Pianist Ashlee Mack has given recitals in Germany, Italy, and across the United States. Specializing in contemporary music, she has premiered works by many notable composers including Christian Carey, Matthew Heap, David Maki, Robert Morris, Lawrence Moss, Paul Paccione, James Romig, and David Vayo. Her recordings are available on New World Records, Innova, Navona Records, and Perspectives of New Music/Open Space.
In 2012, she and Katherine Palumbo founded the Khasma Piano Duo, an ensemble dedicated to performing music from the 20th and 21st centuries. An avid hiker and nature enthusiast, she has been an artist-in-residence at Wupatki National Monument, Everglades National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and Centrum in Fort Worden State Park, WA.
Mack is Director of Piano Studies at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
James Romig (b.1971) composes music in response to an increasingly fragmented and accelerated world, creating highly self-referential works that evolve isomorphically and reveal themselves gradually. Endeavoring to reflect the intricacies of the natural world, his compositional paradigms exert influence on both small-scale iteration and large-scale design, obscuring boundaries between form and content.
Still, for solo piano, was recognized as one of two Finalists for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His works have been performed in 49 states and 34 countries by such notables as Talujon, Harpverk, Iktus, JACK, Khasma, Helix, Chronophonie, Altered Sound, Suono Mobile, Cadillac Moon, Due East, Collide-O-Scope, flutist Harvey Sollberger, violinist Erik Carlson, pianists Ashlee Mack and Taka Kigawa, and the Quad City Symphony. Recordings of his music have been released by New World, Navona, Blue Griffin, and Perspectives of New Music. Guest-composer visits include Eastman, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Illinois, Northwestern, and the American Academy in Rome. Artist residencies include Copland House, Centrum, Everglades, Grand Canyon, and Petrified Forest. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa (BM, MM) and Rutgers University (PhD), where he studied with Charles Wuorinen. Milton Babbitt provided additional mentoring and served on Romig’s PhD dissertation committee.
Since 2002, he has been on faculty at Western Illinois University, where he heads the composition area. His music is published exclusively by Parallax Music Press (ASCAP).
During their residency, Mack performed Romig’s composition “Still” at the Royal Palm Visitor Center. “Still” went on to be recognized as one of two finalists for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
The pair spent much of their time working on upcoming music projects and preparing for the outdoor concert of “Still” at the Royal Palm Visitor Center. A grand piano was placed at the intersection of the Anhinga Trail and the Gumbo Limbo Trail. Harumi Abe, a former AIRIE resident, live-painted while I performed. The audience members listened, watched, and enjoyed the natural surroundings.