Graduate Music Series

Graduate Music Series: Installment One

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 8:00pm

The Graduate Music Series showcases the performance, compositional, and research capabilities of graduate music students, alumni, and other affiliates.

The first installment this spring will feature presentations by alumnus Omar Fraire MA '17 ("Transduction | quotation | articulations of power") and current graduate students Garrett Groesbeck and Hector Gonzalez ("Shoshin," for koto [thirteen stringed instrument] and Electronic Wind Instrument).

Garrett Groesbeck's "Koto and Guzheng: A Public-Facing Introduction" was previously featured as part of the Graduate Music Series on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 8pm.

"Transduction | quotation | articulations of power"

Abstract (Spanish): Encaminar mis investigaciones hacia toda clase de intentos infructuosos caracterizados por la indecisión.

(English) Human as an artist, inventor, magician, curator, teacher. After having deserted from two composition universities in México, Fraire specializes in Sonology (Koninklijk Conservatorium - Holland) and holds a Master's Degree in Contemporary Art as auditor (Aguascalientes). His work is inserted into reality by transducing it and functions as an act of resistance. He enjoys collaborative work and his energies oscillate across fields of knowledge. He is the creator for the Punto Ciego Festival and an artist of the Guggenheim Aguascalientes, and is mostly self-taught although he holds an M.A. from Wesleyan and is currently studying toward a Ph.D. at the University of Virginia.

(Spanish) Humano como artista, inventor, mago, curador, docente. Después de desertar de dos universidades de composición en México, se especializa en Sonología (Koninklijke Conservatorium - Holanda) y tiene una Maestría en Arte Contemporáneo como auditor (Aguascalientes). Su obra se inserta en la realidad transduciéndola y funciona como un acto de resistencia. Disfruta del trabajo colaborativo y sus energías oscilan entre varios campos del conocimiento. Creador del Festival Punto Ciego y artista del Guggenheim Aguascalientes, es mayormente autodidacta aunque tiene una maestría en Wesleyan y actualmente estudia un doctorado en UVA.

"Shoshin," for koto and EWI

Abstract: “Shoshin” is a concept in Japanese Zen Buddhism that refers to a state of mind that encounters phenomena without expectations, translated usually as “beginners mind.” The piece was composed with such a framework in mind, aspiring to reinterpret traditional sounds as part of a bigger sound palette that favors no preconceived notion of timbre. The koto is “accompanied” by an EWI (Electronic Wind Controller), which serves the role of processing the audio gesturally and in real-time.


Garrett Groesbeck is an ethnomusicologist, koto player, and composer currently undertaking graduate studies at Wesleyan University. He received his Master of Music in composition and theory from Nagoya College of Music as a Japanese Ministry of Education scholar, writing new music for Japanese instruments. From 2017 to 2019 he worked as an event coordinator for the Japan Folk Festival, helping to arrange cultural exchange events in the Czech Republic, Vietnam, Canada, and Japan. Current research efforts focus on Eurocentrism in music education, particularly in Japanese institutions. His writing can be found in Japan Forum and Asian Music, and he has been profiled in Hōgaku Journal.

Born on May 11, 1990 in Guadalajara, Mexico, Hector Gonzalez has an Associate’s degree in oboe (2010-2013) and a Bachelor’s degree in composition (2013-2018), both from the Universidad de Guadalajara. His professional career has followed parallel roles as a composer, performer, and educator. His work is focused on mixed and electroacoustic music and reflects his interests in timbral exploration, cyclical elements, and the use of technological resources, especially gestural controllers and real-time audio processing.