(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 Chambersburg, PA, March 31, 1897; d Homestead, PA, Jan 4, 1970). American acoustician, musicologist and composer. He taught himself the piano and the organ and studied at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania (1914–18); after graduating he worked as organist and mathematics teacher at the Haverford School in Pennsylvania (1919–21, 1922–6) while continuing his studies at Dickinson College (MA 1920) and Temple University (MusB 1924). He subsequently taught music theory as assistant professor at Wells College, New York (1926–9), leaving with a fellowship to the universities of Cologne and Berlin. After studies at Cornell University under Kinkeldey (1931–2) he gained the doctorate in 1932 with a dissertation on the history of equal temperament from Ramis de Pareia to Rameau. He taught at Ithaca College, New York (1932–9), while working for the MusD of the University of Toronto (...
(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 ...
Ana R. Alonso-Minutti
(b San Antonio, TX, Dec 19, 1951). American composer and multimedia artist. He holds degrees from the University of Houston (BA 1977) and Ohio State University (MM 1987), and received a National Endowments for the Arts Fellowship in 1981. In his early years he was influenced by the music of Harry Partch and John Cage. In 1974 he co-founded the experimental performance ensemble Urban 15, which evolved into a non-profit organization and cultural center based in San Antonio. From 1978 to 1999 he organized the Third Coast New Music Project, a festival of new music. Cisneros has collaborated closely with his wife Catherine in the realization of projects involving sculpture, photography, music, dance, and media. Together they established the Carnaval de San Anto in 1988, a drum and dance company that has performed throughout the country and abroad. Cisneros’s commitment to his community is reflected in the creation of Nos Unimos, a virtual museum created for families who have lived or are living in San Antonio. Some of his large interactive works include ...
(b Morristown, NJ, Sept 10, 1975). American composer and computer musician. He has participated widely in the American electronic and experimental music scene as a performer, conceptual and new media artist, programmer, record producer, and teacher. He began his career as an electronic musician by restoring and performing on analog synthesizers, later switching to computers. As a student at Columbia University (BA 1997, MA 1999, DMA 2003), he studied with fred Lerdahl and jonathan d. Kramer . While serving on staff at Columbia’s Computer Music Center, he started experimenting with the use of algorithmic methodologies such as L-systems, contributed to Real-Time Cmix, and worked for Cycling ’74 on Max/MSP, especially the video component Jitter.
His composed works often reinterpret and comment on a select corpus of information, sometimes drawing on elements of American popular culture. For example, Academy, Billboard, and Play were inspired by the Academy Awards, the ...
(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 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 (...
John Rockwell and Gregory Sandow
(b Anderson, IN, Oct 2, 1933). American composer and multimedia artist. He graduated from Indiana University in 1956 with a degree in economics. After taking up photography, he moved to New York. He joined the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in 1968 (director from 1985) and was appointed to teach film, video and photography at the College of Staten Island, CUNY in 1971. An important early musical influence was Morton Feldman, but the seed of his musical invention was most firmly planted in the mid-1960s when he rode a motorcycle up a hill behind a large truck and was mesmerized by ‘the strong physical presence of the beats resulting from the two engines running at slightly different frequencies’. That experience inspired him to compose music in which loud sustained tones blend and collide, creating almost physically tangible sound. During the 1970s and 80s he constructed pieces by recording instrumentalists playing pitches chosen for their potential to create beats and difference tones, editing and looping these recordings so the sounds had no apparent start or finish, and layering the edited versions over each other. In live performances of his works, musicians move slowly through the concert space, playing sustained tones that interact with recordings. In ...
(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 Belgrade, Sept 5, 1932). Serbian composer, multimedia artist, and music theorist. He is an original creative personality with an outstanding output in several artistic areas: music, plastic arts, literature, new media, and multimedia of a kind he calls ‘synthesic art’. He studied composition at the Music Academy in Belgrade, in the class of Milenko Živković, graduating in 1956. He taught theoretical subjects at the Stanković Music School until 1971, when he founded the Electronic Studio at Radio Belgrade which he directed until 1999. Later he taught post-graduate courses on multimedia arts at the University of Arts in Belgrade (2000–12). Together with some other artists he founded the artistic group Mediala (1958) that was to play an important part on the domestic art scene, and the avant-garde magazine Rock (1969). He worked in experimental studios in Warsaw (1966), Paris (...
(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, ...
Jamie C. Kassler
(b Norfolk, 1702; d London, Dec 15, 1771). English naturalist and amateur musician. In 1724, after studying classics and mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, he became tutor to William Windham in Felbrig, Norfolk. In 1737 he embarked with his pupil on a tour of the Continent. From 1738 to about 1742 he and Windham, with Robert Price and others, formed a common room in Geneva for the purpose of performing plays. Stillingfleet, Windham and Price supplied the music, scenery and machines, and Gaspard Fritz led the orchestra. He returned to England in 1743 and in 1761 removed from London to Price's estate at Foxley, Herefordshire, where the two men wrote librettos for J.C. Smith, who visited Foxley in about 1758. Influenced by Price's explication of Rameau's theories, Stillingfleet undertook a partial translation of Giueseppe Tartini's Trattato di musica (Padua, 1754), with comments interspersed. To this he added a long appendix on the origin, power and efficacy of music, based on the doctrine of moral sentiment of Francis Hutcheson. Published anonymously in ...
(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 ...