JCFA Composers Orchestra
Butler University; Oct. 2
New music is alive at Butler University, as the JCFA Composers Orchestra attests. The orchestra is a class that meets so students can perform their own compositions, and to perform and explore new music in all its glorious (and sometimes not so glorious) forms. I was perplexed by this show. It certainly explored students’ compositions, and various new works, yet because so much of it was accompanied by the audience’s laughter, I wonder if it was taken seriously (by both the audience and performers). Some works seemed more serious than others; Dr. Frank Felice’s George Carlin Mesotic for speaking chorus was one of these. Yet for all its seriousness, I didn’t think it one of Felice’s better works. A speaker essentially spelled out Carlin’s name in the work, and the chorus spoke words that corresponded to each letter. While that idea sounds interesting and even innovative, it unfortunately didn’t come off that way. Butler student Joshua Morris’ House Without Walls left the greatest impression. Recalling Charles Ives, his work employed an ensemble that played peacefully while an electric guitar wailed insanely over the group. I was impressed with Morris’ composition, and I hope that creative and thoughtful works such as that find their way on to the next JCFACO concert.