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date: 17 August 2019

Chambers, Wendy Maelocked

  • Kyle Gann

Extract

(b Winchester, MA, Jan 23, 1953). American composer and performer. She attended Columbia University (BM 1975) and SUNY, Stony Brook (MM 1978), studying with Roussakis, Wuorinen, Beeson and Lewin; in an additional year at the University of California, San Diego (1979–80) she studied with Roger Reynolds, Pauline Oliveros and Will Ogden. Her irrepressible imagination creates ensembles of Berlioz-like grandiosity. In 1979 she produced Music for Choreographed Rowboats for 24 musicians in rowing boats, following it with Ten Grand (1983) for 10 grand pianos and laser lights, Pluck (1984) for 30 harps, Marimba! (1985) for 26 marimbas and Mass for 77 trombones(1993), a wordless requiem.

With such large groups of homogeneous forces at her disposal, Chambers has tended towards large-scale spatial effects; in her Symphony of the Universe (1989) for chorus, horn, organ, jazz band, digital tape and 100 timpani, rhythmic motives explode up and down the entire length of the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York, a space for which the work was composed. The last movement of ...

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