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Shawn Allison

Sanibel, FL   

Shawn Brogan Allison’s music has been described as  “playful and inventive” (Chicago Sun-Times), “vividly imagistic” (Lucid Culture), “smartly crafted,” “lyrical, otherworldly,” and “intriguing” (Chicago Classical Review). He has worked with ensembles and organizations such as eighth blackbird, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Contempo, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), The New Fromm Players, Spektral Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, The Cadillac Moon Ensemble, The Esoterics, and Cantus. His awards include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Tanglewood Fellowship, the Polyphonos competition (U.S. Composer category winner), a Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, and the Max Janowski Young Artist Award. His music has been selected for performance at the Tanglewood, Wellesley, SICPP, June in Buffalo, Bowdoin, Fast Forward Austin, and Red Note festivals. Some upcoming projects include a  work commissioned by a consortium of college wind ensembles dealing with American work songs and train whistles called I Won’t Be Here Long; a piano piece inspired by photographer Trevor Paglen’s Last Pictures project called EchoStar XVI, for pianist Nolan Pearson; and a dramatic song cycle for mezzo-soprano Laura Mercado-Wright and pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, setting six night poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, called Mondnacht. His work, Towards the Flame, has been released on the album Atlas on New Dynamic Records, performed by the Cadillac Moon Ensemble.

Beaufort Gyre from Currents (2011)

mvmt III from Currents, for two alto saxophones, mallet percussion, and piano, performed by Zach Herchen, Philipp Stäudlin, Ryan Packard, and Aaron Likness. The Beaufort Gyre is a slow ocean current in the Arctic, and it has been at the center of desalinization and climate change research. What began as an experiment in rotational form evolved into a bona fide lament for the arctic.

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The Age of Catastrophes (2013)

Work for mezzo-soprano, baritone, piano quintet, and fixed media. Fixed media is made from archival sound recordings of the sermons of Rabbi Arnold J. Wolf (1924-2008). Commissioned by K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation to commemorate Rabbi Wolf’s 5th yahrzeit. Premiered Dec. 2013 at KAM Isaiah Israel by Julia Bentley, Alan Dunbar, Spektral Quartet, Nolan Pearson, with Michael Lewanski, conductor. Sound Design by Ryan Ingebritsen

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Night Rituals (2012)

For flute (dbl. picc./alto flute), bass clarinet (dbl. Bb cl), violin, cello, percussion, and piano. Live performance by eighth blackbird, Contempo.

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