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Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat

Vibro-acoustic etudes for piano, voice, electronics, images, by composer Pamela Madsen, with pianists Kathleen Supové and Eleonor Sandresky

The Latest Update

Premiere Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat, Feb. 27th CSUF Meng Hall 8PM

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Pamela Madsen

Today, Feb. 13th, 2016, I’ve completed Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat. This work is dedicated to my father, who was a pianist and who would have been 90 years old today!  These vibroacoustic etudes, designed to heal through sound are  commissioned by pianists Kathleen Supove, Eleonor Sandresky and the extraordinary loadbang ensemble-

Andy Kozar, trumpet – Carlos Cordeiro, bass clarinet- Will Lang, trombone – Jeff Gavett, baritone 

Book I-four etudes for solo piano, one etude for duo piano and

Book II. five etudes for loadbang and duo piano with CSUF Collegium Musicum, directed by Nicole Baker  The work will be premiered on Feb. 27th, 8PM Meng Concert at CSUF! during the 15th Annual New Music Festival: Sound, Healing and Light February 24th-28th. Check out the poster and events below: 

15th Annual CSUF New Music Festival-Sound, Healing and Light

-Ancient and Contemporary Practices February 24th-Feb. 28th, 2016


Featuring  Pianists Kathleen Supove´, Eleonor Sandresky,  loadbang ensemble, Cellist/Composer Dominique de Williencourt, Divan Consort,  CSUF New Music Ensemble, CSUF Collegium Musicum, CSUF Symphony Orchestra with guest composer Paul Dooley. The festival includes the Composer-Performer Symposium on Sound and Healing with World Electroacoustic Listening Room Project, Singing Bowls and Flutes, Research from the CSUF Center for Performance Science, Frame Drummer Allessandra Belloni, and CSUF Dance Department’s Lisa D. Long with Anna Halprin’s Planetary Healing Dance. 

  • Feb. 24th- Divan Consort, CSUF New Music Ensemble and Guests: Featuring Dominique de Williencourt, cellist/composer performing works by Dominique de Williencourt, Ken Walicki, with Divan Consort performing works by Arvo Part, Valentyn Silvestrov Pamela Madsen, and CSUF New Music Ensemble works by Pauline Oliveros, Morton Feldman and Hildegard von Bingen 8PM Meng Hall
  • Feb. 25th-New Music Pianists Kathleen Supove´ and Eleonor Sandresky. Kathleen Supové performing west coast and world premieres of works by Arlene Sierra, Randall Woolf, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Nicole Lisée.-Eleonor Sandresky, performing Etudes of the 21st century by Philip Glass and Eleonor Sandresky 8PM Meng Hall
  • Feb. 26th- ‘extra-cool new music group’ (Baltimore Sun) loadbang performs music written for their unique instrumentation of trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet and baritone voice. Composers featured include Reiko Futing, Scott Worthington, Eve Beglarian, David Franzson, Scott Wollschleger 8PM Meng Hall
  • Feb. 27th-Composer-Performer Symposium-10-6P Recital Hall

-World Electroacoustic Listening Room Project, 10-11AM

-Guest Artists, Lecture-Demos-11-2PM, Recital Hall

-CSULB Singing Bowl Ensemble, Carolyn Bremer, Director 11-12noon

-Fawntice Finesse, Rachel Rudich-Flute, Singing Bowls: Healing with Sounds-12-130

-Scott Worthington, Composer/Bass player: Body/Sound in Performance 1:30-2

-InterArts Collaboration Projects-CSUF Dance Department- Faculty member Lisa D. Long presenting Anna Halprin’s Planetary Dance 2-330PM Dance Studio: CPAC 272

-Professor Rob Watson, Director, CSUF Center for Performance Science-3:30-4

-Allessandra Belloni-Frame Drumming Workshop-Performance-Legends of the Black Madonna, Tarantella-Rhythm is the Cure 4-6PM

  • Feb. 27th Pamela Madsen’s Luminous Etudes; Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat based on the 14th Century Llibre Vermell from Spain for two pianos: Kathleen Supove, Eleonor Sandresky, load bang-trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, baritone and CSUF New Music Ensemble, Pamela Madsen, Director and CSUF Collegium Musicum, Nicole Baker Director 8PM Meng Hall
  • Feb. 28th CSUF Symphony Orchestra performing “Coast of Dreams” by guest emerging composer Paul Dooley, Roger Kalia, Conductor 4PM Meng Hall
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Luminous Etudes: Riverly is the Moon with video by Jimena Sarno and Like a River with no End

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Pamela Madsen

Vertixe Sonora Ensemble, new music ensemble from Spain, gave their USA Debut at Cal State Fullerton, Meng Hall on November 14th, 2015- premiering two works from Luminous Etudes: Riverly is the Moon with Video by Jimena Sarno for vibraphone and Like a River with No End for flute and piano. 

Vertixe Sonora Ensemble Premieres Riverly is the Moon II for vibraphone and video

Posted on June 21, 2015 by Pamela Madsen

Riverly is the Moon (Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat) by Pamela Madsen (music), Carolyn Yarnell (photos)and Jimena Sarno (video). World Premiere of new version for solo vibraphone June 16th, 2015 20:30 CGAC in the frame of TECTONIC a concert inspired by the exhibition of Manuel Vilariño curated by Alberto Ruíz de Samaniego.MUSIC & ART. SOUND CORRESPONDENCES 2015 (I)

May–June 2015


Vertixe Sonora


The series Música y arte: correspondencias sonoras (Music and art: sonorous correspondences), which has become a reference point in the world of contemporary music creation, boasts the participation of composers from all over the world and the presentation of forty exclusive premiere works over the course of the six sessions to be held at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea.

These encounters between music and art will offer the most recent creative expressions. The purpose of these sessions is to highlight today’s avant-garde works in the performing arts and music. Vertixe Sonora proposes new sonorous creations to the current generation of composers with a premise – the idea is to amble through the ways and crossroads laid out by the artists on exhibit at the CGAC.

The series begins with a double program that is once again part of International Museum Day: Tres veces silencio (Three times silence), with works by Fernando Garnero (Argentina, 1976) and Januibe Tejera (Brazil, 1978), and Codifica/Recupera (Encode/Retrieve), a multimedia show that includes instrumental and electronic music in addition to a live video, referring to the collective exhibit on photography and publishing Edita: secuencia/sentido (Publish: sequence/meaning) at which Vertixe Sonora will interpret the new work by composer, percussionist and improvisation artist, Gustavo Costa (Portugal, 1976).

Similarly, the exhibition bearing the same title as the musical piece, Tectónica (Tectonics), invites us to delve into the creative and poetic universe of the artist Manuel Vilariño through the compositions of Eduardo Caballero (México, 1976), Pamela Madsen (USA), Alberto Arroyo (Spain, 1989), Iker Güemes (Spain, 1971), Alfonso Mendoza (Mexico, 1988) and Nico Sauer (Germany, 1986).

Causal. International composition meeting.
Sunday, June 14 from 11.00 am to 2:00 pm a 14.00 h. Rehearsals open to the public.
Tuesday, June 16 at 8:00 pm. A talk with the composers before the concert.
The composers will discuss their works and participate in rehearsals open to the public. Anyone interested is welcome to come to CGAC’s auditorium to witness the creative process.


20.30 h. TECTÓNICA
Eduardo Caballero (México, 1976) Negro invadiendo al blanco* (2015) saxophone, horn, violin, cello
Pamela Madsen (EEUU) Riverly is the Moon** (2014) vibraphone and video
Alberto Arroyo (España, 1989) Desde el vértice*** (2015) violin, cello
Iker Güemes (España, 1971) Grammar* (2015) percussion
Alfonso Mendoza (México) Quebranto* (2015) saxophone,percussion,electronics
Nico Sauer (Alemaña) Kammermusik 15000* (2015) saxophone,horn,violin,cello,piano,percussion,electronics,video

*World Premiere. Commissioned by Vertixe Sonora **New version premiere ***World Premiere.Written for Vertixe Sonora

Alessandra Rombolà, flute/ Pablo Coello, saxophone/ Benxamín Iglesias, horn/ Roberto Alonso, violin/ Thomas Piel, cello/ Angélica Vázquez, harp/ Rubén Barros, electric guitar/ David Durán, piano/ Diego Ventoso, percussion// Pablo Coello, musical direction musical/ Ramón Souto, artistic direction

Rúa Ramón del Valle Inclán 2, 15703 Santiago de Compostela
Tel.: 981 546 623 / cgac.actividades@xunta.es / www.cgac.org

Riverly is the Moon from Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat

Posted on May 19, 2015 by Pamela Madsen

Riverly is the Moon (2015) from Luminous Etudes by                                                Pamela Madsen

For solo clarinet, was premiered and recorded by Virginia Figueiredo, with Divan Consort on CSUF New Music Festival February 27th, 2015

Here’s a link to the recording! 


Riverly is the Moon is from my collection of Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat for solo instruments, piano, voice, projected images and electronics investigating sound and healing and the bio-mechanisms of vibro-acoustics in music performance. This solo work for clarinet references various “moon” songs and is inspired by the Blood Moon of April 2014 (first of a tetrad of four consecutive total lunar eclipses) and based on materials from the 14th century Llibre Vermell, and my encounter with the icon of the Black Madonna during my visit to the sanctuary of Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain.

A new version of Riverly is the Moon, for Vertixe Sonora ensemble, for solo vibraphone and projected images will be premiered on June 16th at the Galician Center for Contemporary Art in Santiago de Compostella, where composer Pamela Madsen will be in residence this summer. 

The entire collection of etudes is commissioned by New York City based new music pianists: Kathleen Supove and Eleonor Sandresky, and works with selected instrumentalist, vocalists, Tony Arnold, Laurie Rubin, Nicholas Isherwood and Lorelei Ensemble and LoadBang ensemble or premiere in 2016.

 The projected image for this work is from photographs of the Blood Moon by photographer/composer Carolyn Yarnell, from the Blood Moon event of April 15, 2014.



Photo by Carolyn Yarnell

Posted on February 3, 2015 by Pamela Madsen

The photo of the eye that is posted for this project is by the composer/photographer Carolyn Yarnell. Carolyn Yarnell will also be collaborating on images for this work. Here’s a link to her site-Sonic Vision where you can hear her work and SEE her amazing art! http://carolynyarnell.com

Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat

Posted on February 3, 2015 by Pamela Madsen

Photo by Carolyn Yarnell. 

Photographer/Composer Carolyn Yarnell will also collaborating on images for this work. Here’s a link to her site-Sonic Vision where you can hear her work and she her amazing art work/photographs! http://carolynyarnell.com


Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat is a new multi-media work created by composer/pianist Pamela Madsen for solo piano, voice, electronics  and projected images, investigating sound and healing and the bio-mechanisms of vibro-acoustics in music performance. Funding is sought for the commission fee for composer Pamela Madsen and the premiere performance fee by New York City based new music pianists: Kathleen Supové and Eleonor Sandresky.

Luminous Etudes is a 40 minute, ten movement work for piano, voice, electronics  and projected images to be produced in Spring 2016 as part of the 15th Annual Cal State Fullerton New Music: Sound, Healing and Light held in collaboration with the School of Music’s Center for Performance Science, Departments of Kinesiology, Theater, Dance, and Visual Art Bodies in Motion Project.

This work is inspired by composer/pianist Pamela Madsen’s recent visit to the sanctuary of Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain and encounter with the ancient icon of the Black Madonna during the Summer 2013. Montserrat, is the home of the Benedictine AbbeySanta Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary.  Once the place of religious siting, it is one of the most important sites for religious healing pilgrimages in the world.  As composer, Madsen was selected for artist residency at the Can Serrat Artist Colony near the ancient monastery in the mountains of Montserrat, above Barcelona, Spain where she will research archival materials of the ancient collection of chants:  Llibre Vermille, and study the tradition of pilgrimages in sound and healing in the region to create these works.

Luminous Etudes explores the composer/pianist’s journey of healing in sound, through the evolution of specific etudes, created in collaboration with the project pianists that explore the effect of vibro-acoustics on the body, and the expand upon extended techniques and sonic resonance capacity of the piano. Based on ancient healing chant materials from Llibre Vermille, Montserrat, Spain, the culminating work will integrate projected images/videos that reinforce the creative and vibro-acoustic process, and provide connections to original historical site of inspiration, and reference to the healing quest of pilgrimages.

Pianists Kathleen Supové and Eleonor Sandresky were selected to collaborate on this project due to their research and creative work on the Body in Music Performance. Composer Pamela Madsen will work with them collaboratively during the generation of this work to assess the effects of vibro-acoustic resonance on the body, healing and sound.  CSUF School of Music faculty pianists  Rob Watson, and Alison Edwards, Directors of Center for Performance Science and other pianists will assist in facilitating the research, collaboration and performance.

Selected works from the study will involve vocalization of the pianist or addition/incorporation of sung voice of Laurie Rubin, Tony Arnold, who have worked with Pamela Madsen on other multi-media projects and the Lorelei Vocal Ensemble.

Potential collaborators for the projected images include video artists who have worked with Madsen on past projects: Quintan Ana Wikswo (Luminosity, Prophecy of Place and WUPATKI) and Alison O’Daniel (Film as Collaborative Art Guest Artist, Grand Central Arts, CSUF resident).

Project Media

Luminosity: Polonium (2013) Live performance by Pamela Madsen, composer
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Features: Pamela Madsen

Luminosity: The Passions of Marie Curie
Multi-Media Monodrama commissioned and premiered by musicians from soundSCAPE, March 1, 2013.
Tony Arnold, Soprano, musician from soundSCAPE
Thomas Rosenkranz, Pianist, musician from soundSCAPE
Video by Quintan Ana Wikswo

Roulette TV: Kathleen Supove
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Features: Kathleen Supove

“Downtown piano queen” (New Yorker) Kathleen Supové will perform highlights from her commissioned repertoire for wired and enlightened piano—some classics, some brand new. “What Ms. Supové is really exploding is the piano recital as we have known it, a mission more radical and arguably more needed.” Anthony Tommasini, NY Times “This was classical music played like the best rock’n’roll. It was passionate, earnest, loud and more complex than the gatekeepers of high culture would like to think. Brava.” Ben Sisario, NY Press “…

A Sleeper’s Notebook: REM2intoDreamElegy for choreographic piano
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Features: Eleonor Sandresky

Eleonor Sandresky performs live performance at Diverse Works, Houston, TX her evening-length work, A Sleeper’s Notebook for choreographic piano
For works with piano and electronics:

Start and End Dates



Fullerton, California

6 updates
Last update on February 14, 2016

Project Created By

Laguna Beach, California
Pamela Madsen is a composer, sound artist, performer, and curator of new music. From her intimate chamber music creations focusing on image-music-text to her  electroacoustic mutli-media collaborations, collected archives of works by women in electroacoustic and organization of new music events she has created a body of work with a profound breadth of vision.  Her…

In Collaboration With

Pianist, Performer of commissioned work
Brooklyn, New York
Pianist, Performer of commissioned work
Brooklyn, New York
Vocal Ensemble, Performer of commissioned work
Boston, Massachusetts


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