Sehr Flash: Fiction Becomes Music


(from “sehr Rasch,” a German tempo marking for very fast music)

Sehr Flash: Fiction Becomes Music is a collaboration between writers—Callie Collins, Kelly Luce, Michael McGriff, Vincent Scarpa, Jessica Richardson, and Matthew Salesses—and classical music composers—Russell Podgorsek and Hermes Camacho—that seeks to explore and expand the spaces created by written works by using fiction as prompts for the music writing process, to blend the two story telling forms.

Inspired by sehr Rasch, a German tempo marking for very fast music, Podgorsek and Camacho composed full–yet very short–arrangements for each story. The resulting collaborative works are performed here by the Cordova Quartet and our authors, and have been published in Volume 9 Number 1.

Pick a up a copy to read the works in their printed form, or listen to them here on their own. However you choose to take in the stories, we hope that you enjoy!

See below for more information on the Cordova Quartet, Podgorsek, and Camacho.

Sponsored by New Music USA

CordovaQuartet-94Since their formation in 2013, the Cordova Quartet has performed across the United States, including engagements in Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and South Carolina. With a passion for education, the quartet has presented concerts, workshops, and masterclasses for students of all ages in Austin, Texas through their partnership with the Austin Chamber Music Center. As part of a fellowship with the Madeline Island Music Camp, they completed a five-day Artist Residency in the Twin Cities which included several public performances and coaching local chamber music students. They have also co-taught continuing education seminars at the University of Texas.

The Cordova Quartet actively seeks to engage their community in diverse ways. In addition to traditional performances in concert halls, the quartet has performed in libraries, art galleries, and bars, and has presented interactive open rehearsals that engage their audience in the creative process. They recently performed at the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in collaboration with renowned pianist Robert McDonald, and for a Composer Showcase at the SXSW music festival. The quartet formed at Rice University, studying primarily under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig and Norman Fischer. They are currently the Young Professional String Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin where they study with the Miró Quartet.

Russell-USARussell Podgorsek, violist, composer, and electric guitarist, earned his DMA at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, and Russell Pinkston. He is a graduate of both the Hartt School of Music (CT) and the University of Dayton (OH). Recent commissions include Six Memos for the Next Millennium by the Bel Cuore Saxophone Quartet, Songs for the Sane 3.0 and Reversal of Fortune by the Life/Art Dance Ensemble (CO), MicroSymphony by the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra (MD), and Lament and Lullaby by the Sudbury Youth Orchestra (Ontario, Canada). His work “Annachronism” for solo violin was featured on the 2014 i care if you listen Summer Mixtape. He was also featured as composer-in-residence at the Simsbury Chamber Music Festival (CT) in 2008. Russell was a founding member of the Miklos Quartet, whose unique approach to music of all styles and perspectives has brought them on numerous tours and residencies throughout the Northeast and Midwest. As a member of the perceval duo he performed a number of his own works including Songs for the Sane and A Contest for the Future at the Woodstock Fringe Festival in Woodstock, New York. He has been awarded a number of grants and fellowships including several MetLife Creative Connections Awards.

05230d1Hermes Camacho is a composer, conductor, and violinist based in Austin, Texas. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia and has garnered awards and recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Composers Forum, ASCAP, SCI, the Dallas Wind Symphony, 60×60, MusicX, ArtsAha!, and the Vermont Arts Council, among others, and has served residencies with the Chamber Music Conference of the East, Winthrop University (South Carolina), Boulder Youth Symphony (Colorado), Austin Youth Philharmonic, Northwest Vista College (Texas), Southwestern University (Texas), and the Southwestern College Summer Music Fest (Kansas). Camacho has over 150 conducted performances to his credit in a variety of genres and ensemble types, including a performance for a delegation of 45 Ambassadors to the United Nations and a nationally televised broadcast performance for the 2013 Mexican Independence Day festivities in Austin. He has also conducted the premiere of numerous works, primarily with the Sonorous ensemble, a group specializing in contemporary music that he co-founded in 2009. He is currently on the teaching faculty of Austin Soundwaves, a youth music program benefiting the underserved area of East Austin, Texas, where he leads the wind ensemble and music theory programs, and teaches orchestra, violin, and viola. Originally from Northern California, Dr. Camacho earned degrees from Cal State Long Beach (B.M.), the University of Colorado at Boulder (M.M.) and a doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011. He studied composition with Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Daniel Kellogg, Robin Cox, and Carolyn Bremer, violin with Kimiyo Takeya, conducting with Akira Endo, Richard Rintoul, and Samuel Krachmalnick and masterclasses with Pulitzer-Prize winners John Adams, William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, and Steve Reich. Camacho and his wife spend their free time watching the 49ers, SF Giants, Longhorns, or their toddler, Charlie, who endlessly harasses their two (very patient) cats.