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Alvin Curran

Alvin Curran

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A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 Alvin Curran (born December 13, 1938), is the co-founder, with Frederic Rzewski
Frederic Rzewski
Frederic Anthony Rzewski is an American composer and virtuoso pianist.- Biography :Rzewski began playing piano at age 5. He attended Phillips Academy, Harvard and Princeton, where his teachers included Randall Thompson, Roger Sessions, Walter Piston and Milton Babbitt...

 and Richard Teitelbaum
Richard Teitelbaum
Richard Teitelbaum is an American composer, keyboardist, and improvisor. Born in New York, he is a former student of Allen Forte, Mel Powell, and Luigi Nono. He is best known for his live electronic music and synthesizer performance. For example, he brought the first moog synthesizer to Europe...

, of Musica Elettronica Viva
Musica Elettronica Viva
Musica Elettronica Viva is a live acoustic/electronic improvisational group formed in Rome, Italy, in 1966. Over the years, its members have included Alvin Curran, Richard Teitelbaum, Frederic Rzewski, Allan Bryant, Carol Plantamura, Ivan Vandor, Steve Lacy, and Jon Phetteplace.They were early...

, and a former student of Elliott Carter
Elliott Carter
Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer born and living in New York City. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music...

. Curran's music often makes use of electronics and environmental found sounds.

Of Jewish descent, Curran was born in Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

. He was a professor of music at Mills College
Mills College
Mills College is an independent liberal arts women's college founded in 1852 that offers bachelor's degrees to women and graduate degrees and certificates to women and men. Located in Oakland, California, Mills was the first women's college west of the Rockies. The institution was initially founded...

 in California until 2006 and now teaches privately in Rome, Italy, and sporadically at various institutions.
His works include solo performance pieces such as Endangered Species, TransDadExpress, and Shofar; radio works such as Crystal Psalms, Un Altro Ferragosto, I Dreamt John Cage Yodeling at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof, and Living Room Music; large scale musical choreographic works such as Oh Brass on the Grass Alas, for 300 amateur brass-band musicians, and the Maritime Rites series of performances on and near water; sound installation works such as Magic Carpet, Floor Plan, The Twentieth Century, and Gardening with John; chamber music such as For Cornelius for piano, the trio Schtyx, the string quartet VSTO, the saxophone quartet Electric Rags II, the percussion quartet THEME PARK, and a series of works for chorus SATB; and many collaborative dance and theater works. Since 1996, Curran has worked on a growing series of solo piano pieces entitled Inner Cities, which together form one of the longest non-repetitive piano piece
Longest non-repetitive piano piece
This page attempts to list the longest non-repetitive piano pieces along with approximate duration and the number of pages they cover.-Works that have been performed and/or recorded:* Jacob Mashak – Beatus Vir...

s ever written. Daniela Tortora has edited a book about his work, Alvin Curran Live in Roma (Die Schachtel 2010).

Selected discography

  • Songs and Views of the Magnetic Garden
    Songs and Views of the Magnetic Garden
    Songs and Views of the Magnetic Garden is an album "performed, synthesized, recorded, and mixed by Alvin Curran." Liner notes by Tim Page and Alvin Curran....

    (1974 Ananda, reissue 1993) Catalyst Records
    Catalyst Records
    Catalyst Records is a DIY hardcore record label from Indianapolis, Indiana, founded by Kurt Schroeder in the early 1990s. The label is noted for being a straight edge record label, for promoting vegan ethics, as well as other political stances .-Catalogue:-External links:* *...

  • Fiori Chiari Fiori Oscuri (1975) Ananda No. 4
  • The Works (1978) Fore
  • Canti Illuminati (1980 Fore, reissue 2004) Fringes Recordings
  • Natural History (1982) Editions Gianozzo
  • Maritime Rites, ten environmental concerts produced for National Public Radio (1984, reissue 2004) New World Records
  • Field It and Lenz (1985) Radio Art Foundation
  • For Cornelius and Era Ora (1986), Ursula Oppens, Frederic Rzewski pianos, New Albion
  • Electric Rags II (1989) New Albion Records, with Rova Saxophone Quartet
    Rova Saxophone Quartet
    The Rova Saxophone Quartet is a San Francisco-based saxophone quartet formed in October 1977 at the same time as their "less adventurous" but better known colleagues the World Saxophone Quartet. The name "Rova" is an acronym formed from the last initials of the founding members: Jon Raskin, Larry...

  • Hyper Beatles (1990) Aki Takahashi piano, Toshiba-EMI/Angel
  • Il Clarinetto (1992) David Keberle clarinet/Curran electronics, BMG Ariola
  • Schtyx (1994) Abel Steinberg Winant Trio, with VSTO (string quartet) David Abel, Sharon Wood, Meg Tichener, Dina Weinschelbaum, CRI.
  • Animal Behaviour (1995) Tzadik.
  • Yvar Mikhashoff plays Alvin Curran: Piano Works (1995) Mode Records
  • Theme Park (1998) Tzadik.
  • Crystal Psalms (1999) New World Records
  • riverrun: voicings/soundscapes (1999) Klaus Schöning, editor, WERGO
  • The Things In Between (1999) Eve Egoyan, piano, Artifact
  • Time Tracks (1999) Jeanne Golan, piano, Albany Records
  • Apollo and Marsyas, Het Apollohuis
    Het Apollohuis
    Het Apollohuis was a space for experimental music and visual arts, "focused in particular on...sound art, new music, performance art and the new media," founded in Eindhoven, Netherlands, by Remko Scha and Paul Panhuysen in a former 19th century cigar factory in 1980...

     1980-1997: An anthology of new music concerts (2002) ACD
  • Inner Cities (2003), Bruce Brubaker, piano, Arabesque Recordings
  • Lost Marbles (2004) Tzadik.
  • Our Ur (2004), with Domenico Sciajno, Rossbin Production
  • ABO: Un Ritratto Sonoro (2004) Companion to the book, Lezione di boxe by Achille Bonita Oliva, Luca Sossella
  • Vindobona Blues (2005) Kunstradio OR
  • Toto Angelica (2005) I Dischi di Angelica.
  • Hesitation-Tango (2005) Aki Takahashi, piano, Camerata
  • Inner Cities (2005) Daan Vandewalle, piano, Long Distance Records
  • The Art of the Fluke (2007), with Cenk Ergün, TEAR Records
  • Hope Street Tunnel Blues (2007) Bruce Brubaker, piano, Arabesque Recordings
  • For Cornelius, Kees Wieringa, Do Records
  • The Stroke That Kills (2008) Seth Josel, guitar, New World Records
  • SOURCE, music of the avant garde: Source Records 1-6, 1968-1971 (2008), Pogus Productions
  • Endangered Species (2010), ATOPOS Records
  • Under the Fig Tree/The Magic Carpet (2010), Die Schachtel

Discography with Musica Elettronica Viva

  • Friday (1969) Polydor
  • Spacecraft/Unified Patchwork Theory (2001) Alga Marghen
  • apogee - MEV/AMM (2005) Matchless Recordings
  • MEV40 (2008) 4-CD set with 40 years of music, New World Records

External links

Site features numerous musical excerpts.