Stars, Stripes, Batons and Circuits: American Music For Orchestra and Electronics

[Ed. Note: Until the advent of electronic sound, the closest thing we ever had to "a universe of possible sounds" was the notion of an orchestra: a large group of heterogynous instruments capable of creating a wide range of timbres. Thanks to Thomas Edison and his successors, the ability to make and manipulate a seemingly infinite variety of sonic possibilities through the use of current today rivals any heterogynous assemblage of non-electronic musical forces. However, the human element and "naturalness" of acoustic sound still holds sway with the ears of most people. Combining these two realms, therefore, seems the best of both worlds!

In surveying the list of American works for orchestra created over the past century (really the last 3/4 century) requiring the use of electricity on some level, many conflicting thoughts emerge. (Casting the net as far and wide to show the widest range, the use of electricity ranges from prominent use of amplification or instruments that need to be "plugged-in" in order to make a sound, to elaborate electronic sound synthesis and the use of tape recorders and computers.) While there is a lot of exciting music on this list, very little of it is known to the general public. A great deal of it has never been commercially recorded and a good bit that had been recorded is no longer available. While the list contains many important figures in the history of 20th century music (from mainstream figures such as Leonard Bernstein to avant-garde pioneers John Cage and Milton Babbitt), few have written an extensive number of works combining orchestral and electronic forces and many notable figures in the history of 20th century American music are missing, including both composers heavily engaged in the creation of orchestral music (such as Roger Sessions, Elliott Carter or Joan Tower) as well as composers heavily associated with electronic music (such as Sal Martirano, Pauline Oliveros or Paul Lansky). While the list below doesnít for a second pretend to be exhaustive (and the living composers mentioned above may still contribute to it!), it should provide readers with a good idea of what has been done thus far and point the way toward what still needs to be done in the music of the 21st century"]

JOHN ADAMS (b. 1947)
Christian Zeal and Activity, for orchestra and pre-recorded narrator (1973)[10']
Fearful Symmetries, for orchestra including a sampler and a Yamaha HX-1 synthesizer (1988) [27']
The Wound Dresser, for baritone and orchestra including synthesizer (1989) [19']
CHARLES AMIRKHANIAN (b. 1945)
Egusquiza to Falsetto, for voices, orchestra and tape (1979) [14']
His Anxious Hours (Sominsoniferences of Johannes Brahms), for vocalist, winds, brass, strings, percussion, keyboard and tape (1986-7) [24']
LAURIE ANDERSON (b.1947)
Songs for A.E., for digital violin, amplified solo voice and orchestra (2000)
THEODORE ANTONIOU (b. 1935)
Op Overture, for orchestra and three sets of loudspeakers (1966) [15']
Events II, for orchestra and electric instruments (1969) [15']
Events III, for orchestra, electronic tape and slides (1969) [12']
Protest II (Mixed-Media), for orchestra with amplified piano and electric organ (1971) [15']
MARK APPLEBAUM (b. 1967)
Skumfiduser!, for orchestra and two-channel electronic tape [10']
ROBERT ASHLEY (b. 1930)
Superior Seven, for solo flute and an orchestra of seven-independent ensembles or MIDI orchestra (1988)
Tract, for voice and string or MIDI orchestra (1992)
LARRY AUSTIN (b. 1930)
Phantasmagoria: Fantasies on Ives’ Universe Symphony, for orchestra with digital synthesizer and tape (1977, rev 1981) [22']
Sinfonia Concertante; A Mozartean Episode, for orchestra and computer-generated tape (1986) [17']
LAWRENCE AXELROD
Cassandra Speaks, for orchestra and tape (1991)
MILTON BABBITT (b. 1916)
Correspondences, for string orchestra and tape (1967) [11']
Concerti, for violin, small orchestra, and tape (1974-6)
LEONARDO BALADA (b. 1933)
No-Res, for narrator, chorus, orchestra and tape (1974) [40']
IRWIN BAZELON (1922-1995)
Symphony No. 6, for orchestra and tape (1969) [28']
EVE BEGLARIAN (b. 1958)
FlamingO, for orchestra and pre-recorded electronically-altered sounds (1996) [16']
The Continuous Life, for orchestra and tape (2000) [15']
LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1910-1990)
Concerto for Orchestra – Jubilee Games, for baritone, orchestra and tape (1988) [30']
BRIAN BEVELANDER
Synthecisms no. 4, for two pianos, orchestra and tape
WILL GAY BOTTJE (b. 1925)
Tangents (Symphony No. 7) for orchestra and tape (1970) [20']
RUDOLPH BUBALO (b. 1928)
Trajectories for orchestra with saxophones, electric piano and tape (1979) [20']
Offset I for orchestra with 3 synthesizers (1985) [17']
The Sound of Isness for orchestra with 2 synthesizers (1986) [16']
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra includes 2 synthesizers (1991) [20']
JOHN CAGE (1912-1992)
Etcetera for small orchestra and tape (1973) [30']
{choreographed by Merce Cunningham as Un Jour ou Deux}
Europeras I/II for vocal soloists, orchestra and tape (1987) [variable duration]
JOEL CHADABE (b. 1938)
Many Mornings, Many Moods for solo percussion, full orchestra (instruments flexible) and electronics (1988) [20']
ERIC CHASALOW (b. 1955)
Dream Songs, for orchestra and tape of computer-manipulated recording of texts (2001)
PAUL CHIHARA (b. 1938)
Grass, for solo double-bass, orchestra and optional tape (1972) [20']
Mistletoe Bride {ballet}, for orchestra and tape (1978) [31']
The Tempest {ballet}, for orchestra and tape (1980) [120']
MICHAEL COLGRASS (b. 1932)
Demon, for solo amplified piano, orchestra, alto sax, tape and 3 radios (1983) [11']
JOHN CORIGLIANO (b. 1938)
Vocalise, for soprano, electronics and orchestra (1999) [20']
NOAH CRESHEVSKY (b. 1945)
Monogenesis, solo vv, double chorus, chamber orchestra & tape (1968)
MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM (b. 1937)
Aedon, for orchestra and tape (1976) [9']
RICARDO DAL FARRA (b. 1957)
Tramas, for small orchestra and live electroacoustic processings (1990)
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY (b. 1954)
Snap!, for orchestra including synthesizer (1987) [7']
Firecracker, for orchestra including synthesizer (1988) [15']
Mxyzptlk, for orchestra including synthesizer (1988) [7']
Oh Lois!, for orchestra including synthesizer (1989) [5']
Lex, for orchestra including synthesizer (1990) [8']
MARIO DAVIDOVSKY (b. 1934)
Contrastes no.1, for string orchestra and electronic sounds (1960) [15']
Synchronisms no.7, orchestra and tape (1973) [10']
DAVID DEL TREDICI (b. 1937)
Final Alice, for amplified soprano, folk-group and orchestra including theremin (1976) [64']
CHARLES DODGE (b. 1942)
Palinode, for orchestra and tape (1976) [17']
The Staff of Aesculapius, for computer-generated sounds, chorus, singer, solo violin & orchestra (1997)
JOHN EATON (b. 1935)
Concert Piece for Synket and Orchestra (1966) [13']
ROBERT EHLE (b. 1940)
Ritual Conflicts, for large orchestra and tape (1972) [6']
Biomass and Strange Particles, symphony for synthesizer and orchestra (1980) [10']
DONALD ERB (b. 1927)
Klangfarbenfunk I, for rock group, pre-recorded tape and orchestra (1970) [16']
Autumnmusic, for orchestra and tape (1973) [20']
Music for a Festive Occasion, for orchestra and electronics (1975) [7']
DAVID FELDER (b. 1953)
A Pressure Triggering Dreams, for orchestra with tape sequences (1996) [20']
Three Lines from Twenty Poems, for chamber orchestra and digital reverb for piano, harp, and trombone (1987) [10']
Coleccion Nocturna, for clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), piano, orchestra and optional tape (1984) [19']
MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987)
Marginal Intersection, for winds, brass, percussion, piano, string and 2 oscillators (1951)
BURT FENNER (b. 1929)
Untitled: Orchestra with Synthesizer (1973) [variable duration]
ROSS LEE FINNEY (1906-1997)
Earthrise Trilogy, for narrator, vocal soloists, chorus, orchestra and tape (1964) [24']
Three Pieces, for orchestra and tape (1962) [10']
LUKAS FOSS (b. 1922)
Baroque Variations, for orchestra including electric piano, electric guitar and electric organ (1967) [25']
American Cantata, for vocal soloists with megaphones, chorus and orchestra including electric organ and electric guitar plus optional taped voices (1976) [32']
Night Music, for John Lennon for brass quintet and orchestra including electric guitar (1980) [15']
Exeunt, for orchestra including electric guitar (1982) [17']
DINU GHEZZO (b. 1940)
Celebrations, for chamber orchestra and tape (1980) [21']
MICHAEL GORDON (b. 1958)
Trance, for large chamber ensemble including electric guitar, electric bass guitar and 3 electric keyboards (1995) [50']
Vera, Chuck, and Dave, for chamber orchestra including electric guitar and electric bass guitar (1998)
Sunshine of Your Love, for orchestra including 2 electric guitars, 2 electric bass guitars and 4 electronic keyboards (1999) [10']
Haircut, for orchestra including electric guitar and electric bass guitar (2000) [10']
MICHAEL GORDON, DAVID LANG & JULIA WOLFE
Lost Objects, an oratorio for soprano, 2 countertenors, chorus and Baroque orchestra with electric guitar, electric bass guitar, sampler, drumset, electronic drums and DJ (2000) [60']
JACK GOTTLIEB (b. 1930)
Articles of Faith, for orchestra and tape (1965) [15']
MORTON GOULD (1913-1996)
Audobon {unfinished ballet by Balachine}, for orchestra {5th movement includes passages for electric keyboard and tape} (1983) [83']
ROGER HANNAY (b. 1930)
Celebration, for orchestra and tape (1975, rev 1980) [7']
JEFFREY HASS (b. 1953)
City Life, for chamber orchestra including amplified strings (1990} [10']
Concerto for Amplified Piano and Wind Ensemble (2000)
MICHAEL HENNAGIN (1936-1993)
Explorations for Orchestra {includes optional tape} (1970) [10']
MARTIN HERMAN
Scripts for a Pageant, for soprano solo, Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer, hurdy-gurdy, string orchestra and tape (1986) [16']
BERNARD HERRMANN (1911-1975)
The Day the Earth Stood Still {film score}, for an orchestra including 4 theremins (1951)
LEJAREN HILLER (1924-1994)
A Triptych for Hieronymous, for orchestra including saxophones, mandolin, harpsichord and tape plus dancers, films and lantern slides [41']
SYDNEY HODKINSON (b. 1934)
Fresco {Symphony No. 1}, for orchestra including saxophones and electric guitar (1968) [20']
RICHARD HOFFMANN (b. 1925)
Stouffler, for orchestra and 16-track tape (1976) [15']
ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000)
Symphony No. 12, for chorus, orchestra and optional tape (1960) [25']
And God Created Great Whales, for orchestra and pre-recorded tape of whale sounds (1970) [12']
DAVID WARNER HUTCHISON (b. 1930)
The Sacrilege of Alan Kent: monodrama in nine scenes for baritone, orchestra and tape (1971) [22']
Death-Words from the Cherokee for soprano solo, orchestra and tape (1976) [18']
Varied Carols for orchestra including optional synthesizer (1986) [11']
JEAN EICHELBERGER IVEY (b. 1923)
Testament of Eve for solo mezzo-soprano, orchestra and tape (1976) [25']
Sea-change, for large orchestra and 4-channel tape (1979) [20']
HANLEY JACKSON (b. 1939)
Tangents III for band and tape (1972)
RODGER KALBFLEISCH (b. 1955)
Junctures {Symphony No. 2}, for orchestra, tape recorders and microphone (1982) [10']
CARSON KIEVMAN (b. 1949)
Hollowangels for orchestra including electric guitar and amplified harp (1975) [38']
Overture, Prologue and Prelude for orchestra including electric guitar (1980) [40']
Concerto for Percussion, Piano and Small Orchestra {includes tape} (1983) [25']
Suite, Intelligent Systems, for orchestra and optional tape (1983) [25']
Suite No. 2, California Mystery Park, for orchestra including electric guitar (1987) [15']
Excerpts from Orchestra Suite No. 4 for orchestra including synthesizer (1994) [8']
Funeral March from “Hamlet” for orchestra including synthesizer [8']
LEON KIRCHNER (b. 1919)
Music for Flute and Orchestra {including Fender electric bass guitar} (1978) [13']
FREDERICK KOCH (b. 1924)
Overture for America, for orchestra and tape (1974) [8']
Concerto for Acoustic/Electric Piano and Orchestra (1987) [20']
BARBARA KOLB (b. 1939)
Soundings for orchestra and tape (1972) [16']
ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991)
Exercises of a Late Hour for orchestra and tape (1967) [18']
Instant Remembered for orchestra and tape (1968) [15']
MEYER KUPFERMAN (b. 1926)
Concerto for Cello, Tape and Orchestra (1974) [30']
JOHN LA MONTAINE (b. 1920)
Wilderness Journal, symphony for bass-baritone, orchestra and orchestra including tape (1972) [45']
DAVID LANG (b. 1957)
Bonehead, for orchestra including electric bass guitar (1990) [18']
The Passing Measures, for bass clarinet, 8 amplified voices and amplified chamber orchestra (1998) [45']
LIBBY LARSEN (b. 1950)
What The Monster Saw, for orchestra including Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer (1987) [14']
Symphony No. 3 “Lyric”, for orchestra including synthesizer (1990) [40']
HENRI LAZAROF (b. 1932)
Spectrum for trumpet and orchestra with tape (1973) [15']
HOPE LEE (b. 1953)
Voices in Time (1992-94/1995) for chamber orchestra, accordion, tape and electronics
DANIEL LENTZ (b. 1942)
The Crack In the Bell for solo voice, chamber orchestra including three keyboards and electronics (1985) [16']
FREDERICK LESEMANN (b. 1936)
Seven Pieces for String Orchestra and Electronic Tape (1960) [15']
JOHN LESSARD (1920-)
Pastimes and an Alleluia for orchestra including a taped voice (1975) [15']
PETER TOD LEWIS (1932-1982)
Fragments/Hedgehogs, for orchestra and tape (1978) [8']
ALVIN LUCIER (b. 1931)
Crossings, for small orchestra and oscillator (1982-4)
40 Rooms {originally for chamber group with Lexicon Acoustic reverberance system (1996)}, for orchestra with reverberance systems (1997)
OTTO LUENING (1900-1996)
Synthesis, for orchestra and tape (1962) [9']
OTTO LUENING & VLADIMIR USSACHEVSKY
Rhapsodic Variations, for orchestra and tape (1954) [17']
A Poem in Cycles and Bells for orchestra and tape (1954) [14']
Concerted Piece, for orchestra and tape (1960) [9']
RAY LUKE (b. 1928)
Compressions, for orchestra and tape (1972)

Continue ->

 

From Stars, Stripes, Batons and Circuits: American Music For Orchestra and Electronics
by Elliott Schwartz
© 2001 NewMusicBox

Page 5 of 6« First23456