Resonance Modes was inspired by a completely imaginary and impractical preparation of the piano, one that I never actually intended to use, but seemed like an interesting starting point for the piece. I imagined hundreds of small liquid mercury droplets being poured into the piano and dancing on the sounding board and strings in beautiful and interesting ways. Although impossible for several obvious reasons (principally, the health and safety of the performer, the audience, and the piano!), this idea came from mercury’s relatively unique properties, namely the high density and surface tension which cause it to resonate at different frequencies in beautifully different ways. One droplet of mercury can be transformed into thousands of different shapes when vibrating at various frequencies, and certain frequencies take on particularly interesting characteristics because of the resonance modes. Rather than explain resonance modes in detail, you can see mercury’s resonance modes in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR7SIeD-8-o, which I think will illustrate the relationship to the piece more vividly. In the piece, I dwell on a small set of pitches and timbres which are slowly transformed primarily through rhythmic processes as a way of exploring these imaginary resonance modes over time.
Composer David Biedenbender has written music for the concert stage as well as for dance and multimedia collaborations, and his work is often influenced by his diverse musical experiences in rock and jazz bands as an electric bassist, in wind, jazz, and New Orleans-style brass bands as a euphonium, bass trombone, and tuba player, and by study of Indian Carnatic Music. His present creative interests include working with everyone from classically trained musicians to improvisers, acoustic chamber music to large ensembles, and interactive electronic interfaces to live brain data. He has had the privilege of collaborating with and being commissioned by many talented performers and ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Stenhammar String Quartet, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Music from Copland House, U.S. Navy Band, Philharmonie Baden-Baden (Germany), VocalEssence, and Eastman Wind Ensemble, among many others. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Boise State University and holds degrees in composition from the University of Michigan and Central Michigan University. He has also studied at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, the Aspen Music Festival, and in Mysore, India where he studied carnatic music. For more information, visit: www.davidbiedenbender.com.
Performer Biographical Sketch
Jeannette Fang is an imaginative and expressive pianist whose dynamic performances have attracted the attention of both professionals as well as the concert going public. She has been featured at such prestigious venues as Alice Tully Hall, John F. Kennedy Center, Zankel Hall, Hill Auditorium, Peter J. Sharp Theater, Weill Recital Hall, and Steinway Hall, as well as appearing on stages in Europe and Asia.
Her most recent awards include the Gold Medal at the 2013 Seattle International Piano Competition, where she also received the President’s Award and Audience Favorite Prize. She has earned top prizes in the Dallas Chamber Symphony International Piano Competition and the MTNA Young Artist National Competition. She is the recipient of the Elizabeth J. Parisot award from Yale School of Music, the winner of the Karlfried Nordman Scholarship Piano Competition at Juilliard, and was a National Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2003.
She has soloed with numerous orchestras including the University of Michigan’s Symphony Band, New Jersey Philharmonic, Battleground Symphony, and St. Mary’s Chamber Orchestra, where she was Artist-in-Residence. She has performed as a guest artist at such places as Boston Conservatory, Jacob’s Pillow Festival, and the Steinway Society Musicale.
Ms. Fang is passionate about working with composers, and has enjoyed active collaborations with prominent composers such as David Lang, Shulamit Ran, Sydney Hodkinson, Aaron Jay Kernis, Philippe Hersant, Lera Auerbach, William Horne, and Stephan Cox. In the past she was involved with New Music New Haven at Yale, and is currently an active member of the Contemporary Directions Ensemble at University of Michigan.
Ms. Fang is also an experienced chamber musician. She was a young artist at the Taos Music Festival in the summer of 2012, and has spent three summers at YellowBarn Festival in Vermont. She has performed with faculty and various new music groups in such venues as Bargemusic, Chamberfest at Juilliard, and Le Poisson Rouge.
An avid writer, Jeannette has published many articles on music. Her most recent work has been for the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival, for which she was employed as a Michigan Fellow. In the past she has written for the Juilliard Journal.
Ms. Fang holds degrees from the Juilliard School, Yale School of Music, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Michigan. Her principal teachers have included Peter Frankl, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Robert McDonald, Julian Martin, and Logan Skelton. Her first piano teacher was her mother, Dr. Julia Lam.