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Kyle Gann

(Bernd)

(b New York, March 26, 1954). American composer and performer. At Wesleyan University (BA 1976, MA 1979) he studied the music of Charles Ives, Indian tablā, and performance and composition with Alvin Lucier. From 1980 he worked in New York as a consultant for recording studios while maintaining an active role as a performer and organizer of festivals in the city. He was visiting artistic director of the STEIM electro-acoustic music studio in Amsterdam (1992–5), and in 1994 became co-director of the American ensemble Barton Workshop; in 1997 he was appointed editor-in-chief of the Leonardo Music Journal.

Collins's early works, unsurprisingly for those of a Lucier protégé, use electronic feedback and computer circuitry. In New York he performed on a unique ‘trombone-propelled signal processor’ (with attachments to the mouthpiece), which enabled him to loop and modify sampled sounds and pan these to loudspeakers around the performance space. Other devices include a ‘backwards electric guitar’ – sending sound signals actually inside the instrument for electronic resonance – and a modified compact disc player which allows recordings to be altered during performance. The latter device is used to great effect in ...

Article

Robin Elliott

(Roger)

(b Akron, OH, Nov 15, 1943). Canadian composer. He studied composition and the double bass at Ohio State University (BMus 1965, MMus 1967) and then moved to Canada as a conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam. After spending three years in Vancouver as a music teacher and professional bassist, he joined the staff of the music department at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (1970–97). He established and directed the electronic music studio at Queen’s, and subsequently wrote the book Tape Music Composition (London, 1980). He became a Canadian citizen in 1974.

Keane’s research interests include music perception and cognition, and the history, techniques and aesthetics of electro-acoustic music. He has written a considerable amount of music for amateur and young musicians, in addition to his large output of electro-acoustic, multimedia and concert music. Influences on his compositional style range from medieval music to computer music technology. He has travelled widely in Europe and North America to lecture on electro-acoustic music and supervise performances of his own works. (...

Article

Christian Scheib

(b Kobe, Dec 5, 1947). German composer of Japanese birth. She studied composition in Vienna with Haubenstock-Ramati and in Germany with Lachenmann. In 1985 she settled in Berlin. Her compositional style shows the influence of her piano training (in Tokyo and Vienna) and her study of electro-acoustic music. A renunciation of stylistic unity, characterized by changes from one medium or genre to another, is central to her musical aesthetic. Her works often contain references to literature, current events and biographical material, and quote from German and Japanese folksong, Viennese waltzes and other musical sources. Some of her compositions are emphatically experimental, employing unconventional performance techniques to produce ‘noise’.

An analysis of structurally and socially conditioned violence is a common thread running through Kubo's works. In radio plays such as Ich bin 99 Jahre alt (1988), she uses speech to comment on social development; in the Klavierstück für zwei Hände...

Article

Stacey Sewell

(b Washington DC, 1958). American composer, performer, and sound artist. Masaoka’s work is stylistically diverse, drawing on gagaku (Japanese court music), new music, improvisation, jazz, and electronic music. She has performed or collaborated with artists from a range of musical traditions, including Fred Frith, Pharoah Sanders, Dr. L. Subramaniam, the Berkeley Symphony, and the Cecil Taylor Orchestra. Masaoka was the 2004 recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts. She is married to George Emanuel Lewis.

After receiving her BA in Music from San Francisco State University, Masaoka attended Mills College (MA 1994), where she studied with alvin Curran . She performs on koto (Japanese zither), which she studied with Seiko Shimaoka and Suenobu Togi. She later formed and directed the San Francisco Gagaku Society. Although she began playing traditional koto, Masaoka has since moved into developing her own playing techniques.

Since the 1980s Masaoka has developed interfaces to extend the ...

Article

Ronit Seter

[Arik]

(b Kibbutz Affikim, nr Tiberias, Nov 29, 1943). Israeli composer. He studied with two of the most influential Israeli composers at that time, Oedoen Partos and Mordecai Seter, at the Rubin Academy at Tel-Aviv University (BM 1968), but did not follow either stylistically. He turned instead to an extreme, politically motivated avant-garde style, influenced by Webern, Stockhausen, minimalism and the electro-acoustic music of the 1960s and 70s, an artistic direction which has led to his marginalization in Israel. A composer mainly of electro-acoustic music, Shapira is also an established private composition teacher. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers (1986), and, more controversially, the Israel Prize (1994), only the fifth such award to an Israeli composer in 40 years. He started teaching part time at the Open University, Tel-Aviv, in 1986 and at the Rubin Academy, Tel-Aviv, from 1990 to 1995...