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date: 22 August 2019

Mekeel, Joycelocked

  • Diane O. Ota

Extract

(b New Haven, CT, July 6, 1931; d Watertown, MA, Dec 29, 1997). American harpsichordist, composer and anthropologist. She studied at the Longy School of Music (1952–5), the Paris Conservatoire with Boulanger (1955–7), and Yale University (BM 1959, MM 1960), where her teachers included Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord) and David Kraehenbuehl (theory). In addition, she studied the harpsichord privately with Ralph Kirkpatrick (1957–9) and composition with Earl Kim (1960–62). She taught at the New England Conservatory (1964–70) and Boston University (from 1970), where she also directed the electronic music studio. Among her awards were fellowships to the MacDowell Colony (1963, 1964, 1974) and Yaddo (1974), an Ingram-Merrill grant (1964) and commissions from Boston Musica Viva, the Fromm Foundation and the Louisville Orchestra, among others.

Mekeel’s compositions demonstrate an unusual approach to the voice and instruments, exploring and exploiting a full range of vocal and instrumental sonorities and using theatrical techniques to either enhance or detract from the sound. Early in her career she worked with theatre and dance groups. Her vocal music, rather than illustrating the meaning of the text, interprets the mood that the words, in many cases taken from multilingual sources, invoke....

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