contemporaneous.  Conor holds a B.A. in dance and a B.M. in music composition from Bard College and the Bard College Conservatory of Music.  He has studied composition with Joan Tower, John Halle, Randy Woolf, and George Tsontakis, and clarinet with David Krakauer, Laura Flax, and Daniel Silver.  Conor also has many credits as a freelance record producer and audio engineer and is a founding member of the progressive metal band Fifth Veil.   www.conorbrownmusic.com

Sourcing materials parsed from the world’s spiritual traditions and natural beauty, Paul Fowler’s music occupies a unique space that invokes our shared human experience. The New York Times has described his music as “radiant, ghostly, and shimmering.” Drawing on his background in classical vocal music and his regular work as an improvising pianist, vocalist, and electronic musician, Fowler’s music straddles old and new in a highly personal and integrative way. His works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the National Concert Hall of Taiwan, Le Poisson Rouge and Japan’s Suntory Hall among others. Selected performers and commissioners of Fowler’s work include the Symphony Orchestra of Northwest Arkansas, San Juan Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, SymphoNYC, the Ju Percussion Group, The Crossing (choir), Hope Mohr Dance, and Young Concert Artist Naoko Takada. His music has received the First Music Award, the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Louis Smadbeck Composition Award and the Swan Composer Award (Honorable Mention). Fowler makes his home in Boulder, where he chairs the music program at Naropa University – a Buddhist inspired contemplative university. In addition he’s an artistic associate with local theater group The Catamounts and maintains a private teaching studio. He has degrees in voice, composition and theater from Ithaca College and a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor.   www.paulfowler.net

Daniel Kellogg is one of the most exciting composers around – technically assured, fascinated by unusual sonic textures, unfailingly easy to listen to, yet far from simplistic”, wrote the Washington Post.  Dr. Kellogg, Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Colorado, has had premieres with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Takács Quartet, and the Aspen Music Festival.  He has served as composer-in-residence for Young Concert Artists, the South Dakota Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony, and the Lexington Philharmonic.  Honors include a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, six ASCAP Young Composer Awards, the BMI William Schuman Prize, and the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Award.  His works have been broadcast on NPR’s “Performance Today”, “St. Paul Sundays”, and BBC’s “Live from Wigmore Hall” among others.  A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Kellogg earned a Masters of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music.  www.danielkellogg.com

 


Spring Sing, with Swing

Monday, June 6, 2016, 6:30pm - Gatehouse, Lionsgate Event Center, Lafayette

Our annual Gala and Auction! Ars Nova celebrates thirty years and looks forward to the launch of our 31st season with a delightful spring evening, featuring solo and ensemble performances; light appetizers, dessert, wine, and local craft beer; and a silent and live auction of unique art, goods, and services.