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Avian Telemetry by renowned ecoacoustic composer Matthew Burtner was created as a result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between the composer and a cohort of faculty and students from the Music, Biology, and English departments at Furman University in Greenville SC.
This compelling video performance, directed by Four/Ten Media, highlights these diverse disciplines and creates an evocative space for the contemplation of avian habitat and conservation through music.
SIX ECOACOUSTIC QUINTETS / AVIAN TELEMETRY is available from Ravello Records.
Matthew Burtner is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist. An IDEA Award winner and first prize winner of the Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music composition, Burtner works closely with politicians, scientists, artists and musicians, creating music in support of sustainability and free imagination. In 2014 he was invited to Brazil to work with former Vice President, Al Gore on Climate Reality, and in 2015 he was invited by the US State Department to create the music for President Barack Obama’s visit to Alaska. In 2015 he was also a featured presenter on the Smithsonian Magazine’s Future is Here festival and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s Arctic Spring Festival. In 2016 he presented Music for Climate Science at NASA’s Goddard Space Center. His electronic and chamber music is played widely in festivals and concerts around the world and is available on several critically acclaimed albums. Jean Ferraca of Public Radio’s Here on Earth says “It is music that draws from both beauty and horror of nature… He calls his music “ecoacoustics”. I say it’s the world song.” Burtner is Professor of Composition and Computer Technologies (CCT) and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Virginia, and Founder of the environmental arts non- profit organization, EcoSono (www.ecosono.org).
Omar Carmenates is currently the Associate Professor of Percussion at Furman University in Greenville, SC where he oversees all aspects of the percussion program including classical, jazz, and world percussion studies. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida. Omar is also a versatile musician and his debut solo recording, entitled The Gaia Theory, was released through Rattle Records in 2013. He is also the director, producer, and arranger of “The John Psathas Percussion Project”, a collaboration aimed at recording and performing percussion ensemble arrangements of the works of New Zealand’s most prominent composer, John Psathas.
Omar also actively explores the intersection between music and sustainability. He has done research on the endangerment of Honduras Rosewood and its effects on the percussion industry, participated in interdisciplinary collaborations with ecoacoustic composer Matthew Burtner, and can also be heard on the Cantaloupe Records release of John Luther Adams’ concert-length Inuksuit for 9-99 outdoor percussionists, a work that he both co-commissioned and directed in its United States premiere.
Omar is a proud endorser/artist for Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, Inc. Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, and Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments.
Michele Speitz (narrator) is Associate Professor of Romantic Literature and Culture at Furman University and Director of the Furman Humanities Center. She is Editor of Romantic Circles Scholarly Editions, and is currently working with Alan Liu (University of California at Santa Barbara) to establish and advance Critical Infrastructure Studies (CIS.org) across environmental humanities programs in the United States. Her work appears in SEL: Studies in English Literature, Studies in Romanticism, European Romantic Review, Essays in Romanticism, Romantic Circles: Praxis Series, and The Keats-Shelley Review. She has received the Trent R. Dames Fellowship in the History of Civil Engineering from The Huntington Library’s Munger Research Center and has stood as a residential fellow at The National Humanities Center.
The Furman University Percussion Ensemble performs a wide variety of literature while also dedicating itself to the commissioning and performing of new chamber works from a diverse body of composers. As part of a long-standing collaboration with Furman’s David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, the ensemble also has become known for its performances and recordings of ecoacoustic music, helping promote Furman’s standing as one of the nations academic leaders in sustainability. Students of the Furman Percussion Ensemble have also presented interdisciplinary performances and research at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies conference, the nief-norf Summer Festival Research Summit, the International Conference on Romanticism, and the Esri International GIS User Conference.
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