Topos

Program Notes
The Greek "topos" (literally "place") is the root word for "topic," "topology," and "topography." According to topic theorists, a musical topic is an archetypical narrative or style (e.g. "alla Turca" or "Sturm und Drang"). A more recent trend in contemporary music theory is to borrow from mathematics elements of the subdiscipline of topology , comparing harmony and voice leading to geometrical entities which contort and permute in fascinating ways. The study of topography is obviously concerned with layouts of physical surfaces. The three areas of study intersected in my thinking which went into this piece: how can I write a piece for vibraphone and electronics (using the rhetorical devices and other electroacoustic "topics" I've imbibed over the last few years), which is harmonically (or "topologically") colorful and interesting, which is at the same time ergonomically pleasing to the performer (i.e. it lies well on the "topography" of the vibraphone)? This piece is the result of my inquiries.

Biographical Sketch
Composer Kyle Shaw writes colorful, energetic music, in acoustic and electro-acoustic mediums, tailored to the people and circumstances of their occasions and informed by his experiences as a performing artist. He has presented his work at the Grawemeyer 30th anniversary conference, SPLICE Institute, the University of Nebraska’s Chamber Music Institute, Electronic Music Midwest, and the SEAMUS conference (his music can be heard on the SEAMUS miniatures recording series.)

He has been a finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a Belvedere Chamber Music Festival Composition prize winner, and 1st-prize winner of the Iowa State University Carillon Composition Competition and the Vera Hinckley Mayhew Creative Arts Contest.

He is a recipient of a Barlow Endowment commission, the 17th-annual 21st-Century Piano commission, and has been a resident fellow at the Osage Arts Community’s Mid-Missouri Composers Symposium.

He earned a BM from Brigham Young University and is currently pursuing his DMA at the University of Illinois, where he has studied composition with Carlos Carrillo, Stephen Taylor, Heinrich Taube, Reynold Tharp, and electroacoustic music with Scott Wyatt and Eli Fieldsteel. He lives in Savoy, IL with his wife Tess and three daughters. Kyleshawmusic.weebly.com