Young American Inventions Steven Ricks
- Steven Ricks (1969-): Ten Short Musical Thoughts (2002)
- 1Ten Short Musical Thoughts05:07
- Young American Inventions (2007)
- 2Young American Inventions09:32
- Extended Play (2007)
- 3Extrapolation Prelude02:07
- 4Borrowed Wings (mea culpa)06:09
- 5Floating, Just Above Tomorrow07:08
- 6What follow is not a song, but …01:56
- Ossifying (Keeping us from …) (2012)
- 7Ossifying (Keeping us from …)02:59
- Geometria Situs (2011)
- 8Geometria Situs08:42
- Sounded along dove dove (1999)
- 9Sounded along dove dove02:37
- Waves/Particles (2008)
- 12Wrecked Angles07:01
- Young American Inventions REMIX (2014)
- 13Young American Inventions (remix)03:23
- Stilling (1997, rev. 2001)
Info for Young American Inventions
Composer Steven Ricks's music reflects a sophisticated and complex relationship to modernism, vernacular language, musique concrete, and conceptualism, creating works that mashup these different strains with the finely tuned sense of collage and the irreverence of remix. In these probing electroacoustic and ensemble works, Ricks observes and occasionally lampoons the detritus of American sonic culture, but ultimately finds hope and beauty within it.
Steven Ricks‘ new release “Young American Inventions” begins with a quirky automated voice greeting the listener, immediately inviting us into his conflicted relationship with technological affect, cliche, and populism. Ricks builds collages from whatever source catches his fancy, from Milton Babbitt quotes and drum samples in the piano and electronics piece Young American Inventions to Steely Dan and Steve Reich in the ensemble work Extended Play to automated voices worthy of a credit card call center in Ten Short Musical Thoughts and Ossifying. His purpose is not to mashup for mashup's sake, but instead to provoke us to consider these fragments of our musical culture divorced from their original context. In this way, Ricks combines several strains of American compositional tradition, a Cagean awareness of found objects and found sounds, an academic modernist’s approach to pitch and rhythm, and a minimalist’s penchant for repetition with variation. Geometria Situs, the one vocal work on the recording, is inspired by two photographs by Edward Burtynsky of highway and strip mall culture. Stephen Tuttle’s poetry first ruminates on the soulless nature of these landscapes, but in the second poem, finds beauty in the geometry of the sprawling infrastructure. Ricks' artistry echoes this conflicted relationship with the sounds of our era, neither isolating himself from the wider world of vernacular aesthetics, nor embracing it unquestioningly.
Steven Ricks, electronics
Scott Holden, piano
Michaela Riener, mezzo-soprano
Keith Kirchoff, piano
Flexible Music Ensemble
Canyonlands New Music Ensemble
Steven L. Ricks
born 1969 received his early musical training as a trombonist in Mesa, AZ. He holds degrees in composition from Brigham Young University (B.M.), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (M.M.), and the University of Utah (Ph.D.). He received a Certificate of Advanced Musical Studies from King's College London in 2000, supported by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the University of Utah. His teachers have included Morris Rosenzweig, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Bill Brooks, and Michael Hicks.
Mr. Ricks’ prizes and honors include First Prize in the 1999 SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Competition, and four Barlow Endowment Commissions. He has been a fellow at June in Buffalo and the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, and his works have been performed by many leading contemporary music ensembles and performers including the the New York New Music Ensemble, Earplay, the California EAR Unit, the Talujon Percussion Quartet, flutist Rachel Rudich, pianist Ian Pace, and violinist Curtis Macomber. He is currently on the Board of Advisors of the Barlow Endowment, and an Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at BYU where he directs the Electronic Music Studio.