Musica Elettronica Viva!

Musica Elettronica Viva!

March 30, 2006 7:00 PM - 7:00 AM

Note: Event starts at 7:30 PM

Location: West Hall Auditorium

Musica Elettronica Viva can not be easily defined as one band but closer to a movement based around the idea of free improvisation in the form of experimental, electronic jazz. Join us for a rare performance featuring MEV members Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, and Richard Teitelbaum, -- experience the best of electronic improvisation by these music pioneers. Know your roots!


Richard Teitelbaum

Composer and electronic musician Richard Teitelbaum was born in NYC in 1939. After graduating from Haverford College, he went on to get a Master of Music degree from Yale in 1964. Teitelbaum studied with composers Luigi Nono and Goffredo Petrassi in Italy on a Fullbright scholarship, after which he brought the first Moog synthesizer to Europe. Teitelbaum performed hundreds of concerts with it, and co-founded the pioneering live electronic music group Musica Elettronica Viva with Frederic Rzewski and Alvin Curran in Rome, 1966. An opera of his, Golem, was performed at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria (1991), and Teitelbaum himself has performed throughout the U.S., Japan and Europe. His music is heard on Cantaur, Hat Hut, Tzadik, and other labels. Besides making music and working with interactive computer systems, Teitelbaum has taught electronic music and composition at New York's Vassar College, and Bard College where he has also been Director of the Electronic Music Studio. ~ Joslyn Layne, All Music Guide

Frederic Rzewski

Avant-garde composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski studied with many of the best-known names in 20th century music: Randall Thompson, Walter Piston, Roger Sessions, Milton Babbitt, Luigi Dallapiccola, and Elliott Carter. Rzewski studied at Harvard and Princeton and taught at schools including the Royal Conservatory of Music at Liege and Yale. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1960 and co-founded Musica Elettronica Viva in Rome in 1966. A virtuoso pianist, much of Rzewski's music is written for piano, including what is arguably his best-known work, the politically driven "The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (36 variations on "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido")" (1975), which pushes the extreme of both instrument and pianist. Rzewski has written works that explore timbres in not only the piano, but also in electronics and incorporating spoken word. An example of this type of experimental voicing is "Coming Together," written for speaking voice and instrumental octet, commemorating the uprising at New York's Attica State Prison. The text comes from a prisoner involved in the riot who later died and the combination of emotional text with instrumental work employing extended techniques, silence, and unique instrumental sounds allow for a unique type of emotional response to the music itself. Although Rzewski's exploration of a multitude of techniques, sounds, and styles is impressive, but doesn't allow for very much work in any one area. However, his music will continue to serve as an example of exploration in these different styles. ~ Michael Blostein, All Music Guide

Alvin Curran

American composer Alvin Curran co-founded the group Musica Elettronica Viva and has been active with solo performances, international radio concerts and large-scale sound installations since the 1960s. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Curran studied composition under Ron Nelson at Brown University, and afterward with Elliott Carter at Yale. After completing his studies -- which also included piano and trombone -- in 1963, Curran went with Carter to Berlin, where he remained for a year before moving to Rome. In 1966, Curran co-founded the free music collective Musica Elettronica Viva with Richard Teitelbaum and Frederic Rzewski. In the '70s, Curran focused on solo performances that utilized keyboards, taped sounds, voice and more; over the years, he has also performed on sampler and electronics. The '80s found Curran creating large-scale environmental works in quarries, ports, caverns, on lakes, etc. During this time, he also staged radio concerts of three and six ensembles performing simultaneously from various parts of Europe. From 1990 on, Curran has occasionally collaborated on sound installations with artist Melissa Gould. He has also worked with dance companies and composed for avant-garde theater in Rome. Curran's instrumental works have been commissioned by Kronos Quartet, Aki Takahashi, Rova, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and more. Some of his awards include those from Ars Acoustica International, NPR and the NEA. He taught briefly at the Academia Nazionale d'Arts, and starting in the mid-90s served as guest professor at California's Mills College. Recordings of Curran's works appear on several labels, including CRI, New Albion and Tzadik. ~ Joslyn Layne, All Music Guide

Add to calendar