About Kerrith Livengood
Kerrith Livengood’s works have been performed at ACO’s SONiC Festival, June in Buffalo, Bargemusic, CCM’s MusicX festivals, the North American Saxophone Alliance annual conference, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Edmonton Festival of New Music, the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song series, the Cortona Sessions, and Alia Musica Pittsburgh’s Conductors Festival. She has composed works for the JACK Quartet, Third Angle Ensemble, Duo Cortona, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Beattie and pianist Adam Marks, soprano Amy Petrongelli, and the h2 Quartet. Her works feature unexpected musical forms, complex grooves, lyricism, noise, and humor. Her string quartet This Is My Scary Robot Voice, performed by the Argus Quartet, features speech rhythms intoning an anxious inner monologue, which the New York Times described as “sketchy seeming.” By contrast, her setting of poet Jennifer L. Knox’s Hot Ass Poem for mezzo-soprano, flute, and piano features shouting, theatrical ogling, and pretty bird-like flute chirps. Currently, she is collaborating with Knox on a piece for two sopranos and oboe about starlings (the invasive and adaptive birds). Kerrith is also a flutist, drummer, and improviser. She has premiered many new works by young composers with members of the JACK Quartet, eighth blackbird and the American Modern Ensemble, and once played a wild duet in concert with Anthony Braxton. She is a native of Springfield, Missouri. Kerrith is also assistant director for the New Music On The Point Festival.
As a teacher introducing music theory to students with limited and varied musical backgrounds, I emphasize the idea that there is something of interest and artistic value in every kind of music. Music education is valuable because music itself is valuable, regardless of any cognitive benefit musical practice confers. If a person possesses the ability to play, write, understand and enjoy music, they have a lifelong source of joy and contentment at their command. I want to empower my students to be self-sufficient creators of music, active and sympathetic listeners, and advocates for the importance of music-making in a society that values the commercial over the personal.
BM Flute Performance, Truman State University; MM and PhD in Composition and Music Theory, University of Pittsburgh