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date: 21 November 2019

Grady, Kraig locked

  • Daniele Buccio


(b Montebello, CA, 1952). American composer and percussionist of Ojibwe origin. He studied with nicolas Slonimsky , Dean Drummond, Dorrance Stalvey, Byong-Kon Kim, and Walter O’Connell. The theories of Erv Wilson and the music of Harry Partch influenced Grady to explore alternative tunings and an elaborate system of multidimensional tonal geometries. Since 1975 Grady has formed ensembles of acoustic microtonal instruments of his own design (especially metallophones, marimbas, hammered dulcimers and reed organs) to explore environmental spaces and psychoacoustical phenomena. In the early 1980s he worked with cinematographer Keith Barefoot, combining live music with silent film to produce surrealist films, such as Eve Without Apples (1987). In his 1989 opera War and Pieces, Grady used film to project stage settings for live performers. Since the 1980s Grady has also worked as a shadow puppeteer, tuning theorist, filmmaker, world music radio DJ, and concert promoter. Grady’s style has often integrated features of ethnic musics, from Native American chants to Indonesian gamelan orchestras, from Japanese gagaku to African musical traditions, blending them with his own aesthetics. His research on tunings is not only mathematical but also empirically based on knowledge of instruments and of folk traditions. The 1990s saw Grady’s first work connected to the activities of Anaphoria, a fictitious island situated “somewhere between Indonesia and Africa,” which Grady has drawn on as a metaphorical source and a “visionary geographic.” He has produced numerous solo and ensemble works and nearly a dozen shadow plays representing the traditional repertoire of Anaphoria. His work has been presented at the LA Philharmonic’s American Music Weekend, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse Berlin, the Chateau de la Napoule, the Norton Simon Museum of Art, the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum, California Institute of the Arts, Pomona College, Pierce College, Villa Aurora Foundation for European American Relations, the Schindler House, Beyond Baroque, the Brand Library, the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane), and New Langton Arts, as well as in numerous live performances....

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