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Robert Jordan

(Douglas)

(b Chatham, ON, May 10, 1947). Canadian composer and electronic music researcher. After completing the BS in mathematics and physics at Queen’s University and the MMus at the University of British Columbia, he studied at Utrecht University with Gottfried Michael Koenig (electronic music and computer composition) and Otto Laske (sonology and procedural theory). In 1973 he joined R. Murray Schafer’s World Soundscape Project at Simon Fraser University, where in 1976 he was appointed professor in the School of Communication and School for the Contemporary Arts. His innovations include the interactive PODX compositional system, which he has employed in compositions for electronic tape, often in conjunction with instruments, computer graphics and voices.

Truax’s use of frequency modulation culminated with the composition of Solar Ellipse (1984–5). With Riverrun (1986) he became one of the first composers to use real-time granular sound synthesis as a compositional tool. He later refined this procedure to prolong sound sequences without altering their pitch, a technique he used in ...

Article

Thomas Owens

(b Jersey City, NJ, c1925). Recording engineer. In the late 1940s he created a recording studio in the living room of his parents’ home in Hackensack, New Jersey, and began recording as a hobby. An optometrist by profession, he became the principal recording engineer for Blue Note in 1953, and the following year he began working for Prestige (to 1969) and Savoy as well. After abandoning optometry, in July 1959 he moved into a newly built home and studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. He also made numerous recordings for Cadet, CTI, Elektra Musician, Enja, GRP, Impulse!, Kudu, Milestone, Muse (ii), Reservoir, Riverside, and Verve.

Van Gelder’s skill at getting a proper mix of instruments directly onto the master tape (long before multiple-channel recording existed) was exemplary, and his clean, crisp, well-balanced drum-kit sounds were especially noteworthy. Perhaps his most distinctive aural signature was the tight, boxy sound of his small Steinway grand piano. Although his output slowed from the frenetic pace he set during the 1950s and 1960s, he continued to work, and in the late 1980s he changed to digital technology....

Article

Hugh Davies

revised by Anne Beetem Acker

(b Straubing, Lower Bavaria, Germany, Jan 24, 1904; d 1986). German physicist, electroacoustic engineer, and instrument inventor. After earning an engineering degree from Ohm-Polytechnikum in Nuremberg and then working at a telegraph firm in Berlin, in 1928 he began working on the development of electronic instruments at the Heinrich-Hertz Institut für Schwingungsforschung at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, where he completed his doctorate in physics in 1937. In 1938, Vierling began lecturing in physics and electroacoustics in Hanover, becoming a professor in 1944. Beginning in 1941 he conducted weapons, encryption, and communications research. After World War II he designed surveillance devices at a laboratory he created in Ebermannstadt, near Nuremberg, where in 1949 he established his firm as Oskar Vierling GmbH. From 1949 to 1955 he was also a professor of physics at the Fakultäten Theologie und Philosophie of the Universität Bamberg. He held more than 200 patents....

Article

Paul Sheren

revised by Jérôme de La Gorce

(b Reggio nell’Emilia, c1623; d ?Paris, Feb 17, 1713). Italian theatre architect and scene designer, son of Gaspare Vigarani. With his brother Lodovico, he accompanied his father to Paris in 1659, and in 1662 was invited back by Louis XIV to design court entertainments. As part of a triumvirate with Lully and Molière, he was responsible for a series of festivities mostly at Versailles in 1664, 1668 and 1674. These stand among the most exquisite and sumptuous entertainments of the period. Each consisted of several divertissements, comedy-ballets or operas commissioned for the occasion, including La Princesse d’Elide, George Dandin, Les fêtes de l’Amour et de Bacchus, Alceste (Quinault–Lully), and Le malade imaginaire (Molière-Charpentier). In 1673 he received French citizenship and in 1679 was appointed ‘inventor of machines for theatres, ballets and royal festivities’. With Lully, he directed the Académie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opéra) according to the ‘Act de Société’ of ...

Article

Paul Sheren

(b Reggio nell’Emilia, Feb 20, 1588; d Modena, Sept 9, 1663). Italian theatre architect and scene designer . He was active as a designer of machinery for festivities at Reggio nell’Emilia by 1618. From the 1630s, if not before, he was employed by the Duke of Modena, and in 1635 was promoted to ‘engineer and general superintendent of buildings’. In 1640 and 1651 he took part in the design of theatres at Capri Modena and Mantua. In 1659 Cardinal Mazarin invited him to Paris to supervise the entertainments planned for the marriage of Louis XIV; for this occasion he constructed the Salle des Machines in the Palais des Tuileries and designed the inaugural production there, Cavalli’s Ercole amante (with additional ballets by Lully), performed, after considerable delay, in 1662. This production, with its spectacular stage machinery and scenic effects, was a major factor in the prominence enjoyed by Italian theatrical art in France for the next century. The theatre itself marked the transition from the pre-Baroque amphitheatre auditorium, which then prevailed in Paris, to the Italian opera house with perspective wing-stage and horseshoe auditorium. G.L. Bernini criticized it (...

Article

Marina Henderson

(b Odessa, 5/Aug 18, 1907; d Paris, Feb 11, 1984). Russian stage, costume and film designer, resident in France from 1920. He studied in Paris, taking painting and sculpture at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In the course of a prolific career he was responsible for more than 600 productions: some 150 films (including Michel Carné’s Les visiteurs du soir, 1942), 300 plays and 200 operas, staged in most of the leading European houses. He worked with the director Peter Brook in both opera and theatre.

Wakhévitch’s designs were characterized by a bold, sometimes coarse, painterly style, the sumptuous use of strong colour, dramatic chiaroscuro lighting effects and – reflecting his architectural training – confident, if conventional, handling of complicated stage space. Typical productions were the barbarically Russian Boris Godunov (1948, Covent Garden; directed by Peter Brook), the dramatic, enduring ...

Article

Will Fulford-Jones

[Andrew ]

(b Windsor, April 6, 1963). English disc jockey and remixer . He was a builder in the early 1980s, then came to prominence in 1988 through Boy’s Own, an irreverent football, fashion and club fanzine popular with the dance club community and which, as Junior Boys Own, became one of Britain’s most eclectic record labels. In 1989 he became a disc jockey at Shoom, the London club that helped begin the UK boom in acid house. He came to prominence soon after with Loaded (1990), his remix of the Primal Scream track I’m Losing More than I’ll Ever Have, and his subsequent production of that group’s Screamadelica album (1991), which mixed traditional indie elements with danceable rhythm tracks and gave rise to a burgeoning indie-dance crossover movement. After working with other similarly-inclined indie artists such as James, New Order and the Happy Mondays, he formed the challenging techno Sabres of Paradise cooperative with Nina Walsh, Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns, before adopting the name Two Lone Swordsmen. He continued sporadically to work as a disc jockey....

Article

David Cope

revised by Anders Tobiason

(b Caterham, Surrey, England, Oct 9, 1922; d Kewaunee, WI, Aug 24, 2001). American composer, photographer, and digital artist of English birth. He attended the Juilliard School (1947–9) and studied composition privately with Jerzy Fitelberg; at the New England Conservatory (BM 1951, MM 1953) he was a pupil of Judd Cooke. During the summers of 1950–52, he studied at the Berkshire Music Center, where his teachers included Jacques Ibert, aaron Copland, and Luigi Dallapiccola. He received a DMA from Boston University, where his principal teacher was Gardner Read (1960–62). From 1951 to 1956, he was producer and director for FM radio and television at WGBH, Boston. He taught at Cardinal Cushing College, Boston (1958–9), and Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland (1960–67) before joining the faculty of DePaul University, Chicago, where he became full professor in 1979. During the bicentennial year, he recorded a daily radio series for WFMT in Chicago entitled ...

Article

Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht

(b Bregenz, Austria, June 20, 1907). German acoustician and musicologist . He studied acoustics and natural sciences at the Berlin Technische Hochschule from 1927 and then (1932–4) worked as a qualified engineer in a studio for experimental music that he had set up at the Berlin Musikhochschule. The direction of his subsequent researches was determined to a large extent by his further study at Berlin University with Walter Nernst (working on the Neo-Bechstein) and Carl Stumpf (on the structures of music and language). In 1950 he took the doctorate in engineering, and in 1951 he completed his Habilitation at Berlin Technical University with a dissertation on acoustics. In 1950 he joined the Technical University’s faculty of humanities, teaching communications science in music and language, and became supernumerary professor in 1957. In collaboration with Boris Blacher he set up a studio for experimental music and composition there (...

Article

Jamie C. Kassler

(b Stockton-on-Tees, Sept 18, 1763; d Wycliffe Rectory, nr Barnard Castle, Nov 24, 1829). English musician and inventor . Wright was instructed in music by his father, Robert, by John Garth and, as an articled apprentice, by Thomas Ebdon. On expiration of his articles about 1784, he succeeded Garth as organist at Sedgefield. In 1794 he married Elizabeth Foxton and set to music her operetta, Rusticity. In the ‘Advertisement’ to his Concerto for Harpsichord or Pianoforte (London, c1796), he promoted his invention of a pendulum for keeping musical time as more practicable than the timekeepers of Loulié, Sauveur and others. A model of the invention, owned by Wright’s granddaughter, Miss Edith Wright of Wakefield, was seen by Frank Kidson, when compiling his article for Grove’s Dictionary (3rd edn). In 1797 Wright succeeded his father as organist at Stockton. In 1817 he was organist at Kirkleatham near Redcar; but sometime after he returned to Stockton and remained there as organist, teacher and composer until his death....