PRISMS contemporary music festival features works with multiplicity in new music


PRISMS Festival "Multiplicity."

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“Multiplicity,” the School of Music, Dance and Theatre’s 11th annual PRISMS Festival at Arizona State University, features engaging works with a wealth of diversity in contemporary music. The 2021 festival runs Dec. 1–3 on the Tempe campus.

“Multiplicity may take many forms — plurality or hybridity of genre and style, disparate compositional approaches and works by composers and sound artists from various communities, traditions and creative practices,” said Simone Mancuso, faculty associate and coordinator of the festival. “We are particularly interested in works that push boundaries, experiment or expand on contemporary practices from different social, cultural and intellectual perspectives.”

The festival will showcase 11 world and Arizona premieres. Eighteen ASU faculty members and seven ASU music ensembles will participate, along with the community ensemble Crossing 32nd Street.

The opening concert features works by ASU composition faculty Gabriel Bolaños, Fernanda Navarro, Christopher Norby, Garth Paine and Jody Rockmaker, and it will include two world premieres and two Arizona premieres. The second half of the concert will feature multimedia works by music composition students Laura Brackney, Anastacia Meconiates, Jason Phillips, Deanna Rusnock and Ziyu Wang.

The second concert features performances by the Crossing 32nd Street Ensemble, the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Contemporary Percussion Ensemble and ASU faculty. Six world premieres by ASU composition students Phoebe Leong, Addison Hill, Meconiates, Sarah Core, Alicia Castillo and Carlos Zárate will also be featured.

The third and final concert features performances by the Crossing 32nd Street Ensemble, the ASU Saxophone Choir and the ASU Jazz faculty. The concert includes works by György Ligeti, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman and a world premiere by music composition student Tanner Bayles.

Hosted by the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, the festival’s artistic committee includes Mancuso and music professors Navarro, Bolaños and Rockmaker.

Mancuso said this year the festival includes works by music composition students to provide the opportunity for students to be featured in a festival specializing in contemporary music.

In total, eight students have composed a new work that will be premiered during one of the three days of the festival.

PRISMS festival was founded in 2009 by Mancuso and Glenn Hackbarth. Since then, every edition has featured a topic centered on either a genre or a composer.

“This year we feel that diversity is a very appropriate topic to celebrate,” Mancuso said. “The programs feature composers of different backgrounds, nationality, age and gender.”

Tickets to the concerts can be purchased online at the Herberger Institute Box Office. Prices for each concert are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with a valid ID.

2021 PRISMS Festival 'Multiplicity'

Concert 1
7:30 p.m. Dec. 1
Katzin Concert Hall
Concert program

Concert 2
7:30 p.m. Dec. 2
Katzin Concert Hall
Concert program

Concert 3
7:30 p.m. Dec. 3
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre
Concert program

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