Recent compositions: All Flesh is Grass (a.fl, cl, vln, clo, bs) Fiducial Epoc (perc., elec) Alpha (fl, gtr, elec) Love Story (sx (or cl) perc, pno, clo, elec) Songs of Ashes and Bones (bari, elec) The Uncurling Nautilus (clo (or hrn), elec) A'Chorra-ghritheach (sop, bs cl, bs) Fly Trapped in a Jar (vln) Mitochondria (pno) The (Exo)Planets (orch) Edakrusen Ho Iesus (TTBB)

A fierce experimentalist, Stephen Bailey is a Colorado-based composer, instrument maker, and sound engineer. Stephenís compositional output embodies a language which is deeply expressive and highly textural. This definitively contemporary language borrows techniques from composers of minimalism, sound mass, new simplicity, and post-serialism, integrating them and exploring their capabilities as tools for the expression of the realities of the human condition. The result can be both ecstatically serene and forcefully chaotic, both sumptuously beautiful and disturbingly ugly. Common topics for Stephenís music include night, death, sleep, science, nature, and the struggle of humans to relate to the world around them. Stephenís music has been featured at the 2015 New York Electroacoustic Music Festival, and The Classical Salon at Dazzle Nightclub. His works have been performed by The Playground Ensemble, The Nebula Ensemble, the MSUD and DU Menís choirs, The Lamont Symphony Orchestra, The Modern Hue Ensemble, and various other ensmbles. His devotion to modern music has garnered him commissions from The Nebula Ensemble, the MSUD Menís Choir, and many Denver-area musicians and chamber groups. Stephen holds bachelorís and masterís degrees in composition from Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of Denver respectively. He has studied composition with composers such as Conrad Kehn, Bill Hill, and Chris Malloy.

More at: www.stephenbaileymusic.com www.facebook.com/stephenbaileycomposer

Compositions

All Flesh is Grass...


PDF score

This summer I traveled by car through a significant portion of the American Midwest. While I have been through most of these places in the past, these more recent travels struck me differently. I found myself frequently captivated by the geography and history of this area, and how those two things have worked together to change both the landscape of this place, and the larger history of our country. This piece is intended to capture the complex emotions that I felt while experiencing the geography and history of these places. The Great Plains are vast, and have a deeply violent history. Yet for many people they represent a kind of peace and simplicity not found elsewhere. The agricultural industry in this area has reduced what was once the largest contiguous ecosystem on the continent by 98%, so that now only a tiny portion of this area still exists in its natural state. Yet, this same agriculture accounts for billions of dollars of food, national wealth, and exports. The Great Plains represent manís perfect dominion over nature, yet their very vastness, and paleontological and archeological richness, speak to the impermanence of that dominion. The culture and development in this part of the country is a modern veneer that has been laid over an ancient and resilient landscape, so that one is constantly having the experience of seeing something new in contrast to something from the ancient world. The title of this piece comes from the Old Testament, Isaiah 40:6. Generally the intention of this passage is interpreted as meaning that corporeal life is fleeting and impermanent. While I believe this is true, grass itself is anything but. Grass is one of the most resilient and abundant life forms on our planet. Further, grass is entirely responsible both for the native biological and mineral diversity found on the Great Plains and for the bulk of the regionís agricultural production (wheat, corn, and barley are all species of grass).


A'Chorra-ghritheach (The Heron)


PDF score

Commissioned by Victoria Minton, A' Chorra-ghritheach (The Heron), is a setting of a portion of the poem of the same title by Sorley MacLean. The text is an early work for MacLean, and is the first in a long career of poetry in Gaelic. The portion of the poem used in this work compares the mind and life of a heron with those of the author. This comparison expresses dissatisfaction with the complications humans impose on their own emotional lives, especially in contrast with the simplicity of a heronís. Musically, this comparison is supported in the work by alternating between two sonic sections; one representing the natural world of the heron, and the other the artificial world of the poet. The first section is based both rhythmically and in pitch material on the call of the Grey Heron, a bird native to Scotland and likely the subject of MacLeanís poem. Using audio analysis software, the overtone content of a Grey Heronís call was analyzed and an octatonic scale with an added F# was found in the lower partials. This scale makes up the pitch content of the first section. This first section is also dominated by a long-short rhythmic motive which is also present in a heronís call. The second section is based on the pitch compliment of this scale and could be said to be its pitch opposite. The second section is rhythmically much more texturally oriented, with sustained tones and quick, repeated rhythmic figures filling out the texture. In addition to the Gaelic text and Scottish subject matter, the music also contains several other allusions to Scottish music, most notably in its use of syncopated rhythmic patterns and the ďScotch snapĒ a sixteenth, dotted-eighth pattern commonly found in traditional Scottish music. The composer wishes to thank Ken McIntosh and Rudy Ramsey for their help with the Gaelic text.


A'Chorra-ghritheach


(The Heron) Text by Sorley MacLean Commissioned by Victoria Minton, A' Chorra-ghritheach (The Heron), is a setting of a portion of the poem of the same title by Sorley MacLean. The text is an early work for MacLean, and is the first in a long career of poetry in Gaelic. The portion of the poem used in this work compares the mind and life of a heron with those of the author. This comparison expresses dissatisfaction with the complications humans impose on their own emotional lives, especially in contrast with the simplicity of a heronís. Musically, this comparison is supported in the work by alternating between two sonic sections; one representing the natural world of the heron, and the other the artificial world of the poet. The first section is based both rhythmically and in pitch material on the call of the Grey Heron, a bird native to Scotland and likely the subject of MacLeanís poem. Using audio analysis software, the overtone content of a Grey Heronís call was analyzed and an octatonic scale with an added F# was found in the lower partials. This scale makes up the pitch content of the first section. This first section is also dominated by a long-short rhythmic motive which is also present in a heronís call. The second section is based on the pitch compliment of this scale and could be said to be its pitch opposite. The second section is rhythmically much more texturally oriented, with sustained tones and quick, repeated rhythmic figures filling out the texture. In addition to the Gaelic text and Scottish subject matter, the music also contains several other allusions to Scottish music, most notably in its use of syncopated rhythmic patterns and the ďScotch snapĒ a sixteenth, dotted-eighth pattern commonly found in traditional Scottish music. The composer wishes to thank Ken McIntosh and Rudy Ramsey for their help with the Gaelic text.