April 12, 2005
Music Collection to Acquire Electro-Acoustic Dimension
Composer Roger Reynolds to Discuss His Music at Presentation on April 25
American composer Roger Reynolds will discuss his music at the introduction and demonstration of a new Library of Congress project that is devoted to his music. This special event will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 25, in the Whittall Pavilion of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are not required.
Thanassis Rikakis, director of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University, and Michael Boyd of the University of Maryland will comment on Reynolds’ music and new sound technologies, and Stephen Soderberg, senior specialist for contemporary music in the Music Division of the Library of Congress, will offer a nontechnical explanation of the "compositional algorithms" Reynolds uses in digital sound processing.
Jon Newsom, chief of the Music Division, will join the others in a panel discussion about Reynolds’ contributions to the history of and current developments in computer spatialization of sound (where a counterpoint of sound moves around the listener) and other aspects of music and modern technologies.
Roger Reynolds’ music incorporates elements of theater, digital signal processing, dance, video and real-time computer spatialization, all of which contribute to a unique multidimensional way of engaging the listener. His work with spatialization of sounds first emerged in 1962 with his music-theater work "The Emperor of Ice Cream." He has created close to 100 musical works during his career. In 1972 Reynolds founded the Center for Music Experiment (now the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts) at the University of California at San Diego, where he is currently a professor of music. His work "JUSTICE," for soprano, actress, percussionist and real-time spatialization based on texts from Aeschylus, was premiered in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in 2001.
Reynolds was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for the string orchestra work "Whispers Out of Time." Author Kyle Gann noted he was the first composer since Charles Ives from an experimentalist background to win this normally conservative prize. In 2002 composer Thomas DeLio wrote in The Computer Music Journal: "The triumph of Roger Reynolds’ music … lies in the way it shows us that the very framework of our perceptions is itself in a constant state of regeneration. Every one of his compositions reveals this in a new and startling way. No other composer active today has done so quite as brilliantly."
The Library of Congress has developed an interactive program through which students can gain access to the electro-acoustical materials that Reynolds has donated. The presence of his manuscripts and sketches in the Roger Reynolds Collection in the Library’s Music Division will provide a rare opportunity for future composers and music scholars to study the work of an important composer who has kept extensive, detailed notes and sketches that trace the development of his compositional methods.
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