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Composers to attend NIU ‘Visual Music’ concert

March 16, 2011

Book cover for Notations 21NIU’s School of Music will present a concert of “Visual Music” at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31, in the Music Building Recital Hall.

The title of the program refers to the unconventional approaches to musical notation employed by the composers whose music will be featured: John Cage, Kyong Mee Choi, Robert Fleisher, Paul Paccione and Theresa Sauer.

Composers Choi, Fleisher, Paccione and Sauer all will be present at the concert. Choi will come to NIU from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Paccione from Western Illinois University in Macomb and Sauer from her home in New York. Fleisher is a member of the NIU School of Music faculty.

The influential and controversial American composer, Cage (1912-1992), was also the author of several books, including “Notations” (1969), which presented a wide variety of musical compositions employing non-traditional approaches to notation.

Inspired both by Cage and by more recent developments in musical notation, composer-musicologist Sauer collected excerpts from works by more than 150 composers from around the world in her book, “Notations 21” (2009).

This program will feature the work of several composers whose music appears in “Notations 21.”

Works to be performed include: “Aria” (1958) with “Fontana Mix” (1958) for voice and electronics by Cage; “Three Motets: Arabesques” (1999) for four prerecorded clarinets by Paccione; “Sublimation” (2003) for marimba and electronics by Choi; “Mandala 3: Trigon” (1979) for amplified oboe, soprano saxophone and clarinet by Fleisher; and “The Circle Series” (2011) by Sauer.

Performers will include School of Music students Ramses Bugarin, Collin Clauson, Ted Lempkowski, Daniel Pratt, Joel Ream, School of Music alum Richard Moore and School of Music faculty member Diane Ragains.

"Red Circle" by Theresa SauerThis concert is one of several Notations 21 events open to the public.

Sauer’s residency at NIU (Thursday, March 31, and Friday, April 1) is made possible by the NIU School of Music, the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the NIU Art Museum in Altgeld Hall, where an exhibition of representative scores from Notations 21 will be on view from Thursday, March 31, through Saturday, May 14.

The opening Art Museum reception is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 31. Regular gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from noon to4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment for groups.

Sauer also will speak to student composers from 3 to 3:50 p.m. Friday, April 1, in Room 202 of the Music Building.

For more information on the Notations 21 project,visit and