by Mark Linville // Fall 2011
It’s “highbrow Devo-synth meets Aphex Twin jam,” says music reviewer and UMKC alumnus Lee Hartman (M.M. ’05, D.M.A. ’09). An amplified string quartet and electronics playing the sound of twisting timbers is typical fare for the Kansas City Electronic Music & Arts Alliance (KcEMA). The KcEMA brings diverse sounds and sights to its audiences.
Created in 2007, the group helps musicians, poets, dancers, actors and others showcase their talents to the community. Through support and collaboration of electronic artists, KcEMA aims to further the creation of electronic music and arts.
In January, the group was awarded a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music for its contribution to furthering public interest in and appreciation of contemporary American Music. With the Copland grant, the KcEMA will be able to continue its programming and production of a concert series. Caroline Miller, a teaching assistant in the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, is a member of the artistic committee. “People from all over the world submit their music, videos and ideas, and we vote on what we would like to see performed,” Miller says. “Often, we feature a particular performer or ensemble per concert and invite artists to collaborate.”
The selection process brings out the most talented artists, says Miller. In the past, the KcEMA has performed music composed by numerous well-known musicians from all over the world, including recent Pulitzer Prize winner Zhou Long, Conservatory research professor of music composition. The KcEMA has also performed pieces by Paul Rudy, professor of music composition, theory and musicology, Zhou Juan, graduate piano student, and Daniel Eichenbaum, a doctoral student at the Conservatory.