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Article

Michael Russ

( b Belfast, Jan 22, 1962). Northern Irish composer . He attended the University of Ulster (BMus 1985) where he studied matrix composition, a technique used in many of his works, with David Morriss, and the University of Durham (PhD 1992) where he studied with John Casken and Peter Manning. In 1989 he became the composer-in-residence at Queen's University, Belfast, and in 1990 was appointed to a lectureship there, also serving as the director of the electronic music studio. The composition of Making a Song and Dance … (1989) marked the beginning of a fascination with Irish folk music, the modal qualities of which Alcorn finds particularly interesting. He has also acknowledged the influence of a number of postwar British and Scandinavian composers.

A small but significant part of Alcorn's output is electro-acoustic music. Flexible modes of interaction between electronically generated sounds, conventional instrumental timbres and, occasionally, visual images, hold a particular appeal for him. ...

Article

John M. Schechter

revised by Luis Merino

(b Santiago de Chile, June 22, 1922; d Santiago, Feb 3, 1999). Chilean composer and writer. Introduced to music by his father, a cellist, he studied theory and the piano at the Catholic Conservatory from 1935 to 1939. After graduating in civil engineering from the University of Chile (1945), he pursued work in composition with Jorge Urrutia Blondel at the National Conservatory (1948–52). He made his first experiments in electronic music when he was planning music programmes for Chilean Radio (1953–6), and in 1956 created the Experimental Sound Workshop at the Catholic University of Santiago. He taught both at the Catholic University and on the arts faculty of the University of Chile.

Amenábar wrote for the voice, chamber groups, solo instruments, and ensembles, and he composed incidental music for the cinema and theatre. His electro-acoustic music carries special importance: such works as ...

Article

Stephen Montague

(Michael Gordon)

(b Stratford, NZ, Feb 22, 1935; d Paris, May 27, 1987). British composer of New Zealand birth. He went to England at the age of 17 to study the piano at the RAM (1952–6). He remained in the UK and in 1969 began teaching at Morley College, London, where he became interested in live electronics and the work of Stockhausen. In 1973 he formed the West Square Electronic Music Ensemble (1973–87) from students at Morley, and in 1975 it gave its first professional performance at St John’s, Smith Square. In 1979 he co-founded the Electro-Acoustic Music Association of Great Britain (now Sonic Arts Network) and became its first chairman. His music was influenced by the post-Webern aesthetic, particularly in the three Piano Pieces with live electronics, Colla voce and Arc. As a composer Anderson was largely self-taught; this, along with his early lack of confidence as a New Zealander abroad, made him sometimes appear more at ease helping other composers realize their works than composing his own. He made six elaborate realizations of Stockhausen’s ...

Article

Svetlana Savenko

( b Novosibirsk, November 30, 1937). Russian composer . He attended the Moscow Conservatory (1955–60) where he studied composition under Shaporin and Sidel′nikov, polyphony under S.S. Bogatïryov and orchestration under Rakov. Later (1960–62), he studied general and musical acoustics and the theory and practice of electronic music under the guidance of Ye.A. Murzin (the engineer and mathematician who produced the first Soviet electronic ANS synthesiser). He worked as an engineer at the Institute for Electronic Research (1960–64), and then taught at the Institute of Culture (1964–86). In 1989 he became president of the Russian Association for electro-acoustic music, and in 1993 a member of the executive committee of ICEM (International Confederation for Electro-Acoustic Music). He is a laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1988, 1993, 1996), and a laureate of the ‘Nika’ Prize awarded by the Russian Academy for the art of cinematography....

Article

Carmen Helena Téllez

revised by Juan Orrego-Salas

(b Santiago, July 20, 1933). Chilean composer and electro-acoustic engineer. He studied at the National Conservatory in Santiago with Urrutia-Blondel (1947–56), at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik with Blacher (1959–60) and at the Badische Hochschule für Musik with Wildberger. Simultaneously he studied engineering at the Catholic University in Santiago (1953–9). As part of his dissertation, in 1959 he assembled the first electro-acoustic music laboratory in Latin America, and composed the region’s first electronic composition, Variaciones espectrales.

Asuar was the Chilean delegate to the 1960 ISCM Festival in Cologne. In 1962 he directed a seminar of electro-acoustic music in Salvador, Brazil. He was Professor of Acoustics and Contemporary Music at the National Conservatory in Santiago (1963–5). In 1964 he taught a seminar in electronic music at the di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires. From 1965 to 1968, at the invitation of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura y Bellas Artes of Venezuela, he established and directed the Instituto de Fonología, the country’s first electro-acoustic music centre....

Article

Pierluigi Petrobelli

(b Naples, March 4, 1932). Italian composer. He graduated from the Conservatorio di S Cecilia as a pupil of Porena. In 1965 he joined the Rome-based Nuova Consonanza group, serving as one of its directors in 1971–2. He studied with Stockhausen in Cologne in 1966, an experience that decisively influenced him as a composer. The following year he attended Evangelisti’s seminars on electronic music in Rome. In 1972, together with Mario Bertoncini, Walter Branchi and Giorgio Nottoli, he formed the Gruppo Team Roma, an ensemble making use of live electronics. Again with Branchi, in 1977, he founded Musica Verticale, an association devoted mainly to electro-acoustic music. He taught composition at the conservatoires of Pesaro (1972–9) and Perugia (1979–95). In 1995 he returned to Rome to teach at the Conservatory.

In the first phase of his output (Mimesis and Metafora) the elements of the music are rigorously predetermined; later he used forms offering a choice to the performers. After exploring new forms of expression using electroacoustic and instrumental techniques, he has progressively abandoned timbral research in pursuit of more abstract formal possibilities, especially in orchestral works such as ...

Article

Warren Burt

(Rosalie Edith )

(b Geelong, Victoria, Aug 18, 1951). Australian composer, performer, installation and sound artist, instrument inventor, writer, educator, and researcher. Her early education consisted of high school in both Australia and Canada, followed by a BA (1971, Monash University), Dip Ed (1973, Monash), MA (1974, Monash), and PhD (1983, Monash). An interest in experimental music is apparent from her earliest compositions, many of which involve performance in specific places, improvisation, electronics, graphic notation, and the use of self-built and specially built instruments. These include Improvisations in Acoustic Chambers, 1981, and Soft and Fragile: Music in Glass and Clay, 1982. By 1977 an interest in sound installation and sound sculpture had become well established in her work (Winds and Circuits, Surfaces and Cavities), and is an area in which she has continued to the present day, having presented nearly 50 sound installations worldwide.

Bandt has also been involved in creating electro-acoustic works, often in collaboration with broadcasting organizations; work for or with radio forms a significant portion of her output. Many of these works, while using real-world elements, take a more narrative or illustrative approach to their material compared to the abstractionism of much electro-acoustic work. An electro-acoustic work such as ...

Article

Barry Schrader

[née Charlotte Wind]

(b Minneapolis, June 16, 1927; d Los Angeles, April 20, 2008). American composer. She and her husband Louis Barron were pioneers in the field of electro-acoustic music. She received the MA in political science from the University of Minnesota, where she studied composition with Cordero, and she also spent a year studying composition at the University of Mexico. In 1947 she moved to New York and, while working as a researcher for Time-Life, studied composition with Riegger and Cowell. Married that year, the Barrons began their experiments with taped electronic sounds; in 1948 in New York they established one of the earliest electro-acoustic music studios. It contained both disc and tape equipment with sine- and square-wave oscillators, mixers and filters, and four synchronous projectors used for the manipulation of sound on optical tracks. Their experiments led the Barrons to use and develop characteristics of individual circuits to create different types of sound events, each of which was considered a Gestalt, and they eventually constructed a large collection of cybernetic circuits for compositional use. When they collaborated on a composition, Louis designed and built the electronic circuits for sound generation while Bebe searched the taped material for its musical potential and proposed the application of particular processing and compositional techniques....

Article

Barry Schrader

(b Minneapolis, April 23, 1920; d Los Angeles, Nov 1, 1989). American composer. He and his wife Bebe wrote pioneering works in the field of electro-acoustic music. He studied the piano and wrote jazz criticism while a student at the University of Minnesota. He then worked for the Gallup organization as a social psychologist. Married in ...

Article

Marie Fitzpatrick

(Eveline )

(b Streetly, Staffs, Dec 17, 1937). British composer and teacher. She studied at Birmingham University between 1956 and 1964 (BMus 1960, MA 1968) and with Alexander Goehr. During the 1960s she worked as a freelance horn player and as a music lecturer at colleges of education; in 1972 she was appointed lecturer at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She was a founder member of the Scottish Society of Composers and the Scottish Electro-Acoustic Music Society and in 1988 formed the contemporary music ensemble Soundstrata. During 1992 she was visiting composer at the Meistersinger-Konservatorium in Nuremberg; in 1996 she was appointed lecturer in music technology at the University of Glasgow. As a composer, she has acknowledged the influence of Bartók, Stockhausen and oriental music, and she was a pioneer of British electronic music. She combines natural and artificially generated or mediated sound, often using tape, as in ...

Article

Andra McCartney

(Marian )

(b Oshawa, ON, April 11, 1934). Canadian composer and radio producer. She studied composition with Weinzweig in Toronto, Foss and Copland at Tanglewood, and Maderna and Petrassi in Europe. Her early compositions tend towards neo-classicism, but, a pioneer in Canadian electro-acoustic music, she went on to compose post-serial, improvisational and collage works. Both her attention to timbre and her formal structures demonstrate the influence of Debussy and Xenakis.

Beecroft’s broadcasting career began in television (1954–9). She became a radio producer in 1963, originating numerous CBC-FM music series. In 1969 she began to produce freelance documentaries on Canadian composers and music technologies. Her programme The Computer in Music won the Major Armstrong Award for excellence in FM broadcasting (1976). From 1984 to 1987 she taught electronic music and composition at York University (Toronto), which awarded her an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1996. She has served as the president of Canadian Music Associates and Ten Centuries Concerts, and co-founded, with Robert Aiken, the New Music Concerts. Her numerous composition prizes include two Lynch-Staunton Awards from the Canada Council....

Article

Valdemar Axel Roldan

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 28, 1936). Argentine composer. He studied philosophy at the Buenos Aires National University. In 1961 he won a Ford fellowship to be an artist-in-residence in West Berlin. He studied with Schaeffer at the Pierre Bourdan Research Centre in Paris on a French government grant (1964–8). He was conductor-in-residence of the City of Buenos Aires Symphonic Band (1969–71) and deputy conductor of the National SO (1971–2); he has also directed the Buenos Aires PO, the University of Tucumán SO and contemporary music ensembles. His awards include the Argentine Composers’ Union Prize (1969) and the Buenos Aires Municipal Prize for his work in electro-acoustic music (1994–5). He was invited by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales to record Homenaje a Pierre Schaeffer in 1993 and to compose a work to commemorate the 50th anniversary of musique concrète...

Article

Rolf Haglund

(b Stockholm, July 15, 1935). Swedish composer and administrator. He studied composition with L. Wenström (1956–60), but he is self-taught in his principal field of electro-acoustic music, in which he is one of the most important composers, teachers and administrators in Sweden. His background as a jazz musician, pictorial artist (including computer-generated images) and biochemist has contributed to a characteristic openness and enthusiasm for the crossing of the boundaries between different artistic genres which he has passed on to a younger generation of electro-acoustic composers. Following his début in the concert organization Fylkingen in 1962, he became one of the driving forces in creating a small electronic music studio there. Together with Bengt Emil Johnson he directed the text and sound festivals initiated in Stockholm in 1967; Bodin was also Fylkingen’s chairman from 1969 to 1972. He became a pioneer of instrumental theatre, organized now legendary happenings at the Modern Museum in Stockholm and brought John Cage and other leading modernists to Sweden. In ...

Article

John Young

[John] (Stanley)

( b Te Aroha, Oct 7, 1944). New Zealand composer . He studied at the University of Auckland with Ronald Tremain, then, after an influential period working with Lilburn in the electro-acoustic music studio at Victoria University of Wellington, in Cologne with Kagel and at the Institute of Sonology, Utrecht. He was a guest lecturer at the Music Academy, Yogyakarta (1976–7), and since 1980 has taught at Victoria University of Wellington. His work as a composer embraces orchestral, chamber, music-theatre and electro-acoustic forms, as well as audio-visual installations which include his own photographic material. The most profound influence on his work has been his immersion in musical traditions of Asia which, through extensive fieldwork, particularly in Indonesia and parts of China, has provided him with much of his compositional material. Use of field recordings from such sources has characterized his electro-acoustic music since Musik dari jalan (‘Music from the Street’) (...

Article

G.W. Hopkins

revised by Paul Griffiths

(b Montbrison, Loire, March 26, 1925; d Baden-Baden, January 5, 2016). French composer and conductor. Resolute imagination, force of will, and ruthless combativeness secured him, as a young man, a position at the head of the Parisian musical avant garde. His predecessors, in his view, had not been radical enough; music awaited a combination of Serialism with the rhythmic irregularity opened up by Igor Stravinsky and Olivier Messiaen. This call for a renewed modernism was widely heard and widely followed during the 1950s, but its appeal gradually weakened thereafter, and in the same measure his creativity waned. He began to be more active as a conductor, at first specializing in 20th-century music, but then, in the 1970s, covering a large and general repertory. Towards the end of that decade he turned his attention to an electro-acoustic music studio built for him in Paris, where he hoped to resume the effort to create a new musical language on a rational basis. After a brief hiatus, though, conducting became again his principal means of expressing his independence and clarity of vision....

Article

Hartmut Krones

(b London, April 28, 1926). English composer, active in Austria. He studied at the RAM (1948–51), where his teachers included Ferguson and Lennox Berkeley, and at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1951–4) with Blacher, among others. After a scholarship enabled him to spend close to a year in Rome, he settled in Vienna as a freelance composer (1956). By that time he had already made a name for himself with his String Quartet op.2, which received its first performance at Darmstadt in 1953. He received increasing recognition in the following years with his stage and orchestral works. His opera Volpone, for example, was produced by five different companies. In 1973 he was appointed professor of composition at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, where he also directed the institute for electro-acoustic music (1989–91).

Burt took an expanded vision of late Romanticism as his starting point, but also found inspiration in the work of Stravinsky and in Nigerian drum music, with which he became familiar during a year of army service in Nigeria (...

Article

Valdemar Axel Roldan

(b ?Córdoba, before ?1945). Argentine composer and teacher. After study at Córdoba University and Conservatory, she studied with César Franchisena, Zlatko Topolsky, Nicolás Alfredo Alessio, Alfredo Luis Nihoul, Ornella Devoto and Francisco Kroepfl. Castillo has dedicated herself primarily to composition and to the dissemination of 20th-century music. Considered a pioneer in the production of electro-acoustic music in Argentina, her works have been performed in many national and international festivals and congresses. She began to create musique concrète and electronic music at the centre for experimental music at Córdoba University, of which she was a founding member. Later, she used computers to combine electro-acoustic music with traditional instruments. She is a founding member of the Córdoba Composers' Association, the Córdoba Argentine Federation of Electro-Acoustic Music and the Agrupación Nueva Música of Córdoba, of which she is president. Her works have been performed in Argentina and abroad. She is professor of composition and musical analysis at Córdoba University....

Article

Marc Battier

(b Newark, NJ, May 25, 1955). American composer. After attending the New England Conservatory and Bates College (BA 1977), Chasalow studied composition with Mario Davidovsky and flute with harvey Sollberger at Columbia University (MA 1979, DMA 1985). He taught composition at Harvard University and then at Brandeis University, where he is the director of the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio. His honors include a Fromm Foundation Fellowship, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, Aaron Copland Award, Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress Commission, Sylvia Goldstein Award, and MacDowell Colony Residency.

Although Chasalow has written a number of pieces for orchestra, chamber ensemble, and solo instrument, he often composes with electroacoustic sounds, delicately mixed with acoustic instruments. His pieces for instruments and electronics are highly articulated and finely chiseled, following a tradition first started at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (CPEMC) by Mario Davidovsky. He is equally recognized as a composer of classical contemporary music and of electroacoustic music. He also co-curates, with Barbara Cassidy, the Oral History Project, an important video archive of electroacoustic music, which consists of interviews of major American composers and pioneers working with electronic music and digital audio....

Article

Stephen Adams

(b Stoke-on-Trent, March 31, 1958). Australian composer, performer, and sound artist. Chesworth’s work has been given relatively little attention to date by musicologists. This is perhaps in part a consequence of the apparently populist appeal of his musical surfaces. It might also be a result of his collaborative working methods, and his implicit critique of traditional concepts of the composer’s role, and of the boundaries between art forms, genres, academic, and popular subcultures, making his work difficult to categorize.

In 1969 Chesworth emigrated from the UK with his parents. Following high school, he attended La Trobe University, studying music, even though he had arrived with no formal musical training (though he did possess sound engineering skills and plenty of musical ideas). He quickly developed an interest in composition, studying with Warren Burt and Graham Hair (1976–9), and continued at La Trobe as a tutor for two years beyond graduation. La Trobe introduced him to post-World War II European modernism and the American and British experimental traditions. Simultaneously he became active in the post-punk wave of experimentation, producing his first landmark recordings, ...

Article

Jean-Yves Bosseur

(b Compiègne, Aug 25, 1945). French composer. He studied at the GRM in Paris, then joined with Alain Savouret to found Opus N., a group exploring improvisation associated with electro-acoustic processes. In 1970 he and Françoise Barrière created GMEB (Groupe de Musique Expérimentale de Bourges), with which he developed new techniques of diffusion and interpretation for electronic music (‘le Gmebaphone’ and ‘les Antonymes’). In particular, these devices are based on the spatialization of acoustic sources, as is ‘le Gmebogosse’, a piece of equipment intended to make electro-acoustics accessible to children. In 1971 he and Françoise Barrière founded Synthèse, the International Festival of Electro-Acoustic Music at Bourges.

One of Clozier’s most important compositions is La Discordatura (1970), a ‘concrète-suite’ derived from manipulated violin sounds, and he has realized several works of music theatre, including an ‘opéra concret’ A vie (1971).

(selective list)