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Uniting New Music Communities in Oregon

A two-city collaboration between 27 performers and 15 composers to create new connections between contemporary music communities in Oregon.

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Fantasy in Metal – for percussion duet

Posted on August 18, 2014 by Jay Derderian

Recorded live at the Community Music Center in Portland Oregon, August 16th, 2014.

Performed by Seattle’s RE:Percussion Duo (Andrew Angell and David Solomon). 

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[Redacted] by Jay Derderian

Posted on August 11, 2014 by Andrew Stiefel

[Redacted], by composer Jay Derderian, is scored for amplified viola and fixed media. While working with Jay, the piece evolved from an examination of the revalations brough forth by Edward Snowden to an internal examination of the things we choose to hide from the rest of the world.

program notes

What we hold within – whether out of fear, necessity, social custom, or ineffable reason – we assimilate into the fabric of ourselves. Our memories and experiences inform the basis of our sense of self. The traces we leave around us – our interactions, words, photos – become the fabric of our lives; our outer sense of self, and along this process emerges our lives, experienced.

If nothing else, [REDACTED] is about what we withhold within ourselves from the world, as we abide the passage of time, tracing ourselves onto the world.

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Jay is hosting a program this weekend at the Portland Community Music Center on Saturday, August 16. You can learn more here.

The Portland Community Music Center received $250 in donations from our project concert.


Three Preludes for cello and double bass by John Goforth

Posted on July 24, 2014 by Andrew Stiefel

Cellist Kathryn Brunhaver and bassist Milo Fultz of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (ECCE) perform John Goforth’s Three Preludes in Portland, Oregon on March 8, 2014 as part of the collaborative program presented by ECCE and CPOP.

Foxglove by Matthew Zavortink

Posted on July 16, 2014 by Andrew Stiefel

Matt is a talented composer-performer whose music explores minamilism, spectralism and algorthymic composition. The piece, dedicated to a close friend, explores the sibilant qualities of the word “Foxglove.”

Matt is performing on flute. Please apologize the background noise in the recording: you’ll hear rain (this is Oregon after all) and the overhead lights.

A Conversation with Composer and Flutist Matt Zavortink

Posted on May 9, 2014 by Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

We sat down with Eugene, Oregon based composer Matt Zavortink to talk about his new piece “Foxglove”. The work for solo flute was performed by the composer as a part of Portland’s 2014 March Music Moderne.


Matt Zavortink is a composer and flute player from Eugene, Oregon, where he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in composition. His works have been performed by groups such as PRISM Quartet, the University of Puget Sound Wind Ensemble, Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, turnEnsemble, and Verbal Transcription. His current compositional interests include spectralism, minimalism, extended techniques and computer-aided compositional strategies.

A look inside David Sackmann’s “Rainier Monster Slayer”

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

We sat down with Eugene, OR based composer David Sackmann to talk about his new piece “Rainier Monster Slayer”. The work for alto-sax, violin, and cello was premiered by the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble on March 8 at AudioCinema in Portland as a part of Portland’s 2014 March Music Moderne Festival.


David Sackmann, a composer originally from Endicott, WA and currently based out of Eugene, OR, has written music for choral groups, chamber ensembles, percussion ensembles, and wind ensemble. A graduate of Gonzaga University (B.A., magna cum laude, Music-Composition Emphasis) David is currently pursuing a M.M. in music composition at the University of Oregon. His works have been performed by the Gonzaga University Wind Symphony, the American Creators Chorus, the Gonzaga University Wind Symphony Percussion Ensemble, as well as many other chamber groups. Along with composing, David has also performed as a percussionist with various orchestral groups and bands and has conducted the premiers of a number of his works.

Along with his work as a composer, David is the acting director of The TaiHei Ensemble, (pronounced “tie-hey”) a new music ensemble based in Eugene, Oregon looking to facilitate, explore, and enhance dialogue between cultures through the creation and performance of world music

Interview with composer and sound artist Nayla Mehdi

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

We sat down with Eugene, Oregon based sound artist Nayla Mehdi to talk about her new piece “would it have been.” The work, for trumpet and electronics, was premiered by the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble on March 8 at AudioCinema in Portland as a part of Portland’s 2014 March Music Moderne Festival.


Nayla Mehdi is primarily a sound artist. In her works you will most often find sound worlds that investigate the hidden intricacies of sound’s deep structure, having an emphasis on timbral exploration, and that consider the space between elements.

Her interests currently lie in installation art, video art, sound design, spectralism, quiet music, and soundscape composition.

Evolution & Growth: moving into the final week

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

Planning an event is always a fluid process, make like creating a piece of new music: you never know where the creative journey will take you. Our journey has been just that, and we are absolutely thrilled to share the experience with New Music USA and all of our supporters around the country and especially in Oregon.

The announcement of additional support from New Music USA has provided an amazing spurt of energy going into he final week before our first program together. We were running on a shoe string budget in order to put on a second program in May: now we have the luxury of building a more fully interated program this month as we look ahead to our next program.

As I mentioned above, planning a program involves meticulous preperation and a willingness to improvise. Our original venue fell through in January, but we were fortunate enough to land a few doors down at Audio Cinema Portland, a group that provides rehearsal and practice spaces for musicians in the Portland area.


Our project has evolved since our initial grant application, and I believe it has grown in a way that allows us to more fully realize the development of tightly-knit musical communities. We are now partnered with the Community Music Center in Portland. The center, established in 1955, is a joint venture between the non-profit group Community Music Center, Inc. and the city of Portland Parks & Recreation department.

The center has supported musicians and composers in both of our groups, but more importantly, it serves as a low-cost introduction to music lessons and concerts to hundreds of people each year. As we discussed what a community of musicians meant to us, it seemed fitting that we support opportunities for our audience members and our larger community to have a place to discover and learn music.


The other exciting development this year has resulted in the addition of community performance pieces, specifically works by Terry Riley and Frederic Rzewski. Justin Ralls, one of the Portland composers, also wrote a piece for us that ends in a large community performance.

The main focus of project is centered on developing community connections, so we wanted to create opportunities for our audience to share the performance space with us.


We will continue posting as we prepare for our program next weekend. If you are in the Portland area on March 8, we strongly encourage you to come hear out program: 2PM @ Audio Cinema.

Until then,

Andrew Stiefel


The Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (ECCE) and the Contemporary Portland Orchestra Project (CPOP) are teaming up to present a concert as part of this year’s March Music Moderne festival. Following two years of successful, but seperate programs, the groups are working together this year to present the only program on the festival dedicated to exclusively performing works by composers living in Oregon.

The program will take place at 2 PM on March 8, 2013 at the Bamboo Grove Salon in Portland.


One of our major goals for this project is to deepen the connections among the contemporary music and art communities in Oregon. ECCE and CPOP are community-focused ensembles founded by performers and composers under the age of 30. Our program will present music by composers based at the state’s largest music education instiutions (the University of Oregon and Portland State University) as well as music by freelance composers living around the state.

We believe that the strongest lasting connections in music are made by performing together: the rehearsals, the concerts, and of course, the celebrations with our audiences after a successful program. In order to introduce our respective audiences to new composers and new music, we want to present a shared program.

Rethinking Local.

Strong musical communities are not entirely location-based in today’s rapidly changing world. Regional partnerships, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations, are key to creating innovative and fresh concert experiences. Our programming will represent a portion of the eclectic range of styles that exist within our communities, including everything from small acoustic solos, to works for chamber ensembles and electronics, to groups performing on custom-built instruments.

Composers featured on our program will include:

Creating new audiences.

ECCE and CPOP will be collaborating with the Portland Urban Farm Collective to design a program that will reflect the shared values of the partnered organizations: transforming spaces, building communities, and forging new collaborations to further public education. By reaching out to organizations outside the music and art communities that share our values, we hope to introduce new audiences to our work as we are inspired by the vibrant communities around us.

The Portland performance will take place at the Bamboo Grove Salon in the former SE Portland Industrial District. The space, a former warehouse, is now a multi-function community arts center in the heart of downtown Portland.

We believe that music intimately tied to place–whether it be where you grew up, where you ended up, or where you are at the moment–is often the most compelling since it arises from the sounds and experiences of the community around it.

Project Media

The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows
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Written for Sarah Pyle of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (ECCE) in April of 2012, “The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows” explores how sounds relate to the spaces and silences around them. Intended to be performed as a meditation, audience members are invited to listen carefully to the breath and movements of the performer as she moves from note to note and phrase to phrase within the space around her.

Nebraska, Early March
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The poem “Nebraska, Early March” is by William Kloefkorn (1932 – 2011). The text describes a series of beautiful minutiae, transitioning from a pastoral landscape to a scene of human love, all of which the singer expresses in a mood of contented wonderment. The cello helps guide our attention to the final scene. The song was premiered in 2013 by soprano Esteli Gomez and cellist Kelly Quesada of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (ECCE).

Outside the Eyes
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Features: Jay Derderian

Commissioned by and performed by the Third Angle Ensemble as part of their annual New Ideas in Music composition competition. Recorded live on March 21st, 2013 in Lincoln Hall at Portland State University.

Start and End Dates



Portland, Oregon

8 updates
Last update on August 18, 2014

Project Created By

Eugene, Oregon
The Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (ECCE) is a flexible ensemble of talented young instrumentalists that performs in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles. Through collaboration, community engagement, and innovative performances, ECCE advances the music of our day by creating original concert experiences and by connecting with new audiences. Dedicated to promoting the newest voices of our…

In Collaboration With

Performing Ensemble
Portland, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon
Composer/Portland Coordinator
Portland, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon


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