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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Palouse soundscape composer presents music of nature

Yii Kah Hoe.

Since coming to Washington State University from Malaysia in August, Yii Kah Hoe has ventured with his microphone into nearby woods and forests, along rivers and streams, and even out onto an icy pond to capture the music of nature.

An internationally recognized musician and composer, and the university’s first Fulbright scholar in residence, Yii is teaching, researching and continuing his artistic work of composing soundscapes that incorporate elements from nature and aim to raise environmental awareness.

He will premiere his newest composition, Of the Land, created in and about the Palouse, on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center. The free, public presentation, which is part of the 2023 Festival of Contemporary Artists in Music, will feature sounds of local nature and performances by music faculty Aaron Agulay, baritone, and Keri McCarthy, English horn.

Members of the audience also will play a part in the production, Yii said. Listeners will be able to move through the sounds emanating from speakers located across the space and contribute to the shifting, Palouse-based soundscape. “It will effectively transform the audience into performers in my music,” he said.

The composition, which Yii spent five months preparing, is a compilation of soundscape recordings from more than 12 different nature parks, many in the Pullman area and some in Idaho.

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WSU Insider

Using Her Bassoon To Elevate Indigenous Voices – With Composer Dr. Jacqueline Wilson (Yakama)

Jacqueline Wilson.

Can an instrument suit your personality? Dr. Jacqueline Wilson would say so. She believes her personality fits best with a large, low sounding, double reed woodwind instrument: the bassoon.

She serves as principal bassoonist of the Washington Idaho Symphony and assistant professor of bassoon and theory at Washington State University where she performs with the Solstice Faculty Wind Quintet. She recently released a collaborative album titled Works for the Bassoon by Native American Composers.

In this special episode of Traverse Talks, NWPB’s Hannah Snyder interviews Dr. Jacqueline Wilson (Yakama) about her album, inspiration, and unique performing experience. Listen to this podcast to learn more about Native American representation in classical music and hear samples of Dr. Wilson’s work.

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A new holiday song with a rat pack vibe

Greg Yasinitsky.

Just in time for the holidays, Washington State University Music Emeritus Professor Greg Yasinitsky has a new song, “It’s Santa!,” which is now streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, Deezer, and more.

The holiday song also is also included in the Winter Jazz Playlist, which is available on multiple streaming sites.

Horace Alexander Young.

The song was recorded in two versions with vocalist Horace Alexander Young and Yasinitsky’s YAZZ Band, and with the JECCA Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kathleen Hollingsworth, director of choral activities at Clackamas College, performing with Yasinitsky’s YAZZ Band.

Sarah Miller.
Sarah Miller

The recordings feature WSU emeritus faculty members Yasinitsky, who plays saxophone, vocalist Young, and drummer David Jarvis, along with current WSU faculty members Sarah and A.J. Miller on trombones.

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WSU Insider

Live performance pairs music and scent

Two Washington State University departments are collaborating on an experience to have more sensory impact on a live audience. César Haas, instructor of guitar and jazz studies at the School of Music, and Carolyn Ross, professor of sensory science from the School of Food Science, have developed a sensory performance experience combining music and scent.

Cesar Haas.

“Synesthesia: Sounds and Scents of Brazil” will feature original music and arrangements of jazz and Brazilian music by Haas, a Brazilian guitarist. For each composition performed, aroma packets developed by Ross will elicit a sense of place for listening to the song, while other aromas connect more with the song itself.

The performance will also feature jazz vocalist Michalangela, along with WSU professors Austin Cebulske (saxaphone), Christian Kim (piano), Christiano Rodrigues (violin), Darryl Singleton (percussion), Dave Bjur (bass), Dave Turnbull (trumpet), and Ruth Boden (cello).

The concert will take place in the Kimbrough Concert Hall on Friday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

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WSU Insider

New leaders in arts and sciences bring wealth of experience to posts

Three academic units in the College of Arts and Sciences are welcoming new leadership this fall.

Allyson Beall King.
Clifford Berkman.
Keri McCarthy.

In the School of Music, Professor Keri McCarthy succeeds Dean Luethi as director, and in the Department of Chemistry, Professor Cliff Berkman succeeds Kirk Peterson as chair.

In the School of the Environment—which is part of both CAS and the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences—Allyson Beall King, associate professor, career track, succeeds Kent Keller as director.

“Drs. McCarthy, Berkman, and King bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles,” said Todd Butler, CAS dean. Their respective terms began Aug. 16.

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WSU Insider