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Release date:
Feb. 4, 2002
Contact: Sally Corbett: 404-727-6678/sacorbe@emory.edu

Peggy Benkeser Brings "Kitchen Chaos" World Premiere Concert to Emory Feb. 15

Percussionist Peggy Benkeser presents "Kitchen Chaos: One Woman’s Evolution from Pots and Pans to Percussion," a new music theater performance featuring five world-premiere musical compositions, at 8:15 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Performing Arts Studio at Emory University, 1804 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta.

Benkeser, an Emory music lecturer, performs the program of stories and music inspired by her life in and out of the kitchen. In "Kitchen Chaos," the kitchen is symbolic of the intersection of common female roles in contemporary life. The autobiographical work reveals the connection between Benkeser’s artistic process and her everyday roles as a mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, teacher, drummer and artist.

For tickets and information, call 404-727-5050, email boxoffice@emory.edu, or visit http://www.emory.edu/ARTS/. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for Emory students with i.d.

Benkeser involved a network of national and local artists to develop the multimedia work. The compositions being premiered were written for her by leading American composers, including Steven Mackey, Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Singleton, Janice Giteck, Steve Everett and Frank Hannaway. The program will tour Princeton University, Wheaton Conservatory of Music in Illinois and Cornish School for the Arts in Seattle.

Benkeser, a DeKalb County resident and mother of three, is co-founder and artistic co-director of Thamyris, new music group, which has commissioned and premiered more than 80 compositions for mixed chamber ensemble since 1987. Thamyris has performed throughout the United States and Germany, been broadcast on National Public Radio and German Pubic Radio, and has recorded with ACA Digital Recordings. Benkeser also conducts residencies, workshops, and master classes in schools and universities nationwide.

The program for "Kitchen Chaos" (* denotes world premiere) includes:
Act I: In the beginning . . .
-- "Argoru VIII" (2002)* by Alvin Singleton; solo snare drum
-- "Kitchen" (1995) by Steven Everett; steel drum, drum machine, voice
-- "Sister Dreams" (2002)* by Pauline Oliveros; digital sampler, percussion

Act II: That was then . . .
-- "Busted" (2001)* by Steven Mackey; solo multi-percussion
-- "Grief" (2001)* by Frank Hannaway; vibraphone, xylophone, field drum, voice
-- "Trees and Cherokees" (2001)* by Janice Giteck, in four movements: "Beyond the ‘Trail of Tears,’" "Naming of Trees," "Great, Great, Grandmother," "Lunar Refuge," multi-percussion, marimba, voice
-- "Mother Dreams" (2001), Peggy Benkeser; voice and frame drum

"Argoru VIII," "Sister Dreams," "Grief," and "Trees and Cherokees" were commissioned through a $10,450 grant as part of the national series of works from Meet The Composer Commissioning Music /USA in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation and the Target Foundation. Private donors provided additional support for "Kitchen Chaos."

Composer Biographies
Emory Department of Music chair Steven Everett teaches composition, electronic and computer music, music of Asia, and directs the computer music studios and Javanese Gamelan Ensemble at Emory. He is co-director and conductor of Thamyris. Many of his works involve interactive computer-controlled electronics and have been performed internationally.

Janice Giteck, serves as composer-in-residence with Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Jack Straw Foundation, Sonora and Echo Glen Children’s Center. She has been commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, Bang on a Can Festival in New York, Thamyris, Relache of Philadelphia and Ferrero Films. Her works have been performed and broadcast internationally.

Frank Hannaway performs and writes in a wide range of musical styles embracing the language of American music. He has worked as both a studio pianist and a conductor in musical theater. Recent works include "For Matthew Shephard" (1999), "Sonata #2 for Flute Alone" (1999), "Nocturne for Jazz Quartet" (2000), and "Matilda," a musical play based on "The Diamond Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant.

Composer and guitarist Steve Mackey is professor of music at Princeton University and is trained as a classical and electric guitarist and lutenist. His orchestral work, "Eating Greens," was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and was performed in 1998-99 by the Baltimore Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. Mackey’s recent composition, "Tuck and Roll," for electric guitar and orchestra, premiered at the New World Symphony and was performed at the 2000 Mavericks Festival.

Composer and performer Pauline Oliveros has influenced American music since the 1960s through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. Many credit her as the founder of present-day meditative music. During the 1980s, she was honored with a retrospective at the Kennedy Center, and the 1990s began with a letter of distinction from the American Music Center presented at Lincoln Center.

Composer Alvin Singleton attended New York University and Yale, where he has served as professor of composition. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied at the Accademia Nazionale diSanta Cecilia in Rome, Italy. After living and working in Europe for 14 years, Singleton returned to the United States to become the composer-in-residence with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has served as resident composer at Spelman College and UNISYS Composer-in-Residences with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
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