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Petr Kotik Residency: Crossing Between the 'Literary and the Sonic'

March 16, 2009

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Composer and conductor Petr Kotik

Petr Kotik, who will visit UAlbany March 26-28, explores music that crosses boundaries.

Petr Kotik, who will visit UAlbany March 26-28 for a special residency, composes and conducts music that crosses boundaries.
Kotik's music "explores artistic works that cross between the literary and the sonic, the visual and the musical. There are few champions of this repertoire as important as Petr Kotik and so we are very fortunate to have his upcoming visit," said Robert Gluck, associate professor of music and director of the Electronic Music Studios.

Gluck, who directs the Electronic Music and Media concentration in the music major, said Kotik tours the world with his S.E.M. Ensemble and is very much in demand. The residency idea came from Michael Peters, a graduate student in the English Department.

"Michael and I met to talk about American composer John Cage, whose work is an aspect of his Ph.D. thesis," said Gluck. "Some years ago, Michael worked as Petr Kotik's assistant and he raised with me the idea of bringing Kotik to UAlbany."

Gluck, whose own work deals in part with multimedia and the integration of various forms of expression, has long been interested in the musical world of Cage, who laid the foundation for this genre with a few others from the 1950s-1970s. Cage worked with choreographers, visual artists, and writers. He wrote poetry that functioned as a musical score and musical scores that could be read as literary work. Kotik's work reflects Cage's influence.

"Kotik visited our University back in the early 1970s, when Professor Emeritus Joel Chadabe, my successor, former teacher, and close colleague, ran a new music series which he called ‘The Free Music Store.’ This connection also helped peak Mr. Kotik's interest," said Gluck.

Many campus organizations and departments have partnered to provide the residency, and a substantial number of students will be involved as performers.  

Peters recommends the Kotik exhibit in the main library because it features the composer's scores. "At the exhibit, you will get a sense of the depth of what is transpiring with the Kotik residency, and understand the title: ‘Music of Words, Poetry of Sounds,’" he said.

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