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School of Music Faculty Member Receives Ascaplus Award

November 21, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Aaron Cassidy, lecturer in composition at the Northwestern University School of Music, received a 2006-07 ASCAPLUS Award -- Concert Music Division.

The award was presented by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to reflect the organization's continuing commitment to assist and encourage ASCAP composers. ASCAP is a membership association of more than 260,000 U. S. composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers of every kind of music.

Awards are granted by an independent panel and are based upon the unique prestige value of each writer's catalog of original compositions, as well as recent performances.

Cassidy is a young composer of experimental music. His works are gaining widespread exposure with performances in the United States, Mexico, Austria, the Netherlands, Croatia, England, France, Sweden, Germany and Australia.

His music can be characterized by a dedication to instability and fragmentation. His recent works have experimented with the interaction of a performer with his or her instrument, introducing a decoupling of component performance techniques as a way to expand instrumental and timbral resources. Recent projects have included research into linguistic, semantic and spatial theories, focusing in particular on heightened states of structural and textural dislocation and fracture.

Cassidy is working on commissions from Australia's ELISION ensemble and electric guitarist Daryl Buckley. ELISION will be performing several of his pieces in May 2007. He also is a producer for NMC Records in London and will be producing another compact disc for them in January.

He joined the School of Music's composition faculty in 2005. In addition to private and classroom teaching, he is co-director of the New Music Northwestern concert series.

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