...with a capital M



On Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at Tonic, Capital M presents its second annual concert of world premieres, featuring new works by Ian Dicke, Mike Gamble (world premiere), Caroline Mallonée (world premiere), Ian Moss (world premiere) , Edward RosenBerg III (world premiere), Jonathan Russell, and Kyle Sanna (world premiere). Noted provocateurs and ne'er-do-wells Anti-Social Music will follow with their particular brand of "punk classical" madness.

This concert will be graced by the musical stylings of Mike Gamble, guitar; John Hadfield, drums and percussion; Peter Hess, reeds; Bradley Kemp, bass; Ian Moss, vocals; Renate Rohlfing, piano and keyboard; Kyle Sanna, guitar; and special guests.

Ian DickeAmerican-born composer and performer IAN DICKE (b. 1982) creates music that is uniquely representative of today's overlapping musical cultures. His compositional voice emerges from a range of influences including electronica, math-core rock, pop music from Southeastern Asia, and contemporary concert music. The subject matter of Ian's music is often inspired by his passion for environmental issues and politics. His work has received many awards and distinctions including the Jim Highsmith Orchestral Award and a Meet the Composer Creative Connections grant. His music has been presented around the world by a variety of ensembles and festivals including the 16mm Orchestra, Capital M, the University of Michigan's Philharmonia Orchestra, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra, Gamma-UT, 60x60, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. Ian has studied composition with David Conte, Daniel Becker, Bright Sheng, and Michael Daugherty. Current composition projects include a work for cello and electronics and a large scale piano piece.

About his piece Press Play!, Ian writes, "When I finally made the decision to study music seriously in my late teens, I entered the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and quickly realized that I didn't know anything about classical music. In my youth, Nirvana was my Mozart and while I am in love with almost all forms of sound, my kinship with pop and rock music still remains my most important influence. To compensate for my lack of a classical background, my undergraduate years were filled with a complete immersion into the great sonatas and symphonies and a tour de force of writing derivative pieces. I had my Impressionistic chamber works, my Prokofievian piano concerto, and I even paid tribute to Steve Reich with a piece that included two marimbas playing canonic African rhythms. After graduating the conservatory and through the encouragement of my teacher Dan Becker, a few friends and I started a 'new music' chamber ensemble with the idea of fusing rock and classical music. Press Play! is the fruit of that labor. Its conception marked a return to my roots as a rock musician while maintaining the classical ideals of form and variation.'"


Mike GambleMIKE GAMBLE was born in the U.S. of A's smallest state, Rhode Island, and has been on the road ever since. Mike and his family relocated to rural New Jersey, Atlanta, GA, and finally Columbus, Ohio, where Mike gave up the sports and video games to pursue music full-time. After years of playing sousaphone in marching band, cello in youth orchestras, and guitar in various rock/jazz bands, Mike decided to pursue a Jazz degree at NEC, where he studied with John Abercrombie, Gene Bertoncini, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Moses, and George Garzone. Gamble now teaches guitar all over the tri-state area and is in and out of his apartment in Brooklyn. In addition to Capital M, Mike performs with other NYC-based groups such as the Inbetweens, Bootyjuice, A.D.M., Michael Cain, Snuggle/Stencil, the Barbarians, Brooklyn Qawwali Party, and collaborates on several movie scores.

"In the fall of 2005 I had the wonderful opportunity to fly across the world with my girlfriend Devin to visit her brother Jared, whom was studying to be a business lawyer in Hong Kong. Within a short week Jared managed to squeeze in snapshots of both the traditional and modern lifestyle of China. We visited a jade market in Kowloon, the ever-so bustling Hong Kong, a small city on stilts, the Great W all, an enormous Buddhist temple, the forbidden palace of Beijing, and even the casino-ridden Macao. As we trekked along I managed to fit my belongings into the case of my 'backpacker' guitar, in which I periodically took out to work out some ideas I had going through my head. Meanwhile, Devin jotted down her observations in her diary, which now serves as the text of the suite that I have arranged for Capital M. China, from what I saw and felt, is geared up to take over the world. It is said by many that the "American Century" has run its course. Some argue (notably Hunter S. Thompson) that 9/11 undeniably marks its death. Others, such as the neo-conservative US think tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC), continue to promote US military and economic space, cyberspace, and global domination. With the rise of its free-flowing economy coupled with the loosening up of its communist ideals, China could conceivably carry the torch. So, more or less, this piece is a short-lived journey through a vastly changing country, Zhongguo (the region of China and its surrounding islands). As you will hear, the piece concludes with an Morse-code S.O.S. motif, which I heard as the ferry was docking in Macao. The very next moment a lady attempted suicide off of the footbridge. She failed miserably."


Caroline MallonéeComposer CAROLINE MALLONÉE (b. 1975) received her Ph.D. from Duke University. She also holds degrees from Harvard University and the Yale School of Music. She held a Fulbright Fellowship for study with Louis Andriessen at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag from 2004-2005. Ms. Mallonée’s compositions have been played by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Contemporary Music Forum, the Women Composer's Orchestra, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Virginia Pops Symphony, Non Sequitur, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra, the Del Sol, Ciompi, Alexander, and Mendelssohn String Quartets and the Gregg Smith Singers. Her music has been heard at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, on the New Music New Haven series, at the Chapel Hill Arts Festival and at the Durham Downtown Music Festival. Her music has been performed in the U.S., the Netherlands, Wales, England, and Mexico, and has been broadcast several times over National Public Radio on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion.” Ms. Mallonée has been on the faculty of The Walden School for young composers in Dublin, NH for nine summers, where she teaches composition and musicianship. She holds the position of Director of Composer Forums, directs the female choir, and is the Academic Dean. She has been co-commissioned by the Walden School and artists-in-residence for a new work five times. Ms. Mallonée is a member of pulsoptional, a sextet and composers’ collective devoted to new repertoire that performs regularly in Durham, NC and Chapel Hill, NC. Please visit her website at www.carolinemallonee.com.

Caroline writes, "Hey Yeah Nanny Nanny (The Tease) is at once an homage to one of my former teachers, Louis Andriessen, and a rock ballad. The realization that the opening motive was reminiscent of 'Nanny Nanny Boo-Boo' led to the title. This piece was written for Capital M, and is dedicated to them."


Ian Moss - photo by Benjamin NiemczykCapital M founder IAN MOSS began his musical studies at the age of 12 by transcribing classics from the Wee Sing songbook for his computer’s monophonic PC speaker. His first major composition was a “rock symphony” written as an independent study project during his senior year in high school. While earning a degree in music at Yale University, he served as the Undergraduate Assistant Conductor of the Yale Glee Club, and for two years as President of the Yale College Composers’ Group (now known as Igigi), an organization he founded in the fall of 2000. He has sung baritone with the Dessoff Choirs, the Canticum Novum Singers, the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, and the Yale Glee Club at venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center and Academy of Music, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and is co-founder of C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective. His music has been performed or read from New Jersey to Alaska by ensembles including the Princeton Singers, Forecast Music, Mosaik Two, Cerddorion, Due East, the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and the Way Blue Bucket. Ian is currently Development Manager for the American Music Center.

"Obelisk is at once a return to my roots with Capital M and an exploration of new territory. Like my earliest compositions for the band, it divides musical material up into 'cells' which can be repeated an unspecified number of times, creating a cloud of polymetric possibilities. However, I also took cues from later compositions such as liberal use of vocal harmonies, additive rhythmic processes, notation allowing for minor variations within the same measure, and a brief obsession with the band Interpol. The result is a synthesis of a number of techniques I've had interest in for quite a while. My computer's two-year-old hard drive died an untimely death in the middle of the conception of this piece, with the result that Obelisk is the first manuscript-only composition I have completed in nearly five years."


Edward RosenBerg IIIEDWARD ROSENBERG III is 27 years old. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Saxophone performance from The Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, NY. He is currently working towards a Masters degree in composition at Queens College here in New York City. Ed recently co-authored a book with saxophonist Walt Weiskopf called “Beyond the Horn,” published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz. He plays tenor saxophone and writes music for "lungcore" pioneers Jerseyband.

Of Prelude to Beast-Wedding, Ed writes, "A human being and an animal are frozen and bonded together by way of some unknown, futuristic mechanism. The overseers of the experiment have employed said mechanism in order to produce a creature that will rule the future world. The impetus for this piece was the rhythm and sound of the word 'Cryogenic.'"


Jonathan RussellSan Francisco-based composer JONATHAN RUSSELL writes music for a wide variety of ensembles, from orchestra to chorus to rock band, and is especially interested in music that straddles the line between classical music and popular/folk genres such as rock, jazz, and klezmer music. Important musical influences include Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, Charles Mingus,
Steve Reich, Guns 'n' Roses, Fiona Apple, Cornelius Boots, Ryan Brown, Ben Gribble, Klezmer music, and free improvisation. Performing on clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone is also a central
part of Jonathan's musical life. A member of the heavy chamber music Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet and the Balkan/Klezmer/Experimental band Zoyres, he also plays in, composes for, and is a founding member of the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo and the rock chamber music band Oogog. He also freelances as a classical, contemporary, and klezmer clarinetist/bass clarinetist. In order to make a living (and also because he enjoys it), he teaches Theory and Musicianship at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, serves as Music Director at First Congregational Church, San Francisco, and is a critic for the San Francisco Classical Voice. He has a BA in Music from Harvard University and an MA in Composition from San Francisco Conservatory. His composition teachers have included Dan Becker, Elinor Armer, Eric Sawyer, John Stewart, and Eric Ewazen. For more information, visit him online at

Jon's piece Expanding and Contracting "is a meditative work that happens to have intricate mathematical processes underlying it. Briefly, this involves three independent parts that each gradually expand and then contract their material over the course of the piece according to different mathematical processes - prime numbers in one part, a fibonnaci series in another, and an arithemetical progression in the third. But you don't really need to know that in order to get the piece, it functions perfectly well as a nice meditative piece without thinking about any of that."


Kyle SannaKYLE SANNA began learning rock guitar at age 12 and within a few years was studying jazz, composition and learning folk traditions from many parts of the world. His broad interests have led him into diverse musical territories professionally, and have earned him a reputation for challenging categorization. Kyle has performed his original or improvised music in Canada, Luxembourg, France, Germany, and throughout the U.S. at such venues as Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, concert halls at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Cal Arts, UCLA, and others. He performs regularly in the New York area on acoustic and electric guitar, dobro, and lapsteel. Kyle has received awards for Outstanding Performer from the Reno Jazz Festival and the University of Oregon School of Music. As a composer, Kyle most often produces works that support other media: film scores, music for theater, and dance pieces. He was a 2003 Finalist in Turner Classic Movies’ Young Film Composers Competition and his latest film score (for the indie documentary Liferaft in the Desert) will see its premiere screening in summer, 2007. Other new works this year will include a piece commissioned by the Elisa Monte Dance Company and orchestral arrangements of songs by Christina Courtin. Kyle holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Oregon and studied composition at the Université Lumière in Lyon, France. His teachers include Steve Owen, Gary Versace (jazz), Pat O’Brian, Don Latarski (guitar), Harold Owen and Michel Kawka (composition). In May, 2006, Kyle participated as both composer and performer in Carnegie Hall’s Porous Borders of Music Workshop with bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer. Kyle lives in Manhattan and teaches guitar at the New York Conservatory of Music.

Of Speaking in Tongues, Kyle writes, "Having not written a note of this piece I jokingly emailed Capital M bandleader and vocalist, Ian Moss, asking him if he’d had any experience singing in Chinese. I believe his terse reply was 'uh, no.' I had no intention to write to a Chinese text (or any text) but when he later said that my idea wasn’t entirely out of the question, I started imagining Ian singing a sort of pseudo Chinese. This led to the idea of speaking in tongues: a phenomenon that already fascinated me. For my piece, titled Speaking in Tongues, the vocalist will enter a trance. This will be accomplished with a precise combination of sleep deprivation, hypnosis, pre-concert chanting, and pharmaceuticals. The piece is best understood in two movements:

I. Xenoglossy: the paranormal ability to speak a language that could not have been acquired by natural means.

In this movement the vocalist begins on wordless syllables, singing with, behind, and around the saxophone against a backdrop of distorted guitars that suggests a sampler or edited recorded music. The syllables change and eventually the vocalist is asked to interpret, in the most convincing manner possible, alphabets he does not understand. The vocalist is 'possessed.' Effects on his voice heighten the intensity. In preparing for the piece, the vocalist must not determine the meaning of the foreign characters, nor even learn how they sound, but rather 'interpret' them based on his best approximation of the sounds, rhythm, and gesture of the language.

II. Glossolalia: the utterance of unintelligible sounds, often from a
trance-like state (speaking in tongues).

This movement opens with a trio of electric guitar, saxophone, and glockenspiel that acts as an interlude between the two louder vocal sections. The vocalist enters quietly on nonsensical syllables that do not try to suggest a language but do, however, use the 6 'tones' of Vietnamese. The piece ends as it began, with the same wordless melody and the same stark guitar backdrop."

Capital M's 2nd Annual World Premieres Extravaganza is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. This event is funded in part through Meet The Composer's Creative Connections program.