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NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble features world-premiere recordings on first commercial release

Sept. 25, 2018

NOTUS: Of Radiance & Refraction

“NOTUS: Of Radiance & Refraction” will be released Sept. 28.

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce the release of “NOTUS: Of Radiance & Refraction,” the first commercial recording from NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble in its nearly 40-year history.

Available Sept. 28 on the Innova label, the CD features five world-premiere recordings of commissioned works, by faculty composers Claude Baker, John Gibson, Aaron Travers and NOTUS director Dominick DiOrio, as well as former faculty member Sven-David Sandström.

The disc also includes a performance of Stravinsky's “Trois pièces pour quatuor à cordes” by the Zorá String Quartet—comprised of Jacobs School alumni—grand-prize and gold-medal winner of the 42nd Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

“Involving more than 100 students, faculty and alumni from over a dozen departments in the Jacobs School of Music, this album is truly a school-wide achievement,” said DiOrio. “As we recorded these works over a period of four years, you will hear a different assortment of singers for each composition. Each piece has its own unique demands and sound world, and each of these composers’ personalities are so different from each other.”

Dominick DiOrio

Dominick DiOrio is the director of NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble.

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DiOrio said the project has been a labor of love, combining talent from numerous Jacobs School departments, including voice, composition, choral conducting, percussion, chamber and collaborative music, strings and especially audio engineering and sound production.

“It’s been wonderful working with Dominick and NOTUS to record such diverse works,” said D. James Tagg, assistant professor and lead engineer and producer on the CD. “From recording large percussion with choir, to mixing in synthesized sources to achieve a realistic and cohesive ‘ensemble sound,’ to things as pure and exposed as string quartet, this project has been a joyous challenge to engineer all the way through. A special thank-you to fellow faculty members Konrad Strauss and Mark Hood, who also contributed to the album’s creation.”

Jacobs student Jennie Moser—who maintains a professional portfolio as both a soprano and a graphic designer—designed the CD packaging, including the cover and booklet.

“This is not your typical album of choral music,” added DiOrio. “Our composers have written music that challenges and inspires, and the student performers relished the adventure of bringing this new music to life.”

Preview a track from “NOTUS: Of Radiance & Refraction,” John Gibson’s ‘In Flight,’ for chorus and electronics, featuring student soprano Kellie Motter.

NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble is one of the country’s most unique collegiate vocal ensembles, with a singular commitment to championing living composers through the commissioning, programming and recording of new works.

Linda Cajigas
Assistant Director of Communications
IU Jacobs School of Music
812-856-3882 |