The IUP Chamber Percussion Ensemble known as Intensity will present its first concert of the season this Thursday, September 22, 2011. The concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Gorell Recital Hall, located on the second floor of John Sutton Hall. The ensemble is under the direction of Michael Kingan, and admission is free.
Intensity is an extension of the IUP Percussion Ensemble whose literature explores contemporary chamber music centered around percussion, often incorporating other instruments.
One of two special performers, Allen Otte, cofounded the Blackearth Percussion Group in 1972. Otte, one of Kingan's former teachers, is also the founder of Percussion Group Cincinnati. A large body of new and often experimental music has been created specifically for the group throughout its history, including special relationships with John Cage, Herbert Brun, John Luther Adams, and Qu Xiao-song.
Otte teaches percussion instruments, eurhythmics, composition, and various literature seminars, and coaches and conducts traditional and contemporary chamber music. He is a regular summer faculty member at Oberlin College, where he has also done a course in traditional and creative music for Javanese gamelan.
With and without the group, he has concertized, recorded, and taught throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including solo concerts and guest presentations in Shanghai, Saarbrucken, Aukland, and at Tanglewood. As both percussionist and composer, he works occasionally with soprano Audrey Luna, poet Don Bogen, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and extensively in computer music with Mara Helmuth. He has also worked in Lucca, Italy, with opera director Malcolm Fraser creating experimental music theater pieces.
Bonnie Whiting Smith explores the flexible boundaries between music and other disciplines, focusing specifically on music for speaking percussionist. Current projects include a solo simultaneous realization of all of John Cage’s 45’ for a Speaker and 27’10.554” for a percussionist and work with red fish blue fish, the Seattle Percussion Collective, and percussionist Allen Otte.
A committed performer and educator, Smith spent three years with Tales and Scales, a quartet combining new music, dance, and theater for family audiences, giving over four hundred performances in twenty-five states and appearing with the Dallas, Oregon, Indianapolis, Buffalo, and Louisville orchestras.
Smith has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and worked internationally in Switzerland under the direction of Pierre Boulez, and in Canada, Panama, New Zealand, and Italy. She has premiered music by Jerome Kitzke, Randall Woolf, John Luther Adams, and Michael Pisaro, and worked with Frederic Rzewski, Steve Reich, and Philippe Manoury, and she champions the music of her peers.