Composition by Augusta Read Thomas Garners National Media Attention

University Professor of Composition Augusta Read Thomas

Resounding Earth, a new composition by Augusta Read Thomas incorporating the sounds of 300 different pieces of metal being struck, has received praise from local and national media following several performances and a DVD release. Thomas spent a year developing the piece with Third Coast Percussion, a Chicago-based percussion quartet and Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

“It was to take something that was true to my music and push it all the way," Thomas, University Professor of Composition in the Department of Music, told the Wall Street Journal about her inspiration to use 125 bells and more than 150 other metal objects within the piece.

The Chicago Tribune’s review highlights how the melding of bell and metal tones “…sounds at once ancient and modern — bright, dark, shimmering, shattering, rhythmic, lyric;” and Chicago Classical Review praises how “Thomas neatly matched each rhythmic gesture to an appropriate sound and dynamic.” 

Third Coast Percussion will continue to perform Resounding Earth in 2014 across the country. A preview of the DVD, including short segments from a performance of the composition, is available on YouTube. Additional information—including Thomas’ program notes—is available at her website.

"Because" is 2013 Word of the Year; Jason Riggle Explains Why

Jason Riggle, Humanities Day 2012

While there were many promising choices, such as “sharknado,” “struggle bus,” and “slash,” the American Dialect Society voted “because” the 2013 Word of the Year. Jason Riggle, associate professor of Linguistics and voting member of the society, explained the choice for Chicago Tonight.

“This is the year that language nerds had their day,” said Riggle. The recent update in usage of “because” allows the word to introduce a noun, adjective, or other part of speech, and no longer requires it to be followed by “of” or a full clause. 

Learn more about the language trends of 2013 and watch Riggle’s full interview online at Chicago Tonight.

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