PRISMS Contemporary Music Festival Presents Multiplicity in New Music


November 30, 2021

“Multiplicity,” the 11th annual PRISMS festival of the School of Music, Dance and Drama at Arizona State University, presents compelling works with a wealth of diversity in contemporary music. The 2021 festival takes place from December 1-3 at the Tempe campus.

“Multiplicity can take many forms – plurality or hybridity of genre and style, disparate compositional approaches and works by composers and sound artists from diverse communities, traditions and creative practices,” said Simone Mancuso, associate professor and coordinator of the festival. “We are particularly interested in works that push boundaries, experiment or expand contemporary practices from different social, cultural and intellectual perspectives. ”

PRISMS “Multiplicity” Festival.
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The festival will present 11 world and Arizona premieres. Eighteen ASU faculty members and seven ASU music ensembles will participate, along with the Crossing 32nd Street Community Ensemble.

The opening concert features works by ASU composition professor Gabriel Bolaños, Fernanda Navarro, Christopher Norby, Garth Paine and Jody Rockmaker, and it will include two world premieres and two Arizona premieres. The second half of the concert will feature multimedia works by music composition students Laura Brackney, Anastacia Meconiates, Jason Phillips, Deanna Rusnock and Ziyu Wang.

The second concert features performances by the Crossing 32nd Street Ensemble, Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, Contemporary Percussion Ensemble, and ASU faculty. Six world premieres by ASU composition students Phoebe Leong, Addison Hill, Meconiates, Sarah Core, Alicia Castillo and Carlos Zárate will also be presented.

The third and final concert includes performances by the Crossing 32nd Street Ensemble, the ASU Saxophone Choir and the ASU Jazz Faculty. The concert features works by György Ligeti, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman and a world premiere by musical composition student Tanner Bayles.

Organized by the School of Music, Dance and Theater, the artistic committee of the festival includes Mancuso and the music teachers Navarro, Bolaños and Rockmaker.

Mancuso said that this year the festival includes works by students in musical composition to provide students with the opportunity to participate in a festival specializing in contemporary music.

In total, eight students have composed a new work which will be premiered during one of the three days of the festival.

The PRISMS festival was founded in 2009 by Mancuso and Glenn Hackbarth. Since then, each edition has presented a topic centered on a genre or a composer.

“This year, we think diversity is a very appropriate subject to celebrate,” said Mancuso. “The programs feature composers of different origins, nationalities, ages and genres.

Tickets for the concerts can be purchased online at the Herberger Institute box office. The prices for each concert are $ 10 for the general public and $ 5 for students with valid ID.

PRISMS 2021 “Multiplicity” Festival

Concert 1
7:30 p.m. December 1
Katzin Concert Hall
Concert program

Concert 2
7:30 p.m. December 2
Katzin Concert Hall
Concert program

Concert 3
7:30 p.m. December 3
Evelyn Smith Musical Theater
Concert program


Gerald R. Schneider