Those of you who know me will understand that I won’t apologize in advance for the title/pun of this piece – indeed – what you are about to hear consists of sounds that are 96.8999% (or more) produced by Doug Spaniol. These sounds (bassoon licks, laughter, clicks, pops, wheezing and burzles) were recorded in the Colin Clive Electronic Music Studio at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46208 early in the autumn of 2000, and then manipulated using computer software, synthesizer filtering, basic editing techniques and guilt to produce the tape part.
(Tape! What tape? At no time during the production of this piece was tape ever used. Why do we call it a tape piece?)
It is a cautionary tale – at some point, the recorded part (Der Überbassoon!) tries to dictate what material should be performed by the bassoonist – much like an upper level administrator (or applied music instructor…) tryijng to get you to do a piece of work that you’d rather not do. However, the bassoonist has other ideas: “No…. I think I’ll sleep – No…. I think I’ll procrastinate…. No -- I’d rather play the Mozart concerto instead of the Hindemith sonata.” A tug of war ensues with the inevitable clash of wills in the last section of the piece.
Frank Felice is an eclectic composer who writes with a postmodern mischievousness: each piece speaks in its own language, and they can be by turns comedic/ironic, simple/complex, subtle/startling or humble/reverent. Recent projects of Felice's have taken a turn toward turn towards the sweeter side, exploring a consonant adiatonicism.
His music has been performed extensively in the U.S. as well as garnering performances in Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, Austria, the Phillipines, the Czech Republic and Hungary. His commissions have included funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Omaha Symphony, the Indiana Arts Commission, The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, Music Teachers National Association, the Wyoming State Arts Board, the Indianapolis Youth Symphony, Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma as well as many private commissions and consortia. A recording of electronic and electro-acoustic music entitled "Sidewalk Music" is available on Capstone Records & Ravello records on iTunes, Naxos and other online sites. Scores and other performance materials can be obtained from MMB Music or Mad Italian Bros. Ink Publishing.
Frank began his musical studies in Hamilton, Montana, singing, playing piano, guitar and double bass. His interest in composition began through participation with a number of rock bands, one of which, Graffiti, toured the western United States and the Far East in 1986-1987. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, the University of Colorado, and Butler University, studying with Michael Schelle, Daniel Breedon, Luiz Gonzalez, and James Day. Most recently he has studied with Dominick Argento, Alex Lubet, Lloyd Ultan, and Judith Lang Zaimont at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he completed his Ph.D in 1998. Frank currently teaches as an associate professor of composition, theory and electronic music in the School of Music, Jordan College of Arts at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
He is member of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S., the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, The Society of Composers Inc., and the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers. Residencies include those with the Wyoming Arts Council, and the Banff Centre for the Arts and a number of mini-residencies in universities and high schools throughout the west and mid-west. In recent years he has been in demand as an electric and upright bassist, playing in a rock//funk/prog rock/big bands in the greater Indianapolis area. In addition to musical interests, he pursues his creative muse through painting, poetry, cooking, home brewing, paleontology, theology, philosophy, and basketball. He is very fortunate to be married to mezzo-soprano Mitzi Westra.
Performer Biographical Sketch
Doug Spaniol is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Woodwinds in the School of Music at Butler University's Jordan College of the Arts, where he teaches bassoon and courses in reed-making, pedagogy, theory, and chamber music. In the summers, he serves as instructor of bassoon at the world-renowned Interlochen Arts Camp. He was previously a member of the faculty at Valdosta State University and has twice served as visiting professor at The Ohio State University. His instructional book for bassoonists, The New Weissenborn Method for Bassoon(Hal Leonard, 2010), has been called "a must for all your beginning students" (The Double Reed) and "an invaluable addition to bassoon literature...a landmark in pedagogy" (Double Reed News). His new edition of Julius Weissenborn's Advanced Studies, op. 8, no 2, (Accolade, 2012) makes available for the first time all 60 of these studies as Weissenborn originally intended.
His bassoon students have enjoyed remarkable success, including being named a winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition, an alternate in the International Double Reed Society's Young Artists Competition, and finalist in the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition. Other competition successes have lead to concerto performances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (two students), the Butler Symphony Orchestra (six students), Interlochen's World Youth Symphony Orchestra (three students), the Kokomo Symphony Orchestra, and the Kokomo Park Band. His students have won positions and/or performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, and many other ensembles. In addition, his students have performed on National Public Radio's From the Top, been offered scholarships and graduate assistantships to this country's finest music schools, and have won prizes in competitions sponsored by Pi Kappa Lambda, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale, and the American Federation of Musicians. Dynamic Agenda, a bassoon quartet of Butler students, appeared on an Emmy-winning episode of WFYI's Across Indiana television magazine.
As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Spaniol spent the first half of 2012 in England teaching at the University of York and furthering his research and restoration of Weissenborn's pedagogical bassoon works. Previously, he was named a Marshall Scholar and subsequently studied at the Royal Northern College of Music where he was awarded the prestigious postgraduate diploma in performance. As such, he may be the only person to ever receive both a Marshall Scholarship and a Fulbright Scholar Award to the UK.
Dr. Spaniol has presented masterclasses internationally at the Royal Academy of Music (London), Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester), Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Cardiff), and the St. Petersburg (Russia) Conservatory. In the US, he has led masterclasses and workshops at Indiana University, Michigan State University, the University of Wisconsin, and for the Music for All/Bands of America National Festival, among many others. He frequently appears as a performer/presenter at music education conferences and the annual conferences of the International Double Reed Society. He served for six years as the Bassoon Chair for the IDRS's Fernand Gillet - Hugo Fox Competition.
As a performer, Dr. Spaniol has appeared as concerto soloist with Sinfonia da Camera, the St. Petersburg Classical Symphony Orchestra, Solisti St. Petersburg, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, and Butler's Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Jordan Sinfonia. He can be heard as soloist on two CDs: Bassoon with a View (Innova 520) and Frank Felice: Sidewalk Music (Capstone CPS-8707). As a member of Arbítrio (with Alicia Cordoba Tait, oboe, and Bradley Haag, piano) he has performed throughout the Midwest, in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and recorded a CD for Centaur Records (CRC 3013). He served as principal/co-principal bassoon of Sinfonia da Camera for twelve seasons, including a tour of England, broadcasts on NPR's Performance Today, and CDs on Albany and Zephyr Records and the Classical Music for Dummies CD. He has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, and many other ensembles. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Art Garfunkel, Sandi Patty, Michael Feinstein, Nancy Griffith, Daniel Narducci, and country star Collin Raye.
Dr. Spaniol earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Ohio State University as well as Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Illinois. His bassoon teachers include Christopher Weait, William Waterhouse, and E. Sanford Berry. An Artist/Clinician for Yamaha Corporation, Dr. Spaniol plays a Yamaha YFG-811 bassoon.