BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Two Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music faculty members will present a recital of their own compositions and other works
on Jan. 31.
David Vayo, Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory, will premiere his piece
Chambers. Assistant Professor of Music Joseph Plazak will present two pieces for guitar, including the debut of Les Sacres, an acoustic guitar piece he began composing two years ago.
The two will also perform improv with Vayo playing piano and Plazak on guitar. Plazak
will also perform Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint for electric guitar in a unique way. Instead of using the typical two speakers, Plazak
has pre-recorded tracks for eight speakers, and will invite audience members to “experience
the piece on stage” in the midst of the speakers.
The recital, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Westbrook Auditorium
at 7:30 p.m.
Vayo, who also heads the composition department in the School of Music, is an award-winning
composer whose work has been broadcasted and performed more than 400 times throughout
the world. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University,
Vayo received a doctorate in composition from the University of Michigan. He has received
awards and commissions from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, ASCAP, the Barlow
Endowment for Music Composition, the American Music Center, and the Illinois Council
for the Arts. At IWU he also directs the annual Symposium of Contemporary Music, the
New Music Café concert series, and other events in the School of Music’s New Music
A guitarist and laptop musician, Plazak has been a long-time advocate for the incorporation
of technology and multimedia into music. He received his bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst
and earned a doctorate in music theory and cognition from The Ohio State University.
At Illinois Wesleyan he teaches courses on music theory and music cognition.