10th Annual Festival of New Music brings performers, artists to local venues

That’s a wrap for the 10th Annual Festival of New Music sponsored by the School of Music. Mark Zanter, Marshall University music professor, guitarist, composer and festival host, started this year’s festival with the traditional concerts of music students, but ended with “Electrifest II” featuring “new music.” Features included solos, chamber music and electro-acoustic music and film from special guest Michael James Olson.

Thursday evening, a collage of music students performed together in Smith Hall Recital Hall. Concert two took place at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church Friday afternoon with the performance of flutist Linda Chatterton and guitarist Maja Radovanlija. The festival concluded Friday night at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews with “Elecrifest II” including performances by Mark Zanter, PSP, Assistant Professor of Art Daniel Dean, and Michael James Olson.

“Part of the idea with Elecrifest is increasing facing on music in public purview,” said Zanter. “We want to move more towards presenting works in venues a general audience more intrigues to attend.”

Zanter started the Festival of New Music ten years ago with traditional classical music being the most dominant, but has gradually added other genres such as jazz and electro-music, eventually creating “Electrifest.” “Electrifest” is an opportunity to connect with a local community of artists, performers, and community members who are interested in something new, edgy and off the beaten path, Zanter said.

Zanter travels to different music festivals around the world, including Germany, Czech Republic and Australia, inviting guest composers and artists to be featured at Marshall’s Festival of New Music, he said.

“Most of the time I’m writing [music] for others and bring them in to play it,” said Zanter. “Sometimes I have worked with somebody, like Linda and Maja, and bring them in.”

Michael James Olson is an artist and performer of electronic music, guitar, video and Tibetan Singing Bowls. Olson’s first solo album, “What Comes After,” combines electronic sounds, ambient beats and video to create a vibrant abstract terrain. Listeners can find his albums on Spotify and Amazon Music. Olson’s concert music and commercial productions are featured in performances worldwide, and in films and television including programs on MTV, VH1, E!, ABC, NBC and CBS.

Linda Chatterton is a Minneapolis-based two-time recipient and the only flute soloist to win a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians.  She tours regularly as a duo performer with harp, guitar and piano. As a concerto soloist, highlights include many performances of traditional and contemporary repertoire in the US and Europe.

Maja Radovanlija is a Serbia native classical guitarist.  She now teaches guitar, and leads improvised ensemble at School of Music, University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. Her repertoire includes pieces by Baroque composers, Balkan music and contemporary music for guitar.  She is also an active member of various ensembles.

Other featured composers include Marshall student composers: Dalton Carney, Lily Lauffer, John Porter, Taylor Roegner and Bailey Whanger; independent composers: Atanaa Ourkouzounov and Richard Powers; Aaron Travers, Indiana University; and Austin Ho-Kwen Yip, Hong Kong Baptist University.

Emily Phipps can be contacted at phipp[email protected].