(b Kane, PA, Feb 25, 1938; d Rhinebeck, NY, Oct 22, 2009). American composer, performer and multimedia artist. She studied composition with Rochberg at the University of Pennsylvania (BFA 1964) and with Stockhausen. A concern for physical space pervades her music, best exemplified by three ongoing multimedia installation projects. In City Links #1-22 (1967–), she transmits sounds picked up by microphones placed throughout a city to mixing facilities at a central location. The resulting sound collages are broadcast at ‘live’ performances or over the radio. Locations for this project have included Boston, Chicago, New York and, in the Netherlands, Groningen. In Music for Sound-Joined Rooms (1980–), careful loudspeaker placement within a multi-room space creates ‘structure-borne’ sound that travels through walls and floors rather than through air. As the listener walks through a site, he or she experiences multiple sonic viewpoints arranged by Amacher to produce dramatic or narrative effects. The result is electronic music theatre designed according to the architectural features of a particular building. In ...
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....
(b Pursruck [Oberfalz], Sept 1, 1906; d Munich, Oct 2, 2001). German composer, conductor, and recording engineer. At the Munich Hochschule, Biebl studied composition with Joseph Haas and Siegmund von Hausegger, conducting with Heinrich Knappe, and Catholic church music with Ludwig Berberich. He taught at the Mozarteum before being drafted into military service in 1943 and spent two years as an American prisoner of war at Fort Custer (1944–6) where he developed an appreciation for American folk songs and spirituals. After the war, Biebl directed a church choir and worked as a recording engineer for Bavarian Broadcasting where he helped facilitate choral programming. He was an advocate of amateur choral singing and composed over 2000 arrangements and original songs, many of which remain popular among German singing societies.
Biebl is best known for his Ave Maria (Angelus Domini). Originally written for double male chorus, it received its première in Munich on ...
(b Sofia, 1956). Bulgarian composer, pianist, conductor, and audio engineer. Goleminov was born in a family of professional musicians in Sofia, Bulgaria. He started learning the violin from early childhood, but later switched to piano, which has remained his primary instrument. During high school he began experimenting with electronics and became one of the pioneers of electroacoustic music in Bulgaria, by creating electronic music with no access to studios, doing everything with self-made analog devices, as well as telephones, old tape machines, and cassette recorders. Goleminov studied composition, orchestra conducting, and piano in Sofia, Vienna, and Amsterdam, and electroacoustic music in Vienna. In his capacity as composer, pianist, audio engineer, and conductor he collaborated in a series of musical and theatrical productions in various countries and took part in projects involving contemporary arts, mixed media, and intuitive and computer music. His works span a wide spectrum of styles and genres, from chamber and orchestral pieces to computer music, video-compositions, and music graphs, and have been commissioned by leading organizations and ensembles....
(b Waa, nr Mombasa, 1924). Kenyan popular musician. Konde has travelled widely in eastern Africa for over 50 years. Born in colonial Kenya, he absorbed the local nomba dance rhythms from an early age. He attended St George's Catholic School where he learned clarinet, flute and trumpet, and Western notation. In 1940 he joined the colonial Department of Health but continued to play acoustic guitar, occasionally entertaining at weddings and parties. Konde's early groups featured guitars, accordions and drums, and played original compositions in Swahili that combined traditional Sengenya rhythms with African American blues and Cuban Son, styles that were accessible at the time and were now influential in the bustling port of Mombasa.
At 19 years old he enrolled in the King's African Rifles (Entertainment Unit), and began entertaining in Burma with musicians from Tanganyika and Uganda; he made his first recordings at that time in a Calcutta studio. After World War II, Konde's unit returned to Kenya under the guidance of the film producer and director of East African Records, Peter Coleman. He was encouraged to play an electric Gibson (the first in East Africa) and from then on became the featured guitarist in Peter Coleman's African Band. From there his career flourished, as he became one of the three most sought after entertainers in the region....
(b Milwaukee, WI, 1951). American composer, teacher, keyboardist and sound designer. Koykkar’s principal composition teachers have been john c. Eaton , Dennis Kam and John Downey. He spent two years as composer-in-residence with the Artists-in Schools Program in Virginia (1978–80) and studied at the University of Miami (DMA 1983). He has received grants and awards from, among others, ASCAP, Truman State University, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pew Charitable Trust for Music. He has held visiting fellowships at various festivals, seminars, and institutes in the United States and Europe. He has also served as president of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers (1990–3).
Koykkar’s works have been performed in Europe and the Americas by ensembles such as the New York New Music Ensemble, California EAR Unit, Relache, Compagnia Brasileira De Music, and Slovak Radio Symphony, among many others. His musical syntax seeks to produce musical gestures that can be perceived as outgrowths of preceding ones, gradually transforming over time. In works that range from music for dance and film-video to computer and electronic music, Koykkar tends to achieve perceptual clarity and economy of musical materials in such a way that popular and cultivated traditions both find their place as sources of inspiration. As a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since ...
(b Paris, France, Oct 20, 1950). American composer, keyboardist, electronic musician, and improviser of French birth; naturalized American; daughter of jazz pianist and drummer Errol Parker. She began studying piano and harmony at age 7 and composing at 12. Lauten received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Institut d’Études Politiques in 1971. The following year she relocated to New York City, where she participated in the burgeoning punk rock scene. Through guitarist Denise Feliu, Lauten met the poet Allen Ginsberg, who would have a significant impact upon her spiritual and musical life.
Lauten’s compositional and improvisational practice is exemplary of the musical aesthetics of downtown New York in the 1970s and 80s. A practitioner of both US popular music and European classical music, Lauten blended the two styles with minimalist experimentalism. Lauten’s studies in New York City brought her into contact with the varied denizens of downtown musical life. She studied Indian raga with ...
(b Canton, OH, Aug 18, 1905; d West Redding, CT, July 31, 1978). American composer, violinist, bandleader, recording engineer, and producer. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he performed as a light classical violinist in the United States and Europe. During the 1930s he studied conducting with Maurice Frigara in Paris. After a near-fatal car accident in 1940, he organized his own dance band, the Light Brigade, which recorded for RCA and Columbia. After he disbanded it at the turn of the decade, Light devoted himself to management, working for several record companies before becoming president of Waldorf Music Hall Records in 1954. He founded his own label, Grand Award, in 1956 and had success with Dixieland and honky-tonk piano albums. In 1959, he founded Command Records on which he released Persuasive Percussion, the first in a successful series of high-fidelity albums that used stereo technology to great advantage. Over the next two decades, he continued to produce hit albums drawing on the latest technological savvy and packaged with covers usually designed by Josef Albers. Musicians who appeared on Light’s albums include the Free Design, Doc Severinsen, Dick Hyman, Bobby Byrne, and Bobby Hackett. In ...
[Hall, Richard Melville ]
(b Harlem, NY; Sept 11, 1965). American Electronic musician, composer, and DJ. Growing up in Connecticut, Moby (a childhood nickname) studied classical guitar and music theory before founding the suburban punk band Vatican Commandos at age 14. He later learned to play bass guitar, keyboard, and drums. While studying philosophy at University of Connecticut he played with post-punk band AWOL, leaving in 1985 to become more active as a DJ and electronic musician and eventually moving to New York City.
He is critically recognized for his creative combining of electronic house music and judiciously chosen samples; he has also achieved worldwide popular success and brought the genre to mainstream attention. His 1991 single “Go,” which included a sampled theme from David Lynch’s cult TV series Twin Peaks, reached the UK top ten. His breakthrough album Play (1999) sold 10 million copies worldwide in the first year and yielded eight hit singles including “Porcelain,” “Natural Blues,” and “Why does my heart feel so bad?” ...
Richard S. James
revised by David Revill
(b Framingham, MA, March 30, 1935). American composer and performer of electronic music. He attended the School of Music (1952–3) and Institute of Science and Technology (1959–62) of the University of Michigan and studied composition, piano and the horn privately. As a composer and performer he co-founded and worked with the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music in Ann Arbor (1958–66) and the ONCE Group (1960–68). Mumma also collaborated with Milton Cohen's Space Theater in Ann Arbor (1957–64) and in New York with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (1966–74) and the Sonic Arts Union (from 1966). With these ensembles and as a soloist, he toured widely in the Americas, Europe and Japan. From 1973 to 1992, he taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz; he has also held numerous visiting lectureships, including Darius Milhaud Professor at Mills College (...
(b Curitiba, Brazil, April 11, 1936). Brazilian composer, pianist and multimedia artist. The most prominent woman composer in Brazil, she began her piano studies in São Paulo under José Kliass (1946–53) and continued them in Paris under Marguerite Long (1953–60). In 1963 she moved to St Louis, Missouri, with her husband, the conductor Eleazar de Carvalho, and studied composition with Robert Wykes at Washington University, earning her MA in 1968. She taught at the University of South Florida and at the New School for Social Research in New York.
As both a pianist and a composer, Oliveira has promoted contemporary music in Brazil on various fronts. Numerous major composers such as Berio, Xenakis, Lejaren Hiller and Santoro have written pieces for her. She played Stravinsky’s Capriccio under the baton of the composer and was soloist with major orchestras such as the Boston SO, the Brooklyn PO, the Los Angeles PO, the Orchestre de la Radio-France, and many others in Europe and Latin America. She has recorded about 16 discs, released in the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Britain and Germany, performing all the major piano works of Messiaen, her own compositions and other contemporary works....
(b Berlin, Oct 26, 1934). German electronic musician and composer, active in Austria. He has described himself as a painter or poet in sound, and does not regard himself as a traditional composer. He first experimented with spontaneous composition in Berlin during the late 1960s. After co-founding the Zodiac artistic laboratory, he formed the Kluster group (1969) with artist Konrad Schnitzler, a student of Joseph Beuys, and graphic artist Dieter Moebius. The ensemble avoided traditional instruments and improvised with noises and chance sounds. After 1971 Roedelius and Moebius performed as the duo Cluster, conceiving works that organized delicate sounds, created with the aid of sound generators, rhythm machines, electronic organs and special effects, into sweeping ‘soundscapes’. The result was electronic mood music with strong natural echoes. After 1978 Roedelius worked primarily under his own name. With the support of the Alban Berg foundation he founded a small studio in the south of Vienna, where he worked in seclusion. During the 1980s his output was dominated by piano fantasias consisting of simple rippling melodies; he later wrote ballet music and songs. In ...
Jeff E. Winner
(b Brooklyn, NY, Sept 10, 1908; d North Hills, CA, Feb 9, 1994). American composer, electronic music pioneer, electronic instrument inventor, and pianist. After attending Brooklyn Technical High School, he studied theory, composition, and piano at the Juilliard School of Music. Following his graduation in 1931, he became a pianist for the CBS Radio orchestra. In 1934, at age 25, he wrote his first hit, later recorded by Louis Armstrong.
In 1936 he assembled a six-piece “Quintette” from his CBS colleagues, including Bunny Berigan, and Johnny Williams, father of movie score composer John Williams. Following successful live radio performances, they began recording on 20 February 1937. Scott’s compositions for this band represent his attempts to rejuvenate Swing music with minimal improvisation and busy, tight arrangements. He dubbed the style “descriptive jazz,” and the Quintette was popular until he disbanded it in 1939. Though Scott didn’t score cartoons, these compositions are familiar to millions because they were adapted into classic Warner Bros. ...
[DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid; Miller, Paul D.]
(b Washington, DC, 1970).
American composer, DJ, multimedia artist, and author. His debut full-length solo album, Songs of a Dead Dreamer (1996), is now widely regarded as a formative influence on “illbient,” an instrumental hip hop subgenre. Continuing in this experimental electronic direction, he released Riddim Warfare (1998), a critically acclaimed album featuring collaborations with Kool Keith and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. He has been active across various media. His Rebirth of a Nation (2004), a large-scale multimedia performance piece that remixes D.W. Griffith’s seminal and controversial film Birth of a Nation (1915), was commissioned by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Weiner Festwochen, and the Festival d’Automne à Paris. That same year, under his birth name Paul D. Miller, he authored the book Rhythm Science (Cambridge, MA, 2004), a manifesto discussing remix culture. He also released a feature-length DVD, ...
[Edward Lawrence ]
(b Bethesda, MD, Nov 25, 1961). American disc jockey, bluegrass fiddle player, country music historian, and host of the Grand Ole Opry. Raised in bluegrass-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, Stubbs began playing fiddle at age four and was inspired by his father’s passion for family history to develop his skills as an interviewer. After high school, Stubbs spent ten years as fiddle player in the Johnson Mountain Boys, a top traditional bluegrass band of the 1980s. Stubbs began broadcasting for WYII in Williamsport, Maryland, in 1983, moving a year later to WAMU, a bluegrass-oriented public station in Washington, DC. In 1990 Stubbs earned his own WAMU show, which he would anchor until 2007. He moved to Nashville in 1995, accepting an invitation from country legends Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright to play fiddle in their band. Within a few weeks, he won an audition for an announcer slot on the ...
(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 ...
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....