Date(s) - 11/11/2017
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
The Box Gallery
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- 7PM Doors Open
- 8PM Performance
FRI, NOV 10: James Tenney’s Changes – Preview
SASSAS proudly presents the posthumous world premiere of James Tenney’s Changes: Sixty-Four Studies for Six Harps. Written in 1985, Changes uses a FORTRAN IV computer program to poetically render the 64 chance procedures of the I-Ching, the ancient Chinese divination text, into a microtonal harmonic field performed on six specially tuned harps. Presented with support from The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
James Tenney (1934–2006) was born in Silver City, New Mexico, and grew up in Arizona and Colorado, where he received his early training as a pianist and composer. He attended the University of Denver, the Juilliard School of Music, Bennington College (B.A. 1958), and the University of Illinois (M.A. 1961). His teachers and mentors included Eduard Steuermann, Chou Wen-Chung, Lionel Nowak, Carl Ruggles, Lejaren Hiller, Kenneth Gaburo, Edgard Varèse, Harry Partch, and John Cage. A performer as well as a composer and theorist, he was co-founder and conductor of the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in New York City (1963-70). He was a pioneer in the field of electronic and computer music, working with Max Mathews and others at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in the early 1960s to develop programs for computer sound-generation and composition. He wrote works for a variety of media, both instrumental and electronic, many of them using alternative tuning systems. He was the author of several articles on musical acoustics, computer music, and musical form and perception, as well as two books: META + HODOS: A Phenomenology of 20th-Century Musical Materials and an Approach to the Study of Form (1961; Frog Peak, 1988) and A History of ‘Consonance’ and ‘Dissonance’ (Excelsior, 1988). A teacher since 1966, he was Distinguished Research Professor at York University (Toronto), where he taught for twenty-four years, and last held the Roy E. Disney Family Chair in Musical Composition at the California Institute of the Arts. His music is published and distributed by Sonic Art Editions (Baltimore), Frog Peak (Lebanon, New Hampshire), and the Canadian Music Centre, and has been recorded on the Artifact, col legno, CRI, Hat[now]ART, Koch International, Mode, Musicworks, New World, Nexus, oodiscs, Soundprints, SYR, and Toshiba EMI labels.