Cronkite School wins prestigious EPPY Award

November 2, 2016

For the fourth time, the Carnegie-KnightNews21 program has won a prestigious EPPY Award from Editor & Publisher magazine for a national investigation conducted by college journalism students.

The News21 “Voting Wars” project won for Best College/University Investigative/Documentary Report. Headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, News21 is a multimedia reporting initiative established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. News21 Emily Mahoney, the Carnegie-Knight News21 Chip Weil fellow from the Cronkite School, interviews Josh Spring, the executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition in Cincinnati. Photo by Roman Knertser, News21 Download Full Image

The EPPY Awards recognize the best media-affiliated websites across 31 categories, including three that honor excellence in college and university journalism. In the past five years, News21 has taken the award four times. Last year, the Cronkite School documentary “Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona” won the top honor.

For this year’s “Voting Wars” investigation, 31 students from 18 universities traveled to 31 states and interviewed hundreds of individuals. They produced more than a dozen stories, shot hundreds of photos and produced more than 30 videos.

Since its release in August, portions of the “Voting Wars” investigation have been featured by more than 80 media outlets, including NBC News, USA Today and The Washington Post. In all, portions of the investigation have been published more than 180 times by media outlets.

“We are very honored and proud of the many students who worked on this voting rights project, particularly because of the significant issues that are playing out during this presidential election year,” said Jacquee Petchel, News21 executive editor. “Their work is a public service to every American, regardless of political affiliation. The project also is a testament to the many ways the Cronkite School is working to tell stories in engaging and innovative ways that benefit the public and the future of journalism.”

The News21 project follows up and expands on the 2012 investigation on voting rights, “Who Can Vote?” which won the Cronkite School’s first EPPY Award. Other News21 EPPY-winning projects include an investigation into gun rights and regulations in 2014 and an investigation into the battles facing post-9/11 veterans in 2013.

EPPY Award entries were judged by a panel of notable figures in the media industry, chosen by Editor & Publisher staff.

The Cronkite School received four nominations in student media categories this year. In addition to “Voting Wars,” Cronkite News, the student-produced news operation of Arizona PBS, had two nominations — one in Best College/University News or Event Feature for a major bilingual poll on border issues and the other in Best College/University Investigative/Documentary Report for a report on childhood asthma in lower-income communities.

The Cronkite School’s Southwest Borderlands Initiative project “Hungary: Europe’s Borderland” was nominated in the Best College/University Newspaper Website category. Nineteen Cronkite students traveled to Hungary and neighboring countries last spring to investigate the refugee crisis impacting the region. The project was made possible by a grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

In addition to the Carnegie Corporation and Knight Foundation, the News21 “Voting Wars” project was supported by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and Louis A. “Chip” Weil as well as individual universities that funded their students’ participation.

ASU's contemporary music festival presents iconic, rarely performed works

November 2, 2016

“Noise spectra” is the exploration of the continuum between noise and sound. It’s also the focus and the title of this year’s Prisms Contemporary Music Festival at the ASU School of Music.

Often dismissed as ugly and unwanted sound, noise is a powerful ingredient in many musical compositions. In his article “The Joys of Noise,” American composer Henry Cowell writes, “Without the punctuation of cymbal and bass drum, the climaxes of our greatest symphonies would be like jelly fish.” He also says, “There is a noise element in the very tone itself of all our musical instruments.” The ninth edition of Prisms highlights this view and presents compelling music dedicated to noise spectra, rich arrays of tone colors, comparable to rainbows of colors in visible light when seen through a prism. people sitting in circle on laptops Numerous students in the School of Music and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering are participating in this year’s Prisms Contemporary Music Festival, including LOrkAS, the Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State University. Download Full Image

“The Prisms festival theme allows us to present live performances of such iconic yet rarely heard works as Edgard Varèse’s ‘Ionisation’ for 13 percussionists, Tristan Murail’s ‘Ethers’ and György Ligeti’s iconoclastic and though-provoking ‘Poème symphonique’ for 100 metronomes,” said Sabine Feisst, professor of musicology. “The festival programs span works composed in the last 120 years, with the majority of the repertoire created in the new millennium.”

Offering the highest-quality performances of experimental music in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the annual ASU School of Music Prisms Festival is comprised of themed concerts and showcases great music that is rarely performed, along with pre-concert talks, round tables, film screenings, installations and workshops. The festival, founded by Simone Mancuso and Glenn Hackbarth in 2009, promotes the view that music is a living tradition — an exciting and vibrant part of modern life — and passes on that belief by combining performances with informative lectures and discussions for ASU students, faculty and the local community.

The festival will take place Nov. 17-20, on ASU’s Tempe campus, and is organized by Simone Mancuso, faculty associate of percussion; Sabine Feisst, professor of musicology; and Garth Paine, associate professor of music composition.

“Each year we offer a wide range of events and pioneering works, from inventors of a trend to representatives of the latest and most innovative tendency,” said Mancuso. “This year we highlight the trajectory from the intonarumori (noise intoners) of noise champion Luigi Russolo to the ‘Dirty Electronics’ of cutting-edge artist John Richards.”

The first concert of the festival features the virtuosic San Diego New Music Ensemble performing Arizona premieres of Tristan Murail’s “Ethers” (1978) and Garth Paine’s new work, “No Stone Unturned.” Both works imaginatively traverse a wide range of tone and noise spectra. Led by ASU saxophone professor Christopher Creviston, the Capitol Quartet performs Iannis Xenakis’s riveting all-saxophone work “XAS.” Joining these ensembles is Robert Spring, professor of clarinet, performing music by Giacinto Scelsi.

“This year’s festival explores music at the edge of noise and shows how noise has influenced musical tastemakers,” said Paine. “We will reconsider the foundations of music and demonstrate how noise can be powerfully used in musical textures, in timbres, melodies and in spectacular floating masses of sound.”

Another highlight of the festival will be the free two-day “Dirty Electronics” workshop directed by internationally renowned artist John Richards from DeMontfort University, England, Nov. 18–19 in the ASU Stauffer B building, room B111. Students will learn how to build unusual instruments involving small electronics and use them in the second concert of the festival. In the second concert, Richards will present his own composed and improvised music and perform with vocalist Justin Kennedy, doctoral student in composition. Richards will also present a guest lecture, “Slow Circuits and Noisy Design,” on Nov. 17 in the Arts, Media and Engineering Digital Culture Speaker series, ASU Stauffer B-wing, room B125, 3–4 p.m.

This year the Phoenix-based interdisciplinary ensemble UrbanStew will exhibit their award-winning instruments modeled after the Intonarumori (noise intoners) invented by Italian futurist composer Luigi Russolo. These instruments will be displayed in an installation in Cowley Lobby before each concert and can be played by audiences, including children.

Numerous students in the School of Music and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering are participating in the festival, including members of the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble and LOrkAS, the Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State University.

“I hope that the participants in this festival will be inspired by the spectrum of music and discussions offered,” said Feisst. “And hopefully they will explore these musical directions further, as performers, composers or as listeners.”

Text says Prisms Contemporary Music Festival 7th edition. Images are of seven musicians, six men and one woman.

This year’s Prisms Contemporary Music Festival will take place Nov. 17-20 at ASU's School of Music.

Festival highlights

Guest Lecture: “Slow Circuits and Noisy Design”
3–4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17
B125, Stauffer B-wing, 1st floor, ASU Arts, Media and Engineering
John Richards, guest speaker
Admission: free

“Dirty Electronics” Workshop
9 a.m.–noon, 1 – 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18
9 a.m.–2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19
B111, Stauffer B-wing, 1st floor, ASU Arts, Media and Engineering
John Richards, director
Admission: free
This workshop focuses on the building of new instruments based on small electronics and the use of these instruments in performance. This workshop is co-sponsored by LOrkAS, the Laptop Orchestra of ASU.

Masterclass: Flute
11:50 a.m., Friday, Nov. 18
Recital Hall, ASU School of Music
Artist: Rachel Beetz

 6–7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19
10:30–11:30 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 20
Cowley Lobby, ASU School of Music
UrbanStew: Interactive Installation of Luigi Russolo’s instruments intonarumori (noise intoners) for audience participation

Concert 1
7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18
Katzin Concert Hall, ASU School of Music
Simone Mancuso, Director
Tickets: $5–9
Purchase tickets at 
Featuring the San Diego New Music Ensemble, the Capitol Quartet and ASU School of Music faculty, Christopher Creviston, associate professor of saxophone, Robert Spring, professor of clarinet, and Garth Paine, this concert includes works by Giacinto Scelsi and Iannis Xenakis and showcase the Arizona premieres of Tristan Murail’s “Ethers” for solo flute and 5 instruments (1978) and Garth Paine’s “No Stone Unturned” for ensemble and electronics (2016).

Concert 2
7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19
Katzin Concert Hall, School of Music
Tickets: $5–9
Purchase tickets at
This concert features compositions, performances and improvisations by internationally renowned guest artist John Richards (DeMontfort University, England). Richards will also perform in collaboration with LorkAS, ASU’s laptop orchestra, and the participants of his “Dirty Electronics” workshop, using an array of sound sources including voice, sudophones, motors, stones, scrubbing brushes and electronics.

Concert 3 
noon, Sunday, Nov. 20
Simone Mancuso, Director
Katzin Concert Hall, School of Music
Admission: free
The Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble presents pieces composed by Chaya Czernowin, Gerard Grisey, György Ligeti, Helmut Lachenmann, Corte Lippe, Tristan Murail, Kaija Saariaho, Giacinto Scelsi and Edgard Varèse. Highlights are Arizona premieres of Ligeti’s “Poème Symphonique” for 100 metronomes, Lachenmann’s “Guero” and “Trio Fluido” and a version of Varèse’s iconic “Ionisation” featuring two theremins.

Pre-concert lectures will be presented by Sabine Feisst, professor of musicology, Kristina Knowles, instructor in music theory, and by graduate students in musicology.

For more information on the Contemporary Music Festival, go to