Archived News | Return to News Center

March 3, 2008

Faculty Artist Series celebrates modern art techniques March 10

The ULM Faculty Artist Series presents Mel Mobley, Ph.D, in recital on Monday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall. The event, which will feature modern art techniques, will incorporate a combination of solo percussion works written by noted composers and chamber music composed by Mobley, assistant professor in ULM’s Division of Music. The concert will also feature a video created by Will Tatum, a sophomore music major from West Monroe, as part of the ULM Emerging Scholars program.

“The hope is to challenge the audience as well as to excite and entertain it,” said Mobley.

The concert opens with “Art, Love, Piece.” Solo percussion, video and electronics explore the very nature of art and its relationship to society. The piece begins with the electronic intertwining of society’s answer to the question, “What is art?” The answer is a barrage of sounds and sights that overload the senses and culminate in a duet between percussionist and recorded speech.

“Peaces of Earth and Science” features ULM faculty members Dr. Sandra Lunte, flute, and Dr. Scot Humes, clarinet. The video montage presents a dazzling array of images that are both haunting and evocative. The electronic accompaniment uses text and musical sounds to connect the live performers and the video with the concept of modern society’s love/hate relationship with science.

The one traditional piece of the evening will be an arrangement of “Dido’s Lament” for marimba and voice featuring ULM faculty member and soprano Susan Olson, Ph.D. Olson will also perform “Supplication,” originally written for choir and percussion and adapted for soprano and marimba. The other transcription of the night will be the performance of Leonard Bernstein’s piano work “For Susanna Kyle,” played as a marimba solo.

The concert will feature two major solo percussion works of the twentieth century: “Psappha” by Iannis Xenakis and “Les Livre des Claviers” by Philip Manoury. Both demonstrate the electricity of modern percussion that is relentless in its drive and exciting in sheer power. “Psappha,” scored for “skins, metals, and woods” uses graphic notation, giving it an architectural design. The beauty comes not only from the architectural shape of the piece, but the excitement created by such interesting timbres as metal saw blades, car parts and pieces of wood. The last piece of the concert is “of God waiting” a traditional solo piano.

Tickets are free for ULM faculty, students and staff with I.D. Tickets are $7 for the general public. For ticket reservations, please call 342-1414.

About Mobley:

Mobley has been involved with contemporary music for the last 20 years as composer, conductor, performer and advocate. He has been part of numerous premieres around the country and has been featured as a performer and composer at contemporary music festivals including BONK in Tampa, Fla., FunNewMusic in Champaign, Ill., and the 1999 SEAMUS National Convention in San Jose, Calif.

His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, and he has been commissioned by The Monroe Symphony Orchestra and the chamber group, Three-Headed Monster. His most recent premieres are “Concerto for Wood,” performed by his wife Melissa Wilson Mobley, a piece in the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, and percussion solo “Zippers, Zebras, and Waltzes,” performed at the Louisiana Composers’ Consortium Concert in Nachitoches.

As a percussionist, Mobley has performed with The Florida Orchestra and the I-Pan steel drum band. He is currently the principal of the Monroe Symphony Orchestra and a regular performer with the Shreveport Symphony and the Longview Symphony. Recent solo appearances outside of Louisiana include the Magic Marimba Festival in Tampa, Fla. and a solo recital at Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virg.

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.