Kari Besharse

Continuously exploring the myriad ways that music intersects with science, nature, and the human world, Kari Besharse’s compositional output spans various facets within the field of contemporary music, fully engaging new technological resources as well as traditional instruments and ensembles. Her works, which incorporate sounds from acoustic instruments, found objects, the natural world, and sound synthesis, are often generated from a group of sonic objects or material archetypes that are subjected to processes inspired by nature, physics and computer music. Kari was awarded the Bourges Residence Prize for her electroacoustic work Small Things and has received additional honors from the Tuscaloosa New Music Collective, Look and Listen Festival, the ASCAP Young Composers Competition, and the INMC Competition. Her music has been presented by organizations and ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, cellist Craig Hultgren, The Empyrean Ensemble, The California Ear Unit, The East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Society of Composers, Inc., ICMC, SEAMUS, Bourges, Elektrophonie, Third Practice, 60X60, The Electroacoustic Juke Joint Festival, New Music Forum, Pulse Field, trombonist Benjamin Lanz and violist Michael Hall. Currently a lecturer at Southeastern Louisiana University, Dr. Besharse has also taught at Illinois Wesleyan and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kari’s education includes undergraduate studies at UMKC (B.M.), and graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin (M.M.) and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (D.M.A.). Kari is director of Versipel New Music in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Black Grey Red Orange Grey Blue Grey
From glowing prismatic intensity to the blackest black, this piece explores specific colors and associated psychological states such as anger, despair, passion and contemplative sublimity. The emotional states came first, and when immersed in these states, one cannot help but see vivid colors and hear prismatic sounds. The colors refract and collide, ebb and flow, bleed into one another, intensify, are erased, then dissipate.
Small Things
Small Things (2001) is a sound metaphor for the impact small events have on our lives, but also for the bittersweet beauty that surrounds us on a day-to-day basis. Almost a meditation, Small Things requests introspective, deep listening. Small Things was created with various nature sounds including the native frogs and insects of Austin, Texas.