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New Music Festival at NIU will feature Australian duo

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

The Northern Illinois University School of Music’s New Music Ensemble, under the direction of Gregory Beyer, will hold its third annual New Music Festival on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This year’s celebration will feature music of would-be centenarian composer John Cage (1912-1992), undoubtedly America’s most widely recognized avant-garde composer and thinker of the 20th century.

The festival also will feature “New Music from Down Under.” This seemingly unrelated juxtaposition is thoroughly logical when one considers that the festival will feature the Queensland, Australia-based new music duo, Clocked Out. Erik Griswold, pianist and composer, and Vanessa Tomlinson, percussionist, are two of today’s most innovative, daring and thought-provoking musicians on the international contemporary music scene.

Their studies at the University of San Diego allowed them to create strong roots in the United States; as a result they are regularly on tour throughout this country. Their compositions are largely inspired by their improvisational skills and they trace an enormous inspiration to the work and life of John Cage.

Many events are scheduled that will make up this festival:


• 11 a.m. – School of Music convocation with Clocked Out

• 7 p.m. – John Cage’s “Lecture on Nothing,” featuring the NIU School of Music faculty all-stars

• 8 p.m. – Concert Program 1 – Music of John Cage/Music from Down Under


• 7 p.m. –  Pre-Concert lecture on new music from Australia with the Clocked Out duo

• 8 p.m. – Concert Program 2 – Music of John Cage/Music from Down Under

Nov. 8

• 11a.m. – Improvisation/percussion clinic with Vanessa Tomlinson

All events are free, open to the public, and in the Music Building, 400 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb.

For more information, contact Gregory Beyer at gbeyer@niu.edu or 815-753-7981.

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