[FISEA’93] Artists Statement: Steve Solum & Susan Flaskerud — Concerto for MIDI’d Grand Piano

Artists Statement 

World Premiere, Composition by Stephen Solum
Susan Flaskerud, piano
Allegro Moderato Adagio
Allegro Audacia

Concerto for MIDl’d Grand Piano is a bridge between the traditional world of Western European concert music and the newer world of digital control and sound generation. Just as the modem piano design exploited mechanical technology in order to give a performer greatly enhanced conctrol and power over hammers striking strings, the MIDI Grand Piano exploits digital technology to extend that control much further, not only over tone colors, but over time, space, melodic direction and texture. Concerto is fully performed live; there are no recordings of computer sequences involved. The MIDI ensemble grow out of the piano over the three movements, the results of the pianist’s finger movements becoming everrnore complex and apparently independent, but remaining always physically caused by her. In this piece the computers are obedient, just as the piano hammers are. The composer and performer make and execute the musical decisions.

  • Stephen Solum is a composer and teacher. After undergraduate work at St. Olaf College (Minnesota, USA) he  continued a career in the commercial music industry, pioneering techniques for combining live performance with pre-recorded music tracks in the late 1970’s. During this time, he became familiar with theories and techniques of acoustic and electrical design for audio, as well as continuing an interest in electro-acoustic music. He received an M.A. from New York University in 1987, with special work in syntheses and aesthetics, and is currently finishing his Ph.D. in composition at the University of
    Minnesota. He was awarded a Doctoral Teaching Fellowhip at New York University, as well as a Dissertation Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. He has also received several commissions and has had his works performed on the East Coast and the Midwest United States. He currently teaches sound technology in the Film and Video program at Minneapolis Community College. https://stephensolum.com
  • Susan Flaskerud, pianist, has appeared throughout the Midwest and West Coast in solo recitals and as a chamber musician. She recently compoleted a summer tour of concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area including recitals for Bay Concert Arts 192 season, and gave recitals in Napa, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Scotts Valley, Yuba City, Sacramento, Los Gatos, and Spartks, Nevada. Her chamber music concerts have included performances with members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Affiliate Artist, Robert Bonfiglio. The Flaskerud Piano Trio made its debut on the Manteca Kindred Arts 1990¬1991 concert season in Manteca, California. This past April, she was featured in the Rockwall Chamber Music Series in Dallas, Texas. She also is active as a performer and teacher in the Twin Cities. She has appeared in recital at the Minneapolis _Institute of Arts, as Artist Performer for Thusday Musical, and on the Schuber Club’s metro Artists Series. As a core member of The Foundry, a new music ensemble, she performs and frequently premieres new solo piano and chamber works. She holds a doctorate in solo performance from Arizona State University, a Master of Music in pianoperformance/chamber music from Northwestern University, and an undergraduate performance degree from the University of Minnesota.