The Music of Composer Kevin Ure
Kevin Ure composes music that is at once challenging to the listener and accessible. As a critical composer, his search to write original music has led him to the historical roots of musical analysis. With a unique interpretation of the overtone series, The Music of Kevin Ure offers a refreshing brand of tonality that embraces chromaticism and addresses many of the challenges inherent with traditional tonality.
At its core, his music reflects Romantic period ideals. His music aims to push the boundaries of music composition, and he believes that one of the roles of a composer is to commit to a lifelong search for new sounds, theories and methods of producing original music.
Like many composers, his first introductin to music came in the form of piano lessons. Over the years, he traded one instrument for another in an effort to get a feel for all of the instruments of the orchestra. Maintaining a strong affinity for the euphonium and brass instruments, his goal was always to express musical ideas through a variety of mediums.
Ure has maintained an interest in creating music that borders on the macabre and no matter the style of the work, a unique voice seeps through. Dissonant, dark, melancholy music with a tonal pull that is based largely on how consonant and remote overtones in music create friction provides a meditative reprieve from the challenges of daily life. The melodies in his compositions are often merged within rich densities, thick harmonic backdrops, and dynamic rhythmic pulses.
The Music of Kevin Ure encompasses listeners in a wash of sound that is intended to envelop and propel the audience to experience new musical worlds. While most of his music uses novel and dissonant harmonies, there is usually a programmatic sense of hope and catharsis that meets the listener at the close. The viewpoint reflected is one of continual change, modification, and the metamorphosis from a variety of perspectives.
Ure has traveled extensively, and draws upon those experiences while writing new music. While born in California, he has since traveled across the United States, Europe, and Asia. During a two-year stint living in rural Japan, his exposure to different cultures and modes of thought expanded. While each new piece of music has a certain symbology and is programmatic in nature; ultimately, he hopes his music will be have differeing meanings depending on the listener’s experience, background, and personal inclinations.
Similar to a Rorschach test, the Music of Kevin Ure serves as a catalyst to understanding personal and often volatile emotional currents of energy. Ure believes that great music provides a logical framework that the listener can use as a container to pour their own experiences and meaning into the piece. This musical lens may provide the listener with an emotional release, a structure for relaxation and meditation, or a reprieve from the mundane and ordinary.
Each new piece is a work in progress that always aims for an impossible perfection while never fully answering the questions the music attempts to pose. In this way, there are core concepts and ideas that frequent listeners will begin to pick up on. Ure believes that music is organic, and in that sense it continues to change, develop, and grow as the composer improves their understanding and knowledge of the craft of music composition.
Ure has studied and performed with many prominent composers and performers including Virko Baley, Daniel Asia, Alfred Reed, Samuel Adler, Harry Begian, Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel, Mark Jenkins, Eric Whitacre, Steven Bryant, Dr. Craig Walsh, Dr. Pamela Decker, Curtis-Curtis Smith, Dr. Richard Adams, Don Hannah, Takayoshi Suzuki, Shoichiro Hokazono, Mimi Stillman, Richard Meyrick, Dr. Paul Chihara, James Mobberley, Jeffrey Cotton, Robert Beaser, Dan Coleman, Dr. James Stivers, Bobby Scann, Anthony LaBounty, Tom Leslie,and many others. He has also been privileged with the opportunity to study at multiple universities throughout the country including The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Western Michigan University.
As a composer, Ure’s compositions have received numerous performances, most notably, commissions from the Silverado Chamber Ensemble in Las Vegas and a World Premiere at the Las Vegas Centennial Celebration. His music has also been performed by The Las Vegas Brass Choir, The University of Arizona, The University of Nevada, Western Michigan University, and The Las Vegas Music Festival. Ure has performed with, composed for, and conducted many ensembles both nationally and internationally, including the President’s Navy Band, the UNLV Wind Orchestra, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and the Las Vegas Brass Band. He has also performed in tours of both Japan and Europe, as well as in a special performance in the 1992 inauguration of former President Bill Clinton.
The composer’s output includes works for orchestra, wind symphony, piano, brass, woodwinds, and strings. He has written works for soloists and chamber ensembles, including The Fool’s Journey for Orchestra, The Beast of Gevaudan for Brass Choir, La Llorona for Piano, Pavor Nocturnus for Brass Choir, The Garden Tower for Violin and Piano, and Queen Mab for Violin and Piano. He is listed as a composer with Meet the Composer, Sequenza21, ASCAP, About.com, and other notable sources.
Ure is the founder and composition instructor for UreMusic.com. His students have a variety of musical interests including jazz, blues, and classical, as well as music for film, television, and video games. As an instructor and consultant, he reviews hundreds of compositions and supplies thousands of pages worth of customized feedback annually to his private students, in addition to providing students with tailored instruction via personalized online courses.
Ure received his BM in Composition in 2003 from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Upon graduation, he released his first CD, The Beast of Gevaudan. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Michigan to begin work on his Masters degree in Composition, where he specialized in electronic music composition. He soon returned west to attend The University of Arizona, where he earned a Masters of Music in Composition in 2007, graduating with honors.
Currently, Kevin Ure teaches music theory courses at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He also serves as the instructor of The Composers Studio at UreMusic.com and is an active composer of modern music. Straight out of graduate school, he held the position of Director of Music at a research-based lab school affiliated with The University of Arizona, where he taught music theory, history, performance, and composition.
His music is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, iHeartRadio, CDBaby, SoundCloud,and many other digital distribution platforms. Additionally, you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Kevin Ure has also written extensively on music and aims to help composers learn to create their own original compositions.