This Life of Sounds

ISBN : 9780190632205

Renee Levine Packer
256 ページ
156 x 235 mm

This Life of Sounds portrays an important and previously unexplored corner of the history of new music in America: the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts int eh State University of New York at Buffalo. Composers Lukas Foss (the Center's founder), Lejaren Hiller, and Morton Feldman were the music directors over the life of "the Buffalo group," during the years 1964-1980. Based on Foss's plan, the Rockefeller Foundation provided annual fellowships for young composers and virtuoso instrumentalists to live in Buffalo for up to two years, thus creating a cadre of like-minded musicians who would spend their time studying, creating, and performing difficult - often controversial - new work. The new legendary group of musicians (some would say "musical outlows") who participated in the Buffalo group included Pulitzer Prize winner George Crumb, Terry Riley, Cornelius Cardew, Maryanne Amacher, Frederic Rzewski, David Tudor, Julius Eastman, and many more. Composers John Cage, Jim Tenney, Iannis Xenakis and others all figure int he story as well. The book provides valuable accounts of the Center's influential concer series, Evenings for New Music, performed in Buffalo, New York and throughout Europe; its famous recording of Terry Riley's In C; the political activism of the time; and the intersection of academic, private, and institutional funding for the arts. Life magazine declared in an article about the 1965 Fest of the Arts Today titled, "Can This Be Buffalo?", "Buffalo exploded last month in a two-week avant garde festival that was bigger and hipper than anything ever held in Paris or New York..." The concerts, the festivals, and the adventurous musical climate attracted filmmakers and young visual arts resulting in what one person called "one of those kinds of places the way people talk about Vienna in 1900-1910."


Prelude: A Study in Sonority

Chapter 1: The Rockefeller Years, 1964-Spring 1968
Creating the center
Getting Their Gongs Wet
Settling In
Can This Be Buffalo?
Adagio and Canto
David Tudor
News For You
Excavating Riches
Renewal and International Influence
The Berkeley of the East
Diamonds and Mud

Chapter 2: Make It New, Fall 1968-1972
Technology Rising
Illiacs and Oscillators
Music and Theater
A Holiday Angel
Julius Eastman
Early Seventies
Mad Kings and Making Do

Chapter 3: Feldman in Buffalo, Fall 1972
The Tenth Year
Closer To Home
The Continuous Present
June In Buffalo
Boston Harbor
Ultrasonics, Subliminal Light and Sound
A Lecture on the Weather
Late January 1977

Chapter 4: The Final Years, 1977-1980
Music of Changes
A Critical Fall
It's Like the Love Canal
HPSCHD and Beyond
After Image

Chapter 5: Postscript
Appendix 1: Chronology
Appendix 2: List of Interviews
Appendix 3: List of Creative Associates
Appendix 4: List of Creative Associate Graduate Fellows
Appendix 5: Selected Discography


Born in France, raised in New York and Mexico City, Levin Packer was co-director with Lukas Foss and Morton Feldman of the renowned contemporary music group in Buffalo, New York, and a director of the Contemporary Music Festival at teh California Institute of the Arts. She was Director of the Inter-Arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts, the producer of Steve Reich and Beryl Korot's multimedia opera The Cave, and a dean at the Maryland Institute College of Art. This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo received ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award for excellence. Her recent book, with co-editor Mary Jane Leach, Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music was published in 2015.